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Surround'Em by Peter J. Meyer available for the Atari 8-bit computer


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#1 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 3:00 PM

 

Surround'EM is one of my latest games made for the Atari 400/800/600XL,800XL,1200XL,65XE,130XE,XEGS. Port will be soon available for the Atari 5200. This is based on Surround and Slither. I originally wanted to make a multi-game cartridge including surround as one of the games, but decided to make a game that has options to play several similar games.

 

The Game options allow you to play the standard surround game facing multiple computer opponents, sometime obstacles are present in upper levels. Can have the border walls on or off, or have extra walls in the center. Can select 45 or 90 degree turns, if your fire button controls the speed, or have it start slow and progressively speed up during each round.

 

The a growing slither game is based on the Vic-20 Slither, but has fruits that move around the screen and throws in random obstacles. Each fruit rewards some points and your snake grows a few units.

 

The dodge Obstacles Survival game is based on an old game I made years ago called Dodge Survival where you simply have to move around avoiding obstacles as long as possible, points are awarded each second you survive.

 

There is a bonus rescue space man web rescue game that you need to collect spacesuits from aliens building a web around the screen. They are moving diagonally around the screen. This was added by a suggestion from Video 61 because he seen the development tests of the game routines, and the way it look reminded him of the Star Trek episode "The Tholian Web"

 

On the standard XL/XE machines, 2 players can play multiplayer. 400/800 and Multijoy8 can allow up to 4 players. Those are separate options under the title screen. This is my first game I done to support more than 2 players either using the 2 extra joystick ports on the 400/800 or the Multijoy8.

 

 

 

 



#2 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 10:33 PM

You forgot to mention the 1400XL, the 1450XLD, the 1088XEL, and the Eclair.

 

Will it run on them?

 

What if I read your cartridge to a file? Will it work on my Ultimate Cart?

 

What if I buy a cart and dump it and put it on my BBS for download?

 

What will you do about me?

 

:)



#3 Sheddy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:06 AM

Ouch, that's a bit harsh!

Game looks like it's good fun.

...I do sometimes wonder if Pete is the only remaining programer trying to eke out a living writing 6502 code though.

#4 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:47 AM

I would have bought at least 5 games minimum from them if their attitude towards us was better, the whole eat my spit out gum off the pavement routine, and piracy paranoia turned me off.

although I have seen some improvement with a slightly better willingness to address buggy roms with vbxe complaints. testing in emulation is asking for a fail. Bugs and glitches are not a feature.



#5 CyranoJ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:55 AM

Bugs and glitches are not a feature.

 

Just slap on a WAVE 1 GAMES logo and she'll be right ;)



#6 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:30 AM

"They are trying to box me in".......uhhhmmmm nope. That "AI" (if any) looks like simply random to me. They act very stupid.

 

Apart from that....this looks like a nice game.....had it been a type-in listing in a magazine from 1984.

 

It has graphics like the first 2600 games.....and even the sounds sound like TIA.....

 

 

 

I originally wanted to make a multi-game cartridge including surround as one of the games, but decided to make a game that has options to play several similar games.

.

 

Are you seriously going to put this one game on a single cartridge and ask 50 dollars for it ?  Seriously ???


Edited by Level42, Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 AM.


#7 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:51 AM

Are you seriously going to put this one game on a single cartridge and ask 50 dollars for it ?  Seriously ???

 

I have to agree that this and "Tile Smashers" and some of the other announced games don't feel quite like the full releases that "Tempest Elite" and "Venture" do.  I did purchase a copy of "Venture" but it's unlikely that I would do the same for these new titles as a full price, single game cart.  However, I would be more inclined to purchase them as a multi-game cartridge containing a few of these games on one.  Not that the titles don't look interesting, they do, just not enough to motivate a $40 or $50 purchase for just a single game cartridge.  



#8 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:33 AM

"They are trying to box me in".......uhhhmmmm nope. That "AI" (if any) looks like simply random to me. They act very stupid.

 

Apart from that....this looks like a nice game.....had it been a type-in listing in a magazine from 1984.

 

It has graphics like the first 2600 games.....and even the sounds sound like TIA.....

 

 

 

.

 

Are you seriously going to put this one game on a single cartridge and ask 50 dollars for it ?  Seriously ???

 

 

Well,

 

not quite 1984, but the german Atari Magazin (1987-1989) had a DIY hardware for four joysticks on XL/XE computers, a joystick test program (in Basic) and a type-in ML-game named Quadrotron. Since this was the only game for the (then) unusual hardware, not many Atarians built it.

 

But, some years later the Multijoy appeared on the A8 scene and more and more games were created or patched for it. At one time I contacted Radek Sterba, told him about the old game Quadrotron and he patched it to work with his Multijoy hardware (since the original hardware and also the game were not fully compatible with multijoy) - and he released the patched version as "Quadrotron M4":

 

http://a8.fandal.cz/...p?files_id=4654

 

And if you like playing Tron with four players and multijoy, there is also Cervi, Cervi 2 and Killa Cycle M4. Currently Fandal lists 56 games for the multijoy hardware:

 

http://a8.fandal.cz/...utt_details_x=x



#9 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:47 AM

@Kyle22: Surround'em is a survival game. The plutonium in this cartridge will self-destruct when it gets more power than the A8  normally delivers (and when you try to remove or break the security seal of the cart.). How fast can you run and can you survive this game ?

 

-----

 

Back to topic and Surround'em.

 

I am happy that Peter still codes many games for the A8 platform, some of them I like and some of them I don't. But well, I do not need every VCS 2600 game on the A8, especially if it is a genre where we already have dozens (or hundreds) of clones, like e.g. Pong, Breakout, Asteroids/Meteorids, Pacman, Tron, Boulder Dash, Tetris, Robbo, etc. And errm, the A8 can have better gfx than the VCS 2600, I am sure.

 

At the moment I really like Tempest Extreem and I like what I see in Tempest Elite, Venture and afair one more game, but thats it. I already own Tempest Extreem and plan to buy the other three games, but as already mentioned not all of Peter`s games. Surround'em is one of the games that I am not interested in buying, since I already have enough Tron clones. (I even have all the mentioned Tron clones for four players, but I do not own a multijoy, since I most of the time play games on the A8 alone or with a friend in two player mode, so I have no need for an 8-player or even 16-player "multi-team-tap-adapter".)

 

So maybe, *before* coding/finishing a game in a genre that we already have dozens of times on the A8 and burning it onto an Eprom (cart.), it would be wise to show/demonstrate the community some pics. and/or videos and ask if they would be interested in buying such a game on cartridge (= do a simple interest check in advance)...



#10 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:39 AM

You forgot to mention the 1400XL, the 1450XLD, the 1088XEL, and the Eclair.

 

Will it run on them?

 

What if I read your cartridge to a file? Will it work on my Ultimate Cart?

 

What if I buy a cart and dump it and put it on my BBS for download?

 

What will you do about me?

 

:)

 

There are no guarantees and I will not support anything other than the original cartridge.  



#11 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:48 AM

The actual price is $39.95 and free shipping inside the United States. This has been tested on an Atari 800, 800XL, and 130XE. all work just fine. If the 1400XL and other machines can run stock Atari 8-bit 16K cartridge, they should work. Keep in mind, these other Atari computers are very rare and only a hand full exist. To my knowledge, Atari did not do anything special with the cartridge ports on these machines. That 1088XEL is an experimental board and if it has compatibility problems with any Atari software, that is something that  Firedawg needs to correct.

 

I believe I may have better attention for the 5200 version because no one really has done a surround/slither like game for that system yet. But the 8-bit version has already been released. 

 

I was going for a slightly retro-look with this game, and used a 160x100 mode (graphics 7 similar custom display list) with the double height player/missile graphics. I was considering a 80x48 mode, but the game moved too fast.

 

You will need to bring your concerns about a multi-cartridge to Video61. 


Edited by peteym5, Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:36 AM.


#12 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:19 AM

@Kyle22: Surround'em is a survival game. The plutonium in this cartridge will self-destruct when it gets more power than the A8  normally delivers (and when you try to remove or break the security seal of the cart.). How fast can you run and can you survive this game ?

 

"Pirated Copy! No Game for You! This Cartridge will self destruct in 5 seconds..."
Everyone will wondering why the cartridges are unusually heavy. That is better than any logic bomb I came up with.


Edited by peteym5, Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:33 AM.


#13 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:17 AM

 

Here is another video of SurroundEM for the Atari 8-bit/5200 showing some alternate modes. 45 Degree Diagonal Movement Allowed with no border in first segment. 45 Degree with border and speeding up every few seconds in second segment. 

 

 

 

 

However, I would be more inclined to purchase them as a multi-game cartridge containing a few of these games on one.  Not that the titles don't look interesting, they do, just not enough to motivate a $40 or $50 purchase for just a single game cartridge.  

 

In a way Surround'EM, Laser Blast X, and the upcoming Putt 18-Miniature Golf cartridges are Multi-game cartridges because on the title screen, you can press Select + Option to change several game parameters. Surround'EM has Surround, Slither, Dodge Survive style games all in one program on a 16K cartridge. I suggested the ideal to Video61 a few years ago, and said games do better as individual units. My alternative was multi-versions and parameter settings for the same game on cartridge. There has been a past history of companies attempting to sell multiple game cartridges, CDs, DVDs, etc and almost each time, sales are very poor. Also get people complaining why should they pay all that extra money and only one good game is there. 

 

 



#14 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:58 AM

The AI needs to avoid lines better, it should seek the enemy when clear and avoid when near, easy proximity check, and then so you don't get owned every time, a random mistake generator... that balance adjusting as the game gets harder... that should not be hard for you to do... lastly, it's not cool to die when you haven't actually been run over by a satellite or floating thing that needs a little adjustment.... Making those changes will make it worth having... for this kind of game, if it's not going to be eye candy the game play has to be spot on...



#15 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:02 PM

Wow man look.....112 games on ONE cartridge !

Yup........that worked...........in 1980.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_3637.JPG

Edited by Level42, Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:03 PM.


#16 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:07 PM

I remember many a Christmas playing that very game till the sun came up.... and turning it over made me the hero with a couple of sweeties. Not sure what they liked more the deadly revenge taking place on the aliens in the game that beat them up or me for doing it! Good memories.



#17 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:06 PM

You may have hit those aliens relentlessly my friend, but you totally miss my point 😁

Edited by Level42, Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:07 PM.


#18 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:35 PM

There are several computer AIs used in the game and more advanced ones come in play in the upper levels. You can play against up to 6 enemies at once. I wanted to go up to 8, but that started to become impossible to play.

 

There is a 4 human player option. Can use the 4 ports on the Atari 800 (Need to select it, no auto detect) or use the Multijoy8 interface, but only uses 4 of the joystick ports. Two player options can use joystick or the Indy 500 controllers. Did not use trackball or Paddle controllers, would had just been too hard to play with those devices. 

 

When I was developing the game and let the enemies move randomly in strait and diagonal lines without the collision enabled, the screen looked like the Star Trek episode "Tholian Web." 

 

I know many of the game options were tested by myself and beta testers. Had not found a combination that will cause a major glitch or bug to happen.



#19 Wrathchild ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:53 AM

How are the step movements of the bikes done? If the X & Y are maintained as bytes and you just subtract or add one for vertical and horizontal movement this explains why they appear to speed up when travelling along diagonals. You could use a word and add/sub 256 for vertical and horizontal movement and use the high byte for the screen X & Y positions. Diagonal movement would then be a +/- 181 to the low byte (carrying to the high) such that the speed is consistent, cos/sin 45 being 0.707, * 256 = 181. This would mean the bikes won't move on some frames but would be more 'fair' in the game-play.


Edited by Wrathchild, Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:55 AM.


#20 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:54 AM

I believe I used integer movements with this game and to get fractional speeds, I used a rotating byte with a ROR instruction, using carry flag to indicate if it moves or not. I used Low and High byte for fractional movements with many other games that either move a rotating spaceship like Megaoids, or a moving ball like TileSmashers. I was originally going to keep this as a simple surround type game with vertical or horizontal movement only. It was  going be either as an executable or paired up with another game. However I got talked into making it into a stand alone game on cartridge. So I added extra features and options later in the development to make the game more attractive. 


Edited by peteym5, Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:45 AM.


#21 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:58 AM

I have seen some improvement with a slightly better willingness to address buggy roms with vbxe complaints. testing in emulation is asking for a fail. Bugs and glitches are not a feature.

 

Surround'EM was tested in emulation so I can use the monitor to debug the game. I made sure games work on the emulator before flashing an image myself to make sure it works on real hardware. I want to make sure the game runs before Video 61 burns even burns the first EPROM. Transferring images to cartridges is time consuming, so I use emulation or an executable version first. 

 

I know people might see early work in progress videos I post or may had got a hold of early incomplete test versions. However it is just that, a work-in-progress, where bugs and glitches are being identified. Also lets you see how the game is playing so I can make changes before the final product. Any incomplete betas test version I privately let someone see usually has parts not set up yet, omitted, altered, not fully debugged, and is not the final version of the games. 

 

Surround'EM Does not make use of VBXE or extended RAM. It is compatible with stock Atari 8-bit computers. 


Edited by peteym5, Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:20 AM.


#22 FifthPlayer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:35 PM

There are some interesting (i.e. distracting) graphic glitches in the block "eraser" sprites when they reach the top of the display.  When they intersect the black border between playfield and scoreboard, they get sliced horizontally for a fraction of a second before they wrap to the bottom of the screen.

 

Despite all of the controversy surrounding peteym5 and the way he chooses to market and support his games, I've been tempted to buy some of them.  But everytime I've found graphic glitches that point to lack of polish that put me off.   It's inexcusable for a title like this with simple graphics that don't really push the A8 hardware all that much.

 

But with this particular title, I would rather play Surround on the 2600 or Snafu on Intellivision (Snafu, in particular, has an excellent soundtrack that adds some spice to the simple graphics and game mechanics).  Agree that this genre has been overdone.


Edited by FifthPlayer, Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:43 PM.


#23 peteym5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:51 AM

There are some interesting (i.e. distracting) graphic glitches in the block "eraser" sprites when they reach the top of the display.  When they intersect the black border between playfield and scoreboard, they get sliced horizontally for a fraction of a second before they wrap to the bottom of the screen.

 

Despite all of the controversy surrounding peteym5 and the way he chooses to market and support his games, I've been tempted to buy some of them.  But everytime I've found graphic glitches that point to lack of polish that put me off.   It's inexcusable for a title like this with simple graphics that don't really push the A8 hardware all that much.

 

But with this particular title, I would rather play Surround on the 2600 or Snafu on Intellivision (Snafu, in particular, has an excellent soundtrack that adds some spice to the simple graphics and game mechanics).  Agree that this genre has been overdone.

 

Oh no, we have to make sure we don't go over the border or else we will get spliced horizontally. Maybe that will be an ideal for US Presidents Trumps new border wall. 

 

I am sure majority of the people playing the game will be watching what is going on with other enemies and walls to avoid being trapped or crashing into something. I have prepared an update and sent it to Video 61.



#24 FifthPlayer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:16 PM

You're missing my point.  It makes your game look amateurish, undercutting your attempts to present it as professionally-done software.


Edited by FifthPlayer, Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:17 PM.


#25 tep392 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:39 PM

I believe I used integer movements with this game and to get fractional speeds, I used a rotating byte with a ROR instruction, using carry flag to indicate if it moves or not. I used Low and High byte for fractional movements with many other games that either move a rotating spaceship like Megaoids, or a moving ball like TileSmashers. I was originally going to keep this as a simple surround type game with vertical or horizontal movement only. It was  going be either as an executable or paired up with another game. However I got talked into making it into a stand alone game on cartridge. So I added extra features and options later in the development to make the game more attractive. 

Using rotating bytes is the same method I use for Pac-man Arcade, which I just carried over from Atari's Ms. Pac-man release.  But I wasn't happy with the vertical and horizontal speeds being slightly different due to the non-square pixels, so in the latest release, I used different speed values for horizontal and vertical movement so they would appear the same on screen.  You could use three values for vertical, horizontal and diagonal, if you wanted to goto the trouble.  I did the update on Pac-man Arcade just because I found it personally annoying.






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