Wednesday, November 29, 2017

3 weeks

So one of the main goals of Robo-Ninja Climb was to see how quickly I could crank out a reasonably playable NES game.  Nothing ground-breaking, but a short fun game.

The answer is 3 weeks of evenings.  Approximately 40 hours, maybe. I've got a game that's certainly playable (although by all reports, a little too hard. Oops, I'm bad at that) 

I decided partway through to ditch the "endless" part of it -- I realized I didn't have a good plan for making random levels that were actually fun to play.  So I designed 5 short levels, with a few power-ups part way through.  Each has slightly different background graphics, to give the player a sense of progression.


A few thing that I felt like were somewhat interesting during the development:

  • I used the NES's Sprite-0 flag to make the spikes at the bottom not scroll away with the background. But to make it more interesting, I cycle sprite 0 up and down slightly, to make the spikes bounce and look a little scarier.  
  • Robo-Ninja is a giant character by NES standards. Most games have characters that are 16x32 or so.  Robo-Ninja is 32x48 or larger (depending on the animation frame).  I can get away with it because there aren't many other sprites in the game.  Most games have enemies, bullets, and so forth to deal with. Robo-Ninja mostly dodges background elements.
  • I didn't feel like mapping levels out manually in a tile editor (mostly it's blank space!), so I mapped them all out using text like this, and then have a pre-processor as part of my build script that converts it to actual binary level data:



>.......
>.......
>.......
>.......
>.......
>.......
>.......
>.......
........
........
...*....
.......<
........
........
.......<
........
........


Well, other than collecting feedback, tweaking difficulty, and possibly adding some music from another composer, I think it's done. And I still have 2 months left before the deadline! You can try it out using any NES emulator, and grabbing the rom from my bitethechili site.  If you do, let me know if you have feedback!

No comments:

Robo-Ninja Climb 2600

So I had this crazy idea. The game logic of Robo-Ninja Climb is really simple. And so is the display. So in theory, with the NES and the A...