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Critical Match

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:01 pm
by slembcke
Image

Web playable here:
http://files.slembcke.net/temp/nes-embe ... match.html

ROM here:
http://files.slembcke.net/temp/nes-embe ... -match.nes

Objective:
Build the shape shown on the right side of the screen by stacking atoms. Matches made in quick succession get a score multiplier.

Controls:
DPad - move
A - jump
B - pickup/drop blocks
B + UP - grapple a falling block
B + DOWN - pickup/drop blocks beneath the character

(original post follows)

Image
(Current work in progress showing the foreground gfx)

This summer I made a NES port of a game I was working on as a contractor. (thread on that here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17611) That was all good fun, but I wanted to turn it into an original game that I could put my name on and enter into the compo. Thus Critical Mass was given form! I'm not much of an artist, but I thought my bright colored atomic theme turned out OK. The gameplay is similar to the original inspiration (platformer + tetris sort of thing), but different enough to be interesting I hope.

Would anybody think my entry runs against the following rule? "Entries must be original. Plagiarism and copyright infringement will result in disqualification." The original game I made is 100% somebody else's IP (developed with their blessing). Is remaking the assets and changing some of the gameplay enough or have I tainted the soul of the game already?

Re: Critical Mass

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:26 am
by tepples
A port with permission is fine, so long as the licensor understands what we do with the entries (or the game being ported is under a free software license, which also covers what we do). "Plagiarism" means use without due credit.

Re: Critical Mass

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:07 am
by pubby
Looks cool. I like the art.

The name kinda sounds like "Critical Bypass" from action 52.

Re: Critical Mass

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:05 am
by samophlange
Sounds like an interesting concept!

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:31 am
by slembcke
Image

I haven't had as much time as I'd liked to work on this in December, but I finally made a breakthrough in the gameplay. The previous rules were really fragile. It was pretty fun and fast paced in certain conditions, but really easy to get it stuck in a state where you couldn't make progress and had nothing to do but sit there until you lose.

A friend from my local IGDA group had an idea that turned out to work much better. He's a huge fan of anything related to Tetris, so his suggestion was of course to build tetromino shapes, and it's pretty consistently fun! I had to rip out a bunch of the UI until I fix it, so it's just a barebones gameplay loop right now.

Web playable here:
http://files.slembcke.net/temp/nes-embe ... match.html

ROM here:
http://files.slembcke.net/temp/nes-embe ... -match.nes

Objective:
Build the shape shown on the right side of the screen by stacking atoms. Matches made in quick succession get a score multiplier.

Controls:
DPad - move
A - jump
B - pickup/drop blocks
B + UP - grapple a falling block
B + DOWN - pickup/drop blocks beneath the character

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:09 pm
by na_th_an
This is fun. I made a game a while ago with similar idea yet much simpler (it was just columns with the character pushing the blocks) but this is much better. I like the graphic style as well. It took me a while to get used to the controls but after the initial learning step everything seems natural and plays very well. Good job!

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:18 pm
by FrankenGraphics
This is a really neat puzzle, and with a good name to boot. Tricky, challenging, with just a little bit of platforming tricks to it. I love it.

There's one thing i feel could need some additional rules - if you pick up a stack and no column has enough space to put it in, you can't unload the stack, which locks the player from doing any further moves. The sprites typically wrap around the screen at this point, too. Not sure how to change this without accidentally changing some established rule of the game (for example needing to pick the whole stack except the ones you jump past). Not sure what the least impactful feature would be...

Maybe it's just because i'm inexperienced with the game, but the jump feels just a little bit too quick for me which makes me fiddle a lot with picking the right portion of the stack. Reversedly, i feel like i'd like if i could tap the control to turn the player character around without it moving in that direction as easily.

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:40 pm
by slembcke
I played around with the graphics a bit more tonight. The theme before could be described as a game that looks like it's being played on a random piece of 80's electronics. I'm not much of an artist, so I'm sort of flailing around until something looks ok... lol I changed it up a bit more so there is some more color, but it's still being played on an old monitor because why not?

Image

I'm probably going to stick with this as the final style. Not really a lot of time left to be picky. Now to make a splash screen and some music!
FrankenGraphics wrote:There's one thing i feel could need some additional rules - if you pick up a stack and no column has enough space to put it in, you can't unload the stack, which locks the player from doing any further moves. The sprites typically wrap around the screen at this point, too. Not sure how to change this without accidentally changing some established rule of the game (for example needing to pick the whole stack except the ones you jump past). Not sure what the least impactful feature would be...
Yeah... This came up as an issue with the original Treasure Stack game too. The talk there was just to leave it since it generally only happens once you are pretty close to losing anyway. I certainly didn't come up with a better solution here.
FrankenGraphics wrote:Maybe it's just because i'm inexperienced with the game, but the jump feels just a little bit too quick for me which makes me fiddle a lot with picking the right portion of the stack. Reversedly, i feel like i'd like if i could tap the control to turn the player character around without it moving in that direction as easily.
I haven't nailed down the player controls quite yet. Even I have trouble splitting the stacks right every time. Not sure if there is a lot of improvement to be had without really floaty jumps though. I hadn't considered the problem of turning around. I'll try tweaking that too. Thanks!

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:30 pm
by slembcke
Progress on some menu graphics. A little bland, but I still have a couple dozen tiles left to spice things up with. I'm not quite sure what else to add though... Maybe have the player character running around?
Image

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:04 pm
by slembcke
I added a tutorial mode. It's kinda basic, but I managed to squeeze it into ~500 bytes so I still have 1.5kB left for sounds, music and other polish and still fit in a single 16 kb unrom bank. :D

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:49 pm
by slembcke
Now with sounds! (and some more polish)

I updated the links in the original post. Feedback is very welcome. This is the first time I've tried creating sounds for the NES. I might have space for one or two more? Still have ~500 bytes left for music. Might be cutting it really close...

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:27 am
by dougeff
and some more polish
Well, It's nice that people in Poland will be able to read it. Are you game testing on a Pegasus?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_%28console%29

(joking)

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:34 am
by tepples
Is that the new meme after the success of Grunio┼╝erca 2?

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:10 pm
by dougeff
This game has an unusual mapper configuration. The header indicates UNROM, with 1 PRG bank and no CHR. Which should be a 16k file, yet your file is 24k. There appears to be something between $4010 and $6010, but the game clearly loads the CHR from the PRG to the CHR-RAM, so it's confusing.

I'm not sure if it causes any problems...

Edit, I tested it on my Powerpak, Frontloader NES. It works in its current state, and it ALSO works with the last $2000 bytes stripped away.

Re: Critical Match

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:23 pm
by JRoatch
For what it's worth, the ROM I got from following the link in the first post is only 16k. It also looks like a new build.