Delve deep into the Carpathian Count's castle and destroy its evil once and for all! But beware! Bats, zombies, witches, skeletons and more plague his castle's many chambers. Clear out these ghouls and douse all the torches to advance. Then it's time say lights out to the Undead Count himself!
Hi all. I'm a graphic designer in my 50s and this is my first complete game (be gentle, heh). I was inspired by the LazyDevs Shmup tutorial and wanted to make something that felt a little arcade-y but which was a platformer as well. Most of the code came from following the Shmup tutorial code and solutions, coupled with some tips on creating a platformer from Nerdy Teachers. Honestly, I don't know how to categorize this game. Clearly it draws inspiration from Castlevania, but is a single screen wave/level/chamber at a time rather than side-scrolling.
I had a lot of fun creating this. The palette changes required a LOT of planning but it all worked out, and creating the sprites for it all was very satisfying. There are countless things I probably can do better on, code-wise, but I'm happy just to have completed it under the token limit, heh.
Have fun playing and see if you can defeat the Count!
- Collision improved (but some diagonal movement sacrificed)
- Added a pause at the start of a level and negated prior movement
- Corrected a boundary break issue at the top of screen
- Dagger throw animation improvements
- No floating skeletons (minor enemy placement/movement fixes)
- Map soft lock pit area fixed
- 9-minutes-in total-game-lock problem fixed
- Added a very brief wait timer so enemies don't fire immediately upon waking at the start of a chamber
- The Count health boosted and phase three slightly nerfed.
- Improved title screen, exteriors, logo, label - thanks to Heracleum's one_off_gfx tool.
Love the look and feel of the game. Very smooth action.
A few glitches I've noticed.
If you run fast across gaps you can defy gravity and keep walking without dropping down. Go slow, and you fall. Not sure if this is intentional, but thought I'd mention it.
Also, some floor blocks prevent you from jumping, which I assume is correct, where other allow you to jump right through them. Possibly a problem with sprite flags?
I could also only kill the bad guys on the first screen, then no other enemies would come. Is that the end at the moment?
Overall though, REALLY great sprites and background graphics - very impressed with those!
The shooting daggers remind me very much of one of the weapons on "Beyond the Ice Palace" on the Atari ST, back in the day :-)
Would love to see this progress to a full game.
Keep up the excellent work!
Forgot some of my last post. Just re-read the instructions and also killed the torches and can now progress. My bad!
Brilliant! Love the colour palettes - the levels look very good, and the sprites get better and better!
Right - I'm off to play some more now I know that there are more levels!
Love this type of game :-)
Thanks for the kind words, guys! (or er gals… squids, possibly?) It still has some rough edges. The flag statement is preventing the jump through for the foreground columns, so in areas where one is trying to jump up underneath them one will bonk against that. The run-over two-block gaps in certain areas can be advantageous at times and frustrating in others. Maybe some changes needed to my map collision to fix that. I wanted to do more to polish it but ran out of tokens. I’ll keep looking for ways to gain room to adjust it more.
Feels very nice, great sprites, haven't heard music if there is any? I like it and you've managed to nail the arcade look. Maybe in between levels, once it's loading, a pause so you can get a feel and also not just run into an enemy. And also not being able to be inside the jump-up-through blocks. But great game!
The music is generally low and quiet for most of the game- sort of dark and moody. If the volume was down it might be missed, even. I am by no means musically inclined (though I drum a mean steering wheel) so I wanted to mostly minimize its presence during the first 8 levels since I did that bit myself. The menu and congratulations end music are actually a single piece by the lovely and talented Gruber with a small modification to the latter. Level 9 ramps up the tension a little with a Low, slow snippet of the Bach piece used in the boss fight music (and the Count announcement music), Tocatta and Fugue in D minor. Or, as I had to search online for it, “Classic Haunted House Music.” Good feedback on the loading thing. I should be cancelling out button presses between levels to keep one stationary at the beginning. Thank you for trying it out! ^_^
Leaving you here some bugs I spotted. The game is looking good so far!
- daggers won't collide with enemies while crouching
- skeletons on chamber 6, the one on the left files and walks on thin air
- Collisions work funny... you can jump up through solid rock but you cannot jump diagonally on top of it because it collides fully on H direction
- daggers also fly through solid objects, but that could be intentional
Whoops, it seems my “fix” to crouching broke some collision. Once I have enough tokens I think I can repair that with two slightly similar, but separate functions. But for now I will remove the new crouching adjustment. Flying skelies are fixed, heh. I seem to get either the original collision problems with diagonal movement or no diagonal movement (or very little) with the collision problem (hopefully?) fixed, so, for now, I’m opting for the latter. Daggers are intentional, though I agree that it seems odd that one cannot walk past an area but can shoot past it. Maybe your character leans around it or something? But enemies can too so it’s balanced by that. Magic phasing daggers. A wizard did it. nodnod I appreciate the feedback.
While all of this looks gorgeous, the boss fight with the mummies stands out especially. Plenty of games in the era of 256-color MCGA didn't look this good. The controls felt nice and smooth too. Gold star.
I won the game on my first attempt, mostly through overuse of invincibility following damage. I just charged around levels trying to fill every corner with swords as quickly as possible. Against the final boss, I just sat there spamming swords and he ran out of HP before I did. He didn't even last long enough to spawn his wave of bats.
On following runs through the game, I made some effort to dodge enemy shots. This felt more satisfying, but I finished the game with less health.
How does it feel if you make it so the player can't shoot during the invincibility frames after taking damage? It might get frustrating, but I think you need something to encourage players who work at dodging.
I’m glad you like the sprite work That’s good feedback on the dodging, I had begun to notice that myself. It’s tricky because I’m not real clear on how restrictive the boards are by themselves. Some boards allow more dodging or a more calculated approach while some, particularly near the end, become maybe too bullet ridden. The balance has always felt a little off to me and I’m not certain in what way to adjust it but that bullet lockout on a hit idea is a good one and might be a good way to start adjusting it all.
@peippo Oh wow! I hadn't caught that. The Pit (as the chamber will now be known) has been fixed in the 1.4 version. It had always felt a little cramped to me anyway and this opens it up more, which I also like. Before the pit was a sunken area with skeleton heads hidden under the stairs, but now the stairs have been removed to make it into a pit full of bones! The sad remains of the Count's ravenous appetite! Or, uh, of previous adventurers trapped in this chamber due to bad level design, heh. Sorry about that.
This is fantastic for your first completed game! Love the graphics, controls, and difficulty progression. Makes for an enjoyable and addictive play. Was able to jump right in and figure things out quickly, after dying a few times, as it should be haha.
I feel like I'm cheating a bit by being able to throw daggers past the pillars that block movement, but that definitely helped make it easier to progress.
Thanks @NerdyTeachers, I couldn't have done it without your YouTube channel - an excellent tutorial series for making platformers and dealing with map collision! :D
Wow! @inphanta That's so cool! Thanks for the vid and the feedback. I've fixed the problem that locked the game after 9+ minutes of play and I've added in a (brief) wait at the beginning of levels to help the player get the jump on nearby enemies that fire at the player. All of that is now in version 1.5. Thanks! ^_^
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