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About rasty

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    (Fabrizio Zavagli)
  • Birthday 05/15/1974

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    Fabrizio Zavagli
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  1. rasty

    PAL60 ROMS

    So, to prove that the PAL version of Phoenix actually moves faster to compensate for the slower refresh rate, I've investigated a little bit and it looks like it's all real! Please check the two images below, where I compare two frames of missile movement between the NTSC and PAL versions against a purple line I've added for reference: It's pretty obsious that the missile in the PAL version (right) moves faster compared to its NTSC counterpart (left), considering the gap between the two frames. Just to be sure I've checked the RAM values, and if I'm not mistaken I've found the Y coordinate for the missile to be located at $89. So I've tracked the Y value from frame to frame and in the NTSC version it decreases of 6 pixels while in the PAL version it decreases of 8 pixels! Very interesting, very interesting...
  2. rasty

    PAL60 ROMS

    Wow I'm amazed about Phoenix, there are definitely differences between the two, or actually efforts to make the PAL version as close to the NTSC version as possible in terms of playability. I shall be able to have both a NTSC and PAL 2600 hopefully soon so I'll try them on real hardware. But it seems from Stella that the PAL version's movements are probably adjusted to make up for the slower refresh rate of PAL50. Cool find, since Phoenix is my favourite as well!
  3. Hello everyone! The premise: I've always liked Carnival on the 2600, it's a nice and fast brainless shooter but I find it way too easy to roll the score, considering that it's just 5 digits. To keep a not-so-long story even shorter, after a pretty long stretch of inactivity concerning all things Atari (years go by so fast!), I've decided to put the extra time available during the holiday break to some good use and add the much needed 6th digit to Carnival's score. Obviously the task at hand proved to be quite more time consuming than expected, but in the end I think I've done it. So I proudly submit for your judgment and possibly enjoyment: CarnivHack! Playing notes: Carnival is a game that requires a non-standard setting on emulators (i.e. Stella), since the display starts at row 26 and should be 214 rows high, instead of the default 34x210. Stella features a game-specific preset configuration for Carnival, so once you load this hack game in Stella please press TAB and open up Game Properties / Display, where you should set YStart to 26 and Height to 214, as mentioned above. You will only need to do it once. See image below: Some details and tech stuff: I had to completely replace the 6-digits display routine. Also, finding some free RAM was obviously a nightmare and forced me to implement a few workarounds. With some additional time on my hands I could have probably done things a bit more elegantly here and there. I wish I had the Stella Debugger a few years ago though I also had to remove the 2-players option and the logo.. not a big loss IMO! Interestingly enough, I've found out that the game actually used just 2 BCD bytes to display the 5-digits score, since the least significant digit is always zero TESTERS WANTED!!!: Before calling it a "final" version and spending time on tidying up the source for release, I welcome any kind volunteer to further test, focusing on the following: Testing on real hardware: my 2600 is PAL, so testing on real NTSC hardware would be awesome. I'm mostly concerned about the display being stable and the score displaying and vertically aligning properly, possibly comparing it to the original, non-hacked game Testing the scoring itself General gameplay testing, possibly comparing it to the original game And... testing!!! I won't have much time available in the coming months so hopefully nothing huge will show up.. hopefully! The fine print, i.e. known minor issues I (probably) intend to fix: - During the attract mode, when the duck starts eating your bullets the score will temporarily show garbled graphics - This game features an easter egg that shows the programmer's name if you keep the fire button pressed while powering up the Atari. Since I had to remove some graphics I'll have to do part with this hack as well since now it shows garbled graphics too. Once again, not a big loss: if you want to try the easter egg, use the original game CarnivHack - beta1.zip
  4. Excellent site! Now, here comes your friendly votes beggar : Phoenix (Atari 2600 Novice/B) - 314,240 Astroblast (Atari 2600 Novice/B) - 303,960 Seaquest (Atari 2600 Novice/B) - 251,230 Spider Fighter (Atari 2600 Novice/B) - 203,530 Stampede (Atari 2600 Novice/B) - 3,554 (well, not too proud of this last one)
  5. Can't really say I love the game... but that's not a good excuse not to play it 14,790
  6. 1. Dragon's Lair (1983) 2. Pac-Land (1984) 3. Salamander (1986)
  7. The colors would still be off, in both cases!
  8. Yup: http://www.rasty.com/files/QuadrunImproved_Compiled.zip
  9. Interesting discussion..! I think the final answer is a combination of most all that was said in the thread. Specifically, I think that "old school" games had a very distinctive - and different - gameplay, compared to their newer counterparts. Games used to be much more repetitive back then, surely forced by the limited amounts of resources available to work with. Challenge was given by different factors: not really the desire to progress further, but rather the need to become perfect and therefore master completely the few available stages in order to achieve the highest score possible. Also, since games offered fewer variety, they also had to be on average more challenging (difficult). I know I'm not saying anything you don't know already, but this different approach to the games - this different philosophy - could not be immediately evident for someone used to different mechanics. By the way, reconnecting to the concept of becoming more and more perfect at the limited-content "old school" games versus the new games with huge contents/missions/goals: I always get the feeling, while playing such new releases, that I don't really get the most value out of them since, being practically forced to progress quite rapidly in order to achieve anything, I never really get to exploit the most out of them, and much less feel "connected" to them! I'd have to replay the same game quite a few times, but who does really have the time or will to replay Half-Life 2 a hundred times?
  10. Humm.. it's interesting to see how, in quite a few years I've been away from this board, things have not changed really and each time Pac-Man for the 2600 comes up, the usual love/hate discussions ensue! I guess that, at least, Pac-Man 2600 has for sure a merit in being able to spark such confrontations for what seems to be forever and ever Anyway, the post was a nice read! Humm.. I don't recall the C64 version being spectacularly good, not bad surely but I recall I expected quite a bit more bells & whistles from it at the time, which were surely delivered by Ms. Pac Man!
  11. Lucky guys! Not much Atari talk at work here...
  12. I'd take the Pitfall! t-shirt... would go well alternating my Grand Prix one!
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