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Breakanoid Arcade Action fun for the Atari 2600 - Order Thread!

Breakanoid Atari 2600 Arcade Action new 2600 game Arkanoid

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#26 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:29 PM

How bad is the brief screen jump and flash on the real hardware? Does it break playability?

I'd say it "ruins" the game as it's definitely annoying and as a player, you know it shouldn't be there. Especially on what one would expect out of a professional/commercial release.


save2600,
thank you for the details! I agree 100% that it needs to be playable on the real hardware and I am tuning Breakanoid now to resolve these issues. I am also implementing your idea to make the magnetic paddle an option - not sure if it would be better to have it difficulty switch selected or make it one of the special power ups you can catch :)

#27 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:12 PM

How bad is the brief screen jump and flash on the real hardware? Does it break playability? I wish I could see it - on stella the brief flash only kicks in when you are using the laser cannon to blast the last row of bricks which made it a cool effect but it's rock solid otherwise; I will tune it so the hardware more closely matches the emulators performance.


:o In my opinion you really need to test the game yourself on real hardware before you have carts made and ship it.

GroovyBee,
Breakanoid will absolutely be playable on the real 2600 hardware by it's release date, January 8th!

Once a developer has completed a professional commercial release it is beta testing and more beta testing coupled with tuning and more tuning that optimizes the games fun factor. This is what I'm intererested in; IMO this formula worked great in the 80's and works even better now :)

#28 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:21 PM

Breakanoid will absolutely be playable on the real 2600 hardware by it's release date, January 8th!


Excellent!

Once a developer has completed a professional commercial release it is beta testing and more beta testing coupled with tuning and more tuning that optimizes the games fun factor. This is what I'm intererested in; IMO this formula worked great in the 80's and works even better now :)


You can't beat getting feedback by playing the game yourself on the real hardware. Beta testers do a fantastic job but if you can't repeat what they are doing or see exactly what they are seeing it can be a long and laborious process to get to a shippable product.

Maybe you should add a Harmony cart to your Christmas list ;).

#29 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:49 PM

GroovyBee,
all great points, Harmony is a great tool and I have put it on my Christmas list :) Agree nothing beats playing on the real hardware!

#30 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:55 PM

I am also implementing your idea to make the magnetic paddle an option - not sure if it would be better to have it difficulty switch selected or make it one of the special power ups you can catch :)

Nice! Yeah, if it were me, I'd probably just have the magnetic paddle as a temporary special power up instead. Thanks for taking the constructive criticism as just that. :)

Edited by save2600, Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:56 PM.


#31 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:22 PM

I am also implementing your idea to make the magnetic paddle an option - not sure if it would be better to have it difficulty switch selected or make it one of the special power ups you can catch :)

Nice! Yeah, if it were me, I'd probably just have the magnetic paddle as a temporary special power up instead. Thanks for taking the constructive criticism as just that. :)

You're welcome save2600, thanks for the ideas and the feedback! I tried making the magnetic paddle a power up but one of my beta testers wanted to be able to keep it on all the time as a game variation which also seemed a good idea so I've linked it to the B&W/colour switch - you can toggle it on and off anytime midplay. Speaking of powerups, what do you think about adding one for extra lives or continues?

Here's a list of some of the other enhancements and changes that were requested:

Losing a life now freezes the action for a moment for clarity (a new ball could be launched too soon otherwise making it hard to discern).

Timing adjustments: Screen roll shake and shimmer should be resolved on the real hardware!

The super speed power up is now reduced to medium speed when you lose a life (staying in speedball mode was too hard).


I've updated the demo binary in the opening post.

#32 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:31 AM

Losing a life now freezes the action for a moment for clarity (a new ball could be launched too soon otherwise making it hard to discern).


Can you put a "Get Ready Player One!" on the screen before the new ball is launched?

#33 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:37 AM

Speaking of powerups, what do you think about adding one for extra lives or continues?

I'm not in front of the game right now, but is there no display in place that lets the player know how many lives they have left? If there was a visual cue, maybe in the form of simple lines (lower case letter l for instance) to indicate lives (or balls rather) left, it would be nice that the rare extra ball be added as a special power up.

#34 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:17 AM

rmarez,
did you try the new demo binary? I could add more of a prompt if it's still not clear when you've lost a ball.

save2600,
the rare powerup adding a life sounds like a great idea. And yes there's a display for how many lives you have; please let me know how the playability is doing on the 2600 when you get a chance, it should be better tuned now :)

#35 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:22 AM

rmarez,
did you try the new demo binary? I could add more of a prompt if it's still not clear when you've lost a ball.


No, I haven't. I suppose it's in post #1?

#36 mtshark7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:55 AM

Tom will the game come with a set of instructions?

#37 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:19 PM

please let me know how the playability is doing on the 2600 when you get a chance, it should be better tuned now :)

This game is really starting to shape up! You'll make a buyer out of me yet. :)

BTW: the screen still jumps though on all the 2600's I've tested so far: a Heavy Sixer, a 4-switch 2600 and a modded FB2 console.

Edited by save2600, Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:49 PM.


#38 NML32 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:04 PM

Nice, I like the changes that have been made so far.

#39 Brian O OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:03 PM

The last set of changes are a huge improvement. Can't wait for the final version.

Again, nice job on this, Mr SQL.

-B

#40 NinjaWarrior OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:53 PM

It plays good, for $20 good price

#41 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:17 PM

Mr. SQL... have you considered implementing a variable speed bat via true analog paddle controls to this?

#42 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:48 PM

Thank you everyone for the positive feedback and encouragement! I've updated the demo download in the opening post with the latest enhancements.

Mark,
great idea! I've added a draft of the game instructions and controls to the opening post as well.

rmarez,
yes the new demo binary is in the opening post (new again now).

save2600,
the rare power-up has been added (yellow power-up), agree analog paddle control would be a great feature too. I am working on resolving the screen roll on the real hadware, thank you for testing it on an FB2 as well as the original 2600's!

#43 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:51 PM

thank you for testing it on an FB2 as well as the original 2600's!

Sorry, at the time I posted that, I had forgotten my FB2 is a lot different. The innards were replaced with a Pico board which allows you to plug the original chips in it.

#44 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:01 PM

This isn't a paddle game?

#45 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:13 PM

This isn't a paddle game?

I'm not sure... are you able to use the paddles? They may work but the game has digital controls, save2600 was referring to analog paddles which I am not reading.

#46 atari2atari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:27 PM

Thank you everyone for the positive feedback and encouragement! I've updated the demo download in the opening post with the latest enhancements.

Mark,
great idea! I've added a draft of the game instructions and controls to the opening post as well.

rmarez,
yes the new demo binary is in the opening post (new again now).

save2600,
the rare power-up has been added (yellow power-up), agree analog paddle control would be a great feature too. I am working on resolving the screen roll on the real hadware, thank you for testing it on an FB2 as well as the original 2600's!

This isn't a paddle game?

I'm not sure... are you able to use the paddles? They may work but the game has digital controls, save2600 was referring to analog paddles which I am not reading.


Paddle control support would be a "must-have" feature for me, for sure!

Exciting project, I was always bummed that Breakout and Super Breakout never had "power-ups!" Power ups in paddle/ball/block games to me seem crucial!

One thing that those games have that Arkanoid clones never did, though, is the multiple "paddle modes" that Breakout had - - like the double stack, or two-player simultaneous.

Any plans to support those modes?

Thanks, watching with anticipation!

-a2a

#47 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:07 AM

This isn't a paddle game?

I'm not sure... are you able to use the paddles? They may work but the game has digital controls, save2600 was referring to analog paddles which I am not reading.

Right on. A true analog read paddle game allows you to whip the dial to the extremes, which would cause your paddle to move really fast. Diddle the dial slowly and your paddle would then move slower. That's analog baby! :lol: Anything less, then it doesn't matter if you're using an Atari paddle controller or not. Just like using the roller controller on 2600 Centipede or Missile Command. :(

Edited by save2600, Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:07 AM.


#48 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:53 PM

atari2atari,
thank you! I feel similarly, always wanted to play this kind of game on the 2600! No plans to support multiple paddles and balls with Breakanoid - those are my favourite features in Super Breakout, but the action in Breakanoid really turns up when the combination turns to speedball power-ups and blasting with the laser cannons while while simultaneously trying to catch the special items.

save2600,
excellent analog idea! My idea of an analog implementation was to map the paddle on the screen to every point on the physical paddle which would defeat the challenge strategies required for catching the power-ups while staying within range of the ball (right now it's tempting to go out of range). Your description of using analog just to add inertia to the paddle (faster and slower movement) would maintain those game strategies. I may implement something like that if it doesn't make the game too difficult or break the inertia from the magnetic paddle. Since the movement is fast already it should work reasonably well now with digital paddle control. I need my beta test team to be able to try this with actual paddles to know for sure if analog inertia would be an improvement; I've ordered a real 2600 for the beta team (and optimizing the screen refresh on the real hardware) - I will have to get some paddles to explore this option :)

#49 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:02 PM

In the meantime, I'd be happy to test your analog implementation on real 2600 hardware using real paddles if you'd like...

#50 Csonicgo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:23 PM

For years I've been wondering if this was possible. even wiht some mockup screens I created.

THANK YOU!





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