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Cave-In arcade game
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Cave-In arcade game

There was an arcade machine game from the early 80's, where I spent a lot of coins, now I'm learning Red language, I thought it was a good idea to try to imitate the game, just to learn while having fun, I never imagined it would be so easy to make games, I could hardly have done it with another language that was not human oriented.

I know it does not have the quality of the true arcade game, but the goal is not to market it, but to learn, to play and share the code to others, so they can also learn in his way. In addition there are several known failures, and for sure will discover many more, so the development continues. I publish it just so that others can try it and have fun as me.

To run it just download the folders tree and click on file. Have fun!


Levels are made of one folder with two files inside, the scenario image cavern.png, and the objects configuration file items.txt. The level name would be the folder name.

First of all we need to create a new folder with his name, better to use the same pattern of uppercase letter and number, I do prefer to use letter "L" for my own levels, but I strongly reccomend to use a different one, as for example "X".

Then we have to amend the (current) line 20 of file. That line contains the block holding the level names as: Levels: ["L1" "L2" "L3" "L4"] to Levels: ["L1" "L2" "L3" "L4" "X1"]
for example. I do change this line for the first level to be the one I'm working, so the line would have this aspect: Levels: ["X1" "L2" "L3" "L4" "X1"] so you will start the game at the desired level, then when level is done then restore the line the normal content.


Then we have to copy the files cavern.png and items.txt from an existing folder, from that way we will not start from scratch. It is important not to modify the dimensions of cavern.bmp that contains the scenario of the game, since it would produce unpredictable results in the game, these dimensions are 1599x600 pixel.

Once this is done, we can begin to modify the appearance of the scenario, I always use paintbrush & pixelformer, but any bitmaps editor works. It is important to preserve the color of the terrain and the stairs, since the game is based on that color to stop the effect of gravity, you may use any color combination and these colors values can be changed in the level configuration file, items.txt, by using a line that starts with "&" such as: & TerrainColor or & StairsColor1 and & StairsColor2 that way we can change the color of the scenario and dynamically set the value to the game.

The design of the scenario is free hand, you just have to bear in mind that you have to use those colors in the areas where objects move, for the subject of gravity. A part of this, is very important properly place the stairs, and make sure each upper end of stair have a ceiling at the adecuate distance, 18 pixels by default, for the guards to detect end of climbing, this parameter may be also modifyied by the configuration file as setting & CeilingDist 25 for example. It is also noticeable not to locate stairs at the side of walls not being external perimeter, there must be some space between the stair and the wall, so the guards would be able to turn back and exit from dead ends.

The kart handles must be placed at the x point where the kart stops, the vertical distance must be at no more than 45 pixels from the boy y coordinate when it is located under the handle, as the handle routine will look up when action key is pressed to find the & HandleColor value, so we have some flexibility.

You must draw the kart cable and stop terminator marks, the lifters holes and cables (if any) to match theyr stop points related at the configuration file, and use the & LifterCable value as color for them. There is an unused function that looks for this color that may be used in the future, so I recommend to use the same color for kart rails and lifter cables.


This is where we locate te objects that appear in the level, including the scenario file. A line contains this: ItemType|ObjectName|FaceName|FaceSize|FaceOffset|Rate|Stops|TimeOfTool|Direction|Gravity|ImageFiles

  • ItemTypes start with: (A)gent (B)and (C)avern (D)rop (G)oldBags (J)ohnDoe (K)art (L)ifter (P)assage (S)pider (T)ools (W)barrow
  • Stops (for lifters (up-down) or karts (left-right) way 0x0,0x0,...) or 0x0 for other types
  • Location (Stop #)
  • Direction (1 Down/Right -1 Up/Left)
  • For (B)and first stop indicates axis displacement 1x0 -> Horizontal Other value -> Vertical
  • (P)assages must be grouped pairs passage1 and passage2, passage3 and passage4 ... (use direction as grouping field)
  • For (A)gents first ObjectName & image files letter must be "f" if agent is female so as "fagent3"
  • To modify default GameData/word values: & word value (value can be tuple! logic! or integer!)

Each comment line starts with "#" EXAMPLE:

& TerrainColor

& StairsColor1 200.191.231

& StairsColor2

& DropGravity 1

CAVERN|cavern1|cave|1599x600|0x0|0:0|0x0|0:0|0|0|cavern.png AGENT1|agent1|age1|22x34|1550x20|0:0:0.04|0x0|0:0|0|1|fagent-l1.png|fagent-r1.png|fagent-l2.png|fagent-r2.png|fagent-l3.png|fagent-r3.png|fagent-s1.png|fagent-s2.png|fagent-s3.png|fagent-s4.png GOLDBG|gold1|gld1|8x12|75x50|0:0|0x0|0:0|0|1|gold1.png GOLDBG|gold2|gld2|8x12|75x240|0:0|0x0|0:0|0|1|gold1.png TPICKAX|pickax1|pkx1|9x10|350x320|0:0|0x0|0:0:10|0|1|pickax1.png TPICKAX|pickax2|pkx2|9x10|1400x230|0:0|0x0|0:0:10|0|1|pickax1.png LIFT1|lifter1|lif1|35x10|201x53|0:0:0.0001|201x53,201x185,201x257,201x337,201x417,201x586|0:0|1|0|lifter-1.png LIFT2|lifter2|lif2|35x10|1205x109|0:0:0.0001|1205x110,1205x235,1205x312|0:0|1|0|lifter-2.png LIFT3|lifter3|lif3|35x10|1105x312|0:0:0.0001|1105x312,1105x400,1105x585|0:0|1|0|lifter-2.png LIFT4|lifter4|lif4|35x10|1305x585|0:0:0.0001|1305x312,1305x400,1305x585|0:0|-1|0|lifter-2.png LIFT5|lifter5|lif5|100x15|1486x582|0:0:0.0001|1486x290,1486x400,1486x582|0:0|-1|0|lifter-3.png BAND|band1|bnd1|100x1200|750x-600|0:0:0.1|0x1|0:0|1|0|lavafall100.png PASSAGE1|passage1|pas1|50x40|82x132|0:0:4|0x0|0:0|1|0|passage-G.png PASSAGE2|passage2|pas2|50x40|1196x55|0:0:4|0x0|0:0|1|0|passage-G.png PASSAGE3|passage3|pas3|50x40|675x534|0:0:4|0x0|0:0|2|0|passage-G.png PASSAGE4|passage4|pas4|50x40|873x534|0:0:4|0x0|0:0|2|0|passage-G.png SPIDER1|spider1|spi1|9x7|510x325|0:0:0.15|0x0|0:0|0|1|spider-l1.png|spider-r1.png|spider-l2.png|spider-r2.png|spider-l3.png|spider-r3.png SPIDER2|spider2|spi2|9x7|930x190|0:0:0.15|0x0|0:0|0|1|spider-l1.png|spider-r1.png|spider-l2.png|spider-r2.png|spider-l3.png|spider-r3.png WBARROW|wbarrow1|wba1|26x17|155x550|0:0|0x0|0:0|0|1|barrow-r1.png JOHN|john|doe|22x34|160x15|0:0|0x0|0:0|0|1|thief-l1.png|thief-r1.png|thief-l2.png|thief-r2.png|thief-l3.png|thief-r3.png|thief-s1.png|thief-s2.png|thief-s3.png|thief-s4.png|thief-bl1.png|thief-br1.png|thief-bl2.png|thief-br2.png|thief-bl3.png|thief-br3.png

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