[Game]Virus Buster

Slightly smaller update this time around, but I think I addressed the feedback given about the first ZONE boss :smiley: The Worm!

  • Body portions are smaller, and with more animations.
  • The whole body now goes up and down as well as left/right
  • Added a few more body parts to make it a bit longer.
  • The end body piece chomps, so now you can tell to attack the one with the open mouth
  • When the player’s Bot is hit, it should no longer be tossed out of the play area.
  • Added a solid border to the HUD so it doesn’t look like enemies are under it anymore. (this gif doesn’t show that update, I missed it)

Any progress on this? I love the “vectrex” graphics style :slight_smile:


Unfortunately I’ve been swept away on other things since a few blockers have finally made way for me (brief: I was able to make a flatpak package of my other project with targets for arm linux! So that was exciting).

I do want to get back to this and definitely have plans to complete it BEFORE 2021!

I’m looking to get some vacation time come December so I will be finishing up by then at the latest.

I kind of petered out on thinking about bosses I could do for the remaining 3 levels. And was kind of making a mess trying to add room objects. But I am still “working” on this at least in the mental space. Just haven’t had much of anything noteworthy to share here :frowning:


When brainstorming a few ideas and trying to figure out how to get out if a sort of block on this, @Vampirics recommended I not only do “walls” (which I’m doing as computer chips) but also holes. At first I had absolutely no idea what I could do with that. But after thinking a long while, and someone mentioned them being corrupted spaces, it became very obvious that they should be Spawn points! Corrupted space in memory where viruses burst forth from. So today I spent a long while figuring that out and I got it kind of working. Randomly placed chips and spawn holes! Viruses navigate (very poorly lol) around the chips to get at the player.
I still need to clean up the random placement so that the player doesn’t get stuck and that chips and spawners don’t land on top of each other (not too difficult).
Pretty excited with it now. It adds a different feel to the game (will be even better when I have sprites for the chips and spawn) and I still need to make a spawn animation (right now viruses kind of just explode about of the hole in a stupid line and I hate it haha).
So progress being made! Still need 3 mega bosses and am trying to figure out what I’ll do with those.


Been working hard on cleaning up the collisions (since I added some early alpha prototype work in progress (yada yada) “walls” or “chips”). Also trying to make a more friendly spawn rate since I now use “spawn tiles” instead of just randomly spawning at the edges of the map.

GIF of in progress room. Don't look if you don't want to have too many spoilers from here on out


I will keep tweaking the collisions of everything, trying to make sure I can have “maximum” amount of all entities without suffering play-ability on hardware. But so far it is looking alright to me :slight_smile:

Once the chips, items, viruses, and overall sectors are “ready” I will continue designing the final 3 bosses.

I am still, I think, on goal to complete a first version in mid to late December of this year :smiley:


First Pre-Release Feature Ready Demo!

0 VirusBuster.bin (120.9 KB)
1 VirusBuster.bin (120.2 KB)
2 VirusBuster.bin (121.7 KB)
3 VirusBuster.bin (125.8 KB)

Revision history:

    • initial Demo
    • Reworked after feedback from @tuxinator2009
    • Adjusted the prices on the shop page to be less cheap.
    • Removed multiple “Mini Boss” enemies from future stages. Too difficult, so instead modified the stages to increase the total hit points of bosses and viruses based on the Zone.
    • Added a charge meter for mini boss blasts.
    • Other minor improvements.
    • Rework after feedback from @pixelbath
    • Viruses should no longer jump outside of the sector bounds. This includes the MiniBoss during berserk mode.
    • Added charge and damage upgrade options which can upgrade to make charging faster and the charged blast do more damage.
    • Adjusted the virus obstacle avoidance. They get stuck much less often now. (can still intentionally get them stuck behind large walls or in corners though)
    • In Mini Boss fight in Zone 0 added some extra info to collecting the Mega Fragment. Still WIP on that , and not added to other bosses yet.
    • Post-boss fight now redirects to the shop for purchasing upgrades/health instead of jumping directly to the next stage/title screen.
    • Adjusted the debris spawning logic to hopefully avoid decimating the memory and causing freezes.
    • New brief Tutorial for New Game! Just explains a little about movement and some mechanics.
    • Reworked, again, the obstacle and spawn placements to hopefully solve once and for all a moment of freezing in game.
    • Balancing of Item timeouts and wave spawning.

Edit 2:
The main zone I am working on is still 0. Other Zones are not guaranteed to be finished and will be completed as feedback comes in. But they are “playable”

Really the first Zone is the most complete part of this, so anything after that is still very much possibly broken.

I release this as it now contains everything that will be in the final version (I will continue to tidy up, create the story dialog and some more art). I also want to make a quick New Game tutorial cut for folks to learn everything in the HUD.

My goal for releasing this is to hopefully get some brave adventurers to give it a try and provide any feedback (no matter how soul crushing) so that I can have a more guided approach to clean up and finalizing for Complete Release :slight_smile:

(The final version will be released as a POP)



Added Demo 3 with some more fixes. I now have another community poll for those who have tried it and anyone else willing to answer a quick question :smile:
In the game the “lore” describes that the Bot can transform the blaster temporarily into a Booster. This is the reason why the charge meter stops during boost and the Bot cannot fire during boosting. This made me also wonder, should the Booster also deplete the charge and be unavailable if there is no charge?
This has 2 affects:

  1. It changes some mechanics of game play in that players have to monitor the charge if they want to use a quick boost to get away
  2. It adds more value to the charge in the shop as it now not only speeds up the charging speed, but also the boosting speed.

Should the speed boost deplete the blaster charge?

  • Boosting depletes blast charge
  • Boosting remains the same (no cost)

0 voters


ok - this is hard.

I like the charged shot timing now; it actually feels like I should save up that charge a bit.

Some of the viruses jump a really long distance after they spawn. Should they be moving almost entirely across the screen?

Answered in the poll, but to elaborate: tying “energy” to both boost and charge forces more of a tradeoff. I definitely want mega shots, but I definitely want to get away sometimes. I might change my mind after playing that version, but it seems like the right choice.

Need to be able to skip the tutorial, even if it’s my first time.

Looks like chip count isn’t incrementing on the first screen.

Maybe it’s just because I’m terrible at this game right now, but it seems like the difficulty ramps up really fast. Like, faster than I have a chance to try out all the upgrades. Maybe start with a slightly lower base that the user can configure (with sane defaults) for their first time? My pickups disappear too fast for me to ever save up enough for “magnet.” :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe I just need to git gud.

That’s all for now. I’ll add more notes when I get a chance to try it out some more. Coming along nicely!


Demo 4!

Lots of great feedback is driving this quickly!
Demo 4: VirusBuster.bin (126.8 KB)
Demo 4.1: VirusBuster.bin (126.4 KB)

Changes in Demo 4:

  • The Charge meter (green) is not also used for Boost! The reasoning being, as I mentioned for the Lore, the Bot transforms the Blasters into the Booster, so the Booster uses the charge just like using a blast does. This make the recharge speed in the shop more valuable! And adds more strategy to managing when to shoot vs. boost.
  • Virus spawn time is now a bit longer between spawns, Viruses will begin by searching the room a little (just a few seconds) before “finding” and attacking the player.
  • I completely seemed to forget to wire up the “Continue” mechanism at the start screen. I put that in and also added a prompt for skipping the tutorial!
  • I tried to address the viruses jumping across the room. They still have the opportunity to jump at times (usually when hitting each other) but it is far less aggressive now.
  • I adjusted the initial Zone 0 difficulty. I accidentally had testing for some of the final waves to be super high :sweat_smile: it shouldn’t be quite as hard now.
  • I don’t remember if it was in this release or Demo 3 but I more than doubled the time that Mini Fragments stay alive. Though this may need longer still with Charge depleting with Boosters.

Quick updated 4.1 (Thanks for reporting @ServalKatze!) :

  • Fixed the game over logic. Players now continue with 50% health after being destroyed.
  • Fixed viruses traveling off screen during their initial spawn seeking phase.

Thanks again, as always, to everyone providing feedback and trying this out :smiley:


Some quick feedback after playing only for a couple minutes:

I really like that you can keep the A button pressed to strafe. The controls feel snappy and work quite well.

Possibly a bug: I managed to get to the boss in Zone 0 and failed miserably (“Accuracy 63”). Then, at the zone selection screen, I tried to start the other zones, but they only showed the previous game over screen (“Accuracy 63”) and when I tried to start Zone 0 the game stopped responding.


Thanks for playing! I found the bug, I will fix it immediately and put up a 4.1 demo :sweat_smile:


Demo 5

Thanks again for all of the excellent feedback! This update comes with changes mostly to ZONE 1 Boss fight, the Worm!

Demo 5.1: VirusBuster.bin (127.2 KB)
Demo 5.2: VirusBuster.bin (127.3 KB)

Notable Changes:

  • Summary now displays Bonus Mini Fragments based on Accuracy
  • Mini Boss had some collision issues fixed
  • The damage variable was causing weird issues with some checks for “health==0” when damage would make health less than 0. (for example on some bosses)
  • WormBoss now will change direction randomly! A fantastic suggestion by @pixelbath
  • Various improvements and bug fixes, mostly relating to speed and damage.
  • Fixed the Charge upgrade. Now it actually speeds up the charge rather than reducing the total. Since, when the total charge was 10 or below you could no longer boost. heh… whoops.


  • @tuxinator2009 quickly pointed out that the game would freeze constantly and pretty consistently. This led me to determine that doing Mixer.init(8000) on every stage was a very, very, stupid thing to do :slight_smile: I just played from start through Zone 1 without a freeze on my own Pokitto. Hopefully that is not actually resolved in full. Thank you so much Tux for trying that out so quickly!


  • Forgot to revamp some changes to the Charging variable.

Demo 6 :partying_face:

Demo 6.0: VirusBuster.bin (128.4 KB)
Demo 6.1: VirusBuster.bin (149.3 KB)

Alright, I was going to make this 5.3, but since it had a bunch of more serious refactoring I figured it deserved a new major Demo number.

Thanks yet again to @tuxinator2009 to pointing out that instantiating a bunch of heavy objects over and over again, and releasing for GC constantly, is a really bad idea (heh… duh) so I reworked a lot of the logic to fix what I hope is the final piece of freezing during gameplay.

I really think it is getting close to being “core stable” in that I can focus again more on the mega bosses.

Another feature @tuxinator2009 suggested is another meter or indicator of how many total viruses remain in a sector (currently the meter determines the number in the current wave, but not total) I wanted to get that in this Demo but it’ll have to be in 6.1 because time :confused: but I know how to do it.

6.0 major changes:

  • Added an EntityManager for keeping track of objects that are available constantly vs. needing to be released to allow other stages to work properly (for example, why would I ever need to remove and re-add the Bot and Blaster?)
  • A number of variables from the upgrades were still incorrect. So found and reworked a lot of those to be accurate now. Specifically Charge again.
  • Freezing is maybe fixed now, for real?

This is looking quite amazing now. Beat all 4 zones with only a few retries and no freezing. Seems only thing it needs now is that endless mode for highscores and some info text for each zone (assuming the box at the bottom is intended to deliver some small piece of story/info).


Demo 7

Demo 7: VirusBuster.bin (152.9 KB)
Demo 7.1: VirusBuster.bin (154.9 KB)

Ok, this is the penultimate demo. The last Demo version, 8, will be all about Endless mode. So this is cleaning up prior to that.

Major changes:

  • Added a Intro cutscene. It isn’t anything special, but it kind of explains what happens in a minimal way.
  • Added sort of “tip” notes in the about Zone sector. If there is something else that would be more helpful there left me know!
  • Improved the shop a TON thanks to the help of @Vampirics. The selection is now index based instead of single buttons, and the overall look is more consistent with the rest of the game (using an icon instead of $ for example).
  • Added a few more sounds in a few places (just the same explosion and coin sounds as already in the game)
  • I forgot to add a note for 6.1, but this also includes an AMAZING title graphic from @pixelbath! Thank you again so much for the early Christmas Gifts! These look amazing!


  • Fixing a refresh for Charge. Up until now upgrading Charge wouldn’t actually happen… so… game changer heh…
  • New graphics on the shop view! Thanks for the feedback yet again everyone!

Final list of TODO:

  • Add a title theme song.
  • Maybe an ambient noise track for the actual game play
  • Endless mode. The goal here is to start at a basic small level of normal viruses and work the way up to “maximum” health on the enemies, and random boss battles. The whole point of Endless mode will be to gain a High Score! After each sector you will receive a set number of Mini Fragments to purchase upgrades (yes, accuracy will affects this!). Boss victories will recharge the shield and provide a small sum of Mini Fragments. But I imagine this will get pretty difficult when the viruses have more than say, 10 health :wink:
  • any other corrections, potential additions, provided by community feedback

Thanks to everyone that has been constantly playing the demos and providing feedback. This game would not have come to fruition this quickly without all of the amazing support!


Final Demo!

Demo 8: VirusBuster.bin (161.5 KB)

This is the final Demo before the official release (Planned for Wednesday this week!) This demo adds the Endless mode. This requires that the main 4 Zones have been cleared.
Endless mode uses its own set of variables for Virus Buster Program Upgrades. So don’t be alarmed when your upgrades start at the beginning in Endless mode. They should be reset back to your normal upgrades once you return to replay the other stages. The reason that endless uses its own is that it makes it more accessible for “competition” score collecting.

I also added a number of other minor alignments and cleanups to the overall game. So hopefully things are about ready for finalizing. I am still open to any and all feedback that I can cram in before Tuesday night/Wednesday morning though!

Final things I want to add prior to Tuesday night:

  • Title song. Just a simple repeating tune so the title screen isn’t just silent. It adds something I think.
  • possibly an ambient track for the regular waves.
  • Boss music?
  • Anything else pending community feedback!

I know I keep saying it, but I mean it, thank you all so much for play testing and providing the invaluable feedback! As well as the amazing title graphics @pixelbath! It really makes this feel like a legitimate game title and I am so excited to show it off to everyone who has been waiting for the final version :smiley:


After a long day of finalizing everything, I have finally released the big v1.0.0 of Virus Buster :partying_face:

A huge thanks to final feedback from @Vampirics that led me to overhaul the entire text interface. It was extremely necessary (there is one scene on the end of the intro that still uses an older style, but since it is more story, I left it).

I left out a small number of things for the purpose of release. Such as a title song and some minor tweaks. But I’m not going to let this just stay as it is :wink: I do plan to upgrade as I get more feedback. But this is the official release! It is out there! Enjoy :smiley: !

(all links at the top of the page)


Really enjoying this game! Awesome job and i know how hard you worked on this! Thank you for this early christmas gift.

Also, great job on the title screen graphics @pixelbath !


The game feels great! A real retro-DOS-80ies feeling!

The tutorial is great also.

The difficulty level of the first zone is spot-on for me.

Could you explain the meaning of the bars at the top, and the bonuses you can buy in the shop?


I’ll work on a sort of intro manual and post it here/github/itch as soon as I am done. Have a few chores first but then I’ll work on it and have it up today!

Edit: @Hanski I just finished putting up the super raw and small Guidebook. If it needs more info or detail just let me know! Hope it helps improve the experience! :slight_smile: Thanks for playing!