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Posted by vdub_bobby, 23 January 2012 · 1,072 views

SO IT'S BEEN A WHILE since I've been very active on AA; but in the last few weeks I have again started some fairly intensive 2600 development. I'm sorry to say, Nathan, that it isn't RPS - which is still on my slow-moving to-do list - but rather a project that I toyed with years ago: a semi-faithful port of Tank Battalion.

I'll try to find time to put up the in-progress ROM of what I've got so far along with some screenshots, plus other details. And I am having some difficulty with the graphics and could use some help from those who are more talented. But I'll save the begging for later. ;)

EDIT: Now I'm at home; here's a screenshot and a binary.
Attached Image
Attached File  TankMaze20120123.bin (4KB)
downloads: 57

It's pretty ugly at the moment. The explanation:
I'm trying to use the same technique that batari used in his Rally-X demo - using the missiles as alternate frames for the sprites to have 4 semi-flickered sprites. The ball (flickered) will be used for the tank bullets.

The current ROM has two different graphics in it - the original graphics I came up with are used for the L/R-facing tanks and the downward-facing tanks. The upwards-facing tank uses another version. I'm not really satisfied with either.

The constraints are:
the sprite is 8x12, which isn't set in stone.
The missile can only start or stop drawing on even-numbered scanlines. I.e., they can only be 2, 4, 6, etc. lines tall and the can only be positioned (vertically) every two lines. They can be 1, 2, 4, or 8 pixels wide. The missiles can only be rectangular in shape - they can't have blank lines in the middle or change widths in the middle.

Anyone got anything better, or have any good suggestions?

Getting curious...
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Good to hear that you are back to 2600 development! I'm very interested to see the game.

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That's okay about RPS - it's so far down my to-do list that it's fallen off the bottom a few times. ;)

I'm sure we'll get around to it someday. Maybe re-theme it as a holiday cart. :D

Tank Battalion sounds like a completely doable port for the 2600. Dave Dries did a write-up on the arcade game some years back.
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Incidentally, if the go to the KLOV page for Tank Battalion and follow a few links you'll eventually come to this page: http://flyers.arcade...id=1764&image=2

Which has what just might be the best arcade flyer of all time. :o :lust:

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Looks good - I like the combination of player and missile sprites to give 2 colours to each tank.

The tanks seem to get stuck on the edges of corners very easily - I'm not sure if that was the case in the arcade version?

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Interesting game. Couldn't play it in MAME due to "missing roms", but it did work in iMAME which is based version 0.34/0.35 of MAME.

Movement is jerky, note the ghosting on the top tank - the tanks move 1/2 their length at a time.

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Just so you all know, unless there is a huge clamor for a pixel-perfect port, I'm going to play very fast and loose with this. Mostly, I like the high-level concept: a maze with shootable walls, multiple enemies, and a base to defend. Everything else is up for grabs!

And Chris: the tanks getting stuck on corners is IMO a bug that is high on my list of things to fix. ;)
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sounds good to me as while the game was interesting, I found the jerky movement a bit disconcerting. The smooth movement in TankMaze (other than stuck corners) is better.
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How do you construct the maze?
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How do you construct the maze?

What do you mean?
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