Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

6 Neutral

About boski

  • Rank
    Space Invader
  • Birthday 06/19/1979

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Janesville, WI
  • Interests
    Video production, animation, programming, pulp, current events, and woodworking
  • Currently Playing
    Super Breakout, Star Castle
  • Playing Next
    Final Fantasy 3 (Wii)
  1. I love it! I never saw the Star Trek game before that it's hacked from. You should take a swing at fixing the music! Thanks for sharing on the Facebook page. I wouldn't have found it otherwise.
  2. For a while now, I’ve been trying to figure out what are the determining factors of a great game, and by extension a great game system. It doesn’t take much self-reflection to realize my favorite systems are the VCS, NES, and Wii. Many of their games satisfy one of the following criteria. Numbers 1-4 are pretty essential for me, but when a game also includes number 5, I’m hooked. With the Atari Box supposedly on the way, I hope it can also muster plenty of games that fit into this list. 1. Simple. The game needs to be easy to learn and play. There’s a balancing act the game programming has to perform here, because you don’t want the game to be easy or boring. Going along with this theme, I really enjoy single-screen games and tend to avoid 3-D worlds. 2. Fast. This does not necessarily apply to the game’s pace. Fast means I press the start button and the action starts. I didn’t turn on my game system to watch a movie. This also applies to duration. I should be able to enjoy a round even if I only have a few minutes to spare. 3. Fun. The game should be challenging, but not overly frustrating. 4. Concept. The game should be an original idea or a creative twist on an old one. 5. Ingenuity. The game should match the technology of the system and make creative use of its capabilities. The VCS and NES did this by designing games that maximized the limitations of the system. The Wii and mobile games do this through maximizing the systems’ unique player interaction. I really appreciate VCS paddle games, since it is not a common type of controller. I would say every game in "Racing the Beam" meets all these criteria. The most famous NES games meet them too. In general, WiiWare games did well on these too. A game doesn't need to score high in every one of these criteria for me to enjoy it, but that definitely would increase its chances. Now I doubt many serious gamers would share my tastes on this. However I think this list could be a useful framework for what the general public would embrace. I know expectations are low for the Atari Box, but the company would do well to keep this list in mind.
  3. Hey I've seen a couple of your posts about your Oranges game. Do you have any screenshots you could share? I'd love to see what it looks like.
  4. There's some good info in this thread that could help: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/196181-question-about-playfield-widthheight/ It talks about how kernels affect playfield, and goes into much greater detail than randomterrain's reference page
  5. I've been trying to figure out the answer to your second question for a couple days now. I know you can use the playfield to draw landscape features like trees. That involves shrinking the size of the rows, I've been playing around with pfres, pfheight, and pfrowheight. I just can't get it to work. The playfield will only fill up the top part of the screen, but the idea is to make it look like Crazy Balloon. If you can do that, you can start shaping the playfield into trees and adjust the color by row.
  6. Using a video game to communicate a news story is not a new idea, but is still considered very innovative. Generally, the news consumer gains a better understanding of an issue through the interactive experience. In covering the transportation debate in Wisconsin, I tried something entirely different. I programmed a game called Roundabout Racer (development title: Robin's Roundabouts). It's a fun driving game where you try to get through as many roundabouts as possible without getting in a wreck. Playing the game doesn't actually teach you much about roundabouts, but it is a great conversation starter. So I took a different approach in presenting it to my viewers. Trying to get them to play it would have been a nightmare, because I would have had to explain Stella to them and how to configure Stella to play a paddle game. So instead, I played the game and talked about all the random facts I dug up about roundabouts in Wisconsin that I couldn't fit into other stories. I figured some of these kids on YouTube get millions of views just playing games and talking in the background, so why not give it a try. It did much better on Facebook than on YouTube, which is typical these days - though still not exactly viral. Anyway, , and I've attached the latest version of the game.
  7. As I said before, I'm a professional journalist. And so when I stumbled across 8bitrocket.com yesterday, this article really grabbed my attention: "Pac-Man, Electronic Games Magazine, and the exact moment Atari lost the video game war," http://www.8bitrocket.com/2017/04/05/pac-man-electronic-games-magazine-and-the-exact-moment-atari-lost-the-video-game-war/ The author examines how the "newly established critical video game press" contributed to the Atari VCS' downfall and the video game crash when Pac-Man was released. Up until that point video game "critics" were really just advocates cheerleading even the worst games. Pac-Man marked a turning point. This article got me thinking about sports journalism, which also tends to be more of an advocate than a critic. It's a fairly recent phenomenon for sports reporters to write dirt about players and teams. However, the reaction to negative sports coverage is completely different from negative video game coverage. Sports fans aren't likely to ditch their team when a bad story comes out, but a bad video game story can very effectively keep gamers away. A series of bad stories probably won't get a sports fan to turn their back on a sport, but it could get a gamer to turn their back on a system. The impact on the target of the bad press is different too. A series of bad sports stories probably isn't going to have much of a long term impact on that sport. However, a series of bad video game stories could have a profound impact on the industry. It could lead to either a crash or it could motivate game designers to create better games. You can't rest on your laurels in either industry, but negative stories definitely seem to have a bigger impact on video games. Anyway, these are just some first impressions about the topic. It could probably be a journalism grad student's thesis, and an ambitious one at that. It involves psychology, sociology, public relations, and sports and technology issues. It just goes to show how much we can learn about ourselves from video games and the Atari 2600.
  8. boski

    Hello World

    I'm an investigative video reporter, and so my whole life revolves around visual communication. That means tons of video reports, social media videos, animations, charts, graphics, and even occasional interactives. It takes a lot of creativity and attention to detail. I find programming for the Atari is a great mental and creative exercise that helps recharge my imagination. You need to balance a simple concept, compelling presentation, and enjoyable gameplay - all in 128 bytes! It takes real mental agility to make it all work. The limitations are so strict, yet the possibilities are endless. Just as Atari provides me with a great way to "reset" when I'm feeling burnt out, this blog will complement that intent and also help me keep of some of the things I pick up along the way. Feel free to tag along!
  9. This is a pretty old thread. Does anyone know if this thing still works?
  10. Try creating a new folder on your desktop and "Save As" your project in there. See if that helps. I know it's basic tech help advice, but that's all I got. Sorry.
  11. When you create a new project, a window will pop up. There's a box you can check to automatically create a bin folder. I'm sorry, but I don't know how to fix this after the project is already created.
  12. I really like this game. It's very original and creative!
  13. Oh, people are very familiar with them in Wisconsin... The problem is the DOT will string up to 5 of them in a row, and people get frustrated.... or maybe just dizzy. I considered the driving controller. The problem is, I don't think many people have one. And with paddle-type games, you really need to play them on a real 2600. Using a mouse on Stella just doesn't cut it. Any thoughts on those two problems?
  14. Tripwire It's not much fun unless the player is compelled to actually circle to roundabout - so I included a "tripwire" that closes a gate to the next level. Here's the code I used to do this: ;open & close the gate if angle = tripwire then u = u + 1 if u > 0 && u < 3 then pfhline 12 0 18 on if u = 5 then u = 0 drawscreen I would have liked to simply use: if angle = tripwire then pfhline 12 0 18 flip That would have meant on the gate closes on the first loop and opens on the second loop. Unfortunately, as soon as the car passes the tripwire, the line turned off. That's why I had to use the counting method with the u variable. Two problems I need help with: 1. It looks great on Stella, but when I played it on my 2600 - the screen bounces when the line turns on or off. 2. Collision detection does not work with the new line The code and game are attached. Please enjoy it and any help with these two issues would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! RobinsRoundabouts3.bas RobinsRoundabouts3.bas.bin
  • Create New...