You can download it here

Screenshot of title screen and gameplay. If it's not animating, it's because imgur wants you to view it on their site

I wanted to rewrite another game for the CE and this time I thought of that really fun game that I played in high school as often as I could get away with. That's pretty much it, except it took much longer than expected to finish what was supposed to be something pretty simple.

The starting idea was to roll a ball along a path which scrolls downward, so I wrote code to generate then animate the path. I'd originally wanted to draw pairs of triangles for each "square" so I could transform those edges later on when I added the 3D perspective. The result was freakishly slow, so I instead wrote an assembler routine to try to draw what is basically a trapezoid (given that's basically what each tile is when rotated along the Z-axis). I was unable to get it to work right, so I went with coding a larger assembly routine to draw the entire board at once. I still hadn't worked out what needed to be done to make perspectives work but I had enough to draw something.

The path

I now needed to make a ball that looked like the rolling thing from the original game. Except, my "artistic skills" was woefully lacking in that department, so I took a detour to my fun Python setup to see if I could render frames for a rolling ball sprite that way. Turns out, I knew too little about 3D... anything... so I had to break out some textbooks and stare at wikipedia for days until I figured out something that would let me rotate a sphere in exactly the way I wanted it to.

Haha no.

What is this i dont even

what the flying...

Finally, something usable

With a bit of little cleanup and magic...

Perspective. This is what caused me nearly endless grief. The lookup table generator was at the beginning slower than the process it took to compile the program. The assembler routine responsible for drawing the board needed to be rewritten several times. I also started using Git to version the project since I didn't want to mess up and having to scrap everything (yet again).

Behold, a failure

That doesn't look right

Starting to look reasonable

A few more tweaks to the assembler routine made the path solid. Wrote another assembler routine to fill in the background faster, with a custom palette to give it that gradient. Changed how jumping worked to give it a nonlinear arc and to increase the size of the ball as it moves upwards to simulate additional perspective.

It's almost there

From there, I added:
* Explosion animation on quitting
* Falling animation if you miss the path
* Help
* High score retention

I'd also reduced the frame count of the explosion and reduced the color depth of the title graphic because 20KB for a game this simple just isn't acceptable. I also modified the perspective a bit more to give it a more faraway look, tweaked speeds a bit once geekboy1011 (final tester) mentioned about how ridiculous it was on hardware, and made the random path generator less cruel about unfair gaps.

Would an extra 4KB have been worth keeping the high quality title graphic?

And here we are at release 0.1. Check the project out on GitHub
Looks fantastic and I love seeing the history of it's dev - It looks like you learned a few things along the way too!
Looks awesome! Keep up the good work!
tr1p1ea wrote:
Looks fantastic and I love seeing the history of it's dev - It looks like you learned a few things along the way too!

I also enjoyed looking through that part :3

I would do that in my development thread, but none of my failures are spectacular or exciting, they are all dumb and small
Looks great, I liked seeing the process! I feel like there was a coolmathgame like this at some point but I could be wrong. Are you planning on adding any other features? Like extra life power ups or temporary speed slowing?
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