As many of you will now know, I have been working on a new Atari 2600 homebrew title called Chetiry. This blog entry should hopefully clear us some of the confusion surrounding the project!
Chetiry is a tetromino matching game that should be familiar to most gamers. The original Chetiry project (Chetiry means 4 in Russian) was started by Zach way back in 2006. However, Zach retired from Atari 2600 homebrewing in 2009 with the Chetiry project still unfinished. I had been hoping to see Chetiry completed, and so I contacted Zach to ask if he would allow me to continue his work. Fortunately he agreed, and so I have been working on the project in my spare time over the last year, mostly on airplanes while travelling for my work!
There have been several other tetromino matching games for the Atari 2600. However, I wanted Chetiry to be as close to the original Gameboy version as possible, as this is my favourite version. The new Melody hardware also inspired me to include digitized music throughout the game, based on the Pitfall-2 technique.
I originally thought the project could be quickly completed, as Zach had already done a lot of the coding. However, I ended up rewriting the game code several times over to support the digitized music! The only original code remaining now is the neat 10 color kernel that Zach designed. The core game code is a little under 8KB, but with all of the music and artwork, the game now occupies around 48KB of cartridge space!
The awesome artwork for Chetiry was designed by the prolific Nathan Strum. At one point in the project, he suggested doing a Gameboy-themed version of the game! This seemed like a good idea for a demo version, as the full game cannot be played in Stella. The Gameboy-style artwork was completed shortly before the beginning of April, and so one thing lead to another
The Gameboy-themed version of Chetiry will not be developed further, and so I have attached the source code and binaries to the end of this entry. The full version of Chetiry will have (at least) the following enhancements:
- Full color game grid
- Hiscore tables saved directly on the cart
- 4 game modes (Marathon, Sprint25, Sprint40 and Ultra)
- 6 digitized tunes
- Easter eggs!
Nathan has kindly produced a video of the current (full) version of Chetiry:
Chetiry should be released on a cart sometime later this year. There is still a bit of programming required, and the cart label and manual have yet to be designed. As always, it will be released when it is ready