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rickreynolds
18-12-13, 05:09
Merry Christmas! We talk about the home-brew game "Christmas Carol Vs. The Ghost of Christmas Presents", interview its designer/programmer James 'dZ Jay' Pujals, and do an in depth discussion of the game itself. We also interview Phil Boland about his Sears Overlay Set. And this episode is packed with holiday goodness, including a reworked Christmas Mix of The Intellivisionaries Theme, Intellivision Christmas music, and an additional original Christmas tune ("Lonely Christmas" - by Paul Nurminen) that accompanies our 'end of year' outtakes. Grab some eggnog, sit back and enjoy!

Links:

The show's website: http://www.intellivisionaries.com/

Listen online: http://www.intellivisionaries.com/website_player.html

Show notes: http://www.intellivisionaries.com/show_notes_ep04.html

Subscribe via itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/intellivisionaries-podcast/id714110184

Listen on Stitcher Radio: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=41055&refid=stpr

Vipp
24-12-13, 10:21
Another great episode again guys. also i thought i would post my first attempt on the game Christmas Carol vs. The Ghost Of Christmas Presents. it isnt great but we all have a load of time before the final scores are collected. the average seems to be around 1,500 so im way of anything important but it is a fun and addictive game.

1383

focusrs
25-12-13, 01:09
I hate, hate that friggin snowman :) Very fun game, I had not played it until this evening! however I cant seem to break 500 points on it though, very challenging which makes it quite fun! Maybe if I hit my spiked egg nog some more I will improve? maybe? hic....

dzfoo
25-12-13, 03:36
@ vipp: Thanks for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Is that your official score submission? If so, I'll take it up and add it to the database.

You can send any future score via email to <cvw@CarolVsGhost.com>.

Merry Christmas!

dzfoo
25-12-13, 03:38
I hate, hate that friggin snowman :) Very fun game, I had not played it until this evening! however I cant seem to break 500 points on it though, very challenging which makes it quite fun! Maybe if I hit my spiked egg nog some more I will improve? maybe? hic....

Lol! I know, that darn Snowman--and he's not even in the title! ;)

I invite you to post your scores too. You can send them vial email to <cvw@CarolVsGhost.com>, or just post it here. Low scores are just as welcomed (we all start somewhere, right?), we won't judge (well, we judge the winners at the end. :lol: )

dzfoo
25-12-13, 03:41
By the way, the official leaderboard is here (http://www.carolvsghost.com/cvw/pg_leaderboard.html).

Thanks for playing, and Merry Christmas!

rickreynolds
25-12-13, 04:13
I hate, hate that friggin snowman :) Very fun game, I had not played it until this evening! however I cant seem to break 500 points on it though, very challenging which makes it quite fun! Maybe if I hit my spiked egg nog some more I will improve? maybe? hic....

The bane of my existence is the Ghost. Like I mentioned in the podcast, he's what gets me killed. I usually can come up with mitigation strategies for the snowman, but I haven't found effective techniques for luring the snowman somewhere and/or trapping him where I'm not going to be.

I have yet to play a game where I save Christmas on this go around! I'll probably give it a few more plays over the next couple of days when I'm off work. But my tolerance for frustration starts to wear down after 30 minutes of gameplay or so.

dzfoo
25-12-13, 03:14
I hear you, that Ghost is sure mischievous!

Here are a few tips:
- The Ghost runs from present to present, picking his target randomly each time. He will follow the most direct path to his target so try to stay out of his way. He picks one of the set present locations, whether a present remains there or not.

- If you pick up a present while he is moving, he will hear you, and run towards the location of the present you just grabbed. Get out of his way immediately.

- He has an internal counter of the number of "tiles" he's moved. When the counter reaches zero, he will stop, look around, and pick a new target. While he's looking around, he can't hear you picking up presents. The counter changes on every level, but it is predictable. You can tell the distance he will travel by observing his behavior. Also, the counter is reset when you pick up a present, so he has a chance at reaching you before it counts down to zero. Make sure you are away.

- Eating a snowflake will stun him temporarily, and make the Snowman run towards him during his confused period (you guys got that wrong in your review. :P ). When the effects wear off, the Snowman will resume targeting Carol, and the Ghost will start his routine again, picking a present location at random to visit.

- Since the Ghost chooses his targets at random, there is not real way to coerce him into a specific position--except by picking up a present. If there is no direct path to the present, he may stay stuck in place.

I hope these help. :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
dZ.

dzfoo
25-12-13, 03:18
One more note. In case it wasn't obvious from my previous explanation. The Ghost "tile counter" corresponds directly to the distance he travels. Plus, since he is constantly moving (while not looking around), it also corresponds to the time it takes from his last destination to the point he stops and looks around.

By observing his behavior on every level, you can gauge how much time you have until the next time he stops--when you are free to pick up a present without getting noticed.

dZ.

Vipp
28-12-13, 07:40
@ vipp: Thanks for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Is that your official score submission? If so, I'll take it up and add it to the database.

You can send any future score via email to <cvw@CarolVsGhost.com>.

Merry Christmas!

Hi DZFoo, I am LOVING this game now! im getting a little better but Nurmix is right about completists like myself, i went about trying to get all the candy and boxes for every level and didnt get very far. now i have a new score, still nothing close to the other guys and if you don't mind i will post them up here as well as email them to you. I would love to win the grand prize, for my special edition cart i would have a badly drawn Nurmix as carol, Rick as the snowman and William as the killer toy. Haha!

1385

dzfoo
29-12-13, 03:38
Hi Vipp,

You can post your scores here and I'll add them to the database.

I am also a completist, and like Rick mentioned in the podcast, during the beta-testing period, I was rather surprised that people were getting so far ahead to higher levels, because by trying to get everything, I was having a hard time getting very far.

At that point, I started playing the game for endurance, trying hard not to pick up candy, and discovered to my dismay that it was very easy! Consequently, I tweaked the difficulty. So you can thank Rick and the other beta-testers for the game being so hard. ;)

The good news is that, if you just ignore the candy, the game is not that hard.

Cheers!
dZ.

Vipp
29-12-13, 07:23
Hi Vipp,

You can post your scores here and I'll add them to the database.

I am also a completist, and like Rick mentioned in the podcast, during the beta-testing period, I was rather surprised that people were getting so far ahead to higher levels, because by trying to get everything, I was having a hard time getting very far.

At that point, I started playing the game for endurance, trying hard not to pick up candy, and discovered to my dismay that it was very easy! Consequently, I tweaked the difficulty. So you can thank Rick and the other beta-testers for the game being so hard. ;)

The good news is that, if you just ignore the candy, the game is not that hard.

Cheers!
dZ.

Hey DZ, the game is great, i got to the end this time, for some reason my character was either really fast on levels or so slow it was ridiculous to think i could have out run anything at all let alone the crazy Ghost and evil snowman, does that happen for any reason or am i doing something i nthe game and not knowing what? it's still brilliant at any rate. here is my new score.

13861387

Vipp
29-12-13, 09:57
Well i managed to get a little higher with my score. i give up at this stage, the mark up of difficulty from the second play of the game is so high im finding it frustrating. Carrol goes so slow it's almost too hard to escape the snowman at all. im also seriously impressed with the 9000+ scores, those guys either have the best arcade gaming skills in history or they are some seriously good photoshopers.

still id say to anyone yet to play this brilliant game, head over to the website and get the free rom and play, it really s brilliant!

My final score for submission is 1593

1388

focusrs
30-12-13, 12:06
Well i managed to get a little higher with my score. i give up at this stage, the mark up of difficulty from the second play of the game is so high im finding it frustrating. Carrol goes so slow it's almost too hard to escape the snowman at all. im also seriously impressed with the 9000+ scores, those guys either have the best arcade gaming skills in history or they are some seriously good photoshopers.

still id say to anyone yet to play this brilliant game, head over to the website and get the free rom and play, it really s brilliant!

My final score for submission is 1593

1388

1389
dont see what the problem is Vipp, I have no problems with the game :)
(not a official score, I am harassing Vipp :) )

dzfoo
30-12-13, 12:48
Hey DZ, the game is great, i got to the end this time, for some reason my character was either really fast on levels or so slow it was ridiculous to think i could have out run anything at all let alone the crazy Ghost and evil snowman, does that happen for any reason or am i doing something i nthe game and not knowing what? it's still brilliant at any rate. here is my new score.

13861387

Hi Vipp.

I'm glad you've enjoyed the game. About the changing speed, that is something that others have commented in the past. As I said in another forum, it's mostly an illusion. You see, with each stage the game gets progressively faster and harder, until you reach the last stage. At that point, it starts from the beginning, with a slight uptick in difficulty. This includes an increase in speed for the enemies.

When you start the first stage again on the second trip, everything is slightly faster and harder, it is just slower than the last stage you just completed. This should give you a respite after the intense higher levels.

I'm sorry if the speed change makes it frustrating to you. I can tell you that it does get better after some practice, especially if you learn how to exploit the enemy behaviors. The one thing that won't work is to reuse the same patterns on higher difficulties.

One other thing. Consider taking advantage of the Practice Mode. You can practice any level at any of the difficulties to hone your skills and discover new patterns.

Let me know if you have any problems, and thanks for participating.

Regards,
dZ.

dzfoo
30-12-13, 12:51
By the way, there's only one score higher than 9k this year, and it is from a veteran player called Liduário. He's been playing the game for over a year, and as you can see he is very good.

He has also posted videos of his gameplay, so I can assure you his score is not photoshopped. :)

dZ.

Vipp
30-12-13, 01:12
Hi Vipp.

I'm sorry if the speed change makes it frustrating to you. I can tell you that it does get better after some practice, especially if you learn how to exploit the enemy behaviors. The one thing that won't work is to reuse the same patterns on higher difficulties.

Regards,
dZ.

Hi DZ,

The game is brilliant mate, it's frustrating in a good way. it's keeps me playing the game beause i know i have to beat the level i died on, honestly i think you made a perfect retro game here and im glad i managed to get over 1000 on the game.

*would you consider going back on the intellivisionaires to explain a little more about your program that helps program intellivision games? i noticed it was credited at the end of Carol VS the ghost game so i thought it miht be at a stage where your happy to explain what it is and what you plan for it before you think about releasing it?
It sounds interesting from what i saw you telling Scott on the forums.

dzfoo
30-12-13, 03:32
Hi DZ,

The game is brilliant mate, it's frustrating in a good way. it's keeps me playing the game beause i know i have to beat the level i died on, honestly i think you made a perfect retro game here and im glad i managed to get over 1000 on the game.

*would you consider going back on the intellivisionaires to explain a little more about your program that helps program intellivision games? i noticed it was credited at the end of Carol VS the ghost game so i thought it miht be at a stage where your happy to explain what it is and what you plan for it before you think about releasing it?
It sounds interesting from what i saw you telling Scott on the forums.


It would be my pleasure to do another interview.

As for P-Machinery (the game framework), I never completed it. My intention was to clean-up Christmas Carol's code, generalize it, and build a framework around it. I only got so far, and what I released was merely a game skeleton. Sure, it helps, but it is not a framework by any means.

Then, instead of completing it, I decided to start from scratch to fix many of the shortcomings that came from my limited experience while making Carol. The new version aims to be a full-fledge game development kit, with many different powerful features. It's already taking shape.

My first release of P-Machinery v2.0, planned for next year, will be the base core libraries. After that, I plan on making game-modules, what I call Program Construction Kits or PaCKs. These will be specialized modules for different game types. For instance, an Adventure PaCK would include pre-fab modules to define "rooms" and interactive objects, and bring its own keyboard driver with a noun-verb parser, to make the development of adventure games easier. Likewise, there could be an Arcade PaCK, Strategy PaCK, or Puzzle PaCK.

It'll be open, with a well documented API for others to add their own libraries, kernels, and PaCKs.

However, all this is just "blue-skying" right now. I'm still working on the very basics, and I am very slow at this. It'll take time.

dZ.

indieseoul
09-01-14, 06:33
Great show guys I finally found some time to give it a listen. I really enjoyed the interview with Dzfoo. I agree with Vipp in that it would be cool for you to go back on again in the future and talk about your Intellivision game development kit once it's completed. I enjoyed Nurmix's Christmas remix of the intro. Great work as always man. Once Focus sends me a proper controller for my Intellivision II I plan on spending more time with the system. Can't wait for episode 5!

Nurmix
09-01-14, 06:55
Great show guys I finally found some time to give it a listen. I really enjoyed the interview with Dzfoo. I agree with Vipp in that it would be cool for you to go back on again in the future and talk about your Intellivision game development kit once it's completed. I enjoyed Nurmix's Christmas remix of the intro. Great work as always man. Once Focus sends me a proper controller for my Intellivision II I plan on spending more time with the system. Can't wait for episode 5!

Cool, thanks Indieseoul! Glad you're enjoying the show. We're lining up some great stuff for episode 5... so much so that it may end up being 5 hours long.