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About Ben_Larson

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  • Birthday 02/09/1978

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

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  1. I was actually just watching this video the other day of the Atari 2600 version of Tomcat. It's really really impressive - nearly as good as the 7800 version IMO:
  2. No - not at the moment. But basically the platforms you see in that screenshot move left or right across the playfield on each level (except for the starting/ending ones and the ones centered in the very middle of the screen). The key to the game is really controlling (and in later screens, utilizing) your momentum in order to make the jumps.
  3. I've hesitated posting this for a little while because I wasn't sure it was entirely relevant to this forum, but I thought it might interest some of you. Basically I've been working on a new homebrew ...but ...it's not for any home system. See what happened was I bought an old Galaxian arcade board off eBay a while back and wouldn't you know it then I got the idea to write a homebrew for it. The name of the game is 'Panda Jump' - it's a spinoff of a 2600 game I wrote a while back (Panky the Panda). It's not the same type of game though - this one's a pure platformer, not an adventure game. In this one, you play the role of an unnamed panda who faces the task of gathering his favorite bamboo to eat. Unfortunately due to habitat loss, the only place this bamboo grows anymore is inside of active volcanoes (of course it makes perfect sense that bamboo would be growing inside of volcanoes and that you would be willing to risk your life to get it - this is video game logic we're talking about, after all. ) The goal is just to get to the bamboo at the top of each screen within the alloted timespan and not fall in the lava. There's only nine screens, so it's a pretty short game, but it's not easy (especially the last 2 levels). To play it in MAME, you will need to put the zip file in your roms folder (back up your existing 'galaxian.zip' if you have Galaxian). Then you will need to run it from the command line like this: mame64 galaxian When you run from the command line, it will complain about the checksums not matching, but it will actually start. It will not run from the MAME GUI, though - the GUI won't run anything if the checksums don't match (as far as I know). I think it's mostly complete, but I haven't really gotten any feedback yet, which is why I'm posting it here. Also the number of lives is either 3 or 5 - it's controllable via the 'lives' DIP switch in the game settings (the setting indicates 2 or 3 in MAME but it's actually 3 or 5 in this game). galaxian.zip
  4. Good question. I guess to make it more nerve-wracking?
  5. Along the lines of what Cafeman said, I think it also helps to have a good summary up-front along with some screenshots. That way people can judge if the game suits their tastes or not right off the bat. Often times I think the reason people may not react to something is because they just don't wanna take the time to find out if it's something they're interested in, because if it isn't, then that would be wasted time for them. And people have short attentions spans after all, especially on the Internet.
  6. Like at the top of the screen? I don't think that would be possible changing the screen layout (or resorting to flickering). If you notice, the score occupies the same horizontal area as the actual gameplay (i.e. it kind of floats in the foreground). So because of that it's not really possible to add anything else up at the top.
  7. Thanks, I made that title screen with the aid of MS Paint and some free font I downloaded. ;) A bankswitching scheme would definitely be useful since the system only supports 4K max. I'm currently working on some other projects but when I get back around to the Adventurevision it's something I might start looking into (unless someone else wants to :) )...
  8. I worked at a Putt-Putt in the mid-late 90s. Games I remember we had: Daytona USA, Mortal Kombat (not sure which ones - we had a couple different ones), Crusin USA, NFL Blitz, NBA Hangtime, Hydro Thunder, Puzzle Bobble (I think), Strikers 1945. Also... back in the corner we had an old black and white Atari Football cocktail machine, which was surprisingly fun to play (probably why it was still there in the 90s I'm guessing).
  9. You don't actually have to use 27-series eproms if you don't want to. The corresponding 28C-series ones (i.e. 28C16, 28C32, 28C64) are pin-compatible and also have the advantage of being electrically erasable as opposed to UV-light erasable. I've used them in an arcade board that needed 2764s and 2716s and they work fine. Also: FWIW, I was never able to successfully burn a 2732 with a TL866II Plus, and I was trying the ones that require the lower 12V programming voltage because I already knew it didn't support the higher programming voltages.
  10. Hey everyone, Haven't had an update on this in a while, but I think I'm gonna officially call this done now and "release version 1.0". It's actually the same as V1.0 beta 1, except there's also a PAL60 version now in the zip file. Enjoy. Squareraid_1.0.zip
  11. 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
  12. 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).
  13. 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...
  14. 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
  15. 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.
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