FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] COMPLETE!

A place where you can keep others updated about your NES-related projects through screenshots, videos or information in general.

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Goose2k
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FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] COMPLETE!

Post by Goose2k » Fri May 29, 2020 3:39 pm

DSC_0916.jpeg
Download (or play in your browser) the latest build here!

Join the Discord: https://discord.gg/6JgYhmX

The Kraken cometh...

From the deepest trenches of the ocean, the Kraken has come to lay waste to your city!

The archers have slung every arrow.
The burning tar has run dry.
Every piece of military weaponry has been dispatch.

And yet... the Kraken moves forward, climbing the towering walls of your seaside fortress.

With no ammunition left, the city itself moves from a barricade, to a weapon!

The stones of the walls are broken off, and hurdled down at hideous creature. And it just might be enough to
slow it down till morning, when surely help will arrive...


---

Hi! I am working on my first Homebrew NES game, FROM BELOW! 

It a falling block puzzle game featuring:
  • Soft Drops
  • Hard Drops
  • Wall Kicks
  • T-Spins
  • Lock Delay
  • 3 modes of play:

Kraken Battle Mode

The signature mode of FROM BELOW. Battle the Kraken by clear lines across the onslaught of attacking Kraken Tentacles. The Tentacles push more blocks onto the screen every few seconds, forcing to act quickly, and strategize on an every changing board.

Classic Mode

The classic block falling mechanics you know and love without any new gimicks. Modernize for 2020, with Hard Drops, Lock Delay, and more, making this (hopefully) the best feeling puzzle game on the NES!

Turn Based Kraken Battle Mode

Similar to "Kraken Battle Mode", but instead of the Kraken attacking every few seconds, it advances its tentacle every time you drop a piece. Make every move count, as this move favors slow, deliberate play!


ON SALE SOON

From Below (my new NES game) is going on sale THIS Monday!

Sales begin November 9th at 5PM GMT (9AM PST, 11AM CST, 12 Noon EST), but are expected to sell out fast. Bookmark frombelowgame.com, and set a reminder!

$60USD/€50
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from_below_july_03_gameplay_edit.gif (1.23 MiB) Viewed 5120 times
Last edited by Goose2k on Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:33 am, edited 20 times in total.

tepples
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by tepples » Fri May 29, 2020 5:16 pm

I'm curious. What do you plan to put in to distinguish your gameplay from what The Tetris Company owns?

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Goose2k
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Fri May 29, 2020 5:48 pm

tepples wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 5:16 pm
I'm curious. What do you plan to put in to distinguish your gameplay from what The Tetris Company owns?
I didn't realize it was such a hotly protected IP. :shock:

I'm hoping to completely change the art, and add the mechanic of "garbage" growing up from the bottom. Based on how that fill from the bottom mechanic feels I'll be creating new shapes for the player to drop, which compliment it.

No clue if that makes it original, and I wouldn't care to test it. :D

EDIT: Dramatically changed original post. Reposting here for prosperity.

FROM BELOW (formally know as "What's Kraken") is a brand new Homebrew game for the NES!

A peaceful, seaside village is about to become the next victim of The Kraken... but they won't go down without a fight!

Defend your home as the monstrous Kraken seeks to drag you and everything you love down to the darkest depths of the ocean...

Digital-Painting-Derk-Venneman-Kraken.jpg
Digital-Painting-Derk-Venneman-Kraken.jpg (43.8 KiB) Viewed 5121 times
(concept art: Derk Venneman)

Gameplay:

If that sounds exciting, prepare to be disappointed! :)

So far the game is just a Tetris clone! I hope to eventually add the concept of blocks climbing up from the ocean (to represent the Kraken tentacles), but not sure if I will take it much beyond classic Tetris.

whats_kraken.png
whats_kraken.png (79.28 KiB) Viewed 5121 times
(rough mock by: me.. yikes, I could really use some art help!)
(tileset: https://opengameart.org/content/plattoon)

Development:
Work Remaining I hope to update this thread as things progress, and share the ROM with anyone interested!
Attachments
whats_kraken_2020_05_29.nes
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nes_tetris_gameplay_may_29_small.gif
nes_tetris_gameplay_may_29_small.gif (472.03 KiB) Viewed 5121 times
Last edited by Goose2k on Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

bngrybt
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by bngrybt » Sun May 31, 2020 8:54 am

They specifically have a copyright/trademark on the 7 tetromino shapes, not the gameplay mechanics. If you were to build a game around a different set of shapes, that's just fine.

Erockbrox
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Erockbrox » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:21 am

Of course if you just release the ROM online for free download I don't think anyone in the Tetris Company copyright department would care.

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za909
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by za909 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:57 pm

Hi, this sounds like an interesting little project. I'd be interested to try and put a small sound engine together (based on how much RAM, CPU time, ROM it should use, and other possible restrictions, how much space can I use for DPCM samples, etc.) if you think I'm "worthy" haha.
You can check out the soundtrack I wrote for Nova the Squirrel for reference, but you can also check out many covers on my channel. I consider audio my specialty, and I'm trying to build my portfolio for future paid indie-game work so this would work out perfect.
I've also created a full 7-bit digital audio engine for music, but I imagine you'd rather stick with NROM for this. Such an engine would require at least a 512k-1MB cart to have enough space for a small soundtrack.

I use asm6 to code in assembly, but inserting that into your game shouldn't be difficult, your program only needs to call one function with an ID input parameter to start a new song / sound effect, and call another function in every frame to keep updating the sound. But if some other kind of interface (like the engine watching for certain variables) is more desirable that can be done as well.

Let me know if you're interested!

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Goose2k
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:03 pm

HI za909. You're work is really great, and I have actually been follow Nova Squirrel dev on Twitter for some time! Is that you? @BushytailSkwirl

But I actually already had an musician reach out, and start working on music and sounds. They are pretty far along too, so there isn't much left. Sorry I should update the original post.

Your workflow sounds really cool though. Never worked with a musician who can also program assembly!

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Goose2k
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:47 pm

Update Week 2!

Did a bunch of work around getting the basics of tetris done:
  • Added concept of leveling up every 10 lines.
  • Leveling up triggers palette change and speed increase.
  • Soft drop fall rates now match NES Tetris.
  • Sound effects implemented.
  • Created a sound test menu to help test audio (I finally understand why all those games I played as a kid had these! :shock:).
The music about half finished, and art exploration has begun! I spent a ton of time trying to get music playback working properly, and eventually kind of gave up, and Tuï was kind enough to edit his music to fit the limitations. Hopefully it will all be in game in the next update!

I've attached the latest build of the game if you would like to try it!
Attachments
main_000.png
main_000.png (1.5 KiB) Viewed 7617 times
nes_tetris_gameplay_june_03_small.gif
nes_tetris_gameplay_june_03_small.gif (288.65 KiB) Viewed 7617 times
whats_kraken_2020_06_03.nes
(40.02 KiB) Downloaded 132 times

dink
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by dink » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:14 am

Hi, I played your game for about 20 minutes yesterday and think overall it's a nice game of tetris, I especially like the background art.
Only suggestion I have is that after 15 minutes of playing it should have gotten harder, but the game seemed a bit easy for a tetris game.

Perhaps have different levels of hardness which cause the game to get progressively harder, would help with that :)

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Goose2k
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:45 am

dink wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:14 am
Hi, I played your game for about 20 minutes yesterday and think overall it's a nice game of tetris, I especially like the background art.
Only suggestion I have is that after 15 minutes of playing it should have gotten harder, but the game seemed a bit easy for a tetris game.

Perhaps have different levels of hardness which cause the game to get progressively harder, would help with that :)
Strange. It has the same tuning as NES Tetris, so arou d level 10 it starts to get pretty fast.

I think maybe you were playing the old version?

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Goose2k
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:40 am

Sneak peak at the 2 nametables this game is using. First for the title screen and then 2nd for the gameplay area. Hopefully will have a smooth transition between the 2 when the player presses START.
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by lidnariq » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:54 am

I like that stylized quadrangular octopus!

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tokumaru
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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by tokumaru » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:12 pm

Looking cool! I think you should hold off on showing the "lines" and "level" labels until the screen locks on the playfield. Having it there all the time kinda kills the illusion.

Similarly, the "push start" text could maybe disappear after you do what it tells you to, since it doesn't make sense to leave that command there after that. And since it looks so discreet to begin with, maybe it should blink while active, in order to draw more attention.

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Re: What's Kraken (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:38 pm

tokumaru wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:12 pm
Looking cool! I think you should hold off on showing the "lines" and "level" labels until the screen locks on the playfield. Having it there all the time kinda kills the illusion.

Similarly, the "push start" text could maybe disappear after you do what it tells you to, since it doesn't make sense to leave that command there after that. And since it looks so discreet to begin with, maybe it should blink while active, in order to draw more attention.
All great ideas! Thanks!

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Re: FROM BELOW (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:01 pm

Update Week 3!

Things are progressing well! And the game has a new name!!
  • Renamed the game to "From Below"!
  • Finalized Music and Sounds. (listen here - gameplay out of date)
  • Added pause state (with music).
  • First pass at real title screen and level art.
  • First pass of "Kraken gameplay" where garbage blocks are added to the bottom of the screen.
  • Still not sure about this Kraken mechanic, but will continue to iterate.
Download the latest version of the .nes ROM below!
Attachments
from_below_2020_06_10.nes
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nes_tetris_gameplay_june_10.gif
nes_tetris_gameplay_june_10.gif (663.82 KiB) Viewed 7136 times
nes_tetris_gameplay_june_10b.gif
nes_tetris_gameplay_june_10b.gif (1 MiB) Viewed 7136 times

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