Author Topic: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game! An  (Read 3098 times)

Offline bogstandard

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Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game! An
« on: September 24, 2014, 04:42:42 AM »
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1367177/http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DEAD-OF-KNIGHT-Atari-2600-Homebrew-Game-and-Movie-/390859427184

In 2013 it was demonstrated at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo.


I've got a YouTube play-through of the first round here:
Pre-release Playthrough Dead of Knight Atari 2600

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 11:45:09 AM »
Cool, thanks for creating a thread about it.  So, was the run for this game originally only done on Ebay?  Is that how the next run is going to sell as well?
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Offline bogstandard

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 12:36:12 PM »
I'm not directly involved in the sale.  My guess is that Joe will continue to offer his combo pack on eBay and Amazon.  If he gives me advanced notice I'll definitely post that they're for sale again.

Usually a game/movie combo like this is put together by a fan of a film and distributed on their forum of choice.  In this case the creator of the film contracted me out for the official game.   Thus the direct sales via eBay and Amazon.  In some cases this has led to some confusion.  Some websites have continued to list the game as TBA instead of released!

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 12:37:59 PM »
That's OK, thanks.  I've never seen this movie.  Is the game based on a particular scene of the movie?
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Offline bogstandard

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 12:42:07 PM »
It follows from the possession of the jock in the gym to the slaying of various characters the film.  Finally, it ends with the capture of Marla by the evil Queen.  Not the greatest plot summary.  Basically, it tries to encompass most of the film through play (even major locations.)

That's actually a big difference between a developers perspective and a director.  Typically many 2600 games choose a scenario within a story and wrap a game around it.  With Joes game design you actually play through various scenes including invading the professors home to regain your armor and shield.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 15:17:39 PM »
That's cool because it tries to encompass more than just one aspect of the movie. 
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Offline bogstandard

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 15:30:42 PM »
Quote from: "TrekMD"
That's cool because it tries to encompass more than just one aspect of the movie.

There's also an inherent risk.  Atari 2600 games are known for "pick up and play".  This is definitely a game that requires a manual.  Joe and I really thought hard about the objectives that had to be achieved.  Game flow goes something like this:

1. Find the professors house and enter it.
2. Grab your armor and sword.
3. Kill professor.
4. Find and kill 3 other victims.
5. Find and capture Marla.
6. Drag Marla inside the Mini-Putt Castle.
7. Fight the Queen (top down shooter style)

This is all played out in a game world with 25 screens (not counting inside buildings).

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 16:17:54 PM »
So, in that sense it is a movie-based game like ET.  You have to read the manual to play it.  And no, I'm not an ET hater.  :)
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Offline bogstandard

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 17:10:12 PM »
Quote from: "TrekMD"
So, in that sense it is a movie-based game like ET.  You have to read the manual to play it.  And no, I'm not an ET hater.  :)

A big part of what Joe and I tried to avoid was punishing the player like E.T. did.  No annoying time penalties for falling in pits and such.  For instance, while you are searching for the Professors house no policemen will try to harass you.  If you let a victim escape no harassment there, either.  Searching for stuff should not bring a stressful anticipation of penalty.

Not that there's isn't a sense of urgency!  If you take too many hits from policemen the final boss battle can be pretty risky.  Finding and approaching victims requires one to find your own method and hone it.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 18:45:25 PM »
That's a good approach.  :)
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Offline bogstandard

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 19:06:51 PM »
Yep.  Finding a good approach is a multilevel affair.  In order to find good game-play you need a good working relationship with your project partner.   Joe had ideas and vision befit someone who has been a director, writer and actor (among other things).  I had the grumpy stubbornness of a developer and unsure laziness of an amateur!

The Atari 2600 is a severely constrained system with fascinating and frustrating quirks.  Joe would suggest features and I would either find a working solution or suggest a workable alternative.  There was a great deal of attention paid on each-others side to feel out how important certain aspects were.   For instance: Joe wanted the typical 3 life tokens to represent health.  Due to the way collision works on the VCS this was nearly impossible to get right.  We settled on a life bar that would let the player take more hits and make it to the final boss.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 20:07:03 PM »
It would be cool to see the events surround development of a game like this chronicled.  :)
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 07:36:35 AM »
Have to agree that would make for great reading or viewing.
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Offline bogstandard

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 13:50:47 PM »
I could do something describing the game progress through time.  Maybe per game build I handed to Joe.  It would take awhile as I did this over 126 times :)

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Dead of Knight 2600: I'm the developer. Here's my game!
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 14:02:24 PM »
Quote from: "theloon"
I could do something describing the game progress through time.  Maybe per game build I handed to Joe.  It would take awhile as I did this over 126 times :)
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