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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:26 am 
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Hello all,

Firstly - I've been visiting this forum on and off for the last 6 months or so and I've found it invaluable for NES development, so thank you everyone who has contributed here.

Earlier this year I made my first NES game, a simple side-scrolling platform game, using the Mojon Twin's engine (Vostok I think it's called?) which is written in C. I implemented the MMC3 mapper in order to include more music and also a few more levels than what was natively sorted by the engine with no mapper.

In the game you play as either Summer or Kaya and have to go round the house and collect 20 birthday presents, whilst avoiding the various obstacles such as walking teddy bears, parrots and, erm, vacuum cleaners. But there is also a twist, which I'll let you find out :)

The graphics are basic and the game itself is fairly short but it's my first attempt and I didn't want to do anything too complicated. I've learned a hell of a lot about the NES' limitations around colour palettes, memory, music etc during the development process.

So my next game will be better, and I've started working on the assets for it already. I'm hoping to use the NESMaker engine when it comes out later this year (I'm sure that's heresey to the hardcore assembly programmers here).

This was mainly a personal project and written for my two daughters, but I've attached the ROM for you to do as you please.

Cheers,
Steve


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:49 am 
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It has got some rocking tunes! I'll put it on my powerpak in case it catches someones' interest on the little homebrew party i'm hosting this weekend. :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:06 am 
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Nice project :) I wonder if your daughters appreciated it properly because it's for the NES and all, and that comes with high limitations by today's standards.

The biggest hint I can give graphically right now is to be careful about the colors used on the background details as they seemed like interactive objects (some paintings and doors). I figure if you didn't use black for those it wouldn't give that feeling.
I really like the songs! Did you compose it?

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:14 am 
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I haven't had a chance to try this game, but might it be yet another example of a game that meets DRW's Bechdel-esque test?

1. action game for 2. NES with 3. no explicit erotic themes where you are 4. forced to play a character who is 5. human, 6. female, 7. visually identifiable as such in-game by 8. default, 9. not adapted from other media, and 10. not a clone of another game that has a male protagonist.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:29 am 
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FrankenGraphics:
thanks, glad you like the music. I've always wondered whether good music can compensate for a poor/mediocre game.. I guess we'll find out :wink: Have fun at your homebrew party

nesrocks:
That's a good question! They both sometimes watch me play retro games and briefly want to play them, but not for very long. I think they had a fleeting appreciation of the game but that disappeared quickly. Oh well! Perhaps when they're older they might understand it more. My oldest is helping me with ideas for my next game, so perhaps she'll show more interest in that one.

I appreciate the advice on colours - you're absolutely right about the door looking like it's interactive. Another thing I realised is that I need to check colours/tile designs on a real nes with composite output to check for clashing/shimmering effect. I had previously just been playing it on an emulator and a RGB modded NES.

I did compose the music using famitracker. I'd be happy to compose tunes for other homebrew projects; It's the least I can do given the wealth of information that has helped me here.

tepples:
Yes I guess it does, although I would call this a platformer rather than action game. I agree that there hardly any games from the 8-bit era that don't feature female characters - aside from stereotypically 'girly' games like Barbie or sexualised ones.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:03 am 
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dobbo2k wrote:
thanks, glad you like the music. I've always wondered whether good music can compensate for a poor/mediocre game..

Personally, I think the music is the most important aspect of a game!

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:11 am 
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nesrocks wrote:
dobbo2k wrote:
thanks, glad you like the music. I've always wondered whether good music can compensate for a poor/mediocre game..

Personally, I think the music is the most important aspect of a game!


I pretty much agree. Catchy music makes a game memorable.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:24 am 
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oh, i think the game has more merits than just the music! It's a game i think anybody can pick up and enjoy, which is a great plus. Also, I like that there is kind of a "dirty house" theme going on with the cobweb, the possessed vacuum cleaners. That's a nice contrasting background subtheme to the main objective of getting birthday presents. It creates a nice tension that not every game has.

Definitely agree that music and sound has a very strong impact on memory (and feelings).

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:06 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
oh, i think the game has more merits than just the music! It's a game i think anybody can pick up and enjoy, which is a great plus. Also, I like that there is kind of a "dirty house" theme going on with the cobweb, the possessed vacuum cleaners. That's a nice contrasting background subtheme to the main objective of getting birthday presents. It creates a nice tension that not every game has.


That's a very thoughtful comment, thank you. I must admit the "dirty house" aspect was never my intention. I added the cobweb tiles quite late in the development just to add some more details after I discovered the joys of bank switching. I think I was simply struggling to think of other tile designs, not helped by my inefficient use of palettes and existing tile set :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Thanks for using our engine :) It always feels great.

The music is superb. And I quite dig the graphics style!

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 1:54 pm 
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na_th_an wrote:
Thanks for using our engine :) It always feels great.

The music is superb. And I quite dig the graphics style!


Thank you na_th_an! You are credited in the end credits for the engine, along with Shiru for the sound driver.

You easily have the best open-source platform game engine written in C for the NES, which I why I chose to use it. I'm actually surprised no other third party has used it, at least to my knowledge?

If I was more proficient at programming I would extend it by adding different enemy AI behaviours and maybe the capacity for more than 3 enemies/objects in a single screen. But it's very good and was useful to learn from.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:19 pm 
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The engine you are using is used in a more evolved form in Wo Xiang Niao Niao. It has more kinds of enemy AI. Maybe you can put something together using parts of both games?

https://github.com/mojontwins/Wo-Xiang-Niao-Niao

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:35 pm 
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na_th_an wrote:
The engine you are using is used in a more evolved form in Wo Xiang Niao Niao. It has more kinds of enemy AI. Maybe you can put something together using parts of both games?

https://github.com/mojontwins/Wo-Xiang-Niao-Niao


Ah, thanks for this! Just trying out the game, the scrolling is improved and there's more variety of enemies and AI. I may well use this to help prototype my next game :D


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