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Work in Progress / Goblin Dreams - Early 90s style platformer

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jhanson
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Joined: 19th Jun 2017
Location: USA
Posted: 14th Aug 2017 13:09
I'm new to AppGameKit, so I decided to make a Commander Keen inspired platformer using the wonderful EGA palette (all 16 colors!). In this game you play as Peelu, the goblin dream warrior. You must collect the two lost dream crystals to escape each level. The levels can scroll in all directions, though not all do (like the one in the screenshot - it's a tower so it only scrolls up and down).

You gain points by collecting coins and orbs, as well as by zapping enemies with your trusty wand. The catch is that each zap costs you a few points, and you lose a point every second, so use your wand wisely and don't dawdle too much. If you reach zero points, that's okay - you just can't zap again until you find a way to get some points. If you die, you start at the beginning of the current level with zero points.

Anyway, it's getting close to finished but still a work in progress. The core game is done and I have a handful of fully working levels and enemies. My target platform is HTML5, and it will be released as a freebie on itch.io.

Richard_6
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Posted: 15th Aug 2017 02:58
Looks fun and cool, jhanson! Looking forward to see it!!!
jhanson
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Joined: 19th Jun 2017
Location: USA
Posted: 15th Aug 2017 21:23
Thank you for the kind words. I'm having fun working on it, though I'm looking forward to wrapping it up so I can get on to my next one.

I'm building a set of haunted house themed levels at the moment. My intention is that each block of 4-6 levels will have a different theme, representing the different dreams he's traversing. The one in the screenshot is from the castles and caves series. In addition to the already built castles & caves and the WIP haunted house set, I'm planning on a set of futuristic & factory levels and one other set. I'm undecided on the last set. I'm leaning toward either something pseudo historical, like ancient Egyptian or Mayan, or something completely off-the-wall like food-based levels. Food sounds sillier so I will probably go that way. If it makes my kid laugh, it makes it into the game.

The enemies basically stay the same, but are modified to match the level theme. In the standard castles and caves, the enemies are the little purple ant guy you see there, a blob guy, a ghost, and a goofy (but dangerous) carnivorous boot. For example, the haunted house levels will have a little scarier version of the ghost, plus comically horror-fied versions of the others (zombie/Frankenstein boot, vampire ant, mummy blob). The futuristic one might have them turned into robots and/or aliens (evil Terminator boot, for instance). You'll still be able to tell by looking at them what their base version is, that way you know how to handle them.
Ortu
DBPro Master
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Joined: 21st Nov 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posted: 15th Aug 2017 22:28
Looks good, but I feel like the grey brick background is too flat/solid color and doesn't match with the depth given to the red and yellow blocks. This gives that section in particular more of an 'mspaint' feel than classic EGA feel.

Keep going
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
jhanson
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Joined: 19th Jun 2017
Location: USA
Posted: 15th Aug 2017 23:50
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I'm not entirely happy with the backgrounds either. I'm having a hard time striking a balance between detailed enough and too distracting. I have this version that adds a little more depth.

Supertino
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Location: Behind you!
Posted: 17th Aug 2017 11:04 Edited at: 17th Aug 2017 11:04
jhanson
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Joined: 19th Jun 2017
Location: USA
Posted: 17th Aug 2017 13:07
Yes, I am using the default EGA color palette, including CGA's special brown. If I need another shade, I use dithering like on some of the blocks in the first screenshot.
Chris Tate
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Joined: 29th Aug 2008
Location: London, England
Posted: 22nd Aug 2017 12:48
Looks fantastic. Reminds me of the old school Mario games.

I agree with the comments about the background. Complimentary colors and darker tones should do the trick.
jhanson
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Location: USA
Posted: 22nd Aug 2017 17:14
Thanks. Yeah, there's a lot of Mario and the like in this one. It plays closest to the first Commander Keen or the Dangerous Dave sequels if you've ever played those.

I have 7 or 8 levels completed now, including a fun haunted house with portraits on the wall that move, peeling wallpaper, cheesy lightning effects outside the windows, etc. I should end up with around 18-20 levels.

I still don't love the background on the tower/castle levels, but I'm not sure what to do about it. You can see every shade of gray I have to play with in the screenshots, so I can't go darker without going completely black. I think making the background bricks smaller will help. If not, I'll consider moving to a gradient of sorts (or even just flat gray). Commander Keen had a lot of flat color backgrounds, as did the Mario games, so it wouldn't look out of place if I had to go that route. Anyway, I'm not getting hung up on it. I'm working on new levels until I have a full set, then I'll go back and worry about the background images on those couple of levels.

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