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Everything posted by RevEng

  1. Nice job CurtisP. He looks great! Nicely done, jrok. It looks like you started something rolling! Is it too late to make the ant a hunchback? From your description, I get he's hard working and never gives up, but what else sets Ari apart from the rest of the colony? Does Ari have any weaknesses or enemies? secret aspirations?
  2. Nice... I really like the meanings behind the name! I'm not entirely sure that an ant is the most cuddly of mascots compared to a panda, monkey, hunchback, or whatever. I'm not sure that a mascot has to be cuddly to be popular either, but it might help.
  3. I'm not convinced that's the only reason. I think at times people are wanting to come up with an original idea for a game, but simply lack the creativity to come up with one unless they begin with someone else's stuff as a seed. I'm not thinking so much "I'm gonna make a Ladybug port" (which is fine, and a great goal if you're willing to risk the C&D) so much as "I'm going to make an Itchy&Scratchy game". (An invented example. There are plenty of real-life ones, but I'm not interested in pointing fingers.) jrok, a mascot definitely doesn't solve the problem of getting game creators to be creative. I don't think there's anything to solve that. Either someone understands they would do better to just repeating cliches, or they don't. (aside from ports.) I do think a homebrew mascot can provide an alternative to those that use (copywritten thing) as a crutch because they can't come up with a starting idea. Using the characters and environment in (copywritten thing), they go ahead and add scenarios that will work in a 2600 game. There can be creativity in that last step, and it would be a valid approach if the original thing wasn't copywritten and trademarked. Realistically, I'm not expecting people to say "oooh, a rez the rectangle game", just like nobody says "oooh, a Tux the Penguin game" either. The game has to stand or fall on it's own merits, no doubt. Yes, Tux games are sometimes a joke. Other times they are quite good. Sometimes he even serves as a nice recognizeable character to act as a stand-in when someone decides they want make a game with gameplay similar to Mario Kart or Puzzle Bobble and avoid C&Ds. Totally where I'm going with this. Emehr, I like your idea of incorporating Atari Age in some way, though I'm not sold on the Double-A name yet. It does seem to conjure up a walking battery!
  4. Otto is cool, but he's already part of the berzerk trademarks. That's the kinda thing I'm advocating we avoid. You were kidding, but a square character isn't out of place either. Call him Rez or Player0, and you have the beginnings of a backstory for a supporting or minor character. I think the willingness for someone to pick up the character(s) in their game is completely proportional to the utility it will provide. An original backstory can suggest unique play elements to the right game designer.
  5. There are a lot of 2600 homebrew efforts are based on commercial characters and wind up being grey legally as a result. I understand why the authors decided to pick that path; it provides instant character recognition and a rich backstory to pick game elements from. But it's unfortunate when lawyers eventually come knocking and you wind up with something that you can't distribute. Plus you're piggybacking off someone else's hard work (marketing, character design, etc.) who doesn't want you to. I thought it would be a cool project if the Atari 2600 dev community could come up with a "homebrew" character that coders could base games around - similar to how the Linux folk have Tux - but hopefully cooler and with a richer backstory and related characters. This could also provide those creative types who like to "design-and-suggest" games a different way of contributing to the community. Contributions could run the gambit... written descriptions, cartoon representations, stories, etc. Now to kick off the thought process, here are some random ideas: possible character names: Fuji, Go, Stella it might be useful to crib and update characters/stories from existing mythologies. eg. Norse, North American, Japanese, Greek, ... Anyway, thought I'd put the idea out here and see what people thought.
  6. Wow, I am humbled... I didn't even realize you could have both the helicopter and the mushroom power at the same time! Clearly I haven't played enough!
  7. I've only seen the two glowing fruits, and recieved the 2 teleports as a result. I expect since Alex didn't finish the level design that those are teleports that are yet-to-be implemented. 9 zones = 9 levels of hell, in Dante's Divine Comedy. If I'm right, maybe I don't want to see the ending! I racked up an 815 on the last posted version of MGD. Anybody got that beat?
  8. Ah! How miraculous he is! I think I'll go find some obstacles for my back body. That sounds like fun!
  9. Ah, see what you mean. Indeed, it looks like I didn't try with Superchip ram. Carry on.
  10. Yeah, I tried that before. The ram is in page zero and your rom data isn't. The timing differences cause a corrupted display. It needs a kernel change.
  11. So I'm glad to hear the news, and I trust updates will be posted to this thread. In the meantime... If it is ever finished, how do you guys think MGD should end? Presently you fall into nothingness when you reach the final black zone. Some thoughts... You land on a final basement floor, the game stops scrolling and plays some victory music. Game over. It never ends. The initial levels repeat, only faster. You grab a final prize at the "bottom" and a helipack. Then you start your ascent, with helipacks scattered around on your way up. The inky blackness is fine.
  12. Yes, thank you for posting VectrexMad! Truthfully I too had assumed the worst after reading some of the posts in this thread, and I'm sooo glad to have been wrong. That's not a slam to you VectrexMad! To me you were just a random guy on the Internet who I didn't know anything about, and I'm glad that's changed too! Alex has brought a lot of happiness into my family with his creation of "Man Goes Down". We all play it regularly. Its the kind of game you can't watch someone play without needing to try it yourself! Totally addictive. If he doesn't want to finish it at this point that's cool... No pressure! I'm just truly relieved to hear he's alive and kicking!
  13. I think using the person's current name preference (or last in this case) is respectful. Others may beg to differ.
  14. Danielle Bunten Berry of M.U.L.E. and 7 Cities of Gold fame stands out most in my mind. To me, the A8 platform wouldn't be the same without M.U.L.E. And the randomly generated disk-cached new world in 7 Cities of Gold was a great technical achievement, given the constraints of the A8.
  15. I dunno. It looks like this one fits fine, and regular sized SD cards are cheaper and less difficult to lose. If I had a choice, in this application I'd pick regular SD.
  16. Very nice! Looking at the split in the board, I'm guessing you've designed this with Melody in mind, and a Melody is a Harmony without the upper half? And if the LED pads get populated in the production run, it looks like we'll have blinkenlights folks!
  17. I'm in total agreement. If you're going to spend your time coding up a masterpiece, why make it one that you have to hide away after the lawyers show up? And if you're intent on revisiting some classic game's play, be sure to add in something new or remix existing game mechanics in a new way. This is especially important on the 2600, where original games shine most because they can be designed to take advantage of the hardware's strengths, rather than suffer it's weaknesses.
  18. Not directly, but to get the most out of bB its quite helpful to know about assembly language, page boundaries, vblank, overscan, opcode timing, and all kinds of things you'll learn from Andrew's tutorials. If someone is new to programming it might be overwhelming. But if someone is an old hand at coding in other environments, I'd say its recommended reading.
  19. No, and I doubt anyone else has anything to say on the subject.
  20. I'm glad to see the new gen enjoying classic gaming. I've done my part by introducing my kids to it, and they love it. Like their dad, they enjoy both new and classic games. Not trying to threadjack, but I though it might be interesting to see who is the oldest 2600 fan as well. I have elviticus beat by a year, since I'm 39, but I suspect the numbers go much higher than that. Who is the oldest Atari Ager?
  21. Yeah, that's pretty terrible. Though I admit it would be an appealing concept if they were converted tables that could pull a transformers act and be both coffee table and fully functioning sit-down pinball tables.
  22. The special characters get put into the hex digit positions starting with $a, in the order that they're defined in score_graphics.asm. The following example puts a "©1983" with a space after it in the score. Be sure to add in the spaces that the AA forum eats from the margin, or download the bas at the end of the post... const fontstyle=ALARMCLOCK const fontcharSPACE=1 const fontcharCOPYRIGHT=1 dim sc0=score dim sc1=score+1 dim sc2=score+2 rem we update the score bytes individually... sc0=$b1 sc1=$98 sc2=$3a scorecolor=$0f gameloop drawscreen goto gameloop font.bas.bin font.bas
  23. You're welcome. Glad you like the fonts! You need to use them in place of the hex characters. The bB score can only access 16 characters per digit. It's also possible to replace the regular digits with special characters by setting "const fontstyle=NOFONT". That may make more sense when there are a lot more characters and your game doesn't need numbers. (so the score can behave like an inventory list, or what have you) No need to do that; the fonts and characters that you don't select aren't compiled into the rom, so they don't take up any space. It would be cool to be able to do that, but that's not possible without some modifications to the bB score routine.
  24. I added in my 3 new fonts to the first post and updated the zipfile. If anybody wants to add to the pack, just post your score_graphics here and I'll do the merge and preview graphics. All additions will be attributed, naturally.
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