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About Ben_Larson

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  • Birthday 02/09/1978

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  • Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
  • Interests
    staring at glowing rectangles, being an internet recluse, atari 2600 programming, coffee

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  1. New update. Changes since last one: * Added one more difficulty level called 'impossible' because ...why not. (each difficulty level has bullets that are 33% faster than the previous one btw) * Tweaked title screen colors because dark blue text on black is basically illegible on my CRT television * Code reorganization/optimization I'm gonna call this V1.0 beta 1 I guess. Squareraid_1.0Beta1.bin
  2. Oh yea - a cheap switched mode power supply will generate a ton of RF interference. The solution is to use a more expensive one OR just use a linear power supply instead (i.e. an old school wall wart - assuming you can find one with the correct voltage, polarity, etc).
  3. Still doing some code reorganization and a few fixes but getting close I think. One of the issues I've battled this whole time is actually fitting everything in the timing constraints to ensure there's no screen rolls ...and I'm still doing some more reorganization along those lines. I've actually had to resort to checking the overscan/vertical blank timer in some key places and skipping or deferring non-essential game logic when the time until the next screen redraw is too short - for example: checking the joystick button or adding enemy squares can be skipped in certain situations if there just isn't enough time left. It's kind of an interesting technical subject in it's own right - sort of a "poor-mans CPU scheduling". I was thinking I might do some kind of blog post about it when I'm all done...
  4. Another update. Changes since the last update: * Added title screen with difficulty selection (pictured below) - so no more difficulty switches for adjusting the difficulty level * Fixed screen roll after game ending * Adjusted some colors There's still a few minor bugs that remain to be fixed... Ben squareraid.bin
  5. I have tried to do functional separation in the past specifically to eliminate code duplication. Here's a comment I put at the top of my source code for Panky the Pandy (which was also 16KB). ; Bank 1: Display kernel, main program loop, vertical blank game logic, AI-related overscan game logic, and graphics data ; Bank 2: Room initialization routine, room data, and all other overscan game logic ; Bank 3: Title screen and ending screen kernels and graphics data ; Bank 4: Music playing routine and music data So there's 2 different banks where kernels live (1 and 3), but none of them share (and consequently duplicate) graphics data as far as I recall.
  6. Okay, new ROM. The changes since the last one are: * Fix for bankswitching bug that was causing it to crash in Stella * Added a basic 'player hit' animation so it doesn't look like the system just froze when you die * Support for using the joystick button to start a new game after you die (so you don't have to get up and press reset). This causes screen roll right now but that will eventually be addressed. Let me know if you guys see any issues... squareraid.bin
  7. Yea - the maximum is actually 6 bombs and 14 bullets on screen all at once. I thought at first that maybe I could go even higher, but I determined after staring at the code for a while that it probably wasn't gonna happen without going down to 24 or 20Hz (even if I could find the RAM space). There just isn't enough CPU time.
  8. I just commented on the Facebook Atari homebrew thread about this. The freezing when you die is the expected behavior right now and a carryover from the original Javascript game. Just haven't gotten around to changing it (assuming that's what you're referring to). That being said, there is also a pause functionality controlled the color/B&W switch, so if you're experiencing something other than what I just mentioned, it could be related to this...
  9. Hi everyone and happy 'almost the weekend'. It's been some time since my last Atari 2600 homebrew. Well last year I started tinkering again, and sure enough one thing has led to another, and now it appears I'm roped back in. This latest effort is an attempt at a port of a Javascript game I wrote some time ago for a 1K Javascript competition. The game is called 'Squareraid', and is what might be described as a 'gravity game'. You control a ship like you would in lunar lander, except you're not actually landing. Instead ...you are dropping bombs and getting shot at. It starts off rather slow-paced, but gradually enemies begin to spawn faster and it ramps up. The goal is simple: survive as long as you can and get the highest score possible by destroying enemy squares. If I'm being honest, the main reason I started this in the first place was because I wondered: how many bullets and bombs I can I get on the screen at the same time? The answer seems to be about 20, and that's running at 30 FPS and using Superchip RAM. The difficulty settings control the enemy bullet speeds and are: Left: Easy, Right: Easy - Slow Left: Hard, Right: Easy - Normal Left: Easy, Right: Hard - Fast Let me know what you think so far. P.S. Here is the original 1k Javascript game for comparison. In this, the controls are W/A/S/D and B to drop a bomb: http://www.blarworld.net/squareraid.html squareraid.bin
  10. I watched most of the show and I feel like most of the negativity is unwarranted - I feel personally that it's like the old saying goes: "a rising tide lifts all boats". That being said I think the market is quite limited (right now anyway) for people willing to pay 'real money' for a boxed Atari game so I hope they get their investment back and then some.
  11. See I was thinking of a similar but slightly more absurd angle here: ET returns to his home planet many light years away. Upon arriving, he finds out his game has been unceremoniously buried in the New Mexico desert. He then leads a massive invasion force back to Earth to exact his revenge upon humanity.
  12. Woah, nice... I had no idea. This is awesome. So I guess mine's the second homebrew game and we've collectively increased the system library by 50%? As an aside: what was your process for making the cartridges? Did you use new old stock/used 2532 EPROMs or did you try to use something else and make an adapter?
  13. Slightly updated version with a few sound effects added. Also, here are some tutorial materials as promised: http://www.blarworld.net/adventurevision_hello_world.html It's a detailed writeup for an interactive 'hello world' demo I made. It also goes over some of the general info about the system. The github repository containing the 'hello world' code itself is linked at the bottom. I hope all 2 of you out there who enjoy programming both obsolete AND hopelessly obscure video game systems enjoy it! tabletennis.bin
  14. Happy New Year everyone. Here's a new version with a title screen which took way too long to do, partially because I had to reorganize half the dang code in order to support another page of sprite data. Next up is to figure out how to do sound effects. I'm also working on a technical writeup and a simple 'hello world' program source file that will go along with said writeup for anyone who's interested. tabletennis.bin
  15. I agree it's a really well done game with a lot of charm. But why don't you just email them and ask about it? A lot of times people get disillusioned with their projects and find it hard to stay motivated. Getting an email from someone who is interested in seeing it to completion might just the spark they need to get back to work on it. :)
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