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Boulder Dash (R) Demo Release


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#1 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:55 PM

Please contribute bug reports to
http://www.atariage....hr-bug-reports/




Atari 2600 Boulder Dash ®

Thank you for checking out our implementation of First Star Software's Boulder Dash ® on the Atari 2600. We are Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch, joint programmers. Together, we have been working on-and-off on this game for about six years.

The program is 32K in size, though it can nominally fit in 16K. This demo version includes the most challenging two levels of the original version, those that push the capabilities of our program to the limit. It demonstrates all of the 'creatures' and 'features' available in the original game. This includes butterflies, fireflies, an amoeba, magic walls and of course boulders and diamonds.

We would like to acknowledge First Star Software's role in bringing this to you as a free playable version. Throughout, we have had contact and support from First Star Software, Inc. in our efforts to develop this game. Boulder Dash ® is their intellectual property, and it is with gratitude that we acknowledge their generosity in allowing this version to be distributed to the Atari
community free of charge. Please respect their ownership of the Boulder Dash ®
property.

Andrew Davie -- andrew@taswegian.com
Thomas Jentzsch --
July 2011

================================================================================

========
Controls
========

Special Switches
================
ABORT GAME Hold down RESET and SELECT switches (Stella: F1+F2) at
the same time.

SUICIDE Sometimes you get stuck, or make a mistake, and want to
re-start the cave. Except for waiting until the time
runs out the only way you can do this is by suicide.
Hold down RESET switch (Stella: F2) to kill Rockford.

NTSC/PAL TV Right difficulty (Stella: F7/F8) switches between NTSC
and PAL versions. There are trade-offs between each. The
NTSC version has nicer colours. The PAL version has more
processing time.

So, you might say the NTSC version looks better and
the PAL version is faster. Thomas and I have different
preferred versions. They both play OK.

MUSIC Left difficulty (F5/F6) toggles the music on/off during
game=play. The original did not have music, so this
option is off by default.


Moving Rockford™
===============
Joystick UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT move Rockford

BUTTON + Joystick GRAB/SNATCH in the direction of the joystick.
You can grab diamonds and snatch out soil without
moving to the square by holding the button and then
pressing the direction.

Rockford™ will not move while the button is pressed.

Looking Around
==============
You can look around the cave without moving Rockford™ by holding down the
SELECT switch (Stella: F1 key) and using the joystick. The background colour
will change to a dark cyan when you are looking around. The cave timer still
counts down during look-around.

To quit from the look-around mode, release the SELECT switch. The view will
scroll back to the location of Rockford. You may move immediately, even when
Rockford is not visible on=screen.

After Dying
-----------
BUTTON press the joystick button to continue

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


===========
THE DISPLAY
===========

The top line has three display types, as described below.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISPLAY TYPE 1:
Player/Lives/Level

The display/scoring area shows this display when first starting, or resuming
after death. This display shows the player number, life counter, and cave level.

A. PLAYER NUMBER
================
When first starting a cave, the display shows the player number (top left).
This version of Boulder Dash ® only allows for a single player so this is
always "P1".

B. LIFE COUNTER
===============
The number of lives is displayed top-middle, alongside Rockford's head. You
start with three lives, and you lose a life every time you...

a) Have a boulder or diamond fall on you

b) Touch a butterfly

c) Touch a firefly

d) Are too close to an exploding firefly or butterfly.

e) Commit suicide (pressing RESET)

f) Run out of time for completing the cave

If you lose a life while the time is still running, Rockford explodes and dies,
and the cave continues. Press the joystick button to continue.

C. CAVE LEVEL
=============
The top-right of the display shows the cave letter followed by the level number.

Cave letters range from A to P inclusive. These correspond exactly to the
original Boulder Dash ® levels, with the exception of a small reduction of
the number of butterflies in level M.

This demo version contains two caves ("Funnel", "Apocalypse").

Level number ranges from 1 to 5.

On completion of all caves, the level number is incremented and the caves are
repeated.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISPLAY TYPE 2:
The score.

The score is displayed center top of screen, as a 6-digit number.

You earn points every time you collect a diamond, based on your current cave and
level.

You earn bonus points if you have time remaining at the completion of a cave
level.

The score is briefly displayed every time you earn points.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISPLAY TYPE 3:

The diamond counter, and the remaining time counter.

A. DIAMOND COUNTER
==================
The diamond counter is shown top-left of screen and has two modes.

1. When shown alongside a diamond shape with a "-" inside it, the number
indicates the number of diamonds you must collect before the exit door will
open.

2. When shown alongside a diamond shape with a "+" inside it, the number
indicates the number of diamonds, MORE than the required number of diamonds
for the level, that you have collected.

B. TIME FOR COMPLETION OF LEVEL
===============================
The time for level completion is shown at top-right of screen, and counts down
to 0. You must complete the cave (collect all the diamonds and reach the exit
door) before this timer runs out. For the last 10 seconds of time, a sound with
increasing pitch will play. If you do not complete the cave in time, you will
lose a life.

The speed of the timer count-down is based on the level.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


=========
GAME PLAY
=========

Snatch/Grab
-----------
Rockford™ can collect diamonds (or dig dirt) in adjacent squares through the
use of button + joystick direction. When this combination is used, the square in
the given direction (if it's a diamond or dirt) is 'grabbed' by Rockford.

Pushing Boulders
----------------
If a boulder is in your way, you can push it to the left or right by placing
Rockford alongside it and moving towards the boulder. When the boulder moves,
Rockford™ moves to the square where the boulder was. You can also push
boulders without moving to their square; hold the joystick button down as
you are pushing, and the boulder will be pushed without moving Rockford™.
You can only push boulders if there is a gap for them to move to.

Bonus Life
----------
Every 500 points you get a bonus life. The bonus life is shown by a pattern of
coloured dots in the background (cosmic ark star effect, for those who want to
know how it's done). The effect stops after a few seconds.

Running out of time
-------------------
When less than 10 seconds remain on the time clock, an ascending tone is played
every second. You better hurry!

Collecting Diamonds
-------------------
The aim of the game is to collect the number of diamonds shown in the diamond
counter. You collect diamonds by walking over them (if they are stationary), or
by grabbing them using snatch/grab.
When you have collected sufficient diamonds (the diamond counter reaches 0),
then the background will briefly flash white and the exit door will open. The
exit doorstarts flashing when you can go through it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

=======================
CREDITS & LEGAL NOTCES
=======================
Boulder Dash® is a registered trademark of First Star Software, Inc. The name
and likeness of Rockford™ are trademarks of First Star Software, Inc.
Copyright © 1984-2011 First Star Software, Inc. All rights reserved.
Boulder Dash ® was created by Peter Liepa with Chris Gray.

Attached Files



#2 eshu OFFLINE  

eshu

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:02 PM

Wow!! looking forward to it :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

#3 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:03 PM

wrong here, nevermind :)

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:03 PM.


#4 Emehr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:14 PM

Glad to see this project is still alive! :)

#5 LS_Dracon ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:31 PM

It's a great news!
One of the best Atari 2600 project I ever saw!

#6 ScumSoft OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:33 PM

Looking forward to it! Using the DPC+ chip for this one?

#7 Wickeycolumbus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:36 PM

Can't wait to play it :thumbsup:

#8 Dino OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:33 PM

This will be the best release for the Atari 2600. :thumbsup:

#9 TrekMD ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:49 PM

Very cool! Looking forward to it!

#10 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:43 PM

Using the DPC+ chip for this one?

Nope. Not extra hardware power, just extra RAM.

#11 maiki OFFLINE  

maiki

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:12 AM

I hope you will have that cool intro music someone made a couple of years ago...

#12 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:28 AM

:love: WOW! Very cool! Can't wait to be able to get it on a cart! Such masterful programming from the PROGRAMMING GREATS! :)

#13 Shannon ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:54 AM

:o

/me checks calendar to make sure it's not April 1st.

#14 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:58 AM

Glad to see this project is still alive! :)

We had a hint over a week ago:

http://www.atariage....ost__p__2316232

#15 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:52 AM

Three more sleeps.

#16 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:48 AM

Wow... keeping the faith... bring it on! ;)

#17 keilbaca ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:08 AM

This is still alive? Awesome!

I can't wait for this, I remember the tech demos from a while ago... and they were super impressive. :D

#18 pis OFFLINE  

pis

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:05 PM

:thumbsup: :party:

#19 GrandviewCoin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:05 PM

This is still alive? Awesome!

I can't wait for this, I remember the tech demos from a while ago... and they were super impressive. :D



I want this sooo bad also!

#20 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:10 PM

Great news!

#21 BrianC OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:40 PM

Awesome news! I love the A800 Super Boulderdash (1 and 2 on a double sided disk).

#22 Dino OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:58 PM

Three more sleeps.

Andrew,

Is the end game an official release by First Star? If so, this will be the first official retail (non-homebrew) game release on the Atari 2600 for many years....

#23 tremoloman2006 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:40 PM

HOLY S**T!!! I don't friggen believe it!!!

Hats off to Andrew and Thomas!!! I can hardly wait to give this a go! I thought this would never see the light of day based on Andrew's previous posts. I'm so happy there has been a change of heart. This will easily be on of the best games released for the 2600... EVER.

You guys just totally made my day!

#24 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:00 PM

Andrew,
Is the end game an official release by First Star? If so, this will be the first official retail (non-homebrew) game release on the Atari 2600 for many years....


It's a fully functional, free, playable demo of two caves of Boulder Dash® -- released with permission from First Star Software.
The demo has the two most difficult caves installed (in terms of difficulty in programming on the '2600).
It is not a retail version. You don't pay anything. It's totally free.
Two more sleeps!
Cheers
A

#25 Dino OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:19 PM


Andrew,
Is the end game an official release by First Star? If so, this will be the first official retail (non-homebrew) game release on the Atari 2600 for many years....


It's a fully functional, free, playable demo of two caves of Boulder Dash® -- released with permission from First Star Software.
The demo has the two most difficult caves installed (in terms of difficulty in programming on the '2600).
It is not a retail version. You don't pay anything. It's totally free.
Two more sleeps!
Cheers
A

I guess my question is whether it is intended to ultimately be turned into a full game and released by First Star?




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