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RGC : The Quest for the Big Loot - my entry for the AC2024 speed coding


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As some of you are aware, each year the french RGC association organise a few conventions. Las WE, it was the AC (formerly known as Jaguar Connexion and for a very brief moment Atari Connexion, now it is just AC where the A means what you want to read : Atari, Amstrad, Amiga, Alternative, Avocado, ...)

And each year since 2009, during the AC, there is a speed coding contest, open for every retro coder. The goal is to make a game in 24 hours, on an old console, with a given theme, and a given constraint.


This year the theme was in relation with the 20th birthday of the RGC association, and we had to make a Party Game, the constraint was quite obvious : including at least one member of the RGC team inside the game. The speed coding last a bit more that 24 hours (minus the time for eating, sleeping, discussing with nice people and other useless activities).


I chosed to code for the Jaguar, with the awesome JagStudio.


To be compliant with the theme, it is a 8 players game (after all, the more we are at a party game, the best it could be), with some mini games inspired by board and card party games. So it requires 2 Team Tap (fortunately I have them) and 8 jagpads (fortunately, @Zerosquare and @RadiATIon lent me 4 of them for the public demo).

The theme is to collect the biggest amount of video game cartridges (= points), and all games are retrogaming related.


Sorry for the bad picture quality, they are taken from my old CRT TV.



To be compliant with the constraint, I chosed to make a tricky selection menu (which was probably a good idea only on paper, as it took me lots of time to implement). There are 20 physical cards, where each one represent a RGC staff member, of a usual speed coder. Each card has the pseudo, a number to enter with the num pad, and should have a special power to activate in the game. But I did not have time to implement the special power part (hence the bad idea), so it is just drawinf a physical card, and entering the code to associate Jagpad with the avatar.

I will give during the post the kind of super power that were expected.



Of course, there is a leaderboard screen.



I expected to code 2 or 3 mini games, I finally have 3.9 of them (the 4th one is just missing the end condition and points display), which is not too bad in 24 hours.


So, here are the games, with a 2 players game (which is not a good idea, being 3 is probably the minimum as with 2 players, games 1, 3 a 4 will give same amount of points to each player):


1/ The compatibility test

The games displays 9 randomly selected retro consoles, and a theme. Each player must chose the 3 consoles that in his opinion fits the theme the better.

Right now, themes are in french, the one is the exemple is "Forgotten ?" Each time 2 players at least have chosen the same console, they get points. Of course, the more players chose 1 console, the more they will get points. In the exemple, Odie and Icemen both think the PCFX is a forgotten console, so they get 20 points.


(note the nice 70's tablecloth :D )



2/ The Congis sur Thérouane Flea Market

The whole team is going to a flea market, and they visits stands one after the other.

There are 2 types of stands: ones that have cartridges, and threats.

The threats represnet events that occured to the RGC during during these 20 years : Atari Advocate (they got a kind of C&D letter to not use the word Atari inside the name Atari Connexion), the diseases (SARS, Covid) that led to cancel some conventions, and the city hall letters, because from time to time, relations with city can be hard (the date of a convention had to be postponed, ...).

After each stand, the players chose to leave (they secure their loot but will get nothing more) or continue. Players who chose to lease also share the leftovers cartridges.

So, if the stand is full of cartridges, they are shared between remaing players, and the rest is put aside-in this exemple, there were 5 cartridges, so 2 for each player and 1 put aside):


The game continue until all players have left, of 3 threats of the same kind are encountered. Players that are still active lose their loot...

In this example, Odie is leaving (and will get his 10 cartridges + 2 leftovers) whil Icemen is brave and decide to continue, even if 2 letters from the City have been encountered. If a third one occur, he will lose everything.

(special power power could be to be immunised to the 3rd threat of a kind, but still vulnerable to the 4th one)



3/ We are all friends, let's make gift distribution

One again, 9 random consoles are displayed, and each player must chose the one he would like to receive as a gift, and the one he really don't want to receive.



Then every player will secretly offer 1 console (and can offer a given console only once) to every other player.


And gifts are revealed, if someone has offer to another player his preferred console, both will get 10 points, if he offered the unwanted one, they get -10 points (one speaical power would be for a compulsive collector that get 5 points even if people offer hime the unwanted one).

Here, Odie has offered Iceman a Jaguar which is obviously the gift of choice for every tasteful collector, they both get 10 points.



As the 4th game is not completed, here is the "final" leaderboard. AS Iceman lost everything in the flea market game, Odie won(as said before, they can only get same amount of points in games 1 & 3)


4/ The pixel drawing game

One player is randomly selected as the designer, he chose a keyword between 9 displayed on screen and must represent it on a 8x8 pixels grid, and 4 colors (white, default background, Red for C button, Blue for B button and Black for A button)

Other player have only 1 try to find good answer.


What do you think Icemen tried to draw in these examples ?







So, what's the status of the game, it is barely playable as we manage to make a 8 players games during the convention.

There are some flaws and enhancement to do before an eventual release (from the most important to the less urgent):

- 4th game needs to be completed,

- timer pause between actions are probably too long, especially in the gift reveal phase,

- the character selection screen is not appropriate and need to be reworked,

- rework assets definition (to save time, everything is in 16 bits which is a pity for memory but a big time save)

- interface in mini games can be greatly enhanced,

- adding sort in the Leaderboard,

- adding option to freely play only 1 mini game,

- adding kind of hub (think of the boardgame part in Mario Party)

- probably change all assets as right now, if features Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft, Atari, ... consoles, games & characters. Not sure this is a good thing. Also, it is very RGC team related so not everyone could understand relation between name and avatar.



This is far more job than the initial 24h run.



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Awesome stuff as always! So glad to hear that the Speed Coding compo is still going and that you guys are still there living it large!  Loves my visits to the AC events of past.  Stay awesome guys, nice looking game, super impressive for 24 hours too.

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