Thanks Omegamatrix. You helped me understand the early hmove so you contributed to the program too!
On the title screen, it's funny how things work out. The ring was just something random I tried and it worked almost immediately and much better than I expected. The stars on the other hand (which should have been easy) were a source of constant grief for weeks.
Sorry for the long delay between updates. This version adds music during gameplay. According to Wikipedia "The first video game to feature continuous, melodic background music was Rally-X". So I figured I had to add it. This is the version Al showed a few weeks ago at the Classic Gaming Fest in Austin. As always your feedback is appreciated.
I finally got a chance to try this game and I'm extremely impressed. Would you consider your latest version to be a final release candidate?
Thanks Mike. This is not the final version. I've just been distracted by some other projects and haven't had a chance to put a new version out. A few weeks ago I rewrote a core routine and managed to save almost 100 bytes. I've been trying to decide what to spend them on. I started to implement intermediate rotations of the cars but It was looking like it was going to go over budget and it didn't really add much to the experience. Now I'm thinking of spending them on music while you play and perhaps a few smaller features.
Here is what I have so far. The copy on the back is probably not the best but I have a photoshop template to modify the box whichever way people want.
I like it! For the text on the back, I think you want boulder not bolder, but maybe it would be better to just stick to the text from the original arcade game. In that case it would simply say "Instructions:By dodging red cars and rocks. Clear 8 flags before fuel runs out." They were really good at being concise back then!
Here's the latest version with a new name (!), the third map, and several bug fixes. It should work on a 7800. The screen shouldn't roll or jump (but it might... if it does, please let me know). I'm still hoping to squeeze in a few more flag patterns if I can somehow find the bytes.
As for PAL,When I'm done I'm hoping that someone will offer to do the port. I haven't done one before.
As usual, if you see any problems with this build, please let me know. I've been squeezing bytes out of the code and it's pretty easy to accidentally introduce bugs when doing that.
I just tried this on real hardware via Harmony. Works great and is just a fantastic work, though a few things were noticed.
The enemy cars become very difficult to see when two or more (or so, just going off what I believe the numbers were) are on screen or with a rock due to the flicker. Perhaps make the enemies a darker color or background lighter to be seen better?
After death from anything, the screen rolls once while drawing the screen. It's a bit bothersome could be gotten used to after a while.
The second track is a little hard to see with the red and orange, along with the flickering enemies. Again, perhaps lighter background or darker walls?
Just what I found, note that I am no programmer. WIll be checking back for updates!
Thanks for the feedback, this is really helpful. I'm running on a heavy sixer hooked up to a CRT and the colors seem okay but I need to try some other setups. What type of TV and Atari are you using? Colors are easy to change. I just need to find the right combination that works best for people.
As long as I'm posting, I'll give a quick status update on the project. I found the 100 bytes I need to add map #3 and have a few left over to fix some bugs. I have a request into Namco through a friend to get their official blessing for this project. It's always risky to ask a question like this but it will be good if they say yes. I hope to have a new version out later this week.