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About kiwilove

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  • Location
    Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Interests
    Playing Volleyball and Table Tennis, interest in ancient ancient civilisations, UFOs, truth/reality, ancient technologies, future technologies, morals and ethics, anti-violence, anti-religions, etc etc
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    Not a gamer anymore... retired in that area.
  • Playing Next
    Testing as in current project AtariBLAST!/GTIABlast!

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  1. I'm always appreciative of anyone showing comparison differences between consoles/hardware etc. While it is a direct comparison of between 5200 and 7800 - I have to point out another Frogger conversion - that was done on the 8-bit Atari computers by John Harris. I'll guess this was never officially available on the 5200 or else it would have been in the official conversions as such. This was done better than the arcade version - and probably beats the 7800 conversion by a nose? I'll guess that homebrew development started late for the 7800 or else there'll be a lot more variety of homebrews present there? That there was a lack of knowledge about the 7800 hardware and how to develop for it. I always like to see demos or games pushed beyond what you think that the hardware can handle. I can't say that I am knowledgeable about what has appeared for the 7800 and wonder if there are that many demos/games that really push it's limits? I am not into the technical side - but I wonder if there are any hardware add-ons which can remove previous restrictions of the 7800? The 5200 can take advantage of bank select memory - which means I presume that more levels/graphics data can be made use of. Is there any kind of flashcart system for the 7800 which not only allows to run games, but allows access to more memory and a pokey chip? Harvey
  2. I never thought the 7800 hardware delivered anything significantly better over the 5200 - that said - Wow I want to upgrade to the 7800. As much as the difference there was between the 2600 and the 5200. Cost cutting on the 7800 did not help - like with not including a decent quality sound chip on board. And not putting enough money aside to build an awesome 7800 library showed how little commitment Atari had to it's own hardware. If you're not going to actively support your own library - why bring it (the hardware) onto the market in the first place? A games console - needs new games all the time - if it's to have any chance in the marketplace. That it was never going to achieve significant sales because of this. And it usually takes a couple of years for developers to understand the hardware enough to push it - to show off what it can really do? Or did the 7800 lack the potential because it was severely crippled in the first place? That there weren't any allowances for hidden potential to be present? A measure of this - may be in what new homebrews showed the potential of the hardware? What example titles show this? Harvey
  3. I would guess that whoever will end up working on the conversion of Galaga - would make use of these sound fx because it's so important to get them as close to the coin-op as possible. Just as a side comment - I'll be interested in your take on the Defender sfx. Was the home conversion missing much of the quality aspect of the coin-op? I seem to remember that the arcade sound was so distinctive - you could always tell if someone was playing this game because of it's awesome sound effects, etc. Someone did comment on the game sfx back in the day of how brilliant the sound was done for this game. A copycat game - Mayday - also had that defender like sound to it? Harvey
  4. Nice work! Seems to look better than what I remembered, though haven't played it for that many years. It could do with using a 2nd fire button, instead of the space bar. Unlike most games the explosion(s) seems to be in slow motion - whereas most games have it running too fast. These explosions could be better drawn so as to animate nicely. Harvey
  5. It's always great to see a programmer starting out on their journey - wanting to work on arcade game projects. It is too late to make any significant change in the graphics department. But when you start your next project - you could think about how might the graphics be effectively done? What possible enhancement can you add - instead of it - just being 'standard'. Like - extra frames of animation? extra animation being present. Doing a nice explosion - that is used a lot in the game. Doing a nice - player dies animation. Adding any extra animation? Like for when you advance a level. For when you complete a level? If you're not up to designing the graphics yourself - I'm sure there'll be some keen graphics guys (or gals) wanting to volunteer their time on it. 4 frames minimum is nice. 8 frames for smoother. Like explosions/player dies can have more than 8 frames maybe. And if you have a game that you can cycle through many times - it's possible to have a varying animation for each time you make it through the whole game. Or add in some changes for later on. Anyway - good luck with your project - and looking forward to it's completion. Harvey (worked on graphics for - Laser Hawk, HawkQuest, Blowsub, Strictly Gone Bananas, AtariBlast! Scramble)
  6. Nope - not me. I had very little involvement with Runner Bear. Even I have very little idea of the technical stats for it. I only design graphics - for the ones I become involved with. Harvey
  7. This has been tested on a 16K Atari 400 with 8mbit Atarimax flashcart. It will work off other flashcarts that support Atarimax bankswitching. If unsure just try running it. If you have downloaded the wrong version (the 1088K one for those with the extra RAM upgrade) - you'd notice that this version loads the whole game before starting - therefore you have a long wait. The normal version runs straight away. Harvey
  8. Well, Scramble is out, so maybe you should scramble out and get it? But there are other homebrews out there that may suit you better? Time to get something that allows you to play any and every game released so far... Harvey
  9. Not in any special order: I liked Speedscript from Compute, when they published it. Found Antic Character Editor (Atari BASIC program)from Byte magazine very useful. Fontbyter (Atari BASIC program) from Compute was invaluable for level design, map layouts. Liked using AtariArtist when using the Atari Touch Tablet. SpartaDOS was easily my favourite DOS to use with DD 1050. and Fun With Art would be the art program I used the most. Harvey
  10. I think the developers are doing great work on this conversion - and I think that people's suggestions are just that - and it's always up to the devs, whether to take that on board or not? As long as the core game is working and looking great - all the rest is just not as important. To expect perfection everywhere else is simply nitpicking. I'd rather see the devs finish up here - and start thinking about - what's the next project to be? I don't expect a revisit to Karateka to make it what it should have been like - with it being more responsive and faster in gameplay - more interesting combat, etc. What's on the horizon from others - Wonderboy, Galaga... Maybe a non-VBXE Moon Cresta? would be nice. Harvey
  11. Hawkquest is another title moved onto Atarimax 8mbit cart. It was originally on 4 disk sides = 360k. Saves all the constant disk swapping that was required for it. Game saves are suppose to be working. Been a while since I checked that out. It's somewhere in the Atarimax forum. Harvey
  12. This does remind of me having to attend Andrew Bradfield's funeral some 19 years ago. In his case he was only 35? Life can be so short for some. Sadly we all have to be prepared to attend more funerals in future because this is what life entails. It is good to mention his passions - or passion. Because this is what connects us. Harvey
  13. A genesis controller (gamepad) will work fine. There's more and more games modified so that two buttons can work with it. Harvey
  14. I don't think the 5200 is a good/great contender against the NES - with having less sprites available for normal use. (This is looking back now). The gap between these particular systems can seem to be closer through tricks done by an experienced programmer. I remember 1982 particularly well? I looked through various magazines available to me, in this part of the world and I was wanting to buy a home computer system towards the end of the year. I ended up with an Atari 800 with 48k and I think I was fortunate to have gone that route, given how time passed on. I don't think I can be of any help with this particular game. With TIX's involvement - that was the sort of person I thought who ought to contribute to it. But with any project like this - or any new project - I'd think the graphics part should be thought out carefully so as to allocate the maximum possible for nice graphics to be present. It does not need to hog a great deal of memory to improve the graphics. This game is a prime example of how it could be done? I'm only talking about needing a few more characters (of the character set) for specific graphics usage. Such as bushes, roads/paths - so as to not have that too plain look to the whole game. For example the greenery/forestry in Xevious - need not take up a lot of graphics. I came upon a method while working on Hawkquest. I forget the exact number - was it 7? or at most 10 characters? I wonder if anyone looked at the arcade graphics to see how many were used there? That allocating a few more characters here and there for use - will enable a graphics person the capability to improve upon the whole look of the game. And adding animation here and there - is helpful too. To use more than 2 frames of animation - which is only on/off. A minimum of 4 characters allow for reasonable animation to be possible. 8 frames would be a luxury. Animation for sprites would be good too. More frames can be used for something seen often enough - like explosions, and your death scene. But this should be slowed down so as to be seen to be noticed. Too fast animation simply doesn't look good/effective. Few Programmers are effective artists - so get some one good enough to design the graphics for you. If you can draw your own graphics. Fine. I got burned out - doing the graphics for AtariBlast!. I wasn't up for designing so much original graphics - that I chose to re-use other peoples' graphics - and revisit my earlier work in Laser Hawk and HawkQuest - I did update them a bit or a lot. It ended up being a homage to various games. When working on a Scramble conversion - I was keen on the idea - of not simply sticking with the original graphics in every way, but to depart from it, a bit here and there. The programmer was OK with doing it this way. For those who can clock the game several times over - some small changes can be seen. Maybe at some time a long play video will appear to show this? I'm not a good enough player, to do this myself - as it's as hard as the coin-op. So what I am saying - is that you can add some changes so as to make the game you are working on - look that bit better - so that it does have that polished look to it and helps make the game stand out. Harvey
  15. The 2600 has never appealed to me - or else I probably would have bought one back in the day? But there wasn't a distributor here for it, I don't think. I knew of it, and what it's graphics were like - but ugh! it's only a bit better over the TRS-80 standard. There was a TRS-80 clone over here, but I couldn't really like it. I was waiting on for a decent home computer system with decent graphics on it - something cheaper than a Apple II? I was really after that could deliver arcade quality graphics? Even when I did buy a Atari 800 in Dec 82 - I really didn't know what I was buying at that time - with only Star Raiders and Pacman as examples to go by and play. But just a few months later - Blue Max and Encounter appeared - and I was more than pleased with them. Also a lot of other titles delivered - Miner 2049'er, Donkey Kong, Pole Position and so on. The Atari 8-bit hardware does have limitations to it - namely fewer sprites than C-64 and NES. For certain games they can be worked around. It's only lately that tougher games are being worked in which the programmer has to go out of the way to do better. The likes of Galaga. You could look at Scramble as a comparison across systems? Or Donkey Kong? I'm only a graphics guy - and no programmer. I'm not convinced of the superiority of the 7800 hardware. Galaga was not the best possible on it? They went for a low resolution. And while Xevious was competently done - I don't like the closer up viewpoint they chose for it. The C-64 conversion went the same route and it was disaster. I'd guess memory problems was key - it was designed when memory chips were expensive. While Plutos and Sirius look pretty decent going - they still could do with a little more improvement - more animations present? Color (or colors) are lacking. But this would require more memory - which the system doesn't have? Probably why Galaga was done the way it was done - due to memory constraints. Not including a decent quality sound chip shows how stingy they were for it's cost. Anyway with all the 2600 development going on - I always think of how much better they can look, in an 8-bit Atari way. Why people would move from the 2600 to the 5200 in general - for better graphics. But I guess popularity is king. Harvey
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