Tackle Box FX Development

Let’s kick off some discussion on what Tackle Box will look like on the FX. Ping @2bitcrook.

Fundamental Changes

  • more readable font
  • graphics redone as @2bitcrook desires. I can help with minor graphics too if needed
  • music, with separate music and sfx on/off toggles
  • fish guide built into the game instead of a website
  • minor polish like better tile collision detection, allow “strafing” against walls etc. Those nice bits you just can’t fit into 28k :slight_smile:

Bigger Changes

  • worm/grub/shrimp are not different enough. Would like to figure this out. My first thought is to eliminate grub, and make shrimp a bit harder to acquire somehow. Worms for pond/lake fishes, shrimp for ocean fish, meat for the giant fish. But this is all TBD

  • consider a better way to progress the player. Maybe rope off certain fishing areas until something is achieved? Need to tread lightly here, as I think the openness is an attractive part of the game.

  • make pro mode more fun. The feedback I got suggested people very much preferred pro mode, so maybe make it the only mode? Or perhaps the default mode?

  • more features? a museum? more NPCs?

Is this “Tackle Box Deluxe” or “Tackle Box 2”? I think that answer will come naturally as we progress.

Oh and here is a mock up 2bitcrook made to get a sense of a possible graphics direction

image

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If in doubt, “Tackle Box FX”.

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There’s always perhaps… Tackle Box DX? :smiley:

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Been thinking a lot about this and here’s what I’m thinking the changes will be

  • all the “fundamental” changes noted above
  • up fish species from 20 to 30 or possibly 40?
  • make the map a bit larger and more varied
    • especially make the island more interesting
  • eliminate grub as a bait
    • non-ocean fish only bite on worms
    • regular ocean fish bite on shrimp
    • big ocean fish bite on meat
  • shop sells these items
    • pro pole
    • oars
    • shrimp, but it’s very expensive and/or he runs out of stock quickly
    • fishing guide, also expensive but one time purchase
  • new NPC, the shrimper
    • he’s out by the ocean tending to his shrimp pots
    • he teaches you about shrimp pots and sells them
  • shrimp pot
    • bait them with worms, up to say 20
    • plant them in the ocean
    • check on them later, the number of shrimp you get is based on how many worms and how long you leave it
    • can own up to 3 shrimp pots
  • pro fishing mode
    • more fun and dynamic, TBD
    • able to unlock it earlier/easier, TBD
    • maybe make it the only mode, will have to see

bonus idea (may or may not do it)

  • a pathway that leads into the mountains and to a mountain pond. An NPC blocks entry until you satisfy something TBD
    • maybe re-introduce grubs up here. there is a roadside stand that sells grubs and mountain fish only like grubs

I think that will balance out the bait and make it less arbitrary. It keeps the overall feel and freedom of the original game. Shrimp pots are a bit unusual game mechanic but I like that.

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and yeah, DX or FX are probably good name suffixes. This doesn’t feel like a whole sequel to me

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More fish species is always nice :smiley: Fish are super neat and varied so should be good.

This sounds more logical and I think most people would appreciate this change!

What would the fishing guide entail? It’s a tricky thing to balance new/novice or confused players learning the ropes if there’s a guide behind a hefty payment.

All the rest sounds good to me, the shrimp pots reminds me of crab pots in Stardew, load them with bait and wait until something is inside except I like your idea more than the more you put in the more you get out.

I’ve also been thinking about the potential to make the whole thing as animals or not, animals tend to be quite readable at smaller sizes and you can have more variance over human designs by just choosing a different animal.

Since we’re not limited to 28k is there no real upper limit? :smiley: You’ll have to let me know so I don’t go a bit nuts with the assets.

Also thinking about NPC avenues and tips/tricks/guides, perhaps some kind of NPC that you feed fish to for tips? Unsure on that, but thought I’d mention it ;D.

There’s also a lot of other stuff that could be included like lures and such but can always over-egg the game as a whole.

Oh and I think someone mentioned a museum which could be a possible thing, if you had empty tanks waiting for them to be filled with the appropriate fish, or even wall mounted pictures of the player character holding the fish :smiley:

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This is a very good point.

Maybe there should be two guides, a cheap beginner’s guide explaining the basics and a more advanced guide detailing some more advanced techniques.

Either that or make the guide unlock the pro fishing mode?
Or perhaps contain the info for unlocking pro fishing,
so player who already know the secret can bypass buying it when they start a new game.

I like this idea for a very particular reason…

animal-crossing-new-leaf-museum

I like this idea for a similar reason to why I like the museum idea. :P


Throwing a random idea out there:
What if the player had to purchase a new fishing licence for each tier of bait?
It might add a sense of progression.

Unless shrimp and meat are expensive enough to already provide progression.

Also I guess it depends whether the focus is more on progression or giving the player a choice.

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This could be a nice middle ground, you could even have a Pokémon gold/silver style guide to walk you around the map and go “this is the bait shop, this is where you get your bait” “This is the X place, come here for Y”! Endless possibilities! :smiley:

A fellow animal crossing fan :smiley:

I actually mocked out a “demake” of an Animal Crossing spin off quite a while back called Animal Crossing Fishalot falls.

Which you’ll see the shop screen I mocked out here and for Tackle Box DX/FX/MX/KFC/BBQ are quite similar because I like that diegetic style shop screen :smiley: .

Yeah this is a tricky one, I think the way the game is currently there’s a nice amount of freedom to be had. Plopped into the world, bam you’re collectin’ worms and fishin’! But a more progression based thing could be neat too. The amount of layers for a fishing game are always quite interesting because of how it can appeal to people.

image

In my mockup, and a lot of fishing games of course, there was the inclusion of lures to attract certain fish. Alongside this fish would pull left and right and you’d have to do the opposite direction …or same direction to keep them either escaping or breaking the line. Of course when you add so much, you make it less of a pickuppable and play thing and can easily bog players down with toooo much haha.

Focusing on revamping/polishing and adding a bit here and there to the current style of game though seems beneficial before any of us fly off the proverbial handle. :smiley:

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Yeah, and no need to be realistic at all. The current game goes from betas to great whites :slight_smile:

In TB, Bear’s last piece of advice is this url: http://city41.games/fg

The reason I made it is because some fish are kinda hard to get. But maybe there’s just a better solution in general. For example maybe NPCs drop hints about the rarer fish, and we don’t need a guide at all. That would probably be better.

I really like the idea of the NPCs all being animals. That’s what I wanted to do but I ended up doing what I was capable of. But I like the main character being human, if nothing else as a slight nod to Animal Crossing. If you want even the main character to be animal, I can be down with that.

I’ve thought of lures too. I’m worried about making the game too complex, fishing wise. I see this game as really being an animal crossing demake and not a fishing game. It’s only fish because, well, 28kb :slight_smile: But I feel like the focus is on being casual, relaxing, and building your fish collection.

A museum could be fun. Especially if we can do it so that you can see fish swimming around in a tank.

That’s interesting. I kinda like that. It makes more sense than giving a guy 5 old boots (the current way to unlock pro mode).

In the current game meat requires you to find the NPC who sells it and complete her quest. But shrimp you can just buy in the store.

I like the idea that the store sells you shrimp, but only has a few. A little teaser into ocean fishing and when you try to buy more he says “sorry, sold out, go talk to [shrimper NPC]”

Woo that is awesome! :heart_eyes:

I’m also an AC fan :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t say we have unlimited space, We have about 28kb for executable code and, for all intents and purposes, “limitless” space for data (graphics, sound, maps, etc). But even still, I think we should only include something if it really adds to the game, as we don’t want to make a gigantic game that takes up all of the FX’s flash for no good reason.

And 28kb dedicated to just code is quite a lot, I’m not worried about running out there.

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I think we should keep the fishing simple and focus more on the collecting aspect. At least as the default. We can always make pro mode more involved like this though.

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I’m going to get started on the code side of things. First I’ll make a new repo for the game and switch to a new font as a start.

Thankfully ProjectABE doesn’t care how big a sketch is, so we can test things out in the emulator. We’ll have to figure out how to load data in the new format, but not too worried about that (at least not yet).

New repo is here: https://github.com/city41/tacklebox-fx

Just a copy of tacklebox. @bateske let me know if you prefer these repos to be private for the time being.

I was thinking the guide would just be a little book to read,
but if you want an NPC as a guide that would be possible.

Pokemon had the advantage of having a scripting system for scripting NPC actions and dialogue.

Very nice.

Balancing freedom and progression is always difficult.
Too much progression can feel like a grind.
Too much freedom can be overwhelming.

In all honesty I’m not really a fan of fishing games in general,
but I quite like the aesthetic here.


For some reason I get routed back to https://www.city41.games/

As much as I like the animal crossing nod, depending on how much effort it would be you could let the player choose.

Fisherman Oak: “Are you a human? Or are you an anthropomorphic mongoose?”

In that case I think the museum is definitely needed.
Or at least give the player a shack to display their favourite fish,
or a sort of ‘fishdex’ to track which fish they have and haven’t caught.

I guess it depends how easy it is to catch old boots - whether it’s a matter of luck or skill.

I must admit, I think it would be a bit odd if I met a guy who said:
“I’m a professional fisherman, I caught 30 old boots last week!”

Over here you’re probably more likely to find shopping trolleys than old boots.

Graduating to ‘pro fishing’ should almost certainly require some notable feat, be that catching X species of fish, earning X amount of money or catching a particular rare fish.

How many of your 200+ followers are also forum members?
Considering ‘Arduboy FX’ was briefly mentioned in the Ardugirl thread that got locked and hidden,
it’s possible someone who saw that thread could put two and two together (and get four).

All 200+ will now have “city41 created a repository city41/tacklebox-fx” in their recent activity feed at any rate.

I agree, but I also don’t want pro mode to be too hard to get. A lot of people gave me feedback that they found the game more fun once they unlocked pro mode. So maybe a nice balance is pro mode is a fishing book sold in the shop for a good amount – but not too much – money.

Pro mode is totally optional and is just catering to people who want a bit more action. I think if people prefer more action, they want it as soon as possible. It could even just be a setting in the options menu, but I think making it a book you buy is a nice compromise between everything.

One option is that the book doesn’t actually unlock it but tells you the secret of unlocking it,
e.g. pressing buttons on the start screen, entering a password at the bait shop,
interacting with objects in sequence or walking into the middle of a certain pond.

The original animal crossing had the option to aquire special items by entering passwords.

I absolutely loved Tackle box but one thing that was a bummer for me was the fact that the fishing wasn’t challenging at all when in normal mode, so basically I got almost all the fishes too easily before getting to unlock pro mode and was left with not much to do in pro mode. If anything I would make pro mode default and have a kid friendly unlock in some ways instead. Maybe by losing too many fishes instead?

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yeah I got this feedback a lot. And even still, pro mode was only so engaging because I had like 100 bytes to build it with :slight_smile:

So I think we need to find the right balance here for TBFX.

Your comment is starting to make me think it’s just a setting a user chooses. At the start of a new game we ask which they want, and remind them they can always change it later. That way people who want more challenge will know right away they’re taken care of.

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Or… Some of the ‘elite’ fishes could required that you are in pro mode to get them and pro mode could be switched ON by buying and equiping the PRO Fishpole 3000? :wink:

Added support for more fonts. I created a medium and large font, based off of @filmote’s fonts.

tacklebox_mediumFont

tacklebox_largeFont

Most importantly just made fonts more flexible, we can tweak these fonts or add new ones as we please now.

Also can support lower case, just being lazy :slight_smile:

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If you need any punctuation (or you care about C++11 features),
you might want to take a peek at this:

A fork of @filmote’s Font3x5 made to accomodate the font VivaPerosa made.

Aparently private repos are now free, which is surprisingly fortuitous timing.