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April 26th, 2013 9:58 pm

At first, I was going to try making a game in Gamemaker. I set it up to create different shapes of random colors, but I abandoned the idea I had been going for since I don’t know Gamemaker well enough to confidently spend time building a full game in it yet.


I’ve instead decided to do a game for the Atari 2600, since that is where my experience lies.

The theme is “minimalism,” so I was thinking of what would be fitting. I decided on a game where the player is a bat and needs to navigate invisible tunnels using echolocation.

I have a couple ideas for how echolocation could work. Either the playfield pulses a visible color for a split second or the player shoots out a missile in whatever direction (s)he is facing, the missile bouncing and growing darker with each bounce until it vanishes, like a sound pulse.

Though, as I ponder it more, I think that I may do a combination of the two. An attempt at paper prototyping proved that I have a very poor memory and I don’t want it to be too difficult to be fun.

Hitting the trigger will release the pulse. Each pulse will reduce the player’s points by a certain amount, while moving towards the randomly-generated cave to the right will score constant points. So the idea is to balance pulses against blind movement to create an overall point surplus. Balancing may be difficult. There will likely eventually be enemies that move around and must be avoided. Hitting the walls or enemies will lose a point of health out of three. There may be some way to regain a point of health after a certain number of points or for some kind of pick-up (that can only be seen with the echolocation pulse).

Programming progess is nil for the time being. Since I’m already three hours in, I need to get crackin’. Here’s the bat sprite against a blank playfield:


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