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Bio Force Ape Competition Cart Announced
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: Bio Force Ape Competition Cart Announced Reply with quote

What is it:
It is a cart only special release of Bio Force Ape to be released near the Midwest Gaming Classic.

What does it include?:
This cart will include:
- Two levels from the final Bio Force Ape release.
- One boss fight from one of the later stages in the game that has never before been seen.
- A mine cart survival mode complete with scoring
- A bonus mini-game that previews where the series may be going in the future.
- An ending cut scene unique to the competition cart.
- Your first chance to see the full power of the Bio Force Attack.
- Your first opportunity to meet the fabled butter monster on a real NES cart

Why should I buy this?:
The mine cart survival mode, bonus mini-game and cut scene had to be removed from the final game due to size limitations. This competition cart will be the only place to get them. As mentioned previously, this will be the first public showing of both the Bio Force Attack and the Butter Monster. The Bio Force Attack is so powerful it rips through the NES hardware straight to the raw binary code.

Will you be able to make Dur Butter Eat Communism?:
That depends entirely upon your skill level.

Why is it called a competition cart?:
The Midwest Gaming Classic is where I had the original idea to create a game out of the Bio Force Ape hoax. Every year they hold classic gaming competitions for prizes, and this year I offered to create a custom build of Bio Force Ape on which players can compete for a high score. This gave me an avenue to include some of the features that were cut from the full game. As such, we will be offering this cart for sale sometime around the date of the MGC.

So there's going to be an official competition?:
Yes. People who attend the Midwest Gaming Classic will be able to compete for prizes during an official competition at the show. More details will be posted soon.

If you're selling carts, how will you keep the competition fair?:
The competition mode is locked behind a secret cheat code. That cheat code will be released only after the winner of the official competition is announced. This is to prevent people from practicing and gaining an unfair advantage.

Will ProgscammingAce be handling the sales?:
No. I'm just the programmer, someone else will be handling all of the sales.

Where can I get more information?:
Information will be posted here and on our official page: http://CinematicBazaar.com/

Be sure to follow our RSS feed for the latest information.

Pricing and availibility?:
To be determined.

Questions, comments, death threats?
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shawnphase



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 213
Location: baltimore, md

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it worth 2k monies?
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shawnphase wrote:
is it worth 2k monies?


It's worth the asking price, otherwise I'd feel like too much of a jackass to try selling it.

Now that the final build of the Competition cart is complete, we've announced more details as to how the competition scoring actually works. We've also redesigned our website because the old site looked like we were a flower shop, not game developers. Check us out at http://CinematicBazaar.com

The survival mode is simple. You are a Bio Force Ape (the Bio Force Ape? You'll have to wait and see). You are on a mission to track down your kidnapped family members, and make anyone in your path eat communism. In this survival mode, you end up in a runnaway mine cart hurtling through the dark at breakneck speeds. All around you, the tunnel is collapsing, threatening to trap you forever (and no, you can't just backup and go back the way you came in. Because I said so, ok?).

The longer you survive, the higher your score. The higher your score, the faster the tunnel starts collapsing. Each time you get hit by debris, you loose points. The slower the rock is falling, the more points you'll lose. So what that means, you'll be penalized more for hitting the slow rocks that are falling earlier then if you get hit by the ones falling faster as the survival mode goes on.

Each pass through the survival mode will be unique. The rock's locations are set using a similar randomization pattern as to what Tetris uses. So while the game isn't "random" in the purest sense, it serves to thwart memorization and each ride will be different.
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading through Frank's issues with Hoppin Mad here: http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1666147&postcount=19

It brought up a few things that had never really crossed my mind before. I thought I'd ask here.

I never really thought about what releasing a game called Bio Force Ape would do to the history of the real game. Having done a lot of research into the original game, i've always been under the impression that Bio Force Ape was never more then a tech demo. From reports of people who have seen the game in action, it was described as just the mine cart level. The game was considered impressive at the time due to how quickly they were able to render the scrolling. The same person said they were told the game was built without using any mappers.

Now rendering a background quickly isn't all that difficult, neither is doing it without the advanced mappers. The problem is that doing so will chew up a huge portion of your rom. For a platforming game like that, you would have to duplicate each level's data 3 or more times. First you have to store the graphic tile numbers, then you have to store the tile's colors, then you have to store the physics data (what's solid, what's passable, what's a powerup, etc). You can compress the data down, but then it's going to take CPU cycles to unpack and display on the screen.

My assumption has been that the real game was technically impressive, but extremely short. I imagine SETA killed the project because it wasn't long enough and wasn't enough fun to compete with the SNES games that would come out shortly thereafter.

I don't believe that the game will ever turn up. It's been said that the game was sent to reviewers, but no reviews were ever written. There are a couple of crappy screenshots in Famitsu and a few even worse ones in Nintendo Power. There's not really any way to tell if the screenshots are real or mockups.

So if 50 years from now someone is cataloging the NES library and stumbles across one of the carts I've made, what are they going to think? The competition cart has the year baked into the final credits, but the final game doesn't. There isn't nearly enough room left in the game itself to explain the history of the hoax.

This isn't going to be the only game we make, we already have a few design documents written up for other ideas. Everything else is going to be completely original, it's a lot more fun to make games that way.
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TheRedEye
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi


Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really care what you do one way or the other with the Bio Force Ape name/legacy/whatever as far as your homebrew game goes, but I wish you wouldn't make unsubstantiated claims on the internet like "just the mine cart level," "technically impressive, but extremely short" and "it's been said the game was sent to reviewers." As far as I can tell you're jumping to conclusions with statements like those, and for some reason video game fans looooove to remember unsubstantiated claims as if they were facts.

I don't believe any of those statements are true, for the record, and if your only source for this info is the same unpublished GDRI interview I've also seen, you're making some massive damned leaps of logic here.
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TheRedEye
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell, I'll disprove some of this right now. Here are photos taken by EGM on the CES show floor of the Bio Force Ape demo:

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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone told me they were at CES in Chicago in '91. They said SETA had a huge group of developers crowded around their booth all trying to figure out how they were able to scroll the mine cart level so fast. He said that was the only part of the game they were showing and that they claimed they were doing it all without mappers. Is any of that true? I don't know, i have no reason to doubt him.

If those pictures really are taken from the floor of CES, how were they taken? SLR photo of a TV screen, or were they given out in a press kit? I don't know the answer to that.

I'm not really taking much of a leap of faith when I say a platformer that's created without using a mapper isn't going to be very long. The NES can't do multiplication or division, there aren't any great compression algorithms you can use to compress level data. Without using a mapper for extra PRG space, you're going to use up an an awful lot of rom space for level data.

Now where I start to question things, SETA released two other NES games that used the MMC1 mapper, Adventures of Tom Sawyer and F1 Built to Win. Why would they stop using mappers all of a sudden for what would probably be their final game on the system? Seems like one of three things, either the guy who told me SETA was bragging about not using a mapper was wrong, SETA wasn't telling the truth about using mappers, or the game wasn't far enough along to need the extra space/features that a mapper would provide.
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRedEye wrote:
"it's been said the game was sent to reviewers."


Heh, the irony of that one is that I was told you were the one who said the game was given to reviewers. I didn't really believe it since it was the first I had heard of it, but then they pulled up a quote and signed your name to it. Who knows, the whole thing could just have been someone fucking with me. I've never read the interview at GDRI, i'll have to check it out.
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ArnoldRimmer83
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its unlikely that Bio Force Ape didn't use any mappers. I mean were there any Nes or Famicom games by that point that didn't have one? Also about this "someone" who told you about Bio Force Ape at CES, would you be able to say who it was? It would be nice to have some kind of source.
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was on IRC, and I was using my cell phone at the time. Looking back at the logs, i'm not sure if this guy was at CES '91, or he's quoting someone who supposedly worked for SETA. I can't find any reference to this on a google search, so i dunno.

Quote:
Bioforce Ape was a very interesting property. When we showed that at the Summer CES in Chicago our booth was packed with other developers trying to figure out how we produced those types of scroll rates without supporting hardware. Right now, I can't recall what happened to it but it was one of those things that brings out the intrigue in the industry.


Generally speaking, the NES can only draw aprox. a 32 pixel vertical stripe per screen refresh. And that pretty much assumes you're not doing anything else on the console at the same time. If you happen to take longer then the screen refresh allows, your game instantly crashes. For that reason, it was generally considered unsafe to draw more then 16 pixel strips of background per vblank. I came up with a method to make it appear that the game is scrolling faster, but didn't bother to implement it. Basically, because the level takes place on a mine cart the player won't mind that the scrolling speed isn't constant. You can buffer the drawing out by an extra screen width, speed up the scroll until you run out of buffer, then temporarily slow down the scroll to refill the buffer. It wouldn't work for something like a racing game, but who's going to complain that a rickety old mine cart doesn't have a constant speed?
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TheRedEye
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi


Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's from an interview GDRI did that I don't think he published yet, just like I thought. I still think you're jumping to conclusions, like I doubt "without supporting hardware" meant that the game was mapper 0 (especially considering NO ONE was making carts with those by 1991). He could have meant "on the NES" as opposed to the Genesis or SNES. Seta struck me as a cheap company, but I doubt anyone was cheap enough to make a mapper-less game in the 90s.

Also those CES shots are absolutely photographs, if you were to see the pages laid out you could easily see the difference between a slide/scan and a photo taken at the show. That's something that set EGM apart from the rest back then, Ed Semrad went crazy with the photographs at trade shows.
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When i took another look, you can pretty clearly see the EGM photos were taken off a CRT monitor of some sort.

So where did the quote come from originally then?
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TheRedEye
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi
The Internet's Frank Cifaldi


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said, an interview GDRI did. He happened to show me that part privately, I guess he must have shown it off somewhere else too that you had access to. I want to say this happened in the past month or so, I'm sure he can clarify.
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GDRI



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRedEye wrote:
Like I said, an interview GDRI did. He happened to show me that part privately, I guess he must have shown it off somewhere else too that you had access to. I want to say this happened in the past month or so, I'm sure he can clarify.


I never mentioned that quote anywhere else. I guess it must have leaked out.

BTW, I sent this person some more questions and never got a reply, so I don't know if I will bother finishing up the interview.
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh, someone was quoting it to me in an IRC chatroom... weird.
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nesworld



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
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Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uhh... please bother finishing up that interview if you can, I'm sure there are people out here, besides me, who would love to read it Smile
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Kid Fenris



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ProgrammingAce wrote:
TheRedEye wrote:
"it's been said the game was sent to reviewers."


Heh, the irony of that one is that I was told you were the one who said the game was given to reviewers.


I remember hearing the same thing: that a former magazine editor claimed to have played a complete and reviewable Bio Force Ape cartridge. Was there any truth to that?
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Why do you guys let me talk so much? You could fill a book with all the shit i write here...
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KlarthAilerion
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pac-Man the Hutt
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wildfungus



Joined: 10 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so you for real made a arcade game out of the hoax?

i can't tell with my surreal coloured glasses.


Also I have heard the prototype was sold at auction in japan last month.
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