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2600 Imagic Swords & Serpents

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Here's a mock up of what I believe S&S can look like if it were done on the 2600 as compared to the intv.

I would think a max of 2 black knights on screen at once (one to chase each player) would keep flicker down.

 

post-7623-1205396330_thumb.png post-7623-1205400070_thumb.png

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Here's a mock up of what I believe S&S can look like if it were done on the 2600 as compared to the intv.

I would think a max of 2 black knights on screen at once (one to chase each player) would keep flicker down.

 

Good to see you back, and nice work - you certainly know how to get the best out of the playfield!

Must try this game as I am only familiar with the NES version (which I think is a completely different game?).

 

Chris

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Here's a mock up of what I believe S&S can look like if it were done on the 2600 as compared to the intv.

I would think a max of 2 black knights on screen at once (one to chase each player) would keep flicker down.

 

You're showing two P1's on the same line, and I'm not sure what M1 is really buying you on that line.

 

It's not really possible to do a whole lot with sprites on scan lines with a big wide non-symmetric playfield. If things aren't scrolling horizontally, you move the dragon so that it occupies the 24 playfield columns 12-35, you use missiles or try to reposition anything in the horizontal stretch of screen with the dragon, and you blank every other scan line of the other parts of the playfield, then it might be possible to manage the kernel timing. Blanking every other line of the dragon would help a lot, but it would probably make things look goofy.

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I tried to render the mock up as was described above. I had to shorten the dragon's body to fit the 24-PF columns and the walls look alot better with the blank lines in contrast to the dragon.

post-7623-1205475020_thumb.png

Concerning the flicker that S&S may have, I looked at Dark Chambers for 2600 and noticed how the sprites can share the same scanlines without that much flicker. It breaks up alittle when there's more than 3 on the same line though.

post-7623-1205473299.gifpost-7623-1205473311.gif < notice the red and yellow tips of there weapons.

S&S game play has the player killing the enemy black ghost knights by touching them with the tip of your sword, if they touch you any where else you take damage. This is why I think the P0 and P1 missiles need be placed at the tip of the sword and the staff so it can be rotated around the player sprite in the same fashion as Winky in "Venture" except you must fight melee style to defeat the enemies.

I'd imagine using the indy 500 steering controllers with S&S while holding down the button to move and tapping it quickly to switch between moving with the sword in front or from behind to protect yourself from enemies while walking backward.

The game is pretty straight forward -- collect scroll to teleport and use magic, keys to access harder levels, jugs to restore health, and tresures for points. Of course items will automaticaly be involked when picked up to help you survive.

The intv version had a poor ending but I'd like to make the serpent a formadable end boss to defeat and with a much more satisfying ending. ideas will come eventualy.

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Excellent idea! Although I never played it very much (25 years ago I only had VCS but a friend of mine had Intellivision and this Imagic's game), I consider S&S very beautiful and I think it deserves to be ported to other platforms like Atari VCS or 8-bit (in fact I am doing a game inspired by S&S for A8 but it's in Turbo-Basic XL and only to enjoy programming - see attached image).

Here AA users can find an article regarding this game:

http://www.gamingworldx.com/features/CGOTW...llivision.shtml

The screen scrolls in all directions.

 

The problem is that the original game uses Intellivision multidirectional disc pad and numeric keypad with overlays.

In this way the Knight's sword fights are interesting and the Wizard can do a lot of things like firing balls, healing, freeze...

Perhaps the Indy 500 controller solution can work but reduces the number of people able to enjoy this game.

 

I think your graphic mock up is perfect!

In the original game the Wizard cannot fight with his stick but it's an interesting idea.

post-12528-1205508500_thumb.png

Edited by Philsan

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The only things the NES Swords & Serpents game has with the INTV game version is the name and the game genre (i.e., fantasy-based adventure).

 

Anyway, I would love to see an adaptation of the INTV Swords & Serpents game for the 2600.

Edited by Vic George 2K3

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Here's a mock up of what I believe S&S can look like if it were done on the 2600 as compared to the intv.

I would think a max of 2 black knights on screen at once (one to chase each player) would keep flicker down.

 

post-7623-1205396330_thumb.png post-7623-1205400070_thumb.png

 

iu think this is going to be a nice gmamamamamammamamamamamamaaaagame

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Thanks Philson for supplying that link and your feedback. I never played S&S when it was first released and could only drool at the screen shots in their catalog, back then as a kid I was always hopeful for a vcs release down the line which sadly never happened. Your A8 version looks very nice with that stylized boarder!

 

I see the problem with the controls being very limited on the atari. I thought of the control scheme of the joystick - left and right controling the rotation and up to move forward and down to move backward (like the tank control in combat). Problem is there's only one button for using special items but the manner of selecting those items was the question and the sluggish movement for using a L and R only stick control was going to be an issue. Driving controllers and simplified gameplay seemed like the only answer to keep the fluid control intack which is what I believed made the game so playable on the intv.

Also, I did'nt know the wizard originaly didn't fight with his staff. I take it the wizard's main defense is casting fireball spells? That being the case then maybe the wizard is more suited for joystick control while the knight keeps the driving control. So the wizard can step through selecting spells by tapping the stick down in combination with moving backward while up is used for moving forward. I think I'd keep the wizard's staff as a means of defense in case he runs out of fireball spells. I'd imagine the knight would use the item automaticaly upon picking them up except for inventory items like the key and sword items.

 

I'm not sure if it's possible to have two different control schemes between the two players simultaniously though, :ponder:

 

I'm not sure what other details would reduce the number of people who would enjoy this game except if it weren't for two players, any ideas?

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TROGDOR posted a game idea in his blog that shares some similarities with S&S but he hasn't posted an update in a while( because of other projects I guess ) :) :

 

http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?a...mp;&cat=280

My ears are burning. :)

 

My intention for Labyrinth was a mix of S&S, Dragon's Lair, and Gateway to Apshai. The sword battles are very similar to S&S. If you download the bin, you'll see that the Goblin AI is also very similar to the S&S AI. Labyrinth has a control system that could allow full functionality of the original S&S:

 

- Pushing the joystick in any direction moves your player in that direction.

- Holding down the button allows you to rotate the sword. Pressing right is clockwise, left is counter-clockwise.

- Holding down the button while pushing up allows you to select a different item in your inventory.

- Holding down the button while pushing down activates the selected inventory item, casting it in the direction you're currently facing.

 

I haven't implemented inventory items yet. My current development efforts are focused on Stellar Fortress.

 

I've owned the original Intellivision S&S since around 1986. It was always a fascinating game, but not very playable unless you had another person around to play the wizard. The gameplay is repetitious for the knight.

 

The wizard could only stun enemies with his default spell, which had unlimited casts. The warrior had to kill them. The wizard did have access to a fireball spell when he found the scroll, but it only allowed 3 casts, if I remember correctly.

 

Espire8, I'm really impressed with your 8-bit graphics artistry. That dragon looks great considering the resolution. Unfortunately, given the limitations of the 2600, I don't think the mock up you've made can be implemented without a lot of flicker or skipped scanlines. I think only supercat could pull it off. He's done some very nice kernels.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that P0 and M0 must be the same color. Your current mock up would require the M0 to appear on a different frame than the P0 for the player. Also, a horizontal scrolling background is next to impossible on the Atari without using a ton of memory and cycles. Your best bet would be to use a multi-screen approach similar to Adventure, or limit scrolling to vertical, which is much easier to implement.

 

Still, the mock ups look great.

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TROGDOR, I causally have found the bin of your game some weeks ago.

Your control system is different and harder then the Inty one but interesting.

 

ESPIRE8, I surely vote for using a joystick instead of the driving controller because not many of us have them.

Regarding control method, I prefer a simpler joystick one: the sword goes in the direction of knight's movement but you cannot directly move from one direction to another not near.

For items selection TROGDOR's system is perfect.

 

I too don't know if VCS has the power to support Inty's multidirectional screen scrolling.

 

If you want I can scan the 14 pages of the instruction manual and the map of the first level.

Edited by Philsan

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TROGDOR, I causally have found the bin of your game some weeks ago.

Your control system is different and harder then the Inty one but interesting.

 

ESPIRE8, I surely vote for using a joystick instead of the driving controller because not many of us have them.

Regarding control method, I prefer a simpler joystick one: the sword goes in the direction of knight's movement but you cannot directly move from one direction to another not near.

For items selection TROGDOR's system is perfect.

 

I too don't know if VCS has the power to support Inty's multidirectional screen scrolling.

 

If you want I can scan the 14 pages of the instruction manual and the map of the first level.

That's a good idea for the sword control, Philsan. If you wanted to move in the opposite direction, say from left to right, you'd have to rotate the joystick through all the rotation positions for the movement to register. So left, then up-left, then up, then up-right, then right. This would happen in a fraction of a second, so it wouldn't be a distraction to the player, but it would make for more challenging play than just pressing in the other direction. It better represents the swinging of the sword.

 

The implementation I chose for Labyrinth requires some training, but it's more lifelike. If you use a real sword in a swordfight, you'll find it's a challenge to coordinate your leg movement with movement of the sword. Novice swordfighters have a habit of standing in one place while fighting, when they should be moving. The intent in the game is the player will spend most of their time moving, and occasional fractional seconds adjusting the position of the sword. It does allow for some advantages over the other control method. If you get backed into a corner, you can fight with your back against a wall without having to move toward the opponent to rotate your sword. Also, you can back away from an opponent while keeping your sword pointing toward him (another tactic that is essential in real swordfighting.)

 

I did some searching for a manual scan for S&S, and couldn't find anything. I'm surprised the manuals haven't been scanned and saved for posterity. I'm guessing it's a copyright issue, but it's unfortunate.

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Thanks so far for the comments from those of you who actualy played S&S. I'm hoping to produce an accurate looking mock that will at least give us an idea of how a real coded version may look like.

 

-Trogdor, after sampling your Labyrinth game I too am convinced of your control scheme being the best option for both the knight and wizard. I really appreiciate you for sharing that, -you also have a point concerning the free-scrolling playfield style that may not be possible on the atari. Though I would like as much a faithful translation, I see there's going to be some compromises in certain areas due to hardware limitations. I think just the vertical scrolling will work because Dark Chambers uses that very method; and I like the transition of fading into different screens that's employed there as well. I also like how DC has that wide screen aspect too and out of curiosity, I revised the S&S mock up to match that.

There's alot of sprites scattered around in the mock but that's just for show. I think having only one treasure or special item on the screen at one time along with up to two enemy sprites on the same screen will help reduce the amount of flicker if and when they cross each other's paths.

 

post-7623-1205598516_thumb.pngpost-7623-1205611059_thumb.png

To help reduce memory and cycle requirements, I've cut the resolution of the mock in half by using fewer scanlines and as anyone can see, the walls now have thicker lines and blank spaces inbetween. And the dragon still looks okay in spite losing some minor details. I moved the player's inventory to the bottom, added a staircase sprite and corrected the missles to be the same color as the player sprite. I Shrunk down the crown and helmet for a different size relation with the player sprite. I think this is closer to what's actualy possible unless I missed something.

 

Oh yeah, @ Philsan, If you can supply that manual scan of the first level maze, that would help me to produce mock ups of the mazes I plan to post here.

Edited by espire8

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REMOWILLIAMS, you have beaten me!

In this moment I have just finished scanning my manual.

I have to say that your American version is more colorful than my International version (5 languages).

Edited by Philsan

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Thanks for the scans remowilliams (and for the offer as well Philsan :) )! The intv gameplay is quite involving, I can see a status screen is utilized and there are a total of 4 levels! this will be a big game for the vcs, regardless I'm going to at least design the first level.

 

I wonder if anyone can post me a few screen grabs of the other levels for color referance though an emulator? This is getting intreresting.

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REMOWILLIAMS, you have beaten me!

In this moment I have just finished scanning my manual.

Doh! I didn't know you were working on it. Well too much help is better than too little. :)

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post-7623-1205674226_thumb.png

 

The 1st level looks like it will be 4 static screens wide and 4 scrolling screens tall (16 screens all together) if this were to be done using the Dark Chambers screen layout. The 24 column PF version will be 6 screens wide (6 x 4 = 24 screens) to cover the same amount of ground. The rooms I think should wrap around from top to bottom? This is pretty big, could easily fill up 32k just to have 2 levels that are equally large.

 

So what should I try first? The small version 24 column or the wider DC style 40 column?

Edited by espire8

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The 24 column PF version will be 6 screens wide (6 x 4 = 24 screens) to cover the same amount of ground. The rooms I think should wrap around from top to bottom? This is pretty big, could easily fill up 32k just to have 2 levels that are equally large.

 

I should have been clearer. The dragon, if you're trying to have him 'solid', should be limited to 24 PF columns. The other walls, if they're striped, could be full width.

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I got S&S for my Intellivision way back when it first came out and it definately seemed so state of the art! Converting it to the 2600 would be difficult to make use of the wizards spells. Half of the fun was the anticipation of using a new found spell. THe keypad on the Intellivision was great for such things. Back in the day we would "trade" games temporarily with other owners. S&S was probably the most requested of my collection :)

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I should have been clearer. The dragon, if you're trying to have him 'solid', should be limited to 24 PF columns. The other walls, if they're striped, could be full width.

Oh, okay. I guess that settles it for me then. I'll stick with the wide screen mocks.

 

Nice to hear how there are still fond memories for S&S and though a 2600 version will lack the keypad function, I feel Trogdor has figured a good way around that with his own control layout. Only problem is the 16 possible sword positions will be reduced to 8. I had a chance to actualy play S&S tonight (my ebay used S&S copy has arrived recently :) ) the movement is kind of sluggish but I got used to it quickly. I find the levels are not that big, but only seem so cause it move so slow. It's kinda quiet but the sfx of the swords are very good. I wish I didn't have to switch to the menu every time to check my lives remaining as the game just ends aburbtly when I'm not aware i'm on my last life.

 

I got as far as level 2 but the B/G colors are the same as level 1.

 

It seems the most important feature are the controls, selection of magic and the 2-player team play. There's even walls that have recessed spikes that can kill you instantly. Scoring valor points by storing recovered treasures to earn more lives and stocking up on spells is also key.

It won't be easy to translate all that, still I think it would be worth it to get most if not all into the vcs.

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The 1st level looks like it will be 4 static screens wide and 4 scrolling screens tall (16 screens all together) if this were to be done using the Dark Chambers screen layout.

 

Do you think that with proper level design the game could still work, if a level would be just one giant vertically scrolling stripe?

 

Anyway, this is an amazing project, I wish I wasn't busy with Jumpman right now, else I might give it a try :)

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