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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:35 pm 
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MANUAL...

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/dw5f ... anual4.pdf

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:03 am 
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The music of the game has surprised me a lot. It reminds me of some musical compositions proper of the SunSoft games for NES / Famicom. Have you composed it?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:14 am 
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I added a retrospective (post-mortem) about Vigilante Ninja 2 on my blog, if anyone is curious.

https://nesdoug.com/2017/10/08/vigilant ... st-mortem/

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:30 am 
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Very nice to read, and interesting, it's nice to see the programmer's opinion on his own game. I have to play your game, I have not tested yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:12 am 
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Good job!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:02 pm 
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dougeff wrote:
I added a retrospective (post-mortem) about Vigilante Ninja 2 on my blog, if anyone is curious.


I really liked reading this. I think it's great that you reflected honestly on the game and mistakes that were made during the design process. One of the things I also underestimated in designing a game is the challenge of making it fun to play. When I envisioned my side-scrolling shooter (similar in gameplay to yours), I guess I just assumed it would be fun. Once the whole engine was built, and I created a test level, I was surprised at how much I had a to tweak to make it challenging/interesting, but not too easy or too difficult. I still haven't finished the game, partially because designing fun levels/AI is so challenging.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Thanks for your replies, guys.

Quote:
challenge of making it fun to play...
make it challenging/interesting, but not too easy or too difficult


I'm having the same issue with my next game, the guitar girl game. The game engine choices I made (you don't die if you fall, for example) has made gameplay too easy, and I can run through every level in 20 seconds a piece, which isn't fun at all.

If I make falling kill you, I basically have to start from scratch, and redesign every level. But, I'm basically looking at that possibility anyway, because it's not fun.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:38 pm 
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@dougeff: Just add more challenges, e.g. enemies


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Lazycow wrote:
Just add more challenges, e.g. enemies


It could also be that the levels are too short, which can really suck in terms of programming if your max number of screens is too low. Depending on "why" the maximum is what it is, you may have to go back and make a lot of changes to the engine to accommodate a larger number of screens.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:57 pm 
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dougeff wrote:
Thanks for your replies, guys.
...
I'm having the same issue with my next game, the guitar girl game. The game engine choices I made (you don't die if you fall, for example) has made gameplay too easy, and I can run through every level in 20 seconds a piece, which isn't fun at all.
...


What commercial games are most similar to yours? Cowlitz 2 was my first attempt at level design. Not having done it before, I read a handful of articles, and then started watching longplays of games in a similar genre. First, I checked the big ones: Bubble Bobble, Loderunner, Donkey Kong, etc. Then I started digging through obscure ones, for Spectrum, Amiga, etc., asking myself, when I saw a level, how I could try to achieve a similar result within our game's constraints.

I printed tiny booklets of graphs at our game's gameplay area (16x12 metatiles) and spent a long time putting them on paper first, then probably each stage received some nunber of revisions after playtesting by testers of varying skill.

Anyway, one of the articles I found suggested starting a design by drawing an intended path for completing a stage.
Then, decide what obstacles keep the player on the path (walls, spikes, vines, etc), what obstacles interfere with the path (enemies), and what alternatives to the path are there? (Perhaps a risk/reward branch from the path that's more dangerous and not mandatory for completion)

Being a co-op game, I had to make sure there was a successful path for each player (often different for interest), and our game mechanics helped with the risk /reward (not only are there mandatory items to collect, but also optional ones that offer additional rewards).

Hopefully that could be helpful. I'll try to track down the articles and post them too.

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Last edited by M_Tee on Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Celius wrote:
Lazycow wrote:
Just add more challenges, e.g. enemies


It could also be that the levels are too short, which can really suck in terms of programming if your max number of screens is too low. Depending on "why" the maximum is what it is, you may have to go back and make a lot of changes to the engine to accommodate a larger number of screens.

The number of screens shouldn't really be a problem, if the gameplay difficulty is well balanced.

A small arcade-styled NES game I was recently commissioned to program, cranked up the difficulty with regenerating powerups (like the fruit in Pacman), and some enemies would beeline for them, to give them an advantage over the player.

Imagine the hammer in Donkey Kong, being wielded by a common enemy! :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:45 am 
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Alp wrote:
The number of screens shouldn't really be a problem, if the gameplay difficulty is well balanced.


It really depends on the style of game. I think once you move beyond single-screen, it definitely is a factor to consider. Think of a game like Sonic, for example. One of the things that makes the game so fun is those parts you can go speeding through freely. As the player, I would be disappointed if the levels were too small to allow for it. I don't think it's a good solution to put the player through 4 really annoyingly difficult screens to increase the time it takes to beat a level. I would much rather go through 32 screens that aren't as challenging, but are more interesting.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:12 am 
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Sonic levels are built out of huge chunks (256x256 pixels in Sonic 1 and CD, 128x128 pixels in 2, 3 & Knuckles) for a reason. You don't need much detail when you're zipping through a path designed for speed, so the game gets away with repeating large chunks of terrain over and over.

I don't consider the classic Sonic games to be all about speed, though. In Sonic 1 there are zones that are absolutely nothing about speed, such as Marble and Labyrinth, but they're still fun to play (Labyrinth less so, because of the slowness of moving underwater and the fear of drowning). I really like to explore, get a better sense of the architecture of the levels, look for hidden rooms and items... You can't do that if you're zooming through every stage.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:23 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
I really like to explore, get a better sense of the architecture of the levels, look for hidden rooms and items... You can't do that if you're zooming through every stage.


Right. The freedom to zoom through sections is part of the fun, but not all of it. I, too, like to explore and absorb the environment. In either scenario, if the levels are too small, it can have a negative impact (either too short to run through, or too short to spend enough time exploring).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:56 pm 
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What are you talking about? Vigilante Ninja 2 is awesome! It took me a while to get used to the physics. The game was challenging and hard, but once I got used to the physics, I've been passing levels in a row. The bosses are very well-made and it feels very rewarding when I finish them. The game seems short, but it's one of the best NES homebrew platformers that I've played so far. Please don't delete it! The game is awesome! I'd like to see more of such games as well as Super Bat Puncher. If only there was some kind of a permissive-open-source game engine for the NES that utilized nice physics so that we could all be coding games rather than coding engines and system stuff.


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