Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess

Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186456)
As my two main entries are finished and tested, awaiting submission, and there's still 20 days to go, I've decided to try to create another entry in the remaining time. It's an extended por of one of our old ZX Spectrum games, Cheril the Goddess. It will be a side scrolling action-adventure game in which you have to deactivate three temples in order to open three gates to reach the Hall of the Gods.

Cheril can jump and run, you know the drill. There will be special altars in which she can refill her might. With a full refill you gain three "blasts" you can use to become a super-heroine for a few seconds (during which you are immune to enemies and can fly) or use a teleporter to the first screen, located at the center of the map, which connects all sections.

In order to deactivate the temples which protect the gates you have to "beat" the altar in there with a special object. There are three temples: the temple of Stone, the temple of Scissors and the temple of Paper. Guess which object you need to beat each ;)

Right away I've planned the engine, set up some data converters, created the map and pixeled some of the graphics.

The map is rather big and I want a flashy opening cutscene. This will be a UNROM game.

This is a minimap you can access pressing SELECT. It shows where you, the temples, and the objects are located. Its looks will improve, this is just a barebones implementation:
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Those are the WIP graphics. More to come. Enemies are placeholders, I have to redraw most of them.
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This is how the background looks like (in the map editor)
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I'll try to finish in time :) Will keep this thread updated.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186460)
I love those development tools.

Are they for download somewhere or are they own?
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186462)
Wow 3 games Nathan ! You're on fire !
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186464)
Diskover wrote:
I love those development tools.

Are they for download somewhere or are they own?


If you mean the ones in the screenshots, they are a rather old version of Photoshop (v7, I think its from 2001 or something like that) and Mappy, which you can find here.

glutock wrote:
Wow 3 games Nathan ! You're on fire !


Well, I'll try to make this in time :) It may be my only way to get the games on cart XD
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186590)
I had 1 spare hour today and progressed a bit - I like to start by creating the scrolling routines. I've enhaced my previous one (used in another compo entry and the remake of Sir Ababol you could purchase at Verkami last year and which will be released for free soon) and it is now capable of using mapped metatiles, scrolls in both directions, updates a 24 patterns high playing area, and is a wee faster. The grey jitter at the top of the screen is the amount of time the routine takes (appart from the buffered VRAM copy which is done using Neslib).

Next: player basic movement (jump and run, that is) and collision detection with the background.

Background tiles are prone to be heavily modified. I went the easy path and reused quite a lot of stuff from old sets. The map is 4 stacked "floors" of 20 screens (5120 pixels wide). The camera can be confined in sections of the map which is pretty cool.

You can follow the development here https://github.com/mojontwins/GoddessR
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186667)
Made the main character jump and run around. There's no collision on the Lava so you can glitch as much as you like. But you can explore and look around.

There's a small jitter in the joints between "screens" because I'm not checking the collisions properly in some cases, and I need to fix that. Otherwise, level sections are implemented. You can exit a section to the section above or below, or to an adjacent section (but the sprite will do a ugly wrap around I've yet to cope with).

Anyways, progressing nicely :)
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186844)
I fixed the glitches. No ROM today as I'm revamping the graphics in the BG and the map. Some shots as goodies...
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186884)
Looks great as always. Will you need to clothe your character for inclusion in the multicart, though?
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#186897)
It's great, na_th_an

And also the control of the character looks better than that of your previous games.

I'm messing around with a little platform demo, with scroll but very simple (2 nametables) because I'm still not able to do a big scroll.

Also, the issue of collisions is giving me many headaches. I do not finish catching it well.

Luck!
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187298)
Progressing nicely. I finished redrawing the whole tileset and placing the new art in the map, placed some nasties for testing, coded the enemies spawner and updater, and modified the spriteset as well in the process.

No collisions. Moving platforms will not catch you, enemies will not harm you. But you can walk around the map.

@M_Tee: I don't see any rules requiring clothed characters, but if this is an issue for many, I will have no problem in adding some dark pixels :)

@diskover: I use several collision points around the sprite and check which tile is there. There's plenty of info about simmilar techniques. I would explain my implementation but right now I have an entry to finish! :) Maybe after the compo. You can check github if you want to take a peek, code is not very complex. Look for player.h.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187318)
From the rules: "Explicit content is not prohibited from the competition, but will most likely not be considered for multicart inclusion." There are a lot of things that gamers with kids and parents of kid gamers will misinterpret.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187325)
I was aware of that rule. But where do we draw the line?

When I read the rules, I understood that sexual content was allowed, but not for the cart (to sum it up). I didn't consider this nude to be "explicit material", the same way I don't consider a statue from an ancient greek goddess to be "explicit material". This is not an erotic game.

But again, if I need to add 4 or 5 pixels to each sprite cell for the game to be included in the cart, I will do so.

Anyways, I just added closing blades which make gameplay more interesting.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187328)
na_th_an wrote:
I don't consider a statue from an ancient greek goddess to be "explicit material".

Douglas Crockford, of JavaScript: The Good Parts and JSON and JSLint fame, wrote about changes made to the NES port of Maniac Mansion. Search that page for what happened to a statue inspired by Michelangelo's Dawn. The developers believed the same as you, but standards and practices misinterpreted a shadow between the thighs and crotch as pubic hair.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187329)
I was aware of that - the Nintendo policies almost 30 years ago and all that nonsense about a couple of pixels being considered offensive by some :) .

Anyways, it's not a big deal. I just have to add some pixels et voie la. ;)
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187340)
Quote:
When I read the rules, I understood that sexual content was allowed, but not for the cart (to sum it up). I didn't consider this nude to be "explicit material", the same way I don't consider a statue from an ancient greek goddess to be "explicit material". This is not an erotic game.


Though many, many statues from antique times to present are more or less erotic, (and so are renaissanse paintings. Venus is already mentioned. Check the description of it on this wiki :wink: ) and many were meant to be so. It's just a form of eroticism that's more or less accepted (depending on time, place and context), through the social contract that may come with whatever's considered fine arts, or in the post-modern, just art, and often on the fluctuating term that it doesn't go too far.

With sculptural, physical objects, it is simpler to make erotic aspects generally accepted, since point of view and mode of looking is largely up to the onlooker which is granted an almost completely autonomous role, and the context is largely up to the exhibitor on a case to case basis, compared to many other media.

Examples: media, such as cinema and picture, are more up to the artist than the viewer. Cinema fixates the time dimension; among other things. You cannot control it like you would in a book. Compared to a book yet again, cinema generally hard-codes larger areas within the realm of imagination by not leaving as many blanks to interpret. You (probably) have a narrative, and concrete visuals, and tempo, decided for you.

Picture (itself embedded in cinema and video gaming), fixates what is called a scopic regime. It is hard to describe what a scopic regime is in just a sentence or two, but the outline is this: It is mostly the sum of projection, space distortion, movement/animation, object emphasis, and point of view, and it dictates the framework for how the onlooker scopically and emotionally interacts with a picture by limiting the field of mode of looking while at the same time making an area within that field more preferrable, easy, or rewarding (often to the artists' or producers' ideal picture of the consumer of the work; that is).
More correctly used, a scopic regime was a term originally coined to describe these effects as paradigms that came and went with historical epoques, but nowadays, cultural production doesn't let itself be sliced up and organized as conveniently.

In gross generalization of european art history, this means a baroque painting with skewed projection, highly designed light, movement, and engaging actor objects is more likely to emotionally or bodily engage a viewer than an early renaissanse painting of a perfect symmetrical vanishing point picture of a street with objects that's mostly there to represent themselves in a static or pictographic manner.

Or here's a thought/experience experiment. Let's say we have a painting of a scene with people in it. Maybe the last supper of Jesus or a team of people working together on something. Anything. Let's say we watch it plain and simple, from a few meters. Then, we watch the same scene through a peeping hole cut out from black painted cardboard. It feels different, even when imagining it, right? That's a slice of the emotional and cognitive difference that scopic regimes can achieve. The thing is that no pictoral work of art is entirely transparent or neutral, every work has a scopic regime embedded, consciously or not. It can't be viewed objectively (though a scopic regime can create the illusion of such a perspective and role). In other words, some aspects of the work is preset, and to some extent, determining the experience of the onlooker.

So, it's really not as simple as determining a relationship between something being erotic and being explicit, and it's not as simple as basing expliticity (is that a word) on personal experience and standards. One has to compare the work of art at hand with patterns in cultural production.

Now to some criticism of the validity of your statement: How is the combination of point of view in relation to the object and its emphasis on fetishizing certain parts of a female coded body not erotic? This makes the game experience partly erotic. Nudity is only a small part of it. There's a gaze happening between camera, frame, and object. And there's focus on body aesthetics. And then there's the gender role aspect. I'm not saying this because i think eroticism is automatically bad (i don't, i think there's a spectrum), i'm saying this because i don't share the viewpoint on whether it's erotic or not, and because eroticism meddles with individuals' sense of privacy and intimacy, so it's worth thinking twice about before writing something off as "not erotic (or explicit) according to me".

Wow, this post got way longer than i had hoped to keep it. I hope it doesn't steal too much attention from your project.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187343)
Donald Duck is pantsless. And still appropriate, somehow.

Any pixels that could be considered genitalia or pubic hair would obviously be NO. Nipples, also No.

A strange nude creature with no genitals and no nipples, might be Ok. Better if non-human...like an alien or anthropomorphic animal.

Edit, 'Art' sometimes is given a pass...see Michelangelo's David...however, Stephen Colbert noted....

"For Michelangelo's statue of David, Colbert can only show "a distant picture of the David for a total of two seconds.""
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187362)
Thanks for the input. Besides, very interesting lecture, WheelInventor. Clears up a few points.

Of course, everything is in the eye of the beholder. But I'm not the one making the rules, so as noted, if it is required that I add some pixels to somehow remove the perception that the character is nude for this game to be included in the multicart, please tell me. It's just a matter of spending a few extra minutes in a few edits so, really, no problem.

If so, maybe it would be better to change the rules in future events so they explicitly forbid human nudity :) Maybe it's the language or cultural barrier, because, to my initial (and obviously wrong) understanding, the rule was about games with a sexual subject matter, and had nothing to do with nudity.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#187937)
Well, long time no see :*)

Gameplay is complete. Time to add some graphics, the fixed screens (title / intro / game over / ending) and some pixels to the sprites.

Goodies soon.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188103)
The game is finished. Haven't submitted it yet, there's still some playtesting to be done, and some rough edges to polish.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188104)
Nice! Keeping the essentials of the manual within the rom is a good move. Making them look good is even better. The rounded egdes are a very nice touch.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188105)
Thanks. You can easily skip them as well once you know the drill :)

I'm afraid this game is not very intuitive. I've tried my best, but one still needs to read the instructions to know how to play or what to do.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188142)
Well, it's finished. Let's hope there are no game breaking bugs :)

blurb.txt
Code:
Name:           Cheril the Goddess

Submitted By:   na_th_an

Category:       1 (the contest)

Description:    Cheril must obtain the Skull of Podewwwr and use its power to
                become a goddess. In order to do so, she must open three gates
                and unlock a magic column.

                The gates are magically locked by the temples of Stone, Paper
                and Scissors. You must break the seals using the proper
                medallion in each temple, which you have to find.

                The magic column is unlocked using a key in the keyhole located
                next to the column.

                Cheril can get three magic charges from the pedestals with two
                hearts engraved. He can use such charges to gain super powers
                for a short while (being able to fly around and becoming invin-
                cible) or to activate teleporters which will take her to the
                center of the map.

                You can open the gates and the magic column in any order. You
                can also take a look at a map telling you where everything is
                located. You can only carry one object at a time.

Controls:       D-pad: Movement
                Select: Continue (title screen) / Map (ingame)
                Start: Starts the game from the beginning (title screen) / Pause
                B: Interact / use / action, etc.
                A: Jump
                B + UP: Activate super powers.

Rom info:       Mapper 2, UNROM 64K with vertical mirroring
                Filesize 64K
                Special peripherals Needed: none

Credits:        na_th_an - Design, Code, Levels & Graphics
                Davidian - Music & SFX
                Anjuel - Ines
                Shiru - Neslib & Famitone2

Other:          When you continue you lose the item you are carrying, but other
                than that, progress is saved.

                If you get lost, take a look at the map. The map is updated as
                you progress.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188175)
I absolutely love the palette choices and title screen.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188224)
Lots of awesome entries this year, it seems!
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188241)
Pretty neat. I haven't figured out what to do with the scissors I found, but I'll get there eventually.

I'm personally a little disappointed about those "extra pixels" you added (I really liked the original version), but you gotta do what you think is best.

I had a curious moment where I flew into a little gap (1 tile high) in a wall, and I ended up inside a solid wall on the other side and zipping across the map as a result. I wasn't able to reproduce it, though. I thought it happened right here, but the gap in the wall has never appeared here again. (Or I could be misremembering...)
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Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188248)
The graphics are really moody, i like the high contrast/bold use of brights to get the feeling of a full moon somewhere off screen. That's great stuff!

Should future compo multicarts have a parental lock setting (preferrably stored in non-volatile memory)? That could enable contributors to do content that isn't "E for everyone" and still get it included without altering their original concept.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188252)
Thanks for the comments.

@Rainwarrior - I have to polish the map a bit. I'm sure I let the player slip into an obstacle during the transition due to tile misplacement. Easily fixable, but I didn't have much time to check, sorry. If we are allowed to resubmit the game with fixes for the multicart, I'll try to find and fix the inconsistences.

About the object, you have to find a temple in which you can use it. That will open one of the gates. press SELECT to bring a map. Temples are near the corners. Hint - the concept is based upon the good ol' Jan-ken-pon game.

The extra pixels are for the multicart. We will release the game in ROM format in our site at a later time and you will be able to choose which version you prefer.

@FrankenGraphics - that was exactly the feel we wanted to achieve, so I'm *very* glad you noticed.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188505)
Judging verdict: pretty but confusing.

I couldn't figure out how to do most things. I couldn't interpret the minimap, couldn't find out how to gain powers, use items, teleport, heal, or kill enemies. At one point I found a rock, but pressing B still did nothing.

So, with only being able to jump, I died around some bats that couldn't be avoided.

I liked the art, but the discoverability was terrible. It would have needed a tutorial level and better level design. Also the minimap should have used a contrasting color for "you are here".
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188514)
Yeah, I knew that this game wouldn't be very popular for some players as you are required to read the instructions to play. I made sure that your progress leads you to the first charging pedestal, and you are also required to fly to exit the temple, so you can't really begin your quest without having to recharge and activate your powers.

But even that way, you have to know beforehand that you have to interact with stuff pressing B (i.e. the pedestal to recharge) and that super powers need to be activated with B+UP. So I guess you are right. Could the introductory text be made more enlighting?

Thank you.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188546)
I read the text, and still failed to make the things work :P A tutorial level would be a much better way of introducing different things. Like the cliche'd example of Mario's first level.

edit: Rather than the text being unclear, I think the issue is too much at once. I forgot how the different pedestals looked by the end of the text, for one.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188557)
Understood. I got an idea which Will make a better game for the cart, thanks
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188664)
Following the ideas reported in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=15494&start=15 I've updated the game a bit for the multicart:

- I've changed the way jump physics are handled. Now the curve is smoother and jumps are easier controlled.
- I've corrected the "displaying the map resets the enemies" issue.

There's still some things I'll be changing for the cart, though.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188691)
I haven't played enough with this new build to know how it works with the various room layouts, but it feels a lot more natural to me.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188702)
Played through the new version and tried to vacuum the areas for potential layout problems in the process. WARNING SPOILERS INSIDE ZIP.
Attachment:
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pic 1: Slight difficulty making the jump up the shaft to the direct right of cheril because of headbump into the ceiling. It was there before, but might be slightly more pronounced than before.
pic 2: Staying on this moving platform for too long leads to an unexpected dropthrough because it goes too close to the ceiling, which feels a little like a symptom of evil dungeon master/cheap death syndrome.
pic 3: slightly difficult jump for what i percieve as the wrong reasons. Same thing as with pic 1.
pic 4: extremely difficult jump to make without superpower; however half the trouble is not bumping against a block on the x axis, so i think it was the same before. Here, i think the difficulty might potentially be appropriate for skilled speedrunners.
pic 5: not being able to reach here without super power feels a bit cheap, considering the path to get there and that this is the final screen before completing the course. Maybe there should be a stair formation, stepping stone, or <3<3 statue right there?

Game is overall slightly easier to play through, but for all the right reasons this time. I feel like i am in control to a much larger extent.

The enemy reset fix worked like a charm.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188705)
Yet another mini-observation: Completing the game and selecting 'continue' afterwards sets the lives to 3 and super power charges to 0 regardless of what you managed to complete the game with

And a random thought: The player could feel a sense of accomplishment if the max number of super power charges were increased for every solved puzzle. It would also make the game progressively easier as it stands, so it would be a significant change to the game balance. Besides altering the difficulty curve it would also change the psychological aspect of the player deciding in which order to go for the tokens and temples. </ rant on hypothetical design >
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188768)
Thanks a lot for your time. Will check everything out and fix those spots. I will think about the increase of the amount of charges you mention.

The multicart version will be much better thanks to your input. I'm very thankful.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#188795)
The new jump feel better than the previous one. It did improve game play.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#189879)
Besides correcting some dark spots in the map and moving some enemies, plus changing and adjusting a few bits, as suggested, I've changed the way the game starts.

I wish this makes learning the basic gameplay dynamics easier and the game more intuitive.

First of all, every interactuable spot where you can press "B" comes with a nice bouncing arrow, so the first thing you see when you start a new game is this:
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(the arrow only appears when you actually can interact. For example, it won't appear over teleporters if you don't have enough charges).

Once you use the pedestal and recharge your powers, cheril says something. Just this once, of course:
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The balloon won't go away until your activate your powers, and you need to do so to actually start the game.

I have a couple more things to polish before I can post a new (definitive) version. Just wanted to know what you guys think about the changes.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#189901)
Looking good! I appreciate the extra effort you're doing post-compo.

I'm a little bit concerned with how the thin text ("super powers") will present itself on hardware; ntsc and pal. Let me know if you want me to test it on PAL.

*If* it doesn't hold up, maybe there's a way to formulate something meaningful in fewer letters.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#189903)
If you want to be minimal about it I don't think it even needs to say SUPERPOWERS at all. The point is to learn to press UP + B, and doing so should clarify what it does.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#189904)
Text with that much contrast ($0F ink on $2x or $3x paper) will have no problem showing up on a TV.

In any case, here's an alternative:
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#189912)
Thanks for the input.

I think my favourite idea would be the most simple: just the symbols. I agree with rainwarrior.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#190560)
I've polished many things, lost count. The beginning of the game has changed, as explained. I've played to the end several times and moved stuff around. I think this may be it.

Enjoy!
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#190628)
Sorry, lidnariq has discovered a glitch in the scrolling I though I had fixed and I'm working on solving it. I've changed a bit the way the scroller works, for the better.

Bear with me. I'll post a new version soon.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191026)
na_th_an wrote:
There are three temples: the temple of Stone, the temple of Scissors and the temple of Paper. Guess which object you need to beat each ;)

You appear to have left out two temples. I assume Rainwarrior and Konami are handling those :p

Quote:
This is a minimap you can access pressing SELECT. It shows where you, the temples, and the objects are located. Its looks will improve

And here's what it looks like in 1.2:
Attachment:
File comment: Minimap looks very monochrome
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Is there a key to this map? The icons and walls are hard to see as such, particularly without any color. I figured you couldn't make it any bigger because the territory is 20 by 4 screens. Perhaps if I had a full-scale map of all 80 screens, as might be found on VGMaps, as well as what each existing cell represents, I could try figuring out how to design a clearer in-game map.

When I include a game in an Action 53 compilation, one of the first steps is to find which address ranges in the game are unused so that the builder can add an exit patch and possibly include other games' compressed CHR ROM and screenshots. Based on my analysis of 1.2, it appears I have about 5 KiB ($B900-$BFFF and $F200-$FFBF) to work with. That's enough for a full pattern table and nametable, even without any compression; if I add compression, it's also enough for several sprites to break up the grid.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191199)
Quote:
You appear to have left out two temples. I assume Rainwarrior and Konami are handling those :p


Oh, forgot to tell, those will be included in the DLC ;)

About the minimap, honestly, it was more of a "where am I, more or less" rather than a proper map you can follow, so I didn't put much attention to detail. Temples and objects are dynamic, though, so it serves its purpose as a progress indicator, as "broken" temples will show as an "X" and objects won't appear if you have already taken them.

Maybe I should make the player prosition blink or something like that, I agree it's less than noticeable.

Of course, I'm all ears. If you have any suggestions I'll be glad to work on making a proper map from this. I have to make a further revision, so I'm up for it.

As for a full, proper map, I have this (attached) (click to expand to real size).
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191243)
First I scaled the map from 5120x768 to 240x48 pixels, making each screen 12x12 pixels, and color-reduced it. Then I redrew each icon.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191269)
Well that's great, seriously.

Give me a couple of days ;)
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191596)
It took more than a couple of days, but anyways, here's my implementation of tepple's suggestions. Thanks, I would never have come with this on my own and I think it makes the game better and more enjoyable.

Still want to do more testing before submitting the (hopefully final) v1.3

This is how it looks (some sprite faces are off but that's sorted out)
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191599)
That's a very nice update ! Congrats !
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191600)
Looks great. I love that weathered stone layout. Good bit of visual polish there.

Just a thought on word choice for the game:

Rock, Paper, Scissors is the common grouping that's being referenced, but the term Stone has a more serious connotation (at least in the fantasy genre), but it breaks the parallelism of referencing the children's game.

It might be better to choose equivalent terms (and symbols) to replace scissors and paper with as well, such as:
Stone, Blade, Parchment (or Scroll)

This would make the rock/paper/scissors a little less on-the-nose (more subtly referenced).

If an obvious connection is the intention, it might be better to go with Rock instead of Stone to parallel Scissors and Paper.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191601)
That makes sense. I'll think about it. Thanks.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191688)
na_th_an wrote:
Quote:
You appear to have left out two temples. I assume Rainwarrior and Konami are handling those :p


Oh, forgot to tell, those will be included in the DLC ;)

About the minimap, honestly, it was more of a "where am I, more or less" rather than a proper map you can follow, so I didn't put much attention to detail. Temples and objects are dynamic, though, so it serves its purpose as a progress indicator, as "broken" temples will show as an "X" and objects won't appear if you have already taken them.

Perhaps in the "revision" round of Action 53.

A full in-game pre-filled map defeats some of the purpose of an exploration game. Consider Zelda 1's map, where you had which screen you were on, but not how terrain would obstruct exploring it (though a moderate amount of the map around the start was "full"-mapped in the manual, with space for you to fill in)
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191694)
That's why my original design was sparse, a mere progress indicator. But I've been reached by several people asking for a proper map (not just tepples). I decided to change it albeit killing exploration a bit 'cause, nowadays, players are not as dedicated as we were in the 80s. I would have struggled with a 200 screens labyrinth when I was a boy, but that wouldn't work nowadays.

When I was designing this game, I thought all the exploration, traversing, and backtracking would put some players off. The original game, as planned, was more dificult. You couldn't continue, the location of the objects wasn't in the map (just the temples) so you actually had to find them, charging stations where sparse, there were more enemies... But we decided to tone the game down quite a lot as we wanted players to be able to experience as much as possible without feeling the frustration of not being able to get past the first peril in the first 10 goes... Because they would probably give up by the fifth.

If this was a commercial release and not a compo entry, the game would be harder, most definitely.

Maybe if you started with an almost covered map and you'd uncover it as you advance would be better, but I don't have the time nor the energy to add that to the game at this point.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191695)
na_th_an wrote:
That's why my original design was sparse, a mere progress indicator. But I've been reached by several people asking for a proper map (not just tepples). I decided to change it albeit killing exploration a bit 'cause, nowadays, players are not as dedicated as we were in the 80s. I would have struggled with a 200 screens labyrinth when I was a boy, but that wouldn't work nowadays.

When I was designing this game, I thought all the exploration, traversing, and backtracking would put some players off. The original game, as planned, was more dificult. You couldn't continue, the location of the objects wasn't in the map (just the temples) so you actually had to find them, charging stations where sparse, there were more enemies... But we decided to tone the game down quite a lot as we wanted players to be able to experience as much as possible without feeling the frustration of not being able to get past the first peril in the first 10 goes... Because they would probably give up by the fifth.

If this was a commercial release and not a compo entry, the game would be harder, most definitely.

Maybe if you started with an almost covered map and you'd uncover it as you advance would be better, but I don't have the time nor the energy to add that to the game at this point.


Why don't you have the map show a super-simplified version of unexplored regions, and show more detailed tiles once the area has been explored? Think of a less extreme version of Metroid or Toejam and Earl's discovery system; in those games, unexplored areas are totally blanked out. Maybe that system would actually work better for this game than you initially expected as well.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191696)
That would have been definitey more feasible if the feature was planned from the beginning. The size of the map makes every screen 12x12 pixels which is something hard to work with taking in account you just have 256 patterns. At this point, a crude, not aligned blanking would be the only solution I can think of without having to redesign eveything. And I'm not sure I will be able to get that in time.

Taking in account that there's pattern reuse in the minimap, what you propose would be quite a daunting task at the moment. Although I agree that would be great to have such a feature.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191702)
na_th_an wrote:
That would have been definitey more feasible if the feature was planned from the beginning. The size of the map makes every screen 12x12 pixels which is something hard to work with

But not impossible. Zoop draws 12x14-pixel tiles using software compositing, as does the menu 2x8 to 8x8. Then with a short pause, you get your fog of war except for visited screens. If you want help implementing a software-composited minimap for the remix compo, I might have time to pitch in.

Quote:
taking in account you just have 256 patterns.

You have 256 patterns per scanline, and a fully composited minimap is 30 by 6 tiles, or 180 patterns. Then a sprite 0-triggered write to $2000 could swap in a different set of tiles used for the map's key.

Quote:
And I'm not sure I will be able to get that in time.

I wouldn't blame you for leaving the final minimap for the remix compo.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#191926)
I have an idea I could do without much assle and which would work, but I won't have time before the deadline, that I'm sure.

I still have to test the last v1.3, and I don't seem to find the time.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#192255)
v1.3 is out. Didn't have the time to do anything else to the minimap, sorry. This will have to do for the time being.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#192823)
As I was testing thoroughly the latest action 53 v3 multicart build, I found a thing I wanted to tell separately on this thread.

It doesn't matter what temples you clear to beat the game. You only need to grab and place the end key and all the gates get open.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#192826)
Wow - that's a nasty one. I'll try and fix ASAP. Sorry.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#192858)
It was due to a glitch introduced in 1.3. Sorry about that. Thanks for testing and reporting. Here's 1.4, I've uploaded as soon as I've located and fixed the bug, but I haven't had the time to test it thoroughly. I will as fast as I can.
Re: Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess
by on (#192984)
After the report from Jroatch I re-checked the scrolling engine and found a small detail which may be causing the glitch which happens seldomly when switching map floors and which left stray nametable data from the previous floor.

I hope this is the last, for good. I won't be bothering you unless somebody finds a game-breaking bug. Thanks for your patience.