Hello Atari Age members
Funny story - I am an american football nut (later coached football as an adult) and as a teenager in the 80's attempted to code a football game on my Atari 800. My vision was to build game that had somewhat realistic variations and outcomes based on the offensive and defensive plays that were selected, the trends of events in the game, etc. I was able to construct a basic shell- define the graphics, the layout of the screen, the core graphics approach, and a basic "prediction engine" that somewhat realistically produced an outcome of each play. For example, a nickel defense would provide better coverage against most passes, but may be vulnerable against a surprise run...or a blitz would have a greater chance of sacking the QB, but would leave some vulnerabilities in pass coverage if the sack didn't happen, etc. As a high school student, I drew out each formation, pass coverage, etc. and also produced a computer "AI" (if you can call it that) to pick the best plays depending on the game situation. I created the skeleton of the game, some run plays installed, no pass plays, and you couldn't actually play a game - you could play 3 or 4 downs and the game would stop because it was incomplete.
This was in the mid-1980s...then life got in the way and I got too busy/lost interest in 8-bit programming as I went to college, etc.
However, a couple of years ago (I'm now in my 50's!) I began to wonder if I could resurrect and complete the game. I managed to locate the original 5.25 diskette which luckily was in a plastic case, bought an interface cable, moved the code to my PC, got an emulator, and began trying to remember the code and approach I had started 30+ years before.
To make a long story short, after a lot of re-training myself and looking at some old paper documents on the prediction engine, the game is complete. My kids and I have play tested it about 60 times. After 30+ years I finally got it done.
The graphics, as you will see are rudimentary and laughable. However I do think we've achieved some interesting game play that makes it a kick to play. I've had games that were 50-7, others that were 7-6 dogfights, games that had 300+ yards passing with 4 touchdown passes, others where the pass game simply didn't click and it was a ground focused game. I'm about 50/50 against the computer AI. It's not perfect, but for folks who are interested in football strategy as well as Atari 8 bit games, it may be a little bit of nostalgic fun.
The disk image is attached- the game itself is called "BOWL8BIT" and is written in Atari BASIC.
Would love to hear any comments, good or bad, either on the football aspect or on the Atari aspect.
Some interesting Atari coding notes:
* People will recognize the graphics characters as a redefined character set - I wrote my own joystick-driven "INSTEDIT" type character editor as a teenager and used this to generate the code and data statements that form the shapes of the football players and graphics
* I stole the code from some magazine (Antic, I think) to create the custom display list, with Graphics 0 at the top and bottom and the Graphics 1 mode which makes up the football field
Game play notes:
* You can choose a "long" or "short" game- in long games plays take 30 seconds of clock time each, in a short game plays take a minute of clock time each
Best regards to all Atarians
Final 2020 Football Disk.atr