Manic Miner: A ten-cavern challenge

The jswmm community is pleased to present "Manic Miner: A ten-cavern challenge"
The initial idea of this game was to take a different twist on the release of the "Manic Miner - Hi-Score Challenge" game, which, although was reasonably successful in itself, did have some quite limiting factors, namely being forced to either POKE or reload to change the cavern, which meant multiple cavern completion times were not possible.

With this in mind, Andy decided to make a cut-down version of “Manic Miner”, featuring a mere ten caverns. For the sake of traditionalism the first and last caverns, (those obviously being “Central Cavern” and “The Final Barrier”) were kept.

It was decided to simply create two other, new versions of it based on what we had, so we would have a total of three games. The new ones being an ”easy” version and a ”hard” version. The thoughts here were to make the ”easy” version a little bit more player- friendly than the original and the hard version slightly more trouble for the player.

More details of the changes and details between each version amongst other things are in the readme file.

The download .zip contains a standard .tap file of the game as well as a more detailed readme.txt file

We hope you enjoy this game as much as we did putting it together and look forward to seeing your high-scores, reading any comments and/or feedback on it. We feel it is an interesting slight twist to the original in offering the choice of skill levels to play at.
The download can be found here

If linking download elsewhere on other forums etc, please only link to the URL provided rather than the direct one as its unique for each session (anti-leech)

Comments

  • So how is this hi-score challenge supposed to work? I played it through and expected it to freeze after The Final Barrier, but it kept going.

    Are we supposed to play as long as we can? That could take ages with some of the users here, I presume.

    Or are we supposed to just stop after The Final Barrier?

    Also, changing the monster timings and calling that "easy" is almost evil. I'm a little bit justifying my pathetic performance here. Don't take it personally.
  • Its more a cut down on the slightly more tricky levels. The only real challenge as such is simply to stop after you complete the game. Thought was given to locking it at completion but I decided against it as it would be too similar to the Hi-Score Challenge game.

    The skill levels, the 'fair' one is the normal levels and the easy/hard do vary in what they offer. Its in the readme. In particular the fall height is a bit more for 'easy mode' so you can for instance fall off the conveyor in Eugene without dying (but not any higher, its not a 'fall all heights' change) so you could complete that cavern a bit quicker, plus again in Easy mode he does not guard his Portal either. :)

    Timings should be OK actually they are in a few cases a bit slower in Easy mode and some fire-cell hazards are no longer present either.
  • Thanks for clearing that up.

    Sorry if I used an inappropriate tone in my last message. :\"> It wasn't meant that way, but there was quite a bit of frustration inside of me.

    The other hi-score challenge had given me the illusion that I'm kind of good at manicmining and this one has torn all these illusions down quickly. :(( And after I have given up on completing the normal mode I tried easy mode.

    Yes, most of these levels are easier, but Telephones and Amoebatrons felt a lot harder than the regular versions. Skylabs was also a bit shocking at first, but I could adjust to that pretty quickly, while Telephones and Amoebatrons kept killing me off every single time.

    Anyway I was angry at myself not at you. Also I don't take manicmining that seriously. I can still live with myself.

    :)>-

    I might try again tonight.
    Thanked by 1spider
  • edited April 2019
    Its OK I did not read it as 'bad' :)

    Telephones is a bit easier as they are a bit slower however it means you need to wait a bit longer to ensure there's clearance as such, in some ways it could be considered worse but I like ot think its not set that way. Same with Amoebatrons, again you just need to wait a bit longer to ensure clearance.

    Skylabs are all there bit drop a bit slower hopefully giving the player time in some cases to see them and jump out of the way, something not possible in normal/hard modes.

    Please fire it up again when you're ready and see how you do. I'm not the best player by any means! :D You'll probably realise that from the fact I'm not listed anymore in the older 'hi-score challenge' topic rankings game.
    Post edited by spider on
  • spider wrote: »
    you just need to wait a bit longer to ensure clearance.

    Right, because the game is called Patient Miner. ;))

    It seems someone has to embarrass themselves to kick this thing off. So here it is:

    Easy mode: 26397

    RZX
    Thanked by 1spider
  • Patient ? :)

    I was not quite sure if we were going to do rankings or not, something I've actually just raised with the contributor team over there in regard to a 'top three' per game mode or just a 'top' per game mode, similar to how the 'Hi-Score Challenge' was done, but easier as there's only three variants rather than twenty caverns = less work for me to keep it updated.

    I'll get back to you on the above as now I've looked at it, its not too much work its more a question of presentation of it, so I'm awaiting 'internal feedback' on that exact point rather than not doing it. I'd speculate the 'rankings' will appear by the weekend.

    Thanks for the score and well done. If it means anything my score for 'easy mode' the last time I tried was 24538 :) so you've beaten me. :D
  • I think we might have some misunderstanding. I thought initially you wanted to turn this into something like the multi-level-version of the hi-score challenge, but I didn't think it was a good idea. Now it seems you feel pressured by me to make this thing way more official than you originally had planned. If that's the case, don't bother.

    As an example why this might not be a good idea:

    Easy mode: 46739

    RZX
  • Its OK I did not take any offence. :)

    It is what it is, merely some of the more difficult (although that's going to vary a bit player-to-player opinion) caverns in a small ten-cavern package with three skill levels. 'Fair Mode' being the standard game and 'Easy' / 'Hard' being slightly easier/slightly more difficult than standard.

    :)
  • Now for some feedback: It's a lot more fun if not seen as a hi-score challenge.

    I even had a go at hard mode. The first four levels seemed pretty easy. Some minor adjustments, but generally not too different from the originals.

    Then comes The Ore Refinery, that took a little and I decided to use save-scumming. That way I reached Solar Power Generator. I will have to put some time into that. But that's usually the point were regular Manic Miner playing ends for me anyway.

    All in all: Good job. I'm sure I'll keep playing for a while.
    Thanked by 1spider
  • That's perfect way of viewing it, thank you! :) :) :)

  • If its any help, although it was not really meant as a ranking (and these are easily beaten) way my last scores for the following modes were as follows:

    Easy: 25050
    Fair: 16465
    Hard:16705

    Don't have the .rzx to hand for the last one for some reason (working from a text file) but the first two I still have.
  • I have recorded RZX walkthroughs of all three variants of the game and submitted them to RZX Archive. They can be downloaded here (together with the other MM variants I have submitted there).

    This is not a high score challenge, so the reason I am presenting my scores below is not as part of a competition, just to make the info about the recordings complete.

    My scores, achieved without any loss of life, at the re-entrance to the first cavern, are:

    Easy variant - 27518

    Fair variant - 19061

    Hard variant - 18705

    This actually means that while there is a significant difference in the scores the player can achieve between the Easy variant and the other two variants, the difference between the Fair variant and the Hard variant - when playing using Rollback - is minimal. So the Hard version is probably not that hard after all...

    JianYang wrote: »
    I think we might have some misunderstanding. I thought initially you wanted to turn this into something like the multi-level-version of the hi-score challenge, but I didn't think it was a good idea. Now it seems you feel pressured by me to make this thing way more official than you originally had planned. If that's the case, don't bother.

    As an example why this might not be a good idea:

    Easy mode: 46739

    RZX


    JianYang, I have downloaded your RZX, but I can't play it back, the playback stops with an error message right at the very beginning of the recording, both in Spin and Spectaculator. So I am not sure how you achieved that score, I assume it was by continuing the game after re-entering the initial cavern. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
  • JianYang, I have downloaded your RZX, but I can't play it back, the playback stops with an error message right at the very beginning of the recording, both in Spin and Spectaculator. So I am not sure how you achieved that score, I assume it was by continuing the game after re-entering the initial cavern. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

    Yeah, there's something odd going on with fuse's rzx recording and play back. I could not play back some of your recordings with my old version of fuse, so I installed a newer one. Now I can play back most (but not all) rzxs, but not the ones I recorded with the older version.

    I achieved that score through excessive Kong Beast hunting in combination with suicide.

    It's not meant as a serious entry into the non-existing high-score challenge. Just a demonstration, why a high-score challenge may not be a good idea.
  • Thanks, JianYang.

    I actually think the main drawback of any high score challenge with MM games is that at some point you reach the maximum possible score which no one can improve. So the competition ends. I think we are close to it here.

    I don't think it's a problem to have various, clearly-defined categories for each high score competition. For example, saying that the game has to be completed without losing a single life defines the competition terms quite well. Saying that you can lose as many (or as few) lives as you wish is a good definition of a different category.

    You could also have a category of beating the high score *without* Rollback (completing the game just once) - that would be a real challenge, or a category of playing the game without Rollback, completing the 20 caverns as many times as you are able to, until you lose all your lives. This would create a really open challenge (the score could be improved indefinitely), but I'm not sure how many people would be willing to take part in it once the high score is above, e,g, 200,000 points...
  • The latter paragraph is quite a good idea however it would be quite limited to the number of people who could do it, I **might** just be able to do it with care but...

    :) I do appreciate the idea though!
  • edited July 2019
    EDIT... Accidental double post due to Cloudflare doing its 504 thing. :) Mod pls delete this post if you wish.
    Post edited by spider on
  • While we're brainstorming, I had this idea of a high score challenge were you play three consecutive levels in a row. I imagine it with round robin, so you could start with Final Barrier and end in Cold Room for example. That would result in 20 categories just like the classic challenge. Rollback would of course be illegal, otherwise it would just be like adding your three best scores of the classic challenge.

    Anyway, I'm not going to dive that deep into MM assembler code, but if someone wants to run with the idea or parts of it, I would be quite happy to compete in it. Spider?
  • edited July 2019
    I can try.

    I should point out actually at one point in this games development, there was an idea of for 'easy mode' at least giving a random amount of air-grace, in reality it would of meant between 20 and 60 seconds 'extra' , a different random value per cavern, no cavern would have less than 'default + 20s' regardless.

    Only real problem with that idea which was partly why it was not implemented is it may of been too random, as in .rzx results could vary with the same pattern, if the player could 100% match their exact inputs (impossible I know) the end result would be different each time. Not by a huge number as the air bonus is unchanged.
    Post edited by spider on
  • spider wrote: »
    Only real problem with that idea which was partly why it was not implemented is it may of been too random, as in .rzx results could vary with the same pattern, if the player could 100% match their exact inputs (impossible I know) the end result would be different each time.

    What would be worse in my opinion, if after 50 attempts you finally make a flawless run through the level and an earlier attempt with some minor flaw in your movements still has a higher score.
  • edited July 2019
    Yes that was one of the reasons it was not implemented. The randomness would be done at the end of the loading sequence (simply as its easier!) so you'd have to reload the game to change whatever 'extra per cavern' you were given. As I say you'd be guaranteed +20 seconds (over standard game for that cavern) and anything between that and +60 seconds, different value for each cavern.

    So you could end up with say:

    Central Cavern: +25s
    Cold Room: +50s
    Menagerie: +20s
    Uranium Workings: +30s
    Eugene: +60s

    But upon reloading they would all be completely different again! :D

    I should point out, during experimentation with a standard game and just air adjustments, (this was done via having the items auto-collect so Willy could just run to the Portal or having the Portal always 'open') , it did not make that huge a difference *unless* it had not appeared to move, that is the visible portion was untouched. In reality there's is really only Cold Room you can complete that quickly to do this though, possibly Central Cavern but again both would likely need +40s or more. I did experiment with 120s air-grace! :D
    Post edited by spider on
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