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Leprechaun movement musings, part 2

Ah-ha! I've got it!Currently, the code is set up for six sprites - the player and five enemies. Each frame one sprite moves one pixel. So it takes 24 frames for a sprite to move horizontally from one PF block to the next.Now, what if I change this to fractional positioning for the enemies. The player I'll leave be because he can change direction in mid-move. What if I want to still limit myself to one full sprite movement update per frame. Okay, so let's make it take 30 frames for the enem

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Hunter Drones v1.0

Alright, I have a primitive implementation of the hunter drones for the game. Please see the attached binary. I need to modify the system so that they don't keep firing back and forth on the same line. Also I am wondering if they should be bigger.Cheers!

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Multi-tasking

I am not very good at multitasking. I find it difficult to switch from one project to another, and so I tend to give a single project my full attention for some time while ignoring the rest. My problem is that I have a lot of projects, including redecorating my house, writing a book, developing several websites, and learning to drive. I guess that my girlfriend should also be included in that list! As a result, my Atari projects tend to move along at a relatively slow pace, with occasiona

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So, you think you have a good idea?

SO YOU WANNA DESIGN VIDEO GAMES, HUH?There is lots of programmer-oriented documentation for the budding 2600-coder, but not a lot for someone who doesn't want to code for the beast but still wants to know, in a somewhat non-technical way, how it works. Plus, lots of people think they have the bomb idea for an Atari game but they have no clue what will and won't work with the 2600 hardware.So, for them, I presentSo you want to be a game designer? How to design an Atari 2600 game.Updated!Note th

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the walls are closing in . . .

Surround (a.k.a. Chase)   After Combat, Surround was one of the original nine carts that I remember playing most fondly as a 12-13 year old. I remember getting the game cheaply (about $10) at JC Penny's on 69th street in Upper Darby, PA. (Most likely, just before, or maybe even during, the "crash", but here in 1977 we don't know anything about that, do we?)   The game variant that my friends and I seemed to laugh the most during was the one where you can turn off your "trail" and go faster a

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The Unfamiliar

I've decided to post some writings I've done for a class of mine for extra credit. However, I feel that others can learn from my experiences. I can't think of a more appropriate medium for these kinds of writings. Here is one example for folks to read:------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ There have been several episodes of my life in which I have faced the unfamiliar. I will describe one particular episode and how I learned to cop

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Leprechaun movement musings

In Leprechaun my plans are to only go through the full movement routine for one sprite each frame. Although I haven't cycle counted the routine, I have a sneaking suspicion it will take too long to do more than one sprite per frame. (As it is, I think I'll end up having to shove it in before VSYNC so I can leave after VSYNC for setting up the sprite bitmaps.Anyway, I have two alternatives for sprite movement. I can either move only one sprite one pixel per frame (with a hack for making fallin

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Scanline timing diagram

I don't know if this has been done before, but this diagram is the secret to my time-sensitive kernels. It shows every clock and every cycle of the scanline. No more adding up cycles. If you know what your kernel needs to do at a particular point, the code almost writes itself!I've attached a blank diagram, and an example filled out for the main part of Marble Jumper. I'll take suggestions for improvement, and if it seems useful to enough people, it could go in the MiniDig.stak.zip stak.zip

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A few thoughts

Well after an interesting weekend spent with family and friends, I've done nothing but work my ass off all day to catch up. I felt good after all my work was done. It should be getting busier soon. I'm looking forward to it.I just had to say SOMETHING. I don't always have much to talk about sometimes.

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One Step forward - Two steps back

Hi there!   Phew... so I hit yet another brickwall.   Yesterday I discovered that a single scanline resolution object also requires a single scanline precission for its vertical motion.   The problem is with slow moving objects. When an object is moving two scanlines at once every other frame, it's visible on the same position for 2 frames and then makes a 2 scanline jump. The human eye expects this object to move one scanline every frame tough. And so it interpolates an extra *merger* st

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Pong-a-rama-ding-dong

Video Olympics   EDIT: I wanted to mention that I'm actually PLAYING these games, as I go, now. I play most of a week's worth of blogging in one weekend. Yesterday, my son and I actually sat down and went through this cartridge. (We liked Volleyball and Basketball the best, by the way.) This is in contrast to before, where I had played most of the games back in June and writing about them based on notes I had taken back then. END EDIT   Okay, this is PONG to the nth degree. This Atari VCS ca

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chewing through codespace

Ugh. Leprechaun's movement routine chews up 637 bytes; over half the free space (1133 bytes) I have in BANK 3. Sigh, I'm sure I can juggle some stuff around, but fewer free bytes means fewer features.

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Indy 500

First, last entry's business.   According to an extremely scientific poll conducted in DP's forums, aprroximately 2 out of 7 people have not played Combat. (20 havn't, 49 have) There are significantly more people who haven't played Combat than I suspected. As such, they shall all be punished. Horribly. Since reaching them individually will be difficult to me, I shall punish them by continuing to send Hurricanes to Florida over the next five years. (Hmm, a game for the Atari 2600 called Hurrica

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Collision Detection

In my opinion, one of the hallmarks of a successful game design is that the player should feel fully immersed in the experience. That is, rather than the player simply feeling that they are controlling the game character remotely, they should feel as if they ARE the character itself. All of the great games that I have played have given me this feeling. For example, when playing Super Mario Bros, I soon start to feel the out-of-body effect and I become Mario himself. I stop noticing the c

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Family cat is gone....

Well, my mom gave me some sad news.Our family cat disappeared 2 weeks ago. Not a trace of her. My mom said she appeared healthy before she disappeared. It's pretty weird. I really miss this cat. Really wish I had seen more of her before this happened. :(I hated to tell my mom, but I don't think "Calico" is coming back. She might have gone off somewhere to die. Pretty old cat though. She's 15 years old. Oh well. If she doesn't come back, I'll make a shrine of sorts for her. I loved that cat. Stil

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Atari Video Computer System

October, 1977   The Atari VCS is born!   The system that started a lifelong habit for most (edit: many) of us.   I can't say anything about this system that hasn't already been said. Seriously, I'm at a loss. My idea for playing every game in chronological order can happen whether I write about it or not, however, it's much more fun for me if I keep a running blog of it. For some games I can feel like I'm contributing something to the community at large when I write about games that hardly

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status updates

Made some minor revisions to my tracker code and posted it to [stella]; no feedback yet (whine). One thing I'm not happy with is the byte to note ratio being 2+. This chews up ROM space much faster than I imagined. Certainly with a lot of repeated sequences, the total bytes per song will come down, but even my demo takes 168 bytes. Which kinda puts my idea of dedicating a page of ROM in Leprechaun for music to be woefully inadequate. I could probably come up with a data format which would lo

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Lunchtime

Hmm. So far, it's been a boring day. Not much going on. Typical work day. Looking forward to the weekend though. After class tomorrow, I'll head up to visit the 'rents for my birthday. Should be interesting.Got another letter from my brother. He seems to be doing good in the can. He's gained 20lbs but most of it is muscle as he claims. That can't be a bad thing as he's always been scrawny. He'll need it for when he writes a check with his mouth that his ass can't cash. Just sharing some random t

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Step Two! There's so much we can do...

ARKANOID 2600? Next up, my flier for an Arkanoid port to the 2600.Let's see...July 18 2005 looks like the latest source I have.Here's the latest, buggy, binary: It also has a thread in the homebrew forum.Here's a screenshot:Judging from the date on the latest source I have, I last worked on it January 21st of this year.Here's a screenshot:Status of this project:Preliminary, working kernel written, with 15x16 brick playfield, two larger balls, two (flickering) enemies, and a paddle-controlled, u

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Another birthday?

Man, almost done with the month! My birthday is coming up on Sunday and I can't quite tell if I'm looking forward to it or not. I'm going to be 24. 24? Damn. Get me a walker already! I would rather be 17 again! Actually, I feel like a 17 year old physically but mentally, I'm an old man. I asked my mom for a cake as usual because in my opinion, you might as well take a free cake anyway. I don't eat cake often. The last time I had cake was 3-4 weeks ago. I don't fully remember. I also asked for

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Death Race auction

There were actually TWO Death Race machines on Ebay at the same time! I couldn't believe it! I never see these for sale.One restoredThe other, looks mostly intact but not working. This is what I won for a reasonable price:I hope to be able to get this working so I can study the game. I will also post more info about the game because there isn't enough online about it.

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#14 Sonar Search, Fairchild '77 recap.

Videocart #14: Sonar Search   This is a "port" of the real world game "Battleship". You have a blank blue playing field. You move a targeting reticle over the deep blue sea and sound a "ping" at a strategically chosen location. The length of the ensuing sound gives you a clue to how close an enemy ship is. Your opponent does the same on the same blue field, but he only detects your ships. There's no "cheating" by listening to what your opponent hears because their pings are bouncing off of a d

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Frustration vs. Motivation

Hi there!   Phew... so I'm on one of those "turning" points   When I discovered the Colony 7 Arcade, I thought I had found one of those lost gems, that'd deserve more attention and that'd be worth considering for a 2600 port. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and finally after a bunch of several mockups I think I found a pretty good strategy for a real good conversion, very faithful to the Arcade. I spend a lot more work on it, mainly fleshing out all required display kernels. When I

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