Jump to content
IGNORED

Slow Mole for NES


SlowMoleDev
 Share

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Greetings all! I'm Erik Rosenlund, a longtime animator, that has long wanted to get into game design. During the weird last year I finally got a chance to spend some time learning the tools and get into coding. Since I had never touched assembler before, this game started out in an earlier version of NESmaker. Since then, a lot of this game has been written in asm6-assembler.

The free full digital version of Slow Mole is now out. Check out the trailer below.

Download Slow Mole:
https://slowmoledev.itch.io/slow-mole

The whole game is designed around a unique checkpoint mechanic that will only award a checkpoint when the player proves their mastery of a screen.
Since this is a very challenging game that might not appeal to everyone I've decided to release it for free so people can try it and see if it's for them, but it's also a way to reach other players who don't necessarily collect NES games.

There is also going to be a cartridge release and a Slow Mole + -version, with some more secrets, music and additional unlockable challenge levels. (But note that the vanilla version is very much a complete game already and it will take even high skill players hours to beat and even longer to unlock the secret levels.)

Learn more about Slow Mole + on my Patreon-page: https://www.patreon.com/erikrosenlund

You can also find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Checkoofilm

 

 

Edited by SlowMoleDev
  • Like 4
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great to hear of the interest in the cartridge!

We're doing all the hardware design ourselves (I have the fortune of collaborating with a friend who designs electronics for a living) and we're also planning some unique hardware features for the upcoming release of Slow Mole + later this year. I'll be more specific once it's all working as planned...

If enough people absolutely can't wait for that, we might do a very limited edition of this version first though, if there is interest in it. We were really only planning to make some review copies and perhaps a few for patrons. We might have to solder the rom chips to those by hand so that puts a limit to how many we have time to make...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

Since you're located in Sweden (right next door from here) I'd definitely be interested in a cartridge, and please sign me up for the super early limited productions, @SlowMoleDev!

It's rare to be able to get to these without struggling with expensive shipping, customs and extra fees when you live in Scandinavia nowadays. Happy to see more homebrewers from here, in general.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

Great trailer and the precision platforming looks right up my alley. Downloaded the ROM and I'm definitely interested in getting a physical copy too but I'll have to see how and where it will be sold of course.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

I just played it a bit.  I like the timer idea.  It's a nice twist to set it apart from similar games.  If I may make a suggestion though, would it be possible to make it so that every time you respawn, the screen is set back to the same state?  It seems sometimes you're put in a situation where it would be impossible to beat the timer and your only choice is to lose on purpose until everything is in place for a good run.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Red said:

I just played it a bit.  I like the timer idea.  It's a nice twist to set it apart from similar games.  If I may make a suggestion though, would it be possible to make it so that every time you respawn, the screen is set back to the same state?  It seems sometimes you're put in a situation where it would be impossible to beat the timer and your only choice is to lose on purpose until everything is in place for a good run.


This is intentional, but I always knew this would be a divisive design choice. The underlying timer controlling the cycling platforms etc don't reset when you respawn. I know it will throw some people off when they start playing, but what it also does is to force the player to observe the level since you can't beat it by learning how to play it, you have to adapt. It also means there are infinite variations when there are enemies (which more often than not have randomized starting directions) and platforms/lasers etc on the same screen. I've literally played this game hundreds of times and the game still keep surprising me and I still come up with plays in seemingly impossible timings. For me that's a real rush.

Also, all the levels have been designed around this in mind and there are mutliple ways to beat them.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, SlowMoleDev said:


This is intentional, but I always knew this would be a divisive design choice. The underlying timer controlling the cycling platforms etc don't reset when you respawn. I know it will throw some people off when they start playing, but what it also does is to force the player to observe the level since you can't beat it by learning how to play it, you have to adapt. It also means there are infinite variations when there are enemies (which more often than not have randomized starting directions) and platforms/lasers etc on the same screen. I've literally played this game hundreds of times and the game still keep surprising me and I still come up with plays in seemingly impossible timings. For me that's a real rush.

Also, all the levels have been designed around this in mind and there are mutliple ways to beat them.

 

 

I think I would have liked it better if everything reset, but I could see how some would prefer it the way it is.  What about when you enter a new room for the first time?  Is the starting state of everything random or always the same?

Despite my complaint, I did enjoy playing though it (haven't tried the challenge stages yet though).  Is there a way to access them without replaying the whole game from the beginning or any plans to add a password system for the cart release?  

Edit: Also, I got a kick out of the trailer and liked the gold mole on the board.  Is that a prop or is it fully functional?

Edited by Red
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
Posted (edited)
Spoiler

An8Au7C.png

Beat the game on Normal (end screen in spoiler). Pretty fun game overall but definitely not the biggest fan of some of the cycles not resetting with death because the amount of available strategies with any given timer is not that high and therefore the improvisational qualities are diminished or non-existent depending on the level in question. Time to beat was something between 1½-2h.

Edited by sp1nz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Red said:

I think I would have liked it better if everything reset, but I could see how some would prefer it the way it is.  What about when you enter a new room for the first time?  Is the starting state of everything random or always the same?

Despite my complaint, I did enjoy playing though it (haven't tried the challenge stages yet though).  Is there a way to access them without replaying the whole game from the beginning or any plans to add a password system for the cart release?  

Edit: Also, I got a kick out of the trailer and liked the gold mole on the board.  Is that a prop or is it fully functional?

I'm afraid it just adjusts for the cycling speed of the current room so it can differ when you first enter it too. This game intentionally subverts many conventional game design principles, so it's fair that some people will find it throws them off. Some other ways it does this is how it's all designed around such a slow character surrounded by fast enemies (usually it's the other way around) and the timer system, as well as the bounce cancel mechanic (which you might or might not have noticed) when jumping on springs. That mechanic can even be used to adjust the timing of the mole when it sometimes seems impossible to get it right for the surroundings, but it's not required to master it to beat the game.

A password system is unlikely, but we are looking into using a save feature in a very discreet way (it will be in Slow Mole + if it all works out and feels right)

For now there's a cheat if you want to play the hard mode right away, hold select+B when going through the normal warp. Beating hard mode will take you to the 15 challenge levels (there's also a way to reach them on normal, but it requires meeting certain conditions)

That is actually a working cartridge prototype! But this version isn't gold plated, it's tin. But when we do a limited run of the updated version of this it's of course going to be gold plated. Here's a shot of the working prototype on a 1984 RGB modded Famicom:
 

 

Edited by SlowMoleDev
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, fcgamer said:

Wow!!! That game looks amazing 🙂

Any chance of being able to put together a special Famicom version? I'd gladly pay you whatever you were asking, and send you a nice assortment of tasty snacks and treats from Taiwan too, for your efforts.

Thanks! Yes, because of demand, we are planning to make a limited run of this version of the game for Famicom. It will look similar but nicer than the prototype in the clip above. I'll get back to you regarding details and how to order it.

Oh I love Taiwan! I was at the Golden Horse Film Festival once...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
17 minutes ago, SlowMoleDev said:

Thanks! Yes, because of demand, we are planning to make a limited run of this version of the game for Famicom. It will look similar but nicer than the prototype in the clip above. I'll get back to you regarding details and how to order it.

Oh I love Taiwan! I was at the Golden Horse Film Festival once...

Awesome, thanks so much!

I'll download the demo this weekend and let know my thoughts 🙂

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
2 hours ago, SlowMoleDev said:

I'm afraid it just adjusts for the cycling speed of the current room so it can differ when you first enter it too. This game intentionally subverts many conventional game design principles, so it's fair that some people will find it throws them off. Some other ways it does this is how it's all designed around such a slow character surrounded by fast enemies (usually it's the other way around) and the timer system, as well as the bounce cancel mechanic (which you might or might not have noticed) when jumping on springs. That mechanic can even be used to adjust the timing of the mole when it sometimes seems impossible to get it right for the surroundings, but it's not required to master it to beat the game.

A password system is unlikely, but we are looking into using a save feature in a very discreet way (it will be in Slow Mole + if it all works out and feels right)

For now there's a cheat if you want to play the hard mode right away, hold select+B when going through the normal warp. Beating hard mode will take you to the 15 challenge levels (there's also a way to reach them on normal, but it requires meeting certain conditions)

That is actually a working cartridge prototype! But this version isn't gold plated, it's tin. But when we do a limited run of the updated version of this it's of course going to be gold plated. Here's a shot of the working prototype on a 1984 RGB modded Famicom:

 

Ah, I was wondering if the bounce canceling was intentional.  I found it helpful in a few spots.

As for the challenge stages, I just went in the bed at the end to get to them.  Was there something else I had to do to make them accessible?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Red said:

Ah, I was wondering if the bounce canceling was intentional.  I found it helpful in a few spots.

As for the challenge stages, I just went in the bed at the end to get to them.  Was there something else I had to do to make them accessible?

Yes, but if they unlocked right away when you beat it on normal, that means the game thought you played well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...