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Climber 5 source and binary


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#1 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 10:59 AM

I don't know if this fits here or in the programming forum...

This is basically what was shown at PC4 with some minor changes since then...

1) PAL timings are now PERFECT!!! Thanks to Fabrizio (rasty) for testing them for me. An extra special thanks goes to Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch for explaining the fractional movements to me.

2) Game board colors recycle every fifth level

3) There should be a fair distance gap between girders for the climber to squeeze between platforms.

4) After level 4 the climber speed decreases to make the game a little more difficult.

For all of you that may want to look at the code...
I hope I've commented the code enough for you to understand what's going on. I originally posted this to the Stella list. Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch both gave suggestions on shaving off more ROM. With their help I was able to reduce this ROM by 190 bytes!!! It still fits in 4K but it was a very nice exercise. I'm sure there are other areas that could be optimized (combining the number fonts for one) but I'm happy with where it is now.

Give it try and tell me what you think. This one was to be close to the original 8-bit version. I'm still planning on adding more features to this (score, time bonus, random ball placement, etc.) so it's not done but it's playable.

PLEASE don't sell this in anyway. It's here for educational purposes and play testing.

Instructions...
PLAY BALL!
----------
What a beautiful day for a baseball game. Sure your friends laugh at you
because you're the ball boy but you made the team. The bad thing about being
the ball boy is that the games are played with only one baseball. So if a
batter hits a homerun the game waits for you to bring the ball back to the
park.

You have an important job as ball boy. That's why you have the number 5 on
your back to show that you're an important part of the team.

The opposing team comes up to bat. The pitch is thrown and "WHACK!" it's a
homerun. The ball flies out of the ball park and lands on a partially
constructed building across the street. Sure it's dangerous to climb the
construction site and avoiding the moving girders but that's you're job as
ball boy. The team is counting on you.

PLAYING THE GAME
----------------
You control the ball boy (Climber 5) with the joystick plugged into port 0.
LEFT = Climber 5 moves left
RIGHT = Climber 5 moves right
UP = Climber 5 moves up
DOWN = Climber 5 moves down
SELECT = Select game variation
RESET = Restart the game for the selected game variation
B&W (7800 Pause)= Pause (2600 owners will have to toggle the B&W switch up and down)

Use the RIGHT DIFFICULTY switch to adjust colors for NTSC or PAL televisions.

THE FIRE BUTTON IS NOT USED FOR THIS GAME.

The baseball is located on the top rafter. Use the ladders provided to ascend
to the top to retrieve the ball. When the climber touches the ball a success
tone will play and the level of difficulty increases.

GAME VARIATIONS
---------------

TRAINING
o This mode will periodically add a new girder each round. Once all seven
girders are in place the game will progress as normal.

NORMAL
o A girder is placed on each platform. The climber must dodge these girders to
reach the baseball safetly.

NOTES
-----
When the game is paused for a period of time (~10 minutes) the screen will go
black. This is put in place to protect your television from burn out. Move
the joystick to resume screen output.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
---------------
Climber 5 is based on an Atari 8-bit public domain game of the same name. The
original game was written by James Rogers and appeared in COMPUTE! magazine
(Aug. 1987 - Vol 9, No. 8, Iss. 87).

This game uses snipplets from Peiro Cavina's PCMCD demo which later became
Oystron. Peiro gave me permission to use his kernel. Thanks Peiro!!

The PAL timings were tested for me by Fabrizio Zavagli (rasty). I sent a number
of ROMs for him to test for me. He really went out of his way.

This game also includes help from other StellaList members. If it had not been
for them sharing code and showing examples there would have been no way for me
to finish this. LONG LIVE THE STELLA LIST AND LONG LIVE THE ATARI VCS!!!

Thanks for all of your help.

Attached Files



#2 rasty OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 2:46 PM

Great!

Climber5 is a really entertaining and refined game, and it's just one click away now :)

Rasty.-

#3 Pixellated Ghost OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 2:46 PM

Tried this in Stella 1.2 and there's no ball at the top of the level.

#4 Thelen OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 3:01 PM

Great work ! It's very well documented ! very nice to see some source and binary released !

Thelen

#5 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 3:20 PM

Great game! And, boy do I ever suck at it! So far, level 4 at best.

#6 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 5:03 PM

Tried this in Stella 1.2 and there's no ball at the top of the level.

It doesn't work with Stella :sad: As you pointed out, the ball doesn't show at the top. I don't know why this happens. I'm not doing anything illegal. The game works fine with Z26 and the VCS console.

#7 Big Player OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 8:21 PM

4) After level 4 the climber speed decreases to make the game a little more difficult.


No kidding! I've only made it to level 5 now, when I was up level 9 at Philly.

:idea:
I would love to see some use of the fire button to knock out one girder per level--either a one-time jump or girder breaker. Sometimes the gap between the two girders is very slim at level 5 and with the reduced speed of the climber, it's seems impossible to get through. If someone can make it through, post here please. I am testing this using a laptop keyboard, so the problem could be with me not using the best of controls.

There might not be enough room for this added element and I'm guessing it wasn't in the original game. I do believe it would be a "shark" element like in Fishing Derby that makes a very good game into a great one.

Great work, Dennis. :thumbsup:

#8 Big Player OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 8:38 PM

Of course I played Climber 5 a little more and I have made it to level 6, so level 5 is not impossible. :dunce: :roll:

Also I am thoroughly addicted to the game. 8) But that's been going on since Philly.

Still, would like to see some way to turn the tables on those girders. :D

#9 Vic George 2K3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 9:04 PM

Attack Of The Killer Walls! Pretty interesting game.

#10 sku_u OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 10:00 PM

Tried this in Stella 1.2 and there's no ball at the top of the level.

It doesn't work with Stella :sad: As you pointed out, the ball doesn't show at the top. I don't know why this happens. I'm not doing anything illegal. The game works fine with Z26 and the VCS console.


It's not your fault. Stella 1.2 is in desperate need of an update. Many of the "newer" games don't play right on Stella. I was able to get an idea about gameplay (even without the baseball). I looks like it will be a fun game when you're finished.

#11 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2003 10:09 PM

Pretty cool, Dennis. Is level 5 beatable?!

#12 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 2:34 AM

It's not your fault.  Stella 1.2 is in desperate need of an update.  Many of the "newer" games don't play right on Stella.


Stella 1.3 came out in February. Does it work on that? (I can't check, since the Mac port of 1.3 isn't out yet.)

From what I can see of it in 1.2, it's a pretty cool concept for a game, and very well executed. The graphics on the player are particularly excellent. My only gameplay suggestion would be to have the character run a bit faster. Right now, he seems to just plod along at about Miner 2049er speed. (Maybe this is just something I'm seeing in Stella?) Of course, everything else would probably need to be sped up accordingly so it would maintain the same challenge. But the slowness of Miner 2049er is what keeps me from playing that game very often.

And while I know there are more features planned, may I suggest more "footstep-like" walking sounds? Or how about some music? Maybe "Take me out to the ball game"? Perhaps the "Charge!" fanfare between levels? (I wonder how well the 2600 could imitate a ballpark organ? ;))

Very nice work so far though - and thanks for sharing it with us!

#13 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 4:16 AM

Or how about some music? Maybe "Take me out to the ball game"? Perhaps the "Charge!" fanfare between levels? (I wonder how well the 2600 could imitate a ballpark organ? ;))

Nathan you read my mind! That was planned for the PC4 release but it didn't make it in. As I add more features I'll see if I can fit these in. I've got the music mapped to notes already for an old sound engine. I'd like to see if I can implement it using Paul's engine though. I'm not a music major so we'll see how it comes out.

#14 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 4:25 AM

Thanks to all for the kind words and suggestions.

Still, would like to see some way to turn the tables on those girders.

So far that's planned with icons to pick up along the way. I've gotten the suggestion of using the fire button before. it wasn't in the original game but I'm still considering it. That's one of the reasons I moved the pause feature from the fire button to the B&W switch.

Is level 5 beatable?!

Yes, it will take some timing to squeeze between the girders and you may have to drop a couple of walkways from time to time. I've worked a fair pixel distance between the girders (I hope) that is being calculated correctly now. So far I haven't seen a distance calculated the climber couldn't squeeze through.

Climber5 is a really entertaining and refined game, and it's just one click away now

Ha! How many copies do you have now? :lolblue:

#15 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 4:31 AM

Even unfinished...it's an excellent game. Very nerve-wracking :)

Canna get off level 3 :x

#16 Greg Zumwalt OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 2:57 PM

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:00 am

I'm on a mac using Stella and the hack is stuck on the title screen.

Hmmm, I'll see what I can do.
I do all my work using z26 and it has been fine on that.
Always worries me when one emulator works and another doesn't.
Anyone else have this problem?


PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:32 am Post subject: results...

I do not have available, my computer with my G3 emulator at this time.

However, the PC version of Stella is working fine with the game.

This suggest either, a design flaw in the Mac version of Stella or, user error.

I shall asume you know how to use the emulator and it is a bug with the Mac version, but until someone else can confirm this...

PS Make sure you have the latest version 1.3


PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:21 pm

I do have the most current version, and Ive been messing with emulators for 6 years to answer your question. Must be a damn mac error.
Thanks for replying back


PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:06 pm

I have contacted John Stiles, the author of the Mac port of Stella, and directed his attention to this thread.

Well, sad news for all of you Mac Stella users.
I received a reply today:

Quote:

"Sorry, I am not going to update Stella just to work with end-user-hacked ROMs."



#17 Pixellated Ghost OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 4:24 PM

Thanks for the info regarding stella... I meant to mention that it was Stella 1.3, not 1.2. I have a cuttle cart so I'll definitely try playing it on that instead.

#18 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 5:03 PM

Is level 5 beatable?!

Yes, it will take some timing to squeeze between the girders and you may have to drop a couple of walkways from time to time. I've worked a fair pixel distance between the girders (I hope) that is being calculated correctly now. So far I haven't seen a distance calculated the climber couldn't squeeze through.


I've managed to squeeze through level 4 but 5 has gotten me every time so far. Oh well, how do you get to Carnegie Hall, anyway?

#19 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2003 5:38 PM

I have contacted John Stiles, the author of the Mac port of Stella, and directed his attention to this thread.

Well, sad news for all of you Mac Stella users.
I received a reply today:

Quote:

"Sorry, I am not going to update Stella just to work with end-user-hacked ROMs."


Brad Oliver is planning to do the Mac port for Stella 1.3 (although no ETA yet). I set up a bug report thread here for current issues that need fixing. Perhaps this should be included?

#20 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2003 1:08 AM

Sorry, I am not going to update Stella just to work with end-user-hacked ROMs.

Boo!!!

Sorry, but this sounds like sheer arrogance to me. :thumbsdown:

"end-user-hacked ROMs"? This is not a hack, it's a modern homebrew :!:

#21 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2003 2:03 AM

Hack, homebrew, it's all the same thing [heavy sarcasm] :roll:

#22 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2003 4:36 AM

Sorry, I am not going to update Stella just to work with end-user-hacked ROMs.

:sad:

Brad Oliver is planning to do the Mac port for Stella 1.3 (although no ETA yet). I set up a bug report thread here for current issues that need fixing. Perhaps this should be included?


Thanks for the link. The problem I have is I don't know what the bug is in Stella. I'm not doing anything illegal to get the ball placed. I do notice that the lives indicators are not positioned correctly. I guess I could add that to the list but again nothing illegal here either :?

#23 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2003 5:09 AM

Does this mean that all of us lowly rom hackers are now in the same league as homebrewers? j/k

#24 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2003 8:56 AM

I thought a little more about the problem with Stella. In Climber I'm hitting the RESx registers during HBLANK. On the real VCS this would mean the player gets positioned horizontally right after HBLANK. Apparently Stella doesn't take this into account. I'll add this to the Stella bug list.

Here is another version that will work fine.

Attached Files



#25 oesii OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2003 9:34 AM

Thanks for the fix. It now works great on my mac. Can't wait to see the cart in real life, I'm ready to order it when it's done.

I can't believe that guy who ported Stella to the mac not noticing the 2600 homebrew movement and its great success in the hobby. Nice blinders :roll:




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