Initially, the game was planned to have a medical theme, and as such, the game's working title throughout development was "Doctor Grunio".
Recent community posts
"The Great Cavy Rescue!" subtitle was added retroactively after titling the game's sequel.
Although the first Gruniożerca has been ported to many systems by a number of different developers, the internal plan for the Gruniożerca series (if it continues past what's been produced) is:
- Each numeric sequel follows a different gameplay structure.
- Gruniożerca (arcade-style catch-the-falling-objects)
- Gruniożerca 2 (sidescrolling, block placement puzzle platformer)
- Gruniożerca 3 (overhead, block destruction puzzle game)
- Main entries starting with 2 would follow "The Great Cavy _______!" naming structure.
- Spin-offs that retain core gameplay component would share the same number (Street Fighter 2-style), but have a different subtitle (such as Gruniożerca 2: Dzidzia's VR Playground)
A significant amount of work was completed on a spin-off called Gruniożerca 2: Dzidzia's VR Playground with a visual themed inspired by Metal Gear Solid VR Missions.
In the editor, you would take on the role of Grunio designing Holodeck / Danger Room-style simulations for Dzidzia to play. In the games users, players would have controlled Dzidzia, in an attempt to solve the room puzzles.
This possibility is not entirely off-the-charts, but we have removed it from our priorities for the foreseeable future.
During development of Gruniożerca 3: The Great Cavy Clean-up!, the decision is made to retroactively add the subtitle , The Great Cavy Rescue! to Gruniożerca 2
Feb. 6th, 2019
Gruniożerca 2: The Great Cavy Rescue! is released on itch.io
Revision 1 officially released.
- Improved transitions…
- when an object is destroyed under teetering.Grunio.
- when entering Cavyvision..
- when exiting a stage.while pushing a stool.
- while falling from a portal.
- when a block is placed in front of teetering Grunio (Try it!).
- Improved Input freedom…
- allowing Cavyvision to be entered while falling.
- allowing switches to be triggered while sitting.
- Corrected occasional crashes caused by BGM changes.
- Revised SFX code.
- Revised design for room 9.
- Removed unused code and data.
NESDev Coding Competition results are posted. We barely managed first place with a score of 44.612, edging out the excellent Project Blue's 43.716.
Łukasz adds even more sound effects, including squeaky sound for hammer. ^^
Archon provides voice sample used for Gramytatywnie version of game.
Discovered and fixed that starting a new game after viewing ending will crash the game.
Briefly consider going a kickstarter route for an extended version of game. Eventually decide not to, and let game stand alone as it is.
Bug discovered and fixed: passwords causing crashes. A side-effect of a recent bugfix.
Gramytatywnie auction winners' custom ROMs are sent to Emunes.PL.
Decision to enter NESDev competition is finalized. Work continues on branched-off version to get game back into 64KB restriction of competition. These include: removing voice sample, removing one music track, Through the Sewers, Łukasz trims remaining tracks, additional
Discussion begins on a MGS:VR Missions-inspired level editor based on game engine.
Box art for auction carts sent for production.
Competition version submitted for NESDev Coding Competition.
Actively acknowledge game is not reflex-based, and use that to inform decisions of what to cut and what to leave, in terms of features. Ultimately resulting in a game with essentially no timing-based mechanics, only planning and and execution.
A crash-causing glitch exclusive to NTSC hardware arises late (as former testing had been done on a PAL machine), and corrected.
Added a push-back effect for placing a chew toy in an area only partially obstructed by Grunio.
A lot stages get revised.
There is some pressure to finish game from outside sources for Christmas. Eventually decide that a polished game after Christmas is better than a rushed one before.
Increased freedom of which player-modes when player can perform actions from.
Teetering unexpectedly pauses explosions.
Room order decided.
New room designed to replace a subpar one.
Ending animation created.
Google Drive creates major troubles with its handling of conflict copies.
My wife completes a full playthrough of the game. Stated intent to kill me at a couple of the difficulty spikes.
Further room revisions.
Room titles and game dialog revised. Łukasz finishes translating game text into Polish.
Initial track listing proposed, all from Shiru.
Title & Ending: Spring Thing (Same as we [were] using [before])
Rooms 01-06 (Mustard):
Lost in HyperspaceLone FIghter
Rooms 07-12 (Brown):
Rooms 03-18 (Teal): Through Sewers
Rooms 19-24 (Pink): Intruder Alert
(Strikethrough text denotes initial contemplation. These tracks will be used for Gramytatywnie release. Alterations will be made later to fit into competition size restrictions.)
Final in-game credits made. Some additional text characters added to chr file.
Google Drive's method renaming of conflict duplicates proves to continue to be an issue. Seems less and less likely maintaining current workflow will be viable with it.
Heavy bugs from BGM arise (music sometimes playing at wrong tempo, buzzing sound instead of tracks starting sometimes, etc.)
BGM issues fixed.
hm, by debugger, it seems music change gets interrupted by vblank. So while driver is making preparations for starting the music, it gets interrupted by nmi code-which also makes changes to famitracker RAM. Makes sense it would randomly and rarely glitch out. Luckily, there's an easy fix.
Łukasz proposed rooms with multiple keys. I create graphics for a mult-lock door, where additional locks would explode so that new door-opening animation wouldn't need to be made. Łukasz agrees to code in variable homing positions for keys based on number of locks remaining.
I believe we later decided to re-order locks.
New rooms created are being labeled A,B,C, etc. so as not to be confusing when reordered for final game. Aside from Łukasz' first 6 rooms, up to room F has been created. Łukasz has provided room concepts which will later be used for three more rooms.
Collision bug which allows Grunio to climb into a wall discovered. Additional problems with stool-pushing arise.
Ability to jump from teetering added.
Decision to have explosions also update surrounding area for correct lighting and shadows as terrain changes is made. Problem arises that too many simulataneous metatile updates would crash game. To save further development time, decision is made to just run additional explosions to update these areas. Logically an issue, but looks cool because of more explosions.
Pausing during Cavyvision crashes game. Uh-oh!
I have become obsessed with the design of a single room, temporarily dubbed "hammer maze" (would later become Hammer Time in release version of game.) My goals for such a room were:
* the correct path provides exactly how many hammers the player needs.
*at least 2-3 choices where the player can choose incorrect paths (and run out of hammers)
* some bonus for the carrot (maybe a shortcut gives one hammer extra, or a seeming risk leads to something)
Pause menu edited to move text into overscan-safe zone.
Explosion graphics optimized. Previously, two frames of the animation had used 8 tiles each, with 4 tiles per scanline. After , every frame is 4 tiles only with only 2 tiles per scanline.
More stool and teetering issues arise and are taken care of.
Collision refined for better symmetry.
Password glitch discovered and fixed.
Nineteen rooms have been designed.
Stool is fixed.
Multi-lock code for doors is added.
CHR data opened up by nudging freeing up tiles in Grunio's body that could be dupes of others at offsets.
It is decided that the best way to release the game would be by entering it into the NESDev Coding Competition.
Data is reorganized to allow a 64KB build to adhere to competition guidelines.
Random explosion instance isolated and corrected.
First instance of black-screen-of-death crashes occurs.
Only three rooms left to design.
The slowing of music while in Cavyvision is added.
Additional sound effects created and added.
Emunes.pl uploads a game trailer to Youtube.
New explosion graphics created, replacing the final component of OpenGameArt that had been in the game.
Explosion graphics revised to better compliment visual style of game.
Łukasz and I both seem to have been independently working on the ideas of disappearing blocks. He proposes something switch-based. I inform him I had already been working on graphics for something timer based. We decide to use the sliding shelves graphics I had made and set them up to A/B switches. Where shelves A start protruded and B retracted, activating lever toggles that.
Sliding shelves initially planned as metatile swaps. Change is made to CHR-RAM updates instead.
Łukasz expresses difficulty in establishing new room designs. I agree to handle remaining maps. Immediately consider implementing a type of metatile that player cannot place toys on. Have difficulty coming up with a visual theme for such a block.
Horizontal and vertical flips added to explosion animation, based on direction of explosion chain.
Łukasz creates and implements sound effects for game.
Decide upon barred internal windows as metatiles that can't support chew toys.
This then implies justification for toy placement as being affixed to the wall (hence why they don't fall), but the bars not providing enough surface area for adhesion.
New problem arises with teetering. Proves to be quite a pain.
I have created my first room design, as shown below (This room would later undergo a number of revisions before final game.)
Note the temporary graphics used for level design. Edges are not automated, so all designs were first made with these temp graphics and playtested before being skinned with final graphics.
New BG metatiles constructed and first three rooms reskinned with new BG graphics.
HUD improved with sprite overlays.
Two tracks from Shiru, Lone Fighter and Spring Thing, added (originally as placeholders).
Additional layer of room data organized in editor. (for customizable visuals to be revealed behind chewtoy metatiles once destroyed).
Archon and Łukasz' siblings provide first wave of play tests. Some bugs fixed. Most notable feedback was for need to restart room.
Łukasz designs an additional room.
Spot illustration made and label design started.
Decision to allow wider, free jumps and climbing is made. (Previous design plan would have Grunio shake his head and refuse to jump if unable to land on a block with equal x value. Would have greatly reduced platforming aspect of game.)
Arhn.eu fb page posts a preview image.
Teetering, tumbling, and falling transition animations added.
Teetering and stool present a challenge with unexpected interactions, prove to be a major dilemma.
Cart label designed.
Mock-up carts photographed:
Image source: arhn.eu's facebook page
After considering removing either stool or teetering, conflict finally solved.
"There are two detection points in front of Grunio. One is at one pixel ahead and second is 8 pixels ahead. These detect for the stool. This doesn't cover the full possible distance between a ledge and stool, yes. So if piggie starts teetering on ledge (stool is too far for piggie to walk onto it), hitbox for stool gravity collision will be resized down. This way we allow player to walk on a stool that's offset a little from the ledge and, when it becomes visually unplausible for piggie to cross over, we start teetering code."
Łukasz designs fifth stage.
Trying to maintain Game Jam momentum begins to take its toll physically.
Gramytatywnie event held.
Cart auctions in progress.
Teleport feature added.
Łukasz adds parallax scrolling to credits screen.
Emunes splash screen designed:
This screen was used exclusively for the auction carts, as the extent of emunes's involvement was their physical production. Removal of it was also essential for trimming the ROM size down to 64K for NESDev Coding Competition requirements.
Print logo created by hand-tracing my pixel logo from a TV screen, scanning, and auto tracing as vector.
Spot illustration was my second attempt at the drawing. The first is a hideous failure, and on this page as well:
Gruniożerca translates to Grunio the Devourer. Grunio is the name of this actual guinea pig.
@arhneu The "gru" prefix is a Slavic onomatopoeia for the purring/cooing noise a guinea pig makes. The suffix is there to make it into a pronounceable name. Roughly translated: "The one that purrs".
Żerca means eater or devourer. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C5%BCerca
So, it seems Gruniożerca could be more literally translated as Purry the Devourer!
Nov. 20—21st: Most gameplay animations have been made and included.
Nov. 24th: Dialog before every stage is added via quote screens.
Nov. 26th: Quote screen designed. A lot of features worked on / implemented. Stool pushing in place.
Nov. 27th: Title screen designed. Movement mechanics and collision improved. New background graphics designed so as to use all original graphics. setting is changed from dungeon-esque cellar to something more modern, like a cute Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Lighting style heavily influenced by Jussi Simpanen's pixel art.
For those unaware, NES backgrounds can only display 13 colors at a time (without coding tricks like updating palettes mid-scanline) There is one universal background color and four subpalettes of three additional colors each. When I decided to go with chew toys, as the visual theme for the blocks, I wanted to make the game as colorful as possible.
The chew toys come in four different colors, but only use two subpalettes. This is achieved by using hue ramps within the palettes:
So, black is the universal color and the cool subpalette has a dark violet, medium blue, and light teal while the warm subpalette has a light yellow, medium red-orange, and dark red-violet.
To unify the remainder of the game visually, the quote screens and title screen are all constructed using those same two subpalettes:
For lack of repetition , I've often left the subject off of the sentences in the following posts. Generally speaking, the subject can be inferred to be We (as in Łukasz and I), for coding-based tasks, Łukasz , and for art-based tasks, I (as in myself). In no way would I want to take credit for work I haven't done. :)
Nov. 14, 2017: Łukasz messages, informing me that he is working on a sequel for Gruniożerca, a game he had made for charity. He has basically entire game concept planned already:
"I have fully flesh out the idea, but the basic premise is to have it a one screen platformer. Grunio will be able to collect special items. Once collected, he can materialize the bricks (Solid MetaTiles) so he can jump on them. In each level he must get a key and head to door. Each level also hold a carrot as bonus item. Collect a carrot in each level to get a special password at end game. Other objects would include something like a chair that Grunio can push and jump on."
Łukasz states that he intends to use open source background graphics but requests that I make the player animation.
Nov. 16th: Łukasz puts together the following mockup using this art from OpenGameArt:
I start work on player animations, palettes, and theme (chew toys instead of bricks, etc.).
Nov. 17—18th: We add hammer item to the game plan, create and implement nearly all items, blocks, etc.
Nov. 19th: Grunio animations started. I struggle a bit differentiating him from a hamster or a dog. Eventually decide to embrace cartoon aspect of character in lieu of biological accuracy (for instance, moving Grunio's distinctive facial fur pattern to surround his eyes, allowing eyes to be visible in sprite).
Some ideas that were pitched but later scratched:
- An outdoor setting as opposed to a cellar.
- Controlling Dzidzia instead of Grunio (as Grunio's almost-all-black fur pattern proved to be a challenge in maintaining both clarity and visual interest in character design).
- A higher color count for player, resulting in shading and a unique left and right-facing player sprites (instead of horizontally flipped)
- Ability to push single blocks, and to rotate block sets (dropped as it would have made puzzles too easy to solve / too difficult to design.
- Tutorial stages set in house, not cellar.
- Later half of the game played as the other guinea pig in a scifi environment.
- Quite a large number of cursor variations:
- Spinning item sprites (because unclear whether left or right facing)
- Mario-style item blocks (dropped because it would have removed ability for player to decide what order to collect items in)
- Enemies, Decaying Blocks, Creature that lays blocks,
- Squashed-behind-a-block animation for death.
- The following stage: I spent probably more time trying to make this stage playable and fun -and failed- than I'd like to admit.
It was eventually replaced with Cavalier Cavidae, a far superior stage in every way.
- A 2-player alternating mode
- Bonus stages with gameplay mechanic like Gruniożerca 1
- Twice as many puzzles
That's a pretty rad project. Unfortunately, we cannot allow CG2 to be included, since we're requesting donations to a charity for download. So, this isn't really a free release as much as it is an honor-code release (We trust that anyone who can donate does.)
That said, we have an update to Gruniozerca 2 planned, and after that game is updated, we'll happily allow you to include it.
The sprites for the gopjil and nalgae enemies originated in a mockup made years earlier on how I would have redesigned smb1 sprites.
Quite pleased with the designs, and deciding they were unique enough, sharing only basic concept with their sources of inspiration, I knew I'd eventually use them for something. When it came time to add new enemies to the CGA world, I quickly jumped to these.
The original plan for the manual/backside of the poster was a foldout Candyland-style board game, and an additional card of four cut-and-fold game pieces (using some of the illustrations that adorn the standard manual).
In-Progress image of the board. Would have eventually had some of the manual illustrations with captions in the negative space.
This idea was scrapped in favor of a layout that would be better suited to showcase the spot illustrations done for enemies, etc. -and also because the overlap of folks who would buy a physical homebrew and who would actually cut up something that came with it is likely not a significant number.
I *very* briefly considered boss battles, one at the top of the mines and one at the top of the tower.
Designing bosses when there's no combat would have been challenging, but the loose idea is that the mines one would have a been a large piece of automated construction equipment that would have required a number of stalactites dropped upon it. The tower would have been a large flying creature that would have swooped down and attacked the players. The players would have needed to dodge at the right time to get the creature to bite some tower-top shrubs instead. With a belly full on shrubbery, it would have been placated and either flown off or slept.
Bosses were scrapped due to being beyond the scope of our already-ambitious game. I scoured notebooks, but I don't think these even made it to the sketch stage.
Although most stages received revisions, some fairly heavy ones, only one stage was fully scrapped during development:
Originally planned as the final stage, the above proved to be more frustrating and less rewarding than had hoped.
While sketching revisions, quickly decided to go with an angry face layout to give it a bit of a boss feel. These sketches were the first steps in the process:
The final result came out as follows:
Some Cutting Room Floor content:
The following sprite was in nearly all builds of the game until final and was intended for use during cutscenes (mid-game and ending) to indicate which character is talking. However, it was scrapped due to it being distracting and unnecessary (only one character ever talks).
The Maekgaibo's sprites received the most visual revisions.
From left to right: The original spinning enemy from CGA; The four-bladed version from the CG2A mockup; The version used during most of development; Three attempts to reduce the maximum visual height of the blade by a pixel, the final version used in-game.
The additional blades were dropped to make for clearer animations (originally, the two sets of blades were planned to rotate in opposite directions, and visually it was cluttered). The reduction in height was to allow for visual clearance as the player ducks from their desired duckable height.
The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure uses depth/height to label its levels instead of label or stage numbers. It starts in the mines at a depth of -384 meters and extends to a height of 400 meters as Kaylee scales the tower, with each progression increasing the height by 16 meters. The scale was based on the height of the characters (15-16 pixels) being an acceptable height for 10-11 year-olds.
For brief period of time in the development cycle, prior to obtaining permission to use Chip Jockey's tracks (and before Robi had finished composing all of his), we considered scoring the game with the CC-BY album 8-Bit Run n' Pun by Ozzed.
We very much made the right decision to wait for the tracks that we did have (as Robi and Chip Jockey's music are both frequently praised by players). However, if you're curious as to what the game might have felt like, the track assignment of Run n' Pun would have likely been as follows:
01 - INTROJUICE - Title Screen and all menus
02 - FAILIEN FUNK - Mines 1 (Stages 01-06)
03 - STROLL ‘N ROLL - Mines 2 (Stages 07-12)
04 - SHELL SHOCK SHAKE - Mines 3 (Stages 13-18)
05 - I’M A FIGHTER - Mines 4 (Stages 19-24)
06 - GOING DOWN TUNE - Mid-Game Cutscene
07 - CLOUD CRASH - Tower 1 (Stages 25-30)
08 - FILAMENTS AND VOIDS - Game Over Stats Screen
09 - BONUS RAGE - Hidden Chambers
10 - IT’S NOT MY SHIP - Tower 2 (Stages 31-36)
11 - PERIHELIUM - Tower 3 (Stages 37-42)
12 - SHINGLE TINGLE - Tower 4 (Stages 43-48)
13 - JUST A MINUET - Ending & The End Stats screen.
The first name considered for Kaylee's character was Constance (in a search for a virtue-based name to counterpart Justice). I was then reminded that Justice's character wasn't named for that game's charitable cause (The Children's Justice and Advocacy Center), but after John's son.
Since the real-life Justice has a younger sister named Kaylee, dropping the name of Constance was an easy decision to make.
The first Cowlitz Gamers Adventure had 8 stages with four loops (each with an increasing number of enemies/obstacles on the screen).
Every third stage in the mines of The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure is an adaptation of the first game's stages. So, stages 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 in CG2A correspond to stages 1 through 8 in CGA respectively. The number of enemies in each is a balance of the stage's position in the game (for difficulty curve) and controlling scanline issues.
Late 2015: Łukasz Kur and Robi develop The Cowlitz Gamers Adventure for The Cowlitz Gamers for Kids Expo. Aside from programming, Łukasz also designed the levels and graphics, using some tiles from The Abondonauts tileset by Adam Saltsman.
Screenshot from 2016's Cowlitz Gamers' Adventure
January 2016: M-Tee responds to a forum post by John Hancock, organizer of the expo, that requests cover art and packaging design for the project.
March 2016: While working on the subsequent illustrations, M-Tee pitches a mock-up for a sequel to Łukasz and John. Plans are made to begin work on it in the summer.
Original CG2A Mockup Image
April 2016: The Cowlitz Gamers Adventure is released at the expo along with a limited run of posters and the original cover art is auctioned off at the event for the charity.
July 2016: Łukasz and M-Tee begin development work on The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure. The phrasing of the title is chosen to enable the large central 2 on the cover art. Robi begins work on music composition.
An image showing the typical development process of the game.
August 2016: The decision to add 2-player co-op is made. The newly-introduced Kaylee takes the first-player spot.
April 2017: Demo is publicly displayed at The Cowlitz Gamers for Kids Expo, and then released online. Player feedback greatly benefits further development.
October 2017: The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure is officially released in a limited physical edition at PRGE. The copies produced for the event sell out in less than an hour. Over the next year, a few more pressings of the game were made and sold in batches online and at the 2018 Cowlitz Gamers for Kids Expo.
Original Cowlitz Gamers 2nd Adventure Cover Art Illustration
The Cowlitz Gamers Adventure gets a budget cart release with new, bifold manual and The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure gets a subsequent pressing with purple cart shells.
John Hancock pictured with the Cowlitz Gamers Adventure display at the Cowlitz Gamers for Kids 2018 Expo Source
September 2018: The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure's slot in the NES Homebrew Players' Competition comes up. The top eight scorers receive a custom postcard.
Homebrew Players' Competition Postcard Illustration
October 2018: The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure receives an official digital release.
Perhaps I'm doing something wrong or overlooking something:
Version: 1.4 (Demo)
OS: Windows 7 Ult. K
Other: Logitech wireless mouse/keyboard combo
I can move the cursor on the screen, but mouse clicks are not being detected. I restarted PC after install. After launching, it responded to one mouse click (quick load) but wouldn't respond to others. Relaunching, it wouldn't respond to any mouse clicks.
Any help appreciated. Thanks!