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2600 Game Dev and whatnot.

Entries in this blog

 

Reindeer Rescue Bug

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS DONE it turns out I'm not.   Anyway, I'll just reproduce what Al wrote to me and ask: anybody have any explanations or a fix? Message Two: If anybody has a Kroc cart or a CC and want to test Reindeer Runner for me? Manuel, I'm assuming that you have already, since you ran this on a real TV to test the PAL colors.This has me baffled; it is beyond my "expertise."The only weird thing that the game does is hit HMOVE at an odd time and, as mentioned in Eric B's weblo

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Got it maid?

ELEVATOR REPAIRMAN, now kinda playable. Also rethemed a bit: ElevRep20061011.bin   Changes: I stopped trying to develop the 1K and 4K versions simultaneously and am now using a table to change the background color, rather than manipulating the line counter and plugging that into COLUBK. Also created a sprite. Also cleaned up the display a bit, tweaked the left/right boundaries. The main changes, though: a) the score, b) the timer, and c) collisions. It's all very rough, but now all of

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Opaque Elevators

LATEST 'N' NOT-SO-GREATEST version of the Elevator Repairman knockoff:   ElevRep20061025.bin   The sprites is all screwed up because I rewrote part of the kernel and didn't have time to fix the variable setup routines. The kernel works fine; the variables just aren't being setup properly. But that's no big deal.   Oh yeah, I also took out a bunch of stuff (score, 48-char display, etc.) that was using RAM - I needed the RAM and I didn't want to waste time optimizing when the kernel is s

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vdub_bobby

 

Genres

I'M TRYING TO ROUGHLY sort the 2600 library into genres; for the purposes of seeing which genres really are underrepresented.It's a balancing act between defining the genres too narrowly and too broadly. Here's what I've got so far, with a few example games for each:1. Scrolling Platformers (Road Runner, Pitfall II)2. Non-Scrolling Platformers (Pitfall!, Xenophobe)3. 2D Non-Scrolling Shooters (Space Invaders, Galaxian)4. 2D Scrolling Shooters (Defender, River Raid, Thrust+)5. 3D (or first perso

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2008 Plans

THOUGHT I'D REVISIT this topic again this year.   -I have two big 2600 projects that have been kicking around in my head for a while; I'd like to make some significant headway on one or the other this year. One is an RPG for the supercharger, the other is a 32K+ Street Fighter II-ish fighting game.   -I'd like to possibly do something for the A800. Though I might be satisfied just porting Squish 'Em to the 5200; I'm about halfway there already.   -Create a PAL60 version of Elevators Ami

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Goofy Tech Demo...Applied!

INITIALLY I WAS PRETTY disappointed with the goofy tech demo I wrote (see previous post). It was pretty tricky, and a fair amount of work, to get the kernel working. And in the end, it didn't look much better than if I had just multiplexed a single sprite!   But I kept playing around with it and I think it might be useful afterall. Maybe.   Here's a possible way...look at this demo. At first, a mild-mannered, kinda-weak-looking Demon Attack clone: But you hit the fire button and then!

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Swag

WANT TO GET 'em all!   I am trying to pick which homebrews to pick up from the AA store...   Here's my long list: A8 Beef Drop   2600 Venture Thrust+ Synthcart Fall Down Oystron FlapPing Jammed Marble Craze Power Off! Hunchy II Crazy Balloon Star Fire Strat-O-Gems Dark Mage   Dreamcast: Feet of Fury   Tunes: Cabana EP+   Unfortunately, funds aren't unlimited. So I've got to narrow it down.   So, shorter list: Beef Drop Venture Thrust+ Cabana EP+ Power Off!

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Genesis Game Rankings

AS I'VE MENTIONED a few times before, I am mainly interested in video games as far as I can play them. By this, I mean I am not especially interested in acquiring rare games unless they are fun to play. So, as I apply my limited funds towards classic video games I have been faced with a dilemma: which games are any good? You can read reviews, of course, and I do, but that has limitations. A good review should give you some objective information about the game, but all reviews are subjective

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vdub_bobby

 

Bestseller!

JUST NOTICED THAT the 2005 Minigame Multicart is #10 on the bestsellers list. :)Kinda cool.

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Possible Wild Western Port using SC

MANUEL got me thinking about a Wild Western port.   At first I thought it was too simple of a game to need the Supercharger, but I'm reconsidering.   Using strips of RAM to display sprites/particles would allow this kind of kernel:   lda RAM,Y   sta GRP0   lda RAM,Y   sta GRP1   lda RAM,Y   sta COLUP0   asl   sta ENAM0   lda RAM,Y   sta COLUP1   asl   sta ENAM1   lda RAM,Y   sta ENABL   ;+45 Assuming that Y ranges from 0 to 160, that would require about 800 bytes

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NWCGE Recap

HAD A LOT OF FUN at the show this past weekend. Well, this past Saturday, anyway; I wasn't able to make it on Sunday.David Galloway (djmips) and I had a table (graciously donated by NWCGE) and, between the two of us, we had two 2600s, a Vectrex (first time I'd ever seen one; that thing is really cool!), my AtariVox, my MemCard, a bunch of homebrews (all of ours plus Hunchy II, Thrust+, Jammed, and...that might be it), and a Cuttle Cart that we used to load up a bunch of my demos and David's Foo

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GTD: IV

GTD STANDS FOR Goofy Tech Demo, by the way.   So I wasn't real satisfied with the way things looked yesterday; so I decided to give up using the sprites for the player's bullets, and use the missiles instead. This means no crazy weird shapes/colors for bullets, plus it also means no background starfield.   But, you can actually see your bullets, which I think is a little bit more important. Plus I figure I can use sprites for special weapons that move slower and might be easier to see.

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Final Defense

I DON'T THINK I've ever shared this unfinished project. FD20061003.bin   The concept: You man an anti-aircraft turret located in the center of a besieged city. It is up to you to defend your city from enemy aircraft.   Very loosely inspired by Fighter Pilot.   Details/dreams: -would use a crosshair to aim. The crosshair would be free-moving, the screen would scroll when the crosshair reached the edge of the screen -use 24+ pixel width sprites for enemy aircraft -changing weather/v

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vdub_bobby

 

R.I.P. Kotaku

NOW THAT KOTAKU.COM has ruined redesigned their website, I'm looking for a different video game news/reviews/opinion site. Something reasonably intelligent, platform agnostic, and comprehensive. Where do you all go for video game news?

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vdub_bobby

 

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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Minigame Compo 2006 Possible Entry

THOUGHT I'D WRITE A BIT about what I'm planning to do for the 2006 Minigame Compo.   A 4K port of Squish 'Em, an early 8bit game. (Yes, I was planning this before I read this. )   Screenshots: Typical screenshot: Bigger enemies! Plus falling brick! Your goal: the suitcase full of cash. About to Squish 'Em! Squished! Ooh, now he pops back up and is angry! (White and unSquishable.)   It's a pretty fun game; I enjoyed it a bunch 20+ years ago (and last night, for that ma

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vdub_bobby

 

Goofy Tech Demo

HERE'S SOMETHING I've been working on...can't decide if I like it or not. r1k.bin Screenshot. Background color is different in screenshot.   EDIT: New version attached. Has 24 sprites instead of the 16 previously. Also added more boundary checking and changed the movement routine. r1k.bin New screenshot. For some reason Stella hates this binary...??? Runs fine in z26 at a (95%) constant 262 scanlines, so I don't know what's up. I think it has something to do with the RIOT timer.E

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Now! With Scrolling! (Also, NWCGE)

SO, VCSTROID development continues, somewhat slowly.Now the 1K master map is implemented, and you can scroll (to the right, only).Since I will be at NWCGE and plan on demoing this, er, demo (along with some other stuff), I thought I'd polish it up a bit, so I also added the Metroid tunes I was working on a month ago. Now a 32K binary, using the bankswitching scheme I outlined a post ago. Metroid20060224.bin   Change tunes with SELECT.I've been thinking a bit more about this Metroid port and

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Squish 'Em Update

RETURN OF SQUISH 'EM! I haven't forgotten or dropped this project! Here's the latest code and binary. Where I'm at: -Kernel is mostly there, just needs a few things here and there and some tightening up. I think I introduced a page-crossing error last night which is why the "enemy" graphics are messed up a little. -Converted all graphics to data. Discovered something interesting in the process: all enemy/item animation is done by flipping the reflection register. Very nice! It's also

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vdub_bobby

 

Squupdate 2

YET ANOTHER update. Changes: Biggest changes are -adding the climbing animation. The animations are mostly done now, though I need to tweak things a little - the climbing animation is a little goofy when you start with your left hand up. -major cleanup on the kernel. This is very close to being complete. Enemies no longer jump around when the screen is scrolling and there are many fewer graphic glitches at the top and bottom of the scroll area.   EDIT: Just glanced at the screensho

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vdub_bobby

 

Tanks!

SO IT'S BEEN A WHILE since I've been very active on AA; but in the last few weeks I have again started some fairly intensive 2600 development. I'm sorry to say, Nathan, that it isn't RPS - which is still on my slow-moving to-do list - but rather a project that I toyed with years ago: a semi-faithful port of Tank Battalion.   I'll try to find time to put up the in-progress ROM of what I've got so far along with some screenshots, plus other details. And I am having some difficulty with the gra

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vdub_bobby

 

Here comes Santa Claus...

AS MANY OF YOU are probably aware, I have been working on the AA Holiday Cart for the past month or so. I was keeping this a secret up until I was positive that I was going to get it done; but here's a condensed history of its development.   The new game is titled Reindeer Rescue, and it is based on the demo I wrote about a year ago called Running Man.   As I mentioned to Manuel a couple of days ago, it has been interesting going back to the very first thing I ever wrote for the 2600 - I th

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Combat Redone

FOLLOWING ON THE DISCUSSION in Manuel's blog, I thought I'd try to present and, possibly, collect some ideas for a possible re-written Combat game. Like Zach said, doing for Combat what Gunfight did for Outlaw.So, my initial list of desireable/possible features for a rewritten tank game:1- or 2-playersAsymmetrical terrain/mazeScrolling terrainMultiple projectilesMultiple vehicle types (beyond tanks & airplanes)PowerupsMultiple terrain types (walls, water, etc.)Any other thoughts or comments

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Whole Lotta Nothin'

AFTER MAKING BIG plans earlier this year I've done a whole lot of nothing so far.   Hmmm...strike that. Looking back through my blog, I've done more than I thought. Mostly I just haven't managed to produce a game.   I was going to use this blog entry as a data dump for everything I've half-assed over the last couple of months - and don't worry, I still will use it for that purpose! - but I think I will change gears and use it as a sort of retrospective of the year so far. Maybe help me

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