Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Diamonds - Complete Collection

I'm sure I may have hinted a while back that I'm a big fan of Dub Myers' and Oliver Dreer's rather unknown Diamonds game. And since it's "For Kids" spinoff is very much not available online, I decided to make a bundle of the Windows versions of both Diamonds and Diamonds for Kids.

You can download the collection here.

Keep in mind these are 16-bit Windows games, so they will not work on anything running on 64-Bit or higher. So if you're one of those guys that still has a Windows XP lying around, pop these in and go have some fun.

As a bonus, I included some level sets for Diamonds. "BONKERS" is a trimmed-down version of the nine levels from the "Go Bonkers" game in the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Action 52, "FORKIDS" is the levels from Diamonds for Kids converted back into the original Diamonds, and finally "MOMENTUM" is a conversion of Black Frog Industries' Diamonds clone Momentum.

On the topic of Diamonds, I wanted to bring up this sprite sheet I made a few adjustments to.

Now for quite the longest time I've been planning on cramming as many features from multiple games as possible into one game, as I did with Diamonds at one point. Mostly this was to introduce elements from Diamond Ball III (on DOS), Crillion (on C64) and Dudes with Attitude (on NES) into Diamonds, though since then I had a change in plans resulting in some of these features being dropped. Since then what this sheet basically allows would include:

*Being able to start a level off with another color besides Cyan
*Roster of colors expanded to 12 colors.
*Bricks, Boulders, Painters, Keys, Locks, and Gates are available in all 12 colors; compared to Cyan only existing as the brick (without any Painters) and Orange only having the painter, key, and lock. A colored brick can be set to respawn if the player is killed.
*Lighter painter blocks are removed when they are used, and are restored if the player dies. Their destruction is not required to enable destroying the Diamonds and passing the level.
*Boulders that shift one tile opposite the direction the player's ball hits it. They too (if desired) are restored into their original position if the player dies.
*Gates; The solid ones become hollow when the player becomes the color depicted on the gate, the hollow ones become solid when the player becomes the corresponding color.
*Gray Blocks and Gray Boulders can be destroyed/moved by the ball regardless of what color it is. They do not count towards level completion nor are worth any points, and are restored if the player dies.
*The Death block can be skinned into either the original Diamonds appearance (the Skull) or the DfK appearance (the red vortex).
*Arrow Tiles would block access through the direction the arrow points towards if the player attempts to enter through that direction. In other words it would be a one-way tile.
*The black balls with white outlines are based on the "Killer Ball" from Action 52 (Genesis/Megadrive)'s Go Bonkers. They bounce in one place endlessly (at about three-quarters the player ball's speed) and destroy the player if touched. However unlike Go Bonkers, the ball would also be removed if the player attempts to touch it.

Gone are the enhancement/powerup blocks, sand/water blocks, the random color painter, the ? block, and the electric gates. Simply because not only were they for the most part unnecessary since you can make just as good levels without them, but the graphics made for them looked for lack of a better word, a bit on the ugly side.