Sunday, 7 October 2012

Get 'Em DX (C64) (2012)


System Requirements

* A Commodore 64/128/GS (PAL/NTSC).
* A joystick/joypad (two for two-player).
* A VDU preferably connected to a loud sound-system.
* A friend to play with (optional, yet strongly recommended).


Downloads

Download Get 'Em DX (Retail Version) in .prg program format HERE!
Download Get 'Em DX (Retail Version) in .crt cartridge format HERE!

EMULATOR PACKAGE! Download the game ready-to-run combined with the Windows 32-Bit version of the VICE emulator HERE!


Introduction

Poor Getty and Emma may well have been captured by the grumpy old troll King and locked away in the Nyarlu dungeons of infinity, but they weren't overly concerned. Regardless of their plight, the two happy critters cheerily snapped the neck of their prison guard while he slept and prepared for another daring escape. This wasn't the first time they'd thwarted the King's efforts - and it certainly wouldn't be the last...

...Having said that though, these dungeons were unlike any hell-hole the King had cast the duo into previously. Every floor of the neon-walled catacombs was radically different in layout, and what were these odd pulsating crosses lining the corridor floors? Whatever they were for, they certainly tasted nice! And wasn't it convenient that after scoffing them all a key and exit would appear leading to another dungeon? Wizard!

Grabbing a crossbow each from a fallen troll, Getty and Emma skipped happily down the halls, filling their tummies with crosses and chirruping merrily as they let forth salvo after salvo of deadly bolts into the thick hides of their captors. Full of the spirit of adventure, the two friends felt super-positive about their chances - and even if they didn't make it out, nothing would stop them from having fun trying!


Playing Get 'Em DX

To play the game (downloaded from the links above) you will need either a real C64 (and a method of transferring the files over to it) or an emulator. For emulator users, we recommend VICE, as it works on a variety of systems and is very user friendly. Just download the emulator and drag and drop the .prg file into the open program window (or attach the .crt image from the file menu).

Get 'Em DX is a one or two player (co-operative) maze-based arcade game It's a bit like Pac-Man, but with procedurally generated levels and more guns.

The goal on each level is to eat all the crosses, then grab the key that appears and head for the exit door. However, there's also a motley bunch of nasty characters who'll try their best to kill you, block your path and otherwise hinder your progress. In fact, they'll even run off with the exit key if you don't collect it first!

Thankfully, you have a rapid fire crossbow and an infinite supply of ammo to assist you in your adventure. In addition to this, most of the enemies drop power-ups when they die - although you'll need to collect a full set of nine in order to benefit from the effect. They also award points when collected:


Enemies will start to warp into the maze as soon as the level starts. The first two enemies will always be Green Trolls (the dumbest of the King's minions), but after that new monsters will appear - each second warp resulting in a Bombor. The maximum number of active critters, their toughness and the speed at which more difficult monsters occur depends on the difficulty selected on the title screen:

EASY - Slow game speed, maximum of 5 enemies.
NORMAL - Normal game speed, enemy HP increased by 2, maximum of 6 enemies.
HARD - Fast game speed, enemy HP increased by 4, maximum of 7 enemies.

Each of the enemies differ in their behaviour and award a different number of points when exterminated. All of them can steal the key - they'll flash if they are carrying it and you'll need to shoot them to get it back!


GREEN TROLL (10 Points)
Stupid and easily avoided, Green Trolls are the grunts of the evil King's army. Drops power up icons when killed.

RED TROLL (50 Points)
As tough as the Green Troll but a *lot* smarter, these fiends will attempt to home in on you. Drops power up icons when killed.

CATERPILLAR (100 Points)
This monstrous bug fills the corridors of the dungeon with his long tail, eating power-ups and trapping monsters. You can hack your way through his body, but you'll need to shoot the head to kill it! Drops power up icons when killed.

BOMBOR (250 Points)
These volatile monsters explode when shot, destroying the surrounding walls and bonuses adjacent to them as well as any other monsters or spawn points they are touching. Be careful, if you shoot a Bombor at close range they'll take you with them - even if you are shielded!

MAD BAT (500 Points)
The most dangerous monster of all, these bats zip around the maze at an insane speed, eating up any bonus items they pass over. Be warned - if you don't eat any crosses for a while then the chance of a Mad Bat appearing is increased.

SKELLY (1000 Points)
The Skelly has a bone to pick with you! This sneaky beast will stealthily track your movements, dashing at you when you fall in his line of sight. Drops power up icons when killed.


As if your escape wasn't impossible enough, the levels are timed. To begin with, the first three stages have a fixed timer length - on later levels the time awarded depends on the size of the maze. Be warned - if you let the timer run out, you'll be ambushed by a swarm of Mad Bats!

Every time you complete a level, the time remaining on the timer is converted into points (100 per unit). As you progress further into the game, tougher critters will be called into play and all enemies become faster and harder to kill. Eventually you *will* die - but don't worry, maybe you'll achieve a higher score next time?


Controlling Getty and Emma

Player 1 (Getty) is controlled by a joystick plugged into port 2. Player 2 (Emma) unsurprisingly uses a joystick plugged into port 1. There are no keyboard controls. Two player mode is selected by pushing player one's joystick left or right at the title screen. Difficulty is selected by pushing up or down.

To move your character during the game use the directions up, down, left and right. Similar to Pac-Man, when you start moving you won't stop unless you change direction or hit a wall.

Whilst moving, if you press fire you will shoot in the direction you are walking in. Holding down the fire button will lock direction so you can strafe and walk backwards whilst still shooting in the same direction.



Additional Notes Regarding Two-Player Mode

In two player mode both players work together to build up the same score and share the pool of lives - in this respect the game is truly cooperative.

Both players can collect the bonus items, but whoever completes a set of nine will receive the associated power-up.

If your lives have run out and only one player is left, you still have a chance of bringing back your friend from the dead. This is achieved by completing the level with the surviving player, after which the dead player is resurrected to fight again in the next maze.


Pro-Tips

Although a lot of points can be obtained by killing Mad Bats and Skellies, you may find that a higher score can be obtained by completing a smaller level quickly - the timer units left on the clock are worth 100 points each. Analyse each level quickly and adapt your playing style!

Getty and Emma fire their weapons every time they pass an 8x8 pixel character square - if you back up against a wall and stop you'll notice that your firing rate will increase. Use this to your advantage!

When you've eaten the last cross, no more enemies will warp into the maze. You may find it beneficial to clean the area of bonus carrying enemies to max out your character before progressing to the next level. Get 'em and power-up!


Trivia

Get 'Em was originally developed as a competition entry for the RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition in 2011, and now it's back for round two of the compo in 2012 as Get 'Em DX!

The update was initiated by RGCD's James Monkman who encouraged Geog Rottensteiner to build upon the game by adding a two player mode. Soon after, Sean Connolly and Ilija Melentijevic joined the project and this game is the end result of about four months work.

Get 'Em and Get 'Em DX were inspired by Nyarlu Labs' iOS, PC and Mac game Forget Me Not. It's an excellent game that you should certainly check out if you enjoy Get 'Em DX. Massive thanks go to Brandon Williamson for granting us permission to blatantly copy his intellectual property! :)


Whilst on the subject of iOS, did you know that Get 'Em DX is available as a free game included with Manomio's C64 app for the iPhone and iPad?

As a final note, bug hunting was horrible for this game - due to its procedural generated design, some problematic level formations would only appear once in a thousand plays. However, after hours and hours and hours of play-testing, we're pretty sure that we've got them all.


NTSC Compatibility

Get 'Em DX has been tested on both PAL and NTSC machines, and works on the C64, C128 and C64GS (there is no keyboard input required to play). Although it runs on NTSC hardware, it does play fractionally faster and will be harder as a direct result of this. As such, the game is labelled as NTSC compatible, but designed for PAL systems.


Promotional Trailer

Below is a short promotional video recorded using the VICE emulator showing the game being played in two-player mode.



Credits

The following people made this game possible.

Code & Design
Georg Rottensteiner (RGCD)

Inspiration
Brandon Williamson (Nyarlu Labs)

Music & Sound Effects
Sean Connolly (Cosine)

Graphics & Box Design
Ilija Melentijevic (RGCD)

Project Management, Manual & PAL Testing
James Monkman (RGCD)

PAL & NTSC Testing
David Simmons (Onslaught)
Raymond Lejuez (C64 World)

Cartridge Hardware
Tim Harris (Shareware Plus)

Get 'Em DX is an RGCD/Psytronik production, Copyright 2011-12. Published on 16KB C64 cartridge by RGCD, 2012. Published on disk and cassette by Psytronik Software, 2012.


Ordering The Official Cartridge/Disk/Tape

The cartridge version is available to buy from our shop. The game is presented in a purple cartridge shell complete with a printed manual and seven bonus stickers!

The cartridge version is available in two packaging types, a standard card carton and a more expensive 'deluxe version' that comes in a plastic case (a Universal Game Case with a specially cut foam insert to hold the cartridge as shown below). The standard version is priced at £22, whereas the deluxe version costs £27. Shipping is £4 for UK/Europe and £5 for the rest of the world. A digital version of the game will also be sent out to all customers following receipt of payment.


Please note that Psytronik Software are also selling the game on disk and tape for £3.99/£6.99 respectively (plus shipping).