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Intellivision Spy Hunter

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#26 SiLic0ne t0aD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:25 AM

The Intellivision barely has any arcade games, bring it on.. We can never have too many! ;) Hopefully it would be somewhat close to the ColecoVision version since that ones a pretty solid port. :thumbsup:

#27 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:24 AM

If anyone is interested in top-down racers in general and want suggestions, a game like UMI's Motor Mania (C64) or Epoch's Wheelie Racer (Super Cassette Vision) might be as useful additions as the far better known Spy Hunter (*) would be (and perhaps easier to obtain licensing for if required). However both mentioned games have a significant sidebar "HUD" that would be troublesome or waste valuable MOBs if one wants to take shortcuts using hardware smooth scrolling for the main display.

 

(*) or Konami's Road Fighter, IREM's Zippy Race and others


Edited by carlsson, Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:26 AM.


#28 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:51 AM

I agree with Byte Night completely, however not every programmer is a game designer.  So conversions are an option for many programmers.  Surprisingly, not everyone is running MAME.  Looks like you can play Spy Hunter arcade on your Playstation, Xbox, phone/tablet.



#29 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:19 AM

I noticed the Spy Hunter movie has been under development for 14 years soon, with 14 different screenwriters and directors. Perhaps they're aiming for the 40th anniversary in 2023?



#30 the1hatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:34 AM

Even though this is one of my favorite arcade games, I don't think we need more arcade ports for the Intellivision, unless new features or new levels are added such as with Ms Pac.  I can already play all the old arcade games in MAME...
 
One of the big things that made the Intellivision great was the original complex, in-depth games, such as the AD&D games, B-17 Bomber, Sea Battle, Utopia, and Sub Hunt to name a few.  These games were a direct result of not having a bunch of arcade licenses.


Why not both? I don't see how having ports keeps us from having non-arcade fare as well. Also, not everyone has MAME or other systems where it can be played. And finally, who says there wouldn't be new features added by whomever takes up the challenge of making any port?

There is no need to limit the scope of what could be done by the homebrew masters we have in the community. Making ports that can work on the INTV takes just as much talent and creativity as original games. Just a different kind.

#31 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:53 AM

If you like arcade games you really should have mame. It runs on almost any computer. It even ran on my old Android 2.2 phone. Still, its fun to compare the original arcade games with Intellivision versions. And as you can see with some of the existing examples it takes a skilled programmer to squeeze everything out of the Intellivision to get the best results.

#32 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:27 AM

I'm just saying if someone decides to do a port of this, add something new and cool like the ability to switch to a motorcycle.  Make there a reason to play this over the original in MAME.



#33 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:55 AM

I read that the object of Spy Hunter is to drive along the road, shooting down enemy vehicles while protecting civilians. That raises a few questions:

 

1. Do the enemy vehicles in any way harass or pose a danger to the civilian cars?

2. Is keeping the roads safe a job for a spy, rather than the police force or perhaps military?

3. Didn't the spy have any more interesting job duties than travelling the roads all day?

 

Initially it was planned to be a James Bond game, but they were unable to obtain licensing. Although 007 is involved in a fair number of car hunts, usually he does far more than that. On the other hand, more or less licensed Star Wars games tend to be rather aimed at a single task as well, so I suppose "Driving With Bond" could have worked.

 

I can see this game fleshed out to be more than the arcade game:

 

* The road could consist of finite segments, more like Road Fighter or Wheelie Racer

* Some of the segments may have one or more boss cars for you to eliminate, and perhaps pick up important documents, stolen gems, secret items

* At the end of a segment, you might have some non-car action scenes, or at least a map that shows your location

* You might even choose which way to travel next, depending on which items still are missing to solve your spy mission

* Once you have met your goals and the master villain is captured or eliminated, you may get a new mission

 

A motorcycle that moves faster than the car, but also more vulnerable might also be an option, transferring to a jetski in water segments.



#34 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:36 PM

Why not both?

 

Because the small number of programmers interested in the platform typically choose one or the other, and most of the time they stick to either what they know or what is popular.

 

 

 

I don't see how having ports keeps us from having non-arcade fare as well.

 

 

 

It should be obvious that if the handful of programmers available all start making arcade ports, they won't have time to work on original content.

 

The way I see it (and of course this is my opinion but it is evinced by the threads in this forum), there are only a few programmers interested in the platform of which some are learning the ropes, some are trying to exploit the technical limitations of the machine, and some are trying to make spare change.

 

The first set most likely will work on a port of a known game since the biggest motivator of becoming a game programmer is to make the games you enjoyed (plus it removes one entire half of the equation: not having to worry about a unique game design).

 

The second set will try to make the hardware sing by attempting to replicate the complex gameplay and visuals of a known game from another platform in order to prove its worth.  In other words, a port.

 

The third set will likely go for the most popular genres and games the market wants.  As you can see with this and other similar threads, a lot of people clamor for arcade ports, and not many call for original content.  Original content is hit-or-miss, but a port of a classic is an instant hit.

 

If the community was larger then perhaps we would see more original titles.  However, it is not yet that big and the pool of programmers available is rather small.

 

    -dZ.



#35 BBWW OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:18 PM

These however could be just a baseline and then let the programmer do what they want to do…make it their own. I'm trying this right now…I think porting would be much more fun if the programmer had the freedom to make it "his own". So it could be "Spy Something" I say combine Spy Hunter and Grand Theft Auto. :-)

 

 

Because the small number of programmers interested in the platform typically choose one or the other, and most of the time they stick to either what they know or what is popular.

 

It should be obvious that if the handful of programmers available all start making arcade ports, they won't have time to work on original content.

 



#36 the1hatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:18 PM

It should also be obvious that said handful of game programmers are already making more than just ports. Look at the current 60-some (depending on ones definition) Intellivision homebrews released and see that most of them are not arcade ports. If anything, the arcade titles are under served rather than taking up most of the homebrew effort.

 

There is also the point that making ports, since it requires less time due to not having to start from scratch, offers more programmers the chance to learn what can and cannot be done with the system. Gives them a base to learn from and refine their skill set. This will naturally lead to people wanting to branch out and fully create on their own.

 

Lastly, why are original titles assumed to be better than arcade ports? Sure there is the something new factor, which I also want to see continue, but some of these games are classics for a reason, they were great! Why shouldn't the Intellivision have a bevy of these titles available to it?

 

Ultimately I find the notion that porting arcade games could ever fully takeover the entire scene to be unrealistic. There will always be people who want to see their own ideas come out and be appreciated. These people don't hit this level of creativity just to copy everything from the past. At the same time, I'm sure there is more than enough challenge in bringing a classic game to a new system to keep their fire going as well. I feel you may be underestimating our homebrew masters somewhat.


Edited by the1hatman, Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:20 PM.


#37 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:00 AM

I think making an exact port takes more time than developing an own game in a particular genre. The time you save on coming up with game mechanics will be spent on playing the original game to learn exactly how it works in every situation, which probably will take more effort than if you set your own gameplay based on own skills, technical limitations and what others might find is fun to play. You can skip the part of alpha testing that is evaluating if your game holds up to standards, but instead your alpha testers should be experienced in the game you're porting so they can point out discrepancies.

 

In rare occasions, there are detailed specs exactly how the game works, or documented source code for those who can follow foreign code. It might help some. I suppose several arcade games have been reverse engineered with commented disassemblies, whether those can be useful in porting to something that would look like a gameplay simulator but with possibly different audiovisuals and inputs.

 

When artists copy an existing painting, I believe they often just can trace the contours and fill in the same colours to get a reasonable copy, but alas game development is not as straightforward as tracing the contours.


Edited by carlsson, Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:01 AM.


#38 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:19 AM

It should also be obvious that said handful of game programmers are already making more than just ports. Look at the current 60-some (depending on ones definition) Intellivision homebrews released and see that most of them are not arcade ports. If anything, the arcade titles are under served rather than taking up most of the homebrew effort.

 
I said arcade ports, but I actually meant ports of games from other platforms.  That's actually most of what we have.  We have very few games designed specifically for the Intellivision strengths.
 
Personally, I wish we had more original content and I want to see more threads with people asking for original content.  When someone says "I rather see more original content than ports," the response should not be "let's have both," but actually more support and clamor for original content.
 

Lastly, why are original titles assumed to be better than arcade ports? Sure there is the something new factor, which I also want to see continue, but some of these games are classics for a reason, they were great! Why shouldn't the Intellivision have a bevy of these titles available to it?

 

OK, and this is were we go into the heart of the matter.  This is why "we can't have both": because some people continue insisting that making ports is superior to original games and therefore programmers are more enticed to follow that. :roll:

 

The pool of programmers is not big enough.  If the programmers start making that "bevy of titles" for the Intellivision, who's working on original content?

 

Also, I'd like to point out the irony in your comment:  Yes, those classics are classics for a reason.  Do you know what that reason is?  Because someone took the time and effort to design an original game that distinguished itself from the rest. :P

 

Ultimately I find the notion that porting arcade games could ever fully takeover the entire scene to be unrealistic. There will always be people who want to see their own ideas come out and be appreciated. These people don't hit this level of creativity just to copy everything from the past. At the same time, I'm sure there is more than enough challenge in bringing a classic game to a new system to keep their fire going as well. I feel you may be underestimating our homebrew masters somewhat.

 

I wish this were true, but it's rarer than you think -- especially in light of comments like yours and carlsson's, suggesting that making original content is overrated and that ports is the way to go.  :roll:

 
     -dZ.



#39 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:31 AM

I think making an exact port takes more time than developing an own game in a particular genre.

 

Go ahead, try to convince me that my making a port of Pac-Man for the Intellivision takes more time and effort and creativity than what took Toru Itawani when he originally conceived it.  Go ahead, try.   :P

 

Guess which one of those was "original"?

 

Porting and reverse engineering takes effort, for sure; but it is a different kind of effort.  In my opinion, we should celebrate the creative spark and imagination of programmers making original games.  I believe that creativity and original thought has perhaps more value that technical skills alone.

 

EDIT: Lest people think I am against ports, I want to assure you that I am not.  I just think life is too short and you have to pick your battles.  I always wanted to make a port of Pac-Man, I loved it dearly since I was a child and dreamt of the technical design I could implement to mimic it.  That is what brought me to this community originally.  My project got derailed, but I always intended to return to it.

 

However, I'm too slow, unskilled, have other interests, family, or whatever, and I have come to terms with the fact that I won't be making a game a year (we're going now on 5 years from my first game).  I've made one and although I wish to make a bunch more, when reality hits, it'll probably came to pass that I'll make one or two more if any.

 

As I'm getting older and my skills are not getting any sharper, I think to myself, on what do I wish to spend the rest of my precious life?  My own personal answer: in original content that satisfies my creative and storytelling impulses.  That means, with half-regret, that Pac-Man is out.

 

A similar theme can be applied to our beloved console in general:  do we really wish the very small pool of programmers we have interested in the platform, to spend their precious time and effort (and in some case, the one chance they'll take at making a game) in making yet another port which could be played much better in a plethora of other platforms; or do we want them to shine with brand new games that showcase their creative side?  I know which one I want to encourage. :)


Edited by DZ-Jay, Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:47 AM.


#40 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:51 AM

Oh, I think you misinterpreted my viewpoint. Personally I would never have the drive to make a perfect copy, because if that is my intention, the players will strive to find bugs and differences between the game I tried to copy and my version. I just commented that you are not likely to save development time by copying existing games in detail, as that time will be spent on documenting the game you're copying.

 

To make a Pac-Man esque game on the Intellivision might not take an awful lot of time, but if you want the maze to be exactly like the original, the ghosts to behave exactly like in the arcade, you want intermissions (or perhaps there are none in Pac-Man?), you want the same gobble sounds, you want to match the time the ghosts are edible and figure out if that time changes on later levels or not. Basically you need to have played all 255 levels and made detailed notes exactly how the game works (or disassemble the code and write a simulator that more or less executes the same code, which still may have timing issues in case the arcade game performs more instructions per second).

 

I'm not saying that Itawani had an easy time making the original game, but all these factors were things he and his team could decide instead of observe how they should be. If he wanted the ghosts to be edible for 10+10*((255-LEVEL)/255) seconds, he implemented that formula. We might be able to study the code and reverse engineer that indeed is (or more likely, is not) the formula, or perhaps there are design documents we can obtain to learn that. Otherwise we have to use a stop timer on each level to know for sure.

 

Same about Spy Hunter, which is a game without an ending. Do the enemy vehicles appear entirely randomly or according to a pattern, is there a delay between each and how does the level or distance travelled affect the number of baddies? If you make a car game that borrows from Spy Hunter, you can set those parameters yourself to whichever is more playable but if you're really porting the original game, you want it to be appropriate. I know this game exists on many home formats already and that those individually may or may not have the same gameplay. If you play 3-4 of them and find they're not really identical even outside the audiovisuals, then you likely are free to approximate the game and still call it Spy Hunter (minus the licensing issues).



#41 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:32 AM

Oh, I think you misinterpreted my viewpoint. Personally I would never have the drive to make a perfect copy, because if that is my intention, the players will strive to find bugs and differences between the game I tried to copy and my version. I just commented that you are not likely to save development time by copying existing games in detail, as that time will be spent on documenting the game you're copying.

 

To make a Pac-Man esque game on the Intellivision might not take an awful lot of time, but if you want the maze to be exactly like the original, the ghosts to behave exactly like in the arcade, you want intermissions (or perhaps there are none in Pac-Man?), you want the same gobble sounds, you want to match the time the ghosts are edible and figure out if that time changes on later levels or not. Basically you need to have played all 255 levels and made detailed notes exactly how the game works (or disassemble the code and write a simulator that more or less executes the same code, which still may have timing issues in case the arcade game performs more instructions per second).

 

I'm not saying that Itawani had an easy time making the original game, but all these factors were things he and his team could decide instead of observe how they should be. If he wanted the ghosts to be edible for 10+10*((255-LEVEL)/255) seconds, he implemented that formula. We might be able to study the code and reverse engineer that indeed is (or more likely, is not) the formula, or perhaps there are design documents we can obtain to learn that. Otherwise we have to use a stop timer on each level to know for sure.

 

Same about Spy Hunter, which is a game without an ending. Do the enemy vehicles appear entirely randomly or according to a pattern, is there a delay between each and how does the level or distance travelled affect the number of baddies? If you make a car game that borrows from Spy Hunter, you can set those parameters yourself to whichever is more playable but if you're really porting the original game, you want it to be appropriate. I know this game exists on many home formats already and that those individually may or may not have the same gameplay. If you play 3-4 of them and find they're not really identical even outside the audiovisuals, then you likely are free to approximate the game and still call it Spy Hunter (minus the licensing issues).

 

Gotcha.  I mostly agree, and it would be great if this were to happen.  However, as things have played out, I have a nagging suspicion that if we see a Spy Hunter port, it'll be a Spy Hunter port, not a Spy Hunter-ish remake with new elements playing to the strengths of the Intellivision, but merely a set of compromises.

 

All that said, I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong.  In fact, I invite all programmers here to prove me wrong.  (Hint: that means, go make an original game based on Spy Hunter. :))


Edited by DZ-Jay, Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:33 AM.


#42 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:38 AM

BBWW suggested combining it with Grand Theft Auto. One could also combine it with Crazy Taxi, taking your passengers on a safe trip.

 

In addition to the game concept I presented in post 33, I suppose the spy could also climb in ranks as the game progresses. Perhaps on the first level, you only have to keep the road clear. On the second level, you actually get the confidence to transport important items from one location to another, and there may be baddies stealing your documents, inventions, secret weapons etc along the way so you may have to hunt them back. Eventually you are ready for the final, major operation that makes you a worthy contender to said 007 James Bond. The main gameplay on the road would still remain, but with more content around it making it a unique game. I'm not suggesting I will come up with a demo, far from it, but I would think that a number of people wishing for Spy Hunter would be satisfied with a game like that too.

 

Out of curiosity, I checked the user scores on some of those vertical racing games on Lemon64:

 

Spy Hunter (US Gold 1983) - 7.9

LED Storm (Go! 1989) - 7.5

Burnin' Rubber (Colosoftware 1983) - 7.4 (based on the arcade by Data East)

Bumping Buggies (Bubble Bus 1984) - 7.1 (clone of Bump 'n' Jump)

Motor Mania (UMI 1982) - 6.9

Krazy Kar (IJK Software 1984) - 5.4 (cheap clone of the above games)

 

There never was a Road Fighter for the C64, otherwise I'm sure it had been up there as well.

 

For those who like me are confused, Burnin' Rubber is the Japanese title of Bump 'n' Jump by Data East. Based on the Lemon64 votes, Colosoftware did a little better job than Bubble Bus on the conversion/cloning, but obviously Spy Hunter still is the most favored among the bunch.



#43 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:35 AM

Byte Night mentioned the original games Intellivision has, and that also means games that are not of the arcade style. The arcade style typically means start out easy and progress difficulty level to kill off most people within a few minutes. They typically have a fixed number of lives. Thats fine in the arcade because I never played enough to get to the point of reaching my maximum progression. But at home its just annoying, I have to replay easier levels just to get to the challenging level I want to play. If I make a mistake and lose a life I'm wasting my time.

That's why I ended up playing games like AD&D, Dreadnaught Factor, Space Battle, and even Sub Hunt more than games like Burgertime, LnC, or BnJ. I like games where there is a winnable outcome within a reasonable time and I can choose the difficulty level to play.

Having said that I really want to see someone make a Robotron style game, dual disc control with 16 direction fire.

#44 m-crew ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:33 AM

, I have to replay easier levels just to get to the challenging level I want to play. If I make a mistake and lose a life I'm wasting my time.

I like games where there is a winnable outcome within a reasonable time and I can choose the difficulty level to play.
.


Yes , it is annoying for sure , to play all those easy levels again.


It would be great to have a few Continue Chances,
Before you have to start at the beginning again.

#45 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:41 AM

And then the game eventually gets frustratingly hard.

#46 the1hatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:31 PM

 I said arcade ports, but I actually meant ports of games from other platforms.  That's actually most of what we have.  We have very few games designed specifically for the Intellivision strengths.
 

 

That changes the discussion somewhat but there's still room for both.

 

Personally, I wish we had more original content and I want to see more threads with people asking for original content.  When someone says "I rather see more original content than ports," the response should not be "let's have both," but actually more support and clamor for original content.
 

 

I do not disagree with wanting more original content at all but if you want more threads asking for it, I'd suggest starting some and get the ball rolling. I'm sure the brainstorming session here would be a good one.  However, telling people what their responses "should be" is shortsighted at best and arrogant at worst. There is no lack of support for any kind of homebrew here.

 

OK, and this is were we go into the heart of the matter.  This is why "we can't have both": because some people continue insisting that making ports is superior to original games and therefore programmers are more enticed to follow that. :roll:

 

 

And this actually isn't the heart of anything because no one here is making such a statement. We're discussing doing both, not which is better. There are merits to all different kinds of homebrews. 

 

The pool of programmers is not big enough.  If the programmers start making that "bevy of titles" for the Intellivision, who's working on original content?

 

 

Gee, I don't know... how about BBWW, Elektronite, Intellivision Revolution, CollectorVision and others who have all released original content recently? That's a good start anyway.

 

 Also, I'd like to point out the irony in your comment:  Yes, those classics are classics for a reason.  Do you know what that reason is?  Because someone took the time and effort to design an original game that distinguished itself from the rest. :P

 

 

You are about as accurate on the definition of irony as Alanis Morissette. As pointed out above, there are plenty of original games being produced by many different publishers. So the point still stands that there's room for both including those distinguished stand out games from the past that could benefit from the Intellivision's strengths.

 

I wish this were true, but it's rarer than you think -- especially in light of comments like yours and carlsson's, suggesting that making original content is overrated and that ports is the way to go.   :roll:

 

 

Absolutely no one suggested anything of the sort. Again I point out, we were discussing the merits of both, not one vs. the other. If you are going to roll your internet eyes after every other response, you could at least not do it after invoking a strawman argument. The only person speaking as if this is an either-or subject is yourself with no actual reason to think anyone else here sees it that way.

 

Not only have you reinforced my belief that you underestimate our homebrew community in this matter but you have shown not to even notice just how much original content has already been produced or is in the works. Take THIS for example.







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