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Medieval Mayhem - 2600


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#1 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:03 PM

A few people have known about this from my blog but I thought it's time to share this with the Homebrew forum as well. For the past 3 weeks I've been working on an new version of Warlords for the 2600.

mm.bin_13.png mm.bin_8.png

You can select NTSC or PAL by selecting COLOR or BLACK & WHITE respectively. The colors and frame size will adjust. The ball speeds will adjust as well once I get that part of the game going.

The main menu options are controlled by paddle 1. Turn your paddle to START then hit the firebutton to go to "start" the game. You may also use RESET to "start" the game, or SELECT to return to the main menu.

I say "start" as the game itself just shows the castles, the kings and 3, yep 3, fireballs flying around. For the fireballs you can make some adjustments using the difficulty switches. Set LEFT=A to "flicker" the fireballs, B to not flicker. When flickering setting RIGHT=A will fast cycle(every frame) while B will slow cycle (every 4th frame). I would appreciate any feedback on the flicker effect.

The checkerboard pattern on the left castles was done to test out the timing of the playfield updates. The kings are now drawn using the playfield (freeing up the missiles for 2 more fireballs) and are colored by switching SCORE mode on/off/on for each scanline. (it's really just OFF/ON as the ON wraps from one scanline to the next).

I've increased the playing area by putting all 4 scores on 1 scanline(and even coloring them all correctly) as well as by using a 200 scanline visible area instead of 192.

Future updates will, of course, include the shields. I also plan to have a dragon start each round.

PLEASE NOTE: These are early versions of Medieval Mayhem. The most current version will be found at the end of this message.

Initial BIN Attached File  mm.bin   16KB   508 downloads

Attached File  mm20060529NTSC.bin   32KB   544 downloads
Attached File  mm20060529PAL.bin   32KB   518 downloads

EDIT - I added the final ROMs here to make them easier to find.
Attached File  mm20071129NTSC.bin   32KB   493 downloads
Attached File  mm20071129PAL.bin   32KB   344 downloads
  • Instructions to play using Stella
  • start Stella
  • load Medieval Mayhem
  • hit TAB, a menu will pop up
  • select Game Properties
  • on the CARTRIDGE tab set SOUND to STEREO
  • select the CONTROLLER tab
  • change both controllers to PADDLES
  • hit OK
  • hit EXIT MENU
  • restart the emulator for the change to take effect. Under OS X use APPLE R, under Windows and Linux use CONTROL R. You'll get a message "New Console Created" when it restarts.
Once you've done this, Stella will remember the settings if you play the game again later.

Edited by SpiceWare, Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:55 AM.


#2 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:45 PM

Very cool, man...like i mentioned in some private email, if you pull this off you're gonna be able to be come the master of 4player Atari game goodness

#3 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:57 AM

This is really looking cool...could Warlords become unseated as the number 1 multiplayer game of all time???

#4 128bytes OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:34 AM

Looks awesome. Always great to see people taking the challenge of homebrewing paddle games -- SCSIcide and Marble Craze are 2 of my favorites, and I love 4-player paddle games even more.

#5 sku_u OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:21 PM

Wow, this one has a lot of potential. I just tried it in an emulator and will be testing it out on real hardware at some point this weekend.

#6 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:14 PM

Very nice!

This and KABOOM! are probably my favorite games of all time. Three fireballs is going to be insane!

Looking forward to owning this one.

#7 bones OFFLINE  

bones

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:02 PM

Sweet! Can't wait for it to come out on cart, will definitely take the plunge on this one.

#8 kisrael OFFLINE  

kisrael

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:20 PM

One thing this reminds me of is how the original game has an odd quirk where the lower right player seems to have a special defence to balls flung against the right wall by the upper left player (one of the most vulnerable spots)...there's something about the geometry of the game where balls tend to bounce in in in and then out of that castle without hitting the king.

#9 Godzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:43 PM

Is this a complete homebrew, or a 'hackbrew'?

#10 Nathan Strum ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:40 PM

Is this a complete homebrew, or a 'hackbrew'?


Read his blog. It's all new.

#11 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:42 PM

Thanks all for the interest!

Is this a complete homebrew, or a 'hackbrew'?


I was originally going to hack Warlords but decided to write it from scratch so we can have cartridges made. I forsee some Mayhem in my brother & sister's Xmas stockings :D

#12 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

PacManPlus

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:49 PM

... and in mine (for myself if it comes out in cart form) :-D

#13 Nathan Strum ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:46 PM

Are you planning to add the dragon that flies across the screen at the beginning of the arcade version?

#14 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:27 PM

Yep

#15 scogey OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:28 PM

Wow...looks awsome. I always thought the fire ball was too small in Warlords, and should be the size of the ball in Breakout....any thoughts as to what the final rendering of the fireballs will look like?

Anyway...looks great so far, keep it up.

#16 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:33 PM

This is awsome work your undertaking SpiceWare. I am for sure up for buying it on cart from you (or AtariAge whatever route you go). Thumbs Up dude!!

#17 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

SpiceWare

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Posted Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:45 AM

Wow...looks awsome. I always thought the fire ball was too small in Warlords, and should be the size of the ball in Breakout....any thoughts as to what the final rendering of the fireballs will look like?


Thanx!

The original fireballs were smaller, as you can see in this blog entry. To make them bigger required 3 additional bytes of RAM. If I double the size again it'll take another 6 bytes of RAM, and it's running pretty tight at the moment. I'll keep it in mind, but I suspect they'll stay like they currently are.

#18 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:46 AM

This is awsome work your undertaking SpiceWare. I am for sure up for buying it on cart from you (or AtariAge whatever route you go). Thumbs Up dude!!

Thanks!

Cartridges will be available from AtariAge. :cool:

#19 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:03 PM

Way to go! I always thought there were some "issues" with the gameplay in 2600 Warlords (even though it's one of my favorites; I'm a sucker for simultaneous multiplayer games)...can't wait to see your take!

#20 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2006 11:14 PM

Have the routines to display the shields in place. They currently move by themselves. The red/yellow block in the middle is where the dragon will be flying around.

Turning players black so dead kings don't show also means a fireball becomes invisible on 1/3 of the screen. To work around this I'm going to always fast cycle the fireballs. The left/right difficulties have been changed to simulate dead players so you can see how this will look. Worst case scenerio is 2 players dead on the same half(top/bottom) of the screen which makes all fireballs on that section of the screen visibile 33% of the time.

mm.bin_18.png

bin Attached File  mm.bin   16KB   446 downloads

Source and more info an be found in my blog

#21 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2006 12:05 PM

very nice kernal there my man, lots going on.

Getting the angles right might be tough...I notice at least right now you only use 3 image (face left or right, face up or down, and diaganol) for the players, but will the ball release have more angles than that?

#22 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2006 1:02 PM

Thanx!

I'll probably add a few more angles now that I got the hard part figured out :)

I'm also thinking that where the ball hits the shield will determine the angle it bounces off.

#23 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2006 6:52 AM

Turning players black so dead kings don't show also means a fireball becomes invisible on 1/3 of the screen. To work around this I'm going to always fast cycle the fireballs. The left/right difficulties have been changed to simulate dead players so you can see how this will look. Worst case scenerio is 2 players dead on the same half(top/bottom) of the screen which makes all fireballs on that section of the screen visibile 33% of the time.


Are you thinking about clearing the player part of the playfield in the case where both players in that row are dead? That would solve the worst-case problem, wouldn't it?

#24 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2006 8:45 AM

Are you thinking about clearing the player part of the playfield in the case where both players in that row are dead? That would solve the worst-case problem, wouldn't it?

It would, but there's not enough CPU time to do so. The king graphic is currently updated once every other scanline - to clear it on one side would require it to be updated twice on every scanline, or 4 times as often. The display kernel is really busy on the scanlines with the kings because it's drawing 3 fireballs, 2 shields, castle walls as well as changing the colors of the playfield so the kings don't look like the castle walls.

It's not a bad problem though - the worse flicker occurs when the fireball is next to 2 dead players that share the top or bottom of the screen. The flickering stops once the fireball gets to the middle third of the screen, so it's clearly visible as it flies towards the 2 remaining players.

#25 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2006 12:55 PM

It would, but there's not enough CPU time to do so. The king graphic is currently updated once every other scanline - to clear it on one side would require it to be updated twice on every scanline, or 4 times as often. The display kernel is really busy on the scanlines with the kings because it's drawing 3 fireballs, 2 shields, castle walls as well as changing the colors of the playfield so the kings don't look like the castle walls.

It's not a bad problem though - the worse flicker occurs when the fireball is next to 2 dead players that share the top or bottom of the screen. The flickering stops once the fireball gets to the middle third of the screen, so it's clearly visible as it flies towards the 2 remaining players.


I recognize a mirrored playfield when I see it. :)

What I meant was to alter it only after both kings in the same row are dead, which would eliminate the worst case problem, without requiring two updates per scanline. The lesser case problem would still be there, but the worst case would be eliminated.




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