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MZX Noir Dev Journal If there's more than one post from me, consider it a win for us bo

#1 User is offline   hseiken 

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 01:03 AM

So for a while I had this idea for an action game where the game ends on a downer for the player. A previous idea was maybe very socially aware, but maybe was too on the nose, but that idea was always lurking in my brain and somehow I stumbled onto a way to make the same social commentary and also play with other tropes of games in that it's assumed that the player SHOULD identify with their avatar and always agree with their actions or thought process. Immediately I thought about double crossings and other kinda 'hard boiled crime noir' type tropes and how they can be used to flip the script, as they say, and hammered out a quick story.

ELSEWHERE IN THE SAME BRAIN... (fade from black)

I was also wanting to tackle a smaller MZX project from a scripting point of view. I really liked MAXIM's games and one in particular I thought was rather clever was Fallen. In terms of MZX, it's not especially 'groundbreaking' but it refashions the aesthetics of MZX to feel fresh and unique and so to execute this idea, I decided to non-ceremoniously rip off some of Fallen's ideas. Of course, I think one of the reasons I like MAXIM's games is that they're clearly an arcade junkie, as am I, so maybe that's why MAXIM's games intrigue me.

At any rate, long story short, I've spent about a little over a week cobbling together the main elements of the game, including the script, the style, I decided on presentation stuff including the rhythm of the game, which as it turns out will be mild exploration but with heavy action...think the original Zelda's dungeons with single rooms chained together to make a full stage. There will be a mix of built-ins and custom enemies, though I did some work on paper and might end up with built-in-esque enemies instead.

So far what's working is:
ROM/RAM TEST BOOTUP SEQUENCE (told you, I like arcadey stuff....might as well go all the way!)
Title Screen, High Score, Attract Mode stand ins (they need some over-the-top flare, but for now, they're just place holders)
The single room scrolling when player reaches the edge of the screen
and finally the Map Template which will be used to transcribe the stuff I planned out on graph paper already (no spoilers yet, but stage designs are hidden thematic messages)

So the premise is simple: You're a detective who gets a call from your partner that they've cornered the serial killer you both have been chasing in a cave at the edge of MegaCity. However, when you arrive, your partner is nowhere to be found and instead you find a note telling you they moved in on the killer without you, and so you venture in after them despite the note specifically saying, 'Don't follow me in because if we both go missing, no will know anything, someone needs to be alive who knows what's going on'. Of course, waiting outside and radio'ing for backup does not make for a high action game and thus you venture into the cave in hopes of finding your partner and ending the reign of terror by the killer who may or may not be inside known as Gunner Clips.

Anyway, here's some early WIP stuff. The colors are staying, but I'm not sure yet I will be doing crude/ansi-ish cut scenes or more elaborate stuff using CHR swaps...I guess I'll figure that one out when I actually discover how easy/hard CHR loads and what not is.

ROM/ROM testing bootup sequence. Is followed by GRID screen alignment and SYSTEM OK! messages.
Attached Image: bootup.png

Your classic WARNING, DONT EXPORT message, but with my own twist/MZX joke (this game is for use in MZX only. Export to other systems is frankly impossible...etc.). I mean, always do it for the dad-joke lulz if for nothing else.
Attached Image: warning.png

Title Screen. It's the placeholder, doesn't have any over the top animations or anything right now, but it will.
Attached Image: title.png

Cutscene placeholder stuff for now. Again, not sure if I'll go custom CHR rout or leave it as ugly blocky classic MZX disco trash.
Attached Image: cutscene maybe.png

Oh, yeah, I suppose showing the actual game's look might help. :p/>
Attached Image: mockup room.png

I have a board I have designated as 'the story board', even though that's not really it, it's just I wanted to keep the cutscene script stuff within the game so I never lose it. If it was a textfile floating around on my computer or paper floating around my real world, I'd probably lose it at some point. So...this is just...teaser stuff I guess, but...really it's here to ask, "Does anyone else use blank boards in the WORLD files for notes and sketches? I even setup a series of blank boards for animations, using -/+ to quickly see them in motion without having to script them to have motion...idk, it seems I can't be the only one who does this...
Attached Image: script.png

Okay, well...there it is. I hope to strike a balance between a fun good time and icky feels after it's done. I want to gut the player to some degree, but make it a meaningful gut. Dunno if I'll succeed but I hope the game is fun regardless. I'm not a fan of having a game revolve around a story anyway. I'd rather the story just be window dressing for a fun game so...hopefully that'll happen. If not, there's always the next one...*stares at the 35 unfinished game ideas in the DEV HELL folder*
There is no Data, only Zuul.

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