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HSC01 Round 1: Astro Battle

Astrocade High Score Club

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#26 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:01 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by Ward Shrake on February 15, 2016 as message #14292.)

All I know is that I stunk to high heaven, score-wise! But I did have fun!

Ward

#27 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:02 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by Ward Shrake on February 15, 2016 as message #14293.)

Contest is likely over, and I'm in about twenty (forty) gazillionth place, but I did at least finally get over 3000 in intermediate mode. I am noticing that I -- for some unfathomable reason -- am ignoring saucers. I guess it feels like a way to cheat, or something, to try to get them all of the time? Or I'm oddly stubborn? A serial killing anti-alienist complete-ist of some sort or other?

Or I know I'm gonna be focusing my eyes "up there" and trying to time hits, and am thus not paying attention to aliens bombing me, and end up dead?

Or none of the above: just habits of "finish another wave, but don't worry about a high score" which I learned from having (happily) played the arcade original way way back when other kids who hung out at the same pizza place I did, were looking at the Space Invaders machine, and saying it was a fad that would never be able to replace pinball. The score seemed sorta pointless to me, at the time. (1978-ish?) Finishing another wave felt like accomplishment of some sort or other.

I couldn't get the ancient version of MESS I have to actually use the game controllers I bought -- but Windoze (XP) recognized them, just fine. Not that I put much time into playing with the controllers. In the input menus for that hoary version of MESS, the controllers did appear as options. Just didn't actually work in the actual game. I redefined "left" to be the Z key; "right" to be X; and used the up arrow key as fire. Which works half-okay.

I'm playing with headphones on, for sound, which feels weird, too. Maybe I'm just still used to the "real thing" being an arcade game with decent sound output, and bleeps and blorts and such, from a console, sound "tinny"?

Weirdly, on the original arcade game, when I had played it -- (long before I saw any other arcade games, other than pong variants, etc.) -- I just could not get used to the control scheme. I played better with my left and right hands crossed over one another, like a big "X".

Anyway, back to getting bombs rained on my virtual head ... "for fun"!

Ward

#28 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:04 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 15, 2016 as message #14296.)
 

My 5170 Score video [is here]


I watched the whole video- which doesn't take long (about five minutes). I should have mentioned that a good high-score worthy game of "Astro Battle" can last between 5-10 minutes. I like that about the game-- you can fit in a few quick games any time that you like.

(Lance, when you lost your first base, I said aloud, "Doh!")
 

[Here is the] Glitch Video


From what I can tell, Lance shoots the mothership and he loses a base right away. Then, right after getting his base replaced, he loses another base. Both bases are lost for no reason that I can see (no shots hit either base). Is that right, Lance?

I think that this glitch MAY have happened to me once while playing over the last couple of weeks too. I just didn't believe it, and thought that I was destroyed by a missile I didn't notice. It happened under the same circumstances: I shot a mothership and then kicked the bucket. Except I only died once. The fact that you have this on video is very helpful! Maybe it can help us figure-out why it happened.

I need to start recording my own games, as watching Lance's gameplay made me realize that we can learn a lot from just watching the game being played. Even watching our own gameplay can probably make us better players.

Adam

#29 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:05 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 15, 2016 as message #14297.)
 

To offset the luck factor, I found myself waiting until the final alien had zipped to a very low position before blasting him and ending the wave.


This is similar to how I got my high score, except I left six aliens on the screen on every level, waited until they just about reached the bottom of the screen and then wiped them all out. Leaving six invaders marching back and forth works well because they are not yet zipping along at their top speed. Allowing six marching aliens to remain onscreen as early as possibly seems to allow the maximum time for UFOs to appear. Doing this nearly guarantees 2-3 UFOs will show up per level.

Adam

#30 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:09 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 15, 2016 as message #14298.)
 

Contest is likely over


Yup, the contest is over. It ended last night a few hours before Ward made his posting. I will post the results of the "Astro Battle" high score contest in a few hours.
 

I'm in about twenty (forty) gazillionth place, but I did at least finally get over 3000 in intermediate mode.


That's not a bad score. Remember, post whatever score you get-- even if it's low. Without posting a score you earn zero points. I'll explain this better in the results later today.
 

I [...] am ignoring saucers.


Those UFOs are the only way to get a reasonably high score-- and (I guess?) the only way to see the glitch that Lance filmed and posted. However, feel free to ignore them and just play for fun! For me, keeping and comparing scores is just an excuse to play the game.
 

Or none of the above: just habits of "finish another wave, but don't worry about a high score"


That's a fine way to play "Space Invaders:" clear as many waves as you can. The Astrocade puts a strict limit on that though, which, as Chris has pointed out, may be unique.
 

I couldn't get the ancient version of MESS I have to actually use the game controllers I bought


Ward, please do me a favor, even if you decide to stick with your old version of MESS, could you try the Astrocade controller adapter using the current version of MAME just to make sure that your adapter will work under emulation on your system.

Adam

#31 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:14 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 15, 2016 as message #14299.)
 

 

[Here is the] Glitch Video


From what I can tell, Lance shoots the mothership and he loses a base right away. Then, right after getting his base replaced, he loses another base. Both bases are lost for no reason that I can see (no shots hit either base). Is that right, Lance?

 


Indeed. During play I had thought I might have been hit by an enemy shot I didn't notice, but the invaders were on the other side of the screen. The second instant death when crossing the same space I knew was a glitch.

I reviewed the video before uploading, and I'm positive that the first death has noting to do with enemy fire. So, that would make both potentially linked to the exploding saucer.

Lance



#32 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:26 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 15, 2016 as message #14300.)

The "Astro Battle" round ended last night.  There were three qualifying entries for the "Astro Battle" / "Space Invader" high score contest.  The results are:

Final Tables
Astro Battle

 

1st   Adam (ballyblley)     6,690  10 pts
2nd   Chris++               5,930   9 pts
3rd   Lance Squire          5,170   8 pts

4th   Brian Ciesicki        3,100   7 pts

Please check your scores.

There were also two other entries that don't count:

4th   Brian Ciesicki        3,190 (Played difficultly level 2 instead of 3)
5th   Ward Shrake     About 3,000 (Never submitted official score)

 

(Note: Brian actually did submit a valid score playing the correct level.  This has been fixed, above.)

I won this round; I didn't expect that to happen!  Congratulations to Chris and Lance, who both have great scores.  Thanks to everyone that participated in playing and discussing the game.  Getting five people to play an Astrocade game isn't a bad start for the high score club: I look forward to round 2!

About Seasonal Scoring:

Each round of the high score club's season is worth up to ten points.  First place is worth ten points, last place is worth 1 point, and the rest of the points are awarded depending on how many people are playing a round.  Here are this round's points worked out:

1) Adam - 10 points
2) Chris - 9 points
3) Lance - 8 points

There will be "catch-up" rounds from time to time.  Anyone that wants to submit a first-time score (or resubmit a higher score) can do so at that time.

Adam


Edited by ballyalley, Thu Mar 3, 2016 1:21 PM.


#33 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 1:13 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 15, 2016 as message #14309.)
 

I was wondering if my capture came through, and if a) you can tell the skill level, and b) what the quality of the capture and c) include it. I had it posted Saturday.


I see the video and the score is 1,260.  I can't tell the level selected (I guess the level was selected from the keypad-- which is fine).  If the level played is intermediate then you just have to say so.  We're basically working on the honor system here.  Any scores that are submitted during the open game round are valid.  During the coming season anyone that misses this round, are wishes to improve their score will get a chance during "catch-up" rounds.

So, Brian, just say the word if this 1,260 points was scored on the intermediate level.

Adam

#34 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 1:18 PM

(This follow-up posting was originally posted to the Bally Alley Yahoo group by me on February 16, 2016 as messages #14310 and #14311.)

If you frame by frame it, the first game which ends about 2/3 the way through is level 3, and then there is a level 4 game after that showing 1280. If you frame by frame it, you’ll see the first game selected at 3 and the second game selected at 4.

Let me show you the frames.

[...]

Pressed wrong button here are the 3 frames of proof.

 

Astro Battle (3100 Points)(Brain).png



#35 jblenkle OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 4:12 PM

Never played Astrocade before...what's the best emulator for it?



#36 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 5:24 PM

Never played Astrocade before...what's the best emulator for it?


As far as I know, MESS (which is now combined with MAME) is the only one that will do Astrocade emulation.

#37 glazball OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 11:58 PM

For future reference, what would be the best way of submitting a score considering that you don't have any (well, much) time after Game Over to snap a pic? Should we consider the honor system on this one?

#38 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2016 11:24 AM

For future reference, what would be the best way of submitting a score considering that you don't have any (well, much) time after Game Over to snap a pic? Should we consider the honor system on this one?

 

If you're playing "Astro Battle" on real hardware, then snapping a picture is, as "glazball" pointed out, near-impossible, because the game goes back to the main menu as soon as the game ends.  I managed to take a picture on real hardware just before my game ended, but it didn't help my game, and I wouldn't recommend it.

 

While the game was being played in the Bally Alley discussion group, some people took videos, and they submitted their scores using this method.  This worked okay, but not everyone can do that-- and it isn't really necessary.  Really, for this particular game, the honor system is probably the only way to submit a score if the game is being played on real hardware.  However, if you're playing "Astro Battle" under emulation, then there is plenty of time to quickly press F12 to take a snapshot of the screen before the game returns to the main menu.



#39 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2016 11:26 AM

As far as I know, MESS (which is now combined with MAME) is the only one that will do Astrocade emulation.

 

Yes, MAME is the only way to emulate the Astrocade.  The Astrocade emulation in MAME supports cartridges, but not input from tape-- which leaves many hundreds of programs unusable except on real hardware.



#40 roadrunner OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2016 10:49 PM

4,380



#41 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:47 PM

5,010

 

100_0310.JPG

 

 

 

Figured I'd post a score anyway even since this one was before you moved it to AA.



#42 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:16 AM

Figured I'd post a score anyway even since this one was before you moved it to AA.

 

Round 4 of the Astrocade High Score Club is going to be a catch-up round, so people can post scores for all previous games.  This is pretty early in the season for a catch-up round, but it makes sense to do now that the HSC is taking place in the AtariAge forums.





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