Jump Box

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Jump Box
by on (#136835)
Hi, everyone.

I believe that this is my very first post here, however I'm not new to this site. I've been checking out this site as well as other homebrew sites for years. The only reason for registering is to post my NES project here.

My background:

I grew up playing video games as a kid and entered the video game world nearing the end of the NES's life. I had an NES and a few games, but the majority of what I played later was on the SNES. Since I didn't have the internet or even a home computer at that time playing video games on the NES and SNES was probably one of the most exciting things to do.

Now many years later I just can't stop thinking about making my own games and while I could make games for the PC with using programs like Game Maker and such I just feel as if its something quite special about producing a game for the systems that I grew up on and loved so much as a kid.

That being said, here is the basic concept of my game.

In the game you control a character who is continually bouncing/jumping on what looks like a pogo stick inside a square room inclosed with walls. Surrounding the character on all 4 sides; top, bottom, left and right are shields which form the shape of a box. The shield is composed of 4 parts each on a different side of the character.

These shields exist to protect the player from the Power Ball. The Power Ball is a deadly object that exists inside the room in which you are bouncing. The ball travels and bounces off the walls. If the ball hits your shield on any one side then that shield on that side goes away. If the ball hits the player in anyway directly then you loose a life.

Extra lives are rewarded for gaining a certain amount of points and at certain times in the game a power-up is offered which is called the Ultra Shield. The Ultra Shield turns the entire game-play on its head. Normally you are trying to avoid the Power Ball at all times, but when you acquire the shield power-up now each time the ball hits your shield you gain points! There would also be a multiplier in effect such that if the ball hits your shield consecutively the points really then start to add up! However, once the power-up wears off then the main goal is to avoid getting hit with the ball. One more thing to note, even if you have the Ultra Shield and the person inside the shield is still hit with the ball you still loose a life. Ultra Shield only makes the shield stronger, not the person and if the player is doing really well and not getting hit for awhile then a second Power Ball may appear to change up the pace.

Controls are:

Left and Right move the player back and forth. I don't know if Up or Down will do anything, maybe make Down make the player duck? Hitting A will have the "run" effect like in Super Mario games in that it will make the player faster. Hitting B button will actually rotate the player's shield configuration. So for example, if the player is missing the top part of their shield then by hitting B that top missing part will now be the Right side (going clock wise) and thus the shield will have a missing Right side as opposed to a missing Top side.

As levels progress different colors or different background images may change, but its still the same sized screen over and over kind of like Tetris is.

And that's pretty much the game.

I've taken a computer logic and design class, visual basic, C programming and have a strong background in math, but I've never made an actual game before from scratch. I am up for the challenge though. I wanted to make a post not only to get valuable feedback, but also for motivation purposes for myself.

Hopefully with the right advice I might actually be able to make something. If you have any comments, suggestions or anything don't hesitate to post them.

I was going to include some concept art here, but ran out of time for today to I'll just have to post some images another day.

Re: Jump Box
by on (#137039)
Okay guys, here is some concept art that I whipped up. This will give a better idea on my vision.

Here is the title screen.


Would be very cool if I could get the cube on the title screen to rotate similar to this gif.


Here is what the game play looks like. Again you control a character who is trapped in an area while constantly trying to avoid enemy balls constantly bouncing around.


The bottom of your spring board is actually a metal shield so that you can always block the ball with something. So hitting a ball with the bottom of your character will always deflect the ball.

Changes I've made; the shield doesn't break if it hits a power ball anymore however that part of the shield that hits the ball will now turn red for a certain period of time until it "cools off" and returns to the normal blue color. If a ball hits your shield and the shield turns red and another ball hits that same shield area then that part of the shield goes away.

So if you get hit you can then rotate your shield such that the hit part is on the bottom allowing it to cool off. Remember you can rotate your shield with a button press in a clockwise direction.

The ultra shield will be green and it is invincible to the powerballs. If you hit a powerball 5 times in a row the powerball gets destroyed! However the ultra shield only lasts for a certain period of time. New powerballs come into existence as you increase in levels.

And that's pretty much the game. I'm trying to go for something that is fun and challenging and skill based rather than a big long adventure.
Re: Jump Box
by on (#137044)
Interesting concept. It looks like it could almost fit in as a sequel to Pogo Cats. Are you looking to keep the hand-drawn aesthetic in the final game?

Left and Right move the player back and forth.

With or without inertia?

the shield doesn't break if it hits a power ball anymore however that part of the shield that hits the ball will now turn red for a certain period of time until it "cools off" and returns to the normal blue color. If a ball hits your shield and the shield turns red and another ball hits that same shield area then that part of the shield goes away.

In other words, 2-hit death with regenerating health. But do you want regeneration to be fast like Call of Duty or slow like Faceball 2000?
Re: Jump Box
by on (#137208)
Okay so I am pretty determined to make a homebrew game, which is why I created this thread in the first place. However I probably don't possess the skills and knowledge yet to make this game come to life. Lets just say I've never made an NES game before.

I have taken a computer logic and design class where we wrote pseudo code and drew flow charts and such and I've also taken C programming. I also know lots of math and physics and even took a logic class. So those are my skill sets.

But anyway I am just very determined to make an NES game and that's why I'm here. While trying to figure out how to do this I've noticed something. I actually don't know where to start!

I've checked out the newbie section and I'm just overwhelmed with seeing tons of links. It seems to me as if there are many ways to actually go about making an NES game:

Code in Assembly
Code in C and convert it
Code in Nbasic
And this guy who apparently wrote is own high level language so that he can program a game on the NES https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwiLlK2S5ZI

So like I don't get which direction I need to be going in. So to try and get started on this project I took on these tutorials on the 6502 assembly. I did the following 3 tutorials and got the concepts down and slowly went through the exercises until I understood them.


And I don't see a 4th tutorial yet in the 3rd it seems as if there is a 4th one.

So now what is the next step that I should probably undertake? I'm just looking for a little guidance.

Thank you.
Re: Jump Box
by on (#137215)
I think you should read this http://nesdev.com/#Docs6502 first and then ask specific questions about what you do not understand.
Re: Jump Box
by on (#137313)
Have you tried Nerdy Nights yet? I think it's a very good guide to get started to actually make a working NES program. It has it's shortcomings too but you will learn a lot from checking the Nesdev wiki and these forums in order to learn the NES/Famicom hardware.
Re: Jump Box
by on (#137321)
Erockbrox wrote:
Code in Assembly

You can start out by trying this tutorial/simulator http://skilldrick.github.io/easy6502/ + reading this http://www.6502.org/tutorials/6502opcodes.html

Once you start to understand how to program 6502 assambler in general, you can adapt into coding Nes specific code and see how to apply your knowledge.