Check the nesdev wiki and forums or The Brewery subforum of the nintendoage forums for info on getting started. Good luck!
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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!