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2600 Game Dev and whatnot.

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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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Switching Banks Made Easy?

THIS IS KINDA TECHNICAL, I suppose.While I don't expect to ever actually complete a VCS Metroid port, for various reasons, I am going forward with it right now. I've targeted it for a 32K cart, and I've been thinking a bit about the best way to switch banks.This is what I've come up with:Call a subroutine in another bank with this code:   brk   .word Subroutine Have the break vector point to this subroutine (copied in every bank):   plp   tsx   inx   dec $00,X   lda ($00, X  

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VCStroid?

SO, FOR LACK of anything better to work on, I decided to see if I could actually get a kernel working for a VCS Metroid.   The answer is yes. Right now it supports a partially asymmetric, striped playfield (PF1 & PF2), one non-flickered sprite, up to five (limited by RAM) intelliflickered sprites, M0 and M1.   I'm kind of amazed that I got it working, actually. Some of the missile writes come at non-optimal times (around repositioning scanlines) but not too bad.   Screenshot: B

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Restore my faith...

SO HOOKED UP MY 130XE a couple of weeks ago and I have been enjoying Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Defender.But the disks! The disks! So many games...And my 1050 sits next to the 130XE, so close but yet so far apart. I don't have an SIO cable! The ones we used to have are lost, somewhere.Can anybody help me out, and tell me where it is possible to pick these up*?*Besides ebay. Ebay is my last resort.

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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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GTD: Number Three

I KEEP TINKERING and tinkering with this two-sprite flicker engine.   I'm not real enamored with it, but I'm having fun playing with it. I haven't drastically changed the kernel; despite my bold words, I haven't been able to make it work.   But I was able to figure out a quick sorting method that does work with the flicker engine. It isn't perfect, but objects don't disappear and it is slightly better than a 1-sprite flicker engine. The sort returns results like this:   For 3 objects:

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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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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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Categorizing The 2600 Library

I ACTUALLY FINISHED THE first round of categorization a week or so ago but, well, I was kinda distracted by other things. :ponder:So here is an overview:Categorized 458 2600 games:341 Action games (74%)21 Adventure games (5%)13 Driving/Racing games (3%)9 Educational games (2%)1 RPG (0%)15 Simulation games (3%)35 Sports games (8%)3 Strategy games (1%)18 Tablegame games (4%)2 ?? games (0%)The ?? games are Basic Programming and Minesweeper. Actually, I'm assuming Minesweeper is a clone of the PC g

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2600 Music Helps

BASED ON SOME COMMENTS I have received, especially in response to Reindeer Rescue, I thought I'd attach some of the stuff I use to help with 2600 tunes.   First off, gotta give big props to my brother. He created these worksheets and has helped with almost all of the 2600 music I've done. Except for Reindeer Rescue, curiously.   Tommy made this worksheet for me; based on P Slocum's music guide and E Stolberg's music chart. I find this much easier to use, plus it really shows what you ha

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iVCS

SOME 2600 TUNES for your listening pleasure:   Metroid tunes: mm.bin Cycle through them with the fire button: 1. Title (64 bpm) 2. Item Discovery 3. Spawn 4. Secret Corridor 5. Brinstar 6. Mother Brain 7. Title (56 bpm) 8. Title (75 bpm)   The title is the most polished.   EDIT: Here's the latest version; took out the percussion and added a bunch more songs: 1. Title (64 bpm) 2. Item Discovery 3. Spawn 4. Secret Corridor (polished a bit) 5. Brinstar 6. Mother Brain 7. Norf

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Here we go again...

AFTER MANUEL'S AWARD-WINNING performance in 2005, I thought I'd get off to a quick start in 2006: Mercy Elizabeth Montgomery January 11, 2006;) Ain't she purty?   EDIT: Oh, and: I won't be working quite as fast as I might like on various extra-curricular activities for the next few weeks. But, David, I do hope to get the Copland done ASAP. I'm on the job!

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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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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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New things in a new year

JUST A QUICK post about my tentative programming plans for the year. Partly to document, partly just to get this down somewhere while I'm thinking about it, partly to motivate myself.   Tentative plans: 1. Write something for the SC contest. I was ambivalent about this when I first heard about it, but I'm starting to get a little more enthused. I just need to come up with an idea... 2. Write standard (i.e., cartridge) game for 2600. There are 3 ideas I'm kicking around for this right no

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Reindeer Rescue Final Recap

YOU GOTTA MOVE ON at some point; this is the final recap. And not much of a recap, truthfully, but maybe the one with the most content. Anyhoo, here's the source and the ROMs. Enjoy!ReindeerRescueSourceAndRoms.zip

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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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Reindeer Rescue recap II

MORE DEBRIEFING of Reindeer Rescue. It was such a whirlwind putting this together over the last month that I feel a bit wrung out right now. I'm hoping to write some of the development stuff down here to try to remember and try to collect my thoughts.   So anyway. Here's a description of the kernel and how it works.   First, a picture: The kernel has four main parts. The top part is the horizon, where the sky, the sun, the snowman, the snowmobile, and the hills are drawn. The sky is

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Fun for the whole family!

THANKSGIVING MEANS ATARI at our house. Well, kinda. Anyway, thought some of you, especially Chris, might appreciate this: The bearded one is me, the two small guys are Danny and Mikey (my boys), and my brother, Tommy (aka HeckYesIDid), is the scruffy looking guy sitting closest to the camera.This is at my folks' place on Thanksgiving.Good times.

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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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Song B

I'VE BEEN PLAYING with 2600 music lately - I wrote a new music driver, which I'm pretty happy with (maybe more on that later); I've been trying to write something cool with it.Here's an unfinished 2nd effort; the imaginatively titled: Song B songb.bin It just loops through the final 8 measures forever, about a minute in. Thoughts?

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ARCADE PONG

YOU WANT IT? YOU GOT IT. Several people have expressed a desire for a true arcade pong on the 2600, most recently here: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=76696   Well...I decided to code it. Sort of. The kernel, anyway.Check it out. apong.bin APONG_source.zip Use paddle 0 and paddle 1 to move the, uh, paddles. I probably won't take this project much further but maybe someone else will.   Anyway, that's why I attached the source.

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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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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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2600 Food Fight?

WHAT COULD A 2600 FOOD FIGHT LOOK LIKE?I started thinking about this after reading a little in the 7800 forum.Here's what I came up with:Player1: CharleyPlayer0: Chefs (each freely roaming but not overlapping vertically)Thrown food: MissilesFood on floor, manholes, and ice cream cone: Ball.In a 2-line kernel, I think it would be possible to:-Draw Charley and the chefs with single-line resolution, changing color every line on Charley; chefs would be single-color.-Draw the thrown food (missiles) e

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