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New things in a new year

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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. :D

 

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 now. Two of them use the paddles; a paddle game is something I'd like to write at some point.

3. Port Go Fish! to the A8. :D

4. Write something(s) for the 2006 minigame compo.

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Hi there!

 

Ah, always cool to make some new plans for the year! :D

 

Also cool to hear that most of yours are still 2600 related, as you sounded somewhat burnt out after your RR tour de Force ;)

 

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...

 

Cool, some competition never hurts. So with Chris and Erics projects that'd make already 3 official projects, plus whatever things TJ and John are brewing secretly :D

 

I still don't consider entering the arena, since neither Glenns, Johns nor Freds extra RAM cartridges are in sight yet.

 

2. Write standard (i.e., cartridge) game for 2600. There are 3 ideas I'm kicking around for this right now. Two of them use the paddles; a paddle game is something I'd like to write at some point.

 

I vote for idea #3 then :)

 

*sic* no love for driving controlers anywhere. Now those are cool devices! ... :D

 

3. Port Go Fish! to the A8.

 

:)

 

4. Write something(s) for the 2006 minigame compo.

 

Same here. At least I hope to get enough of Colony 7 going to qualify as a game until then :)

 

Well... thinking about my own plans... first finish Colony 7, then start another game... :D ...currently I'm favourising Scamble and Beach-Head. Though, as always, it'll probably be some longer process until I really *find* the next project... ;)

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Also cool to hear that most of yours are still 2600 related, as you sounded somewhat burnt out after your RR tour de Force ;)

A little, perhaps. Mostly burnt out right now on intense coding with a deadline. I had enough deadlines when I was in school, and I have enough at work right now! :D

I still don't consider entering the arena, since neither Glenns, Johns nor Freds extra RAM cartridges are in sight yet.

Also my thoughts at first. Kind of a chicken and egg problem. If no games get written, why design/build a new cart? If there are no carts, why write a game? :D

 

I was kind of going to wait for a cart to be released also, but then it occurred to me that the cart might be released before the contest ends but not soon enough to actually start and complete a game in time. Besides, this may be the only contest of its kind we'll see in a long while, if ever again - don't want to miss it!

I vote for idea #3 then :)

It isn't either/or, it's all of the above. :D

*sic* no love for driving controlers anywhere. Now those are cool devices! ... :D

Baby steps! Besides, I own paddles.

3. Port Go Fish! to the A8.

 

:)

:D

Well... thinking about my own plans... first finish Colony 7, then start another game... :) ...currently I'm favourising Scamble and Beach-Head. Though, as always, it'll probably be some longer process until I really *find* the next project... ;)

Good to hear your plans, too. No GnG? :D

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Hi there!

 

I was kind of going to wait for a cart to be released also, but then it occurred to me that the cart might be released before the contest ends but not soon enough to actually start and complete a game in time.

 

I don't think Glenns cartridge will see the light of day. Way too quiet around that. What's also very suspicious is that John is trying so hard to force his Wormy and Lunar Lander projects into 128 Bytes :D

 

So the only solution left IMO is writing a Sara game: The specs are known, the emulators are ready and once a game is done, the boards will come... (worst case we'll re-cannibalize crappy Elevator Action protos back into good games :D)

 

Besides, this may be the only contest of its kind we'll see in a long while, if ever again - don't want to miss it!

 

Dunno. If none would participate, Glenn might reconsider and do a plain 2600 game contest instead... :) ;)

 

It isn't either/or, it's all of the above. :D

 

... hm? You mean a game with three screens or so? Something like the Tron Arcade?

 

*sic* no love for driving controlers anywhere. Now those are cool devices! ... :D

Baby steps! Besides, I own paddles.

 

Trust me on that, you'll love driving controlers! No screen time required and a blast to play! Try some Indy 500 with your brother! :D

 

Good to hear your plans, too.  No GnG?  :D

 

Uhm... no, you're right... how could I forget about that :) ...dunno what's on my mind sometimes :)

Yup, I'll really try some things there ;)

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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I don't think Glenns cartridge will see the light of day. Way too quiet around that. What's also very suspicious is that John is trying so hard to force his Wormy and Lunar Lander projects into 128 Bytes :D

 

So the only solution left IMO is writing a Sara game: The specs are known, the emulators are ready and once a game is done, the boards will come... (worst case we'll re-cannibalize crappy Elevator Action protos back into good games :D)

Sara is superchip, right? I.e., Dig-Dug?

 

And besides, you can always release SC games on CD! :)

... hm? You mean a game with three screens or so? Something like the Tron Arcade?

I think I misunderstood. What did you mean by "#3"?

 

And, by the way, the three "straight" 2600 projects I have kicking around right now are:

1. Arkanoid

2. The 4-player simultaneous shooter (uses paddles)

3. Metroid.

 

;)

 

I was thinking about making Metroid - well, a Metroid-type game, anyway - my supercharger project, then I realized that the two other known SC projects are both platformers! That cooled my jets a bit.

 

Actually, maybe I'll just throw this out there:

 

Anybody have any great ideas for a SC game?

My problem is that some of my ideas are too big for the SC; i.e., they really need immediate access to 8+K, not 6K. I also don't want to do something on the SC that could be done on regular hardware.

 

So, any ideas?

Trust me on that, you'll love driving controlers! No screen time required and a blast to play! Try some Indy 500 with your brother! :)

Yeah, but I gotta get them somewhere. And he leaves for school in a week anyway; maybe when summer nears I'll get a pair of DCs and Indy500 and we can spend the summer having death matches. :)

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So the only solution left IMO is writing a Sara game: The specs are known, the emulators are ready and once a game is done, the boards will come... (worst case we'll re-cannibalize crappy Elevator Action protos back into good games :))

My hardware project hasn't been abandoned... I am waiting until I build a working prototype before I make another announcement. The first prototype didn't work, and I found a timing problem that I think has been fixed, but I won't know for sure until I assemble the next prototype.

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Hi there!

 

Sara is superchip, right?  I.e., Dig-Dug?

 

Yup. :D

 

I think I misunderstood.  What did you mean by "#3"?

 

Reading onwards, I meant Metroid then :)

 

1. Arkanoid

 

Of course, if that supported Joysticks as well, I'd prefer that. I love Taito games! :)

 

I was thinking about making Metroid - well, a Metroid-type game, anyway - my supercharger project, then I realized that the two other known SC projects are both platformers!  That cooled my jets a bit.

 

I see...

 

Actually, maybe I'll just throw this out there:

 

Anybody have any great ideas for a SC game?

 

Hm... all I'm ever thinking about are ports. Straight away I'd say Qix, though I'm not sure if I really like those flickery pseudo Hires modes. They take away much from the 2600 feel, if you understand what I mean :)

 

What's your preferred genre?

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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I see...

I still plan to do some Metroid stuff for regular hardware, though probably not for the SC.

Anybody have any great ideas for a SC game?

Hm... all I'm ever thinking about are ports. Straight away I'd say Qix, though I'm not sure if I really like those flickery pseudo Hires modes. They take away much from the 2600 feel, if you understand what I mean :)

Ports are fine. :D Though, yeah, I'm not too into those pseudo Hires modes either. Um, if that means Stellasketch-like.

What's your preferred genre?

I dunno. I don't know that, for coding, I have a preferred genre; I would like to do something that is at least somewhat underrepresented on the 2600.

 

What is my preferred genre? Have to think about that one. :)

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Hi there!

 

Ports are fine. :)  Though, yeah, I'm not too into those pseudo Hires modes either.  Um, if that means Stellasketch-like.

 

Yup, that's what I meant.

 

Well, then there's still multiload games or games using extra RAM. If you'd get a game done requiring just 128 Bytes more, you probably have the best chances to get it hacked to a cartridge version later, so that's probably something I'd try. Wouldn't 128 extra bytes come in handy for a port of say, "Wild Western"? :D

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Wouldn't 128 extra bytes come in handy for a port of say, "Wild Western"? :)

I don't know that Wild Western really needs extra hardware; it's pretty simple already. But it just occurred to me that using the driving controller might be cool with that one. :D Maybe...

 

The obvious thing to use the SC for is to dedicate strips of RAM for the players, like the A8s. You could do a lot of stuff in the kernel when you only need to do:

   lda SCRAM0,Y
  sta GRP0
  lda SCRAM1,Y
  sta GRP1

That's just 14 cycles to get both sprites on screen. Let's see...

add one strip for M0, M1, and BL:

   lda SCRAM2,Y
  sta ENAM0
  lsr
  sta ENAM1
  lsr
  sta ENABL

17 cycles. Or similar. Then add in two more strips for player color. Another 14 cycles. Assume Y ranges from 0 to 160. 800 bytes of RAM for sprites/particles (spread over 5 pages); leaves 5K for code and other data.

And 45 cycles leaves about 30 cycles for other stuff.

 

Seems cool.

 

 

What other cool, non-obvious things can you do with an SC?

 

EDIT: On further consideration, Wild Western might be a good candidate. Use method above; 76 cycles - 5 for loop - 45 for sprites = 26 cycles left.

Just enough time to draw the train and tracks with PF2, if it is possible to draw the train with the playfield. Maybe I should go do some more Wild Western "research." :)

 

EDIT EDIT: More research results: -I think I'll put this in a new thread.

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