“Assimilate” has been in development since May 2010. It kind of began as an expanded demo/full game project that over time took on a life of it’s own and became more game project than demo. As it is my first project for the NES, it’s mainly been an exorcise to further learn and better understand the NES hardware. But as it got farther and farther along, I started having fun playing this game that was developing and eventually I thought: “What the hell, why not put this on a cart?”
You might say the game had it’s first public “debut” at the NintendoAge campout this previous summer in Lebannon, TN. I was really starting to like a lot of the people I was getting to know through NintendoAge, and when one of my friends on the site informed me of the campout it seemed like a really great place to get some feedback on this game I was making. What better place to get some live feedback on an NES game than among a concentrated get-together of other NES retrogamers? Also, it was a chance to get drunk and play the NES, (one of my favorite past times) among other people who enjoyed getting drunk and playing the NES! Awesome!
I had a great time and got a lot of good opinions on what to do with the game from the campout. I thought the engine was pretty close to complete when I went, but afterward I kept getting new ideas on things I’d like to add to the project. A lot of other great suggestions came from feedback to the videos posted online, as well. Both the members of NintendoAge and NesDev have been invaluable with their contributions, and in their guidance in helping me to implement those ideas within the game’s engine.
As I sit here now, the game includes nine levels and one boss fight, and (I hope) a mostly completed engine. The first four levels and boss fight are playable and have now been through two rounds of beta testing. Those levels and the boss are what will make up the first area of the game. There will be four areas altogether, differentiated by their graphics and the musical theme playing in the background. Alongside that will be one or two (haven’t decided yet) bonus areas. And yes, in response to popular demand on NintendoAge, somewhere along the line cows will be included. 🙂