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Christmas present / Jim Slide XL


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#1 1NG OFFLINE  

1NG

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:30 PM

This is Jim Slide XL!

 

JS_adventure_mode_level_select.png

 

It took 4 months to develop Jim Slide until the deadline of the Abbuc Software Contest 2015 and then another 6 months for the collectors edition in a nice box.

 

Then I wanted to make a cart. For the Atari 8 Bit Systems a cart is cool. Since the game needs more than 8k, why not use 127 times more than 8k? 1MB it is!

 

But this needed some extras. Turned out, the development took another year. It was fun doing a lot of different tasks. Trying to get some people on board and developing a big version of Jim Slide. Sometimes not so much, but this is normal.

 

On the way: I tested different modes: Time Attack Mode, Adventure Mode, Arcade Mode (Same as in Jim Slide) and Story Mode. I planned to have totally new levels, but there was only very little support. I developed for PAL and NTSC, but had to face the truth: Nobody with NTSC was interested in Jim Slide. So I dropped waisting much time on that. I works though, but it is not tested much. Jim Slide has a problem: It is judged by the graphics screen shot or 5 minutes testing. This means, that a super simple old game like Pong with new graphics always gets better votes. This means for developers: Don’t waist time on content, just do cool graphics and redo old simple games. What about this: A cart like The!Cart with 512MB can hold 512 games with 1MB size. This means, games can be big. They can have cool graphics, can have sound or anything without loading times. Of course more content means more time to develop and more support needed. I planned to do a big version of a racing game, but I have dropped my plans 4 months ago. I have spent a lot of time and some money on that, but I had the same problem like with Jim Slide: No graphics artist. The development would have taken so much time, just to see a new pong getting better votes after 2 years work.

 

JS_bad_end.png

 

Doing a game that takes 1000 hours of work means, that you can not watch 700 films or soccer games. Of course, this is the same for the little games that easily take 100 hours time for development. Just think about that for a moment, when you watch your next movie.

 

Back to Jime Slide: There were some great people! They invested their time and the result is awesome! I was totally flashed by some levels. And I have played lots of hours testing a lot of them.

 

JimSlide_SleepyLeftTickTack.png

 

A problem came up, when people were playing Jim Slide (Abbuc Edition): They couldn’t get past level two. The arcade mode is fine, but for some people it needed to be less difficult to get into Jim Slide.  This lead to the new difficulty selection in Jim Slide XL in the new Story Mode. The levels were easier and had a different focus. The level Move Your Finger was a lot of work for the joystick, but very easy. In fact, it was near to torturing :-). But 10 levels in difficulty Easy can be done very quickly, if you got into Jim Slide. Time for Fair levels. Getting more experienced, you will face a few levels that look similar and easy, but they are not - until you got even better. Hard was always what it says. Crazy! What should I say? It is what everybody expects. There is a different screen awaiting after that.

Easy -> Fair -> Advanced -> Hard -> Crazy!

 

JS1.png

 

Why took the development of the cart so much time?
 

- Telling a story was not as easy as I thought.

 

JS2.png

 

- Developing Jims and Jessicas sentences was a lot of work. And then I had to find good voices for them and change all again to catch the feeling that it has now. I am quiet happy with the achieved result.

 

- The graphics of Jim and Jessica is based on only 5 pictures drawn  with pencil on paper. A real artist made them for me. I wanted to have them posed like heroes, but both with own style. Brother and sister, boy and girl. Gamers, but less and more wise, ... This lead to this sketch:

 

jim_sister_intro_klein.jpg

 

In fact another two artists tried the same before and the result was not nearly as good as Darsys work. (I payed for it.) The result was THE base for all the graphics in the game. Colouring and pixeling took a lot of time, as I am only a designer and not an artist.

 

- As the program got bigger and bigger the 64k where filled up multiple times and needed revision, remapping to rom and more.

 

- The player program for the music had a fix location in memory. That was no fun for the memory layout. Later I used an Excel map to better plan every byte. (BTW: The music is great and Poison did a great job providing 7 different titles for the story and game.)

 

- I decided to write my own linking application (in c#) for graphics, sound and game. In the end, all the different banks were much easier under control

 

- The graphics were converted by mario130xe. He is a master in converting graphics and spends hours and hours doing preparations and rendering.

 

JimSlide_Crown.png

 

 

- I changed the games message font completely and pixeled a lot here and there

- For the story, I wanted to have good readable characters. That lead to a proportional font rendering in real time on high res and a full colored picture on one screen. For good readability every char has two pixels width for each stroke. This approach gives about 60 chars every line instead of 40 with better readability. Developing fast rendering of the text with automatic newline on space characters took some time too. And there had to be a font converter written. It’s output is the binary structure had to feeds the renderer and the multiple 8k design.

 

- Dumb bugs fixing! Of course I had lots of them and they took a lot of time.

 

- Developing good stereo digitized output. Jim Slide XL has stereo music and therefore had to have samples played not only on one side. And I wanted high quality for Pokey / dual Pokey. Getting music and samples in a game flow with fitting intensity was quiet some work. Samples where not loud enough, music didn’t play further in a good way after speech, weird sounds appear sometimes, ...

 

- Doing 3 different versions of the door screen. The first ones where not bad, but they missed the style of the other graphics, that had been developed in between. Later I had to drop that approach. The final door had a very intense focus and works without raster program. So digitized speech was made possible in good quality with graphics on.

 

JimSlide_Door.png

 

- Timing! Getting VBI and main program right took another chunk of time. There is no easy answer for all the stuff that happens when everything comes together.

 

- Booting from cart sounded easy and was easy. Until something did not work as expected :-). Like not resetting, booting breaks out of nowhere, crashing after booting correctly, ...

 

- Saving in Adventure Mode. And erasing the save state. This was a story of it’s own. With help from the TheCart! Developing Team member Hias and Altirra developer Phaeron it was a lot easier.  Thanks to them for the help!

 

JS_version.png

 

- Putting in easter eggs. They had to be there. So a little bit was spent doing that.

 

- Building a 3D case for the cart and designing a 3D Logo for it.

 

- Trying to get the 3D case and logo printed. That failed for several different reasons. Another story, that ended in the actual case with two high quality stickers.

 

I learned a lot and developed some tools. I did this for me and for the fun of others, otherwise the poject would have been canceled early. Doing development without help is slowing down a lot. Add some trolls and no more developing takes place. But fortunatly it didn’t happen.

A lot of different games where done and will be done with nearly no budget at all. I like the small and the big ones. It does not matter, if someone is doing basic, assembler or anything else. Or paint graphics, do sounds or configure disks or anything. If the community wants to support all the developers / artists / ..., then they have to motivate them a bit. Motivation is the key engine driving people forward. So I want to say again here: Hey Atarians! Keep up the good work and help others in doing so.

While writing these lines a thought came up about my good friend, who stops me every time I want to make the world a better place. He said: “When I grow old, I become a people hater. I will report all the people that are doing things wrong!”.
So don’t get old and try to keep your Atari youth while enjoying your machine.

 

But back to the game and the Jim Slide claim: “Sliding is fun”. Have fun playing Jim Slide!

 

PS: The cart and box etc. is for the collector. Both are very limited and therefore a bit expensive. You can play Jim Slide or Jim Slide XL for free. Only if you want to collect a nice copy you have to spent money. The actual box has a numbered hologram with a nice logo on it. For collecting reasons, the box size is the same for Dimos Quest, Dimos Dungeon and Jim Slide. The collectors cart has a Jim Slide blue case and two unique stickers.

The new “Very Expensive Collectors Edition” with sources, sketches and T-Shirt is ment only for the rich collector. [Yes, I made that up ;-)]

 

PPS: See the credits for all the people that have been into Jim Slide and Jim Slide XL development.

 

Attached File  JimSlideXL.car.txt   1MB   457 downloads (rename without the .txt)  The car works with Atari800 and Altirra emulator - Even save and erase!

Attached File  JimSlideXL.atr.txt   962.39KB   232 downloads (rename without the .txt)   The atr is for flashing an AtariMax cart (tested only on a new one!)

 

Edited: Just one more thing: You have to use Atari OS V2 for some reason. (See Firmware in Altirra menu)


Edited by 1NG, Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:02 PM.


#2 Blues76 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:44 PM

amazing !! thanks

#3 cjameslv OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:46 PM

Congrats on the release! Looks great i will be checking this out!



#4 darwinmac OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:27 PM

I admit I am an NTSC user who was frustrated by the steep learning curve. For me, it went from too easy to blindingly difficult too quickly. Creating the different modes in Jim Slide XL was a very good idea. The actual game plays well on NTSC. The intro screens get a little cut off on NTSC, but I understand concentrating on PAL users. Unfortunately, I doubt I will be able to run the cartridge image from my MyIDE II so I will probably be limited to playing the game under Altirra. 

 

At least, under Altirra, the mono sound has a lot of static. The sound is great with stereo though.

 

Bob C 



#5 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:28 PM

Quote: "The cart and box etc. is for the collector. Both are very limited and therefore a bit expensive. You can play Jim Slide or Jim Slide XL for free. Only if you want to collect a nice copy you have to spent money."

 

So Atarians that want the (Abbuc) version 1.09 (XEX) or the later updated version 1.12 (XEX) of Jim Slide can go to sourceforge and download them, I guess. If so, please post the link as confirmation... 

 

Besides, I did not only download the CAR image for my Ultimate cart. but also ordered and paid a collectors cart.  :-)


Edited by CharlieChaplin, Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:30 PM.

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#6 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:01 PM

I admit I am an NTSC user who was frustrated by the steep learning curve. For me, it went from too easy to blindingly difficult too quickly. Creating the different modes in Jim Slide XL was a very good idea. The actual game plays well on NTSC. The intro screens get a little cut off on NTSC, but I understand concentrating on PAL users. Unfortunately, I doubt I will be able to run the cartridge image from my MyIDE II so I will probably be limited to playing the game under Altirra. 

 

At least, under Altirra, the mono sound has a lot of static. The sound is great with stereo though.

 

I hope you like the new entry levels to get into Jim Slide XL. It should be possible to master the game on first difficulty.

 

About the sound: I experienced a kind of static sound in earlier versions of altirra when switched from mono to stereo or back and not restarting Altirra. In the actual version this is not happening any more. So maybe this is what you hear. On the other side, the game is developed for stereo music as you already said. So normal mono pokey works fine, but stereo pokey is what you want! Even the played samples get better with dual pokey because of the 6 bits used instead of 5. (In other games 4 bits are often used, wich makes sense because of memory limitations. But this is a cart with 1MB.)



#7 orpheuswaking ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:25 PM

How do we get the cart version?

#8 1NG OFFLINE  

1NG

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:30 PM

How do we get the cart version?

Download the car file above!

Or do you mean the blue collectors cart like on facebook? (https://www.facebook.com/JimSlide)



#9 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:57 PM

Very cool - I will have to try this after XMas break.  1NG - not sure if you saw the levels I created.  I wouldve created more but never saw any feedback so I thought you abandoned the project.  Glad to see it finished!



#10 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:06 AM

Father Christmas has visited AtariAge.... thank you for your genius and your generous gift. All the best. _The Doctor__



#11 EdwardianDuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:43 AM

From a brief play (~30 minutes), my first impression is that this is a great game and, more importantly for me, one I can actually play! I'm not a great arcade game player and historically have stuck to text adventures, but the puzzle solving aspect works for me, especially as it seems one is not time limited in solving the levels (at least in story mode, easy). I might even be able to get a reasonable way through the levels.

 

Also I'm playing it on a MiST (just load the .CAR file). As far as I can tell it works perfectly and sounds great through a half-decent Sony stereo.

 

Thank you

Jeremy


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#12 lotek_style OFFLINE  

lotek_style

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:59 AM

Is it the same release than this https://demozoo.org/productions/164548/ .... or is it an even more expanded one?


Edited by lotek_style, Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:00 AM.


#13 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:45 AM

Firstly, merry Christmas folks and secondly , thank you 1ng, what a lovely Xmas present...



#14 janatari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:52 AM

👍

#15 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:20 AM

Actually, the title says Christmas Present then Jim Slide Xl...

 

We've had Jim Slide so where's the present :-D

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am joking...

 

Thank you (again)


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#16 orpheuswaking ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:13 AM

I meant the physical cart, apparently I missed it was on Facebook :D

#17 8Bitjunkie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:14 AM

WOW - awesome :-)



#18 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:34 AM

Is it the same release than this https://demozoo.org/productions/164548/ .... or is it an even more expanded one?

Looks like the cart entry on demozoo consists of pictures only of a beta for testing purpose. It was not released until now. Looks like time for an update there :-)



#19 Bunsen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:28 PM

Thanks for the xmas gift, 1NG. Amazing to see that your little 10liner SlideTen has grown to such a huge and wonderful game. Congratulations to your release and keep up the good work for the community.

#20 MARIO130XE OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:24 AM

That's really awesome. Thanks for the great Christmas-Surprise.



#21 Defender II OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:07 AM

I like this game and would like to buy for me and to give as gifts for family too. I want to buy 4 of the "very limited fancy box and the original cart available" cartridges. How much is it including shipping to USA for 4? How do I pay you for 4 and update the shipping? It only lets me order 1 at a time on the link from FB. :(


Edited by Defender II, Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:56 AM.


#22 ryanmercer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:40 AM

Looks awesome, look forward to checking it out later this week on my 4 day weekend!



#23 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:45 PM

Does this work on Ultimate SD Cart?  I tried on Incognito, and put all settings to stock, including Rev. 2 XL OS, and it doesn't work. Only black screen.

 

Has anyone else tried this yet?



#24 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:48 AM

Does this work on Ultimate SD Cart?  I tried on Incognito, and put all settings to stock, including Rev. 2 XL OS, and it doesn't work. Only black screen.

 

Has anyone else tried this yet?

JimSlide added to my Ultimate Cart was black screen also until I change memory to 320k on the ultimate 1mb 800xl.



#25 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:56 AM

Does this work on Ultimate SD Cart?  I tried on Incognito, and put all settings to stock, including Rev. 2 XL OS, and it doesn't work. Only black screen.

 

Has anyone else tried this yet?

Just tried with my Incognito and I finally got it to start with Colleen mode 52k SpartaDos disable basic disabled OSB + FASTCHIP.  I got to lever 4 and then  use select to get into Adventure Mode and successfully played several of the Adventure titles...






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