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About Aaron

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    Chopper Commander

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  1. Javatari seemed to load the zip file fine when I tried it? I'm not really sure how to classify this either, since the real final binary was released in 2006. This is more like a rom hack, I guess?
  2. Hi all, Lately I've been trying to put the source to some of my old projects online and the latest is AStar. Check out AStar on GitHub. This version is different from the cartridge release. Just for fun I decided to modernize the solution finder and make a few new levels - there are 8 in the attached binaries. If anyone is interested, making your own levels shouldn't be too hard since they're just plain text files. The updated solution finder generates assembly source with an optimal move count usually within a couple seconds, which is about 10000 times faster than the version I used for the original game. Memory card support is still present in the source, but has been disabled since the levels are different and I didn't want anyone's progress on the cartridge version to get wiped out. astar-free.zip
  3. I caught the episode with AStar a couple days ago. Glad you had some fun with it! Let me echo the comments about developer feedback though - for instance seeing AStar's status bar on someone else's TV would have been really useful when I was working on it. I really had no idea dark yellow could show up as essentially black. Rookie mistake, I guess.
  4. Fall Down is a great game! One of the best 2 player games for the Atari 2600 ever!

  5. Yeah, the game doesn't distinguish between human and AI players. The only exception is the special mode where the blue player is actually removed... in that it should end as soon as you die. Thanks for the review
  6. The game ends when both players have died. As long as one player is on screen, the other respawns after a fixed amount of time, like 5 seconds or so. The idea behind it was that if you get killed early on, you just get penalized a couple platforms, rather than losing the whole game and having to wait while the other player finishes. For the record, I (i.e. the author) have a 7800, and the game works fine for me...
  7. There were some really great themes on the Amiga... probably my favorites would be from Hired Guns and The Killing Game Show.
  8. Between levels 2 and 3 is probably the largest jump in difficulty in the game. The first two levels were designed to be kind of easy, and went into the game after all the others were done. If you're still stuck, I did post a (very rough) solution finder / level editor in the homebrew forum a while back. Also if it's any consolation, level 3 is one that the program takes a really long time to solve.
  9. I'll chime in... 100 copies the first year, 20-30 copies the following years is what you can expect from a really good game. With the overall number of available homebrews constantly increasing, those numbers are actually more likely to shrink than to rise. That sounds about right. IIRC, Fall Down sold 60-something copies in its first few months. As others have said, it's on the order of hundreds. I could see a really big project, say an RPG of some sort, going over 1000 if done properly. I would also think David Crane's estimate of 1000 hours is accurate, given that working in a corporate environment tends to slow a person down (e.g. from working when you don't feel like it). To be honest, I'm an attention whore, so yeah, when one of my games does well I tend to write another. Royalties are a plus, but they're not significant enough to worry over. That said, I've found developing for the Atari to be more profitable than for say, the Palm. Personally I'm in favor of freely available binaries... from a small-time developer's perspective, they increase word of mouth, if nothing else. Generally I think that would be irritating, though I don't actually own any of the first-edition games in question.
  10. It's kind of a pain to play games on the older model Amigas due to disk loading times. If you can get a 1200, you'll be able to install anything you want to play on the hard drive via WHDLoad. This will fix most compatibility issues as well. Well worth it if you really want to get into the system. I'd agree with others though; something like the 500 would be good for a "first look". I haven't actually used a 1000, so I can't say if it's much different in practical terms from the 500.
  11. I don't quite remember where I got it, but this is most of the stuff I have in my AtariVox folder (the rest being the SpeakJet user manual, which was kind of big to be uploading). atarivox_stuff.zip
  12. It's been many long months with little to no work on things Atari, but I've been able to get back to AStar a little bit recently and make some updates. Nothing ground-breaking, but I've added some more levels (there's 18 now), which imo was the game's biggest deficiency. It's kind of hard to judge the difficulty of the levels, but some of the new ones should be fairly hard. I know someone at the compo suggested starting off with some easier levels without the block, which is a good idea, but I just haven't gotten around to making any Anyway, you can turn off the fade effects with the right difficulty switch, and there are now PAL versions. There's still a couple hundred bytes still left in the rom, so more features aren't really out of the question... astar_6Feb06.zip
  13. I still have an Amiga 500 and 1200, though the 500 never sees any use (a 1200 with some extra ram and a big hard drive makes an _excellent_ game machine). Anyway, if you need a joystick, the Epyx 500XJ is quite good. I've also heard you can use Genesis pads with it, though there might have been some rewiring involved. The Atari 7800 sticks work with 90% of the games I have (they don't like Psygnosis for some reason). Here's a few game recommendations off the top of my head (plus what's already been said). Most (all?) of these are freely available if you look around. Syndicate Lionheart Disposable Hero Poing (freeware) Hired Guns Black Crypt
  14. I finally got around to writing a map generator of sorts. Basically it's just my solution finder with some extra text output, so usage will seem a little strange. What you do is draw some nice ascii art like so... WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW W....o........PW W..WW.W...Wo.o.W W.o.......oW...W W......o..Wo...W WWWWW.W........W W.B.W.W...W.o.WW W.o.W..........W W...o.W........W WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW ...and feed it to the program, which will output some assembly source (with a solution). I still don't have it trying to find the optimal object placement or anything, but maybe I'll get to that eventually... asgen.zip
  15. Seems like I'm the only one having this problem, but... Stella 2.01 doesn't work at all for me. It just crashes with the typical "This program has performed an illegal operation..." error immediately on startup. This is on Win98, both with and without a file specified on the command line. I tried both versions on sourceforge (the .zip and .exe). I didn't try Stella 2.0, but the various alphas released over the summer worked fine.
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