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Baby Berks (Type In)


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#1 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 8, 2018 10:15 AM

I remember playing the berks series of games on the C16 years ago

http://plus4world.po...y_Berks_Type_In

Possible atari port? if somebody can find Celebrity Book of Games included with Commodore User, June 1985



#2 xrbrevin ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 8, 2018 12:31 PM

looks like a decent variant of berzerk and robotron :)

but didnt jon williams also do the music for star wars?! hehe

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=sk1Kv44qXE4



#3 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:01 AM

why not port the commercial version with title screen...

http://plus4world.po...ware/Baby_Berks

 

or better yet, redo the whole dang game in Atari strength from the ground up?



#4 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:31 AM

Well, that's a coincidence - I came to the forum wondering if there would be any interest in new or ported games.

I've recently ripped all of my old 8 bit floppies onto PC and have managed to convert the old Synassembler source code so it assembles in WUDSN. I've got all three Berks games along with Baby Berks working on the VICE Plus 4 emulator and was considering converting them to run on the Atari 8 bit.

The C16 & Plus 4 didn't have any player missile hardware so the games should be fairly straightforward to convert. The downside would be that the games would be less colourful as the Plus 4 had the additional colour memory.

I've recently retired so I'm looking for some retro challenges ... I was also considering an updated version of Jet Boot Jack if that would be of any interest?



#5 Avram OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:48 PM

An updated Jet Boot Jack would be incredible, especially if youre the original author!

#6 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:13 AM

I originally wrote Jet Boot Jack back in 1983 and I've recently got the source code transferred to the PC.

 

I've always thought about revisiting it ... either creating additional screens or making a horizontally scrolling version.



#7 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:27 AM

How did I miss this?

 

I trawled the Plus4 catalog a few years back looking for follow up projects to Quadrillion (for which I had source code) and Spectipede (a 16K game which I converted to legacy and VBXE hardware).

 

This game, I don't think I've played but will have a look later.  16 and 32K games from that computer are really good candidates because you have no hassles of code under the OS which in some cases might coincide with the hardware registers.  Plus a 16K game is generally only several K of code + several K of data anyway.

 

A VBXE conversion would be a piece of piss (probably) but it looks to be fairly heavy on attribute use for more colour in an arbitrary way so might turn out less pretty on legacy Atari hardware.



#8 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:00 AM

Baby Berks was a cut down version of the released Berks and Berks 3 games. The code and data still came to just under 9K so I'm not sure how many people would have typed it in. :)

 

It did make extended use of the C16/Plus 4's colour memory .. I've done a quick conversion to the Atari and it's definitely lacking colour wise.

 

I've not really checked out VBXE's capabilities but Berks 3 might be a better conversion as it's a more playable game without the cutbacks.



#9 Avram OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:30 PM

Jet Boot Jack was one of my favorite Atari games, as was Timeslip! The gameplay, audio, and visuals on both are great! By the way, did Jet Boot Jack have an ending?

#10 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:26 AM

I'm really glad you enjoyed the games, I had fun writing them - Jet Boot Jack led to a long, full time career in the games industry so I'm grateful to 'him'.

 

I'm afraid Jet Boot Jack didn't have an ending as such, just a bump up of the skill level so you could continue improving the high score.

 

The norm back in the early eighties was to make gameplay really hard with no reward for completion  ;-) 



#11 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:15 AM

Jon, is there anything you never got to release on the Atari that you had started?

 

How was it with English Software...I presume good and what are you doing these days?

 

Btw, did I see you as something to do with a multi boot menu variant..Sure I saw your name at the top of one...Could just have been a hacker thing :)

 

Jet Boot Jack will always have a place in my heart, sold it at Maplin and really enjoyed a game of it even though I was Rubbish :)

 

Thank you kind sir, nice to see a dev come and see us...

 

Paul..

 

Just saw Power House, were you there at the same time as Gavin R..He went on to do well :)


Edited by Mclaneinc, Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:17 AM.


#12 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:28 AM

Hi Paul, there was nothing that didn't get finished for the Atari. English Software were very good to deal with, they originally focused on the Atari but had to diversify when the market changed.

 

I managed to keep going through the eighties writing original games and some licensed conversions. I was always freelance until the mid nineties when it was becoming difficult to be a 'one man band'.

 

I had the good fortune to move from the Atari & Commodore to NES, GameBoy, SNES which led to the next gen consoles - I retired a few years back so I'm now looking for something interesting ;-) 

 

MultiBoot was something I wrote just after I first got a disk drive ... I had to update it to MultiBoot XL when the XL range came out as I'd used a few 'naughty' ROM calls. It was only intended for a few local friends but did seem to get around.

 

Jon

 

PS. I don't recall Gavin but that's probably because I was freelance. I worked with CRL which seemed to be the same company as Power House and Alpha Omega.



#13 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:10 AM

Hi Jon, so it was you re MB...Thank you...Its something that has been puzzling me as numerous names got to the top of the menu like Sol Negrene who I'm sure was a real guy in the Atari community..

 

As for the Gavin, it was Gavin Raeburn who was at powerhouse and wrote a small selection of budget C64 stuff along with a rather good Adventure Island clone called (massive edit to include the name I forgot) The Equalizer and went on to work on a major car racing / off road game (possibly Colin McCrae)

 

It made me laugh when I saw multi boots coming out of the back of the Atari Slough HQ back then...Initially it was DOS menu's..

 

Great to hear you had a nice dev run through the major platforms, what were you involved with on the next gen?

 

As for finding something interesting, to answer if we like new or ported stuff, YES PLEASE...We would be so happy to have a great coder like yourself gracing our screens in one way or another..

 

JBJ2 please :)

 

Thank you for the memories and the ongoing fun of your stuff...

 

Paul..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:15 AM.


#14 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:23 PM

Thanks Paul,

 

I still have the original source for Multiboot XL ... I've seen a few versions where my name has been overwritten using a sector editor  ;-) . I seem to remember speaking to somebody at Atari Slough once and he thought Multiboot had originated in America (made me smile).

 

Most of my projects on next gen were movie tie-ins, many with Disney ... Jungle Book, Hercules, Tarzan, Pirates of the Caribbean .. plus Harry Potter and Ice Age 3. We also did one Crash and one Spyro Game so quite a variety.

 

I wasn't programming for all of these though, when teams grew in size I moved on to be a producer.

 

I must take a look at my old JBL code and see if I get any new ideas, it would be fun to work on it again.

 

Jon



#15 CyranoJ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:46 PM

Jet Boot Jack was one of the first games I got for the Atari and gave my dad and myself many hours of fun.

Thank you so much for the entertainment at the time and the memories now.

#16 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 2, 2018 2:38 AM

Thank you Jon for clearing up the Multi Boot mystery once and for all...If there's source etc you would like to my public for any of your stuff we would love to see it, as an active community we love all this sort of stuff and in recent times we have been lucky to have with the help of the whole set of people here and people like Kevin Savetz etc on here to have authors come in and give us titles that they had started but never got released like the Official Star Raiders II that was unknown for all these years and not the Nice Last Starfighter game that got hacked into Star Raiders II. We have had souce code etc etc or simply great podcast stories about their time as a programmer which we really do love to hear..

 

If you are up for any of these things then please please let Kevin on here know, he's under Savetz on here..Or just post them...

 

The multi-boot code would be a real treat....Its such an important part of Atari History and on a personal note your words confirm a lot of the little tid bits of history I've mentioned in here over the years, there's not a lot of folk who were around at those times especially at Slough....But as with all devs, we respect your wishes and at the end of the day just love the work you did or still do, its been a big part of our growing up :)

 

Thank you..

 

Paul..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Mon Jul 2, 2018 2:40 AM.


#17 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 2, 2018 5:41 AM

I've no objection to uploading the Multi Boot source ... the only issue is that it was all written using Synassembler and the lack of memory meant all comments had to be removed. I recently wrote some code to convert the tokenised Synassembly source into .ASM format for MADS - it works pretty well but does need some help with text strings. Multi Boot was originally assembled to a binary file, loaded into memory and then I scrambled the code (for some obscure reason) before writing it to disk as a Master. Now that the source is on PC I'm intending to revisit it and just add some comments ... for myself more than anything ;-). When I've done that I'd happily upload it if it would be of any interest.

 

I'm currently finishing off a quick conversion of the Baby Berks code to run on the Atari. It's a simple program but has helped me get back into the swing of things. I'll upload that when it's ready ... can I ask if it's usual to just upload in XEX format?

 

I'm really pleased that people enjoyed Jet Boot Jack and Timeslip - it brings back memories going through the old code and remembering how difficult it was to write and debug. I'm now using WUDSN and Altirra and the source level debugging is so good.

 

PS. I did get a message from Kevin regarding an interview so that may happen.



#18 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 2, 2018 5:44 AM

Cool looking forward to berks game on the atari



#19 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 2, 2018 6:21 AM

I'm really glad you enjoyed the games, I had fun writing them - Jet Boot Jack led to a long, full time career in the games industry so I'm grateful to 'him'.

 

 

To be fair if I made a list of games that started me on the slippery slope from wanting to write games as a kid that ended up with me being a gamedev right now I'm sure Timeslip would be somewhere near the top.
 


Edited by sack-c0s, Mon Jul 2, 2018 6:21 AM.


#20 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 3, 2018 4:31 AM

Jon,

 

Thank you so much for offering the code, its a real part of history for us and the new / ported games from you are a wonderful extra, atr, XEX are both fine (if its one load the xex for size).

 

Glad that Kevin got in touch, he's a nice guy and any bits you want to pass on can be given to him of just posted here, we love the old history of devs and the pod casts are great material that we all listen to..

 

Hope I've brought back a few memories for you as you have for me, I've got a long history in the Atari, not as anything special but I've been in places at the right times and had great times..

 

I hope you enjoy retirement but also keep yourself busy, sitting in the sun is nice but it can get boring ;)

 

Good luck with any new projects and if there's some Atari stuff or retro / new give us a shout in here, you will have a very happy audience :)

 

Looking forward to any podcasts and possible future chats..

 

Paul..The old Atarian :)

 

Still wondering who Sol Negrene (or close) was, saw his name as said on some Multiboots early on, maybe as also said, a hex edit....Twas a lovely little program, often copied, but even me and a mates version didn't better it....Ours looked nice but content was lacking..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Tue Jul 3, 2018 4:35 AM.


#21 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 5:08 AM

Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for the advice, I'm almost ready to upload Baby Berks ... just wanting to make a few final alterations.

 

I'll upload it as an XEX as suggested, hopefully tomorrow before I go off for a week away (in the UK sun).

 

I'm slowly getting back up to speed with things, I just need to get familiar with forum etiquette etc ... didn't have this sort of thing in my day! ;-)

 

I hope I haven't offended the original poster with my ramblings.

 

Jon ... a very old Atari pensioner.



#22 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 5:30 AM

Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for the advice, I'm almost ready to upload Baby Berks ... just wanting to make a few final alterations.

 

I'll upload it as an XEX as suggested, hopefully tomorrow before I go off for a week away (in the UK sun).

 

I'm slowly getting back up to speed with things, I just need to get familiar with forum etiquette etc ... didn't have this sort of thing in my day! ;-)

 

I hope I haven't offended the original poster with my ramblings.

 

Jon ... a very old Atari pensioner.

 

 

No it's been a very interesting thread

Perhaps we can see more original games from you that take advantage of 1mb/4mb/vbxe mod hardware?


Edited by 256 colors, Wed Jul 4, 2018 5:38 AM.


#23 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 6:04 AM

My pleasure Jon,

 

Its a really nice bunch in here and if there's any help please just ask, enjoy the holiday.

 

No paddling, the water is toxic :)

 

Have some good old fun..

 

Take care

 

Paul...



#24 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 6:06 AM

 

 

No it's been a very interesting thread

Perhaps we can see more original games from you that take advantage of 1mb/4mb/vbxe mod hardware?

 

Perhaps we should let Jon get up to speed first :)

 

Us old folk need a cup of tea first thing before we can do anything :)

 

After that, who knows but lets enjoy whatever pops on the forum first and foremost :)

 

Paul..



#25 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 7:12 AM

Here's the promised Atari version of Baby Berks ... assuming I worked out how to attach the file correctly.

 

Maybe somebody could let me know if it did upload and if it actually works ;-)

 

The original Baby Berks game was a heavily cut down version of Berks. I've added a few improvements to this version ... many of which were just to refresh my memory with the Atari after all these years.

 

The game is a general shoot 'em up where you have to clear each wave of Baby Berks after they've hatched! Shooting one of the six Big Berks just stuns them and they'll be back for more. There's a time limit so don't hide for too long.

 

You can set the initial skill level on the title page and this gets bumped up slowly as you progress through the game. You'll get an extra life for clearing a wave up to a maximum of 10.

 

There are 32 possible screens which are chosen at random ... only repeating if you manage to get through them all.

 

There are some caveats; the original C16/Plus 4 game used the extended colour abilities of the machine so I've done what I can in the conversion (somebody might suggest a better palette?). I haven't had too much time to give it a thorough testing but all seems ok - let me know of any problems. Finally, I haven't had chance to try this on actual hardware yet, I'm not sure if this is a requirement or not?

 

I hope it provides a bit of fun for a few people.

 

Jon

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