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Aardvark for Atari VCS/2600


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#51 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:55 AM

In the video, the player is pretty skilled, but at a certain level the arcade game abruptly becomes impossible to him. IMO that would be bad design for a homebrew.

 

For me a homebrew should make some differences compared to arcade especially when to comes to difficulty ramp up. The homebrew version should allow long play sessions, the difficulty ramp up should be graduate and fair. There should be no impossible difficulties, instead the player should always have the impression that with a bit more training and skill the next level is manageable.



#52 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:44 AM

Oh wow I love that game in the arcade, I am looking forward to seeing it on the 2600.

 

On that note I think this game would make a great 7800 or Colecovision game too, I could only imagine the game with the Super Game Module Plus with the great music!



#53 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:05 PM

Responding to something from earlier:

 

 

Spider management is an important part of late game strategy.  The spider doesn't kill you until it reaches the tip of your tongue (traveling from the base), and is cleared from the screen when you eat a Queen Ant like all the other bugs (it immediately respawns from its starting point).  The appearance of the spider is by no means the end of your game.

 

That was me. :)  I know about the Queen Ants and how to use them as part of the strategy.

 

But have a look at this video. Here you can see:

  • around hill #15, the spider arrives very soon and the player hardly makes any significant score progress anymore
  • around hill #20, the sun starts at the very left, so there is zero chance to clear the screen

This may have been acceptable for an Arcade, where long plays were not wanted. But for a homebrew, the game shouldn't become unfair.

 

Hill 15 is a very advanced level in the arcade, let alone 20.

 

I make no judgement on the difficulty of a homebrew game over an arcade game.  I think the game should probably have the same difficulty advancement in both versions.  Anyway, it's hard enough to write homebrew without imposing additional game design standards besides.

 

In the video, the player is pretty skilled, but at a certain level the arcade game abruptly becomes impossible to him. IMO that would be bad design for a homebrew.

 

For me a homebrew should make some differences compared to arcade especially when to comes to difficulty ramp up. The homebrew version should allow long play sessions, the difficulty ramp up should be graduate and fair. There should be no impossible difficulties, instead the player should always have the impression that with a bit more training and skill the next level is manageable.

 

If this change takes place at a difficulty level that few players will ever reach, it's pretty much a moot point. Apparently there are ways to dodge the Spider so it doesn't necessarily mean you've hit a "kill screen" event. Normally when I play an arcade game, or a quality port of an arcade game, I feel very privileged if I make it past the third or fourth stage. For instance very rarely do I ever make it to the second intermission of Pacman on the real arcade, or ports where you cannot select the starting fruit. It doesn't hurt my enjoyment of the game at all that I can't make it to the ninth key where the power pellets stop working, much less the first.



#54 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:57 PM

The above links to the single player version of the tool.

This version is the one I used for the dragon in Medieval Mayhem, it uses both players for a two-color image.

Do note that's still using my old graphics.h file where the binary notation is done using _ for 0 and X for 1. To convert to standard binary do a find/replace of:

  • zz/%
  • _/0
  • X/1

Let me know if you plan to use the two-color converter and I'll update it to use standard binary notation.

 

A few minutes ago I tried it, not even one sample worked :?



#55 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:36 PM

A few minutes ago I tried it, not even one sample worked :?

 
Looks like my hosting site updated PHP again.  Whenever they do that the PHP setting, found in the php.ini file, that allows a URL to be used as a file gets turned off:
allow_url_fopen = off
 
I just changed it to this and it's working again:
allow_url_fopen = on


#56 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 1:21 PM

I've received a gift from Tarzilla, he sent me an Atari Flashback Portable with one condition: make Aardvark to work on it.

It took me two days but today finally I've managed to achieve it :) it results the AFP crashes if the display kernel has a bank switch! I've moved all display code to a single bank.

In a related note, Space Raid works just fine in the AFP.

Attached Files



#57 StanJr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 8:23 PM

Is this headed for a cart release, because I would really like for it to...

 

:spidey:



#58 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 10:28 AM

I've received a gift from Tarzilla, he sent me an Atari Flashback Portable with one condition: make Aardvark to work on it.

It took me two days but today finally I've managed to achieve it :) it results the AFP crashes if the display kernel has a bank switch! I've moved all display code to a single bank.

In a related note, Space Raid works just fine in the AFP.

is ver8 the AFP version?



#59 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 10:29 AM

is ver8 the AFP version?


That's right :)

#60 Konqrr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 1, 2017 5:22 PM

This game is coming along nicely.

 

I would like to re-iterate what The Maxx stated about controls:

"In my opinion, the controls are a little too precise... It seems like if you are pushing down and left... and your tongue is over a hole, it should go down.  However, you'll miss it.  So I seem to spend more time just finding the hole than should be necessary.  I wouldn't be able to read your code, but I'm imagining from some of my own games that it might be remedied by changing the sequence of events - meaning, check if the joy0down/up and reposition the y coordinate before checking joy0right/left.  Just a guess."

 

I spend more time fighting with the controls trying to move up and down through the level that I die more often than I should.

 

Other than that, great job!



#61 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 5:53 PM

Just wanted to show a little step of development: reducing scanlines from 275 to 263 after adding 6th tunnel. :)



This afternoon I've implemented the sun and sky becomes black once it reachs the left side. (of course sun flickers nicely with same colors as arcade)

aard6.png

Also I now have an internal level counter already used to put the sun more to the left each time. :grin:

#62 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 5:24 AM

Please make the scanlines an even number, else the games won't show no colors on PAL TVs.



#63 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 5:43 AM

Please make the scanlines an even number, else the games won't show no colors on PAL TVs.


Ok! Already made it to 262 lines ;)

#64 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 7:50 PM

Please make the scanlines an even number, else the games won't show no colors on PAL TVs.

Sounds more like a feature than a bug to me. Glad I live in NTSC land, LOL...



#65 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 4:41 AM

Sounds more like a feature than a bug to me. Glad I live in NTSC land, LOL...

That's the result of PAL avoiding color errors of NTSC when it was developed. PAL is averaging the color of two lines with alternating phases.



#66 Yosikuma OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 9:02 AM

I am sure I am being an idiot here -- so apologies -- just how are you supposed to handle the worms? They seem to kill me each time.



#67 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 10:06 AM

I am sure I am being an idiot here -- so apologies -- just how are you supposed to handle the worms? They seem to kill me each time.


You need to eat them by the back

#68 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:22 PM

Couldn't resist the temptation to show some pictures of the current state of Aardvark :grin:

Attached Thumbnails

  • Aard_00021606.png
  • Aard_000aafec.png
  • Aard_001704bb.png
  • Aard_000bc12a.png


#69 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:24 PM

We'll have the latest version of Aardvark running at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo next week! 

 

 ..Al



#70 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:36 PM

We'll have the latest version of Aardvark running at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo next week! 
 
 ..Al


Thanks Al! :) :thumbsup:

#71 sramirez2008 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:52 PM

We'll have the latest version of Aardvark running at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo next week! 

 

 ..Al

 

Yes!  I really can't wait for PRGE to arrive.



#72 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:54 PM

We'll have the latest version of Aardvark running at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo next week! 

 

 ..Al

Yay ants, yummy! *Slurp!*



#73 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:05 PM

Video of the most recent gameplay :)



#74 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:55 PM

This is coming along great! icon_thumbsup.gif

 

If you should run out of space (e.g. for SaveKey support, a more detailed title screen, more animations and more detailed graphics, more music and SFX, more whatever...) , either switch to 816K and/or don't hesitate to ask me for optimizing. icon_smile.gif

 

BTW: Sometimes in the video it looks like getting into the gaps (cornering) is still an issue. Are you supporting diagonals already?


Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:36 AM.


#75 iesposta ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:13 AM

This is coming along great! :thumbsup:
 
If you should run out of space (e.g. for SaveKey support, a more detailed title screen, more animations and more detailed graphics, more music and SFX, more whatever...) , either switch to 8K and/or don't hesitate to ask me for optimizing. :)
 
BTW: Sometimes in the video it looks like getting into the gaps (cornering) is still an issue. Are you supporting diagonals already?


Thomas, you missed the 8K in the above video.
It has the info turned on.

Seriously, nanochess. Don't hesitate to let Tomas optimize! You can then put the most into your game!




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