FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] OPEN BETA

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Goose2k
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Re: FROM BELOW (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:44 pm

Update Week 6!

This week I discovered there is a NESDev Discord! It's a super welcoming place, and quite active. I recommend it to everyone interested in NESDev.

I got lots of really priceless feedback on there, which led to a lot of solid improvements to the game:
  • Removed time delay when trasitioning from main menu to gameplay.
  • Improved safe zone compliance.
  • Added Wall Kick.
  • Fixed my implementation of Lock Delay.
  • "Timed" mode is now the default (you can still switch to classic, and turn-based in the settings).
A whole new "palette cycling" system went in as well. Now when every time you clear 10 lines, the "time of day" advances. From day to evening to night and so on. Hopefully this helps with the more "grounded" theme of the game.

nes_tetris_time_of_day_8_small.gif
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The garbage blocks are now done by the artist instead of being placeholder by me too.

Here's the updated TODO list. All the must-have features are done, and now its just about polish!

Code: Select all

FEATURES:

//must have
--

//should have
* Game over screen (polished).
* Fast music when tentacle is maxed out.
* Sound on hit tentacle.
* Store blocks. (classic only?)

//nice to have
* Screen shake on hit.
* Score for Classic mode.
* Option to turn of SFX.
* Hard drop trails
* More clear path out of options.
* Description of modes in option screen.
* Update to use NES block layouts.
* Update to have all blocks start face down.

//investigate
* Number of rows that hit the tentacle adds a delay to next attack.
* See if tentacles can be made to work with name tables.
* Change flow to go through options on the way to gameplay state.
As always, please grab the latest ROM attached, and let me know what you think!
Attachments
nes_tetris_july_03_gameplay_edit.gif
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from_below_2020_07_03.nes
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cloudyshoe
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Re: FROM BELOW (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by cloudyshoe » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:39 am

I've been really enjoying this. It plays very smooth and the lock delay in the newest version makes the higher levels more playable. I was able to get 232 lines. My previous best was about 180.

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

Post by dink » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:48 am

love the new build! Wall kick & lock timer are defo welcomed features :)
I have a critique/suggestion. I'll try to make this sound funny because I don't want to come across as being mean or anything like that. ya 'know, because this is one of the greatest tetris games ever, .. buuutttt:

*master shake mode*
lose the "modern" block mode in settings. Maybe replace it with an option to "play the octopus" if you're looking for oddball ideas :)
*end master shake mode*

best regards,
- dink

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Goose2k
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Re: FROM BELOW (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:29 am

dink wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:48 am
lose the "modern" block mode in settings.
100% agree. It will be gone in the next version most likely.
cloudyshoe wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:39 am
I was able to get 232 lines. My previous best was about 180.
That's awesome to hear. Thats what it was aiming for!

And congrats on the score. I think that's the highest I've hear anyone reaching (previous was 197).

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

Post by cloudyshoe » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:01 am

Spent some more time with the game today and found a few things.

frombelowlines.PNG
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That is 1436 lines. I assume the sprite for the first digit is moving on to whatever is next in the sprite data.

The reason I was able to get so many lines is that the speed curve seems to be broken after level 29. Once I got to level 30 it slowed down and never sped back up.

Also, at level 29 pieces at the top of the screen seem to overwrite each other and you won't get a game over until you manually lock a piece with a hard drop.

frombelowpalette.PNG
frombelowpalette.PNG (34.56 KiB) Viewed 3120 times
The text for the line/level number in this palette is really hard to read on a CRT tv. The screen shot is a capture from the composite out on an NES, but the CRT wasn't much better.

Thanks again for making this.

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Goose2k
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Re: FROM BELOW (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:56 am

First off, thanks you so much for calling this stuff out!
cloudyshoe wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:01 am
The reason I was able to get so many lines is that the speed curve seems to be broken after level 29. Once I got to level 30 it slowed down and never sped back up.
The next build has a fix for the speed curve after 29 (it caps at 29 now, instead of looping back to 0).
Also, at level 29 pieces at the top of the screen seem to overwrite each other and you won't get a game over until you manually lock a piece with a hard drop.
I found that as well, and it is my #1 bug to fix next!
cloudyshoe wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:01 am
That is 1436 lines. I assume the sprite for the first digit is moving on to whatever is next in the sprite data.
I think this isn't possible in a real game, so I likely won't fix it. Let me know if you think I am wrong about that!

Out of curiosity, how long did you have to play to hit 1436???
cloudyshoe wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:01 am
The text for the line/level number in this palette is really hard to read on a CRT tv. The screen shot is a capture from the composite out on an NES, but the CRT wasn't much better.
Damn, I didn't even consider contrast issues... I have a flash cart coming soon, so hopefully I can start tweaking these.
cloudyshoe wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:01 am
Thanks again for making this.
Thanks for playing and providing feedback!

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

Post by cloudyshoe » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:34 am

Took about 12.5 minutes to get to 300 and almost another hour for the extra 1136.

Yeah, if it stays at 29 speed I think it's unlikely to matter how the game handles line counts over 999.

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

Post by Goose2k » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:35 am

Update Week 7!

BETA TESTERS NEEDED

As the game finishes it's 7th week of development, I am officially calling FROM BELOW Feature Complete. This means no more new features will go in the game, and all effort will be focused on making what is in the game perfect!

With that in mind, I need your help beta-testing the hell out of this thing! Button mashing! Power cycling! Hacking! Cheating! Anything you can do to try and break the game!

If you are interested in helping, you can just reply to this thread with your feedback/bugs, or join me on Discord for real-time responses to your questions and feedback:

https://discord.gg/6JgYhmX

With that out of the way, here is the change log for this week (latest ROM is attached below):

Code: Select all

Version 2020.07.11 Beta 1

FEATURES
* Added "Score" to all modes.
* Game always goes to options screen from start screen.
* Allow player to choose starting level (hold A to jump extra 10 levels).
* Remove ability to choose "modern" blocks. Not fun.
* Added option to disable sound FX.
* Add boot screen for credits. Removed credits from options menu.
* Slowed down fade to make it feel less like a glitch.
* Fast paced music near top.

BUG FIXES
* Cannot trigger GAME OVER on level 29 - FIXED
* Level speed resets after level 29 - FIXED (Halt level progress at level 29)
* Pause music plays when turning off music in the option screen - FIXED
* Some blocks are not using "Right-Handed Rotation" - FIXED
* T block does not start facing "downwards" - FIXED


Attachments
from_below_2020_07_11.nes
(40.02 KiB) Downloaded 92 times
nes_tetris_july_11_gameplay_edit_small.gif
nes_tetris_july_11_gameplay_edit_small.gif (2.41 MiB) Viewed 3007 times
Last edited by Goose2k on Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by rox_midge » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:32 am

I can't tell from the code why this is occurring or whether it's intended or not, but on levels 0-5, there's no lock delay for an accelerated drop (holding down, not pressing up), but starting on level 6, the lock delay is present in this case. On later levels this is super important, but on level 6 it felt like the delay was too long.

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Goose2k
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Re: FROM BELOW (Tetris-like) [WIP NES Homebrew]

Post by Goose2k » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:07 pm

rox_midge wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:32 am
I can't tell from the code why this is occurring or whether it's intended or not, but on levels 0-5, there's no lock delay for an accelerated drop (holding down, not pressing up), but starting on level 6, the lock delay is present in this case. On later levels this is super important, but on level 6 it felt like the delay was too long.
Ohhhh I think I know what's going wrong! I'll have it fixed in next version.

If you are curious:
I only apply lock delay if the fall rate is faster than lock delay (which is why it starts at level 6), but it ends up ADDING the lock delay to the standard fall delay (at level 6 it kicks in with 18 frames for the normal fall delay and then another 20 for lock delay)! It should be lockdelay minus fallrate (so just an extra 2 frames rather than an extra 20).

Thanks for reporting this. It's been bugging me for a while that it doesn't feel right, and it finally just clicked as to why!

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

Post by Goose2k » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:09 pm

Update Week 8!

Thanks to everyone who has helped test the game, and logged bugs! This build includes fixes for every bug logged so far, so if nothing major comes out of this version, it just may become the final build of the game!

In addition to a number of bug fixes, I also created an Itch.io page for From Below: https://mhughson.itch.io/from-below

It includes a version of the game playable in the browser, which I have detailed how to do here: http://www.matthughson.com/2020/07/17/n ... n-itch-io/

Here's the change log:

Code: Select all

Version 2020.07.17 Beta 2

FEATURES
* High Score tracking across all game modes. Note: There is now save game; this is only tracked per session.

BUG FIXES
* Lock delay is too long on mid levels (6+) - FIXED
* Game Over often shows incorrect block sprites - FIXED
* Game Over is triggered later than it should be - FIXED (now triggers the moment a new block is blocked)
* Minor block layout issues - FIXED
* Minor Nametable issues  - FIXED
* Text is hard to read on CRT (contrast issues) - FIXED (need to test on real CRT, rather than just simulation)
* Next block vanishes during line clear - FIXED
Attachments
from_below_2020_07_17.nes
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Re: FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] OPEN BETA

Post by Goose2k » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:46 pm

Update Week 9!

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!"

It looked like I was about to call this game finished, when suddenly the From Below Discord got a big influx of Classic Tetris players.

This weeks changes are mostly focused on high skill level, Classic Mode, play. The Classic Tetris players who joined the Discord, pointed out a bunch of issues with the game that made the long term success of the game questionable. Almost all of the feedback so far has been addressed in this patch.

For more casual players, the game will appear mostly unchanged (hopefully).

Download or play in your browser over on itch.io!

Code: Select all

Version 2020.07.24 Beta 3

MAJOR FEATURES:
* Added spawn delay (ARE) of 5 Frames. Reduced lock delay by 5 frames to account for it (now 15 frames).
* Added option to disable hard drops, as well as moving it to HOLD UP (2 frames) rather than TAP UP (1 frame).
* Added "quick reset" via A+B+SELECT+START. Goes back to title screen, rather than full restart.
* Added "Kill Screen". Every level after 29 adds an unbreakable row up to level 40 (covering half the play area).
* Level counter displays beyond Level 29.

BUG FIXES:
* Sound test screen has major graphical issues - FIXED (new screen added)
* When starting on level 12+, game will level up when when reaching level 11, rather than passing level that player started on. - FIXED
* S and Z pieces do not rotate properly - FIXED (uses proper right hand rotation)
* After quiting to main menu, and starting a new game, the previous game's "next block" is briefly seen. - FIXED
* If player changes modes on the same frame that the PUSH START flashes, it will overrun the vram buffer causing visual glitches. - FIXED

michellekg
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Re: FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] OPEN BETA

Post by michellekg » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:49 pm

Awesome game! Played it for hour now and managed to get 133 lines. I like when stupid kraken sometimes helps you without even noticing. Somebody should definitely send it to Jonas Neubauer or Joseph Saelee for them to stream it! Especially Jonas - he likes to get away from Classic Tetris now and then.

By the way, I noticed that for some reason it's harder for me to make final adjustment to piece after soft drop on even low levels in From Below than on 9+ levels in NES Tetris. Cannot say why exactly, but nevertheless. And NES Tetris don't even have Lock Delay!

In all other regards: Just. Plain. Awesome. Gonna upload final version to my NES mini for sure.

from_below_2020_07_17 2020-07-29 07.46.07.png
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Re: FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] OPEN BETA

Post by Goose2k » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:11 pm

Update Week 11!

This release has been a little delayed because I wanted to give the player feedback from Beta 3 a chance to settle. It seems to have done that, and baring any significant bugs being found, this may end up being the final version of the game!

Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and helped track down bugs! Huge thanks to Muunas and Fiskbit who helped track down a really nasty sprite flicker issue when the game was run on real hardware!

Image

Version 2020.08.09 Beta 4

NEW FEATURES
  • Added 2 second delay prior to beginning of match.
  • Allow players to start on Level 29 by [redacted].
  • Sound Test mode is now unlocked with Konami Code on main menu (rather than just A+START).
  • Hard drop setting how comes in 3 versions: Off, Tap (instant) and Hold (2 frame delay).
BUG FIXES
  • Kill Screen Skull not cleared after restarting game - FIXED
  • Game ends when a piece is placed off top of screen - FIXED (only ends when new piece can't spawn)
  • Graphical corruption from Game Over text writing to the side of the game board - FIXED
  • Numerous issues with wall kicks - FIXED
  • Soft drop is 1 frame too slow (every 3 frames but should be every 2 frames) - FIXED
  • Frames over-budget causing sprites to flicker - FIXED
Download or play in your browser over on itch.io!
Attachments
nes_tetris_fill_kill_demo3.gif

zzo38
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Re: FROM BELOW [NES Homebrew] OPEN BETA

Post by zzo38 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:24 pm

Please use a better download system than itch.io, because itch.io isn't very good. I like to be able to download without needing to enable all scripts, and to be able to use curl to download from the given URL rather than the browser's download manager.
[url=gopher://zzo38computer.org/].[/url]

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