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Dead Planets - 288 screen Arcade Adventure


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This is Dead Planets, a minimalist 288 screen arcade adventure that fits in 4k. It's my second bAtari Basic project.


Dead Planets is my sort of homage to the multi-screen/flip-screen ZX Spectrum arcade adventures of my youth, games like Jet Set Willy, Sabre Wulf, Wizard's Lair, Starquake, Robin of the Wood, Firelord, Atic Atac, Auf Wiedershen Monty etc. mixed with the time attack 2600 games like Barnstorming and the empty, quiet feel of Metroid. It's also a homage to the lost art of mapping out these sort of games on graph paper as we used to have to do in the 1980s and you'll probably have to revisit that skill to get anywhere. Rest assured, this is a deliberate feature not a bug.


You play DEWI (DEad Worlds Investigation Probe) searching for the lost Tiptonite crystals of wisdom hidden in the caverns of six dead worlds of the collapsed ZX82 civilization. Press up/down to pick one of the six worlds to explore and fire button to start.



Find the three crystals in each world, return to the start room and hit the exit warp to finish game. Do it as fast as you can, the only score is your time, try and set personal best i.e. time attack game like Barnstorming.


Old School game mapping on graph paper will help you.


Walls kill you.


Worlds are 8x6 screens with wraparound on all four edges - so 288 screens in 4k with space left over.


Control has some cheap momentum (looks choppy on the video, makes more sense when/if you play it) and this gets more pronounced on later worlds.


There are six colour coded worlds, selectable by moving joystick U/D on the start screen


Press Fire to start, and to restart after a Game Over.
World 1 - ABYSSIUM
World 3 - LILACIUM    
World 4 - DUNEBALL
World 5 - RAINGOD
World 6 - CHROMIUM






Dead Planets.bin Dead Planets.bas

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8 hours ago, atari2600land said:

If you're not using missile0, you can put "kernel options no_blank_lines" to get rid of the horizontal gaps in the playfield.

I know but I like the aesthetic of the horizontal gaps :)

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I like the horizontal gaps too - would be huge looming blocks otherwise.


Found the game enjoyable for a short while but feel it needs some moving bits.
Eg, moving animals/monsters to avoid.
Eg, doors that open/close automatically (possibly depending on your recent actions - eg press button in another room to open and then it closes in 15 seconds or door open/closes when you pick up a jewel).


Maybe a teleport to jump to a far away section (makes graph paper mapping more challenging).
Possibly the destination is unreachable by normal movement - ie, walled in.

Momentum of the player is a bit high for me (kept running into walls when entering new rooms with short entrance area) but that's more a statement of my poor hand control skill.
Maybe change the momentum slightly based on the level.


Game runs very smoothly - no glitches that I saw.
Well done!

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I did have an alien running around at one point but I didn’t feel it added much and was more attracted to the idea of the game being about the maze factor than avoiding things. Just how these things evolve in development really. 

momentum increases slightly in later levels. Thinner atmosphere or something!

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  • 2 weeks later...

ZeroPage Homebrew is playing Dead Planets on tomorrow's stream LIVE on Twitch, hope you can join us!





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