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View topic - [Coding competition 2021] 3D Alien Maze by haroldoop

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[Coding competition 2021] 3D Alien Maze by haroldoop
Post Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:05 pm
https://www.smspower.org/Homebrew/3DAlienMaze-SMS



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This is a first person survival horror where you have to escape a maze while running away from an alien monster. You can find out the alien is by hearing the heartbeat. This game is heavily inspired by the classic ZX81 game called "3D Monster Maze".
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:57 pm
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:08 am
Thanks for the recording.👍

BTW, here is the source code: https://github.com/haroldo-ok/3d-alien-maze
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Player
Post Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:02 pm
LOL

I relly like the sprites of the alien, the far and the near... and the effect to red while shaking screen when you fail. Although it seems you have to search for the alien as does not seek a path to find the player.
Maybe an a-path algorithm could be interesting... although when you find a closed path and the monster is near you it is good not to have a very intelligent monster.

Also, i found some laberinth impossible to pass, as you appear on a closed cell.

But inspiring one, yeah. Maybe i could use the concept for a minigame!
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:28 pm
eruiz00 wrote
LOL

I relly like the sprites of the alien, the far and the near... and the effect to red while shaking screen when you fail. Although it seems you have to search for the alien as does not seek a path to find the player.
Maybe an a-path algorithm could be interesting... although when you find a closed path and the monster is near you it is good not to have a very intelligent monster.

Also, i found some laberinth impossible to pass, as you appear on a closed cell.

But inspiring one, yeah. Maybe i could use the concept for a minigame!


Thanks for the review! 👍

Yes, the monster's AI is pretty limited at the moment, just trying to move towards the square where the player is located; I did consider to use A*, or some variant of it, but wasn't quite comfortable as to if I could get it working in time; I also thought about "cheating" by making it teleport to somewhere near the player every now and then, but didn't get around to that, either...

And yes, the maze generation is randomly failing every now and then, even after adding a fllod-fill based connectivity checking... really, I should have tried to use the recursive maze generation instead of a cheesy replacement.. :P

Now I'm curious about the minigame! 😆
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:15 am
Pretty cool. I've always been intrigued by pictures of the original in Retro Gamer and the likes. This version plays well and offers some nice suspense. I love the escape animation.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:50 pm
I really like how the labyrinth is rendered in 3D, so basically you have almost ported Wolfenstein 3-D.
Please add a solid color floor, a solid color ceiling and some sprites to shoot at. :D
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:04 pm
Congratulations! this is an interesting project! One suggestion: I'd remove the "3D" from the title, because since it is a SMS game, it gives the false account of a Sega 3D Scope game.
Unless, of course, you plan to add support for such peripheral, which would be totally awesome! =)
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:12 pm
I have never played the original, but I can surely appreciate the suspense. Highlight for me is the heatbeat-sound, and the whole concept around it.
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:35 pm
Great to see an entry from haroldoop again. I think it's been awhile. 3D Alien Maze reminds me of Twin Maze from 2016 but now with color! My only [minor] issue is that after pressing Up to go forward I often find myself pressing Down to go back because I realized that I actually didn't want to go forward...! Not sure if you would consider adding this as an optional keyboard setting if you were ever going to add to this. Great job!
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:46 am
haroldoop wrote
Yes, the monster's AI is pretty limited at the moment, just trying to move towards the square where the player is located; I did consider to use A*, or some variant of it, but wasn't quite comfortable as to if I could get it working in time; I also thought about "cheating" by making it teleport to somewhere near the player every now and then, but didn't get around to that, either...

Despite its simplicity, I found the AI challenging enough. Maybe I was just unlucky, but I got caught by the alien more times than I could escape! Occasionally I noticed the AI getting stuck in a corner (judging by the coordinates) and tried to take advantage of it, but since only a small part of the maze is visible, I could never plan a completely safe escape route...

I like the hearbeat. When it speeds up (is it also getting louder!?) I know I must run away!
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:42 pm
OK, people, many thanks for the reviews! ;)

Kagesan wrote
Pretty cool. I've always been intrigued by pictures of the original in Retro Gamer and the likes. This version plays well and offers some nice suspense. I love the escape animation.


While I only played the original a little, I always found it an interesting concept, that could be easily ported to the SMS; at the start, I was torn between basing the game on the disassembled version of the original, in order to ensure some fidelity, or reuse one of my really old experiments. In the end, I chose the second option; in retrospect, I should have had at least studied the original maze algorithm.

sverx wrote
I really like how the labyrinth is rendered in 3D, so basically you have almost ported Wolfenstein 3-D.
Please add a solid color floor, a solid color ceiling and some sprites to shoot at. :D


That could be a awesome idea, but I do wonder how well it would work for an action game; the only somewhat decent examples I can remember from the top of my head are the first person scenes from Golgo 13 for the NES, Skeleton+ for the Atari 2600 and Death Mask for the Amiga.

tsp wrote
Congratulations! this is an interesting project! One suggestion: I'd remove the "3D" from the title, because since it is a SMS game, it gives the false account of a Sega 3D Scope game.
Unless, of course, you plan to add support for such peripheral, which would be totally awesome! =)


The name was a reference for the main inspiration, but I do agree that a first person dungeon using the Sega 3D Scope would be awesome!

hang-on wrote
I have never played the original, but I can surely appreciate the suspense. Highlight for me is the heatbeat-sound, and the whole concept around it.


Yes, in the original 3D Monster Maze, the game would give textual cues on how near the T-Rex is; since the SMS can produce sounds, I guessed that dynamic music would be an even better indicator; since I can't compose music, a heartbeat with increasing tempo would have to do; after all, it works pretty well for Space Invaders.

SteveProXNA wrote
Great to see an entry from haroldoop again. I think it's been awhile. 3D Alien Maze reminds me of Twin Maze from 2016 but now with color! My only [minor] issue is that after pressing Up to go forward I often find myself pressing Down to go back because I realized that I actually didn't want to go forward...! Not sure if you would consider adding this as an optional keyboard setting if you were ever going to add to this. Great job!


Funilly enough, while I wasn't thinking about Twin Maze while making it, it did end up quite similar, indeed; in fact, given the way the first person rendering function was implemented, it shouldn't be hard to draw two views of the maze on the same screen.

During development, I originally had a working backwards key, but after reading an article on how the inspiring game was made, I realized that not being able to see the monster while running away from it actually increased the tension, so I removed the code; maybe making it optional could be a good idea, though.

raphnet wrote

Despite its simplicity, I found the AI challenging enough. Maybe I was just unlucky, but I got caught by the alien more times than I could escape! Occasionally I noticed the AI getting stuck in a corner (judging by the coordinates) and tried to take advantage of it, but since only a small part of the maze is visible, I could never plan a completely safe escape route...


It's interesting how such a simple algorithm can sometimes be enough to catch the player unaware, Pac Man's ghost behavior being a prime example of this.

raphnet wrote

I like the hearbeat. When it speeds up (is it also getting louder!?) I know I must run away!


That's exactly the feel it is supposed to pass! ;)

Also, at the time of development, I didn't think about increasing the volume, which would certainly have had increased the impact; only the tempo is increased as the monster draws near.
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:26 am
Nice, haroldo!

But as eruiz reported, I was also trapped in a cell, see attachment.
dead_end.gif (51.56 KB)
dead_end.gif

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