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louisg

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Everything posted by louisg

  1. There's definitely a nostalgia component for me, but there are also some other things I really like about this era of gaming. It was pointed out that the dev groups were small, and I dig that. I also love how strange the hardware is, and it led to a lot of interesting solutions and a distinctive look and sound. It's incredible to think about this all being 1970s consumer tech, too. And, I enjoy the abstract nature of many of its games. From a modern game design perspective, I do think a lot of its games are simplistic for scoring-based games (since the ability to marathon a game seemed more important than specific scoring tactics in the absence of multipliers, chains, and the like). But, it's still a lot of fun, especially if you keep a score notepad.
  2. I inherited a boxed Auto Duel, but I have yet to really dive into it. I hadn't heard of Auto Fire-- that looks rad! OK, serious question: Is anyone so good at Roadwar 2000 that you *never* randomly die near the beginning (before amassing a decent sized crew)? I'm thinking that stage of the game is often down to luck, and it doesn't shift to being more skill-based until you have some antitoxin handy and have enough people to survive random encounters (even if you lose a lot of people)... I think that's why Europa has you design your initial crew and gives you that head start.
  3. That CRPG Addict article is very good! I really should be playing the full combat mode; I remembered that being a lot of fun, and I didn't realize you could add to your max vehicle limit that way. It's hard for me to want to spend so much time in a tactical combat scale though when everything else is scaled to an hour gametime per turn! It makes me impatient Though, I loved Car Wars as a kid, so that kind of combat is right up my alley. It's funny that the article mentions Wizard's Crown. I was talking with my brother about Roadwar, and we went right into discussing Wizard's Crown because of the similarities. It also mentions having trouble finding reviews and info on it. It's so weird-- I looked on eBay and there are practically no copies. I can hardly find reviews. But I saw this and its sequel every week at the local computer game store, saw ads in mags.. it's definitely not niche, and obviously did well enough that a sequel came out right after. I wonder what the story is. I have such a big wishlist when I play this game. I'd love more clues and interactions in towns so I can make more informed decisions, more of a difficulty curve, an ability to flee person-to-person combat... it's such a cool game but also has so much room for improvement. I gave Europa a shot and they fixed up a couple things, but it's definitely sticking close to the original. Honestly, I'd love a game like this that had a simplified combat system and was more about menu-driven encounters as you move along the map.
  4. I'm gonna bump this-- I started getting interested in Roadwar again, and found this topic from a web search. All roads lead to AtariAge I guess! I'd love to have some playing tips- the game seems so particular in how it wants you to play. I'm surprised the manual doesn't contain some tips to get players started. I remember having the budget rerelease from the 90s and doing nothing but dying!
  5. I was hoping they had used the column drawing trick (find the horizontal line for the z you want, project the x, draw a scaled textured line upwards for the side of the wall). But the popping and roofs give it away. I LOVE that game btw. There are so many things it nails, like the art style (it looks like it came right out of an SNK game), fun drifty handling, memorable track design... it deserved a lot more hype than it got! I didn't even know about it until a few years ago. I wonder if things would've been different for it if it'd been on a console. Somehow, the graphics make me think Saturn maybe it's all the pseudo3d and quads.
  6. That's what happened before seatbelts! When I was a kid, I was like.. "yikes!"
  7. Is this gonna be a gnarly videogame crashes thread? I remember in Street Rod that there'd be spatters of blood on the dash if you crashed hard enough. Don't play Carmageddon!
  8. louisg

    Baby Pac-Man

    This is really impressive. I know you're busy making a game, but.. would you ever consider writing about implementing pinball physics on an 8-bit console? I think those 8-bit video pins are fascinating, and I'd love to read about all the hurdles you overcame when figuring it all out. There's not much on the Internet about that kind of thing yet, aside from papers about proper physics for powerful computers. I'm going to play the heck out of this when I can get a cart on my real 7800
  9. I'm not much of a sports fan, but my dad is and I have great memories playing TV Sports Football with him. At the time, we thought it was the greatest thing ever. But, looking back, it's pretty primitive: The blockers just stand there in the middle of the field! I wish I could say I learned something about how football is played from it, but .. nah.. I still am totally confused when I see it on tv!
  10. I like my Jr, but it does have issues with some games like Spider Fighter. I do dig how small and flat it is though, and that RCA connector is nice to have. That bus stuffing demo looks amazing! I wish you wouldn't let one incompatible model stop you. Does it work on 7800?
  11. Wow! Toki at number 1! What was your favorite thing about Pinball Jam?
  12. I loooooved it in the arcade, and enjoyed the DOS port. I'm not sure why I don't have it yet! Hehe it's the opposite right now for me: I got totally stuck on level 10 and never could pass it! I think that was the one. Somehow I thought I got further. Someone mentioned Tournament Cyberball.. wow that's one I should give a chance. I do like some of those future or arcade sports games like Speedball 2 and NFL Blitz. It looks like another solid port.
  13. My picks: Battle Wheels - absolutely brilliant multiplayer game that's fun 1-player or with friends Xenophobe - one of those games that I can't put down once I start. I like it more than the arcade version. Warbirds - solid multiplayer WWI dogfighting game that compares *very* favorably with the computer sims of its era. It's not as deep as Red Baron on computer, but is a lot more fluid, and has a great manual full of history and all the details they modeled (like how the rotation of the engine affects turning). Xybots - Before we had Wolfenstein and Doom, we had Xybots! This game blew me away in the arcade, and I've always been stoked to have a version on the go. Toki - one of the best home ports of the obscure-but-fun arcade game. Pac-Land - one of the best ports of the side-scrolling platformer that started it all. Yes, even before Super Mario Bros! Namco showed where to take your mascot character and Nintendo followed. SMB is probably the better game, but Pac-Land was the trendsetter. It's probably a better game than Toki, but I've got a soft spot for Toki. Blue Lightning - shows off the system and is mad fun. It makes for a better home game than Afterburner did while retaining the arcade style instead of opting for a pure simulation (albeit with a more methodical pacing). Roadblasters - the controls are a little twitchy (I wish you could set your turning speed), but it's an awesome port. It IS let down by recycling the select music for the adrenalin-pumping end-of-level from the original, but it's a great Roadblasters on the go Rampart - the best home port of Rampart next to the DOS one STUN Runner - the difficulty is a bit uneven from race-to-race, but it's a technical marvel and easily one of the better home ports I can't totally decide on the order. It fluctuates a bit with my mood Runner-ups: Crystal Mines 2: I loved the first set of levels that resembled Boulderdash the most, but it lost me later. It gets very hard very suddenly. I have the DS one with all the additional stages which I keep meaning to dig into. My opinion on this could change if the harder stages click for me. California Games: It's such a good version of California Games, but I end up not playing it that much. Maybe I'll go back to it someday and re-evaluate it. Rygar: I really enjoy this one! I'll take it over TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan for sure. Maybe a bit too shallow to make the top list, but it's good. I really need to try Qix and APB. APB I tried on emu and didn't like not being able to set a cruising speed, but maybe I'll get used to playing it with the pedal taped down. Qix looks like a great port but I don't own it.
  14. I'm amazed that they got anywhere porting Double Dragon, but I'd still rank it as not-good. Though, I'd also point out that many versions of Double Dragon for more sophisticated consoles also had serious gameplay issues. I really tried to like those Master System and Genesis ports... Commando is similar for me. I think it's a nice port for the time, but it fails to capture what's good about the arcade game and also doesn't make for the most engaging 2600 game. If I only had a 2600 in the late 80s, I'm sure I would've played it quite a bit as a cart that let me have just a taste of the arcade game at home. But, in 2019, it's a bit hard to recommend as anything but a curiosity.
  15. I just found this! It looks like a pretty promising recreation of the sound routine: http://www.lomont.org/Software/Misc/Robotron/
  16. So far, I'm finding that an 8-bit counter for frequency isn't enough at 22khz when indexing into a 64-byte waveform (so, 8-bit counter waveform position >> 3). I'm guessing these systems used 16-bit counters. FM feedback wasn't so hot with such simple waves-- some kind of rng is definitely needed for noise fx.
  17. In a lot of the Compile shmups, if you grab a certain item, you can continue from where you left off. Check your ship stock in Space Megaforce, for example-- they turn a different color if you can respawn where you left off. It's that cluster of glowing orbs that appears sometimes and works as a bomb when you run into it.
  18. Aha! I was playing with this, and I think it's the opposite and the button press has nothing to do with it. I continue where I left off if I'm shot down, but if I run the plane into a cliff or tree, it always restarted. I should double-check this on my card at home; this was on the ROM offered by AtariAge. But it seems intentional and not like a debug thing, although it is odd. Maybe they thought the player shouldn't be penalized as much from enemy fire since it's easier to get shot down than it is to run into the scenery.
  19. I've recently become fascinated, again, with early software synthesis. For example, take Eugene Jarvis' sound engine in Robotron and Defender: I love that it ran on such a limited processor. But the thing that really gets me as a synth geek is the parameter space-- the fact that you can do so much with what I think he said was 8 parameters (in the Robotron GDC post-mortem). I see that he goes into a little more detail here: http://www.firepowerpinball.com/downloads/Eugene_Jarvis_Interview.pdf-- it's funny too because we always think of general-purpose-CPU softsynths as a late 90s phenomenon! Now, I see someone has done a commented Robotron disassembly, but I don't think they got to the sound system. I'd love to find more info about it, short of disassembling it myself. I also noticed that Konami's Time Pilot '84 produces a lot of similar tones. It supposedly uses one of those simple squarewave+noise PSGs, but it's driven by a reasonably fast CPU, which makes me wonder what's really going on there. Maybe it's manipulating the sound chip's registers really fast, or there's a bit-bang channel in addition to the sound chip. I think some of those dedicated PSGs had simple amplitude envelopes you could leverage, too..? Any other arcade games that use or are suspected of using a softsynth to generate their sounds besides these and the Namco games? Any tones that strike you as particularly neat? I might play with some primitive softsynth concepts tonight. I want to see if I can make one that barely branches, and also see what FM does with such low resolution grainy tables (for example, do you really need a LFSR if you've got FM feedback?).
  20. I've always wanted to like this game, and I've tried many times, starting with the DOS release. The graphics are wonderful, the game concept is great, but the execution is just non-stop frustration for me. Too much memorization and unforgivingly large hit detection. I recently found out there's a 16-bit sequel made for the Amiga-- maybe I'll give that one a go.
  21. 7800 Xevious is so sweet. I love the hardest difficulty mode- I think it might be the only Xevious version that lets you dial it up to that intensity, including arcade..? I'll watch the vid tonight!
  22. I've got a working Lynx II and a nice collection, but lately I've been playing using Handy on my laptop. It might not be ideal, but it's convenient since I have my laptop on me more than I do my Lynx.
  23. Yeah, I was thinking maybe that, but then thought why not invincibility? Maybe this way they could see the collision detection and still continue from where they left off. But it's so easy to accidentally do that I'm surprised they missed it.
  24. So, here's one thing that has always bugged me: In Blue Lightning, sometimes if you hit a fire button fast enough after exploding, you continue exactly where you exploded. Other times, you restart the entire level. I don't believe it's documented anywhere. The manual even says "If you crash or get shot down, you begin again at the start of the current mission". Does anyone know what the scoop is on this? Could it be a feature they forgot to remove? Or, is there maybe something you do that allows you to continue where you left off a finite number of times like in those Compile shmups?
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