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NovaSquirrel

Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

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I posted about this on NintendoAge and Nesdev, but I've been working on a SNES platformer game that acts as a sequel to my NES one. It's gonna do a bunch of stuff I wanted to do on the original game but couldn't due to NES limitations, and it's also just going to be more ambitious and better in general, with a heavy (optional?) focus on story. It's open source like the previous game (and like all of my games really), and I'm hoping that that helps convince other people that the SNES isn't very scary after all, and to give it a try. I've certainly had a lot of fun programming it.

I've attached a recent build:

nova-the-squirrel-2.sfc

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3 hours ago, arch_8ngel said:

Still want to see you take the opportunity to call it Super Nova 😛

Absolutely can stick that as a pun somewhere, but I think it's very important to name games something where it's likely to pull up the game if you Google the name.

1 minute ago, Jfreakofkorn said:

Looking good so far . . . Is it me, or does it give out a vibe of mario world ? 

I'm looking to SMW a lot for inspiration on a lot of things, including a lot of engine design. I'm trying to make it feel very non-Mario where I can though.

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I've been putting in cool copy abilities like a remote controlled rocket and a fishing rod

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There's a cute scrolling background on the inventory and dialog screens.

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There's a portrait in the corner of Mode 7 levels now, since you otherwise only see Maffi's back side.

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I have most of a dialog engine implemented! I can have any number of arbitrary 2bpp images as the background, put level blocks and text on top of it, and then place NPCs (who are automatically converted made into 8x8 tiles from a PNG, skipping empty tiles).

This dialog screen is actually the first place I'm using windows so far, to disable the scrolling background for the rectangle that the dialog picture takes up so that the 4-color background underneath can show through.

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I also drew a Nova portrait I'm happy with, for dialog purposes.

I'm also now actually compressing some things with the LZ4 algorithm. I can tag any tileset/graphic as being compressed and it'll all happen transparently when that tileset is loaded.

I've been playing around with enemy stuff a bit, including a new fox enemy that behaves more creature-ish, and indicators for when a cannon is about to fire, in the form of a spinning small version of the ammo.

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Importantly I intentionally reimplemented the ice block "bug" from the previous game! Last time I just "forgot" to add some code, this time I had to intentionally write it.

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All I ask is:

 

- That you make the Level Editor similar to how Lunar Magic works (user friendly)

- Make the tools that you are building the game with easy to use so that other people can make SNES homebrew games too

- Title the game: Super Nova: Nova the Squirrel 2

 

 

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7 hours ago, dale_coop said:

Oh wow, I am very glad to see that Nova have a new episode... on snes this time. I love the character ❤️

Yeah the SNES is my favorite retro console, and Nova is supposed to be a 90s animal mascot platformer character, so I think she should have a proper 16-bit game.

I started Nova the Squirrel 2 since I started a job last year and quickly realized that I needed a longterm passion project I could do alongside it to have something to look forward to after work and keep me sane.

Also Mesen-S coming out was a big factor!

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Figured I'd show off some gifs/videos!

Some gameplay of me going really fast

Locks and keys are implemented, using card suits instead of only relying on color, to be more color-blind friendly.

An inventory system with icons and item swapping!

A Lakitu-like enemy that abuses the same sprite/background priority quirk the NES has

There's pushable blocks that I can use in puzzles, and special versions that clone themselves upward and downward, and there's fun to be had with a no-gravity push block alongside something like the burger ability.

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I had not seen this!  Looks really good!

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I've got parallax scrolling with HDMA.

Also experimented with a second foreground layer so I can get levels like Super Mario World has. (And here's a clip of an earlier test which was horizontal and was controlled with the L and R buttons)

I tried using color math to do a translucency effect with addition - it looked better than averaging the layers together but not sure it's really convincing as colored glass. Maybe colored plastic, I guess.

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To try to make everything more colorful I added some new flowers that have their own palette. I also animate grass when it's stepped on, a little bit.

Arrows, crates, and boulders from the previous game are in, originally inspired by similar mechanics in Hannah and the Pirate Caves.

 

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Here's a mockup of a crystal cave world, with bits from Great Cave Offsensive as well as Cave Story. I'll add a pretty background later.

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This is looking so good! I’m in for a ROM download purchase whenever it’s ready. I haven’t been playing much Super Nintendo over the years — I had never really gotten a chance to bond with the console when I was younger as I didn’t have one and none of my friends did either, we were NES and Sega Genesis fans mostly. A buddy of mine finally gave me an SNES around ten years ago (CIB even) and a few carts, but I still didn’t play it much, it just wasn’t ingrained in me like the NES and Genesis. I had been wanting to pick up the SD2SNES flash cart eventually and really dive into the SNES and explore this new-to-me 16-bit world, but it’s so expensive that I just kept putting it off. Now, however, I’m waiting for the Analogue Super Nt to get restocked, so I can explore the SNES in HD perfection and be able to play the majority of its games from an SD card, including this one.

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3 hours ago, WaverBoy said:

This is looking so good! I’m in for a ROM download purchase whenever it’s ready. I haven’t been playing much Super Nintendo over the years — I had never really gotten a chance to bond with the console when I was younger as I didn’t have one and none of my friends did either, we were NES and Sega Genesis fans mostly. A buddy of mine finally gave me an SNES around ten years ago (CIB even) and a few carts, but I still didn’t play it much, it just wasn’t ingrained in me like the NES and Genesis. I had been wanting to pick up the SD2SNES flash cart eventually and really dive into the SNES and explore this new-to-me 16-bit world, but it’s so expensive that I just kept putting it off. Now, however, I’m waiting for the Analogue Super Nt to get restocked, so I can explore the SNES in HD perfection and be able to play the majority of its games from an SD card, including this one.

This game will be available as a ROM when it's done, pay-what-you-want (including free).

For me, I grew up with an NES and SNES and I only really experienced the Genesis through the Sonic 3 & Knuckles port for Windows, so for me that's the console I've been trying to look into more lately. So the inspirations here are primarily games like Super Mario World, Kirby Super Star, Yoshi's Island and things like that. I definitely wanna get more experiences though and have more to draw from.

And yeah, the fact that many people are going to be playing on emulators, FPGA consoles, and LCD TVs has made me cautious about exploring effects a bit since some of them aren't going to work very well on things that aren't a CRT or at least aren't composite video. So far I'm ruling out anything involving switching between 240p and 480i frequently, but keeping myself open to the possibility of doubling the horizontal resolution for color blending.

For more progress, check out my new door transition effect and my blocks that can have their solidity toggled like the previous game, but this time with three different colors. In this game I want to never rely solely on color to differentiate things, for accessibility, so they also have different shapes on them.

Edited by NovaSquirrel
add progress links
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