Thursday, December 22, 2016

Title Screen

What I really need is a title screen.  I don't have tons of graphics rom space left (this game is using the most simple, primitive cartridge setup, with very minimal graphics space), but I'm sure I can come up with something better looking than this.  I just don't have much inspiration, or confidence that I can make something that looks cool, given the limitations I have.

Pay no attention to the green background on the small "press start" subtext.
That's just a palette issue that I haven't fixed yet.

That being said, it's close to being done!   My todo list is down to only minor things: adding a scoreboard between rounds, adding additional music (the single song is going to get pretty annoying!), improving title screen and player-select screen UI, etc.

Oh, and testing, tweaking, and testing, testing, testing.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Testing the fun

Well, it's been about a month since my last post. I haven't said much.  Partially because I haven't done much.  Another consulting gig has kept me busy.  But also what I have been doing is mostly uneventful things that I haven't felt like talking about.

Getting a per-round splash screen working, getting different graphics and palettes for different rounds, etc.

But I did decide it's far enough along to actually start play-testing the fun.  Before I get much further, I need to know if I'm remotely on the right track.  First I got a coworker to play a 2 player match with me just to see if it seemed playable.  Despite some bugs, that worked out ok.

Tonight I made my family play with me.  My son (8) loved it. My daughter and wife put up with it.  That was a better test.  We found a few bugs and confusing things, but it seemed like there might possibly be some fun involved.  (Although the girls didn't exactly play competitively) I still need to get a few people that actually LIKE video games to come over and test and see how it plays.

So far it seems.....ok enough.  Not amazingly exciting (which I hoped) or completely boring (which I feared) or just completely broken (which seemed possible).  It's really hard to design a really exciting party-style game, so I'm fine with "ok" for my first shot at it.

Time to make some tweaks, fix a few bugs, then hopefully recruit some testers over the Christmas break....

Metatile Designer

For the NES game, I'm building my levels out of 32x32 pixel metatiles.  What is a metatile?  The NES background tiles are 8x8 pixels, bu...