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Juno First - Final Version (Atari 2600)

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* I'd like a little indicator near the bottom of the screen to warn me where an enemy is behind me.

Like a rear view mirror!

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That's a truly excellent translation of the original game!

 

I really like the arcade Juno First and have played it a lot. You got almost everything spot-on, VERY impressive for a 2600 game.

 

My only issue is that some of the alien creation and movement patterns seem to be significantly different from the original. I know that the arcade game somehow makes it so that moving backwards is not as likely to result in a collision/immediate death.

 

Maybe capturing a video of the original in emulation would allow for its movement patterns to be more easily analyzed.

 

Top notch work though! :)

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One problem I had so far is that new enemies can appear on top of the ship and kill me if I'm moving forward (instead of always having a new group start at some distance in front of my current position).

 

I think this game might turn out to be better than Beamrider and Moonsweeper.

 

post-13-1210180224_thumb.png post-13-1210180112_thumb.png

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This is a really cool game!

Couple of things I thought of:

* Could you attach a points reward to shooting down multiple enemies with one shot? It might add a little more strategy to the game.

* I'd like a little indicator near the bottom of the screen to warn me where an enemy is behind me. Too often I am backing into them.

 

Thanks for the comments. You can use the scanner at the top of the screen to tell if there is something right behind you (since the screen wraps-around). I will look into adding a multiple score bonus, but it is a bit tricky due to the way that the collision detection is performed.

 

Chris

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One problem I had so far is that new enemies can appear on top of the ship and kill me if I'm moving forward (instead of always having a new group start at some distance in front of my current position).

 

Yes, this forces you to be cautious! I have already moved the aliens back from earlier versions, but I will nudge them a bit further backwards in the next version.

 

Chris

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That's a truly excellent translation of the original game!

I really like the arcade Juno First and have played it a lot. You got almost everything spot-on, VERY impressive for a 2600 game.

My only issue is that some of the alien creation and movement patterns seem to be significantly different from the original. I know that the arcade game somehow makes it so that moving backwards is not as likely to result in a collision/immediate death.

Maybe capturing a video of the original in emulation would allow for its movement patterns to be more easily analyzed.

Top notch work though! :)

 

Thanks for your comments. I'm still tweaking the movement of the aliens. I can;t completely replicate the arcade movement patterns, but I will try to get a bit closer in the next release.

 

Chris

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As promised, here are the scans of the C64 conversion, including a 400dpi of the cover art... I'll have a playtest on this tonight hopefully :)

http://www.mayhem64.co.uk/misc/junofirst.zip (it's bigger than the 2MB attach limit here)

 

Many thanks for this - I will probably use this text as the starting point for the printed manual. Incidentally, I played the C64 and MSX versions last night to see how they compare, and (without meaning to boast) I think the 2600 version definitely holds its own!

 

Chris

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* I'd like a little indicator near the bottom of the screen to warn me where an enemy is behind me. Too often I am backing into them.
Thanks for the comments. You can use the scanner at the top of the screen to tell if there is something right behind you (since the screen wraps-around).

The arcade game has a slight delay between when an enemy disappears off the top of the screen, and appears at the bottom (and vise-versa), as if there's a little bit of unseen distance they have to travel. Maybe adding something like that would help. Wouldn't need to be much.

 

I like the rapid-fire option (difficulty a) very much. The faster firing rate is much better.

 

I'd be interested in seeing people's scores posted here. I'm wondering if you could go back to the original scoring again now, or if it's still too easy to roll the score.

 

I'll try to do some more play testing in a few days. I'm a little swamped right now.

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I've had some goes now, and I'm definitely impressed! :)

 

One thing I noticed, and I don't know if this is just in Stella (not tried it on my 7800s yet) but I can't thrust, move left/right AND fire at the same time. Just two of the three. Intentional or a limit on how the 2600 can process input?

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One thing I noticed, and I don't know if this is just in Stella (not tried it on my 7800s yet) but I can't thrust, move left/right AND fire at the same time. Just two of the three. Intentional or a limit on how the 2600 can process input?

 

I think this must be an emulator issue? I haven't noticed this problem when testing on actual hardware.

 

Chris

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The arcade game has a slight delay between when an enemy disappears off the top of the screen, and appears at the bottom (and vise-versa), as if there's a little bit of unseen distance they have to travel. Maybe adding something like that would help. Wouldn't need to be much.

 

I will look into this again, but I think there are kernel limitations that force it to be this way. Technically there is a small gap as the ship will not explode if the alien only touches the rear flame :)

 

I like the rapid-fire option (difficulty a) very much. The faster firing rate is much better.

 

Glad you like it - I added this option as a result of your earlier comments!

 

I'd be interested in seeing people's scores posted here. I'm wondering if you could go back to the original scoring again now, or if it's still too easy to roll the score. I'll try to do some more play testing in a few days. I'm a little swamped right now.

 

It would be interesting to see other peoples scores. I am tempted to keep the lower scoring as there are many people around here who are very good at these kinds of games. So far, I have only managed to score 16355, but I haven't tried that hard yet.

 

Thanks,

Chris

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I just tried briefly

I was scared cause u said there were a lot of flickers

this game is brilliant!

I want that on cart

congratulations....

is it your first 2600 game?

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I just tried briefly

I was scared cause u said there were a lot of flickers

this game is brilliant!

I want that on cart

congratulations....

is it your first 2600 game?

 

There is a lot of flicker on later levels, but it doesn't seem to matter too much in this kind of game. I previously wrote some of the games on the 2005 Minigame Multicart, and also Hunchy 2. I have spoken to Albert about a cart release, and this should be happening in 1-2 months time.

 

Thanks,

Chris

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One thing I noticed, and I don't know if this is just in Stella (not tried it on my 7800s yet) but I can't thrust, move left/right AND fire at the same time. Just two of the three. Intentional or a limit on how the 2600 can process input?

 

I think this must be an emulator issue? I haven't noticed this problem when testing on actual hardware.

 

Chris

If by 'thrust' you mean forward, then it's working fine for me in Stella. That is, you're pressing forward, left/right and fire at the same time? Many keyboards can't process certain combinations of keys at the same time, making it look like the emulator is not functioning correctly. See here for a description: Keyboards are Evil. I'm willing to bet you'll have a similar problem in River Raid if you try to thrust, turn left/right and fire at the same time.

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Yeah I had thought this keyboard was probably to blame, there's no difference in the left difficulty switch regarding firing either. Guess I'll have to definitely play this on the real thing. Transferred to CC2 so maybe tomorrow night...

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Looking good so far.

 

I find it much easier than the arcade when shooting enemies, but time (fuel) runs quite fast in the later waves.

 

Record so far: 6295

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Wow! Just totally amazing!

 

 

Good job! :)

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A couple of notes:

  • The non-guided enemy shots aren't very on-target. You can usually just sit in one place and they'll miss you. (This isn't so much a problem in the higher levels where they're just spewing out an endless stream of shots at you).
  • The enemies seem to mostly just bounce back and forth. I don't know if the kernel would allow it, but it would be nice to have some enemies actively pursue you.
  • Also related to that - they don't seem to have much vertical movement. They just drift towards you. Could they reverse direction periodically like some of the attack groups in the arcade version?

I realize you're already pushing the 2600 about as hard as it can go, but I thought I'd mention them anyway. :)

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that box pic has some background story... may be the same as whats in the c=64 vers., but just in case :)

 

Not much. It just kinda say "this is a shooter game." It doesn't really go into any kind of detail that would explain how you get into your situation and why "Juno?"

 

Maybe that's not a bad thing though. Let's face it, the most elaborate back story won't change the fact that this is a straight-forward shooter game that's really easy to get into and start playing without explanation.

 

As a possible way of explaining the title, an idea keeps popping up in my head. It's not really well thought out yet but I'll mention it just in case anyone else has any ideas on how to expand on it. Perhaps "Juno First" is a rank of some sort that you have to aspire to. Maybe Juno refers to some notoriously treacherous planet and achieving a rank of "Juno First" is the highest rank you can achieve as a warrior. There could be other ranks along the way that you can reach that occur every Xthousand points like "Earth 10" or something. It would put in place an incentive system to keep playing similar to the planets you reach in Gyruss or even the Activision patches you'd receive when you reach a certain sore. The game itself needn't be changed to reflect this ranking system, maybe just a page in the manual could mention it. Perhaps some sort of "honor system" could even be put in place that once you achieve a certain rank the manual lists a URL that you can go to view & download your own medal. Again, there would be nothing stopping folks from viewing the medals beforehand but if they choose to keep it a secret until earned, it could add some incentive and replay value. I could design the medals in the same style as the label we're working on. Just a thought.

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I thought it was some sort of an outpost that you either had to conquer or rescue "first".

 

Don't know what the second one would be though. ;)

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I've always thought of it as the battle cry from a squadron of naive recruits (Starship Troopers or Battlestar Galactica style) before they are anhilated: "Juno Squadron - Juno First!"

 

Chris

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It's probably a case of pseudo-'Engrish', where someone in Japan just chose two english words that sounded good to them, and then made sure there were not profane (hopefuly.)

 

On a side note, the use of the name 'Juno' in this game lines up in time with another use by another Japanese company, the synth manufacturer Roland, who launched a Line Of Keyboards With That Name.

 

The Juno-106 (pictured in above link) was a great keyboard and one of the first two to implement the then-new MIDI standard.

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Speaking of this game, besides playing the original using MAME, you can play an adapted/recreated online Flash version of the game with real arcade sounds here:

 

http://www.def-logic.com/eventhorizon/

 

I like the horizontal lines of the Atari 2600 version better and even the Atari 2600 enemies look better to me.

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