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Lambta.co makes comedy sketches, cartoons, and games. Since I don't know what the purpose of friending is on NG, I'll be denying all requests.
Used to be MCSM Studios, and before that The_Green_M. Apologies for some of my more edgy older content.

Malinbo @Lambtaco

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Lambtaco's News

Posted by Lambtaco - September 1st, 2020


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I am constantly asked questions about the so called “Death of Flash” and what I plan on doing about it. This is a one sentence question that requires several paragraphs to answer. But the short version is Flash content is going to be just fine. Right now, there are already functional archives and emulators you can use to play Flash games. As these resources continue to improve Flash content will be accessible and preserved for years to come.


If that answer doesn’t quell your worries, I’ve written a more detailed explanation so just keep on reading.


Animation & Swivel


Let’s start with the simplest and longest solved problem: Flash animations. About a decade ago Newgrounds introduced a tool to near flawlessly (there are always going to be a few edge cases) convert swf files¹ into typical video formats. People have been using it to upload Flash animations as standard video files for years.


This tool is called Swivel. It’s free and open source.


“What about interactive movies and Easter eggs?” you might be asking. That’a s little more complicated, but will be solved by at least one of the solutions provided below.


What about games?


Most Flash game developers aren’t actually producing content that is only available in swf format¹ these days, myself included. Many have moved on to other frameworks, and even games made using Adobe Animate² don’t require the Flashplayer to run any more.


Adobe AIR is software that can be used to convert Flash games programmed in ActionScript3³ to native executable capable of running on Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS devices. This does mean games made in older versions of ActionScript (like A Koopa’s Revenge 2) will need other means to be played, but this will never be a problem because of the many solutions described below.


NGplayer


The first and most compatible answer is the Newgrounds Player. Licensed from Abobe, it’s based on the official Flashplayer, but doesn’t have the often cited security flaws that lead to Flash’s demise. I can vouch that it works great for AKR2, it even imported my save file from Chrome when I played on Newgrounds.


It’s not an absolutely perfect replication of the original, but it’s as close as you’re going to get, and closer than anyone should need. The only real downside is that the player spawns a separate window to play the games rather than having them embedded in the page.


Unfortunately, the NGplayer only works for desktop and laptop computers, so it’s no solution for mobile. But the original Flashplayer never worked on mobile anyway, so nothing lost there.


Ruffle


Ruffle is an open source Flashplayer emulator. Also from Newgrounds.


At the time of this writing Ruffle is less compatible with old games compared to the NG player, but it’s much more flexible, and there are plans to make it more compatible in the future. It works directly in the browser, and even on mobile. And there are even future plans to have inbuilt touchscreen controllers for games that require keypresses.

AKR2 doesn’t work in Ruffle as of the time of this writing, but hopefully after further updates it will work as well as it ever did in the Flashplayer.


Flashpoint


Among several projects archiving old web games is BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint. This one includes non Flash-based web games in addition to many of the early 2000’s era Flashes.


I can’t vouch for this one personally, but it’s another option for those wanting to play old Flash games.


Lambtaco Games Specifically


All future games I release will be in formats not requiring the Flashplayer, or its alternatives. (With possibly one exception) I’m moving on to developing games using the Godot game engine, but to the end user it shouldn’t make any difference.


1 the Flash game file format .

2 the program used to make Flash games and movies, previously named Flash.

3 The coding language used to make Flash games. 3 versions exist.


18

Posted by Lambtaco - July 21st, 2020


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https://www.newgrounds.com/projects/games/1249011/preview


I uploaded another demo of A Koopa's Revenge Gold. Link above.


It's not a huge update. Much of the work went into making it 60fps, and accounting for the change. But two new levels are playable.


Notable Changes:

  • Framerate increased from 40fps to 60fps.
  • New (placeholder) map screen.
  • Entirely mouseless gameplay.
  • Prerendered some graphics to improve performance.
  • Backgrounds recoded and prerendered to be more efficient when scrolling.
  • Updated collision detection for terrain and blocks.
  • New and updated backgrounds.
  • Levels 2-2 and 3-1 are playable.
  • Mario babies changed to balloons.
  • Level-complete and death screens updated to chalkboard look. (Still incomplete)
  • Functioning warp pipes.
  • Player turning animation.
  • Framerate counter.
  • Feathers float down properly instead of acting like fireflowers.
  • Added four frames of coyote time.


EDIT: Fixed the running over one-tile-wide gaps bug, and uploaded the fixed version.


Not looking for any specific feedback this time. Just felt like sharing. Feel free to Let's Play or stream it, if you feel inclined.


10

Posted by Lambtaco - May 14th, 2020


It's been a long time coming, but I finally have the Boss Rush beta for A Koopa's Revenge 2 up and running:


Click here to Play (on computers)


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It's still is an incomplete state, but it's playable, and shouldn't have any major glitches (the Boss Rush that is, the rest of the update is only halfish done). Sorry it took so long. The Boss Rush can be found in the crashed airship level, and you'll need a save game that has beaten the secret final boss to access it. You can import mine:


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I'm also in the midst of updating the rest of the game. Almost all the tilesets and backgrounds will be updated. I've already made a pass through the game evening out the difficulty curve, and fixing some of the unfair artificial difficulty bits. Still a bunch of work to do on that front though.


That's all for now. Smell ya later.


18

Posted by Lambtaco - April 29th, 2020


I've dug up the ancient prototype versions of AKR1 from 2004/2005. For those of you on mobile, here's a video of them:


For those on old people computers, here are the playable Flash versions:

Older Version Using Pixel Art

Newer Version Using Vector Art


There are two versions, one with pixel art borrowed from various games and no sfx, and another traced vector art based version that includes the first boss, Wario. Both versions are a lot clunkier than the published game and are presented in glorious 15 frames-per-second.


Why did I cancel this build and start over? Aside from the apparent clunkiness, the performance was terrible. Every block you see (including the ground blocks) is constantly running four different collisions against the player. That doesn't sound like a big deal in current year, but back in 2005, when I scrapped it, the programming was painfully inefficient and it ran at even less than 15fps.


In other news, progress on A Koopa's Revenge Gold continues. I've upgraded the game from 40fps to 60fps (long story) and am making progress on rebuilding the levels.


Sorry I posted this to NG a week late. Totally slipped my mind.


3

Posted by Lambtaco - December 1st, 2019


It’s been quite a while so here’s an update post on the progress of the upcoming version 2.1 update for A Koopa’s Revenge 2.


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I’d like to start by reminding everyone that this is largely a polish update, and not a content update. That means it’s focused mainly improving the existing experience, rather than adding new experiences. So no new levels, powerups, or cheats. I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up.


I added quite a bit of visual polish with the 2.0 update, and those before it. But this update is going to go above and beyond in that regard. Almost every tileset is receiving a makeover. As well as many sprites and most of the backgrounds.


There’s a number of reasons why I’m doing this. Firstly, some of the art is just not up to the standards of the rest, leading to an overall lopsided experience.


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Secondly, I made most of the game’s tiles with the expectation that they would be rendered in game as vector art. This resulted in many flat looks and simple shapes, as was necessary to render effectively. But at some point I realised that I would need to prerender the tiles and backgrounds to get a decent performance out of the game, so I rasterised them. But what I didn’t do was take advantage of the image complexity allowed by prerendered art. I just used prerendered verisons of the existing simplistic art. I’m correcting that now.


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Thirdly, a fresh look will really justify the long wait for this update. I’ve had some setbacks, and suffered from the usual feature creep. Hopefully all this new art will make the wait feel justified.


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Fourthly, a great deal of the game’s artwork was made with the intention of replacing it with something better later. But as time wore on I simply got used to the subpar art. For example, the Hammer Toads didn’t really look like Toads; the details were all wrong. Let this be a lesson to always use absolute dogshit art for temporary assets, lest one get used to them and publish a plain looking game.


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And fifthly, some of the art has simply been reused to save development time. Many levels have the same background, and some separate level themes use the same tileset. The second ghost house looks identical to the first, the forest ground tiles are the same as the plains ground tiles, and the switch palaces all look identical. This will be remedied in the update. This in’t 1992, saving memory isn’t an excuse to reuse assets, only deadlines and laziness are. The deadline has long since passed, and I don’t want to be lazy on this any longer, so it’s time for an upgrade.


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From time to time, I get complaints that the game’s control is ‘slippery’. This consistently appearing criticism has always confused me, as the game has very high friction for the player character. But as a general rule, when people describe what they don’t like about something, especially something as subjective and lacking in strict vocabulary as gamefeel, there are bound to be misunderstandings.


What I think these complaints were getting at is the player accelerates too fast. Which in my mind is the opposite of slippery. But I suppose it can be thought of as trying to hold onto a slippery bar of soap, whereas when I describe a game’s controls as slippery I mean it feels like the player is always subjected to ice physics.


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I finally made this connection when I was switching back and forth between testing AKR2 and playing Super Mario Maker 2 (which I play too much of by the way, currently ranked 20th in the world for normal endless challenge). Koopa’s controls are much tighter than Mario’s. Koopa can jump running right at full speed and land to the left of where he started. Mario can’t come close to that. I always considered this a good thing, because you have more control, but I can see how that rapid acceleration might be overwhelming, or create an incongruous feeling.


To fix this disconnect I cut the player’s acceleration in half. It now takes twice as long to get to full speed from standing still, bringing it more in line with the mechanics of modern 2D Mario. This isn’t without its drawbacks though. Objectively speaking you have less control over the player now, but I think slowing things down somewhat paradoxically makes it easier to control. I also have to make some other changes to the physics and controls to compensate for slower acceleration, mostly relating to walljumps, though shell sliding will also be affected. (Side note: speedruns will probably be slower, but there might be some neat speed tech created as a result.)


The biggest drawback to these changes will be extensive testing (this is why I’ve been so reluctant to change things until now). I’ll need to do another thorough beta test to be sure the game is even beatable with a slower acceleration. In my own experience so far, the game isn’t that much harder because the top speed is unchanged and the player can rely on momentum to carry them through most levels, much like official 2D Marios. But many areas, particularly twitchy and vertical areas, will need to be tweaked. It might be somewhat jarring for those used to the lighting fast acceleration, but it feels more natural this way and I’m sure we’ll get used to it.


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So I will likely need to start another beta to get some feedback on the new physics. I probably won’t include Boss Rush at first, because the new Yoshi King boss isn’t ready yet, but all the graphics changes so far should be included.


As a bit of a segue here, there’s a quirk/bug where when jumping into a wall, upon reaching the top of the wall the player is given a burst of speed if they tried to move into the wall during the jump. I hope that makes sense. This has been a long standing issue (which further adds to the slippery bar of soap feeling) that I just couldn’t pin down until now. Turns out the walljump code was the culprit. The code that allows you to cancel sliding down a wall wasn’t checking which direction you were pressing, so you could in effect detach from the wall at half your max speed, but move horizontally toward the wall allowing you to keep that speed at the height of your jump when the wall was no longer in the way. I don’t think anyone cares about this nearly as much as I do, but it feels good to get it fixed.


Why don’t I fix the bugs with a smaller patch? Well, due to my own poor planning throughout the project, doing a hotfix is a major pain in the ass. I have no discernible version control. I periodically backup the game, but that’s it. So to fix the bugs I would either need to upload everything I’ve changed since the last version, or go into an old backup and fix them again. And frankly, non of the current bugs are a big enough deal to make that worthwhile. I’ll just have to tolerate getting the same bug reports over and over.


I could go through the entire game and make the code more professional and efficient, but at this point I’d like to put it behind me, and adopt better coding practices for future games instead.


The beta should be available sometime soon. Though it’s not going to be pretty. If you play it, you’ll be doing me a favour. Testing is work, and the experience won’t be pleasant, as the game may be broken. I want to make that clear upfront.


As for when the update is released proper, who knows? I keep finding things I want to alter, so the deadline keeps moving further into the future. This will be the final update (barring major bugs and compatibility issues) so I want it to be a good one. The best I can say for a release date is 2020, probably.


I’m also considering making the Goomba and Shy Guy skins available outside of Lambta.co and Newgrounds. This was originally a ploy to drive traffic to my new site, and it worked. But the “death of Flash” and the decline of personal websites are making it harder to justify, especially for people playing outside a browser.


On a final note, I’m considering changing the version number from 2.1 to 2.5. It’s become bigger than I originally intended, and I think a larger increase is justified. Probably going to do this.


That’s all for now, fellow nerds. Smell ya later.


19

Posted by Lambtaco - June 21st, 2019


I made a comedy sketch. Live action so no NG version. Here it's at:


This is a bit I filmed several years ago but never got around to editing until now. Just trying to creep my way back into making content again.


My last post was about the remake of A Koopa's Revenge 1, so if anybody wants to comment on that, there's the place to do that.

https://lambtaco.newgrounds.com/news/post/1056845


6

Posted by Lambtaco - June 18th, 2019


https://www.newgrounds.com/projects/games/1249011/preview


Figured I'd start with the money shot. There's also a video:



The gist of it is: I'm working on the remake of A Koopa's Revenge 1 again. There's a new demo out with three levels playable, and I want some feedback on the general direction I'm taking the game. This post is a good place to comment about AKR Gold.


Tags:

4

Posted by Lambtaco - May 20th, 2019


Been ages since I did a blag. Sorry 'bout that.


I've decided to open my WIP AVGN fan game to the public. I had previously been a bit cagey about beta testing in general due to some harassment issues (long story), but I think I'm okay now. So here it is, for anyone with an NG account to check out:


https://www.newgrounds.com/projects/games/861501/preview


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I have to reiterate that this is a work in progress. Only levels 1 through 4 are complete. I plan on adding more weapons and enemy types, as well as sprucing up the level graphics a bit. The next big project is adding in a sophisticated cheat system that takes 4 letter words as inputs and unlocks all sorts of cheats, ranging from changing your starting weapon, moon jumps, invincibility, to at least one secret character. These cheats will all be turned on and off from the pause menu.


Believe it or not, I've been working on this game on and off for like ten years now. It's never been my #1 priority, so I keep pushing it aside year after year. But I like it. There's a bit of a ticking clock running, as I started the project in AS2, so it will need to remain swf only (AKR2 is in the same boat). That means it will be much harder to play after the Flash player dies off at the end of 2020. But that gives me a soft deadline. Ideally, I'd like to have this done this year, but there's a lot of work to do, not just in finishing the last levels and bosses, but in refining the game. It's still kind of rough as it is. We'll see.


So if you're interested take a few minutes to check out the game and give me some feedback, either here, or on my discord server: https://discord.gg/8AjqeCz


In semirelated news, I have been working on the Boss Rush update for AKR2, and the remake of AKR1: A Koopa's Revenge Gold. Mostly AKR Gold. I should have a video on that one out soon. I've been sharing a few screenshots and asking for feedback on discord and Twitter.


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4

Posted by Lambtaco - March 9th, 2018


Although initially discouraged after showing off my mascot based endless runner game, I recently started fiddling with it again. The feedback wasn't negative per se; it just wasn't useful in any obvious way. A lot of people were misunderstanding the genre of the game, but that makes sense considering how blind I wanted my feedback, and where most of it was coming from. Anyway, let's talk about how that feedback has affected the game itself.

Main Event: The Demo

Difficulty

The game was a bit too hard. It's tricky to judge the difficulty of your own game because you know it inside and out, and don't have the benefit of ignorance literally everyone else has. That's one of the reasons I released a demo. I don't think anyone explicitly said it was too hard, but when I asked people how far they got, I was surprised that it wasn't far at all.

So to make things easier I've increased the maximum extra hits from 1 to 3. I did this by dividing the 9-piece cheese wheel into 3 segments of 3 pieces each. This also reduces the number of pieces needed for an extra hit to 3, which makes the game more forgiving, and thus more fun. This also greatly increases the chances of a player getting any extra HP at all.

This required I change the graphics for Lamby when he has extra HP. Instead of changing entirely bright orange for the queso shell, he turns orange in thirds, one for each hit point. I also added some cheese pieces that fly off when you get hit to make it clear that they're your health.

Conveyance

The biggest take away is that it's not clear you can hold down the mouse to charge a higher jump. I wasn't under the impression that it would be, but I released it with absolutely no instructions just to see what people would pick up from playing it. Because I want to include as little instruction as possible.

The game now has detailed instructions, but the screen is a little busy, so I'll probably divide it into two screens. One screen for the basics, and another for the complications of rocketmode.

Enemies

I got a lot of requests for enemies, and even bosses. Despite the fact that there's no method for attacking in the game. I'm not going to completely ignore such a common suggestion, so I'll be adding some enemies. They'll be more like moving obstacles mechanically speaking, but there will be tractors and bats and other such entities assaulting the player. Still no way of attacking them though, as Lamby is a pacifist.

New Stuff

I made some mechanical changes to the game, but there's very little in terms of new content. I'm just kajiggering the gameplay mechanics. More areas and obstacles will come after I get the basics straightened out.

Starting a Run

Now when you start a new run, instead of just nonchalantly walking out of the barn, you get the chance to charge up an initial boost of speed. I based it on the end level bonus of Dynablade in Kirby Superstar. The visuals are temporary. I'm either going to to with something that fits the theme for the HUD, or try to incorporate the meter into the barn you start in. (This part ins't in the instructions yet.)

I felt the beginning needed to be more dynamic and interesting. When you charge the meter even a tiny bit past the maximum, you're penalised with a slower start than if you never tried to charge at all. It's got a risk vs reward thing going on now. Balance is a work in progress, so this will likely be tweaked somewhat.

Area Intros

I've added an overlay for when you enter a new area very reminiscent of the one used in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This will pop up each time you enter a new area, or start a new run. I'm not 100% sure I like how it looks/works at the start of a run, but my tests for entering a new area look great and give a strong sense of progression.

There's also a counter for how many laps you've done through all the areas. Right now it says "Pass 1" but that might change. I though of using "Lap 1" but that seems to imply there is a maximum number of times you can run through all the areas. I don't want to give the false impression that the game has an end goal. It is an endless runner after all.

Rocketmode

When you come out of the rocket powered hotsauce state, you can't die or lose hp by colliding with obstacles. Instead, you will lose speed collision, until you are at or below Lamby's regular top speed. This is indicated by the thermometer on the right side of the screen. When the mercury drops below the white line and the meter slides of the side of the screen you become vulnerable again.

I changed this because I felt the uncontrollable amount of speed would lead to damage or death and discourage players from collecting the hotsauce packet in the first place. It's a powerup, and so it should always be something you want. Plus, now that it provides invulnerability, you're encouraged to take risks to hold on to the speed.

I may need to work on some way of making the speed based invulnerability clearer to the player. He doesn't drop cheese, but that's likely not enough. And I don't want to have to explain every detail of the game up front. Perhaps sparkles or some other visual effect will work.

Colliding with obstacles now reduces your rocketmode time less than before, but also cause a loss in speed now. It's better balanced this way. It gives the player more time to figure out rocketmode before they reach top speed.

Jump Guide

There is now a large red arrow that appears when you hold down the mouse/touchscreen. IT indicates how high you will jump. By default it's set up to show how high the highest point of Lamby will go, but can be changed to align with his feet, the bottom of his shell, or the middle of his shell.

This was a necessary change for the mobile versions. It's much more difficult to judge jumps without the tactile feedback of a button. You can turn the guide off if you please.

Menu

Added a menu to the game with instructions and a couple of options. Instructions are a WIP. The logo isn't necessarily final, but I like the '80s vibe, and it adds some colour to the game.

An option for volume is now available. At five preset levels: 25%. 50%, 75%, 100%, and muted. I didn't think a fully granular 100% range was necessary. And a slider would be a pain to use with a touchscreen.

It's a bit boring right now, so I'll probably add all kinds of stuff in the background to spice things up. Lamby running by, obstacles from the game, stuff like that.

Other Changes

The first 1/10 of a second you hold down the button/screen now results in the lowest possible jump. This is mostly to accommodate touchscreens, because it can be difficult to touch for just one frame compared to using a mouse.

Jumping beans require 1/10 of a second of charge time. This is to prevent accidental use, especially after exiting rocketmode.

I also added a small burst of speed and brief invulnerability when using a jumping bean. I compare this to the instashield from Sonic 3, only finite and more useful. This isn't as necessary as it was before I changed the health system, but it's still a nice bonus. (Jumping beans still don't feel right, will probably change more.)

Lamby makes a frowny face when he gets hit. This was especially necessary considering how common it is now to take damage without dieing.

I altered some hitboxes that felt a bit unfair. Most prominently the stack of hay bundles.

This isn't a concern yet, but I may increase Lamby's top speed slightly each time he completes an area, or maybe just when he laps through every area. Nothing huge. Probably just 5% of the base speed, This would act as both a reward and an extra challenge to keep the game from turning into an endurance test.

Mobile Ports

I tested out using Adobe AIR to port the game to Android. Turns out it's very easy. I didn't have to change a single line of code. So that's great. It ran like crap because I haven't bothered to convert the game's vector art to raster, but I'm confident it will run fine when I make the necessary changes. I just like being able to alter the art in the same application I'm coding it in; it's a good workflow.

I plan to port to iOS as well. But I don't have an iPhone or iPad, so it may come out later on iOS because I don't have an easy way to test it like I do for Android. My phone isn't super powerful either, which is probably a good thing. It makes it easier to test for performance on lower end mobiles.

The Name

I'm going with the name Lambtaco Run for now. It's short and descriptive; good for a mobile app. I'm not married to that name, so if something better comes up I may change it.

That's all for now.

Updated on March 12th. A new version of the game replaces the March 9th upload. Text updated to accommodate.


6

Posted by Lambtaco - January 17th, 2018


Check out this stupid thing I made,

It's live action, so it's on Youtube but not NG. Just a quick thing to get me back into releasing stuff.


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