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The time has come for Atari 2600 Dragon's Lair!

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I watched almost all the bB homebrews since years, but I did not have seen anything related to "Pitfall-like" games...
I already talked with at least three bB "advanced" users, and they all agree with me: if this Dragon would be such a Pitfall/platformer game, then I think it should need "pure" assembly, not basic.

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I watched almost all the bB homebrews since years, but I did not have seen anything related to "Pitfall-like" games...

I already talked with at least three bB "advanced" users, and they all agree with me: if this Dragon would be such a Pitfall/platformer game, then I think it should need "pure" assembly, not basic.

 

Here's a Pitfall-like work in progress:

 

atariage.com/forums/topic/210526-jungle-adventure-was-my-next-project-pitfall-type-game-dpc/

 

 

These are platform games too:

 

atariage.com/forums/topic/217009-zippy-the-porcupine-4-level-demo/

 

atariage.com/forums/topic/215058-princess-rescue-binaries-released/

 

You can make just about any game you can think up with the various bB kernels and options, but you have to be willing to make compromises. If you want pretty graphics with 10 multicolored sprites and hardly any variables, you go with DPC+. If you want uglier graphics with only 2 sprites and at least 48 more variables, you use Superchip RAM. . .

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The whole Princess Rescue thing has drained me of any enthusiasm for making games without securing the rights first.

 

The great irony is that macdlsa could easily make this. You just need to be enthusiastic about making games to use bB.

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I already know Mario (a friend of mine here in Italy had already bought it... great package,moreover) and Sonic ports for the VCS.

Seriously, RT... :_( :woozy: Ideally I was looking for "something else"...

I know you are kinda' a bB "admirer" as well as a great bB programmer, so you advice to use it. BUT, If YOU'd like to try with bB, I could send you my material...

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@theloon
Hehe, noooo, I know my limits !
It's almost 6 years (btw: since just after the birth of my daughter...) that I did not try to do something with bB...

I know, in 6 years it has been updated and fixed, but basically it is the same thing.

 

I could write down lines for the layout sequence of Singe's lasergames emulation;

I could build and setup emulator cabinets;

I could build&fix tower loudspeakers;

I could even build vacuum tube hi-fi amplifiers... but, really: bB it's not my job :_(

Edited by macdlsa

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I know you are kinda' a bB "admirer" as well as a great bB programmer, so you advice to use it. BUT, If YOU'd like to try with bB, I could send you my material...

 

Nope, I really, really, really, really suck at programming. Just know that a person who loves the game and knows how to program using BASIC can make the game for you using bB. It's possible, you just have to 'advertise' it and keep it visible so that special someone will come along and see it. For example, you could put the idea in your signature at every video game related forum you belong to.

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@theloon

 

Sure, but they tell me to don't share too much... ;)

 

It would basically be an horizontal platformer, without bng scrolling just as Pifall (II) is.

River%2528Whirpools%2529.jpgTentacles.jpg

Simple layouts for the screen, just different colors for the four "stripes" you could watch in these 2 images...

Score/lives stripe located in the upper part, while the lower part "reprise" the color of the underlying screen.

path_example.jpg

Here is an example of how screen layout should be:

RED indicates the path that the player should go; WHITE ARROWS show the right direction and WHITE LINES indicate the points where screens are "linked together" (when the main sprite reaches that points, then the screen change to the next one as shown by the white line...).

 

The underwater two "POOL" screens needs a sprite layout change, as it is in the water and needs to swim ( ... Pitfall again ?... yes :D ).

 

Some exceptions to the horizontal scroll might be (if not too much "devastating" for the kernel of the whole game...) the elevator floors, in which the (two)sprites should of course scroll vertically...

Elevator_2%2528FALLING%2529.jpg

 

Main sprite should have the ability of jump (Joystick UP) as far as climb/drop (again Joystick UP / DOWN) ladders and use the sword (FIREbutton) to fight against the enemies which use to appear from time to time...

 

[ note: I kept the NTSC TIA's colors for all the drawings ]

___________________________________________________________________

@RT

 

I really, really (...) don't believe when ya'say you suck at programming... :twisted:

Lookin' anywhere else, you say ?

Er............. NOPE ! I know I could NOT find anywere than here on AA better VCS' (or 6507) programmers !

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Even as a kid I never expected DL to be on the 2600, I still don't see it ever happening, would be prettty swweeeeeeet though if it did :)

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As far as unlikely ports go, I'd like to see Ballblazer first, followed by Prince of Persia. At least those were/are pretty far in development.

Edited by mos6507

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Sorry to revive this old thread, but I've just looked around if there has been an attempt to actually make the port talked about here. I've thought about how it could maybe work in a bit more detail...

 

About two years ago, Dragon't Lair has been ported to the TI-99, and it comes as a cartridge. The way this works is Tursi put 256 MB of flash RAM into the cartridge, probably with according bank switching, and the game works by continuously copying data to the video memory and streaming audio data from the cartridge.

 

Something similar could be attempted for the Atari 2600 as well. I'm no electronics expert, but I don't think it would be too difficult to design a cartridge that allows for many more banks than we're used to. Contrary to the picture shown above, it could be full screen as well, but the resolution and color depth would be limited. But I think a video system would be feasible where in each scanline, there is one background and one foreground color and the usual 40 pixels, and all of them would change in every scanline and in every frame. For convenience, the data could be stored similar to the way player data is stored for the 8-bit line, that is, for instance, you could have line 1 being stored on addesses $F800, $F900, $FA00, $FB00, $FC00, $FD00, $FE00 and $FF00 (assuming you store the 2 half-bytes needed for asymmetric display separately). The next line would be at $F801, $F901, $FA01 etc.... These addresses would be the same for every frame, but the cartridge would have to provide a bank switching scheme where you could write 2 addresses to select a 2K bank to swap in, and each bank would hold the video data for one frame. It also could hold more data in the unused bytes, for instance, which joystick input is expected, if any, and which frame to jump to next if the expected input is met, and which one to jump to if it is not met. Also, it could contain sound data.

There just would have to be enough memory on the cartridge to hold the entire game. At 2K per bank, and 60 frames per second, this would be about 120 KB per second, and if the game is about 900 seconds long, this would mean a 128 MB cart should do, which would then provide 65.536 2K banks selectable by two addresses on the cartridge. The lower 2K of the address space then could contain the program which, since it doesn't have to change with each frame, could do with 1, 2 or at most 4 2K banks. So a third address could select one of the lower banks to page in at this address range, or you could only have a resident 2K page that's basically the player for the upper banks which between reading the scenes swaps in a upper bank that contains additional logic.

 

I'm not sure if this would really be a attractive, but I think this is a way how it could be done, and it doesn't need an additional CPU, just a bit of advanced bank switching logic and a big memory chip.

 

Here's an example of a screenshot out of the game I've converted to the format I'm envisioning...

 

2061470929_DRAGONSLAIR2600.png.73ff40e1cbef3530c38a3b815bbb9b28.png

 

Yes, I know this still looks pretty dirty, but at least it would be full screen. Memory could be saved (if necessary) by displaying every frame twice (since the original probably doesn't run at 60 FPS as well), but on the other hand, each frame could also be stored twice, dithered differently to provide some kind of chrono-color.

 

Here's a link to the thread announcing the TI-99 version: Dragon's Lair is sold out! - TI-99/4A Computers - AtariAge Forums

 

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This is an early test, the encoder has been improved quite a bit since then.
 

Source on the left, 2600 on the right. Note - best if you view it using 720p60.

 

 

more info in the Movie Cart topic.

 

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Here's a short off-screen recording of Stella running a recent MovieCart encoding of some Dragon's Lair gameplay.

My equipment is old and can't manage to screen capture at 60Hz, so this doesn't quite capture the look/feel of the real thing.

It's pretty impressive stuff...  @rbairos

 

 

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In Dragon's Lair, as in all the other traditional animated cartoons, the frames perpetually have "micro-shifts" and variations of light, chroma and color... isn't it that during encoding and/or decoding all these variations can cause a waste of memory, which in the case of our VCS is really precious ?
Could a pre-processing of the movie be useful, perhaps even just to uniform the colors ?
A bit like they did for the (fantastic !) DL conversion on GameBoyColor and before that on Amiga (a little less fantastic...).

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2 hours ago, macdlsa said:

In Dragon's Lair, as in all the other traditional animated cartoons, the frames perpetually have "micro-shifts" and variations of light, chroma and color... isn't it that during encoding and/or decoding all these variations can cause a waste of memory, which in the case of our VCS is really precious ?
Could a pre-processing of the movie be useful, perhaps even just to uniform the colors ?
A bit like they did for the (fantastic !) DL conversion on GameBoyColor and before that on Amiga (a little less fantastic...).

not in this case.
It needs to draw a full frame regardless, left to right, top to bottom.
It simply doesn't have the cycles to skip sections, while racing the beam, and it doesn't have a frame buffer, so it has to draw
it all anyways.

The amount of memory it uses to store each image is negligible on an SD card anyways.
(About 1 gigbyte an hour if I recall).


 

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53 minutes ago, rbairos said:

not in this case.
It needs to draw a full frame regardless, left to right, top to bottom.
It simply doesn't have the cycles to skip sections, while racing the beam, and it doesn't have a frame buffer, so it has to draw
it all anyways.

Hi rbairos ! 

I should have imagined it, also because it seems to me that you have already said it, to a previous question of mine in which I asked you if with a "cleaner" master the encoding would have had fewer "hitches" [btw: did you use the "full playthrough" video I sent you for that clip ? ... I see bright and crisp color].
Not being a programmer (but having read the fantastic book "Racing the beam", as well as reading the equally beautiful "Programming for newbies by Andrew Davie) I thought that, for example, along the same scanline the information of "color change "rather than that of "continue with the same color " and that the second would have saved some space... but without frame buffer in fact this concern of mine makes no sense. 

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No that's okay.

Its good to explore all possibilities.

I haven't tried the full playthrough you sent yet. Mostly because of distractions and thinking the encoder is too course to notice differences.

Cheers

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On 12/28/2021 at 3:50 PM, SpiceWare said:

This is an early test, the encoder has been improved quite a bit since then.
 

Source on the left, 2600 on the right. Note - best if you view it using 720p60.

 

 

more info in the Movie Cart topic.

 

Now that is amazing! Looks like DL might be possible on the 2600 after all! 

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1 hour ago, gambler172 said:

is there any test file for an emulator available?

 

If you mean the moviecart video files, yah both the latest Stella, and Gopher 2600 emulate them.
The rom files end with .mvc . There are a few examples floating around in the thread above, as well as my github:
https://github.com/lodefmode/moviecart

Additionally you can create your own content, as a few have already done, by installing TouchDesigner (free for non-commercial use)
and running the TouchDesigner toe file in the github.

Cheers.

 

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