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StoneAge (WIP)


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StoneAge:

 

Hi guys, here is a game i have been working on as a side project to another.

 

Want to keep this one a smaller 48k ROM project with simple straightforward gameplay.

 

TIX is on the sprite work.

 

How to play:

The goal is to steal dino eggs from the mother T-Rex and bring them back to your stash till the level is complete.

 

While avoiding the lava from the volcano make your way to the egg and return home (left of screen) to place the egg in your stash pile. Once you collect 6 eggs the level is complete and the difficulty is raised.

 

You are armed with a stone axe to knockout the mother T-Rex buying you time to steal the egg. However note that once you knock out the T-Rex she wont lay another egg until conscious again. The mother T-Rex will eat you if not stunned and you get too close.

 

During level 3 and above a cheeky Pterodactyl will make an appearance to steal the eggs you have gathered raising the difficulty. You can protect your eggs in two ways, the first by using you stone axe to hit the Pterodactyl or guarding your eggs by standing next to them.

 

You can only carry 3 stone axes at a time which can be replaced once returning home. Sometimes guarding can be a good strategy while you wait for another egg to be laid.

 

Latest Build: Bankset

NTSC: StoneAge_bankset_20240306.a78StoneAge_bankset_20240306.bin

 

 

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At first (distracted) glance, it might just seem like a cute mini game, however something was catching me...

 

The timing of the gameplay and some sound effects gave me that magical feeling of playing a classic handheld LCD game, I really like it. I also find there is a subtle tone of humor here and there, the game's mission, animations, and graphics in general.

The only advice for the rock/lava sprites thrown by the volcano, you could use a second darker color to highlight the edge, so that the sprites are more visible when they cross the background color.

 

Nice work, I'd like to see some more levels.

 

I also wanted to add that, although gentlemen sometimes don't ask for it, giving credit is truly appreciated. Very nice to see this screen:

 

Screenshot_20231001-053637.thumb.png.f374fa4898cbcb2e05c3103f933c79c3.png

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6 hours ago, Defender_2600 said:

At first (distracted) glance, it might just seem like a cute mini game, however something was catching me...

 

The timing of the gameplay and some sound effects gave me that magical feeling of playing a classic handheld LCD game, I really like it. I also find there is a subtle tone of humor here and there, the game's mission, animations, and graphics in general.

The only advice for the rock/lava sprites thrown by the volcano, you could use a second darker color to highlight the edge, so that the sprites are more visible when they cross the background color.

 

Nice work, I'd like to see some more levels.

 

I also wanted to add that, although gentlemen sometimes don't ask for it, giving credit is truly appreciated. Very nice to see this screen:

 

Screenshot_20231001-053637.thumb.png.f374fa4898cbcb2e05c3103f933c79c3.png

Thanks for the kind words, yeah as much as i would like to take full credit for originality i cannot. The game is inspired from the Caveman mini tabletop VFD game. So you are 100 percent in the ballpark of the game having an LCD/handheld vibe about it.

 

Thanks for the tip about adding another outline colour to the lava rocks, any help if much appreciated.

 

Levels is one i haven't fully decided as i keep changing my mind of what approach to take. I feel i could keep it the same single arena but put lots of detail into all the available tiles. Or i go for multiple arena's that are less detailed but recycle tiles in different arrangements.

 

I have to admit most the focus so far has gone into the engine and mechanics over graphics or sound. I get nervous and have alot of self doubt with my pixel art ability lol.

 

3 hours ago, gambler172 said:

:(

cannot get the rom

Hi, i have tried downloading and there is no issues on my end. Not sure if anyone else is having issues

 

2 hours ago, BydoEmpire said:

Looks promising! I like the caveman theme - I don't think there are enough games that use it.

Yes even back in the day there really wasn't a great deal that used the theme. This was inspired by the Caveman mini tabletop VFD game so you could say it's basically a port.

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15 hours ago, Defender_2600 said:

Nice work, I'd like to see some more levels.

I know this one is being kept simple, but I really couldn't help but think of this as possibly being one screen in the Arcade game "Hunchback".   

I think my mind linking castles and dragons has something to do with it.

Of course, instead of "Hunchback", we have a "Caveman".

Just food for thought, perhaps something to build upon this one down the road.

Somewhat paying homage to Imagic's Dragonfire, also came to mind. 

 

Last, but perhaps not least, I was also thinking of the Volcano screen in Crossbow.  Not inferring using a lightgun here, but maybe different 

backdrops while the basic gameplay remains the same would be cool too for a future project down the road.

15 hours ago, Defender_2600 said:

Very nice to see this screen:

Indeed!  I would love to see a 7800basic splash screen on all games that utilize it. 

Also, would love to see some sort of 'made with 7800basic' notice on respective boxes and carts.

 

There are quite a number of impressive games that have been built from it, and on more than one occasion developers who have flat out stated they probably or definitely would not have developed their game for the platform, if 7800basic did not exist.

7 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

This was inspired by the Caveman mini tabletop VFD game so you could say it's basically a port.

Good job with the game as is currently!

11 hours ago, gambler172 said:

:(

cannot get the rom

ROMs downloaded fine for me.  The are both at the very bottom of the O.P.

Direct link to the header file (*.a78)... HERE

Direct link to the binary only file (*.bin)... HERE.

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On 10/1/2023 at 5:30 AM, TwentySixHundred said:

Thanks for the kind words, yeah as much as i would like to take full credit for originality i cannot. The game is inspired from the Caveman mini tabletop VFD game. So you are 100 percent in the ballpark of the game having an LCD/handheld vibe about it.

Yeah, I had this Tomy game as a kid.

 

I still have it.

 

For those out there that have seen it before, do a YT search for Tomy Caveman game

 

such as this one:

 

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I've not played your game, but i've watched your video a few times.

 

During the boot of the game, when the Basic7800 logo is falling, can you change the font so that it looks like your Stone Age cracked rock game title logo?  Basically, have every starting screen be in the same Stone Age theme.

 

Or maybe keep it as-is while it is falling, but once the Basic7800 logo hits the bottom of the screen, then it bounces off of the bottom of the screen with a little rumble (like a boulder has fell) and that cracks/changes it into the cracked font and color that you use for the Stone Age game logo.  

 

Does your game have the little baby dino hatch out if you don't get the egg in time?

image.png.64cb12b1d3f07dc8a8c805406b21b1ca.png

 

 

You can change up the difficulty by making it harder to hit the dino's head - in the original game the dino's head has three possible positions and it can only be hit while it is in the up position and not in the other two down positions, but your game there are only two dino head positions (default/up or breathing/down behind), so if you can mimic the LCD game more then there is less chance to hit your dino's head.  And in the original game, the head can change between the two down positions, so you need to wait for the head to pop up.

 

So maybe the dino needs to be a little taller and shaped a little differently so you can have all three possible head positions as in the original game.

 

In the original game you get the eggs in front of the dino, but you changed it so you get the eggs behind the dino, but you didn't add any challenge for having to walk up to and get behind the dino.  If you can add in all three dino head positions that the original game has, then you can also increase the difficulty by having your dino randomly breath fire in front of him as you get close to the dino or behind him as you reach for the egg.

 

You can increase the difficulty in higher levels so that the dino does not lay any eggs while it is dizzy/unconscious.

 

You can increase the difficulty in higher levels by having two birds flying around and maybe one will have a path that will steal the eggs and one will be on a path (loop down lower) to kill you.

 

Just food for thought :)

 

 

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On 10/1/2023 at 3:30 PM, TwentySixHundred said:

.

I have to admit most the focus so far has gone into the engine and mechanics over graphics or sound. I get nervous and have alot of self doubt with my pixel art ability lol.

.

 

Hey @TwentySixHundred,

 

I really like what you got so far, I grew up with the little lcd games so I have a soft spot for them !

If you want some help with sprite art sent me a PM, I'll be happy to lend you a hand  🙂

 

 

 

 

Edited by TIX
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17 hours ago, fdr4prez said:

I've not played your game, but i've watched your video a few times.

 

During the boot of the game, when the Basic7800 logo is falling, can you change the font so that it looks like your Stone Age cracked rock game title logo?  Basically, have every starting screen be in the same Stone Age theme.

 

Or maybe keep it as-is while it is falling, but once the Basic7800 logo hits the bottom of the screen, then it bounces off of the bottom of the screen with a little rumble (like a boulder has fell) and that cracks/changes it into the cracked font and color that you use for the Stone Age game logo.  

 

Does your game have the little baby dino hatch out if you don't get the egg in time?

image.png.64cb12b1d3f07dc8a8c805406b21b1ca.png

 

 

You can change up the difficulty by making it harder to hit the dino's head - in the original game the dino's head has three possible positions and it can only be hit while it is in the up position and not in the other two down positions, but your game there are only two dino head positions (default/up or breathing/down behind), so if you can mimic the LCD game more then there is less chance to hit your dino's head.  And in the original game, the head can change between the two down positions, so you need to wait for the head to pop up.

 

So maybe the dino needs to be a little taller and shaped a little differently so you can have all three possible head positions as in the original game.

 

In the original game you get the eggs in front of the dino, but you changed it so you get the eggs behind the dino, but you didn't add any challenge for having to walk up to and get behind the dino.  If you can add in all three dino head positions that the original game has, then you can also increase the difficulty by having your dino randomly breath fire in front of him as you get close to the dino or behind him as you reach for the egg.

 

You can increase the difficulty in higher levels so that the dino does not lay any eggs while it is dizzy/unconscious.

 

You can increase the difficulty in higher levels by having two birds flying around and maybe one will have a path that will steal the eggs and one will be on a path (loop down lower) to kill you.

 

Just food for thought :)

 

 

Thanks for the feedback, very observant and the details i needed to help improve gameplay.

 

The 7800 logo i can definitely add the same theme and even have it crack once bottoming out with a shake of the screen. All of this can be done with minimal resources as the colours within pallet are there but just not used at the time.

 

The baby dino egg hatching is something i completely forgot about and would add more challenge to the game. Along with the three point motion of the mother dinosaur.

 

Timing of the egg being laid i can work on and will probably refine that area once adding the baby dino routine and mother dino's additional animation.

 

Thanks for the feedback, very much appreciated and valuable to help improve the gameplay 👍

 

14 hours ago, TIX said:

 

Hey @TwentySixHundred,

 

I really like what you got so far, I grew up with the little lcd games so I have a soft spot for them !

If you want some help with sprite art sent me a PM, I'll be happy to lend you a hand  🙂

 

 

 

 

Thankyou the help would be great as i really struggle beyond very simple spritework. Usually results in hampering the development as i just have little confidence in making decent sprites. I will shoot through a PM within the next few days thankyou again 👍

 

5 hours ago, SlidellMan said:

Hey,

 this looks like it has potential, and what you have isn't bad. However, if you need pixel artists, I know several on PixelJoint and Newgrounds.

Thanks mate, i will take TIX up on the offer for one reaching out and two having the passion for LCD type games (feel that will be the perfect recipe). Thankyou for the offer it's very much appreciated

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@TwentySixHundred

Here are some of my suggestions for the game play to help game play balance a little:

 

- Make it be required that you have to get 9 eggs vs the 6

- Add some sort of RNG to the bird's appearance because currently I can tell is it is on a timer and I can pretty quickly predict when he will be coming out

- Couldn't tell on this one just yet, but the original caveman VFD game you could stand by the eggs back at your cave and protect them from the birds. Seems on yours it requires haven't to take them out else they will steal an egg regardless

- I like the idea of adding one more movement to the mama dino so that there is a bit more to see there visually

- Might limit how many boom-a-rangs you can toss at once as it is very easy currently just spam them at the dino and birds. If you were limited to maybe only 3 that you can toss and then it has to regenerate over some time, that might help

- Change the background and other palette of colors ever so many levels.

 

The other suggestions provided to help make it more like the Caveman game it is based on are all excellent ideas, but don't be afraid to add or change things to make the game your own as well.

 

I did see a graphical bug appear in the upper left where the level indicator shows between rounds. Looked like a square of grey rock title that was there. I will get this onto a flash cart to play on my actual console and record some a bit later to see if I can replicate it there also and show you more what I'm talking about.

 

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4 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

@TwentySixHundred

Here are some of my suggestions for the game play to help game play balance a little:

 

- Make it be required that you have to get 9 eggs vs the 6

- Add some sort of RNG to the bird's appearance because currently I can tell is it is on a timer and I can pretty quickly predict when he will be coming out

- Couldn't tell on this one just yet, but the original caveman VFD game you could stand by the eggs back at your cave and protect them from the birds. Seems on yours it requires haven't to take them out else they will steal an egg regardless

- I like the idea of adding one more movement to the mama dino so that there is a bit more to see there visually

- Might limit how many boom-a-rangs you can toss at once as it is very easy currently just spam them at the dino and birds. If you were limited to maybe only 3 that you can toss and then it has to regenerate over some time, that might help

- Change the background and other palette of colors ever so many levels.

 

The other suggestions provided to help make it more like the Caveman game it is based on are all excellent ideas, but don't be afraid to add or change things to make the game your own as well.

 

I did see a graphical bug appear in the upper left where the level indicator shows between rounds. Looked like a square of grey rock title that was there. I will get this onto a flash cart to play on my actual console and record some a bit later to see if I can replicate it there also and show you more what I'm talking about.

 

Thanks for the feedback CrossBow.

 

I can raise the egg cradle to 9 eggs although i mainly went with 6 for simplicity of sticking within the 16x16 sprite range. I just kind of worked out well that way.

 

RNG is definitly something i need to wrok on, as you're right all AI is timer based. Was setup that way to get things running and i just haven't worked on that area.

 

You can actually protect your eggs from the bird if you're standing right next to the cradle/storage area. That was a feature i added although maybe i could add more of a grace area over having to be hard up against it.

 

I like the limited boomerang idea because that will force the player to be more precise with their shots. Will also force them to protect their stash more often if running out of boomerangs.

 

Thanks for the detailed feedback, very helpfull 👍

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Small update:

  • titlescreen update - 7800basic logo now cracks and colours fit the game
  • boomerang counter - can be refilled when going back to egg cradle
  • graphic bug fix - was appearing when displaying the last life sprite - still not sure why as it just started happening after a couple of builds and used the sprite counter index to plot the sprites.

StoneAge 20231008.a78 StoneAge 20231008.bin

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9 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

Small update:

  • graphic bug fix - was appearing when displaying the last life sprite - still not sure why as it just started happening after a couple of builds and used the sprite counter index to plot the sprites.

 

I was going to report on this as on both emulation and actual hardware, what happens is that starting on the 5th wave, the lives counter regardless of how many you have, seems to get corrupted and show up as a big grey box with some textures in it? 

 

I will fire up this latest version a bit later and check it out. Thanks for the update!

 

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Update, so was working on some changes in regards to randomness framework. Definitly adds more challange with how the player defends their stash, along with replenishing their boomerangs.

  • randomness - effects the bird and dino at this point

StoneAge 20231013.a78 StoneAge 20231013.bin

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Another update i really couldn't wait to share, well could call this build of more an example build of what to come.

 

Huge thanks to TIX for the first delivery of new sprites! I really love the look of the caveman and shows how incredible a decent artist can make a game look.

 

I will just leave this here as more of a preview because i will need to work on code for the new revamp. You will probably notice some bugs due to sprite_height changes. Anyway take a look if you wish

 

  • graphic changes - caveman sprite

StoneAge 20231015.a78 StoneAge 20231015.bin

 

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As there are nice improvements like this, if you could post some screenshots and/or a short gameplay video, it would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Speaking for myself, I'll be traveling quite a bit for business trips for the remainder of the year, so I am not sure when I can give your updates a play test. 

 

I am intrigued with the development of this game :)

 

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2 hours ago, fdr4prez said:

As there are nice improvements like this, if you could post some screenshots and/or a short gameplay video, it would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Speaking for myself, I'll be traveling quite a bit for business trips for the remainder of the year, so I am not sure when I can give your updates a play test. 

 

I am intrigued with the development of this game :)

 

Thanks and no worries i can post short gameplay videos aswell.

 

 

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