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SpiceWare

Space Rocks (2600)

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I know SpiceWare isn't (and shouldn't) be too concerned about it running in emulation. He is programming for the real hardware.

 

True, but keeping things working in emulation is a real help for a developer, as you get access to the debugger. As well, it's nice for end-users who don't have a Harmony cart for some reason.

 

In any event, I try to keep Stella working with all the latest homebrews, particularly cool ones like this which a lot of people are interested in. But I can only speak for the mainline versions released for Linux/OSX/Windows; I'm not involved with ports to other systems.

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Absolutely.

Sorry, I wasn't inferring Spice needs to make it work in other emulators or anything, I was just curious.

 

No worries, I wasn't taking it that way at all. I was curious too after seeing your post, which is why I tracked down those emulators to see what they were based on - they could have been based on MESS or z26 for all I knew.

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For information purposes: I find it runs just fine on Stella 3.6.1. It has the solid medium rock problem, but if you virtually hit the Reset button, it fixes the solid rock problem and all rocks and ships are vectors.

:)

Good to know, thanks!

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Absolutely.

Sorry, I wasn't inferring Spice needs to make it work in other emulators or anything, I was just curious.

 

Besides, IMO the developer doesn't have to make it work in any emulator. If it works on real hardware and not the emulator, then by definition it's the emulators fault. Or at least that's the philosophy I follow.

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HOLY COW!!! I just played the latest release and THIS IS AMAZING!!!

 

You just blew my mind!!!

 

I SECOND THIS!!! It's an awesome version of not only the most arcade-like Asteroids for the 2600 I've ever played, but ALSO, Asteroids Deluxe with the right options! All in one game!!!

 

Thank you mucho Spiceware! :grin: :thumbsup:

 

Hot damn I can't wait to see you whip out a Space Duel version for the 2600! I wonder and hope you'll be able to get a working tether mode for 2 player on this one!

Edited by Bentley Bear!

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Thanks!

 

Sadly, with just 138 bytes free, there's no way tethering will be part of Space Rocks. Maybe in a sequel, but it'll be a while before that would happen. I want to finish Chun-Li and Frantic for the 2600, then resume learning the ColecoVision after those two are done.

 

Next update will have the final sound effects. We thought we were done with those, but I realized after receiving them from Bob that I'd left Shields and Flip180 off the list. I've been fixing bugs and trying to free up some more ROM in the mean time. I've already freed up so much ROM that I'm at the point where I can only free up a few bytes here and there so it's taking ever more work for diminishing returns.

Edited by SpiceWare

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I obviously don't know a thing about programming but I didn't think it will hurt to ask. Would it take up a lot of bytes to add a top 5 or top 10 high score list to this? Just curious.

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I don't know exactly how many bytes it would take, but it would take significantly more than I have.

 

I'm pretty sure the "feature set" of the game is done. What memory remains is getting used by the last of the sound effects, the XOR data to make the satellite1 look a bit more different from player's ship, and bug fixes.

 

One of the bug fixes to be addressed is infinite-hyperspace. At the moment you can just hold down on the joystick and you won't die, even if you respawn on top of an asteroid as you'll immediately warp back out. This lets the player control where they respawn at, thus eliminating the risk of using hyperspace. Another bug showed up last night while I was showing the game to a friend - once the large killer satellite appeared with only the right half. Don't know why it occurred and it only happened the one time, so I've got to figure out how to make it happen again before I can fix it.

 

Once all those are done I'll try to squeeze in double-satellite support, but I'll be really surprised if I'm able to pull that off.

 

 

1the current dot-in-the-middle is just my testing of the routines

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It's great to watch the development of games like this progress over time. And can you imagine having this game (and programming tools and knowledge) back then?

 

I "got out of" the VCS back in the day because games never had this level of sophistication, but computer games and more advanced consoles did. I tended to think that the VCS had reached full potential well before the mid-1980's. But, today, look! For all practical purposes this is a good arcade port with accurate graphics and chock-full O'features. This shit r0XerZ hard! Can you imagine the VCS in another 10 years from now?

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  • Sound effects by Bob DeCrescenzo!
  • Added a hyperspace cool-down timer of 5 seconds.
  • Revised the heartbeat speeds
  • minor fixes

ROMs - Harmony or Stella1

spacerocks20120914_NTSC.bin

spacerocks20120914_PAL.bin

 

1 Requires Stella ver 3.7.1 or later. See first post for instructions on how to reduce flicker.

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mmm.. the heartbeat sound effects are little more than bass-sounding clicks. Not like the last version. And the explosion and sound to go with it is a little rough or stuttery. Like a slow frame rate..

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are you playing on a real console, or in Stella? When I first heard the sounds effects via Stella I wasn't too sure of them. When I heard them on the Atari I really liked them. It reminded me of how the ship in ET sounded really cool on the Atari, but just meh in Stella.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njvf9L_NxHI

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Hmmm... I used the same sound for the heartbeat I used for my 7800 Version of Space Invaders:

I just changed the pitch to be more 'Asteroids' sounding (and used two instead of four notes).

 

So I used the 'ProSystem' emulator to listen to the sounds I created.

 

As far as the explosions, it's actually a mixture of two sounds... on the real thing it sounds better. :)

 

Bob

 

(P.S. thanks, Darrell) :)

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Slightly OT;

 

Would it be possible to use this engine to make a decent version of Omega Race for the VCS? I find the original game to be a total flickerfest and it really kills the game for me...

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A modified version could. The kernel doesn't support drawing the play field. It does support features not needed for Omega Race, namely the HMOVE shifting of the large sprites, so those updates could be removed and the CPU time given to update the PFx registers.

 

This post covers why HMOVE shifting is done.

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Wow, what a difference the sounds make! Excellent work.

 

I'm not crazy about the "warp in" sound, but I can't put my finger on why. I think maybe because it's missing fluctuation? Maybe if the tone increased a bit or something... not sure.

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  • Sound effects by Bob DeCrescenzo!
  • Added a hyperspace cool-down timer of 5 seconds.
  • Revised the heartbeat speeds
  • minor fixes

ROMs - Harmony or Stella1

spacerocks20120914_NTSC.bin

spacerocks20120914_PAL.bin

 

1 Requires Stella ver 3.7.1 or later. See first post for instructions on how to reduce flicker.

 

 

I just tested this version. I like the new enemy.

 

Something about the sound effects doesn't sound right to me. It seems unbalanced somehow. Like the volumes of each sound effect should be different and the heartbeat doesn't sound right. It is hard to explain but when comparing it to Asteroids, Asteroids sounds more balanced. It is hard to listen to it at maximum volume.

 

I think the ship would look a little better if it had more of an A shape instead of a triangle shape.

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My goal is to stream tonight. If I am able to get to that point, I will give this a whirl on the real deal.

 

Thursday night at a local bar, we're doing a retro gaming night, with competitions on 4 games. 2 on the snes and 2 on the Atari. I think I just found one of the games!

 

I can't wait to play this version. Spiceware, did you manage to make the spawn point of single player Asteroids always in the center? Or is it random like it used to be?

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I'll take a look at the Volume Levels, I'll admit I was more concerned about the sounds themselves than the volume. Maybe making all of the sounds the same volume (maybe the heartbeat a little softer) would help.

 

As far as the warp in, I'll revisit that as well. I'm at a dead end with the "Bentley Bear: Crystal Quest" music transcription anyway. I may have to put that on the back burner for a while.

 

Bob

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Something about the sound effects doesn't sound right to me. It seems unbalanced somehow. Like the volumes of each sound effect should be different and the heartbeat doesn't sound right. It is hard to explain but when comparing it to Asteroids, Asteroids sounds more balanced. It is hard to listen to it at maximum volume.

I'll let Bob look into this as they sound OK to me. Just want to confirm that you're playing on real hardware?

 

I think the ship would look a little better if it had more of an A shape instead of a triangle shape.

 

The ship graphics are not going to be changed as they'd end up looking just like the Killer Satellites Magna-Mines. The MMs will get the A shape once I finish freeing up enough space for the XOR data (the MMs use the ship graphics as their basis, the XOR data is used to modify the shape on the fly with minimal ROM usage).

killer-satellite-vector-in-situ.gif killer-satellite-in-situ.gif

 

I've already received the XOR data from Nathan, but there's a lot of RL things going on this week, so I don't foresee getting anything done in Space Rocks until next week.

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Thursday night at a local bar, we're doing a retro gaming night, with competitions on 4 games. 2 on the snes and 2 on the Atari. I think I just found one of the games!

Head to head competitions? If so that'd be great as it's hard for me to test the FIGHT or CO-OP variations.

 

Spiceware, did you manage to make the spawn point of single player Asteroids always in the center?

Yes, that was changed over a month ago.

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Head to head competitions? If so that'd be great as it's hard for me to test the FIGHT or CO-OP variations.

 

 

Yes, that was changed over a month ago.

 

Awesome :D

 

And I think we're going for score, but after the score competition is done, we can do some head to head matches. :D

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I just stumbled upon this thread -- wow, great work! This is a really exciting project.

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