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Progress Thread - Twin Dragons
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=15193
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Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Just an opinion, but i think in-game tutorials are more elegant when they're implied, rather than stated. If the level design manages to silently guide you on your way without explicitly/openly telling you instructions, i think that's perfect. But arrows and button instructions are decidedly the more sureproof way.

Author:  tokumaru [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

I can't begin to express how much I admire games that teach players their mechanics through clever level layouts rather than through a manual (on or off screen). SMB, Mega Man and Sonic were pretty good at this, IMO.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Just an opinion, but i think in-game tutorials are more elegant when they're implied, rather than stated. If the level design manages to silently guide you on your way without explicitly/openly telling you instructions, i think that's perfect. But arrows and button instructions are decidedly the more sureproof way.

Sure I do too, but this is a specific suggestion for this specific case. I can't really think of an elegant way to imply that "holding down changes the behaviour of the A button but only in certain contexts", especially when pressing down normally does nothing in this game.

Author:  glutock [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Thanks for the feedback so far !

First of all, this was my very first attempt at level designing, so I knew that it wouldn't be perfect, especially that 'drop down' part ...
I wanted to add an arrow, or a sign to read with instructions, but I ran out of space and time. So I guess I just done it the lazy way...

Sprite flickering is clearly noticeable in the game.
I could test what rainwarrior said to lighten the effect, but as a lot of stuff happens aligned with the dragon, there will always be glitches somehow.

@FrankenGraphics : I really like your example for the DOWN+A action, and your advice for the jumps over the spikes with the low ceiling. I sure will update this after the compo results.

Author:  zzo38 [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

I currently have Mednafen installed (from the Ubuntu package manager), and the version I have does not implement mapper 28.

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Quote:
I can't really think of an elegant way to imply that "holding down changes the behaviour of the A button but only in certain contexts", especially when pressing down normally does nothing in this game.


I think the best way to do it goes something like this:

[ ] (at least) first time around, present an environment (screen) that's mostly or absolutely safe.
[ ] Present an incentive to reach a spot that's only possible with that maneuver.
[ ] See to that the incentive is strong enough (powerup, collectable item, easier path comes to mind), but still optional and not obligatory for reaching the main goal of the scene/level.
[ ] The more intricate the maneuver, the more you should scatter repeats of the same concept for the player to catch up on, eventually.

There's need of judgment to balance the last checkbox. When is the right time to present a scene where the maneuver is mandatory, if ever?

As said, down+jump follows a fairly established convention, so for the main segment of the user group, i suspect the difficulty arising is simply becoming aware that the game includes such a maneuver. Visual cues like hard-to-reach bonuses is one way; it guides the player towards being experimental/creative with the control pad. Adding a duck feature/animation is another, because that shows the game is aware of downward d-pad presses. That doesn't do it on itself, but is enabling the player do discover the control scheme in minute portions that's easy to bite.

The game shovel knight doesn't do the former. While it repeats opportunities to try both the shoveling and pogo jump mechanic, it has a sharp tutorial element requiring the pogo interaction in one place in order to progress on the second board of the first level. Instead they call for the player to induct that there's soft earth + player character is using a shovel = ???, which works about as well. That's a third approach. All three can be combined in a best case scenario.

(shovel knight also has a second approach to moving platforms: instead of easing in and out of turning poins, they have the background tiles telegraph how far the platform will go).

Author:  Fisher [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Very cool game!!
My kids loved it, congratulations!!
Any chance to add a 2p mode later?
Thanks for sharing!

Author:  tepples [ Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

I've noticed several gestures for jumping down in platformers.

Games using Down (any): Kirby Super Star
Games using Down Down: The Curse of Possum Hollow
Games using Down+A: Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers, Contra
Games using Down tap:* Super Smash Bros. Brawl


* In Super Smash Bros. series, "tap" refers to quickly moving the analog Control Stick from center to edge, or (in the case of the sideways Wii Remote in Brawl and For) quickly pressing and releasing Down on the Control Pad before the transition to crouch finishes animating.

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Gesture #2 and #3 share having a security latch so you don't do it by mistake (dropping down on a bullet, enemy, or deadly pit by mistake). Maybe #4 is partly in this category, too. Though, in super smash, speed is more important than full platforming security, so that makes sense. I haven't tested kirby super star. But i think scheme #1 and #4 is fine in games without one- or even two-hit deaths.

For the second boss in twin dragons, i think #1 and #4 would mean potential trouble.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

glutock wrote:
Sprite flickering is clearly noticeable in the game.
I could test what rainwarrior said to lighten the effect, but as a lot of stuff happens aligned with the dragon, there will always be glitches somehow.

Another simple idea that might help a little; it seems that the dragon's fireballs are always drawn before other things, so they get higher priority.

I presume it would probably be a big change to put the fireballs into the flicker rotation with other enemies/objects, but as an easier alternative, what if you put the fireballs last on every second frame? Then they would start to take part in the rotation a little and maybe soften the impact, instead of just the objects having missing bits?

(This same suggestion could probably apply to the status sprites at the top too, so they don't block stuff up at the top as thoroughly.)


I notice that on Nintendulator the game has a blank screen. I think for this mapper it is forcing CHR-RAM maybe? Kinda strange. It runs fine on the Everdrive N8 though. (Can't test on PowerPak because I don't have a mapper 28 for it.) So... not really a bug report for you, just noticing that I think Nintendulator doesn't support this mapper fully.

Author:  tepples [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

rainwarrior wrote:
It runs fine on the Everdrive N8 though. (Can't test on PowerPak because I don't have a mapper 28 for it.)

MAP1C.MAP

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

tepples wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
It runs fine on the Everdrive N8 though. (Can't test on PowerPak because I don't have a mapper 28 for it.)

MAP1C.MAP

Thanks. Works fine on PowerPak too, then.

Author:  team_disposable [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Super impressed!

I wasn't so keen on the physics in the earlier version, but this version is excellent.

I see you've switched to horizontal scrolling too - Can I ask why you've disables the left 8 pixels? I'm presuming you don't get artifacts anymore as it's horizontal.

Anyway, congratulations! The level intros are also really nicely put together.

Author:  glutock [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Fisher wrote:
Very cool game!!
My kids loved it, congratulations!!
Any chance to add a 2p mode later?
Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Fisher ! Happy that your kids had a good time :)
What kind of 2p mode would you like ? A turn by turn like in mario or 2p at the same time ?

rainwarrior wrote:
I presume it would probably be a big change to put the fireballs into the flicker rotation with other enemies/objects, but as an easier alternative, what if you put the fireballs last on every second frame? Then they would start to take part in the rotation a little and maybe soften the impact, instead of just the objects having missing bits?


I could easily move the fireballs in the flicker rotation. I was so focused on the idea that the dragon and his fireballs should be always visible that I didn't even test it ... my bad.

rainwarrior wrote:
I notice that on Nintendulator the game has a blank screen. I think for this mapper it is forcing CHR-RAM maybe? Kinda strange. It runs fine on the Everdrive N8 though. (Can't test on PowerPak because I don't have a mapper 28 for it.) So... not really a bug report for you, just noticing that I think Nintendulator doesn't support this mapper fully.


That was my fault ... My ROM wasn't correct, I updated the ROM attached in the first post, it should be ok.

team_disposable wrote:
Super impressed!

I wasn't so keen on the physics in the earlier version, but this version is excellent.

I see you've switched to horizontal scrolling too - Can I ask why you've disables the left 8 pixels? I'm presuming you don't get artifacts anymore as it's horizontal.

Anyway, congratulations! The level intros are also really nicely put together.

Thanks for the feedback.
It was always scrolling horizontally, but I'm using horizontal mirroring, that's why I disabled the left 8 pixels, to hide attribute glitches (you can see those on the right edge though).

Author:  tokumaru [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - Twin Dragons

Great game, I really enjoyed it!

glutock wrote:
I could easily move the fireballs in the flicker rotation. I was so focused on the idea that the dragon and his fireballs should be always visible that I didn't even test it ... my bad.

I'm of the opinion that everything should flicker, even the player sprite.

Quote:
It was always scrolling horizontally, but I'm using horizontal mirroring, that's why I disabled the left 8 pixels, to hide attribute glitches (you can see those on the right edge though).

Why would you choose to have glitches at all if you have an empty name table just sitting there? Do you plan to do anything with it at some point?

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