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StarBlitz

Defenderesque smooth scrolling shoot em up Atari 2600

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#1 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:15 PM

StarBlitz

 

the_last_starfighter_3.png StarBlitz Plasma artifacting at 30 FPS.JPG

EDIT:

Here are the new versions of the game based on feedback from this thread:

Attached File  StarBlitz_double_fun.bin   8.25KB   291 downloads StarBlitz Double Fun! :) Use the BW switch to change between 30 HZ and 60 HZ! Interesting display artifacts that show up only on the real hardware in both modes.

 

Attached File  StarBlitz_60HZ_v1.bin   8.25KB   208 downloads StarBlitz at 60 HZ - is it better than 30 HZ?

Attached File  StarBlitz_v5C.bin   8.25KB   323 downloads (most recent and different than the site download, continuous cityscape and meteor animation improvements; white flash left over  from testing has been removed).

Attached File  StarBlitz_v5B.bin   8.25KB   200 downloads(bugfix - meteors now stable near enemy drones, difficulty ramped up)

Attached File  StarBlitz_v5.bin   8.25KB   163 downloads (added enemy drones, pods easier to shoot)

Attached File  StarBlitz_v4A.bin   8.25KB   160 downloads ( pods can be shot)

Attached File  StarBlitz_v4.bin   8.25KB   157 downloads (added enemy flyer with pods)

Attached File  StarBlitz_v3.bin   8.25KB   158 downloads (no motor background sound)

Attached File  StarBlitz_v2.bin   8.25KB   131 downloads (more meteor paths, sound scheme revisions)

Attached File  StarBlitz.bin   8.25KB   221 downloads       (original version)

 

StarBlitz is a high resolution smooth scrolling Defender style game where you protect the colorful cities of Mars from comets and meteors.

 

Each Martian CityScape is different than the next. How many cities can you protect? :)

 

Game play:
Destroy the comets and meteors before they level the city to progress to the next level. The game ends when your ship is hit without shields or a city is destroyed.

 

Weapons:
Drone Torpedoes - Your Ship is equipped with short range drone torpedoes that you control.

 

Shields:
Magnetic Ion Shields - you'll quickly get a feel for how many meteor hits you can take; your ship changes color as the Ion field loses magnetic flux.

 

Strategy:
Inertia - use your Horizontal Drift (drift is considerable, inspired by Defender) to maneuver your Drone Torpedoes for maximum effect while avoiding the falling meteors. Larger meteors can do more damage to your shields but are easier to hit.

 

Scoring:
Interactive - your in-level score will periodically appear as a falling comet.

The number of levels completed will appear on screen briefly during play at the beginning of each level, and at the end of the game.

 

Catch or shoot score for additional points.

 

Leveling up - when your in-level score reaches 8 you move on to the next City.

 

Progressive Difficulty:

StarBlitz is easy to play but difficult to master, difficulty ramps up as the levels progress.

 

Easter-Egg:

If you're light fingered you can play on the title screen too!

 

Hope everyone enjoys! :)

 


Edited by Mr SQL, Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:53 PM.


#2 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:16 AM

Had a brief play on Stella 4.7. Some thoughts :-

- After you fire the torpedo the shot noise repeats.
- Torpedo tracks your height. Seems a bit odd to me.
- Continuous "music" that is really grating and detracts from the game to the point where I had to stop playing.
- Continuous and irritating clicking noise.

- Doesn't seem to be much variation on how the enemies come into the screen. I might have played longer to see more but man, that audio :P

Good start but the audio needs serious work.



#3 Gorfy ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:47 AM

The scoring is confusing to me -- is the overall score simply the number of levels completed?

Also, I think the difficulty level needs to be ramped up more from the start -- I was trying to die to see my final score, but I couldn't off myself.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

#4 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:22 AM

Neato! I'll have to cram this in my Harmony for later...



#5 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:17 AM

The scoring is confusing to me -- is the overall score simply the number of levels completed?

Also, I think the difficulty level needs to be ramped up more from the start -- I was trying to die to see my final score, but I couldn't off myself.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

 

There are two scores - your in-level score which floats down like a meteor every so often, and your levels completed score which displays briefly whenever you complete a level, and when you die.  

 

The difficulty ramps up because you have less time to complete each level as the cities become increasingly vulnerable to meteors (when cities sustain enough damage to lose their color you only have about 20 seconds to complete the level or the game ends) .  How many levels did you complete?



#6 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:22 AM

Aiming and shooting seems too random to me. I can't do much more than flying into one direction with permanent shooting. There should be some speed control which would allow some tactics.



#7 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:40 AM

Had a brief play on Stella 4.7. Some thoughts :-

- After you fire the torpedo the shot noise repeats.
- Torpedo tracks your height. Seems a bit odd to me.
- Continuous "music" that is really grating and detracts from the game to the point where I had to stop playing.
- Continuous and irritating clicking noise.

- Doesn't seem to be much variation on how the enemies come into the screen. I might have played longer to see more but man, that audio :P

Good start but the audio needs serious work.

 

That stuff and I don't like the screen to flash.



#8 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:30 AM

Had a brief play on Stella 4.7. Some thoughts :-

- After you fire the torpedo the shot noise repeats.
- Torpedo tracks your height. Seems a bit odd to me.
- Continuous "music" that is really grating and detracts from the game to the point where I had to stop playing.
- Continuous and irritating clicking noise.

- Doesn't seem to be much variation on how the enemies come into the screen. I might have played longer to see more but man, that audio :P

Good start but the audio needs serious work.

 

GroovyBee, great feedback! Try this version, the Torpedo no longer takes over the other sound schemes and there is more variation on how the comets and meteors come into the screen:

 

Attached File  StarBlitz_v2.bin   8.25KB   146 downloads

 

I left in the "clicking" noise, it's supposed to be the ships motor  :)



#9 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:45 AM

Aiming and shooting seems too random to me. I can't do much more than flying into one direction with permanent shooting. There should be some speed control which would allow some tactics.

 

Speed control would lose the illusion of fine pixel scrolling!   :-D

 

I see what you are getting at Tom, I had a build where the enemies frequently fly onto the screen from the furthest reaches giving you enough time even at high speed to consistently torpedo them, it was fun but the gameplay was too easy - maybe I should include those option as a trainer/easy setting? 

 

Tactics - while your torpedo is already in the air try changing directions to swing your torpedo around on a meteor, you can make the Drone do loops around your Ship.



#10 KaeruYojimbo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:29 AM

I guess I get that the missile is a drone or whatever rather than a bullet, I just don't think it makes for very good gameplay. I mostly end up going back and forth constantly trying to get it to hit the target. It would probably be easier with a joystick instead of a keyboard. The scrolling cityscape is very impressive.



#11 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:58 AM

Just curious, why is the download 8.25kb? Shouldn't it be 8.00?



#12 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:32 AM

Just curious, why is the download 8.25kb? Shouldn't it be 8.00?

 

Actually I've only used up half the space in the binary, have any ideas to add to this game?   :cool:

 

I'm thinking of adding enemy ships that fly in at variable speeds unlike the comets and meteors which plumet straight down - this would work along the lines of what Tom suggested but without compromising the fluid scrolling of the the city. They could shoot at the player as well but probably not launch drones.

 

Also thinking of adding some power-up's to catch besides the score, perhaps different weapons like in Road Blaster.

 

Here's another build without the motor noise in the background to try:

 

Attached File  StarBlitz_v3.bin   8.25KB   106 downloads

 

If Al or a mod can give me edit privs on my first post I'll put all the builds at the top  :)



#13 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:50 AM

If Al or a mod can give me edit privs on my first post I'll put all the builds at the top  :)


Done.

#14 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:55 AM

Just curious, why is the download 8.25kb? Shouldn't it be 8.00?

The extra 256 bytes are resulting from the ROM being in Supercharger format.



#15 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:42 PM

The extra 256 bytes are resulting from the ROM being in Supercharger format.

Okay got it. These run fine on Harmony right?



#16 Jinroh OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2016 12:44 PM

Sweet!~ You snuck this out when I was sick as a dog over the weekend.

 

Now I can't wait to try it later. :D



#17 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2016 2:36 PM

Okay got it. These run fine on Harmony right?

 

Crosley.jpg

These run fine on a Crosley, other brands may damage the media 8)

 

Here's a preview from the release thead ;)



#18 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2016 11:11 PM

Update: Two new versions - one with an enemy flyer that takes multiple hits to destroy while launching indestructible heat seaking pods at you, and another (since that didn't seem fair) with destructible pods.  

 

Still planning to add more power-ups to catch besides the score...



#19 Jinroh OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:55 AM

Very cool, I like defender style games!

 

Finally got to try it last night. I'm not very good at it, but blasting the enemy ships is satisfying. Gonna have to try it on my SuperCharger. :D


Edited by Jinroh, Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:55 AM.


#20 Two-in-the-Belfry OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 9:15 PM

The graphics are really nice, especially the title screen! I'm not too good at it, though - I keep getting pummeled by meteors!



#21 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 3, 2016 6:49 AM

Thanks! :)

 

New build added with enemy drones that fly up from the city, also the enemy flyer and pods should be easier to shoot down. 



#22 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 3, 2016 9:45 AM

The graphics are really nice, especially the title screen! I'm not too good at it, though - I keep getting pummeled by meteors!

I'll second that!



#23 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 4, 2016 5:17 PM

Uploaded a new version that fixes a bug where meteors oscillated near enemy drones and ramps up the difficulty. 

 

Almost all of the ideas from this thread have been added except RT's not wanting the screen to flash - good article but disintegrating meteors should make the sky flash IMO  ;)  

 

Here's a video of the game on real hardware (with the bug):

The scrolling city and title screen are animated at 30 FPS, the digital camera loses synch a few times.

 



#24 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:23 PM

Like I reported in "that other thread", the flickering is very hefty. That hefty, that I cannot play the game for more than a few minutes.

It seems like your are running out of time and use the blank screen for scrolling the SC RAM. I am not 100% sure, but I suppose there must be a better compromise than the current flickering. Maybe the code can be optimized a bit (I could try to help here, checkout my SC based Paradroid demo), the vertical game screen size could be reduced and the total number of scan lines could be increased a bit. When combined, there is a chance that we can get rid of that blank screen.

Else I suggest to a different banks witching and extra RAM scheme, which allows moving RAM data faster.


Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:25 PM.


#25 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:11 PM

Other than the breaks from the digital camera losing sync (!) the 30 FPS of full screen animation doesn't appear to be flickering in the video to me; perhaps only you and RevEng can see it to the point it makes the game unplayable for you? In the emu, the real hardware or both?

 

The reviewer Trixter on that other thread saw minimal flicker but found it "well within limits, particularly for an Atari game" and the display captivating.   

 

If any gamers can see flicker that is making the game unplayable on an NTSC Television or in your Stella emulator, please discuss it here!

 

The display Engine in StarBlitz is the same as KC Munchkin - it outputs 30 full frames of animation per second (KC does it in bursts) for very low flicker and StarBlitz has all the display elements balanced at 30 HZ.

 

30 HZ is the same frequency as NTSC Television and adds the same hypnotic effect to the game. If there are breaks in the display the effect can be unpleasant, here is that other thread if anyone is seeing the issues described by Keatah affecting the StarBlitz display engine in Stella on certain Windows hardware/OS configurations (and are intermitten and very different than minimal flicker):

 

http://atariage.com/...tant/?p=3437333

 







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