Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trampoline Gunmen III – Lucky Strike (PC)

Due to a lack of time, motivation and the fact that I’m pretty sure no one ever actually plays the games I develop, I am abandoning TG3 and releasing the BETA to the world. The 2 player mode functions, with multiple characters, stats and special attacks, there’s a few animated backgrounds, and some ripped Street Fighter 2 music. That’s about it. The game is compiled as an EXE, so you won't need QB64 to run it - this also means it's Windows PC only..

I love programming for fun. I’m not good at it and I seldom finish anything I start, but it gives me a good idea of how game developers live, especially in the olden days when it was just a couple of guys to a project. Or modern indie games. The joy of tinkering and immediately seeing the results is greater than even playing a good game. Everyone should try a little hard coding – and I don’t mean using stuff like Game Maker. Get your hands dirty with actual numbers, variables and arrays. It’s good fun adding a debug button so you can, at any moment, check all the variables in your game. It's also fun weaving personal in-jokes into the game, something to really make it your own.

TG3 is – or rather would be if I completed it – how I envisioned TG to be back in 1999. At least after I stopped thinking of it as a “mattress landing game”. There’s 6 characters. Each has different stats for starting health, POW, max bullets, attack strength, available speeds, and special moves. I’m pretty sure all of them are unbalanced. Mango has too my HP and his attacks hit too hard. The Hobo only has one bullet which is really annoying. Lawna loses health too fast and her recharge move breaks the game. Azdash has REALLY weak attacks.

Special Attacks:

Mango – shoots a homing cow, one hit kill (but you can shoot the cow and kill it). Its name is based on a conversation I had with my brother, as we were walking down a country lane with cows in the adjacent field. He said it was creepy how they followed us along, always watching us, and I said: "Little know fact, right, is that cows are actually omnivores. They subsist on a diet of grass and genitals. That's why they have 4 stomachs. Three are to process grass, one is for human flesh. After a bull stamped in Spain, 1967, when the army were called in to secure the town, they found that cows had partially consumed those they'd killed. Seriously, cows always go for the genitals." Being an adult he knew I was talking BS (lol), but ever since then we've had a running joke, and will randomly mention to people: "Hey, do you know cows are actually omnivores? True fact."

Hobo – remove enemy ammo, warp them to top of screen with downward movement, gain +2 ammo

Natali – shoots out whip, if it touches enemy their HP reduced to 1

Lawna – recharges health (also, when hitting the trampoline 50% chance of finding spare ammo)

Azdash – wall of bullets!

Jeffer – removes enemy POW and changes their direction (I think his shots also reduce enemy POW)

Despite how broken the underlying system is, I’m extremely pleased with how I managed to differentiate them. The Hobo has free speed changes thanks to belching and farting, while Natali has dual pistols – one for attacking and one for speed. Also, there’s neat Easter Eggs like when Natali fights Natali they get their whips entangled. The lightning during the storm. The little petals of the cherry blossom tree which stay on the ground. The backgrounds I’m also quite proud of – the storm and blossom ones are improved updates from the last game, but the Castlevania inspired Church background is really special. Took ages to make the cogs line up with each other.

If I ever finished it I intended to make a call out on Tigsource for some musicians to contribute some tracks, since there seem to be quite a few happy to do so. I didn’t finish it, so have used SF2 tracks instead. They serve their purpose. Unfortunately testing and tweaking this takes too much time. Coding is a real time sink, and I’ve probably spent close to 100 hours on this – few will realise just how much work it takes. The trampoline physics and gravity took a good 6 hours coding and tweaking alone to perfect. It’s just too much, hence why I’m leaving it.

If you play it, please, PLEASE make it full screen with ALT + ENTER. Keep an eye on the timer, since when it hits zero that round is over. Also, keep in mind it's technically not finished. If it were I'd include multiple options, alternate controls, and all the other stuff you'd expect. I'd also code a solid internal timer, to detect how fast a computer is. The quick and dirty fix is typing it in each time you start. Apologies for the slapdash nature of this.

I’m including the source code if you want to tinker. DOWNLOAD THE PACKAGE HERE. It contains a fully compiled EXE, so you can boot it like that. If you want to play around with the source you can open it any TXT editor, but you'll need QB64 to recompile it. Also, here's an old TIGsource topic I started, detailing its development, but then never really did anything with. Laziness for TEH WINZ.

If you find any bugs, or want to leave any feedback to rebalance the gameplay, post in the comments section.

Also, if you want to remake it for iOS and turn me (and you) into billionaires, you know how to reach me. Ciao!


  1. That's kind of cool actually.
    In my experience, coding games on your own is one of the most under-appreciated tasks ever. It takes lots of time, and most seem to think that if you take more than 2 months, you are just a charlatan doing vaporware. If you aren't a big name, you are going to get the feeling "nobody plays what you do".
    I'll go dig out my old QBASIC floppies. Consider this game played.

  2. Well, the EXE runs on Windows, you don't actually need QBasic. Also, it was coded in QB64, running it on old vanilla QB won't work due to the updated sound functions I've included.

    And you're absolutely right. It takes a tremendous amount of time to get it working reasonably correctly. You add 1 line of code and suddenly need to debug 20 other lines. There was a glitch which took me an entire Sunday to work out - in the end it turned out to be a really simple problem with a fraction when speed changing, which I didn't even notice until I ran the program one line at a time (argh!).

  3. IM a decent coder myself i have made a few games in my time in fact i have made a game that has been downloaded by many(Gang Garrison 2) but besides that, would you like to make a game with me?

  4. I had a look at Gang Garrison 2, and it looks really. And I meant that, the retro styled visuals and sound are genuinely awesome. I've always liked the idea of teaming up to create something, but I am both notoriously lazy and with a short attention span. I might be committed for a few days, and then lose interest. I seldom even finish my own games...

  5. The little petals of the cherry blossom tree which stay on the ground. The backgrounds I’m also quite proud of – the storm and blossom ones are improved updates from the last game, but the Castlevania inspired Church background is really special. Took ages to make the cogs line up with each other. rectangle trampoline