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jrok

Circus Galacticus - Atari 2600 (WIP)

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Very, very cool. :thumbsup:

 

Thanks, dudeness.

 

A few notes:

  • This is just crying out for AtariVox support.
 
I agree. It would be pretty cool if the game made fun of you if, for instance, for fighting like a chicken instead of a robot.
 

I love the variety of opponents - especially the big green guy who comes out and kills you. :D
 
Green Guy just wants a hug. There are a few big guys along the way, who will eventually function as bosses. For the time being, they just have more hit points and are releatively more aggressive. The bosses will eventually have different AI, weapons and a few different sprite-sets, but for now they are just big blobby butted versions of the regular guys.
 

I like the new obstacles - although I'm looking forward to more variety like in the earlier versions.
 
This is mostly a rough proof right now, just to nail down collision boxes and what not. Ultimately the layouts will be more flexible, and the obstacles themselves will have different properties on each level (reflective shots, guided shots, traps,triggers, etc)
 

You can use your shots to play the song "Mary had a little lamb" if you do it right.
 
I played the first few chords of "Stairway" last night. I think. I was drinking pretty heavily.
 

The collision detection between the players and the barriers seems a little off. You can be near one of them and get stuck, without touching it. (Usually when running at it from an angle.)
 
Thanks. Looking into it.
 

An enemy shield strength indicator would be most welcomed.
 
Hey, maybe I can use the lower left status bar for that!
 

Weapons should probably be disabled while in the Safety Zones. It's too easy to stand there and snipe from behind.
 
Hmm. This shouldn't work, yet on one side of the screen it does! Of course, that wouldn't help you on the later levels, when those safety zones turn into death rays quicker than you can say "those safety zones turn into death rays." But I'll look into it ASAP... it's defo a bug, thanks.
 

An end-of-game delay is needed, since if you're blasting away and die, you can accidentally start a new game before seeing your score.

 

It's weird. I never once blew past a score, but apparently this is still a problem. I'll check it out.

 

Cheers!

 

Jarod.

 

 

*** OK! I fixed the safety zone bug now. They should disable your weapon completely (although you can still quick dodge inside them. New file attached. Thanks again Strum!

 

Jarod

 

CG_10_24_09_new.bin

Edited by jrok

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This game wasn't working right on Harmony carts so I did some investigation. It turns out there are two issues. The first is a bug in bB's startup.asm that causes the screen to roll on some hardware (fixed version attached.)

 

The second bug I found involves something like this (a guess because I don't have source, and to decompiling the binary back into bB code in my head):

  if AUDV0>5 then ...

 

This will not work because you can't read an audio register. As presented, the condition would always be true on an emulator.

startup_fix.zip

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[*]This is just crying out for AtariVox support.

Yeah, hearing the Emperor speak would kick major ass. :D

 

..Al

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This game wasn't working right on Harmony carts so I did some investigation. It turns out there are two issues. The first is a bug in bB's startup.asm that causes the screen to roll on some hardware (fixed version attached.)

 

The second bug I found involves something like this (a guess because I don't have source, and to decompiling the binary back into bB code in my head):

  if AUDV0>5 then ...

 

This will not work because you can't read an audio register. As presented, the condition would always be true on an emulator.

 

Thanks batari :)

 

I replaced the include file, found and deleted the bogus register read and then re-compiled. New binary attached.

CG_10_25_09.bin

Edited by jrok

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Ok, this new version includes the Harmony Cart fix (hopefully), a few minor bugfixes as well as some variation in the terrain/obstacles. In addition to an alternate layout, I've also added some initial shield barriers to some of the levels. I'll expand this sort of thing in later builds.

 

*In the pics below, laserfire can pass through the "Shooting Ports", but gladiators cannot.

post-21152-12564916655_thumb.gifpost-21152-125649209859_thumb.gif

 

 

*Some levels will begin with some shootable "shield" terrain already in place. Gladiators can pass through this material, but it will block shots until it is destroyed

post-21152-12564915324_thumb.gifpost-21152-125649154703_thumb.gif

 

CG_10_25_09B.bin

Edited by jrok

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Are you still programming this in Batari BASIC? There's some serious detail in those pictures; detail that I thought was impossible in that development environment.

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Are you still programming this in Batari BASIC? There's some serious detail in those pictures; detail that I thought was impossible in that development environment.

 

I think it's because he is using the phosphor effect in Stella. He used flicker really well in this project.

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Are you still programming this in Batari BASIC? There's some serious detail in those pictures; detail that I thought was impossible in that development environment.

 

Yes, it's still Batari BASIC. I'm flickering at my sprites at 30hz and duping/flipping some sprites, which probably accounts for what appears to be more detail. I believe these pictures pretty fairly represent what most people will see when they play the binary in an emulator, and particularly if they set the phosphor effect in the game's "Game Properties" menu in Stella or in Z26's Configuration>>Video settings. Even without phosphor set, the flicker doesn't seem terribly noticeable to me (except maybe for the left and right shield zones, which I could probably resolve by just flooding PF0 every frame, instead of every other frame).

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This is looking really interesting. I like the shop that you've included in the newer builds. Is there any chance you would change the character animations to be more like some of the earlier versions? I like the way they have a bounce in their step in the versions in this thread versus the newer ones in the project tracker.

 

Also, what phosphor setting do you recommend? I'm not someone who minds flicker one bit, but I'm curious about the phosphor setting you would use in z26.

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This is looking really interesting. I like the shop that you've included in the newer builds. Is there any chance you would change the character animations to be more like some of the earlier versions? I like the way they have a bounce in their step in the versions in this thread versus the newer ones in the project tracker.

 

It's really interesting that you picked up on that. :)

 

I temporarily sacrificed the bounce to preserve some ROM after moving the color pointers into Superchip RAM. Basically, the old animation was using shape data to draw the sprite's "bouncing step," and I was updating the necessary color changes based on the frames of animation where the changes occurred. The good news is that now that I've finished reorganized the memory, I can add the bounce back in by moving the actual sprite object instead of the shape and colors. I will remember to do this in the next build.

 

Also, what phosphor setting do you recommend? I'm not someone who minds flicker one bit, but I'm curious about the phosphor setting you would use in z26.

 

I set phosphor to "77" in z26, and the flicker doesn't seem to be terribly noticeable.

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

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Thank you for the phosphor settings advice!

 

 

Hard game, couldn't get past the 2nd round or reach the Star beast yet. Looks and plays different from the original.

 

> The Upgrade shop: is a nice addition but I'm not sure it's needed. It does gets to be annoying to me sometimes having to reselect my upgrades again and again every time when I want to start a new game right away.

- Maybe you should use one of the difficulty or B/W switch to optionally and completely turn on or off the upgrade shop.

 

> The controls: it's kind of hard for me to not compare to the original version but I'm having a hard time getting used to the new controls, especially the new "dash" feature which I constantly find myself dashing when i don't want to.

- Can the dash be controlled by means of tapping the joystick quickly in the same direction twice instead of using the button? That would give dashing much more control and firing lasers a lot more simple and easier.

 

One control mechanic I really like here though is the way you are able to stand in place and aim in any direction while holding the button down before firing upon release! Keep that in there!

- Additionally, you may want to give the option of Tapping the joystick twice in any direction to perform the Dash anytime while the player is aiming and holding the button down. That's a good way to cancel firing a shot by dashing before releasing the button. Or the player can continually hold the button while dashing to resume aiming in the new position he lands on.

Or better yet, how about animating the dash into a roll?

 

Personally, I like the upgrade shop. This is a feature in hardly any 2600 games. Other than Fatal Run, I can't think of any.

 

 

- Another play mechanic I think you should add is having the laser weapon charge automatically all the while the player is not pressing the button. That way there's only a delay to fire the next shot immediately after firing the first - instead of waiting to charge the first shot while aiming, which I wasn't too crazy about.

As for the weapon's range control, I would allow the laser to fire any time during charging. Firing another shot immediately one after another without giving time to charge can just result in short range shots.

 

> Enemy difficulty: is hard to evaluate at this time. I feel I'm having difficulty playing because of the way the player's controls currently are, -it's a bit sloppy.

 

Other ideas:

- How about having the player's and enemie's mobility slowed down a notch each time he's hit by laser fire, sort of like sustaining injury? And maybe you can have the weapon's charing time increased or range shortened when ever a player or enemy is hit while aiming (holding the button down)?

 

- Try having the player's/enemie's shield replenished only by entering the Safety Zone except for the Star Beast since it's a boss enemy.

 

- In certain circuits, a Temporary invincibility for the first player to touch the safety zone when it turns a certain color would be a nice double edged sword!

 

These sound like some very good ideas, especially the "tap joystick twice to dash." What do you think the feasibility would be of implementing some of these? Anyway, keep up the good work!

 

BTW, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to post in the release thread of the project tracker so I'm keeping my comments here. :)

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I spent some time this morning playing Circus Galacticus using Stella 3.0. While I'm not usually one for one-on-one fighting games, this one is proving to be compelling, having that "just one more game" quality to it.

 

I do have some comments and questions. Please take all of these with several grains of salt, if not a whole shaker, since I may not be aware of what was intended and what hasn't been implemented.

 

I really like the character animation! The running movements look quite good. Slowing down the Emperor from his previous incarnations was a good idea; before he was "talking" too quickly.

 

The health bars do not change color until the round starts. When you are "beaming into" round 2 the color of the health bar is still that of round 1. Once you press the trigger, the color changes. I noticed this when I first turned on the game, as the bar was black.

 

Also, the player's health bar is either missing a square or is jumping. With O representing a square and a dash representing an empty space, this was the pattern of progression: OOO-, -OOO, --OO, ---O. I'm guessing the player has fourth health points and that the fourth isn't displayed.

 

It's possible to wrap a shot around the screen from outside the safety zone. While facing right and standing one or two squares away from the right safety zone, charge and fire. A few squares may appear outside the left safety zone.

 

What do you think of adding a brief period of invulnerability after being hit? As it stands now, your opponent can stay close and fire several times in quick succession, killing you quickly without a chance to run or recover. This can be frustrating.

 

Is it intentional that after the Emperor appears, you are able to go off-screen to the top and bottom? This could be a chance for some sneaky stealth tactics.

 

It can be hard to take being beaten by early opponents, especially after seeing later ones, but that's just incentive to get better at playing!

 

You've got a fun game in the making. I look forward to see what comes in future builds!

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I know haven't posted progress on this one in awhile, so I thought I'd post a BIN. The summary of changes might be incomplete, but here's a rough overview.

 

 

1. Added music to (placeholder) Title Screen, Circuit Intro and Upgrade Shop.

 

2. Added a Circuit Select feature. Press the select switch to select one of three possible circuits (A, B or C, with C being the hardest). The screen will show the letter of the circuit and a picture of that circuit's champion.

 

3. Players can use their credits to upgrade three traits before the start of each circuit: Health, Range and Movement. Tap back and forth on the joystick to access the different traits, press the fire button to buy one or more upgrades. You begin the game with 4 credits, but will earn additional ones after defeating each circuit's champ (if you are using Circuit Select to try Circuits B or C, the initial number of credits will account for champs that you would have defeated if you played from the beginning.) When finished, tap the joystick until you see the "GO" screen, then press fire to start the first match.

  • Health increases number of hits before death.
  • Range increases the range of the laser beam.
  • Movement increases both foot speed and the range of your dash.

 

4. Some more powerful enemies will use a flashing deflector shield that can absorb a laser shot without causing damage to the gladiator. Once the shield is down, a second shot will wound him, but you have to get the shot off quickly, since the shield will regenerate over time (some enemies regerate the shield faster than others.)

 

5. Fixed various bugs and kinks, such as the wrapping laser shots in the left and right safety zones.

 

Here's a current binary. I plan on putting some more work into this over the next couple of weeks, so any feedback you guys have would be much appreciated. There are still lots of things left to implement, such as the Bonus mini games (right now, it's just a screen that says "Bonus" :roll: ) and several additional enemy types to finish programming, but I'm hoping to get the main engine to a place where it's fun and bug free, first.

 

Cheers,

J

CircusGalacticus8.bin

Edited by jrok

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Any chance that you can add a 2 player feature? That would be awesome! And I would like to see a smaller/thinner laser!

 

GREAT WORK! :thumbsup: :)

 

Thanks!

 

A two player mode was always been part of the original plan. But it's a matter of ROM space at this point. Unless I can figure out a clever way of implementing it, I may have to choose between 2-player mode and single player Bonus stages.

 

Due to kernel constraints a smaller, thinner laser is impossible, unfortunately. :(

 

On the other hand, I can make the actual hit boundaries of the lasers "smaller and thinner." In other words they would look the same, but the area that registers a successful "hit" could be smaller. I doubt that's what you mean, though.

Edited by jrok

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This game is turning out great - it is quite fun and a marvel of pushing the Atari hardware past the point of sanity!

 

Is it just me, or does everyone hum the Tron theme when they play this? :P

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Is it just me, or does everyone hum the Tron theme when they play this? :P

It's just you. But I find myself whistling "Only Solutions". ;)

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Is it just me, or does everyone hum the Tron theme when they play this? :P

It's just you. But I find myself whistling "Only Solutions". ;)

 

For me it's "Dream Police." I am seeking medication for this.

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I'm glad to see a new release of Circus Galacticus come around. I spent a bit of time playing it. The game is rather challenging; I've yet to beat the first boss!

 

I like the addition of the traits. Customizing them at the beginning of the game is a good way to support different playing styles or preferences.

 

I did encounter some bugs related to trait selection...

 

There are dots on the circuit selection screens that float by diagonally. (They are a nice touch, by the way.) However, if one is on screen when you press Select, it will remain on the screen while you select traits.

 

If you do press Select to change circuits - even if you cycle through A, B, and C back to A - you are given 8 points to spend instead of 4 points. A plus sign is displayed instead of a number until you get down to 5 points. While I presume this is a bug, it is handy for surviving while testing the game! :)

 

If you spend all of your credits, press the button again, then navigate to the GO! page, the game automatically begins. It's as if the fact the button was pressed was never cleared from memory. (Normally you have to press the button on the GO! page to proceed.)

 

I like that there is a distinct pose now for standing still and preparing a shot.

 

I also found that after returning to the circuit selection screen after starting a new game, the running figure is in the same position as when you finished the previous game.

 

The warp effect upon selecting the circuit is very nice.

 

I didn't encounter any trouble during game play itself - just the circuit selection and trait purchasing screens.

 

Please keep up development on the game! I'll like to see how it evolves.

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I'm glad to see a new release of Circus Galacticus come around. I spent a bit of time playing it. The game is rather challenging; I've yet to beat the first boss!

 

Thanks! I can beat him, but the game is unforgiving. I might add a few "lives,"

 

There are dots on the circuit selection screens that float by diagonally. (They are a nice touch, by the way.) However, if one is on screen when you press Select, it will remain on the screen while you select traits.

 

Hmmm. I don't see the dots. Any more information?

 

If you do press Select to change circuits - even if you cycle through A, B, and C back to A - you are given 8 points to spend instead of 4 points. A plus sign is displayed instead of a number until you get down to 5 points. While I presume this is a bug, it is handy for surviving while testing the game! :)

 

Thanks for the bug report. I'll fix this in the next build.

 

 

If you spend all of your credits, press the button again, then navigate to the GO! page, the game automatically begins. It's as if the fact the button was pressed was never cleared from memory. (Normally you have to press the button on the GO! page to proceed.)

 

Thanks again. I'll fix this.

 

I also found that after returning to the circuit selection screen after starting a new game, the running figure is in the same position as when you finished the previous game.

 

I noticed this too. I will work on it.

 

Thanks for your help. :)

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There are dots on the circuit selection screens that float by diagonally. (They are a nice touch, by the way.) However, if one is on screen when you press Select, it will remain on the screen while you select traits.

 

Hmmm. I don't see the dots. Any more information?

 

It's a single dot that appears on the center of the top edge of the screen then moves diagonally down and right into the box in which the boss gladiator is running. It then goes from the lower-right corner of that box toward the lower-right corner of the screen. Next, it reappears at the lower-right corner of the box and again goes to the lower-right corner of the screen. The cycle then repeats. The dot's position along this path isn't consistent but the direction it takes is.

 

I have attached a screen shot showing the dot.

 

I am using Stella 3.0 on Windows 7 64-bit.

post-56-126727556813_thumb.png

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There are dots on the circuit selection screens that float by diagonally. (They are a nice touch, by the way.) However, if one is on screen when you press Select, it will remain on the screen while you select traits.

 

Hmmm. I don't see the dots. Any more information?

 

It's a single dot that appears on the center of the top edge of the screen then moves diagonally down and right into the box in which the boss gladiator is running. It then goes from the lower-right corner of that box toward the lower-right corner of the screen. Next, it reappears at the lower-right corner of the box and again goes to the lower-right corner of the screen. The cycle then repeats. The dot's position along this path isn't consistent but the direction it takes is.

 

I have attached a screen shot showing the dot.

 

I am using Stella 3.0 on Windows 7 64-bit.

 

Hmmm. That's the ball object. I must have accidentally used its ram pointers for something. Thanks for the report... I wonder why I never noticed this? Does this dot appear anywhere else during play?

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Hmmm. That's the ball object. I must have accidentally used its ram pointers for something. Thanks for the report... I wonder why I never noticed this? Does this dot appear anywhere else during play?

 

If you press the button at the right time on the circuit selection screen, the ball will also appear on the trait purchasing screen, but it will be stationary.

post-56-126740438166_thumb.png

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