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Can ALIEN Be Hack Into THE THING?


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#1 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:11 AM

Just wondering if there anyway to say hack an old Atari game Alien into The Thing like the title of the game on the main screen from ALIEN to THING if so that would be great and I already made labels just in case check out the labels at this Page I Posted .

#2 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:08 PM

Here's a mockup screenshot of Alien title to Thing.

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  • the_thing_mockup.png


#3 neotokeo2001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:28 PM

Here's a mockup screenshot of Alien title to Thing.

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Real simple to do. I'll do it when I get home from work and post it here.

#4 neotokeo2001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:14 PM

Here is the changed title. 2 different versions:

The Thing
z26p0002.gif

Thing
th001.gif

The only other thing I changed was the background (black). If you want to make any other changes just let me know.

Both BINS:
Attached File  The_Thing.zip   6.98KB   414 downloads

#5 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:19 PM

Here is the changed title. 2 different versions:

The Thing
z26p0002.gif

Thing
th001.gif

The only other thing I changed was the background (black). If you want to make any other changes just let me know.

Both BINS:
Attached File  The_Thing.zip   6.98KB   414 downloads

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Thank man. Ill see what else I can do to make it more on it.

#6 galaxy warrior OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2005 7:34 PM

Here is the changed title. 2 different versions:

The Thing
z26p0002.gif

Thing
th001.gif

The only other thing I changed was the background (black). If you want to make any other changes just let me know.

Both BINS:
Attached File  The_Thing.zip   6.98KB   414 downloads

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Thank man. Ill see what else I can do to make it more on it.

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the thing is an awesome idea. i would be down with this in cart form

#7 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 3, 2005 2:24 PM

Still needs a bit more to capture the feel of The Thing, though...since that alien could become anything. Here's a copy of the disassemby I had (with additional comments about how sprites are stored, etc). With a bit more work and some space made available, additional sprite objects could be added (so you could have paranoid Norwegian snipers on the first level, dog-things on the second, etc). There's still about a 200 byte range that could be used by the index, so all that is needed is some free space. That could easily be had by upping the game to 8k, or working on program optimizations (there's some good examples listed on how to free up romspace, and in some cases - ram as well). Will work on an 8k build next ;)

This one is only 4k...but includes cheat options and is Arcadia-compatable.

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#8 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 5, 2005 6:08 PM

Still needs a bit more to capture the feel of The Thing, though...since that alien could become anything.  Here's a copy of the disassemby I had (with additional comments about how sprites are stored, etc).  With a bit more work and some space made available, additional sprite objects could be added (so you could have paranoid Norwegian snipers on the first level, dog-things on the second, etc).  There's still about a 200 byte range that could be used by the index, so all that is needed is some free space.  That could easily be had by upping the game to 8k, or working on program optimizations (there's some good examples listed on how to free up romspace, and in some cases - ram as well).  Will work on an 8k build next ;)

This one is only 4k...but includes cheat options and is Arcadia-compatable.

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Thanks now if there's a way I can make a real cart as fining some one who can.

#9 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 7, 2005 11:27 AM

Still needs a bit more to capture the feel of The Thing, though...since that alien could become anything.  Here's a copy of the disassemby I had (with additional comments about how sprites are stored, etc).  With a bit more work and some space made available, additional sprite objects could be added (so you could have paranoid Norwegian snipers on the first level, dog-things on the second, etc).  There's still about a 200 byte range that could be used by the index, so all that is needed is some free space.  That could easily be had by upping the game to 8k, or working on program optimizations (there's some good examples listed on how to free up romspace, and in some cases - ram as well).  Will work on an 8k build next ;)

This one is only 4k...but includes cheat options and is Arcadia-compatable.

View Post


BTW how are you in this hacking? Can you upload this on a real cart amd if so how much? I made the labels for it here if you like to see it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • a26_the_thing_silver_label_02.jpg
  • a26_the_thing_silver_end_02.jpg


#10 neotokeo2001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 8, 2005 4:42 PM

Still needs a bit more to capture the feel of The Thing, though...since that alien could become anything.  Here's a copy of the disassemby I had (with additional comments about how sprites are stored, etc).  With a bit more work and some space made available, additional sprite objects could be added (so you could have paranoid Norwegian snipers on the first level, dog-things on the second, etc).  There's still about a 200 byte range that could be used by the index, so all that is needed is some free space.  That could easily be had by upping the game to 8k, or working on program optimizations (there's some good examples listed on how to free up romspace, and in some cases - ram as well).  Will work on an 8k build next ;)

This one is only 4k...but includes cheat options and is Arcadia-compatable.

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If you can add the support for additional sprites for the levels I would be happy to work up the new enemies, etc..

#11 neotokeo2001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 8, 2005 4:44 PM

BTW how are you in this hacking? Can you upload this on a real cart amd if so how much? I made the labels for it here if you like to see it.


It would be possible to get some carts made but I think you should wait untill some more changes can made to it. If Nukey can work his magic on it then you will have a lot better game in the end.

#12 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 8, 2005 6:15 PM

BTW how are you in this hacking? Can you upload this on a real cart amd if so how much? I made the labels for it here if you like to see it.


It would be possible to get some carts made but I think you should wait untill some more changes can made to it. If Nukey can work his magic on it then you will have a lot better game in the end.

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If you seen the movie then there's like three or four type of levels.

Dog-Thing:
Where a dog trying to take over other dogs and you could try to save them before dog-thing touch them and turn into The Thing and had to kill them.

Norris-Thing:
Where he trying to eat alot of others and had to stop him and save the rest before they too are the Thing also blast his Head-Thing as well.

Blair-Thing:
Final boss he's huge and takes alot of hit to kill it and had to use TNT.

Also is there a way to make a Title screen of the Title The Thing just like the opening sceen of the movie?

#13 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:37 PM

Sure...that part is relatively simple (by adding in a seperate display that is shown during the cartridge boot - virtually all ram is available for it since it's going to be cleared anyway).

Here's an update that has 2 versions of an 8k build...one that just has the appropriate bankswitches added (so you can see where I placed them in the program), and an updated version of Alien.

Summary of the WIP:
A title screen similar to Alien's intro (5 lines that represent the 5 killed, which change into the title)...which includes automatic 2600/7800 detection.
Using the above detection routine, I was able to throw in a game pause function (color/B&W). The program already had a pause routine built-in...so it just had to be altered slightly. The original routine which strips color has been disabled.
Expanded sprite tables that use the full 512 bytes possible with it's original method. Not much space to add 3 frames for each new type of alien, so I reduced the animation to 2 frames per creature (the airlock, death, and player animations have been left untouched)...which provided enough space for 7 different types of alien/bonus object. I also animated the bonus object sprite in the 2nd playfield, and made the flamethrower -look- like a flamethrower. Couldn't really think of 7 different foes for this game, so the last 2 are a self-destruct warning light and the sprite from the original game. The added bonus object is the shuttlecraft lifeboat.
In the bonus stage, the player has to avoid ALL the types of enemy to make it to a new seperate bonus object (which represents Capt. Dallas in the alien nest).
Added text to the game to read "Game Over" once you lose and the "attract" screen is shown. This occupies the area where reserve lives are shown...so there was no need to interfere with the score routine yet ;)
NOTE: the attract screen has a glitch someplace that makes the moving sprites get skewed slightly. Trying to track that down.
Additional notes are in the assembly file regarding how the sprites are stored, etc. Currently, this hack functions the same as the original game (scoring & strategy remain unchanged).

More to come

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#14 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:44 PM

BTW changing the game so that only 1 sprite is the aggressor might make the game too easy (since the enemy sprites aren't particularly hard to catch). One of the things that might make the game closer in theme to the film is to remove the "asterisks" and just have the flamethrower be the primary weapon...perhaps with the asterisks changed to be fuel containers. Still trying to figure out something that offers a bit of challenge ;)

#15 neotokeo2001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:50 PM

BTW how are you in this hacking? Can you upload this on a real cart amd if so how much? I made the labels for it here if you like to see it.


It would be possible to get some carts made but I think you should wait untill some more changes can made to it. If Nukey can work his magic on it then you will have a lot better game in the end.

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See what I mean. :D

#16 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:43 AM

BTW changing the game so that only 1 sprite is the aggressor might make the game too easy (since the enemy sprites aren't particularly hard to catch).  One of the things that might make the game closer in theme to the film is to remove the "asterisks" and just have the flamethrower be the primary weapon...perhaps with the asterisks changed to be fuel containers.  Still trying to figure out something that offers a bit of challenge ;)

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Any screenshots? Cuase I cant play any Atari 2600 emulaots on my new PC that my roomate made for me cuase its running linux and dont know the first thing on it, had not played ANY emulators on this for months:(

#17 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:51 AM

Oh I also did drew a pic of The Thing from the origanl 1930s short story Who's Goes There where the dog-thing try to take over the other k9s.

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  • whogoesthereart.jpg


#18 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:58 PM

You are trying to develop a hack without being able to run it? :o :?
BTW I believe that Stella supports Linux (and it's probably the easiest emulator to get running...just unzip it and go). Dunno about Z26 (which is the emulator of choice for developing 2600 games).

Current version has a couple of bugs...trying to correct them before posting it:
The aforementioned attract mode bug that garbles sprites.
The game automatically going to "game over" if no input is read for 9 minutes (which causes the 2600 to go into attract mode by default).
And a bug which keeps the 5th, 6th, and 7th bonus objects from displaying correctly :(

What has been accomplished is:
Addional ram assignments decyphered.
The ram-wasting score has been changed to BCD format. This and sharing a few bytes of temp variables made 7 bytes of free ram so far.
Pausing the game includes a "Paused" message to appear in place of reserve lives.
The reserve life gfx is also animated.
Bonus objects can include seperate colors.
Either stick can be used to play the game.
Unlabelled value in the display kernal (which caused the routines to not be relocatable) has been found. I had this labelled as a temp in the above version (#$1A should read #<IF117). You still need to keep some sections in identical pages as instructed).

Will post it as soon as I can swat those probs.

#19 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:09 PM

Fixed the bonus sprite problem...but the other 2 remain. Also, ever since I added the merge joysticks deal, DOWN must be pressed in the bonus stage before you can move up...but this problem only happens with the LEFT joystick.

I also added additional colors and such. Right difficulty further hinders the player by turning the maze off if an asterisk is hit...gives the flamethrower something to do ;)

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#20 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:50 PM

Fixed the bonus sprite problem...but the other 2 remain.  Also, ever since I added the merge joysticks deal, DOWN must be pressed in the bonus stage before you can move up...but this problem only happens with the LEFT joystick.

I also added additional colors and such.  Right difficulty further hinders the player by turning the maze off if an asterisk is hit...gives the flamethrower something to do ;)

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Thanks now can I ask you a Q&A? Can you tell me who to speak to about Atari 2600 emulator packages for runing on Linuxs? My roomate trying to run any emulator on my computer but its needed a'package' inorder to have like z26 on my computer for a inderface to show up. Cuase for months I have not played ANY Atari 2600 cuase Im using this linux run so I wont have any bugs on my pc. If you need to chat with my roomate for more info cuas eiM not very good in knowing anything about this linux thing.

#21 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2006 11:38 AM

As I was looking for more images of The Thing I found out that way back in 1976 WHITMAN COMICS came out with a sci-fi anthology comic series called STARSTREAM and in Issue #1 it featured a comic-version of the 1930's John W. Campbell's book "Who Goes There?" (aka The Thing). Some scans from the comic are below.

To me it looks like DC comic drew them and its kind of funny if Atari had made the game back in 82 DC woulld had made a mini-comic just like they done on Atari Force.

Attached Thumbnails

  • wgt1.jpg
  • wgt2.jpg
  • wgt3.jpg


#22 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 4, 2006 3:39 PM

Still trying to figure out much of the program...but I made some more additions to the 8k assembly that makes future hacking a bit easier. And I expanded the display to exist in both banks (to double the number of animation frames per object), and eliminated the stack (9 bytes of ram are free now).
Can't offer any advice on Linux tho...I'm a Dos/Windows mark :P

Cool scans of the comic...I was only aware of the Dark Horse treatment done in the '90s

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#23 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 5, 2006 10:54 PM

You just know this game would go GREAT in my Atari 2600 Horror collection.

#24 Atariboy2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 9, 2006 6:39 AM

Just in case some one wanted to see how the game cart would look here's my mockup image of The Thing game cartrige.

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  • a26_the_thing_cart01.jpg
  • a26_the_thing_cart02.jpg


#25 galaxy warrior OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:43 PM

the rom makes me also think of invasion of the body snatchers. coolness! im totally for a cart of either themed game :cool: and mad kudos for the who goes there research! not too many know of that :cool:

Edited by galaxy warrior, Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:46 PM.





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