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My 1st Atari 2600 game (Man Goes Down)


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#1 Alex H OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 9, 2004 11:58 AM

Hello people!

Since I've already spilt the beans about my new game in another thread, I thought I'd post a little update.

For those who don't know, I've been writing homebrews for the Vectrex for a little while, Protector (Defender clone, nothing to do with the Jag game of the same title) probably being the most well known. Anyway, tucked away in the initial limited edition release of Protector was a hidden bonus game Spike Goes Down, a game which is well suited to the Atari 2600 hardware.

So, I recently started work on the 2600 version (title tbc) and here's how it's looking so far...

I've only just started putting in level data, so you can't get very far. (Blue level will finish you off.) With regard to the collectible objects, picking up 4 fruits in sequence will open up the power-ups. (I haven't drawn the 4th fruit yet, so for now it shows as a bronze question mark). The skateboard increases speed (on the x-axis) for a short time - good for negotiating levels with long platforms/small gaps. The down arrow increases gravity slightly - you need to collect several of them to really feel the effect. The red stop sign temporarily slows the scrolling, the silver question mark doesn't do anything yet. Miss a fruit or power-up and you have to start back at fruit 1. I'll almost certainly change the way this works, and the stop sign doesn't really do much for the gameplay so I'll probably ditch that.

All feedback welcome.

Alex

Attached Files


Edited by Alex H, Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:59 PM.


#2 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 9, 2004 8:24 PM

Hi Alex:

Your game feels good and looks good! I tried it out on the CC2 (allows me to play games on the real console hardware) and I really enjoyed it! Nice!

Does MGD stand for Man Goes Down?

I've been wishing for a Fall Down clone for the Atari and I had no idea that several including yourself were working on the same game format!

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#3 Paul Slocum OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 9, 2004 8:54 PM

Looks awesome. Nice animation.

#4 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 9, 2004 10:08 PM

This has a GREAT kinetic feel--I'm a big fan of games that make good use of intertia, plus you got the friction mojo working as well...combined with a nice walking animation, that's really innovative and effective.

Plus nice details like he starts flapping his arms during a really big fall...

Already the game has some great gameplay elements--encouraging players to take some big jump risks. I wonder if anything could be done to flesh out the gameplay...
would a 2 player mode be possible? You might have to ditch the fruit (or have some flicker) but it might be cool having too people try to block each other...or replace fruit with missile blocks representing gold pieces (or whatever) and have each try to collect more. Having two players interact could be pretty nifty, and shouldn't tax the engine you have now too badly...

Anyway, you're not on the [stella] list, are you? It's a great bunch of folks.

#5 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 9, 2004 10:21 PM

Very nice start to what has the potential of becoming a really awesome game! I'm looking forward to future updates. There's already a space on my CC2 menu for it. 8)

#6 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:09 AM

Hi there!

Excellent update.

I really like how you need to adjust your tactics to the platforms layouts every few moments. When they're rather small you have to really carefully execute your jumps, yet when they're longer you have to run like hell. Also going for the extras is a challenging blast on the way!

A 2 player mode might be a nice addition. Maybe a simple "longest survival" run without the extras?

Greetings,
Manuel

#7 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:36 AM

You go straight to the copyright screen at the end. Maybe just stop the gameplay and show the prizes at the bottom until the fire button pressed .. then the copyright screen .. then a restart.

Maybe keep track of the current high score at the bottom too.

I thought I saw some arm flapping there .. nice!

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#8 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:07 AM

You go straight to the copyright screen at the end.  Maybe just stop the gameplay and show the prizes at the bottom until the fire button pressed .. then the copyright screen .. then a restart.

Maybe keep track of the current high score at the bottom too.

Yeah, I was guessing that the kind of harsh trip to the copyright screen was just a placeholder.

I was trying to think if something could be done with the firebutton. My first thought was a jump button, to gain a tad of height to make longer jumps, but maybe that's just gratuitous. Or in a head to head variant (which I think has TONS of potential, especially if the characters can block each other or push each other around) it could fire some kind of weapon...I

#9 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:20 AM

Hi there!

Wow! I just managed to get the skateboard for the first time.
Is that cool!!! :) :) :)

Hey, I keep coming back to this game every free minute, it's ultra addictive. Where do I have to sign for reserving a copy? ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

#10 Big Player OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:30 AM

Wow, first 2600 game? Looks like it has the makings of an awesome game. I love the player animation.

Thanks for sharing your work in progress. I hope you subscibe to the Stella list and share your code there.

And be sure to use these forums to let us play test your beta version, when you get there.

#11 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:21 PM

Very addicting .. I've played it off on all morning! I got to the skateboard twice thus far.

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#12 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:16 PM

I've played it off on all morning!


Me too. With a few sound fx and a little more polish, this could easily end up being one of my favorite homebrews!

I agree with Kirk. The fire button needs to be utilized in some way. Perhaps to get a little lift in order to grab the prizes that end up slightly above your platform or to lay traps against an opponent in a head-to-head mode.

Keep up the great work!

#13 Big Player OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 3:44 PM

I'm addicted to this game now too. What a blast!

I agree that there should be some use of the fire button, maybe in a way similar to the make-breaks in Entombed. Something that you can use to save yourself. Could be a parachute or something that breaks a hole in the platform.

It also needs to save the high score during a session. I think my best is about 56 or so, but I'm not sure, since I tend to hit the fire button to restart immediately after my game is over. :D

#14 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 4:19 PM

You know, I don't mean to sound like a naysayer, but it's funny how there are some great new titles for the 2600 but far fewer original concepts. Like my own JoustPong was an improvement of stuff I'd already done on Windows and Java, and I guess even this super cool idea had its start on Vectrex...and of course some of the most impressive technical feats lately have been ports, Thrust, Sea Wolf etc...

Anyway, just a thought. I don't want to sound like I'm talking trash about this game! It's already fun and appealling. If the author ain't posting regularly on stella I'd love to see some kind of developers log page or at least a way of getting the latest build :-)

#15 Alex H OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 5:49 PM

Your game feels good and looks good!  I tried it out on the CC2 (allows me to play games on the real console hardware) and I really enjoyed it!  Nice!

:D Thanks Rob, you answered my question before I even asked. Good to know it works ok on the real hardware. No screen rolls, glitches or anything?

You go straight to the copyright screen at the end. Maybe just stop the gameplay and show the prizes at the bottom until the fire button pressed .. then the copyright screen .. then a restart.  

Maybe keep track of the current high score at the bottom too.  

Yeah, I was guessing that the kind of harsh trip to the copyright screen was just a placeholder.

Yes. I haven't really worked out quite what I'm going to do here. Showing a tally of items collected and high score sounds good but will depend on available memory once everything else is in place.

would a 2 player mode be possible? You might have to ditch the fruit (or have some flicker) but it might be cool having too people try to block each other...or replace fruit with missile blocks representing gold pieces (or whatever) and have each try to collect more. Having two players interact could be pretty nifty, and shouldn't tax the engine you have now too badly...

A 2 player mode might be a nice addition. Maybe a simple "longest survival" run without the extras?

Hmm, I'd kind of decided that 2 players wasn't really an option. The problem is displaying 2 sprites and the platforms with colour changes on the same scanline. I would almost certainly have to switch to a 2-line kernel and lose sprite detail, which I didn't want to do. Either that or draw the players on alternate frames. But I do agree that 2 players would be pretty cool, so I shall leave it as something to ponder.

Anyway, you're not on the [stella] list, are you? It's a great bunch of folks.

Thanks for sharing your work in progress. I hope you subscibe to the Stella list and share your code there.

Is the Stella list down? I will most certainly subscribe if/when I can.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. Glad to hear poeple are finding it playable. I'll have a good think about the suggestions and see what I can come up with. I'll continue to post updates here.

Alex

#16 Alex H OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 6:44 PM

I agree that there should be some use of the fire button, maybe in a way similar to the make-breaks in Entombed.  Something that you can use to save yourself.  Could be a parachute or something that breaks a hole in the platform.


I did consider using the button to flap his arms and slow his descent, but I don't want to change the feel of the game too much since it worked so well on the Vectrex. If it ain't broke don't fix it kind of thing.

I still have more power-ups to add though so perhaps I'll use the button for something there. I wonder whether a jet-pack might be fun? Or how about being able to jump on the back of a Joust buzzard? (Now this really is screaming 2 players.) Not sure if I can do that though - getting ahead of myself a little here.

It also needs to save the high score during a session.  I think my best is about 56 or so, but I'm not sure, since I tend to hit the fire button to restart immediately after my game is over. :D

Agreed, a high score is a must. My best is around 70, but this is only test data and the blue screen (of death) is designed to kill you before running into random data. If you're lucky and manage to pick up a few down-arrows and skateboards at the right moment you might get a little further, but not much.

Alex

#17 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 7:19 PM

would a 2 player mode be possible? You might have to ditch the fruit (or have some flicker) but it might be cool having too people try to block each other...or replace fruit with missile blocks representing gold pieces (or whatever) and have each try to collect more. Having two players interact could be pretty nifty, and shouldn't tax the engine you have now too badly...

A 2 player mode might be a nice addition. Maybe a simple "longest survival" run without the extras?

Hmm, I'd kind of decided that 2 players wasn't really an option. The problem is displaying 2 sprites and the platforms with colour changes on the same scanline. I would almost certainly have to switch to a 2-line kernel and lose sprite detail, which I didn't want to do. Either that or draw the players on alternate frames. But I do agree that 2 players would be pretty cool, so I shall leave it as something to ponder.

Is changing the colors for man and fruit different than it would be for man and man? Because the fruits in more of a fixed position or something?

#18 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:56 PM

Good to know it works ok on the real hardware.  No screen rolls, glitches or anything?


None at all! Stable picture which looks great! And I am playing on the Atari 7800 in 2600 mode which is not forgiving if there is a problem.

No need for a 2 player mode. Most gamers are singular anyway.

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#19 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:28 PM

Good to know it works ok on the real hardware.  No screen rolls, glitches or anything?


None at all! Stable picture which looks great! And I am playing on the Atari 7800 in 2600 mode which is not forgiving if there is a problem.

No need for a 2 player mode. Most gamers are singular anyway.

That's why you need a 2 player mode w/ optional computer opponent :-)

(yes, I know how annoying these suggestions can be...)

#20 bjk7382 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 11, 2004 11:29 PM

I really like this game. I was almost was late for work because I couldn't stop playing it :D

I would say the least amount of stuff should be a walking sound and a high score save. (see cave1k, or splatform for good examples of the high score displays, I think thomas has the source for both of them freely available)

#21 Aaron OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:56 AM

Hello again ;)

The power-ups make things a bit more fun I think, compared to the version you posted before. This is really a game that punishes greed...

Would it be possible to have a power-up that let you wrap around the edges? Also the Joust idea sounds fun :)

#22 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:09 AM

Hi there!

Is the Stella list down?  I will most certainly subscribe if/when I can.


It should be up and running, yet it might be complicated to find the right spot to enter it. Here's the route that worked for the last guy who made it:

http://www.atariage....pic.php?t=52834

Greetings,
Manuel

#23 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:15 AM

Hello again ;)

The power-ups make things a bit more fun I think, compared to the version you posted before.  This is really a game that punishes greed...

Would it be possible to have a power-up that let you wrap around the edges?  Also the Joust idea sounds fun :)

Actually, the sides are a little deceiving, because you can't go as far to the left or right as it looks like you can...

Arm-flapping might be cool...enough to slow, never reverese, your decent.

or a jet pack...

#24 Alex H OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:55 AM

Stable picture which looks great! And I am playing on the Atari 7800 in 2600 mode which is not forgiving if there is a problem.

:)

Is changing the colors for man and fruit different than it would be for man and man?  Because the fruits in more of a fixed position or something?

Precisely. The fruit is always in the gaps between platforms so on any given scanline there is either 1 sprite + playfield (asymmetric), or just 2 sprites, never 2 sprites and playfield.

Is the Stella list down?

It should be up and running, yet it might be complicated to find the right spot to enter it.

Ah, so you have to click "Easy unsubscribe" rather than "New User/Get Password" to subscribe to the list. That is pure genius! :| I guess I understand why they use the tag line "We're just better."

Alex

#25 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:23 PM

Is changing the colors for man and fruit different than it would be for man and man?  Because the fruits in more of a fixed position or something?

Precisely. The fruit is always in the gaps between platforms so on any given scanline there is either 1 sprite + playfield (asymmetric), or just 2 sprites, never 2 sprites and playfield.

Ah, of course.

It would probably violate your aesthetic sensabilities (mine tend to be tuned lower than a lot of coders') but I'd rather see 2 monochrome dudes in a cool head to head game...then again I'm a bit of a sucker for head to head games.

(yes, I know how annoying these suggestions can be...)

Heh, well, no one has annoyed me... yet! :D

You're made of sterner stuff than I am...or have more confidence. I got so bugged when I'd show off my latest incarnation and get constructive criticism...either they'd be suggesting great ideas that I didn't think I could pull off, or I felt they weren't really appreciating what I had managed to pull together...




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