8-Bit Bantitos

Written By Steven De Toni 2013

The total contrived game story:
The 8-bit arcade sprites are angry, they haven't been paid in years. Worst still, every one is stealing their ideas to re-create games of the 70's and 80's (oh the irony). They want to be paid, and will do anything to get their money! Your mission is to prevent the radical 8-bits from stealing the Galactic bankroll; in return you will be paid in bounty points, the more money your save, the more points you get. If you fail to protect the money, you will lose points; if you loose all of a level's money, the 8-bits will higher a mercenary to help in their cause. Kill the mercenary to reclaim some money and honour.

Battle through 30 levels of arcade disco flashing old school video game action... the road won't be easy, there are no nancy In App Purchasable Upgrades for you, just skill and determination!

Hardware Requirements:
A fast machine! Something like an Intel i5, i7, and recent video graphics hardware.
Recommended in the latest version the Chrome browser.

Joystick Controls:
This game is recommended with an XBox 360 controller.
Left Analog, or Digitial Pad: Movement
A, Y button : Fire (auto-fire is on by default, use the 1 key to switch this on/off)
B, X button : Shield
Start, Select button: Pause

Note. To activate the joystick in the Chrome web browser, click the A button.

Keyboard Controls:
Cursor Keys : Movement
Q,A,Z keys : Fire (auto-fire is on by default, use the 1 key to switch this on/off)
W,S,X keys : Shield

Mouse Controls:
This is active by default, use the mouse to move ship and click mouse button to activate shield.
Press the 2 key to switch between joystick/keyboard or mouse movement.

Browser Windows Zoom:
Do NOT use zoom if your using the mouse, as this is upset the mouse cordinates system. Make sure the web page is set to 100%, the game will auto resize based upon current browser windows size.

Game Info Bar:
The bottom of the screen shows the ship power bar, show the following information during play,

  1. Shields Gauge
  2. Shot Repeater Power Gauge
  3. Free Life Gauge
  4. Bully Bonus Gauge


Your game is to hard!
You need to change your concept of the shield, use it as a weapon, and use it collect power ups.

It still too hard!
Play using the mouse.

I Can't move in Tron Mode.
This game mode places you on The Grid, you are confind to it and blocked from movement only any breakages in the grid before becoming repaired.
This mode is only playable using joypad or keyboard.

Is the source code free?
Yes, for non-commerical use.

I remember a game from the Commadore 64 with a destructable/repairable grid...
This game is based upon the C-64 game P.O.D, seek it out on an emulator, it plays very quickly.

I also remember a game called where your ship had a shield and you protected item from being stolen by bees and bugs.
This games is also based upon the C-64 game Bandits, seek it out on an emulator, its a nice sedate game.

How many boss are there in the game?
3 bosses every 10 levels, Sinistar, Andor, and ...

Whats with all the flashing effects?
I'll be the first to say I'm no artist, and the artwork I do takes a long time to get right compared to coding code. So 95% of the sprites in the game come from old arcade games from the 80's. I've then used basic animation on the sprites and a lot of procedural generated effects, like firework like explosions, lightning effects, laser light effects, dynamic grid destruction etc. All effects are done in real-time with no pre-calculated animation; having said that, HTML5 Canvas does provide some heavy lifting on certain graphic effects like colour blending, and colour gradients. I also like colourful games that change dynamically hence the some what psychedelic style.

I like to learn how to program games, do you recomend Javascript? Words a wisdom?
Simple answer, No! Javascript is quite a powerful language, but if you don't understand more basic concepts learnt to you in other languages, then Javascript can easily turn to jibberish. I've tried to restrict the more exortic uses of Javascript from this game, and keep to a more traditional coding style. The result is a some-what easier to follow program compared to other Javascript I've seen. If your wanting to learning to program, I recommend trying BASIC with build in graphic commands/functions before moving to more formal languages like PASCAL, and more advanced languages like Java, C,  C++ etc. Also some formal knowledge of basic computer hardware (Binary Math, Logic, function of a CPU, Memory, Stack, I/O, Operating Systems, Recursion, Modula code). Stick with one language for a good amount of time (6 months to 1 year) and build small projects progressing to larger ones as you understand program construction, comment often in your code to help understand how your program flows as your first task is learning the syntax of the language. If your trying to construct something with a difficult problem, deconstruct the problem into basic parts, code the basic parts, test them, and join the basic parts as a whole to solve your initial problem. Dont be afraid to chuck code out and re-code it, the first draft of code may work, but the second/third may improve your algorthim on efficently, elegance, speed, and size. As with anything, it takes time and practice... a book can help you program, but unless you actually do some programming, you won't fully understand it or master a language.

If someone recommends COBOL as a good language, kick them!