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Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:20 pm
by davidb
I thought I'd post this here instead of the Retro Software forum since there seems to be an abundance of willing players right now. :D

I've just uploaded the second and (hopefully) final pre-release version of Castle Raider. I've pretty much finished development and, apart from one or two cosmetic improvements, don't plan doing anything substantial except fix bugs from now on.

Anyway, feedback from both Electron and Beeb users is welcome. The archive available from the diary page contains cassette and DFS disk versions of the game. I'll sort out an ADFS version for the final release on the Electron, but don't plan on making a ROM cartridge or anything like that.

I should mention the controls! Z - left, X - right, Return - jump, / - enter doorway. Maybe I should put those on the title screen as well.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:10 pm
by oss003
Hi David,

the game looks very good with nice scrolling .... Great job =D> =D> =D>

How do I open the gate, pressing / doesn't seem to work in Elkulator nor Beebem?????

Greetings
Kees

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:27 pm
by davidb
I think I should probably explain a bit. The gates/doors you enter are those you find in doorways, like the one where the character is standing in the attached screenshot. I should have made it a bit clearer, but I was planning to write something in the instructions.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:01 pm
by DutchAcorn
Excellent game! =D> Had a lot of fun already.

Now where's the infinite lives cheat so I can clear the level with all those horrible small platforms! :evil: :lol:

Paul

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:54 pm
by jms2
Brilliant David! =D>

The BBC and Electron versions seem almost identical, very impressive.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:11 pm
by davidb
I had to slow down the BBC version. I imagine you could do some incredibly fast scrolling using this technique on the Beeb. I haven't heard any complaints about vertical judder yet, so perhaps those problems went away when I introduced more vsyncs to slow the game down. :?

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:25 pm
by JoolsH
Nice going :)

I got the yellow key, and found my way to the incredibly frustrating bat-cave where I proceeded to lose all my lives #-o

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:36 pm
by jms2
Me too. I found that Cave a bit too hard, to be honest.

Also (you did say you were looking for comments!) could the doorways be more obvious in some way?

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:48 pm
by davidb
The bat cave is supposed to be hard! :lol: Well, I could make it a bit more forgiving, I suppose, like making it harder to accidentally fall off the level if you miss a jump. I already did that in a few places, though it could use a few more safety nets.

I'll try to think of a nice way to make the doorways more obvious.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:09 pm
by chrisn
This looks great, well done! =D> I got past the bat cave, but the next room is just as hard. I'll have to keep practising... :D

Chris

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:31 am
by KarateEd
Hi David,

Very nice game.... I think it's got what it takes to be popular and wanna try again and again....

Ed......:-)

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:00 pm
by davidb
Thanks for the feedback so far! :) It's good to know that some people find it infuriatingly difficult and addictive. I'll try to find some time to tweak it a bit more, but I'll probably start writing instructions for it soon and getting it ready for a "final" release.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:24 pm
by jbnbeeb
davidb wrote:Thanks for the feedback so far! :) It's good to know that some people find it infuriatingly difficult and addictive. I'll try to find some time to tweak it a bit more, but I'll probably start writing instructions for it soon and getting it ready for a "final" release.



Just loaded your latest version. Looks great and nice scrolling; I remember the judder of the banner at the top from around Wakefield show - April .. that has gone .. The jump of the character feels nicer too.. it was a bit quick in earlier versions. I also agree with others, the "doors" need to be more obvious.. are you showing that as a change in colour in the second screen after entering the first door?

Gameplay wise.. It's a bit too hard for me, but then I'm not a strong games player. It is probably on a par with games from bitd difficulty wise.

I love the look and feel though. Would it be possible to introduce an easy/medium/hard difficulty sitting?

Overall, a good game.. and one that shows you also have great technical creativity in doing a software scroll that runs brilliantly on the Elk.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:41 pm
by davidb
jbnbeeb wrote:Just loaded your latest version. Looks great and nice scrolling; I remember the judder of the banner at the top from around Wakefield show - April .. that has gone .. The jump of the character feels nicer too.. it was a bit quick in earlier versions. I also agree with others, the "doors" need to be more obvious.. are you showing that as a change in colour in the second screen after entering the first door?

It's good to know the judder has gone. I'll have to try the game on a real Electron again at some point. When I do that, I'll probably make a video of it and upload it to YouTube.

When you say the doors need to be more obvious, do you mean that the appearance of the archways need to be more obvious, or that it needs to be clearer when you are standing in front of one that you can enter?

jbnbeeb wrote:Gameplay wise.. It's a bit too hard for me, but then I'm not a strong games player. It is probably on a par with games from bitd difficulty wise.

I love the look and feel though. Would it be possible to introduce an easy/medium/hard difficulty sitting?

Overall, a good game.. and one that shows you also have great technical creativity in doing a software scroll that runs brilliantly on the Elk.

Thanks! :D

I don't know how I would introduce a difficulty setting at this stage. I could slow the monsters down for an easy setting, perhaps?

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:42 pm
by jbnbeeb
I don't know how I would introduce a difficulty setting at this stage. I could slow the monsters down for an easy setting, perhaps?




It's a nice idea - it would certainly help me :) -- it's a matter of whether that would compromise your design goals of the game though. I can see others on here that would relish the difficulty - esp for a high score competition. Sorry, I'm being a bit contrary.. just felt a pang of guilt that I wouldn't want to have you change the dynamic of your game just for me !


When you say the doors need to be more obvious, do you mean that the appearance of the archways need to be more obvious, or that it needs to be clearer when you are standing in front of one that you can enter?

Either IMHO.. OR as you implied, you could illustrate in instructions if the archways look same across the game. I just noticed that until i saw your screenshot, I couldn't work out how to progress from first screen :)

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:23 pm
by davidb
jbnbeeb wrote:
I don't know how I would introduce a difficulty setting at this stage. I could slow the monsters down for an easy setting, perhaps?

It's a nice idea - it would certainly help me :) -- it's a matter of whether that would compromise your design goals of the game though. I can see others on here that would relish the difficulty - esp for a high score competition. Sorry, I'm being a bit contrary.. just felt a pang of guilt that I wouldn't want to have you change the dynamic of your game just for me !

In theory, it should be possible to slow the monsters down, but it would require a bit of thought given the memory constraints I'm now operating under. The game doesn't really have any design goals, so I wouldn't worry about that. :D At some point I'll write a summary of what I was trying to achieve with the game, what succeeded and what failed, and add it to the diary.

jbnbeeb wrote:
When you say the doors need to be more obvious, do you mean that the appearance of the archways need to be more obvious, or that it needs to be clearer when you are standing in front of one that you can enter?

Either IMHO.. OR as you implied, you could illustrate in instructions if the archways look same across the game. I just noticed that until i saw your screenshot, I couldn't work out how to progress from first screen :)

I previously thought about making the scenery around doorways more distinctive, and perhaps popping up a message when you can enter, but I'm not sure about either. I think it would be useful to make the first two doorways more distinctive, but after that the player should be able to spot doorways quite easily. At least, I hope so. :)

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:16 pm
by tricky
Maybe you could add a "door mat" or at least have a different colour/pattern in front of the door or even display a key next to the door.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:32 pm
by davidb
tricky wrote:Maybe you could add a "door mat" or at least have a different colour/pattern in front of the door or even display a key next to the door.

I thought about the door mat idea and adjusted the first doorway to make it more distinctive. Or are you talking about the regular doors that you can see in the middle right of the attached screenshot?

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:09 pm
by tricky
I meant the one you have added, it does help but would it be possible to draw the yellow door as part of the wall?

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:35 pm
by davidb
I guess I could draw something extra there, but why yellow? :?

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:57 pm
by KarateEd
To be honest I think it can be any colour and should be the colour of the author's choosing. Probably yellow is too bright.....but I like this game.....I'm not the brightest brick in the house but I was able to see what was a door and what wasn't.....

Good game....

Ed......:-)

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:24 pm
by davidb
Thanks, Ed! :)

I do worry a bit that it won't be obvious enough for everyone to see what they have to do - different people expect different things, so the doorways might look like decoration to some - so it seems that you think like me. Not sure if that's a good thing! ;)

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:10 am
by tricky
As I was one who didn't get through the door as I didn't recognize it as one even thought the design of the level made it pretty obvious that there should have been something at the r end of that bit. I haven't been able to try it again, so thought that all doors were yellow (like the thing you start next to). I thought that if the wall started with a different color, that it might be more obvious.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 2:51 pm
by davidb
OK, I think I understand a bit better now. I'll try to make another pre-release later today or tomorrow. :)

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:42 pm
by tricky
Having gone back, I can now see the doors ;) and apart from being out of practice with pixel perfect jumps and no aftertouch, both of which you have correct, I am enjoying it and have no problem "seeing" the doors. On reflection, it doesn't need anything more than a note in the manual, or a picture on the help/intro/controls screen.
Thanks for another great game.

Re: Castle Raider pre-release

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:50 pm
by davidb
Thanks, tricky! :)

I'll probably put a picture in the loader on the page with the keyboard controls. It'll be in the next upload.