On Flap Happy, Kickstarter Success and Recent Events

Oh my gosh, where to begin? Flap Happy had a Kickstarter through February which ran to completion and was crazy exciting to see happen before my eyes with the help of all the backer lovelies, retro game streamers and Mega Cat Studios and it was all a bit overwhelming, I didn’t expect to see it happen, reach it’s goal and surpass it. It’s still kind of crazy now I think about it, amazingly cool though!

The Kickstarter was for not just the NES version of Flap Happy but also, the Gameboy / Gameboy Color version so, it’s a multiple console release, how cool is that? I think it’s pretty cool and both versions are nearing completion now, the NES port has only a couple of things to be added, whilst the Gameboy port needs a little more cooking time, it’s 90% of the way there now, just some oddities to sort out, mainly rejigging some music code and writing up the second ending.

Through February and March a fair amount of coding on the Gameboy port has taken place, with a lot more testing, 1024 levels of testing to be precise, checking each level is beatable, if not, applying a fix to it, then re-trying, it takes up a fair chunk of time and memory!

Memory on the Gameboy port has been something of an issue I’ve had to keep a wary eye on, as I’m targeting a 64kb cart (4 x 16kb banks) programmed in GBDK it’s been about as tight as it’s smaller in filesize NES version (40kb in ASM) Thankfully a smaller screen allows for some workarounds but also left me wanting more in terms of level generation, to the point where the different zones still feel like the NES versions, but, in an effort to make more appropriate for the smaller screen, don’t look identical to them. I’m more happy with how the Gameboy levels have turned out to be honest, although a lot of that could be recency bias.

So, pretty smooth sailing from here, yes? Well, mostly, I lost about a month of development time whilst my development laptop was in for repairs, the data was thankfully all safe and backed-up but Windows had decided it had had enough of running and , whilst there’s no good time for that to happen, this was one of the worst times for it to happen. It’s been a bit of catch-up where I can since then, getting my dev environment set-up properly again, dealing with some of the more pressing stresses in life, the usual gumpf, you know the drill, but Flap Happy…or should that be Flap Happies?! Are closing in on becoming finished now.

What, no image? Nope, not today, sorry ’bout that.

Februrarys NES Game – Coffee Run!

Let’s race through a quick idea for a NES game with Coffee Run!

As part of the many cool things that go on over at http://socoder.net, there’s a monthly challenge called Mind Poke where memebers of the ocmmunity suggest words to generate something based upon them. Sadly I didn’t get anywhere with Januarys one, aside from a few screenshots. This month, I’ve developed a bit more of my toolchain and it’s sped the game development up along the way, pics below.

The idea is you have to travel a certain distance with your player within a time limit, avoiding obstacles and ensuring you deliver the coffee to the customer, who’s away, somewhere, in a car, getting ready to take part in a race, but they need coffee!

You lose coffee after every obstacle you run into and can opt to drink some of it yourself to temporarily go faster, maybe you can get some back along the journey but it should prove to be a nice risk vs reward mechanic.

Next task will be to get the sprites set -up on screen and colouring the background properly, maybe doing something with player input tonight once I get the previous tasks finished.

I’m more positive that I’ll have this game finished by the end of the month after having improved how I code my games inside NESASM3, Also, my order for a bunch of NES cartridge shells and dust covers arrived today, so I have enough parts to create 30 cartridges, just not the boxes yet. Either way It’s another piece of the Refresh Games puzzle completed 😀

Secret Hidden Mini Game Complete!

It came out at 2,789bytes in the end after adding the title screen and removing a few bugs, adding the remaining SFX, etc, etc. I let my son loose on it and he seemed determined to beat his previous high score on it for a fair few minutes before eventually wanting to show me what he’d been making in minecraft which is a good sign 🙂

Coding up this mini game took a lot longer than I thought it would which isn’t great for my hopes to get a lot of games ready this year, which is a okay, I may just have to scale back my ambitions somewhat, we shall see I guess.

Cartridge Boards in both NROM and CN-ROM Formats, shiny!

I received my cartridge boards I ordered from second-dimension.com earlier in the week which I’m excited to have with me over here, hopefully that’ll give that extra push to get these games done in time and got some really cool tunes from Jayenkai for me to plug into my sound engine which is next on my list of things to do, so, without further delay, I need to port things over!