Author Topic: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize  (Read 10368 times)

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Offline rize

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contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« on: August 10, 2005, 06:13:34 PM »
*edit* links to the downloads are at the bottom of the third post; you may have to login to download them. 

*edit2* the official project page is now up: http://www.endloopstudios.com/flux/

Description: Flux is an action-puzzle game (somewhat like Tetris).  It is intended to be played with the stylus in one hand, and the other hand on the D-pad or face buttons.  The goal is to create colored chains above the minimum length so that they may be destroyed with the stylus thereby reducing the stack of tiles.  With each level, the minimum chain length inreases as does the speed and complexity of the blocks.

   

Goal: place the falling blocks so that tiles of the same color are aligned.  When you create a "chain" that meets or exceeds the minimum chain length, the tiles become volatile.  You can destroy such chains at any time by tapping them with the stylus.

Primary controls (right handed):

D-pad (left, right, down): move the active block

L button: rotate the block left

Stylus: tap "chains" of blocks to destroy them

Start: pauses the game and enables a brief menu.

Additional controls:

D-pad (up): rotate the block right (speed is intentionally not as big a factor as it is in many puzzle games so you can probably get by using only one rotation direction)

Left handed controls are copied onto the right side of the unit (R rotates right rather than copying L, and X similarly rotates left rather than right as D-pad up does).

Music: the ds.gba version contains 3 songs.  Hit start and tap the word "music" while playing to cycle through the songs (the last "song" being silence).  The first two songs are rather eccentric chip tunes... , if that's not your thing, try the third or disable the music.  Or if you really want, you may be able to include music of your own (check the following post).

Quit: tap the word "quit" in the pause menu to return to the title screen.  The hi score will not be lost until the unit is powered off.

Gameplay: every 50 tiles cleared increases the level.  The speed and complexity of the blocks increases a little, but most of all the chain length increases by one per level.  Flux stands apart from most action-puzzlers due to its focus on the puzzle aspect rather than speed. 

Scoring:  The longer a chain is when it is destroyed, the more points you'll get for each tile cleared.  More point are awarded per tile, per level as well.

Death: When the playing field is filled up, any chained blocks will automatically be destroyed (you don't get points for these).  If this does not clear enough room for the next block, the game ends.  Tap the screen to begin again.

Known bugs: None if you don't try to add your own music.

Thanks: -- I must thank the #dsdev crew at gbadev.org, everyone working on devkitpro and a million other people who've been instrumental in teaching me how to program for the DS platform.  For example (in no particular order), wntrmute, dovoto, desktopma, doublec, mic__,.  I'm sure there are quite a few folks I've forgotten.  My apologies.  I also owe a big thanks to Sean McDonald for various art assets (most notably the top half of the title screen and the in-game colored tiles) and Jake Kaufman (aka virt) for allowing me to include a few of his wonderful songs ( http://virt.vgmix.com ).
« Last Edit: August 14, 2005, 12:21:58 AM by rize »

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2005, 06:38:38 PM »
NOTE: this game currently runs only on the actual hardware.  The plain .nds file has no music file and so is wifi capable (it does have sound effects though).  The ds.gba has three songs and so is significantly larger and must be run from a flash cart.

Wifime: download the .nds

Flash carts/neoflas: download the ds.gba

Add your own music:  If you are technically proficient, you can add your own music to the game using the following steps (details about using gbfs can be found here: http://www.double.co.nz/nintendo_ds/nds_develop6.html )

1) Acquire the tools that come with gbfs (gameboy file system) and the libnds (www.devkitpro.org)

2) Use dsbuild to convert the .nds that you download here to a ds.gba.

3) Use padbin with the parameter 256 to prepare the binary for the file system

4) Use gbfs to create a .gbfs file with songs in it (SEE BELOW)

5) Use cat to concatenate the padded binary with the .gbfs file containing your music

6) run the new ds.gba file

NOTE: the music format MUST MONO .wav.  It can be 8 or 16 bit but must be SIGNED PCM (it can be difficult to create a .wav with 8 bit signed pcm though).  The full .wav header must be in place or strange things will happen.  Each individual music file must be no more than 3.25 MB (precisely, that includes the header). 

You can make some rather nice sounding .wav files even with these restrictions by reducing the sample rate to somewhere between 11,025 and 22,050 depending on the music (any rate is supported, but remember no more than 3.25 MB).



Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2005, 06:46:47 PM »
Ok, the files are in the third post instead.  I welcome any comments!  Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2005, 12:34:39 AM by rize »

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2005, 12:33:04 AM »
Ok, remember the ds.gba version should be used for carts, it is rather big because it has music attached to it.

The .nds version is for wifi, but if you like, you can convert it to ds.gba using dsbuild (a common dev tool) and you will have a version with no music to run on a flash cart (much quicker to load on the cart which is nice).
« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 12:30:38 AM by rize »

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2005, 12:51:52 AM »
Here is a ds.gba version with NO music :(  If you don't want to wait 5 minutes for the game to be copied to your flash cart, this is for you.  All three versions are exactly the same except for the .gba header and music.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 12:30:45 AM by rize »

Offline strager

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 04:51:41 AM »
I love the game, great job!  Hope you win. :)

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2005, 05:33:49 AM »
thanks  :)

Offline skabio

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2005, 03:42:58 AM »
Great job.  I quite like the concept of this game.  Kind of Tetris meets Super Puzzle Fighter.  Very professional looking. 

I have some suggestions however.  The controls seem a little awkward having to control the pieces with your one hand(right or left) while having to have the stylis in the other hand to destroy the blocks.  I think this game could be a lot faster paced if all the controls were done with the stylis.  Maybe you could drag the pieces with the stylis and tap them to rotate the pieces or put a touch control pad on the right hand side of the board that you could control the pieces with.

Also the game could use some sort of combo system.  Maybe if you destroyed one set of blocks and it resulted in enough of another color being put together they could automatically be destroyed as well.

All in all it is a great game but it gets a little boring after a while.  I think if you could come up with some ways of speeding it up with controls, combos or bonus "weapon" pieces it could turn into one of those games that I never put down.

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2005, 05:32:59 AM »
Thanks for the comments!  I agree that the the scoring system needs some additional development.  Right now it's mostly get as far as you can without dying (although the longer chains you make the more points you will get per tile, so there is that goal if you want a high score).

I intend to implement some bonuses soon though.  For example, if you destroy every tile of one color you could have the points for that chain multiplied.  I'm hesistent to add combos of the sort that automatically destroy additional blocks because I want the player in complete control of when the chains are destroyed (as one of the main draws of the game is the ability to create massive collections of tiles to destroy rather than being limited to a few lines at a time ala tetris and friends).  However, I may allow that if the player destroys consecutive chains manually without placing a new block down, that the multiplier stacks up so that they have the option of manually creating such combos or saving their collections of tiles for bigger combos later.

As for the controls, I plan to explore touch control, but I don't know if it will speed the game up.  It depends on how it's implemented.  100% touch control I think would slow things down as you have to continually move the stylus up to the peice you want to move, find touch buttons to rotate and such.  And meanwhile the touch screen must still be used to destroy chains (which may happen by accident with all the other touch controls).

One alternate idea I'm considering is:  the touch screen controls left and right movement only.  The d-pad left/right rotates, d-pad down drops the block and to destroy chains you would hold L and tap the screen (naturally this would map to the right side of the unit for left handed players).  This would preserve the ability to immediately rotate and drop blocks, destroy chains without accidents and also move the main block left and right with analog precision.  That's my best idea for touch control so far.  It's hard to know how well it would work without implementing it though.  It also may be useful only for advanced players.

We'll see  :)

btw, if you're looking for a challenge, see how long you can survive starting on level 40  8)

As for weapons, there will be weapons in the multiplayer mode...
« Last Edit: August 12, 2005, 05:36:04 AM by rize »

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2005, 02:18:19 AM »
I just checked out SPF and it is remarkably similar to the very first version of flux which I made on the PC (which was called fusion).  I've never played SPF (only heard the name once or twice in passing, never saw a screen etc.)  I made the first version of Fusion in early 2002 I think.

The only thing different about fusion was that it had a bigger field/smaller blocks than SPF, all the blocks where lines of 3 blocks instead of 2, and there was no minimum chain length.  The igniters/crash-gems would let you blow up a single block (though that would be a waste).  A single block of any color (I just learned that SPF makes you match the crash gem's color to the gem color you want to destroy; ouch).

In the final version for this contest, I made the peices start to change shape when they were two or one away from turning into a chain instead of using numbers.  This looks much nicer imo, and is almost as functional.  Future versions will let you tap any block and it will briefly turn all connected blocks of the same color white so you can see how big the group is, and a number will appear (like damage in final fantasy) letting you know how much longer it has to get to become chained.

That's the problem with game design.  Any incremental changes you make to a genre can accidentally be thought up by someone else.  Fortunately, minor differences (like adding touch control) can make a huge difference in the gameplay sometimes.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2005, 02:24:25 AM by rize »

Offline blastyrant

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 08:18:49 AM »
does anyone still happen to have the two files? rize edited all his posts and removed the files.  his homepage link is also dead now. i hate when files are lost forever.

Offline rize

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Re: contest: NDS GAME - FLUX - By: rize
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 05:39:26 PM »
Hello...  I remember pitching a fit after I got 5th place in the Neo Flash contest... it was silly.  I was mad because I felt like all the games that beat me weren't actually games just tech demos.  Of course it was a coding competition not a game design competition so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Anyway, the links were available at many other places for a good while but they seem to be gone finally.  I still have the files though.  I check now and then to see if it works on emulators and it finally does.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6818455/nds/flux.nds

I'll try to keep that in my drop box indefinitely.  I can be emailed at david_s_trammell@<popular mail service that starts with a Y> ... 


EDIT:

Oh the zip is still on neoflash too, look.  This is the one with music:

http://www.neoflash.com/compos/compo05_files/games/flux-rize.zip

« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 08:24:43 PM by rize »