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#1 Atari-Jess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:07 PM

I suggest this because I really feel that it would be a good idea.

The vast majority of homebrews (near all of them) feature a fancy label either totally
new or atari design based, of which is all well and good but I believe a particular label
type is being sorely neglected.

The text label.

I propose that in order to honour the early atari games from the late 70s and very early 80s that all batari basic games if placed on a cartridge (even under my multicart proposal this works very well) that the games feature an atari text style label due to
the quality of the current batari basic produced games.

The text label of course allows the listing of the multiple games featured on the cart
as many of the games feature what variations a particular game has, the multicarts
can simply "feature" what games are on the cart in general.

I think this would be not only very classy but retro stylish.

#2 Luigi301 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:31 PM

I'm thinking of putting mine on a cart, but I don't think my current title of "Non-Infringing Breakout-Based Video Entertainment Program" will fit on a label.

#3 Atari-Jess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:56 PM

"Nibbvep" would though.

#4 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:30 PM

I suggest this because I really feel that it would be a good idea.

The vast majority of homebrews (near all of them) feature a fancy label either totally
new or atari design based, of which is all well and good but I believe a particular label
type is being sorely neglected.

The text label.


Let me say right out front, I think this idea has merit. But I have misgivings.

The text label is my favorite lable actually. On that basis I like the idea and would be willing to put ooze on a text label. I think it will make cart ready status, and I'm not particular about the label. Since I like the text label, it would all work for me.

I propose that in order to honour the early atari games from the late 70s and very early 80s that all batari basic games if placed on a cartridge (even under my multicart proposal this works very well) that the games feature an atari text style label due to
the quality of the current batari basic produced games.


I'm pretty sure I don't want all the games on a multi-cart. Maybe in the future, when there is a library of games, the multi-cart idea would ok, but it's early now --too early for that sort of thing.

The quality issue is an interesting one. I think my game will stand up fairly well, quality wise, with other games. The Batari Basic idea is still at an early stage with lots of potential yet. Given these things, I don't think quality is a valid basis for the label decision at this early stage. We are not exactly sure what is and what isn't going to be possible and we have yet to see true assembly / basic hybrids. Since this basic language is compiled, I think we need to be careful to not carry forward basic language game expectations as they really don't apply to the Batari Basic environment.

The text label of course allows the listing of the multiple games featured on the cart
as many of the games feature what variations a particular game has, the multicarts
can simply "feature" what games are on the cart in general.


Agreed, provided we get to the multi-cart stage. Right now, we don't know how many potential developers we will have, nor the types of games they choose to produce. Again, too early for these decisions.

I think this would be not only very classy but retro stylish.


Agreed, but with misgivings about quality expectations.

All in all, I'll do a retro label with my game, provided it reaches that point. As for others, I think we need more voices and more time before we know this to be the right thing to do.

No matter which label new games get, I propose we all include the language:

"A Batari Basic Game Program"

On the label and in the docs to give Batari his props. My personal plan is to include the actual game listing, along with a quick description of how it was made and where folks can go to learn more.

#5 Luigi301 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:18 PM

Yes, we can use "game program" in our labels.

#6 Luigi301 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:33 PM

Here's a mockup I made for Paddle Battle.

Attached Thumbnails

  • paddlebattle.PNG
  • paddlebattleend.PNG

Edited by Luigi301, Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:34 PM.


#7 supercat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:48 PM

Yes, we can use "game program" in our labels.

View Post


BTW, the original tradeark for "Breakout" was cancelled in 1989; a new trademark was issued in 2000. Have there really been no uses of the term to refer generically to a wall-bricks game in the intervening decade?

#8 Luigi301 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:31 PM

They're in some cashflow trouble, so Infotari sues everything they see. Besides, Paddle Battle sounds a lot cooler than Breakout ;)

#9 Atari-Jess OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 11:10 AM

They're in some cashflow trouble, so Infotari sues everything they see. Besides, Paddle Battle sounds a lot cooler than Breakout ;)

View Post



Yeah, and we can't use breakup, :music: 'cuz breakin' up is haaard to dooooo :music:


(shoot me now)

#10 vdub_bobby ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 11:21 AM

I propose that in order to honour the early atari games from the late 70s and very early 80s that all batari basic games if placed on a cartridge (even under my multicart proposal this works very well) that the games feature an atari text style label due to the quality of the current batari basic produced games.

No offense, but I don't think it is really your place, or anyone else's place, to tell anyone what kind of label to put on their game, or whether or not they can release their game on a cartridge, or whether or not they can release it as a standalone game on a cartridge.

Plus, your off-hand comment about the quality of the current bB games is somewhat condescending. Solar Plexus and Ooze (EDIT: should have included F-4 here) are about equal, in polish and quality, to some of the more simple homebrews that have been released already (I'm thinking mainly of Flap-Ping and Vault Assault), which were well worth a release.

Edited by vdub_bobby, Mon Aug 1, 2005 11:24 AM.


#11 Atari-Jess OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 11:33 AM

By quality I mean visual quality. Batari basic allows currently produced games to be visualy simplistic in comparison to games released later on in the 2600s run.

My proposal was a social initiative, something we could get excited about
and not some sort of enforcement.

I am giving my opinions and suggestions which I have every right to do.
I think we can agree to disagree and leave this squabble at that.

#12 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 12:14 PM

Plus, your off-hand comment about the quality of the current bB games is somewhat condescending.  Solar Plexus and Ooze (EDIT: should have included F-4 here) are about equal, in polish and quality, to some of the more simple homebrews that have been released already (I'm thinking mainly of Flap-Ping and Vault Assault), which were well worth a release.

JoustPong had a bit more polish than that I think, in terms of title screen AND music and a few other thrills. Same ballpark though.

Just to put in my two cents...I kind of have mixed feelings about "retro" cart design. For some reason it seems a bit poseur to try to look old. I mean I know it's homage and all that, and also programming 2600 is retro to its core so why not complete the look, but still.

Given the brilliant work that shows up whenever there's a label design contest, going to a single pattern might be a bit limiting.

#13 vdub_bobby ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 12:29 PM

JoustPong had a bit more polish than that I think, in terms of title screen AND music and a few other thrills. Same ballpark though.

The Ooze game has a title screen and some trippy almost-music. The options (including the Poorlords walls or whatever you call them) plus 1- and 2-player support do probably put JoustPong/Flap-Ping a step above.

#14 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 1:25 PM

JoustPong had a bit more polish than that I think, in terms of title screen AND music and a few other thrills. Same ballpark though.


Agreed. That's where I'm at in my quality thinking. Same ballpark.


Just to put in my two cents...I kind of have mixed feelings about "retro" cart design.  For some reason it seems a bit poseur to try to look old.  I mean I know it's homage and all that, and also programming 2600 is retro to its core so why not complete the look, but still. 

Given the brilliant work that shows up whenever there's a label design contest, going to a single pattern might be a bit limiting.


You know this has left me with second thoughts. My original plan was to go with a text cart simply because that was a childhood goal at one point. However, I like the fun that comes with the community labels. Might be fun to share in that. I know I've got almost zero talent in this area, why not let those that can add value do so? --Good point.

The Ooze game has a title screen and some trippy almost-music. The options (including the Poorlords walls or whatever you call them) plus 1- and 2-player support do probably put JoustPong/Flap-Ping a step above.


Yep. However the Ooze game is not yet finished either. A background score is planned as are some additional moving enemy options. This first pass was simply to get the game up, running and playable. Once the bugs are out of that, I can strip the movable toy out of the title screen and add in the final elements. 4K will be just enough to really make a polished game.

Right now, today the visuals are a limiting factor. There is clear differentiation between the all assembly code games we see today and the Batari Basic ones. But here is something to consider:

I know, given time, I could write a very nice 2600 homebrew in assembly language. Been wanting to do it for years. However, being self employed with a family of six (Oh whatever was I thinking !?!?), does not leave time for that to happen. Ooze took one man week of development to get to a very playable state. It will take perhaps one more to polish and get cart ready with some nice docs & game listing / tutorial stuff attached to the overall package.

That puts homebrew games within reach of a lot of folks that would not otherwise have the chance to participate.

We appear to have some solid kernel choices in the queue, making a wider variety of games possible in both visual and gameplay areas.

If this language makes it to the 7800, I predict we will see some very interesting games come out of that. Number of colors, and type/number of sprites will reach levels that make for some really great games. We will see that classic Atari feel and all have more games to play however it goes.

I get the feeling some of the pioneers fear their creations might be devalued by a flood of marginal games. Honestly, that could happen, but we can't prevent it by lowering expectations for games created this way because we all lose the good games that would result. Personally, I would not even consider a cart for something that probably should not be. I'll bet a fair number of people would think about this the same way.

If it becomes a problem, the community here can address it then. Until that time, a new game, Batari style or not, is simply a new game.

Edited by potatohead, Mon Aug 1, 2005 1:26 PM.


#15 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 1:26 PM

JoustPong had a bit more polish than that I think, in terms of title screen AND music and a few other thrills. Same ballpark though.

The Ooze game has a title screen and some trippy almost-music. The options (including the Poorlords walls or whatever you call them) plus 1- and 2-player support do probably put JoustPong/Flap-Ping a step above.

Well, thanks...I know I am a little too defensive of my baby, 'cause it TOOK so damn long compared to all these bB whippersnappers, and there were some major milestones in polish, like you can see on it its developers journal...I was really urged for improvements by stella list and my own desires, to add:
* sub pixel movement (huuge gameplay improvement -- can't wait til bB can handle similar stuff natively)
* medium-rez PF title screen
* that funky little title tune
* "Poorlords"
* a few little details, like the countdown and having scores "flash" down in color
* dumbed down AI
* Pterry! Including the sound FX from the 2600 game.

but, at its core, JoustPong is a very simple little game. ANd you can see a simlar list of tweaks especially with Solar Plexus and also Ooze.

#16 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 1, 2005 1:58 PM

* sub pixel movement (huuge gameplay improvement -- can't wait til bB can handle similar stuff natively)

Yeah baby. Brings a whole new feel to the game. I've got an idea I want to do in the near future that would require this. Can't imagine doing it now --all those loops and counters. And inertia too!

* that funky little title tune

Love game tunes. One of the more addicting aspects of gaming in general.

---and you should be proud of your baby! :D

#17 s0c7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 2, 2005 11:24 AM

I just don't want to set "rules" where people coming into the scene feel that to have a "polished" game it has to have a title screen, or music, or an easter egg, or unlockable stuff, or whatever.

Music, in particular, if not done well really detracts from the experience (As an example, play Parachute. Totally inappropriate music and annoying as hell).

Still, so far everything that has bubbled to the surface has been really cool. Especially considering lack of docs, etc. It's been probably 15+ years since I wrote any kind of game from scratch. So, big thanks once again to Batari!




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