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Cart #31458 | 2016-10-22 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

10-22-16 ... Took out freeze player for standard messages

SIGH This took a lot longer than it needed to. Kept running out of memory all kinds of directions. And - I guess this was a definitely learning experience.

The main thing is, THE GAME IS DONE !

Try it out (preferably with the EXE PICO or Google Chrome as Firefox can stagger).

Instructions ? I don't want to give out too much as curiosity is always rewarded in this game. :)

Use the arrow keys to navigate. Use the lightning to give clues as to where obstacles are. Hit (Z) (O?) to use up a valuable match. You start with 3, you might find more. You have a shield generator at 9.

Your mission, just as you were told, find out what happened to the relatives in Old Man Mildew's manor and report back.

Some things won't activate until you've done the right thing first. While the game is entirely turn-based, you have a relentless clock, and once it hits midnight, you'll have to deal with Mildew's angry and impatient spirit.

High Score and names are kept and recorded for 10-entries, even after rebooting.

As with all games you've played, PLEASE let me know if you find any bugs or outright crashes. I think it's pretty solid at this point. The code ? A little over 5,000 symbols of a possible 8192.

The characters, not so bad, 27870 out of 65536.

But really PICO is a bit of a cheat since right around this area, despite having space, it won't save to PNG with much more code. I would think since it's a fantasy system that only when you EXCEED your symbols or characters maximum space - THEN it can start complaining about not being able to save as a PNG.

Now, is the game too easy, too hard ? Is the clock too slow, too fast ? Let me know what you think !

Last minute changes:

  1. Sped up clock
  2. Integered clock (for scoring)
  3. Removed debug score line

Enjoi, and Happy Halloween ! :D


P#31409 2016-10-21 18:06 ( Edited 2016-10-29 01:06)

oh f you with those walls lol. Love it!

P#31413 2016-10-21 18:39 ( Edited 2016-10-21 22:39)

I take it that's a GOOD thing to hate, right, Sudoradish ? :)

Lemme know if you run into any errors, glitches, or problems - or if you think it's unbalanced in any way. Not today but tomorrow I'll relate the story of what inspired me to write this.

It's not quite like Apple's Haunted House, and, as you can see, it's not quite like Atari's Haunted House. Kind of a hybrid between the two.

P#31420 2016-10-21 20:56 ( Edited 2016-10-22 00:56)

I haven't yet been able to get on the high score table but the game play here is really interesting. I found it challenging to move around at first, but now I'm able to get around pretty good without using matches. However, I've only been able to capture spirits and picked up a bottle a couple times so I'm probably missing something. Don't tell me, I'll keep playing..

As for the code restraints in pico-8, the wall you are running up against is the third piece of the puzzle... compression (the first two puzzle pieces being tokens and characters). The large amount of text and/or the encoded picture in your code is, I think, why this is happening to you here.

In early versions of my piColossal Adventure cart, I was able to get right up to max tokens without any warnings about saving in png format. I've since reduced tokens and now its about 7,750 tokens used, give or take.

P#31432 2016-10-21 22:24 ( Edited 2016-10-22 02:24)

Well that really chaps, k1ds. So ZEP =CAN= release the barrier and the 65536/8192 limit can be met and still .PNG compress - in earlier versions of PICO.

As for the game, glad you're enjoying it !

It's truly been YEARS (take my word for it, a lot), since I've written any entire video games at all.

Found I wrote a little over 3,000 GFA programs since I was introduced to it back in 1997, but only 3 of them were actual games, the rest were unfinished this & that of here and yonder, with a few solid game making utilities I use to even today.

Strongly suggest YOU or anyone else to give me ideas on if I need to change the scoring to make it more friendly and competitive.

Is clock too slow, too fast, game mechanics, good, bad, there's a delay where the player can't move during a message, is that a good idea, not ?

What can be changed to make it better for you ?

And yes, there are secrets in the game - definitely fun to find on your own. :)

P#31434 2016-10-21 22:44 ( Edited 2016-10-22 02:44)

I would suggest doing away with the player freeze when displaying a message. It seems to interrupt my flow too much.

EDIT: I finally made it onto the high score table.. love the default names there btw

P#31440 2016-10-22 00:50 ( Edited 2016-10-22 05:12)

Can do. It's nearly midnight here. Have all tomorrow to code. I'll update that element and let you know. Thanks ! :D

P#31441 2016-10-22 00:53 ( Edited 2016-10-22 04:53)

No worries.. I finally got out alive! Took the high score from old Leatherface too!

P#31444 2016-10-22 01:36 ( Edited 2016-10-22 05:36)

You've ALREADY WON, K1ds ??

Yeah, I thought of the whole host of major players in the horror films I've seen and wanted to have them for the High Scores.

I wanted to have DAMIEN in the high scores too but these guys stuck out the most and I already had ten.

Pinhead I gave a low score because he's just too serious all the time !
"Time to play, Kirstie. Haunted House ! And you will suffer !" :D

Wow ! I thought surely it would be a few days or so before someone would actually win the game. I don't know then. Do you think the game is too easy or are you a marvel at this sort of thing ? :)

I could set it so no ghosts appear when you use matches, you would have to explore all the halls and rooms manually. That would definitely beef up the challenge.

I could make the timer run faster.

I could remove the SHIELDS and set it so you lose say 5-minutes on the clock every time you hit a wall instead.

What do you think ?

I have the update at the top - player does not freeze during normal messages now, except when zapped by wall.

P#31459 2016-10-22 11:52 ( Edited 2016-10-22 16:00)

At first the game seems nearly impossible, not knowing what to do exactly, constantly running into walls, running against a clock, etc. The time ran out on me several times before I realized how to advance in the game. This is the part I loved about it.


the spirit locations with the match is what tipped me off towards how to proceed. If you didn't show the spirits with a match, this would make it several times harder which can be good. I just wonder If I would have given up before figuring it out that way.

Maybe make a menu at the start to pick easy, medium, or EXTREME!!

easy can be the way it is now (even though I didnt think it was easy)

medium reduces the number of shields, with possibly faster time

EXTREME starts with less time, shows no spirit locations, reduces shields to say 3 or 4 and adds time for every wall hit.

P#31460 2016-10-22 12:50 ( Edited 2016-10-22 18:57)


Bravo, dw! The production values for this game are through the roof. Some legit scares in here, and I love the story - I forgot how much atmosphere a good text crawl can add to a game.

Even having beaten the game, I am STILL not quite sure about the mechanism for catching spirits. Maybe I am not paying close enough attention to their movements, but I tend to just mash directions when I am near one until I catch it. If their movements are truly random, then I think my strategy is correct. IF however, they actually have a movement pattern based on the player's movements, then I almost wonder if the game timer should be based on player movements rather than real-world time or maybe even a combination. I am not sure if my button-mashing is the optimal strategy in terms of steps-taken, but if there IS a strategy to that, you may want to penalize players who take extra steps while still having real-world time factor in.

Also (spoilers!):

I just took a shot in the dark at guessing the opposite wall would be accessible with the key - is there a graphical cue to this? Could you maybe bind the key-use to X so we can try it out without wasting matches?

ANyways, bravo - this game is a keeper. It really makes me appreciate figuring out someone's ideas on my own.

P#31466 2016-10-22 14:17 ( Edited 2016-10-22 18:17)

I use the same button mash technique to capture spirits that are close by. Their movements seem random to me, but perhaps there is a method to their madness?

Oh and since we're posting high scores... :)

P#31469 2016-10-22 14:43 ( Edited 2016-10-22 18:43)

Looks like you two are having fun, PBG, and k1ds. :)

The movement of the ghosts is the same as in the old Apple ][ game which had a resolution of 40x40 pixels w 16-colors possible.

While it had fixed walls (no random house building) the ghosts would flicker (black to white pixel) and move randomly 2-spaces.

As theirs was an action game, the ghost continued to move even if you didn't do anything, as long as you stayed close to them. They could also pass through walls.

In the Apple game, the walls were visible all the time.

I was influenced to make everything dark by playing Disney's Magic Kingdom, and the Haunted House level. They made use of some clever palette swapping to give the effect of lightning and rain.

While I didn't play too much of Atari Haunted House, I liked the ability that the walls were the same color as outside your lighted influence (black !) making it really trippy to travel as you weren't really sure where you were most of the time.

The way I have my game currently, neither they nor you can pass through walls.

I'm looking at the suggests now ...

Easy, Medium, or Extreme.

Here is what I propose. The lower the level, the less score you'll get for items. The higher, the more. At a glance, say x1 , x2, x3 for each element.

It's clear to see in the game that your score can only go so high as it is right now. Choosing a harder level will be the only way to get a higher score.

If you have any suggests on giving new values for scores, that would be good, otherwise, I'll write in some difficulties and get 3-different levels of play.

P#31475 2016-10-22 16:00 ( Edited 2016-10-22 20:03)

I think I might have found a small bug, otherwise I'm very confused about something:

As far as how I made the bug happen--I could be a little off on the details, but think there was a match and a spirit side-by-side, I stepped onto the match to pick up the match, but it caught the spirit in at the same time? And now there are 2 pixels that are stuck there that won't go away. The GIF starts after the bug has already occurred, I'm just showing you that the pixels are persisting.

In the mean time, I'll keep trying to crack this game :)

EDIT: 125 \o/
EDIT: broke 300 this time? Spoilers:


P#31476 2016-10-22 16:26 ( Edited 2016-10-22 20:56)

The 2-pixel thingy is what you get when you mix the player's mask (remove) with the ghost's image. It's cosmetic and doesn't affect the game. There is no trapped item or spirit.

But it is something I need to address - and have known about with the game release. A simple solution would be just to plot a black rectangle over the player when he moves so the player can move over and erase it.

A better solution would be to find what causes this, change the code, and fix the actual problem.

And, just because you have the key doesn't mean you automatically win, Jamish. :)

P#31479 2016-10-22 16:58 ( Edited 2016-10-22 21:02)

I will be posting the final edition of this game tomorrow (10-29-16). Some new completed elements useful for higher levels of difficulty include completed compass and PKE meter.

P#31980 2016-10-28 21:06 ( Edited 2016-10-29 01:11)

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