Yaroze Classics
Back when I started porting Decaying Orbit to NUON I figured the easiest way was to leave the source largely untouched and create a wrapper that translated the Yaroze library function calls into NUON-native functions.

I don't remember if I considered it at the time, but doing it this way also allowed me to port other Yaroze games to NUON using the same library. I contacted a couple Yaroze members about porting their games and, with their go ahead, got to work.

by Ben James

I hunted around the Yaroze member websites looking for games for which members had made the source code available. I found Ben's site along with the plethora of Yaroze games that he wrote. From Ben's games I chose Katapila to port because it looked to be the simplest - I definitely wanted to start with something simple. Through some email exchanges he sent me all I needed to get started.

Katapila is a platform hopping game where the screen is constantly scrolling up with you, forcing the platforms you just used to disappear off the bottom of the screen. The lower difficulty levels afford you more time to think as you can bounce off of stationary platforms and can hit the same platform multiple times. The Very Hard level is brutal in that every platform moves, and even worse is that bouncing on a platform makes it explode in a shower of sparks, forcing you to think quickly and always be on the move. Some nice background music and suitable sound effects accompany the game.

by Philippe-Andre Lorin

I knew I had to have at least two games to really cement the idea that the library was the real deal. I don't remember why I chose Invs, and in retrospect it was probably a masochistic game to select. The game pushes the hardware very hard due to the fading trails that objects leave behind. There was no turning back though. After playing around with the Yaroze version I knew I had to port Invs.

Even more brutal was the revelation - near what I thought was the end of the project - that the original game actually runs twice as fast as I had thought. Some mad optimization and I got it mostly up to speed. The nice thing about the library is that I can always revisit games and keep improving them over time.

Invs appears to be a Space Invaders wannabe when in reality is so much more. The varied enemy types, shield and shot power up, warps, and other bonuses make Invs so much more special. Philippe was even kind enough to enhance the game for the NUON release. The version in the Yaroze Classics collection plays much faster, and more brutal, than the original. Whereas I beat the default high score on the original after a few games, I have yet to do so with the new version.

by Chris Wallace
Added April 27, 2006

The release of the initial Yaroze Classics disc sparked a thread on the official Yaroze newsgroups (which are still open and active after all these years). Chris posted saying he'd let me at the code if I wanted to port his game BreakDown.

I had originally planned to move onto a new project, but in the end figured I should keep going with Yaroze Classics while there was still interest. Shortly after starting the port I realized that it would be the easiest one I've done so far. It didn't even take that much optimization to get working at full speed.

There is one odd thing with this port. The game has graphical glitches on the title screen that I have not been able to fix. It doesn't seem to harm anything, but it will bug me until I can figure it out.

There are dozens of Yaroze games that could be ported. Over time I hope to fill in the Yaroze Classics collection with as many as I can, provided the authors are willing. My hope is that each new game ported encounters fewer and fewer bugs in the library, making the ports that much easier. Keep checking back from time to time to see if any more have been added.

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