Making an Atari game – Day 29

  • Changed the Dragon’s Lair a bit. It’s now a different shape and helps it stand out a bit more from all the other rooms
  • Added Torches to the two rooms just before the Dragon. Gives the player a sense that something big is coming up
  • Added sound effects for when the monsters shoot at the player
  • Made a few adjustments on the overall difficulty. I’ve been playing this for so long it is hard to tell if it’s too easy or too hard for the average player. Only way I’m going to find that out is by watching people play it, or through feedback online. I may have to release a beta soon, I hope you will help me with that 🙂

A funny story.. So with just enough free graphic space to create a single frame 8×8 sprite, I thought to myself… What should I do with this? Since I was working on placing torches in the room leading to the endboss, I thought “I know! I’ll make a door mat! In Zelda there is often a symbol on the floor right in front of the door to the endboss. Wouldn’t that be cool if this game had one as well?”

A fireball
The fireball I went with

So I did just that. And yes I liked it but really, it didn’t add that much to the game play, so I thought, what if I used it to make another enemy instead? I have more than enough space now since I freed up 600 bytes. So I removed the door mat and created a fire ball. I created probably 4 or 5 different graphics of fireballs before I settled on the one that I liked the most.  I made the fireball appear in some of the later levels and just had it move back and forth, bouncing between the two walls in the room, but also moving faster than any of the other enemies in the room.

This was way better than a door mat lol. This actually added a little variety and something new to the gameplay. I found this story quite funny. I was telling my friend Paul at work about creating a door mat first then replacing it with a fireball, and how stupid it would have been to go with the floor mat when something clicked…

Something dangerous lies in the next room
Something dangerous lies in the next room

The beginning of each floor has a cross symbol to let the player know he is back at the beginning.. What if I took that same cross symbol, stretched it out in code, and used it as the doormat as well. As long as it looked good stretched and wasn’t seen as confusing to the player. So I tried it, and yeah, it looked pretty good. So I managed to have both the fireball and the floor mat without sacrificing anything for cosmetics. 🙂