This is my first actual game thing so please bear with me. Break the Sun is a shmup I've been working on for a while now, I started it this summer to learn to code. I've reached the point where I have a proper beginning, intro and end for the first level so I decided to toss it on the web and see what people think.
It's pretty simple: arrows to move, Z to shoot, X to dodge (if you have enough fuel in your tank, that is). Reach the boss and see if you get the highest score chaining kills with your multiplier. I've implemented a couple tricks I came up with and some stuff inspired by the incredible @lucatron_ on Twitter.
Any feedback – positive or negative – is really appreciated, you can leave them here or reach me on the Tweetles @MrMandolino. Thanks for playing!
EDIT: fixed a bug that could cause you to take damage before appearing on screen
Yeah, the messages are intentionally simulating a CPU struggling to keep up – used poke to mess with the audio and a freeze frame system. Seems like I got it even too right, almost everyone thinks it's a bug.
Auto fire and some sort of dash readiness indicator seem to be the main features it lacks, will see what I can do (definitely implementing the indicator tho)
this demo is really cool-- the music is a bop, the controls feel fairly responsive, and that final boss is pretty epic for a pico-8 game. and everything is pulled off with a distinct flair, I really dig it!
this demo is pretty solid, and I don't really have complaints, though there are a few things I'd note:
- it's easy to lose track of whether you can dash or not? consider maybe making the exhaust change color or something when you have enough energy to dash, so you don't have to keep an eye on the HUD all the time
- "1-UP" is a confusing name for what functions more like health, it took me a bit to figure out those actually healed me. additionally, showing it as three icons is odd as it kinda implies there is a max HP limit of 3, which is not the case
- since the average player will probably be hanging around the left edge of the screen when low on hp, you should probably have the plane fall to the right rather than left when the player dies, so they can actually see the crashing animation
- this is more my personal preference, but I tend to prefer pico-8 games that say "press (CIRCLE) to start", bc it's more console like and anyway, I actually have circle mapped to something other than Z on my computer. sometimes I play on my phone, too, where circle is actually visible on screen. of course, I understand the argument for having it just say the name of the default key, so this one really up to you.
also, code wise, a few suggestions, though you've probably already thought of some of these:
- for enemies, consider using a format that stores enemies in the cart data as an array of 8-bit formation IDs and a 16-bit X position. this would be a lot less code and let you offload that storage to an unused area of the ROM, e.g., the map data. (with 255 formation IDs, you could probably get away with having the Y position be implied by the formation)
- that title screen lettering is really cool, but as it is, uses a lot of code. you might find it more advantageous to store some or all of it as a giant sprite, since you seem to have enough space for it!
- on the topic of sprites, sprites 64-69 could be crunched down to a single frame and animated using palette cycling. bonus points if you use mirroring to get it to fit as a single 8x8 sprite. you also could probably do something similar with sprites 70-75, for the record
anyway, as I said above, this game is looking really promising already. I have a feeling that the final version will be something special. I'm lookin' forward to it! ^^
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