Re: [stella] Climber5 prototype...comments???

Subject: Re: [stella] Climber5 prototype...comments???
From: "Albert Yarusso - AtariAge" <albert@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 09:49:52 -0600
Okay, I finally had a chance to play this yesterday for a bit, using both
StellaX for Windows and Z26 (running in Windows 2000).  In Stella, the ball
is not visible, so there was no way to advance to the next level.  I was a
bit confused until I decided to try the game in Z26.  When I fired up the
game in Z26, the moving walls were not positioned on the left side of the
screen, but were instead about 3/4s of the way over to the right.  When I
hit Reset, they were then positioned correctly and operated as expected.
And the ball was visible. :)

However, the game was running very slowly in Z26. This allowed me to get all
the way up to Level 7, which I doubt I would have been able to do normally
given the way everything speeds up as the levels increase.  You can see some
of the screenshots I took here:

Gameplay-wise, I agree with Manuel's comments about not always being able to
get the ball without dying.  This virtually guarantees that the game will
force you to die at some point, no matter how well you've mastered the game.
And for me, this is pretty frustrating.  However, I'm sure this can be
addressed by deviating a bit from the original game.  :)

Also, is there some reason why the moving walls need to go in one direction?
It might be interesting if they could move either left or right, instead of
always from the left.  Then perhaps ball placement at the top could be
somewhat randomized, rather than always stuck to the left on that top row.
In addition, maybe you could add some additional gameplay elements, like
"bonus" items to pick up, such as one that might cause the walls to freeze
for a few seconds. Maybe another could "teleport" you up a row or two.  Or
slow the walls to 1/2 speed. Or make a few of the walls "disappear" for the
rest of this level. And there could be bad ones also, say, one that puts you
back at the beginning of the level, or (*gasp*) doubles the speed of the
walls.  You could represent these items fairly simply, even as big-honkin'
pixels that only vary in color.

I think the game's coming along quite nicely and I look forward to your
continued progress!  Keep up the great work!

Albert Yarusso (albert@xxxxxxxxxxxx) - Atari News, Rarity Guides, Discussion & More!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis Debro" <ddebro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <stella@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 7:55 AM
Subject: [stella] Climber5 prototype...comments???

> Here is a prototype of Climber5 so far. Most of the game play is in so you
can play it :) Now I'm up for suggestions. The game code WILL change before
the final release (which should be months from now). I have to do some
cleaning and optimizing. I feel I'm using too much RAM. I know how to reduce
it so that will be the next step.
> I sent a screen shot before and I've had suggestions of extending the
ladders into the platforms. I fully intended to do this but it is not in
this prototype. I want to move the kernal around a bit and then look into
doing it.
> Give this a try and see what you think so far. I have tested it using Z26
1.57 and my 7800 using a Cuttle Cart. Also any suggestions would be helpful.
I'm trying to stick as close to the original 8-bit game as possible but I am
willing to step out and add things that would make for a good game.
> In the original A8 version the obstacles only moved left to right. I'm
thinking of adding an option where the obstacles move randomly back and
> You should notice that I'm forgiving on the ladder control. The player
doesn't have to be directly under the ladder to ascend/descend. There is a 5
pixel range for vertical movement. I also give you the ability to push
diagonally so the player can sort of hook the ladder as they walk by.
> ---------
> A the ball boy on the baseball team, it is your job to retrieve the fly
balls. One ball has landed a top a building under construction. Your job is
to retrieve the ball (by touching it) without being hit by the moving
obstacles. The speed of the obstacles increase each time the level
increases. Use the ladders provided on each platform to ascend and/or
descend the building. Numbers on the bottom of screen show number of lives
(left number) and current level number (right number).
> ---------------------
> Use the joystick connected to the LEFT CONTROLLER port to control the
> ----------------
> Game Select
> This is used to pause the action during game play. Press Game Select again
to resume play.
> Game Reset
> Use this to reset or start a new game
> Right Difficulty Switch
> Alternates between NTSC and PAL display. The PAL color palette is not
implemented in the prototype. Position A will give you a PAL display (312
scan lines). Position B will give you a NTSC display (262 scan lines).
> Known issues...
> No sound implemented
> PAL color palette not done
> No death animation
> Difficulty/speed increases rapidly
> Player can possibly overshoot the ladder
> Pressing game reset will cause the screen to roll
> You can only go to level 9
> Text for level number not done
> lives indicator not implemented
> No title screen

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