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SectorWars

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About SectorWars

  • Rank
    Space Invader

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    UK
  • Interests
    Atari 8-bit, VCS, MAME 80s Arcade, Virtual Pinball (via emulation)

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  1. A couple of observations about Dropzone. I think the title sequence/attract mode is really impressive. I remember trying to work out how he did the part with the Dropzone title gradually separating and dropping to the bottom of the screen one scan line at a time and then joining at the bottom. It is so slick especially for its day. The programmer (Archer MacLean) obviously loved Defender and even tried to capture some of the magic of the Eugene Jarvis arcade game and did a brilliant job. Another interested note is Jon Williams did the conversion from the Atari to Commodore 64. I don't know if that version had the title sequence but maybe not as I don't think the Commodore had the same kind of powerful display list interupts/scrolling of the Ataris (might have done but not sure).
  2. Archer Maclean's Dropzone. What a great game that was (and still is!).
  3. I found an old UK magazine called 'Electronic Toys & Games Review' which I bought in the 1980s. I can't find the date in the magazine but it must be around 1981-83. It has a two page article on Silica Shop which some of you might find interesting. I scanned the magazine cover, the reverse of the cover which had a Silica Shop advert, the magazine intro page, the 2-page article on Silica, and the magazine back page. Once I get my proper scanner setup I will scan the whole magazine. The PDF: Electronic_Toys_and_Games_Review_Magazine_Silica_Shop_Atari_Article.pdf
  4. Hi guys. Many thanks for the positive comments on Sectors Wars. Although I never got to release it back in the day to be able to finish it during lockdown and actually see people playing it is really rewarding. I never thought such scores were possible so that was a great surprise too. I will keep an eye out for these competitions and will definitely play some more. Also just want to say how great Last Squadron is. Shoot 'em ups were and still are my favourite genre and this is a great shooter. Also from a programming point of view many of us know how much work goes into building something like that in assembler so all credit to Janusz and Michal! 👍
  5. Great scores! I do remember planning to add a pause button about 35 years ago to SW, but didn't get around to it - lol. . I agree about the other things missing too - needs a missile firing sound, etc. but from memory I think I had used all the sound channels. Unfortunately the 'engine roar' sound used more than one from what I remember (maybe 3). Will try and take a look again at some point to double check. On a kind of related note about the docking phase being a 'kind of' pause option. Some might have read in the release thread from April this year that I mentioned in the mid-80s I starting coding a slot machine (about 10% done) which I was thinking of adding as a 'rest phase' in the Sector Wars after a cycle or two around the 8 phases. To be honest at the time I think I just wanted to program something different (😉) and didn't end up finishing it as I thought it would have stopped the flow of the game and didn't really fit in. I uploaded an XEX in April just out of interest but it wasn't playable or anything like that. I also at the time bought a 'Replay' cartridge at a Personal Computer World (PCW) show in London with plans to add speech to Sector Wars with lines similar to those spoken in Sega's arcade shoot 'em up Astro Blaster (which I loved) - things such as 'Approach with extreme caution', and 'Alert, alert enemy invader detected in Sector 4', etc. Unfortunately never got round to that either, but I think it would have added to atmosphere of the game.
  6. Played yesterday with Last Squadron but couldn't score more than 2500! Will keep trying 😁. It's a great shoot 'em up and I certainly would have bought it back in the day. Some nice flight patterns in the enemy objects.
  7. Finally got a reasonable score in Sector Wars (for me anyway) . 84850 Sector 28. Used initials VLT instead as my name is already embedded in the high score table. I forgot how important docking the ship is in phase 8. Do it and you gain a life, miss and you lose one. Last Squadron is next.
  8. 157000 Sector 43 is brilliant! Never thought those kind of scores are possible so good to hear. You are right the 'fixed screen order' mode does have the phases in a different order second time around. I forgot about that until you mentioned it 😎. I can't remember all the variations I implemented in the higher skill levels but I remember adding speed increases, the storm 'debri' flies in at different angles, you have to hit more objects (eg: birds, debris, etc. in higher levels), the Gorf mothership vent gets smaller, bird movements vertically are more extreme, etc. etc. I hope to get to play myself in next day or two, but will have no chance of getting close to that score! Looking forward to playing Last Squadron as well. Cheers Vic
  9. Yes I know what you mean about lack of time and having to rush everything 😁. Supposed to have more time when you get older but it seems to go the opposite way. For the assembler I only had the Assembler Editor cartridge so the whole game was done in that including the finishing touches done in March of this year. It is quite painful changing existing routines that grow in size as I need to relocate the routines higher in RAM to make room. Good luck completing the platformer 👍.
  10. Thanks for the comments 😀. A good score too. I did base most of the phases on my favourite shoot 'em ups (Gorf, Phoenix, Space Invaders, Astro Blaster). I also wanted the explosion of the flagship to be satisfying so good to hear it is 😎. I agree about the saucer missing sound. It really needs one. I am not sure if there are any free sound channels plus again I need to suss out the code again. But will definitely try at some point when get more time. A separate game is a good idea too. I need to try some games myself early next week. Edit: I think the description in the first post is for Last Squadron but it's written under Sector Wars. Also the Sector Wars 'info' link is actually this one: Thanks!
  11. Blimey that is an incredible score! I don't ever remember getting anything over 70-80k when I programmed it in the 80s. A high sector number as well. I realise now I should have preserved the Sector Number in the title screen or stored it in the high score table. If I get some free time earlier next year I will see if I can manage it. It's a bit tougher making changes now as I can't remember where a lot of stuff is in memory, etc. with trawling through the source files.
  12. Thanks - it didn't feel right voting for a game done by a 15-year old version of myself, but I just did anyway - lol. I need to try and track down my USB Atari joystick in case it is needed 😏.
  13. That's correct fellas 😉. I wrote 95% of Sector Wars as a teenager using the Atari Assembler Editor cartridge between 83 and 85. Finally finished it in March/April this year during lockdown (now in my 50s!) 😎. After spending some time to familiarise myself with the code again I basically just added the game over routine plus a few other minor tweaks including adding the Space Invaders phase 'Invader Hit' sound effect. It basically took a global pandemic to get me to finish it! I hadn't heard of that Shoot 'em up construction set before - sounds interesting. To be honest I was really surprised to see the number of downloads on this site, Atarimania and a Polish site but really nice to see people interested. 😀. Cheers.
  14. Does anyone know who were the people behind the shop (ie: the owners of the original Sidcup branch) before it expanded into a large chain? I wonder if they are still around nowadays as it would be good to hear from them.
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