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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 pm 
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I just released a preview of my game (about 40-50% complete) for everyone to try out:

Be careful to grab the hiatwrd0.nes file and not the advertised junk:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/dt6h0o

It's a metroidvania type game with 6 bosses so far and about 50 boards/levels. If you like Strider/Rygar/Metroid you probably will like it.

You might remember I posted a video of it about a month ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkQGznb90bk

Tell me what you think, and feel free to post some screenshots!


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 6:10 pm 
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Great job with the near-16-bit scrolling engine.

It's not perfect though; screen transitions appear glitchy, and the collision between the hopping enemies and backgrounds seems loose.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 6:14 pm 
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It certainly has a lot of potential, but in the current shape it mostly demonstrates tech only. Glitching all around (at changing screens, at split scanlines, falling into floor), levels layout looks like random, etc - it diminishes the impression on the game itself.

I think that help of a graphics artist (for animations, mostly), level designer and maybe a music composer would allow to realize the potential to full extent.

Anyway, one of most interesting homebrew projects I seen so far.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Congratulations on going this far into development, and on experimenting with something new on the NES (advanced parallax and large sprites that make the game almost look 16-bit). This is innovative not only for a homebrew but also for the NES in general.

Looks promising, but like it's been pointed out, it needs polishing. Glitchy transitions and splits along with the dodgy collision detection (going through walls and falling through floors is incredibly easy) were the worst offenders IMO. Some character portraits could use a bit of cleaning up too, in order to look more professional and as impressive as everything else.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 8:47 pm 
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One thing I should say is that I did everything myself except for the music playback routines, which is Famitone. I can definitely find another musician (one willing to work within the Famitone contraints), but finding an animator that will understand the bank switching constraints, or a level designer that would be able to use my tools and the techincal issues or # metatiles vs size of levels... thats really difficult. Also, I'd rather do everything myself... because its fun.. and have things take a bit longer.

The way I work usually is to make a first pass on everything, (music/artwork/etc.) so that I have everything I need to see the game in action. The general strategy is to make everything reasonable (at least average by NES game standards) After getting everything in place, I'll start taking a second pass, improving the worst aspects first. Most of what you see is a first pass.

That said, I'm sort of hitting myself since the very first level is not as good as the rest of the levels. Its a bit rough, and there are some sections where I put the thin slope tiles that the character can fall through, that I probably will change. So I can see why I'm getting the comments I am getting.

I'm really hoping at least some people play the game through so I can get some more commentary on the levels further into the game, and the boss battle. I'm curious to see how people find the difficulty level of the game, and different abilities like the wall jump, the dash, and the different weapons.

Currently I'd say the game is about the size and depth of Rygar.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 8:47 pm 
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I'd have to agree with what everyone else has said. It is impressive to see this on the NES so congrats on that. One thing that wasn't mentioned was it was a bit confusing to figure out where the walkable platforms were at first. They kind of blend in with the back ground. Seemed like it wasn't as much of a problem once I played for a few mins though.

Minor thing but the EXIT labeling confused me for a bit. It's more of a "different area" than and "exit" Just an arrow alone would probably suffice.

EDIT: I stopped playing because I couldn't find the "projectile" that was hinted to. I looked around for a few minutes but got kinda lost and figured you just hadn't implemented that yet. Also I noticed I collected a few things along the way but had no way of knowing what they were. Some explaination in a doc or in game would be helpful.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:05 pm 
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@infiniteneslives: The projectile you need is definitely implemented, you have to find Mademyne by climbing in the large room to the upper right exit.

Its an exploration game like the original Metroid.

There are 6 bosses to find, and everything is implemented so you can find and defeat them.

Edit:
The orange + items replenish your health (they are small and large sized)

The gray "o" items give you more currency (the C: number in the status bar) Right now they dont do anything, but I was considering using them as a form of ammunition for the different weapons.

There are also HP Angels that increase your max life by a little bit. Think of them like the heart containers in Zelda. There are about 25 of them strewn throughout the levels.


Last edited by sdwave on Mon May 28, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:11 pm 
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I also couldn't find the projectile the first time. Guess I'll try again.

I just found a weird bug: If you press "A" on the title screen instead of "start", the game crashes.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Good: Player mechanics - really like the crouch walking, split-scrolling effect, slopes make it fun to run through mindlessly. Razorline is a cool name. Main character looks neat, so do character portraits and text window. Exit signs are considerate.

Bad: Not a fan of urban settings in 8-bit games, esp. with sprawling layouts. Grey metallic platforms are dull.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Very cool! Just a few comments after a few minutes of play.

Is it infeasible for the far background to scroll vertically as well as horizontally? I'm falling a lot and its disconcerting for the bg to never move when that happens.

Using that same "glass" tile for the far and near background is very confusing, at least when it uses the exact same palette. Maybe this is a bug, it's a little hard to tell with some of these things.

I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this project!


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 10:43 pm 
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@toku: Oh.. hehe I'm using the converstation system for the title screen as well. and its looking forward to the next conversation block which does not exist hahah. Shouldn't be too hard to fix, thanks. The boss is up and to the right for the most part, but qa couple sections zig-zag.

@strat: There a lot more areas to explore, none of which have gray floors ;) There is a subway, a forest, a japanese style temple, a green egyptian-ish style temple, and couple of skyscraper areas at sunset, and a train ride to see.

@hcs: yes. it is possible to vertically scrollthe bkg, but harder than left right scroll since the bkg is tiles for left right scrolling no char updates are needed so its fast.. to scroll vertically, I need to update the background to display the new regions. I'd probably have to optimize my char update routines to do that since it could occur along with horiz and vertical scroll char cupated in the foreground. ~90 characters to update + sprite DMA + misc palette and IRQ setup in the retrace.

I see what you say about the glass tiles. I was thinking about chaning that myself for another reason. The panes should be quarter sized compared to the foreground ones as well since the bkg scrolls at quarter rate and scroll speed and size should be proportional


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Well I beat the first boss. I didn't find her the first time because one frustrating jump. I tried it a few times but couldn't make it. I figured I was lacking some jump skill or something I hadn't aquired. The mechanics are decent but it really frustrating at times. Like for that jump it's hard to tell if you should be able to make it or not. If you fail a few times I usually come to the conclusion that what I'm attempting isn't supposed to be possible and give up.

It's also pretty frustrating for me when I get hit and it forces me to jump in mid air going even higher. This was really a problem with the boss. Mainly she wasn't difficult because she had a gun or anything. She was difficult because that pit you fight her in is very difficult to maneuver around in. Especially when I was trying to stay on the bottom level and jump over her. If I contacted her I'd unintentionally get thrown up a level. After trying a few different tactics I realized the most effective one was just stay right on top of her and make full use out of the invincibility time after getting hit. Seemed like a cheap way to beat her but it was the most effective way I found. Oh and it would be nice to cut out the script before the fight after you've read it once. :)

I don't mean to be negative, just hoping to provide constructive criticism. Part of it is probably because of what I do and don't like in a given game. But I feel there is quite a difference between playing this and the games you compare it to. A lot of it I feel can be attributed to the mechanics though. It's just exhausting and frustrating for me to get around anywhere. It didn't take me long to find and beat the boss once I realized she was there I just had to find her. But now that I've beat her I lack desire to continue to play. I guess it just feels awkward and demotivating at times. It's hard for me to explain and I'm not sure what would help exactly... It might just be me though.

Don't get me wrong I really think the game LOOKS GREAT. Especially the scrolling and artwork. I'm looking forward to seeing things cleaned up a bit and give it another try. Also if you haven't considered it yet I would suggest passwords. I want to stop playing right now but might come back if I knew I could pickup where I left off. But since I don't have a password I'll end up shutting it down and not look forward to going through it a second time...

Oh and one minor thing I can only see a little less than half of the "RazorLine" at the top of the screen it's getting cut off on my TV.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:45 am 
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Tried it for a bit. Very promising! Graphics are very good for a one man project IMO. Music isn't great, but not terrible either. I saw some attribute problems (a tile that should've been green was gray -- isn't it fun to do multidirectional scrolling on NES? :)). You're obviously already aware of the screen transition glitches etc, and no doubt are going to fix those for the final version.

I'll play more later.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 2:53 am 
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sdwave wrote:
I just released a preview of my game (about 40-50% complete) for everyone to try out:

Be careful to grab the hiatwrd0.nes file and not the advertised junk:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/dt6h0o


That was the most terrible filesharing-service I've ever seen.
I recommend dropbox. :)

_________________
http://nes.goondocks.se/


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:51 pm 
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@fox: yeah the multidirectional scrolling with attributes was hellish to program. I do an IRQ Crystalis style split at char line 28 so that I don't have to deal with half an attribute block for lines 29 and 30. That saved me a lot of grief.. but still I estimate I'll take a day to debug those last attirbute bugs that occur diagonal upward scrolling.

@Orbit: I'll take your advice for the next revision. I looked around a little, but all that I found either had odd ads or required a lengthy singup process. I probably could find someone to host for me.

@infinitenl: Unfortunately I haven't got around to implementing save or passwords yet. Save is planned and I have the data setup and WRAM space set aside to do it. In the meantime Nestopia save states is probably the best way to play through the game.

The way I beat Madamyne is to have her chase me in a circle around the bottom bar, and snipe at her when dropping down or up a level and changing direction. Sometimes I need to jump up to force her to try to jump up at me, to force her onto the upper level. She reacts to your movement somewhat so you get different behavior based on the differences in how you play. Most of the bosses are that way. I agree with the skipping script part. I even have the 32 bytes for 256 convo occured flags reserved as well. just haven't gotten around to it yet!


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