Game for Master System

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Competition Entry

This was a competition entry in 2017

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I've noted the suggested theme of romance and love. Considering the famous quote "I am not prepared just now to say to what extent I believe in a physical hell in the next world, but a sulphur mine in Sicily is about the nearest thing to hell that I expect to see in this life." this entry might be just a little bit off from the suggested theme.

The game is about managing a sulphur mine. The main aspect of the game is to supply enough sulphur to your HQ by building a transportation network consisting of sulphur sources, depots, roads and rail. At the start of the game, you should first connect your first sulphur source to the HQ. Rail connections have higher capacity than roads, but need more time to construct. One unupgraded sulphur source supplies enough sulphur for one idle worker. Busy workers need twice as much. Building nodes in empty space results in sulphur depots. Building nodes on sulphur vents results in sulphur sources.

The current tool can be changed by the second fire button or by clicking on the toolbar. The first fire button starts construction.

UI elements on top bar:

  • "Sulphur in HQ" (upper left corner): Shows the current amount of

sulphur in the HQ (you loose when this reaches 0, and the sulphur storage capacity of the HQ

  • "Workers" (just next to the above): Shows the number of free workers

(i.e. those not currently working on a construction site) and the total number of workers

  • "HQ Level" (upper middle): Current HQ level. Higher levels increase

the amount of workers and the sulphur consumption. You win the level by increasing this to 10.

  • "Toolbar" (upper right): Shows the currently selected tool (same as

cursor) and a clickable list of tools (you can also change the tool by using the right fire button). At certain moments,such as after changing the tool, the toolbar is briefly replaced by a display of the name of the new toll. When the cursor is a above a node (HQ, depot, source) of the transportation network, the toolbar is replaced by a status display. The status display shows the current amount of sulphur in the building under the cursor, and the sulphur storage capacity of the building as well as the level of the building. In case of a threat, the toolbar is briefly replaced by a descirption of the threat, and the background flashes.

There are three difficulty levels, which affect the game in various ways:

  • Starting amount of sulphur in HQ
  • Storage capacity at HQ
  • Amount of rocks on the map
  • Frequency and severity of threats

The game is meant for the SG-1000, SC-3000, Mark III and Master System. It was not tested on real hardware. but it seems to work ok in emulators.

While Io is still work in progress (e.g. no sound or music yet, no sports pad support, no variation in levels) it is already quite playable. Early versions for the ColecoVision were presented earlier on the AtariAge forums (, but the version 0.12 submitted to the competition has substantial improvements over those earlier versions and is much more playable.

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