Three intentionally de-titled tracks

 

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(Picture not descriptive of any of the tracks, either).

So, here’s track 16, 9, and 8 from the gothic platformer project as they currently are. They loop once before fading out. All are intended for levels.  I’ve chosen not to disclose working titles to free them of pretext. If anyone is taking the time to listen to them, i’m eager to hear what your associations are regarding theme, locale and setting to see if they match my intentions.

Below is a form to let me know directly what you think of each song. If you take the time to fill it out, i’m obliged! Many thanks.

Isometry should lend itself well to horror…

I’m happy and proud to say that i’ve started working with Orab Games on something that should be a bit of a rare bird to the NES library in two regards: A survival horror game… in isometric view!

You’ll explore the nooks and crannies of an institution for the criminally insane, uncovering bad things they’d rather keep away from public awareness.

Here’s a WIP preview of a few patient rooms. patient2_variant2b200patient1_new200

There are more or less a coat of paint over Tims’ original in-game graphics:
patient_original

Demo of Project Blue RELEASED!

Finally i can proudly say that a demo  is out in the wild!

Download it today from the top of this forum post!

Thank you for playing!

 

Quick Facts
Title – Project Blue (NesDev Compo Edition)
By – Toggle Switch & Frankengraphics
Developed – 2017 (and ongoing)
Number of players – 1
Number of bosses – 2
Total level size counted in screens – 64

Description
In the dystopian wasteland
of Neo Hong Kong, help Blue
escape from the evil
clutches of the Omnicorp
conglomerate.

Avoid robots, lasers, pools
of toxic waste, and more as
you fight your way out of a
research facility and exact
revenge upon your captors.

Controls
A to jump
B to fire projectiles

Ladders can be climbed, latched onto, and dropped from.

Credits
Programming – Toggle Switch
Music – Toggle Switch & Frankengraphics
Level Design – Toggle Switch & Frankengraphics
Graphics: Frankengraphics

Rats!

Here’s a little time-glimpse of some of my recent work.

Like a piece of wood to carve, or musical tune to write, everything you do is quite shite on your first go at it. And i don’t mean it like the first time you try something, but rather – regardless how many times you’ve done something – the first draft often looks disappointing and discouraging to your eyes. At least it does for me. The trick (which i learned way too late in life) is to not stop there. Continue carving. I like to think that each good song written started out as something banal or broken A clumsy tune piano keys, and worked from there into something interesting. Quality takes labour. Just sometimes you can get away with less, but for yourself, you know. Satisfaction comes first after you’ve tried, failed, and returned to try again. Before i continue sounding like an inspirational quote machine, here’s what i mean:

I had this giant/were-rat design which i was pretty satisfied with. It just needed to be able to jump & run.

 

First draft at a different pose:

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I can’t decide if it’s sniffing the air, is dead or needs to pee

At 1-10% of your work: YUCK. Typically when i draw tiles for NES, something this icky always comes along first. Then it’s just a matter of chipping away, making better outlines, poses, masses, directions. But it starts with something simple – putting a few pixels in place. Doesn’t matter what it looks like, just put something there to improve on.

 

Second & 3rd draft:

halfdone

It’s alive! …but, ugh. no.

Finally got all the tilework in place which is about 50% of the work, but the drafted animation is off:

The rat is stiff like and it looks a bit like it is jumping in its place. The timed duration of the cels were all over the place to compensate for the lack of proper tile placement and pixel pushing, and even then (or perhaps because of, it’s jittery.

 

75percentdone

75%: A movement to suggest a push

Sure, NES graphics _are_ jittery most of the time and thing would work well in most games. But it’s for an RPG so i’d really like to bring out the most of it. Let’s continue:

 

 

Fourth draft:

90percentdone

90%: Almost there

90%: A lot smoother, and to think – it is using one less tile than the 2nd draft. I’t all about placement and timing. It meant a near tripling of animation data, but it runs at a smooth 30fps over 11 cels & a consistent 2 frames per cel. Thinking of the spine and tail as a whipping chain; set in motion by two sets of pistons in the form of the rats’ legs. Once the body got fluid, the tails’ jitteryness really got noticable. We can’t have that.
Fifth draft:

asgoodasdone

99% – because nothing is ever done.

Done? I think so.. we’ll see tomorrow with fresh eyes. Just wanted to show how something you eventually can be satisfied with often starts its life as an abomination.

How about CIB:s?

I’m having this little auction over at Nintendo Age where a few cartridges with concept art i’ve made are given to the three highest bidders. I thought i might go the extra mile and at the same time brush up some format ”skills” i haven’t used in a long while. test

PROJECT BLUE coming for the NES

Good news:

We’re announcing Project Blue (a joint effort between me and Toggle Switch), a game that will enter this years’ NES dev competition which ends in January, 2018.

crt

Help Blue through up to 64 screens of high-tech action platforming and measure your skills against combinations of a dozen or so different enemies, a big bad boss, and various traps and obstacles.

Disclaimer: What you see here is still subject to some changes


The in-game end result will look something roughly between this…
blu1
(the game in its actual current state)

and this…

blu2
(early concept screen not taking into account all the software priorities made both before and since).

Maybe the coolest thing, although it stays out of the compo itself, is the custom level editor application that toggle switch did, with which one can design levels for Project Blue without needing to know the first thing about assembly, or programming in general. I’m personally amazed that he made a tool that will let gamers modify this coming NES game relatively easily.
blu3

What’s up next?
The plan after the compo is finished is to expand this game to make it larger, to justify a commercial standalone release on a physical cartridge.

Who wants a gothic action platformer for the NES?

 

Just something i started working on in advance the other month. In advance, because we still have an unannounced game to finish before this can get serious.

On the other hand, not being too deep into the production yet allows for another type of creative flow. These make ample use of unique characters/tiles and the cartridge hardware will just have to comply (ie have a rather big prg-rom). For example, the parallax effect in the second screen requires x8 as many tiles as normal for the treeline background. Thankfully, the cost of a 512kB prg-rom NES cartridge is close to that of one with less. Program size is not even the most significant cost factor, up to that point.

castle_x2_3_2towerscroll

Short note on sprawling cave systems

Here’s two snapshots from a level concept from yesterday and today for our space-fi game in-development.

While the previous is more colourful and works with contrasting colours, it sometimes felt hard to parse what’s solid and what’s distant background. This is because the four subpalettes get used for both to a large extent. To mitigate this potential problem, all solid rocks got a stronger/brighter outline to outshine intangible objects. Hopefully something along that way will do.

Next step is probably going over the distant background to separate it, in turn.

Other changes:
-Rock colouring is now regional, rather than random. A ”green” area is hinted at the bottom right, and there’s a single green ”milestone” in the bottom left quarter. While less colourful, my hopes is that things like that will help orientation in a larger, sprawling cave system.

-More distinctly diagonal shadows on the pillars in the bottom right quarter seems to help my depth perception.

-various details and decorations added. Some others might be cut in the future, but we still have half of the tile memory unused for this set, so there’s no hurry to rationalize.

 

 

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