Working Title "Babysitter"

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westcoastvagabond
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Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by westcoastvagabond » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:41 am

Well, I guess I've done enough watching tutorials, and it's time to get to work! I'm planning to use the Adventure module, and creating something of a survival horror game. My original, pre-NESMaker idea was for each "round" or playthrough to have a semirandomly generated house with a child to watch over while you barricade and defend the house against a randomly selected monster (zombies, masked slasher, etc). Considering the limits of the NESMaker tool, though, I already know this will need to be different.

So, a fixed map it is. Hoping I can get it nice and sandbox-y, but we'll see. Right now, I'm thinking you start in the bedroom that the kid you're watching has just vanished from, and you need to try to find and rescue them. Explore the neighborhood and the town, solve puzzles, fight monsters, win!

I also recently rewatched David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive," and would like to try working in some of that reality-questioning surrealism, and I'm largely picturing an atmospheric and less melodic, almost "Eraserhead" kind of music to accompany it. More triangle wave and noise than square, I'd imagine?

Of course, I'll still need to start at the beginning. Hopefully, I'll be able to make weekly updates to keep myself working. Definitely won't be done in time for Halloween 2019, but maybe I can at least have a really rough demo by then? Time will tell.

...hope I'm not moving in on anyone else's idea.
Death is no barrier to science! :idea:
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dale_coop
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by dale_coop » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:10 pm

Oh wow, I love David Lynch world... so, I can't to see what you will create <3
-----
Sorry about my poor english
All I need: A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee
My games: PRESS START GAME / UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE / UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE (Arcade version - Byte-Off-2019)
My son's game: KUBO 3
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red moon
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by red moon » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Very cool! I love the idea and cannot wait to see what you come up with. Especially when you combine the visual with the sounds, very exciting!
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westcoastvagabond
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by westcoastvagabond » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:50 am

Well, WedNESday seems like a grand time for a weekly update.

Nothing to show right now; most of the work was on paper or in my head (or hitting my head on the wall). I wanted 16x24 for my character sprite, which was fine on its own but didn't fit in a world of 16x16 tiles as well as I'd hoped. It was requiring 32x16 and 16x32 for door frames, and over half my background was spent on really basic stuff.

But I wasn't able to get my character looking good in 16x16, ended up with 8x16 right now, which is making furniture and backgrounds look terribly out of scale, and rooms downright cavernous. Which means, from a design standpoint, with one room per screen (and one screen per room), my bathroom is the size of a two-car garage. So, I know I'll need to work to incorporate warp tiles, since I won't always have a screen edge to walk up to and cross once I make the rooms more "to scale."

My final problem was, especially when I had a 16x24 sprite, deciding to make the furniture you interact with a NPC (which would save me from worrying about recreating the floor/carpet/etc beneath the bed/whatever) or a background element with an invisible NPC. I still haven't solved that, yet, but I'm leaning towards invisible NPC over background elements, now that giving up 24-pixel height saved me so much background space.

So, maybe some screenshots for next week? Not that I'm proud of my graphics (though my player character would RULE the scene on Intellivision, lol).

PS - not in love with the default text box handling, either, but that is way down the list.
Death is no barrier to science! :idea:
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red moon
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by red moon » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:01 pm

hmm, I would consider viewing looking at the rooms as quadrants of a building and subdividing the space to get better proportion to support the intent of the room.
And limiting some furniture to be interacts is a interesting way of going about it, although the game object count per screen is something to consider when planning what is in each room. A large sprite 16x32 would also help tighten the visual aspects of the levels and increase the furniture sizes which would benefit the small areas like bathrooms and such.
It will be easier to understand once you share a screentest. Good luck, it sounds really cool so far!
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westcoastvagabond
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by westcoastvagabond » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:25 pm

Well, I missed WedNESday for my update, but I have been working this week.

I had a graphical breakthrough! While playing some "Final Fantasy" on my NES, I realized the White Mage overworld sprite looked like it may be 16x18, and I realized that just because I have to use 3 "tiles" doesn't mean I have to *fill* them all the way. I aimed for a 14x18 character, and got close; I still wouldn't call myself a talented pixel artist, but she fits through a 16x16 doorway and has a little breathe-blink idle cycle so I'm happy.
game-0.png
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Other than making a larger character sprite, I made the rooms feel less ridiculously large by just dedicating the bottom portion of the screen, about equal to the HUD up top, to be the text space. It effectively "letterboxes" the play area, and left me with less room to fill to make the settings feel more realistic and properly scaled. (Now I just need to work on my perspective, haha)
game-2.png
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I'm having some trouble, though, with the priority layers for the sprites. I made an "invisible" NPC to overlay the cabinets in the photo above, for the player to interact with in order to receive their first weapon, the knife. From the way I'm getting it, your Player hitbox needs to overlap with the NPC hitbox in order for them to interact. I tried making an invisible NPC the exact size of the cabinets, and it was impossible to trigger, so I had to make the NPC really large. Now, when you walk through the overlapping parts of the NPC, the Babysitter sprite falls to the bottom and disappears under the floor tiles.
nesmaker-0.png
nesmaker-0.png (11.3 KiB) Viewed 2841 times
I've also added my first monsters, some little 8x8 cockroach types that skitter in random directions. I'm pretty happy with them not only because their animation consists of a single frame, flipped back and forth (like the Goombas from SMB1!) but also because they tend to hug the walls and occasionally shoot out at random, but I didn't really tell them to do that - it was an emergent behavior. I just made them fast, move in random 4 or 8 directions, and turn when they hit the wall - the reasonably authentic roach-like behavior just happened, man. :-)
game-4.png
game-4.png (3.87 KiB) Viewed 2841 times
Anyway, things are happening, I've got problems cropping up - my melee attack is not set up right, I believe the script is calling a different Game Object than I have set up, but I can't find which one... Anyway, right now I still want to focus on creating and organizing the assets. I still don't have a full Suburban home, quite yet. The doors, I've been tinkering with having one for each of the four directions, or just having one general upright door and stick it in the walls, direction be damned, you know what a door is. /shrug

But progress is being made and I am happy so far.
Death is no barrier to science! :idea:
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dale_coop
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by dale_coop » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:40 pm

Oh, nice. Thanks for sharing your progress. Great start! I like your character <3
-----
Sorry about my poor english
All I need: A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee
My games: PRESS START GAME / UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE / UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE (Arcade version - Byte-Off-2019)
My son's game: KUBO 3
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red moon
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by red moon » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:35 pm

This is great to see your progress, cant wait to see a video of everything in action! I like the babysitter sprite as well and the cockroaches are a nice touch!
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westcoastvagabond
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by westcoastvagabond » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:10 am



I have a brief video update; my lacking Famitracker skills and I don't mind at all if you watch on mute, lol. You can still appreciate the idle cycle in silence.

Mostly this week I created new monsters, and managed to figure out why my Babysitter was "disappearing" in the kitchen - the "invisible NPCs" for the counters took up the 8 sprites per scanline. Turns out, even purely-transparent sprites count against the limit. Which seems obvious in retrospect, I guess. But it basically settled for me how I handle interaction with furniture-NPCs. The best approach, so far, seems to be placing a *visible* version of the appliance over a non-walkable *background* copy of the sprite. At least, it fixed my kitchen.

I also created a simple title screen, and did a little playing around with Famitracker. I only have one sound effect, which I intend to use for when the player is injured. And the couple bars of nonstop looping is a work in progress, based upon the Dies Irae (because it was the first, simplest example of "spooky music" in the public domain I could think of).

Next, I really need to get the weapon working, and I have learned that that is going to be a whole thing about which I will need to reconsider my entire approach. But first, I just need to figure out how the heck to do it, since it's different from the 4.1.0 3-hour Adventure Tutorial.

Productivity may lag in November, as I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo. Then again, maybe it'll put me in The Zone, and the projects will feed each other...

EDIT: PS - My player death may be just a little bit indulgent... :p
Death is no barrier to science! :idea:
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red moon
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Re: Working Title "Babysitter"

Post by red moon » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:36 pm

Nice great to see a video of how this is coming along! i personally thought the tombstone after death was quite entertaining. Looks like it will be pretty fun and getting the memorization down of the house layout when there is trouble will be part of the experience. if you have not checked out Lucius Demake it is really well done and may be good source material for you!
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