Jump to content
Curt Vendel

Donkey Kong source code

Recommended Posts

Landon,

 

Okay just pulled up the Master backup from 9/4/1984 and I found a directory called UTIL which has about 53MB's of utils in it, I see AMAC, CAMAC, LINK65, CRASS65, and tons more... so I'll work on this tomorrow, post it up onto atarimuseum.com and post a link, should be a good start for everyone.

 

 

BTW... do you remember what the VGER database was for? Its on the backup and right now, it and CEO_MAIL are two apps which I've been unable to clear text access the contents. I've spoken with a few DG guys and there was never any kind of conversion or modern day app ever written, so it may be necessary to try and access them through a DG emulator.

 

 

Curt

 

I have no idea what VGER was.

 

I do remember that the MV/8000 was used for both engineering and office work (one of the things that made turnarounds so bad -- like 45 minutes -- during "working hours" were the number of people logged in and doing email on the crappy script-driven office management system). So you should find plenty of toothy political gold in the email databases from the DG machines.

 

The Data General minis were indeed sweet machines; I would have preferred a Unix system, but the DG had a very capable screen-based programmer's editor and a pretty nice file system. Atari could have done worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BTW... do you remember what the VGER database was for?

VGER?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%27ger

 

:ponder:

 

Probably just a coincidence in the naming... :D

 

 

I never wrote any code for it. The original programmer was fired before it was finished, but I don't remember who wound up completing it. Probably Jeff Milhorn (who was the "junior" programmer on it) and Kevin Sacher (who was managing the group by then).

I always thought it was a good port of the coin-op. The controls don't seem as tight as they should be sometimes (especially on he first level), but everything from the coin-op was there and the gameplay was top notch (love that spark level). I think the only thing missing was that little animation of DK Jr on the umbrella going to Mario's hideout.

 

I do remember that Dk Jr. was started in FORTH, and was an ego-driven disaster until that nonsense stopped.

You know, that has to be the third or fourth (or should I say FORTH) time that I've heard someone mention games being attempted in FORTH with disastrous results (a few 7800 games come to mind). Was it common to program games in FORTH at the time, or was it just something certain programmers did? I wouldn't think FORTH would be fast enough for games.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know, that has to be the third or fourth (or should I say FORTH) time that I've heard someone mention games being attempted in FORTH with disastrous results (a few 7800 games come to mind). Was it common to program games in FORTH at the time, or was it just something certain programmers did? I wouldn't think FORTH would be fast enough for games.

 

Tempest

 

The programmer in question was adamant at the start that using FORTH was superior in terms of speed of delivery, space occupied by the code, and quality. In other words, much better than programming in assembler. He'd deliver DK Jr in record time. Management believed him.

 

So he got Atari to spring for this $800 FORTH package that came with a thick binder of documentation printed on funny-colored paper (to prevent photocopying) and wouldn't let anyone near his code. Nobody else got a copy of this package. He mucked around in FORTH getting stuff prototyped and "ready to write code" for months. And after like five months he had one or two screens working, and no sound, and the thing sucked. And all the time he was bragging about how FORTH was going to let him whip through the rest of the game like snot through a greased pig (or something like that), but it was already late, it was clear he was at sea and wasn't going to come through.

 

There had been a bunch of layoffs, but none that had affected engineers (just sales, marketing, manufacturing, and some research folks). So in the first round of layoffs where they had to jettison actual engineers, he was gone. Pretty bitter about it, too. I remember a sense of relief that they'd finally bagged him.

 

So Jeff Milhorn and maybe someone else took over, and delivered a pretty good game in a few months. I was impressed with the recovery.

 

Later, I heard from a Coin-op veteran something along the lines of, "Yeah, every couple of years someone discovers this FORTH thing and thinks they can do games in it, and it never works out." Turns out that Atari *did* ship a game written in FORTH: It was the pinball machine "Four by Four."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your guys rock!

 

I love those ancient stories... esp. when founding those old sources... but good to have Landon on board as well. :)

 

DK jr in Forth? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow these are real treasures. It explains what was really going on when I was six and played DK :cool: Well documented too.

It would be nice if someone could compile those sources.

 

Are there also sources from Pacman?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammer sound (?what???) - I know there's music for the hammer, but is there a sound?

Yes, when a hammer strikes an object.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corp research had BSD Unix running on one of its Vax and was connected to Arpanet (Pre-Internet) at the time, infact if you do a refined search of google groups, you'll find emails from the atari.uucp dating back to early 1982...

 

Forth for game writing... hey why not just do it in Cobol ! ;-)

 

 

 

Curt

 

 

 

Landon,

 

Okay just pulled up the Master backup from 9/4/1984 and I found a directory called UTIL which has about 53MB's of utils in it, I see AMAC, CAMAC, LINK65, CRASS65, and tons more... so I'll work on this tomorrow, post it up onto atarimuseum.com and post a link, should be a good start for everyone.

 

 

BTW... do you remember what the VGER database was for? Its on the backup and right now, it and CEO_MAIL are two apps which I've been unable to clear text access the contents. I've spoken with a few DG guys and there was never any kind of conversion or modern day app ever written, so it may be necessary to try and access them through a DG emulator.

 

 

Curt

 

I have no idea what VGER was.

 

I do remember that the MV/8000 was used for both engineering and office work (one of the things that made turnarounds so bad -- like 45 minutes -- during "working hours" were the number of people logged in and doing email on the crappy script-driven office management system). So you should find plenty of toothy political gold in the email databases from the DG machines.

 

The Data General minis were indeed sweet machines; I would have preferred a Unix system, but the DG had a very capable screen-based programmer's editor and a pretty nice file system. Atari could have done worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember back in college, we had an 11/750 upstairs in the computer center. I used to Proctor down in the computer room so I was living there all the time practically, there used to be this game called Conquest which was a Star Trek game that ran on the old VT100's with ASCII animation... it was a phenomenal game.

 

Well we'd get about 8-10 people on playing that in real time against one another and you'd have people trying to compile code for classes as well... we would bring that Vax to its knee's...

 

One afternoon I came in and was all set for a good round of Conquest... the Sysop's pulled it off of the system :-( Too bad too, it gave everyone something to look forward to each day.

 

 

 

Curt

 

Landon,

 

Okay just pulled up the Master backup from 9/4/1984 and I found a directory called UTIL which has about 53MB's of utils in it, I see AMAC, CAMAC, LINK65, CRASS65, and tons more... so I'll work on this tomorrow, post it up onto atarimuseum.com and post a link, should be a good start for everyone.

 

 

BTW... do you remember what the VGER database was for? Its on the backup and right now, it and CEO_MAIL are two apps which I've been unable to clear text access the contents. I've spoken with a few DG guys and there was never any kind of conversion or modern day app ever written, so it may be necessary to try and access them through a DG emulator.

 

 

Curt

 

I have no idea what VGER was.

 

I do remember that the MV/8000 was used for both engineering and office work (one of the things that made turnarounds so bad -- like 45 minutes -- during "working hours" were the number of people logged in and doing email on the crappy script-driven office management system). So you should find plenty of toothy political gold in the email databases from the DG machines.

 

The Data General minis were indeed sweet machines; I would have preferred a Unix system, but the DG had a very capable screen-based programmer's editor and a pretty nice file system. Atari could have done worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here it is, have fun...

 

 

Curt

 

What's the story on redistribution of this? A few people have seen the pointer to the code in my blog, registered on AtariAge, and are unable to download it [i don't know the reason].

 

Any objection if I re-host somewhere? Or would you prefer it to remain accessible only via AtariAge (or via the Atari Museum site)?

 

Completely up to you.

 

 

-landon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's the story on redistribution of this? A few people have seen the pointer to the code in my blog, registered on AtariAge, and are unable to download it [i don't know the reason].

 

-landon

 

To download stuff from the forums you have to have to be logged in with an account. I'll let Curt answer the other part of your question.

 

Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's the story on redistribution of this? A few people have seen the pointer to the code in my blog, registered on AtariAge, and are unable to download it [i don't know the reason].

 

-landon

 

To download stuff from the forums you have to have to be logged in with an account. I'll let Curt answer the other part of your question.

 

Mitch

 

The account needs to be validated by an admin too I think. I got an email that it had, tried again and it worked.

 

Thanks for posting this, it reminds me of trying to program Ataris to do playfield animation in 6502 assembler a long time ago. Though my playfield animation was a lot worse than Landon's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I love this old "Atari gold", even though I dont understand a lot of it, the stories are a real joy to read

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, I love this old "Atari gold", even though I dont understand a lot of it, the stories are a real joy to read

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Landon,

 

If it goes on your site, sure that is not a problem.

 

 

Curt

 

Here it is, have fun...

 

 

Curt

 

What's the story on redistribution of this? A few people have seen the pointer to the code in my blog, registered on AtariAge, and are unable to download it [i don't know the reason].

 

Any objection if I re-host somewhere? Or would you prefer it to remain accessible only via AtariAge (or via the Atari Museum site)?

 

Completely up to you.

 

 

-landon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this moment, 135 downloads!

Simple members or Atari programmers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here it is, have fun...

 

Curt

 

I had a bit more time to look at this, and I'm certain that it's not the final version of DK. Some things that I know are missing:

 

- A formatted comment near the gravity control stuff (label 'PtSVel') that explains the equations of motion.

 

- A piece of copy protection code that changes some zero-page values (in order to cause havoc). The JSR instruction is later checked to see if the stomper has been removed.

 

- The code in the file 'tr' that implements the easter egg isn't integrated anywhere (should be near the code that draws the title screen).

 

If someone was mucking with the code to (say) do a port, I could seem them removing the latter two, but not the first comment. Maybe this is a mix of files.

 

The proof is in the pudding, however. If it builds (and I'm not even going to try...) and appears to work, then people will certainly find it useful. The only major bug that was fixed "late" was a situation where Mario could fall and fall forever; it was possible for his velocity to grow so that he wouldn't evern intersect with a girder, so he'd just loop around off the bottom of the screen and back to the top. I think I just noodled the collision rectangles to deal with this.

 

So I would characterize this as "mostly finished" with me probably just twiddling my thumbs and adding the above stuff during the two weeks at the end of the project while Q/A ran through it. [Yeah, things were kind of fast and loose that way; programmers could add stuff during final testing and get away with it.]

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Reddit users! I've removed the restriction that you have to be logged in in order to download the source in the first post of this thread..

 

..Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So he got Atari to spring for this $800 FORTH package that came with a thick binder of documentation printed on funny-colored paper (to prevent photocopying)

That would've been ValForth, printed in repro-blue ink on yellow paper. Hard as hell to read. It was a good package if you didn't mind coding for an hour and then sitting there swapping 5 or 6 diskettes as you hoped it would compile. It was the best FORTH package there was for the 800.

 

- A piece of copy protection code that changes some zero-page values (in order to cause havoc). The JSR instruction is later checked to see if the stomper has been removed.

I don't quite follow. Are you referring to the indirect addressing which was used as a protection scheme (the hardest to bypass -- could take days to trace through), storing index and temp values on Page 0 (often trying to tie them into game-based counters like in Defender)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year, KJMANN12 asked if I was interested in helping him making an update for Donkey Kong. Think he was looking for smoother game play and wanted to replace the music /sound FX with RMT. I am currently tied up with many projects and cannot get involved right now. However if someone does want to undertake this project, you may send him an email on Yahoo.

 

Tried to look at the source and wonder if it can be ported to MADS or XASM because those are very easy to work with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. It used the same basic hardware but was designed from the ground up. Using the same main board allowed Nintendo to ship DK conversions for the unpopular Radar Scope (though RS was one of my non-Atari faves from the year) as well as re-purpose a lot of unsold units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No. It used the same basic hardware but was designed from the ground up. Using the same main board allowed Nintendo to ship DK conversions for the unpopular Radar Scope (though RS was one of my non-Atari faves from the year) as well as re-purpose a lot of unsold units.

 

I always hear how Nintendo considered Radar Scope a failure, but in our arcade everybody loved that machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the 7800 and Lynx probably could use it, but keep in mind the Graphics are processed much differently. You would have to replace all the Antic/GTIA/Pokey stuff with Maria, and what ever the Lynx uses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...