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DCUltrapro

some pretty awesome graphics for the Lynx!

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Hi guys,

 

I was rummaging for some stuff on the Lynx and I found this pretty cool vid about the Lynx Graphical capabillity:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMTF6OVsvxg&feature=related

 

in particular I wanted to ask about the part of the video at approx 4.13. a few seconds before you see a developer screen but it relates to another game called Gordo something, the video seems to cut to a different game entirely before even showing the title for Gordo, so does anyone know which game it is? Its like a little boat battle game, or hover craft? looks awesome for Lynx

 

And immediately after that clip theres a pretty slick looking racing game with carts or buggies, anyone know what that game is?

 

I just bought Battlewheels for about £8, looks sick for the Lynx, does anyone know if Electrocops was a retail release or not? I couldn't find it on Ebay.

 

Anyone seen any other games like this with similar graphics? Electrocops looks pretty wicked, I love Xybots too which I think is similar. Any similar game suggestions would be most appreciated. Can't believe how powerful the lynx was!!

Edited by DCUltrapro

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That raceboat game is Hydra. It's very common, you should be able to pick up a copy for only a few dollars.

 

Take a search for threads on favorite game, you'll see it's a topic that has been discussed many times.

 

One site I like for reading reviews (with good screenshots) of classic videogames is http://videogamecritic.net/index.htm

You'll see he has ratings for about 30 Lynx games.

Edited by ls650

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yeah I've seen lots of peoples favourite lists etc but I was just trying to find out about these particular games and anymore that would be similar, I wouldn't have known without looking at EACH title on peoples lists that the boat game was Hydra, anyway thanks for clarifying which game it was, anyone know that other game I saw which comes on directly after it? Thanks for the info

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nah I'm good thanks, I don't want another emulator I've got loads, if I can't get a certain game for the machine via purchased cart then I may consider it.

 

Meantime I'd like to hear what others think, if they know what that strange racing game is and if there's anything with similar graphics to the likes of Battle Wheels, Electrocorps etc. thanks

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cheers buddy, I have Stun Runner, that's actually one of the few Lynx games I still have from way back when I innitially had the console when I was a kid, that was one of the most memorable games for me on Lynx. thanks for the info mate

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cool, I've just ordered Hydra and Battle Wheels on the cheap, think I might get Electrocop and have a look for roadblasters, I was seriously surprised by some of the graphics in these games, especially warbirds, although it does look like it plays a little slow

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cheers buddy, I have Stun Runner, that's actually one of the few Lynx games I still have from way back when I innitially had the console when I was a kid, that was one of the most memorable games for me on Lynx. thanks for the info mate

 

Thanks a lot, I programmed and did all the artwork for it, Matt Scott (who later started Byte Size sound) did the sound and music. It was the first project I did as an independent developer. I poured over the original source code and multiple times a day I'd played the coin op beginning to end. I had to keep the coin op in my garage due to its size which wouldn't have been too bad except it was FREEZING! I remember seeing my breath and the screen would fog up from time to time. I worked hard on that game, funny thing though is my favorite part about it I didn't do - it's that opening chord on the title screen. I couldn't believe when Matt reproduced the coin op sound PERFECTLY without having to digitize the sound.

 

Anyway, thanks again.

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Roadblasters is a must have.

 

Thanks man, I wrote that one too. RoadBlasters was the first game I did start to finish on my own. I had the coin op right next to my desk at Atari in Lombard IL. There are a couple things I would change about it now but it turned out great.

 

Look up the Easter eggs if you can. If I remember correctly if you hold down A or B or both and drive into the first tree on the right or left of the first level you will see my or Matt Scott's picture and will be able to warp to any level except the last one. We took some liberties with the end of game music too; as I recall, there wasn't any fanfare at the end in the coin op so Matt Whipped out a grand finale theme that turned out really cool.

 

My favorite thing I learned about the coin op from the source code was that the fuel economy (rate of fuel consumption) got worse and worse constantly, only depositing a quarter would fix it - you didn't have to continue or even die, just put in a quarter. There is even a comment in the code that says something like "this is where we embezzle money from the player". I laughed out loud literally and showed everyone in the office when I found that one.

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Thanks for those terrific ports! Stun Runner & Road Blasters are among my favorite Lynx titles too. Looking back at it, they way you used scaling sprites to emulate flat shaded polygons in Stun Runner is amazing. It is a true show piece for the Lynx.

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Agreed! STUN Runner and Road Blasters were fantastic fun on the Lynx!

 

Though now that I have you, let me corner you about the one and only thing in STUN Runner that bugged me (and only a little, though I considered it cheating). You only slow down when you change polygons - meaning you can maintain top speed around corners by staying on the ground! Not true in the arcade! Respond? ;)

 

hehe, still loved them.

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cheers buddy, I have Stun Runner, that's actually one of the few Lynx games I still have from way back when I innitially had the console when I was a kid, that was one of the most memorable games for me on Lynx. thanks for the info mate

 

Thanks a lot, I programmed and did all the artwork for it, Matt Scott (who later started Byte Size sound) did the sound and music. It was the first project I did as an independent developer. I poured over the original source code and multiple times a day I'd played the coin op beginning to end. I had to keep the coin op in my garage due to its size which wouldn't have been too bad except it was FREEZING! I remember seeing my breath and the screen would fog up from time to time. I worked hard on that game, funny thing though is my favorite part about it I didn't do - it's that opening chord on the title screen. I couldn't believe when Matt reproduced the coin op sound PERFECTLY without having to digitize the sound.

 

Anyway, thanks again.

Roadblasters is a must have.

 

Thanks man, I wrote that one too. RoadBlasters was the first game I did start to finish on my own. I had the coin op right next to my desk at Atari in Lombard IL. There are a couple things I would change about it now but it turned out great.

 

Look up the Easter eggs if you can. If I remember correctly if you hold down A or B or both and drive into the first tree on the right or left of the first level you will see my or Matt Scott's picture and will be able to warp to any level except the last one. We took some liberties with the end of game music too; as I recall, there wasn't any fanfare at the end in the coin op so Matt Whipped out a grand finale theme that turned out really cool.

 

My favorite thing I learned about the coin op from the source code was that the fuel economy (rate of fuel consumption) got worse and worse constantly, only depositing a quarter would fix it - you didn't have to continue or even die, just put in a quarter. There is even a comment in the code that says something like "this is where we embezzle money from the player". I laughed out loud literally and showed everyone in the office when I found that one.

 

 

woah ok so hang on you actually worked on both games? would I see your named in the credits on the carts? thats awesome! I really like Hydra actually, its pretty good fun, Stun Runner I always found had a pretty steep learning curve and it often upset me that I couldn't save progress in such games, but still a brilliant little game. I tip my hat to you sir!

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woah ok so hang on you actually worked on both games? would I see your named in the credits on the carts? thats awesome! I really like Hydra actually, its pretty good fun, Stun Runner I always found had a pretty steep learning curve and it often upset me that I couldn't save progress in such games, but still a brilliant little game. I tip my hat to you sir!

 

Thank you so much, those were great years.

 

I am credited in RoadBlasters, and Toki which I wrote at Atari and I also programmed and did all the art for S.T.U.N. Runner under contract. I'm not credited in S.T.U.N. Runner, there are no credits. I was also the head of developer support for the LYNX.

 

Since then I've had two software companies, SOLID Corp. where I made the first Bubsy among other things, and Inland Productions who had multiple million sellers. I've been luckier than I deserve and I'm still making games. I'm currently the head of the Advanced Technology Group at High Voltage Software who aside from a mountain of excellent licensed products made the Conduit for the Wii.

 

Oh, and I also just made Star Castle for the 2600.

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Roadblasters is a must have.

 

Thanks man, I wrote that one too. RoadBlasters was the first game I did start to finish on my own. I had the coin op right next to my desk at Atari in Lombard IL. There are a couple things I would change about it now but it turned out great.

 

Look up the Easter eggs if you can. If I remember correctly if you hold down A or B or both and drive into the first tree on the right or left of the first level you will see my or Matt Scott's picture and will be able to warp to any level except the last one. We took some liberties with the end of game music too; as I recall, there wasn't any fanfare at the end in the coin op so Matt Whipped out a grand finale theme that turned out really cool.

 

My favorite thing I learned about the coin op from the source code was that the fuel economy (rate of fuel consumption) got worse and worse constantly, only depositing a quarter would fix it - you didn't have to continue or even die, just put in a quarter. There is even a comment in the code that says something like "this is where we embezzle money from the player". I laughed out loud literally and showed everyone in the office when I found that one.

I was always amazed with how accurate Lynx Roadblasters was to the arcade version, just a superb port. I was never able to finish this game, but maybe I'll have a chance to see the end with that cheat code.

 

Agreed! STUN Runner and Road Blasters were fantastic fun on the Lynx!

 

Though now that I have you, let me corner you about the one and only thing in STUN Runner that bugged me (and only a little, though I considered it cheating). You only slow down when you change polygons - meaning you can maintain top speed around corners by staying on the ground! Not true in the arcade! Respond? ;)

 

hehe, still loved them.

 

I've noticed this about S.T.U.N. Runner too! No wonder I can only make it about 3 levels into the game, you actually slow way down when you ride the walls. Graphically and audibly this game is an astounding port of the arcade game though. The gameplay is ass backwards however lol.

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Agreed! STUN Runner and Road Blasters were fantastic fun on the Lynx!

 

Though now that I have you, let me corner you about the one and only thing in STUN Runner that bugged me (and only a little, though I considered it cheating). You only slow down when you change polygons - meaning you can maintain top speed around corners by staying on the ground! Not true in the arcade! Respond? ;)

 

hehe, still loved them.

 

I've noticed this about S.T.U.N. Runner too! No wonder I can only make it about 3 levels into the game, you actually slow way down when you ride the walls. Graphically and audibly this game is an astounding port of the arcade game though. The gameplay is ass backwards however lol.

 

Well, um, I did the game like 20 years ago (1990-1991?). I still have the source code, sort of... The Amiga 3000's battery leaked in storage and ruined its motherboard. The hard disk *might* still work, I did just recover all my old ST files last year from 25 year old Supra and Mega drives. I also have the Amiga floppy disk backups somewhere and *might* be able to restore them *if* I can find a floppy drive and the right software.

 

Anyway, I thought you would complain about the aiming of the gun first. It's really hard to port a dual analog control input scheme to the four switches in a D-pad.

 

As far as speed is concerned, there is (or at least should be) a sweet spot, or what is now in racing games called a blue line, an optimal path through the levels. In stun runners tubes it would be on the outside, where a pendulum would swing if you were truly racing around the corners. The stars in the first levels are placed on that line to train you where you should be on the track for maximum speed. In the flat areas only the walls slow you down, and I don't think anything slows you down while boosting. The problem you *may* be having with S.T.U.N. Runner (if there is not a bug) is that the controls are touchy and you really can be harshly penalized for climbing too high up the walls. I put a lot of work into the centrifugal sweet spot aspect, if I didn't then the star placement painstakingly reproduced from the coin op wouldn't work.

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Thanks for the reply, appreciated! I don't know if the tentative hints about source code were a probe for interest, but ... YES! ;)

 

I actually was authorized as a Lynx developer back in the day, and I had the manuals, but I never got the hardware. :/ I loved reading the notes and imagining what might have been, at least!

 

Anyway, I thought you would complain about the aiming of the gun first. It's really hard to port a dual analog control input scheme to the four switches in a D-pad.

 

You did a good job! I never had complaints about the aiming.

 

As far as speed is concerned, there is (or at least should be) a sweet spot, or what is now in racing games called a blue line, an optimal path through the levels. In stun runners tubes it would be on the outside, where a pendulum would swing if you were truly racing around the corners. The stars in the first levels are placed on that line to train you where you should be on the track for maximum speed. In the flat areas only the walls slow you down, and I don't think anything slows you down while boosting. The problem you *may* be having with S.T.U.N. Runner (if there is not a bug) is that the controls are touchy and you really can be harshly penalized for climbing too high up the walls. I put a lot of work into the centrifugal sweet spot aspect, if I didn't then the star placement painstakingly reproduced from the coin op wouldn't work.

 

I'm sorry to report I'm pretty sure you do have a bug, then. I played the Lynx and the Arcade versions extensively (though I never did finish the Ultimate Challenge in the arcade, can't remember on the Lynx). You can maintain top speed on the Lynx by simply staying put on the bottom-most polygon, even around the sharpest corners - that became my strategy as I got better at the game (even on the training stage). I remember discovering that it was during the time when your ship straddled two polygons - whichever two they may be - that you lost the most speed. (I remember testing hanging onto an inside wall on a corner, but I don't remember the outcome). I also remember going back to the arcade and testing whether it was true there (staying on the bottom), and it definately was not.

 

That'll be fixed in the next release, right? ;) hehe. I suppose to be fair it's time to boot it up again and refresh my memory. ;)

 

Despite this very minor issue, it was an outstanding port and one of the show-pieces for the Lynx. Most of the arcade ports really shone on that machine, and was a part of why I loved it. Thank you for helping to waste many of my hours! ;)

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Bug or not, I took it as a gaming tip tonight and indeed I came farther than on my average races! Normally I run out off time (and consequently, continues) after 6 or seven laps at most... now not obeying "the outer lanes are faster in turns" announcement, I find indeed a progress. I´ll try again.

 

S.T.U.N. Runner and Roadblasters are both wonderful on the Lynx, graphic- and gameplay-wise. Thank you!

 

(And also very interested to know how much coding for the Lynx has boosted your career) ;)

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Bug or not, I took it as a gaming tip tonight and indeed I came farther than on my average races! Normally I run out off time (and consequently, continues) after 6 or seven laps at most... now not obeying "the outer lanes are faster in turns" announcement, I find indeed a progress. I´ll try again.

 

I can't get at the original source code because my Amiga is borqued. I don't think there is a bug (programmers never do) but there may be, I'm not calling anyone a liar. Depending on how I represented angles in the tunnel, there may be an alignment or precision error that could skew the timings... for example like having the floor count the same as a low angle on the wall. If anyone is willing to play the game with any scientific rigor, I'd sure like to hear what people think... just remember that you're supposed to cling to the outside of the tunnel, opposite of normal steering, and like a pendulum, not too high.

 

S.T.U.N. Runner and Roadblasters are both wonderful on the Lynx, graphic- and gameplay-wise. Thank you!

 

Thank you.

(The great thing for me about doing a port is that the design is unambiguously done before you start. It's pure engineering.)

 

(And also very interested to know how much coding for the Lynx has boosted your career) ;)

 

I don't know that for sure, but they are still on my resume. I wasn't just a coder, I was the head of developer support for the Lynx too. I was responsible for helping all the Lynx developers and consequently had to know about every aspect of the platform. I also wrote tools and libraries, most notably the compressed digitized audio tools. As far as my career, I left Atari to found SOLID Corp. and the first game we did was Bubsy, Close Encounters of the Furred Kind on the SNES and Genesis. I'm sure that my work at Atari certainly helped me get that opportunity, and Bubsy was a title that seriously lofted my career. I've had many other successes since then but working for Atari and making the first Bubsy are what I consider my roots in the industry.

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That´s a bit off-topic, but did you at SOLID Corp. only do the SNES version of Bubsy, or also the Genesis port?

I ama mod for TheLegacy, a a gaming-database similr to Moby, and while we do have a "Solid Software" listed as developer of the SNES version, the Genesis one is listed as being done by "Al Baker & Associates". In the game and on the box, only Accolade is mentioned.

 

Our database is based on user contributions, so while we do usually check information there may always be errors.

 

Also, I presume your copany was called Solid Corp. back then, not Solid Software?

 

It´s a rare occasion that I can ask the dev himself.

 

EDIT: Found your name as well as the Solid Software logo. :) I had to press A instead of Start in the title creen to get to a menue where I could select the credits. :)

 

 

On topic of the Lynx, and since you were so important in Lynx development... was there a reason that Lynx games often only had very little music? Was it just memory reasons or were there other problems with Lynx sound.? I play games like Switchblade II, and it is really akward that an action game like that lacks any background music.

 

Even today in homebrews music is the aspect most lacking on the Lynx, probably due to a lack of tools. It is being worked on though. :)

Edited by 108 Stars

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Depending on how I represented angles in the tunnel, there may be an alignment or precision error that could skew the timings... for example like having the floor count the same as a low angle on the wall. If anyone is willing to play the game with any scientific rigor, I'd sure like to hear what people think... just remember that you're supposed to cling to the outside of the tunnel, opposite of normal steering, and like a pendulum, not too high.

 

I don't know if it counts as scientific, and naturally this is all for fun, so I took a video demonstrating the effect. (This is emulation for simplicity, it does behave the same way on hardware).

 

I want to emphasize I'm not trying to nitpick or call you out. I've always considered it a fantastic port, and it's kind of a fun thrill to talk about this thing I noticed with the developer (even if it was too long ago to remember ;) ).

 

Anyway, here's the video link, I run once staying on the floor, and once following the stars (I do screw up once). Despite my error you can still see the effect that leaving the floor has on your speed, even when you are supposed to! You can pause and step through the video to see when things change, even. In the first half, staying on the floor, the speed NEVER changes.

 

 

Of course this trick is useful, but you still are forced to leave the floor at times by enemies. ;)

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Tursi,

 

Very interesting, nicely done. :D

 

I see what you see.

 

Now I want to try to get the source code off that old Amiga drive. (Don't hold your breath, I'm not holding mine)

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