Progress Thread - LightShields

Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#207481)
Hi all! I finally started my first NES project. The gameplay is pretty simple (yet fun), and I've been slowly improving the sound and graphics as I learn more about the NES. I hope to have it polished enough to submit to this year's competition.

The game is called "SPONG" (a portmanteau of "Space" and "Pong"):
- Currently only 2 player
- Each player controls a starship and a light-shield
- The goal is to destroy your opponent (and run their extra lives to zero) by shooting them
- The light-shields follow players' ships and deflect bullets, bouncing them back at the player who fired
- You must hit your opponent with your bullet, while dodging their shield. Your own bullet can destroy your ship if it bounces off a shield back at you
- 'A' button shoots, 'B' button holds your shield stationary, giving you an opportunity to shoot (but also leaving you exposed...)

Friends who helped me test the gameplay found it addicting and very competitive. Between now and the compo deadline, I still need to add improved graphics/animations and a fancier title screen.

UPDATE: Here's the compo ROM
Attachment:
LightShields.nes [24.02 KiB]
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Attachment:
cap1.PNG
cap1.PNG [ 6.01 KiB | Viewed 10399 times ]

Attachment:
cap2.PNG
cap2.PNG [ 6.06 KiB | Viewed 10399 times ]
Re: Progress Thread - Spong
by on (#207687)
I read it as "sponge".

Whereas "space pong" has a 1970s feel to it.
Re: Progress Thread - Spong
by on (#207724)
Haven't heard "Sponge" before. But people often call it "Sprong", and when I tell people the title for the first time I always qualify it by saying space pong, so I may as well just start calling it that.
Re: Progress Thread - Spong
by on (#207725)
"Pong" is a registered trademark. You may want to avoid that name.
Re: Progress Thread - Spong
by on (#207803)
So's "Ping-Pong" [w/hyphen].
Re: Progress Thread - Spong
by on (#208452)
I finished some animation on the shields. Here's what some gameplay looks like (just me controlling Player 1...)

The shields follow their respective player (but slower than the player moves). Each player can temporarily stop their shield so they can peak around it and hit the opponent.

Also, I think I've decided to change the name of the game to "LightShields", since Spong seems to confuse people and Pong is a trademark.

Attachment:
spong-animations.gif
spong-animations.gif [ 289.59 KiB | Viewed 9993 times ]
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#211908)
Here's a mostly-complete ROM of the game. Grab a buddy and try it out!
Attachment:
File comment: Prototype version of LightShields
LightShieldsProto.nes [24.02 KiB]
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Attachment:
File comment: Title screen
titlescreen.png
titlescreen.png [ 2.32 KiB | Viewed 9652 times ]


"A" fires a bullet, "B" holds your shield in place (in shield mode), "Start" begins the game and respawns the dead player between rounds, "Select" changes modes on the menu.

I still need to add some music for the battle sequence, and I'd also like to add a prettier transition from menu to battle.
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#211921)
I like the new name. Has a pretty proper late 70s scifi sound to it while also being so directly descriptive.
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#211943)
Just opened it to check out, couldn't play properly since I was alone, but -

If the other player never moves, you can't kill them! Maybe you could fix this by adding a short refractory period to the shields, so they would be down for a second after being hit.

Just a thought!
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#211949)
toggle switch wrote:
Maybe you could fix this by adding a short refractory period to the shields, so they would be down for a second after being hit.

That's a good idea.
I've toyed with randomly appearing extra-life powerups to encourage players to move around, but that tended to stretch the game on pretty long.
My next thought was to make the shield shrink if the player has been sitting still for a while, but I like the idea of making the shield ineffective for a couple seconds after being hit.
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#212386)
Here's the latest version.
The shields now become ineffective for 1 second after being shot. I chose the short recovery period to encourage players to move in closer to the shields. It's more dangerous, since they'd have less time to react to a bounce-back, but they'd also have a better chance of getting a second shot through the shield.
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#212738)
Here's the latest version.
This will probably be the final version submitted, assuming there aren't any game-breaking bugs.
Re: Progress Thread - LightShields
by on (#215463)
Absolutely loved this. As-is, it's a ridiculously fun minigame. With a few more game modes / objectives, it could be a really rich multiplayer game. The possibilities for single player (or even co-op campaign) are pretty wild as well. Would love to see the idea to continue to grow.

Graphics as-is are functional, but since there are so few elements on the screen, it'd be nice to seen them kicked up a notch to a Blade Buster / Crisis Force type level.