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Asteroids "Arcade" hack


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#1 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:07 AM

The inspiration: My Flashback 2, and its "Arcade Asteroids", which was basically a 'vectorised' hack of the original 2600 Asteroids with no other changes, which is fine, but I thought a true "arcade" hack could go a bt farther. I knew there's a lot of Asteroids hacks out there, each with their own tweaks to graphics and/or gameplay, so I tried to pull together the right collection of elements for as close an approximation to the arcade version of Asteroids as possible (graphics and gameplay) with a hack (and my skill set :) ). I can't say that I've been totally successful, but It's definitely different.

Changes - graphics:

Copyright screen changed to a cute little title.

Graphics for ship/rocks/UFOs changed to approximate arcade vector graphics (not just hollowed out)

All colors changed to black and white (except player 2, who is light gray)

Shows reserve ship sprites instead of numbers. (from Sadistroids)

Changes - gameplay:

Rock horizontal speeds tweaked so they don't 'fly in formation' quite as much. game is somewhat tougher as a result, and a lot tougher in 'fast rocks' mode (though not as hard as Sadistroids)

Player ship has greater thrust (also from Sadistroids)

UFOs are no longer an option, and appear regardless of how the difficulty switches are set.


Special thanks go to Thomas Jentzsch, for the Asteroids disassembly and info, and for creating the Sadistroids hack, which I used as my baseline.

(been a while since I hacked anything, and this is my first hack greater than 4K)

Attached Files



#2 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:39 AM

Looks very cool - I like it! Nice combinations of existing hacks and some of your own stuff :)

From what it looks like the programmers did with Asteroids Deluxe on the FB2, I don't think it would be too difficult to change one set of the rocks (there are two different shapes) to look like the Killer Satellite, and when broken make them aim directly for the ship... That seems to be the only difference (actually, that and the sheilds)... :)

I just thought of something - is all 8K used in this?
maybe we can make the 'Shields' game variations the Asteroids Deluxe game... (just a thought)

Feralstorm - did you change the source assembly or did you bit hack this?

Edited by PacManPlus, Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:42 AM.


#3 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:57 AM

Asteroids deluxe also uses different sounds and graphics for the players ship. While it would be cool to have it as a selection on this game, it would be even better to have a seperate game IMHO.

#4 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:14 AM

That's right - I wasn't even thinking about the sounds :-P

:dunce:

As far as the player's ship, I was thinking we could add that (if there was enough room) and select those bitmaps when the 'shields' game variation was selected...

But you're probably right; a separate game would be better. I was just thinking along the lines of Nukey's Hack 'Em / Hangly man :)

Edited by PacManPlus, Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:16 AM.


#5 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:59 AM

The coolest would be black and white graphics for the Asteroids version, with blue/green and black for Asteroids deluxe...You could do a dual cart box set!

#6 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:53 PM

rearranged a bit for simplicity:

Looks very cool - I like it!  Nice combinations of existing hacks and some of your own stuff :)

Feralstorm - did you change the source assembly or did you bit hack this?

Everything I did on this was bit-hacking, using the disassembly as a roadmap

From what it looks like the programmers did with Asteroids Deluxe on the FB2, I don't think it would be too difficult to change one set of the rocks (there are two different shapes) to look like the Killer Satellite, and when broken make them aim directly for the ship...  That seems to be the only difference (actually, that and the sheilds)... :)

I didn't expect a hack of 2600 Asteroids would work for FB2 Deluxe, but it came off better than I thought it would. If a little more effort was put in , I'd conceive Deluxe working like this:

When all asteroids that move up (or down) are shot, the snowflake appears, and the split parts would be able to track vertically as well as horizontally (keeping apart like the robots from Berzerk)

The rocks/whatever could knock the sheilded ship around, using some simplified computing to figure the deflection angle/speed.

...but I ain't a programmer.

I just thought of something - is all 8K used in this?
maybe we can make the 'Shields' game variations the Asteroids Deluxe game... (just a thought)

View Post


The commentary in Thomas' disassembly suggests that if the code was optimised to take out redundancies, Asteroids (the version without the opening copyright screen) could probably fit in 4K, so I'm guessing there's a fair amout of wiggle-room in the 8K.

I'm considering a "graphic test" hack to make a conceptual Asteroids Deluxe, but I don't have the abilities to radically change the gameplay.

#7 Cybergoth ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 6, 2005 6:57 AM

Hi there!

UFOs are no longer an option, and appear regardless of how the difficulty switches are set.


The Arcade Ufo would still behave somewhat more complex I think. Based on my observations, the Arcade has at least some logic making it only launch Ufos when there's "less than x" Asteroids on the screen. And maybe something like an additional timer, to give the player a few starting seconds without Ufos.

Greetings,
Manuel

#8 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 7, 2005 12:27 AM

Yeah, well that's why "Arcade" is in quotes. :)

Since you mentioned it, I checked it out, on the 2600 and on MAME. Just starting a game and not shooting any rocks. Saucers showed up quicker in the arcade version than the 2600 version, so it seems you don't need to shoot any rocks for the saucers to start showing up.

Edited by Feralstorm, Fri Oct 7, 2005 12:38 AM.


#9 Cybergoth ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 7, 2005 12:59 AM

Hi there!

Saucers showed up quicker in the arcade version than the 2600 version, so it seems you don't need to shoot any rocks for the saucers to start showing up.


I think that is because the "less than x" condition is fulfilled when the timer runs out. You see, when you don't shoot anything, there's only 4 Asteroids on the screen in level 1. I think if you quickly split a few to have "more than x" Asteroids around and then stop shooting, you won't ever see a Ufo at all.

Greetings,
Manuel

#10 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 7, 2005 11:48 PM

doing a little more MAME testing...

Just trying to split up rocks quickly without eliminating them (more challenging than shooting nothing :) ), It seems that the first saucer may be delayed a bit before it appears, but it definitely appears all the same.

I always figured the purpose of the saucers were to stir things up a bit by shooting up the rocks (and you) so one can't just float around avoiding rocks for hours on end, and if that's the case, there's not much point in having any reason for them not to show up. Not like I know the game designer's mind or anything.

#11 dr. kwack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 9, 2005 9:15 AM

Very cool!!

This is what I love about the hacks forum. Many fans have tinkered with Asteroids over the years and it seems like someone always figures out a way to tweak it one more time and bring it closer to it's arcade sibling.

So here's the big question- could this hack be dumped to cart?

Great job!

#12 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:21 AM

I don't have means to do so (but I've got a Cuttle Cart 2 so no prob there :) ) but I have no objections ( or reasons to have objections) to anyone wanting to make a cart out of it. Atari might say different though.

#13 Retro Rogue ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:30 PM

The inspiration: My Flashback 2, and its "Arcade Asteroids", which was basically a 'vectorised' hack of the original 2600 Asteroids with no other changes........

........Graphics for ship/rocks/UFOs changed to approximate arcade vector graphics  (not just hollowed out)


View Post



Good luck with your work, always good to see more of these. Just so you know - only the small asteroids on the FB2 version were hollowed out (since that's the only thing that could be done for those). The others were designed from scratch to appoximate an actual vector asteroid.

#14 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:56 PM

Are you talking about FB2 "Arcade Asteroids" or "Asteroids Deluxe"? Just doing a quick once-over on my FB2, "Deluxe" appears to have new rock graphics, while "Arcade" seems the same as the original 2600 solid rocks - except hollow. I could easily be wrong though.

In any case, it's all good. I looked over the arcade graphics to try to recreate them in the hack, and oddly enough, it's easier to do a rough rock shape with 2600 graphics than the arcade "octagon with a couple cheese wedges taken out" shapes. :)

#15 Retro Rogue ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:36 AM

Are you talking about FB2 "Arcade Asteroids" or "Asteroids Deluxe"? Just doing a quick once-over on my FB2, "Deluxe" appears to have new rock graphics, while "Arcade" seems the same as the original 2600 solid rocks - except hollow. I could easily be wrong though.



Both Arcade Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe were redone. As I stated, only the small asteroids used the hollowed out trick (because not much else could be done when you're talking that size).

Edited by wgungfu, Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:37 AM.


#16 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:41 PM

True enough. Asteroids dosn't waste many bytes in the graphics department - 4 lines for the tiny rock, 5 lines for the ship. I had to throw out my first candidates for some graphics (like the ship) because I made assumptions that it would have 8x8 pixels available (cause it turned all the way around, and it was 8 pixels wide after all, right? :) )

#17 neotokeo2001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:11 PM

First chance that I have had to try this one. Looks good. I like the UFO's on Game #1.
Much better then the original game.

Screenshots:
AA_Title.gif

AA_Screen_Shot.gif

#18 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:34 PM

Thanx for the screenshots!

#19 supercat OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:35 AM

Is there any room for a more 'vectory' score display? At minimum, if a player and missle are 'spare', they could be set to the background color, set to eight pixels solid, and used to strip the rightmost and leftmost two pixels off the numbers.

#20 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:14 PM

Is there any room for a more 'vectory' score display?  At minimum, if a player and missle are 'spare', they could be set to the background color, set to eight pixels solid, and used to strip the rightmost and leftmost two pixels off the numbers.

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The program could be changed to use sprite scoring instead of playfield scoring ;)

#21 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:55 PM

Here's a UPDATED Asteroids label I made for this game at this LINK^_^

#22 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:53 AM

kewl. :)

#23 sandmountainslim OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:44 AM

This is a great hack!
Really takes Asteroids away from the multicolor rockness and back to basics.
Wp

#24 sandmountainslim OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:50 PM

This should be added to the AA hack database, it is too good for people to miss out on.
Wp

#25 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:11 PM

Woo, zombie thread, and it's mine!

Thanks for the kind words. Is anyone in charge of updating the hacks database anymore?




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