Friday, 8 February 2013

Assembloids (C64) (2013)


System Requirements

* A Commodore 64/128/GS (PAL/NTSC).
* A joystick/joypad.
* A VDU preferably connected to a loud sound-system.


Downloads

Download the Retail Version of Assembloids in .crt/.prg format HERE!
Download the Competition Version of Assembloids in .crt/.prg format HERE!

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


Introduction

During the Autumn of 2012, RGCD collaborator and friend iLKke (Ilija Melentijevic) joined us as an official member of our game development team, and after wrapping up Endurion's Get Em DX was keen to work on another release. At the same time, Enthusi (Dr. Martin Wendt) was toying with the idea of entering a game in our 16KB Cartridge Development Competition, but hadn't yet decided upon a particular design.

After discussing a few ideas, a port of Photon Storm's excellent Quartet game was suggested. Playable online via the gimme5games flash portal, its simple design and frantic reflex-based gameplay made it a perfect contender for the limitations of the competition.


In order to give the Commodore 64 conversion its own identity, we decided to christen the project with a new name: Assembloids. Conrad (Owen Crowley) was brought in at short notice to help with music and sound effects, being the the logical choice following his excellent work on RGCD/Onslaught's Not Even Human.

A few weeks later, an initial build of the game was submitted to the judging panel of the RGCD 16KB Cartridge Game Development Compo, where it secured second place. This post-competition final retail version is the result of several more hours work and features a number of tweaks and enhancements, further improving the game.


Playing Assembloids

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).

When the game has loaded it will begin running through the attract sequence (logo, 'credits', 'how to play' and a short demo). Press fire on the joystick in port 1 or 2 (recommended) to skip through these screens and start the game. The title music will stop and a countdown will mark the beginning of the game.


The player's goal is to assemble faces using the tiles dropped in the central window, moving them to the adjacent windows by pushing the joystick in the corresponding direction before the time runs out (represented by the LEDs around the centre). There are four different faces consisting of four tiles each, and more points are awarded for creating faces using matching tile sets. To add some fun, the game speeds up during play.


Scoring

You achieve 10 points for a completely mixed face, 40 points for a part mixed face and 100 points in case only one tile is out of place. For a complete face you score a whopping 300 points and another 500 points plus an extra life whenever you succeed in clearing the complete board!

After Game Over a four digit CODE will be displayed in white letters. This code always corresponds to the current HIGH SCORE. You should note this code down, together with the high score – it can be re-entered next time you load the game (in the retail version) so you can attempt to beat your previous record. To do this, push the joystick up when on the 'how to play' screen is displayed. You can then enter the code and high score via the joystick or use it to validate your highscore claims in web forums.


Additional Details & NTSC Compatibility

When you don't touch the joystick for a while outside of the game, you enter the ATTRACT MODE, i.e., the screens fade out after a while and you can watch the computer playing a few rounds automatically. You can exit the attract mode at any time by moving either joystick or pressing fire.

The retail version of Assembloids 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). Additionally, the game has been coded to run at a comparable speed on both NTSC and PAL systems. SID 8580 recommended.


Promotional Trailer

Below is a gameplay video of the retail version of Assembloids running on a C64c with 8050 SID chip. The footage was recorded by Stefan Nowak, and shows the attract mode, gameplay and code entry system.



Credits

The following people made this game possible.

Code & Design
Dr. Martin Wendt (RGCD/Onslaught)

Music & Sound Effects
Owen Crowley

Graphics & Box Design
Ilija Melentijevic (RGCD)

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

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

Cartridge Hardware
Tim Harris (Shareware Plus)

Assembloids is an Onslaught/RGCD production, Copyright 2012-13, published on cassette by Psytronik Software, and cartridge by RGCD 2013. Assembloids is based on 'Quartet', a Photon Storm game by Rich Davey and Ilija Melentijevic.


Ordering The Official Cartridge/Tape

The cartridge version is available to buy from our shop. The game is presented in a lime green cartridge shell complete with a printed manual, code sheets and a vinyl Assembloids sticker.


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 £17, whereas the deluxe version costs £22. 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 cassette for £3.99 (plus shipping).