The Furious Felines are back!
6 years ago, I started to write “Furious Felines”, and 6 months later, it became the most complex game I had written to that date.
It has quite nice high resolution graphics (320×192), the graphics and levels are loaded from individual files, making it easier to maintain, and allowing me to go past some of the memory limitations of BASIC, and people seemed to like it.
I did like it too, but there were some things that I’ve always thought could be improved.
The “wind” was the one that I really did not like, and some of the graphics, specially the trampoline onto which the cats jump, were kind of…. off.
A few weeks ago, I finally made up my mind and starting re-coding it.
And then I could not stop.
I changed the way the wind works, then cleaned up the code, and then added new features, and then improved some sounds, and then improved some graphics, and then… STOP!
If I kept going, instead of version 1.1 it would be 2.0! (And I have plans for a 2.0)
Here is what I finally decided to change / update / add:
Used to be part of the level, loaded into VV, and then modified this way:
It will then affect the cat’s horizontal position by H=H+VV+0.1+LO*0.5
Now, it simply is initialized as VV=RND(3)+1 and then used as H=H+VV+LO
A lot simpler, and always an integer.
Enhanced some graphics.
Since I was redoing the way the wind works, I changed the indicator, from simple “>” characters to actually DRAWn arrow shapes.
The spring onto which always looked to ugly. I’m not sure if it looks any more like a spring as it did before, but at least I gave it some “shading” and color.
In the background, I added a second type of window for the buildings in the background, simply by adding a black cross on top of some of them.
And now there are stars in the sky!
And then… I said to myself: “What the heck, I’ll do it.” and added a change in the gameplay.
I added a new element. A piece of cheese that the mouse will try to steal. This will give the game a sort of time limit, and put some pressure on the player to catch the mouse as soon possible.
Now the mouse had to be able to chew trough the walls. To do this, I just draw a black vertical line ahead of the mouse when it collides with a wall and is pointing to the cheese. This effectively “eats away” a small part of the wall.
By making this change, most of the levels of the original game had to be changed. Just dropping the cheese anywhere would not make it a good level, so I went ahead and updated most of them. As I was at it, I added another 2 levels, for a total of 8. (It is still quite easy to edit the levels file to change them or create new ones)
This, of course, required testing and retesting all levels to make sure they were winnable, even in the second round when the wind is stronger, and also tweaking the screens where the score is shown to make room for the higher scores that are now possible.
With this changes, the game became “Furious Felines 2, Save the cheese”
At this point, the game was almost ready.
The flickering in the cat’s graphics as they flew across the screen annoyed me at some point – it is mostly created by the time the computer needs to draw the cat on the screen – and with the help of the great CoCo community, it got mostly under control.
Finally, I changed a bit the intro’s music – which can be skipped, most of the times, by pressing any key – and added a not very neat way to change the color palette to make it look as it should in a TV or RGB monitor.
Well that should be it.
You can download the game from my CoCo website, where there is some information on how the game works, and how to tweak the levels. There is also a manual, in printable and a PDF versions.
If you try it, please let me know what you think of it.