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Hi all,

This is my first cart, Cryptocide: Dridex. It's supposed to be a fast paced, contra-esque boss fight. Hopefully it's the first in a series of bosses. In terms of lore, I was going for a cyberpunk, diving into the matrix to fight off security threats kind of thing.

I'd really appreciate your feedback with particular emphasis on:

  • Gameplay / overall enjoyment
  • Difficulty (and difficulty scaling)
  • Suggestions for new attacks

(any other feedback is greatly appreciated but bear in mind my artistic and musical skill is next to zero so please don't be too harsh on that front :))

Cart #cryptocide_dridex-0 | 2020-02-26 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Current TODOs:

  • [ ] Bugfixes for 2 player mode before inclusion
  • [ ] Cutscene for victory (explosions and falling debris / background disintegrating)
  • [ ] Implement phases with more defined attack patterns instead of gradual scaling difficulty
  • [x] Optimise particles
  • [x] Simplify vectors
  • [x] Fix crash on victory

Thank you all for all your feedback so far and suggestions! All will definitely be considered.

I'm aiming to release weekly builds (every friday) until the game is finished and if you're interested in ongoing progress I'm going to start posting updates on twitter:


P#73490 2020-02-27 10:41 ( Edited 2020-03-21 10:31)


artistic skills next to zero? you must be kidding!

more comments to come, but particle wave is killing fps. need to review code!

P#73503 2020-02-27 11:49 ( Edited 2020-02-27 11:49)

thanks freds! In particular on the bullethell attack?

P#73504 2020-02-27 11:59 ( Edited 2020-02-27 18:06)


As admirable as it is to make your vector code properly modular and object-oriented with metatables and operator overrides, I think you'll find it encumbers your framerate in PICO-8 code where cycles matter and call/metatable overhead can vastly outweigh the actual calculations. Even the module deref (vec.*) costs you a cycle every time, unlike a static namespace in C/C++.

On PICO-8, I'd advise having only global leaf function calls, e.g. v2add(), v3norm(), whatever you minimally need, and not calling each other for support, but instead complete, optimal, inline code, e.g. v3norm() calculates len itself, doesn't call v3len().

P#73512 2020-02-27 18:16 ( Edited 2020-02-27 18:20)

@Felice Thanks for your response! Yeah I’ve definitely learned that the hard way. I’ll get on that :)

P#73514 2020-02-27 19:09

Pretty darn fun! Felt more like a Contra boss then MegaMan to me, but that's all good in my book. Can't wait to see where you go with it.

The difficulty seemed pretty reasonable, but once you learn each pattern, it becomes somewhat trivial to deal with. I had pretty solid frame-rate, but it's possible I killed the boss before it had a chance to spam too many projectiles. I did encounter a bug though, once I killed the boss the game crashed, but I assume that's from the lack of an ending.

The particles where a really nice touch. Overall great work!

Here's some feedback and suggestions, since you asked:

  • Introduce harder patterns as the boss's hp goes lower, instead of only switching once it reaches 100hp.
    • Example: the eye shoots quicker at 500hp, two eyes pop out instead of one when the bosses HP reaches 250
  • Have a pattern where the top and horizontal lasers are out at the same time.
    • The Eye and lasers could work too.
  • A stage where the floor is lava, and you have to stay hovering.
    • Add spikes ontop so you can just hold down shoot?
    • Rotating platforms to land on to shoot the eye could work too.
  • Have the eye pop out of its socket and move around while shooting.
  • The player feels a bit too "tanky" right now
    • Maybe, make the player have a smaller pool of health?
    • Alternatively, like Contra, have a one hit ko, but have some extra lives.
P#73517 2020-02-27 20:16

@Zeepso thank you so much for your feedback! That all seems really thoughtful.

Thanks for letting me know about the game crashing, I'm pretty sure I know what that is and can fix it immediately.

I think all of those suggestions are great and I'll definitely be thinking about how to implement them! The difficulty for the bullets and vertical beams are actually supposed to be dynamic but actually I'm coming around to the thought that having specifically defined difficulty stages with more specific attack patterns will feel like more of a sense of progression through the fight.

You're also right, contra is a better fit for the description and I completely blanked on that when I was making it. Definitely going to watch some of the bosses for inspiration as well.

Again thank you so much for your feedback and thank you for playing. You'll definitely see at least some of your suggestions make their way into the game :).

P#73535 2020-02-28 08:47

This is incredible! Keeping an eye on this :)

P#73549 2020-02-28 18:31

I like the difficulty of the game, but yeah, I agree that it should be a bit harder throughout. I think that there should be a bit more health on the boss or there should be shields that prevent damage to the boss when past 500 damage, as it takes too much damage to be difficult, as tanking a shot with certain attacks will have enough damage to the boss to equalize the means. I think the design is very good, and the hovering mechanic is good, as it adds another dimension to the fight. The game is very fun!

P#73552 2020-02-28 19:59

Really amazing stuff! Love all the animations and particle effects.

For the health bar, maybe instead give a couple of invincibility frames after hits, and then lower hp. Would like to see the numbers replaced with mega-man visual health bars!

Wish the jump went higher to get over the side wall shooters

Great work!

P#73554 2020-02-28 20:51

@Remagamer Thank you for playing! Updates coming soon, new attacks and overall polishing!

@Thom Thanks dude, really good ideas. I’m working on implementing different attacks or increasing complexity in the attacks to implement in different phases depending on boss HP which should allow me to increase the boss health and make it a longer fight without it feeling too stale.

@Munro thank you for the compliments and feedback! I’ll definitely consider implementing something like that. I think I might do a hardcore mode where the player has 3 lives but a short invulnerability period after each hit. As the boss fight gets longer with more features I think this will be more of a challenge. Maybe I’ll even do a super hardcore mode with 1 hit = death. I’ve also tweaked the jump height a little bit and definitely improved the jetpacking feature so I think that’ll be easier to use in future.

P#73580 2020-03-01 14:23

how do you get around the spiral phase without getting hit? There is no way to get around it.

P#74278 2020-03-28 19:10

Nvm you can fly with your guns by looks down mid air.

P#74279 2020-03-28 19:21

Hello @Firebugs, the game freeze just after starting and firing, with a loading icon or something in the top left

P#88273 2021-02-27 22:18

@Voljegaaa. Hey, yeah. So I realised this a while back when I was building it for my GPI case. I've had quite an intense year and my code got into a place where there were a lot of issues. This weekend I started working on a rewrite because I think that's what this project needs now so hopefully I can get a finished build up soon. Thanks for your interest!

P#88296 2021-02-28 16:48

Excellent ! Well I'll wait for it :)

P#88299 2021-02-28 17:42

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