SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

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olddb
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SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:15 am

The idea was to create an NROM action-adventure game.
I quickly ran out of memory. :P
So the game is short.

SaveTheKuin 202002291006396.bmp
SaveTheKuin 202002291006396.bmp (59.05 KiB) Viewed 6163 times
SaveTheKuin 202002291007003.bmp
SaveTheKuin 202002291007003.bmp (59.05 KiB) Viewed 6168 times
Credits:
Program: olddb
Music / Art : Erich Riefkohl
Other Art: LuckyCassette / Basxto

Working on Version 03.
Attachments
SaveTheKuin_v02.nes
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Last edited by olddb on Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:06 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Alp
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by Alp » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:58 am

Looks neat! :D
I assume that this is more of an RPG styled thing?

Hmm... How are your maps stored?

For Cat Quest, I had used a rectangle and line RLE scheme, along with a simple auto-tile format, to really make the best use out of the 32KB

(The autotiles abused bit positions, requiring no additional structure data.)
Image

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DRW
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by DRW » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am

Looks interesting.

How many screens did you manage to implement into NROM?

And how do you store the tiles? Do you use 16 x 10 bytes for the meta tiles per screen?


Some suggestions:

Diagonal movement makes the game less stiff.

If you don't do pixel-precise movenemt, you should still let the movement happen at 8 x 8 pixels instead of 16 x 16.

The sword should be assigned to the A button instead of B because that's the common convention in the most popular games. (Or is there a way to assign the sword to either button manually?)

Scrolling would make the game look more professional.
(Yes, you would have to remove the mechanic where you switch the name table to simulate animted background tiles.)

Dying should remove the character sprite from the screen and keep the skull sprite.

You positioned your offscreen sprites at y position 0 and at 224. You should use a value beyond 240 because the sprites are visible when the emulator shows the whole resolution.
(General hint: When programming a game, always set the emulator to the whole resolution.)

The game should have a continue function that sets you back to the last door or whatever and lets you keep all your items.

The colors, specifically for the buildings, could be a bit more natural.

The Queen's throne shouldn't be walkable.

The Game Over screen should be leavable by Start instead of A.

It looks like the game has some duplicate tiles that can be used for something else.

Putting the background tiles for numbers at the start of the pattern tables (instead of using an empty tile as tile number 0 and using digit 0-9 at tile 1-10) might make it easier/smaller in the code to show numbers on screen. Because in this case, the tile index equals the actual output number, i.e. digit 0 is tile 0, digit 5 is tile 5 etc.


And a personal suggestion: I never really liked it when in-game characters or signs talk about gameplay-related things, i.e. NPCs telling the hero to press Start. This takes you out of the narrative.
If you need to teach the player the mechanics in the game itself, I would suggest some kind of narrator. But people and objects within the world should only reference things that actually exist in-universe, like with which weapons which opponent can be defeated.
My game "City Trouble": www.denny-r-walter.de/city.htm

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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:11 am

Alp wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:58 am
Looks neat! :D
I assume that this is more of an RPG styled thing?
Thank you. :)
The game is inspired by action rpgs. The game doesn't have stats progression.
So I don't want to call it an rpg.

Alp wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:58 am
Hmm... How are your maps stored?
The game uses 16x16 metatiles. Also, only 16 tiles in any given map, so a tile can be stored in a nibble.
It also uses RLE.
Alp wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:58 am
For Cat Quest, I had used a rectangle and line RLE scheme, along with a simple auto-tile format, to really make the best use out of the 32KB

(The autotiles abused bit positions, requiring no additional structure data.)
Image
Can you expand on this? I don't get it.

BTW: saw online some art for Cat Quest and it looks superb. Hope you can finish it some day.
Last edited by olddb on Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 am

DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
Looks interesting.

How many screens did you manage to implement into NROM?

And how do you store the tiles? Do you use 16 x 10 bytes for the meta tiles per screen?
Thank you for checking the game out. :D

I managed a few screens, but this is my first game. So I'm moving at baby steps.
DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
Some suggestions:

Diagonal movement makes the game less stiff.

If you don't do pixel-precise movenemt, you should still let the movement happen at 8 x 8 pixels instead of 16 x 16.

Scrolling would make the game look more professional.
(Yes, you would have to remove the mechanic where you switch the name table to simulate animted background tiles.)
16x16 movement is tightly coupled to the engine. Maybe my next game will be 8x8 based and include diagonal movement.
I wanted to keep things like this very simple this time.
DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
The sword should be assigned to the A button instead of B because that's the common convention in the most popular games. (Or is there a way to assign the sword to either button manually?)
You can equip the sword to A. You need to un-equip it from B first.
You are right that it should had been initially assigned to the A button.
DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
You positioned your offscreen sprites at y position 0 and at 224. You should use a value beyond 240 because the sprites are visible when the emulator shows the whole resolution.
(General hint: When programming a game, always set the emulator to the whole resolution.)
Thank you very much for this. It should be an easy fix.
DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
The game should have a continue function that sets you back to the last door or whatever and lets you keep all your items.
Well, inns serve as checkpoints. They work like traditional rpg savepoints. You lose data on power off, of course.

DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
The colors, specifically for the buildings, could be a bit more natural.

It looks like the game has some duplicate tiles that can be used for something else.
Art organization was made as I went, so lots of inefficiency. As for colors, I used pretty much a single palette the whole game. Once again, I wanted to keep things simple.
DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
Putting the background tiles for numbers at the start of the pattern tables (instead of using an empty tile as tile number 0 and using digit 0-9 at tile 1-10) might make it easier/smaller in the code to show numbers on screen. Because in this case, the tile index equals the actual output number, i.e. digit 0 is tile 0, digit 5 is tile 5 etc.
I don't see the issue here. A simple plus 1 suffices. I just like my 0 as null c-style.
DRW wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am
And a personal suggestion: I never really liked it when in-game characters or signs talk about gameplay-related things, i.e. NPCs telling the hero to press Start. This takes you out of the narrative.
If you need to teach the player the mechanics in the game itself, I would suggest some kind of narrator. But people and objects within the world should only reference things that actually exist in-universe, like with which weapons which opponent can be defeated.
I agree with you on this. I will keep it in mind for next time.
What do you mean by a narrator?

How far did you make it into the game?
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by Alp » Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:06 pm

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:11 am
Can you expand on this? I don't get it.

BTW: saw online some art for Cat Quest and it looks superb. Hope you can finish it some day.
Oh... I thought it was pretty obvious from the way I laid it out! :P
(The row on the bottom of that image shows how the metatiles are arranged, in the ROM.)

Each bit in the lower nibble, represents a direction where the tile is connected to another, of the same type.

%0001 = North ($01)
%0010 = South ($02)
%0100 = West ($04)
%1000 = East ($08)

Combinations of these bits, result in the tile index pointing to a different metatile, in the same group.
When loading a screen, the "default" tile ID is used, and the game engine simply parses the tiles, to determine how they connect together.



Unfortunately, the Cat Quest project is long gone. Though, I have been working on a Windows version of it, with high resolution art.
(The original NES concept has evolved into a separate Legacy of the Wizard styled game, with a family of elves, still in a Zelda 1 style.)

Here's a preview of some of the updated Cat Quest art, comparing them with the original sprites:
Image

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DRW
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by DRW » Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:07 pm

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:11 am
BTW: saw online some art for Cat Quest and it looks superb. Hope you can finish it some day.
Alp wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:06 pm
Unfortunately, the Cat Quest project is long gone. Though, I have been working on a Windows version of it, with high resolution art.
Yeah, those projects look very interesting. When I last checked your Twitter account, I saw that you're working on a ton of games. Not only "Cat Quest", but various top-down adventure-like games with different art styles (one looked like a "Zelda" game, one looked like "Hydlide", one seemed to be a Rogue-like), a game inspired by "Son Son", some side scroller etc.

Is there any place where we can see a demo or a video of any of these games? I'd really be curious to see them in motion.

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 am
I managed a few screens, but this is my first game. So I'm moving at baby steps.
Still, I'm curious: How many screens are there in the current game?

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 am
As for colors, I used pretty much a single palette the whole game. Once again, I wanted to keep things simple.
Sure, but different palettes are still a simple thing, even in NROM games. I'd suggest you sacrifice one byte (or nibble) per screen to store an index to a palette.

Since it's an NROM game and therefore limited in size and graphics, you should do some things that also NROM games can do, to make it more interesting. For example, in my first game, I included parallax scrolling.

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 am
I don't see the issue here. A simple plus 1 suffices. I just like my 0 as null c-style.
In the end, it's your decision, but let me tell you: Even in C, 0 doesn't always mean NULL. Instead, the current situation is more like the situation of an array that starts at index 0 or an enum that starts with value 0 by default. An empty tile doesn't really compare to the situation of a NULL pointer, i.e. an address in memory that points to nothing.

Having the digits in tile 0-9 (and the letters in 10 upwards) makes it easier for any kind of output since you can pretty much map hexadecimal value nibbles to these tiles and you save the "+ 1". The empty tile can then be made a constant: Empty = 255.

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 am
I agree with you on this. I will keep it in mind for next time.
What do you mean by a narrator?
I mean text boxes that talk to the player directly instead of to the hero, so that you have a clear distinction between in-universe narration and gameplay interface tips.

I know this is pretty popular in games ("Link's Awakening" uses it excessively), but when an NPC tells the hero in the story to use the A button or whatever, to me this throws you out of the narration. That's like a movie character referencing the screenplay of the movie they're in.

So, an NPC could say stuff like: "Dodongo dislikes smoke" because that's something that actually exists in-universe.
But "Press Start to open the menu" should be a hint that is given to the player at pre-determined situations in the game, but nothing that the hero character hears from another person or reads on a sign.

olddb wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 am
How far did you make it into the game?
I didn't get to play it seriously yet due to not having had the time yet, I just ran around a bit.


Here's another hint: Since the NPCs don't turn around when you talk to them (probably due to the NROM graphical limitations), maybe you should only be able to talk to them when you stand below them.


Also, have you considered switching to CNROM? It's like NROM, but allows you to switch out the graphics. Instead of one collection of 512 tiles, you can have four collections. This way, you can use individual tiles and sprites for the overworld, dungeons, towns etc., but the rest of your program is still like in NROM.

(Your game data would still be the same size. Since the graphics cannot appear in any combination, but only in chunks of 512 tiles, you can define that a tree on the overworld has the same ID as a rock in a dungeon. You just need to put the tree and the rock in the same location on their respective graphics bank. This would also allow you to be a bit more wasteful with NPCs, having them shown from all sides.)
My game "City Trouble": www.denny-r-walter.de/city.htm

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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:56 pm

Alp wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:06 pm
Here's a preview of some of the updated Cat Quest art, comparing them with the original sprites:
Image
Looking good!
But, I think someone took your idea a made it into a Nintendo Switch game/series!
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:08 pm

DRW wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:07 pm
Here's another hint: Since the NPCs don't turn around when you talk to them (probably due to the NROM graphical limitations), maybe you should only be able to talk to them when you stand below them.
I like that.
DRW wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:07 pm
Also, have you considered switching to CNROM? It's like NROM, but allows you to switch out the graphics. Instead of one collection of 512 tiles, you can have four collections. This way, you can use individual tiles and sprites for the overworld, dungeons, towns etc., but the rest of your program is still like in NROM.
Actually, I need something with more prgrom too. I was looking at UNROM. I like the switchable 16k prg feature with chram instead of chrom. But I will need to re-organize the rom for this to work.

I mean, to expand the game beyond the competition and try to make into a more complete game.

There are some sites selling UNROM compatible pbcs too, which is nice. I've never done my own game cartridge.
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calima
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by calima » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:54 am

Retrostage's is even solder-free, making it easy for everyone to make some.

lancuster
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by lancuster » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:55 am

Alp wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:06 pm
Unfortunately, the Cat Quest project is long gone.
Alp, what about the other your games? Cotton and Candy and Cotton and Candy 2?
Check my romhacks and NES arts on Patreon

See my hacks on Romhacking.net
I added level configs for 102 NES games in CaD Editor!

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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by link_7777 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:42 am

I played this game for a bit (the version that was released with the other competition entries), and I had a few issues.

The first time I played the colors ended up messed up after staying at the inn, but that could have been a powerpak thing and something got loaded wrong? I wasn't having a problem when I played again today (still on powerpak)

I'm wondering if I missed a key somewhere? The first time I rescued the queen, but then couldn't get across the mountain because I didn't have a key, so I was stuck. Today I tried skipping the queen figuring I could come back later when I had more keys. I got further, but I got stuck after the boss in the ice staff cave. I presume I was supposed to collect the heart after killing the boss and that would unlock the cave door? I was at max hearts (with no queen) and I couldn't collect it, plus it despawned after leaving the room. Presumably if I have gotten the queen earlier she could have picked it up. So I guess I'm wondering if I missed a key or if there are insufficient keys?

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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:31 pm

link_7777 wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:42 am
I played this game for a bit (the version that was released with the other competition entries), and I had a few issues.
First, I will like to thank you for your time and for testing our little game.

The version you played was the only version available online until now. Today I'm releasing version 02 based on your feedback.
link_7777 wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:42 am
The first time I played the colors ended up messed up after staying at the inn, but that could have been a powerpak thing and something got loaded wrong? I wasn't having a problem when I played again today (still on powerpak)
I haven't properly tested the game in real hardware so I don't know about that issue. Thanks for reporting it, nonetheless. I changed the code for the fade out somewhat for the current version, so it may already be fixed.
link_7777 wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:42 am
I'm wondering if I missed a key somewhere? The first time I rescued the queen, but then couldn't get across the mountain because I didn't have a key, so I was stuck. Today I tried skipping the queen figuring I could come back later when I had more keys. I got further, but I got stuck after the boss in the ice staff cave. I presume I was supposed to collect the heart after killing the boss and that would unlock the cave door? I was at max hearts (with no queen) and I couldn't collect it, plus it despawned after leaving the room. Presumably if I have gotten the queen earlier she could have picked it up. So I guess I'm wondering if I missed a key or if there are insufficient keys?
This is a game design error. It never occur to me that someone will take the the key and leave behind the queen. :P
The game was never intended that way.

I fixed the issue by adding a trap door that won't open until you defeat the boss. Once you have the queen you MUST talk to the oldman in town. He will give you an item that will help you get a different key to pass the mountains.

Anyways, I will really appreciate you playing the new version. Your feedback have been very valuable.

BTW: Was it hard/annoying to find the hole to the cave?
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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by M_Tee » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:51 am

Is there a way to change facing direction without moving?

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Re: SaveTheKuin: action-adventure

Post by olddb » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:31 am

M_Tee wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:51 am
Is there a way to change facing direction without moving?
Thanks for playing! How far did you made it?

What did you need that for? :?:
Well, it could made like the GB pokemon games where taping the pad changes direction, but pressing moves the characters.
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