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About Klemen

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  1. It's the only Atari 2600 game in which I can show my ID to a dragon. That automatically makes it the best Atari 2600 game.
  2. Update: It literally arrived today, nice timing. Though shipping times this long without any communication are still concerning.
  3. I ordered an AtariVox+ back in early August and still waiting for it. This might be just an issue with AtariVox+, the fact that I ordered from Europe or the pandemic (or a combination of the three), but it would be nice to have at least some information regarding the status of the order - so far I haven't received any communication from AtariAge.
  4. Are you able to elaborate on that? I'm not familiar with that version of Pac-Man but if I'm not mistaken, it also utilizes charts and graphs to convey your performance against other users.
  5. Given the many game modes and game difficulty settings, it's simply not practical to emulate arcade-stlye highscores for online Atari highscores. The highscores will be hidden behind a link or a drop-down menu regardless, so you might as well put them behind something actually useful. What you could use the classic highscores for are the Game-wide and Global rankings though. I understand the motivation of having your name written at the top if you perform well, but the significance of that motivator is gone when the individual highscores cannot be prominently displayed, so game-wide and global rankings could fill that role.
  6. I've taken a look and it seems that using Google Charts might be a good way of approaching this. They already provide a solution for histograms: https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gallery/histogram The only thing we would have to "hack in" is the vertical line displaying the user's score, but considering the charts are drawn using the svg method, that shouldn't be too much of an effort.
  7. Sounds great, lets make something happen.
  8. There's about 572 games in this stack. Do I win...? 😁
  9. Hey, it's only a quick mockup I threw together yesterday evening. Though looking around, there are quite a few out-of-the-box solutions for displaying histograms out there, and while I have no idea how to make them work, I can offer up my front-end web design skills to this project if you're interested though.
  10. Introduction We all know the value of highscore systems and the competitiveness and longevity they provide to a game and its community. In fact, most atari 2600 games are all about high-scores - but there is a problem. Sometimes with hundreds of game modes and various different A/B settings, it is quite daunting to even know where to start. It's even more difficult to figure out how you compare with other players out there. Because of this, I never had much interest in chasing global highscores, but a recent development in the 2600 scene sparked my interest: the PlusCart. This WiFi cartridge has the amazing ability to send your highscores to a server to compare your performance to other players. As mindblowing as this is, the PlusCart's highscore tables are - as expected - lackluster. The cart is not yet released and has a small playerbase, with only 14 games having the online highscore functionality and the tables are already a meaningless mess. This will only get worse as more people adopt the cart and more games are added. This is a suggestion directed at the developer of the PlusCart or anyone else that is able to provide online scores for the Atari 2600. Quick overview Recent innovations in game design led to Histogram scores (great examples can be found in Infinyfactory, Opus Magnum etc.). The idea is quite simple; consolidate the scores and display them visually in the form of a graph. But the ramifications this has are quite astounding - no matter how well or badly you perform at the game, you can now compare your score to the rest of the players in a non-trivial manner and it pushes you to be better by reaching at least the top of the bell curve. More importantly for our purpose, you are able to display several histograms on one page (for different game variations, difficulties an so on) without compromising the readability of these scores, making it in my opinion the perfect way to display Atari scores. Here is a concrete example I made for Asteroids. Instead of dozens (or hundreds) of pages of this: You would have only one page like this: (Numbers on the Y axis show the number of players, X axis shows scores, the orange line is your placement on the highscore histogram. In practice, it would be possible to display the graphs much smaller with less information, while still maintaining its practicality. The regular highscore tables would still be accessible via the "Leaderboard" link, in case the player wishes to see details.) The specifics Here is a rough overview of how these histograms would in theory work. Step 1: in case a user doesn't have a score, assign a zero score to them. This will help us determine rankings later Step 2: take only the highest score of each user, since you don't want a single player to be able to completely skew the graph. Also disregard any 2-player modes (make those into a completely separate category) Step 3: assign user rankings according to scores. The player with the highest score receives rank 1. Player in second place receives rank 2 and so on. If multiple players have the same score, they will also have the same rank Step 4: split the scores between 0 and the highest score into brackets; the exact number of brackets doesn't matter. Step 5: map the brackets onto the graph. Each bracket is a column. The Y axis shows the amount of players (disregard number of players who reached a score of zero for this step) Step 6: display the user's score on the histogram with a vertical line The advantages this system offers should be clear; I can see at a glance in which game modes I can still perform better and my placement on the curve naturally pushes me to try and achieve a better score. Going a step further Now that the scores and rankings are clear to see and easy to understand, we can push the concept a step further - with Game-wide and Global Rankings. Game-wide rankings: this takes all of the user's rankings from a single game across different game modes and difficulty settings and simply adds them up. The lower the sum of a user's rankings, the higher their game-wide rank is. Global rankings: sum of a user's game-wide rankings. The lower the sum, the higher the global rank This function would add a much needed overview to Atari scores and encourage competition across all games and game modes. I believe the goal of the PlusCart is to also eventually allow developers to sell ROMs via the PlusStore, so proper leaderboards would be a fantastic feature to have and give the platform a unique selling point (both for users and developers), since anyone interested in pursuing Global Rankings would want to get the game. If anything I wrote is unclear, please ask and I'll be happy to elaborate on the idea.
  11. This line is normal (see: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/266659-blue-vertical-lines-on-2600), but it seems that your color saturation on the TV is turned up way too high making the effect more pronounced.
  12. Out of curiosity - what are some of the Atari 2600 "classics" that everyone says are great games, but you don't actually find enjoyable to play? Here are some of mine: Asteroids I was familiar with the Arcade game, so I was surprised when I booted up the 2600 version; Seeing all asteroids move in the same direction made me think my ROM was broken or something. Having looked up reviews of the game, I realized that this is how it's supposed to work. This makes it feel like a very crucial part of the game is missing and removes a lot of the challenge from the game, making it quite dull to play. Yet despite this, the title keeps popping up in a lot of "Atari 2600 favourites" list for some reason. Thank god for Space Rocks. Berzerk I don't get Berzerk. Often touted as the best Atari 2600 game and also the best arcade port and I just don't get it. To me, Berzerk feels more like a demo in which the developer still needs to figure out what the actual gameplay is. Just walking from room to room and shooting robots feels very lackluster and not very challenging - it's like there is a core game mechanic missing... The only challenge the game is able to throw at you is spawning robots in an inconvenient way when you enter a room. Oh, and the movement of the character is frustrating. I don't understand why the player moves and fires at a 30 degree angle, instead of 45 as one would expect. The slower vertical movement as opposed to horizontal I also find annoying. I got used to the movement after a couple of hours, but it still feels wrong. Yars' Revenge Just like the other two games, this one is also many peoples' favourite 2600 game - but unlike the other two games, I can at least understand the appeal. My main issue with this game is that given how simple it is - it is unnecessarily cryptic and completely unintuitive. The other issue is that the game wants you to play carefully and slowly (luring the bullet away takes ages), making it not very enjoyable. So, what are some of your "classics" that you just don't get?
  13. Hello, The cable on my Atari 2600 is causing a lot of interference issues. I have only noticed that today, when I accidentally put my backpack on the cable on the floor, which miraculously made the picture crystal clear (there was literally zero noise). Sadly, I'm no longer able to replicate the backpack trick exactly. Before this, I wasn't certain whether the noise is coming from the Atari or the crt TV, but now that I've pinpointed the problem, I would like to fix it. Only problem is, I'm not able to find a shielded cable for the 2600 online. Could anyone point me in the right direction?
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