Author Topic: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics  (Read 24692 times)

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Offline Sock Master

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2015, 10:40:49 pm »
I updated the DKREMIX file on my web page.

I found a couple of bugs and had to fix them.  One was pretty stupid of me - I meant to adjust the rate at which barrels get released on the spring+barrels level to make it easier, except I messed up and inverted the logic so what it did was reduce the rate on the *other* barrels stages and NOT the spring+barrels one.....ughh

I added a couple of ladders to a couple of the levels, hopefully to give the player more paths/options to avoid dying.

It seems pretty fair to me now except the 2nd pie stage, which I think might still be too brutal.


up2ng -  Yeah,  I'm thinking I'm not going to do any drastic changes to difficulty now, except maybe the 2nd pie stage.

Remix A was the way I first envisioned it should be.  The game keeps the classic 1,4, 1,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 1,2,1,3,4, 1,2,1,3,1,4  stage sequence, except the first time you see a stage it'll be the original one... the next time that stage pops up, it'll be one of the remixed ones, and on...  When it cycles back to an original stage again, it will reappear with a slight change in the layout to still mix things up a bit, but these variations currently end somewhere around L7 if I recall.

Remix B was intended as the easier option.  It starts with remixed levels right away and since you see them at lower difficulties  it's easier to see all the levels.  The stage progression is more like the Japanese version, but not exactly.  1,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4...  (I couldn't bear to put a pie stage at level 1..it'd just be too boring to play.)

"Easy" and "Hard" don't really change things too much.  Easy is a reconstruction of the logic in the early release where the barrels won't kill Jumpman climbing a ladder, and maybe something else, I don't remember because I coded that 8 years ago.  Hard is the equivalent of the later DK release that is supposed to be harder.

What I did not want to do was mess with the original game logic too much when it concerned the original levels.  So there are still the same 5 internal difficulty levels, but there are additional internal values that are used in *new* features.  So anything that already existed *mostly stayed intact.  Anything brand new, was fair game to invent.
...but I do think you have a nice idea there..  I could make an additional internal difficulty level variable that stays at zero, until you play beyond level 5.. and from there it might be used to keep increasing difficulty of certain aspects of the original game mechanics between L6-L21.

(*mostly)... A few things did have to change a bit...
-Since the fireballs now have gravity, you can't trap them in mid-air in the original rivets stage by pulling a rivet out from under them.
-The new elevator+rivets stage depends on Jumpman being able to reliably *walk* onto and off of an elevator.  The distance Jumpman can fall without dying is too unforgiving, so I had to ease it up a *little bit*.  This means he can now perform a bit more recklessly without dying in all stages (wall jumps, elevator jumps..)
-Some of the new stages pack girders/floors closer together than they ever could be in the original game.  There are 'player/background interaction' bugs in the original game that would get Jumpman stuck in floors when walking or jumping if floors/platforms are too close together.  I had to change the interaction logic a bit to allow flexibility in level design.  On a positive note, this makes it function more like Super Mario - no more slamming your head into platforms and dropping down to death.   I'm not sure if anyone has even noticed this yet... but they will if they play this for a while and then go back to regular DK... and notice it's a lot less **forgiving.
(**Little known trivia - in regular DK, background collision physics are different on the girders stage than on the other stages.  Jumpman's head *does* pass through girders there...  but not in the elevators stage.   So I made it more like the girders stage across all stages.)
-There is more vertical 'action' in the remixed stages.  I tweaked the hammer collision detection to better hit things that are slightly above or below.  It seemed silly that it failed to hit all sorts of things otherwise.  It's more satisfying when you actually hit things with the hammer.

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Offline tilt

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2015, 01:17:21 am »
I am very hyped for this game, I am especially excited for HOW MANY new stages there are!  Wow!  This really opens up new ideas to me, and I think this game is just great.  I think while you are at it, even more new stages could be added in, possible a new stage every level.  I suspect technical limitations would make this impossible, but a man can dream.  Maybe possibly replacing one of the stages with a new one each level. Cant wait to see how this turns out
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Offline DaLar

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2015, 07:29:52 pm »
I attempted some floor skips (the 'normal' one from regular Dk barrel board is not in video) :)

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Offline Sock Master

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2015, 08:27:35 pm »
DaLar > That. is awesome.   I'll update the file tomorrow and hopefully it's going to fix the floor skip bug.  The physics in Donkey Kong are super tempermental.  Fix one thing and three other things can break..   I'm really enjoying your videos, it's interesting and informative to watch you try to uncover glitches,etc... in the game.

tilt > I'm pretty much at the limit of how much I can put in this version, but when I do get it ported to the arcade hardware it is possible that there might be a bit of space left for a few more additions.. (hopefully.)   But it'd probably be more variations of the existing stages rather than altogether new stages because I don't expect there will be enough room to store more.
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Offline Sock Master

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2015, 07:22:11 am »
I'm starting to get DK Remixed ported over to Z80 to run on DK arcade hardware.  It's a long process, but I'm making some progress.    The idea is to keep the game mechanics exactly the same as the CoCo 3 game, except it'll run at full resolution/full frame rate/etc on the DK arcade hardware.

Does anyone know offhand if all versions of the DK board sets had the empty ROM socket on the CPU board (the empty socket meant for the diagnostic ROM)
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Offline Sock Master

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2015, 10:03:29 pm »
I'm almost done porting DK Remixed back to DK arcade hardware.   There was a bit of free ROM so I added a few extras - some 'bonus stages' and ..blue hammers, which are the same as regular hammers except Jumpman can actually jump while using blue hammers.

I like the blue hammers.. I can put them in stages where they can be used to get out of tricky situations, or just for fun like in the new elevators stage.

The 'bonus stages' still feel like there's a little something missing... but I'm not sure what I could do as I have only about 200 bytes of ROM space left.

A video:


« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 02:04:16 pm by Sock Master »
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Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2015, 10:39:31 pm »
 <gasp> It's... so... beautiful!!!  Kreygasm Kreygasm Kreygasm Kreygasm Kreygasm Kreygasm BibleThump BibleThump BibleThump BibleThump
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Offline xelnia

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2015, 11:11:14 pm »
Jumpman can actually jump while using blue hammers.

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Offline xelnia

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2015, 01:23:11 am »
The 'bonus stages' still feel like there's a little something missing... but I'm not sure what I could do as I have only about 200 bytes of ROM space left.

What about something akin to the arcade Mario Bros. bonus stages? In that game you get a brief look at the platforms, then they disappear and you have to navigate them blind to get the coins in the allotted time for the max bonus. What if you create a short section of girders like in your barrel bonus stage, show the ladders, then make them disappear. Then players will have to navigate to the top in some amount of time to get a big bonus. Early bonus stages could have 0 obstacles, then later stages could add barrels or something.

If there's room left on the ROM, maybe the ladders could be randomly positioned between the girders before they disappear, making it a real challenge that can't be memorized. In this scenario players could be partially rewarded for how many girders they can ascend, with a max bonus being awarded if they get to the very top.
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Offline Sock Master

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2015, 06:51:14 am »
There actually is some provision to support invisible ladders - board set-up and ladder initialization are separate routines so they can be initialized with different data.  But random ladders is problematic.  There are severe limitations on where functional ladders can be placed; the tops and bottoms have to align to 4 pixel lengths... I guess all the possible ladder combinations would have to be stored in a table, but ROM space is just about full.

Maybe I could just have bonus stages award 1000 additional points for every 10 barrels/firefoxes/'pies' jumped or smashed.
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Offline mrchrister

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Re: Ideas for DK levels and game mechanics
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2021, 04:55:57 pm »
Just wanted to say this is by far the best Donkey Kong Hack I've played, it's a great take on the classic Donkey Kong and mixes up the challenge nicely. Just wanted to thank Sock Master for this gem. I've been playing the Christmas Edition all over Christmas and slowly are getting better at it. Right now I hover around 50k points. I'm really impressed by your programming and level design skills and hope you'll be doing more of this in the future!
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