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DINTAR816

New pacman for atari 2600

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^^ Color cycling patterns look like ass IMO. And yes, they are deliberately programmed in. I also think it's totally unnecessary, especially for modern homebrew. I believe even Atari quit this archaic practice during the later release games. I don't think most retro gamers leave their consoles running for days on end, and if they do for whatever reason (for instance to suspend/resume gameplay while real life takes precedent) they have the hindsight to turn off their CRT set, which ain't getting younger. :P

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^^ Color cycling patterns look like ass IMO. And yes, they are deliberately programmed in. I also think it's totally unnecessary, especially for modern homebrew. I believe even Atari quit this archaic practice during the later release games. I don't think most retro gamers leave their consoles running for days on end, and if they do for whatever reason (for instance to suspend/resume gameplay while real life takes precedent) they have the hindsight to turn off their CRT set, which ain't getting younger. :P

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Echoed to hear in both eyes and to increase post count :)

 

When I got my 1st VCS I did think the cycling was in the system until I started playing Activision carts and they did not cycle

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^^ Color cycling patterns look like ass IMO. And yes, they are deliberately programmed in. I also think it's totally unnecessary, especially for modern homebrew. I believe even Atari quit this archaic practice during the later release games. I don't think most retro gamers leave their consoles running for days on end, and if they do for whatever reason (for instance to suspend/resume gameplay while real life takes precedent) they have the hindsight to turn off their CRT set, which ain't getting younger. :P

 

Back in the day, for the first VCS releases anyway, I always thought the color cycling was a concession to Mom and Dad who might have thought twice about hooking up this new gizmo to their expensive color TV set after seeing how the screens of the coin-op arcade games were all burned-in (...and they were all black & white in those days). I don't know if anyone has done any experimenting to see just how long an Atari game would need to be left on to create burn-in on a color CRT screen, but the color cycling offered that extra layer of comfort and the assurance that the engineers at Atari were showing consideration for their customers.

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...but the color cycling offered that extra layer of comfort and the assurance that the engineers at Atari were showing consideration for their customers.

Or, perhaps they were just covering their asses from potential liability. I would imagine that they had to be concerned that a $40 game could end up costing them the price of a color TV…if screen burn occurred. It wouldn't have taken much for that case to hold up in court back in the 80's.

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DINTAR816: I just downloaded and played this game. Please add my thanks to the pile of praise you have already received. This is a great version of Pacman that I will enjoy playing for a long time to come.

 

Thanks for sharing this game.

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Or, perhaps they were just covering their asses from potential liability. I would imagine that they had to be concerned that a $40 game could end up costing them the price of a color TV…if screen burn occurred. It wouldn't have taken much for that case to hold up in court back in the 80's.

If that held true, then marathon gaming sessions could have the done the same thing (borders or score digits that take ages to change or not at all).

 

The 2600's object intensity wasn't even close to what early dedicated consoles used. Atari's color-shifting was a selling point from their start to the early 80's regardless...but it's safe to say it was complete bullshit. It's really just a waste of resources.

 

The lack of game variations/multiple players wouldn't have been deal breakers, tho.

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If that held true, then marathon gaming sessions could have the done the same thing (borders or score digits that take ages to change or not at all).

 

The 2600's object intensity wasn't even close to what early dedicated consoles used. Atari's color-shifting was a selling point from their start to the early 80's regardless...but it's safe to say it was complete bullshit. It's really just a waste of resources.

 

The lack of game variations/multiple players wouldn't have been deal breakers, tho.

I disagree Nukey; colour cycling like grayscale palette support had to be coded in but these weren't wasted resources at all. Colour cycling offered a unique attact mode that showed off quite interesting colour combinations and made you want to play another round when the system was left on - hey what's it doing, that looks cool!

 

The B&W switch was a related option that changed the look and feel of the game - look at the hacks like Meteroid Black, games with an alternate colourset are awesome additions. Some game really need it - the original pacman is tremendous fun but the colourscheme gets a bad rap - just flip the BW switch and you've got a neon pink score, some blue, a black background like the arcade and far more pleasing shades of gray than the default set.

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"Looking cool" is not why either are there, tho. Attract-mode color shift was a specific marketing ploy targeting concerns of images wrecking the display screen...and the B&W palette change is there because B&W sets were still so common (and some colors become weird-looking or even indistinguishable when viewed on such). It might be preferable on a color display only in the sense that they didn't put much effort in their color schemes to begin with ;) So yeah...if they had it right to begin with, the romspace and ram variables would be better spent developing a better game than being wasted in this manner. It took 3rd parties doing their own thing to get Atari around to this line of thought.

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Looking back, most of the kids and teenagers I knew in my neighborhood in the 70's and very early 80's only had a 9" or 12" B&W set in their bedroom, so a B&W switch was needed.

 

It wasn't until the early-mid 80's when Korean-based companies like Goldstar (now LG) Symphonic and Emerson started dumping millions of cheap color TV's into discount houses like K-Mart, Target and Wallyworld that you could afford one.

 

Now I wonder could the B&W switch be programmed as another option switch for a game (besides different colors)?

Edited by WildBillTX

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Looking back, most of the kids and teenagers I knew in my neighborhood in the 70's and very early 80's only had a 9" or 12" B&W set in their bedroom, so a B&W switch was needed.

 

It wasn't until the early-mid 80's when Korean-based companies like Goldstar (now LG) Symphonic and Emerson started dumping millions of cheap color TV's into discount houses like K-Mart, Target and Wallyworld that you could afford one.

 

Now I wonder could the B&W switch be programmed as another option switch for a game (besides different colors)?

Didn't own the game, but I think games like "Space Shuttle" did use it for gameplay.

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Now I wonder could the B&W switch be programmed as another option switch for a game (besides different colors)?

 

There are a number of homebrews that use it for other things - pause, PAL compatibility, etc. It's just a switch - the game program determines what it does.

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There are a number of homebrews that use it for other things - pause, PAL compatibility, etc.

 

A number of commercial releases use the color switch for other functions as well, including Space Shuttle, as Darryl mentioned. Several games from the red label era use it as a pause button, which is appropriate since the pause button on the 7800 is a spring-loaded "color" switch in disguise.

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This looks fantastic and I can't wait to try the bin. I'm in for a boxed cart if it's released.

 

30+ years on a Pac-man is still something I can pick up and play. It's amazing how this game continues to hold interest.

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I always thought the color cycling was in the hardware. Was it something that coders had to use up space to add in?

Nope. It's software. You cycle the color palette after so much time without an input. The 8-bit computers had it in the OS, but it was still software.

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It wasn't until way later with machines like the Amiga you could do colour cycling by swapping palette indexes around, and ofc later with PC 256 colour palette VGA graphics. I guess some sort of colour cycling is possible on a machine like the C64, but only 3 of the colours in a multicolour sprite/character set (you have to update the character colour by writing in colour memory in order to change that). The usual way to fix it is to use rasters and just update one of the colours (not the character one though) so in that sense its basically the way the Atari 2600 would do it too. Ofc with the Amiga you had dedicated hardware that read a raster configuration (called the copper list) making these things exceptionally simple - hence all the "raster bars" (or "copper bars" as they were called) in Amiga demos. :) - Its one of those little things that made coding games and all that so much simpler on the Amiga.

Edited by johncl

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It would be totally rad though if someone hacked "attract mode" to cycle colors twenty times per second instead of every twenty seconds. Were seizures something people worried about back then? Because Pacman, derp!

 

Thanks for the tip; I'll have to try Atari Pacman with the B/W switch flipped...

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Hello, here I bring the latest version of 4k (or at least that I need to fix some bug).

In this version:

I modified a bit the "kernel" to save a few bytes more used in the "playfield", also save about 20 bytes in other parts of the code. :)

I added the single fruit, double fruit, triple keys (as I mentioned before).

I added the "Game over" message.

A "small change" in the third intermission.

Corrected a small error in the sound, which made some sounds could take up to 4 frames to start playing (like the sound of "extra life"). :)

pacman2600_4k_sl3.bin

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Hello, here I bring the latest version of 4k (or at least that I need to fix some bug).
In this version:
I modified a bit the "kernel" to save a few bytes more used in the "playfield", also save about 20 bytes in other parts of the code. :)
I added the single fruit, double fruit, triple keys (as I mentioned before).
I added the "Game over" message.
A "small change" in the third intermission.
Corrected a small error in the sound, which made some sounds could take up to 4 frames to start playing (like the sound of "extra life"). :)

 

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving to you too! :)

I think the third intermission change makes a nice difference. First time I notices the extra life sound. Wow! What a big deal that would have been in back in the day!

 

While I am in the mode of giving thanks, I guess I am thankful that this didn't come out in 1981, because we wouldn't have had a way to gauge what a huge achievement this is. Back in the day, we would probably have been more critical of its shortcomings than appreciating the talent it takes to do this! Another thing is that consoles have kind of killed the arcades, and games like this may have made the arcades extinct a little sooner. GREAT JOB, and hope all you Atarians have a great holiday!

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While I am in the mode of giving thanks, I guess I am thankful that this didn't come out in 1981 . . .

 

To avoid confusion for those who don't know or weren't alive then, Atari 2600 Pac-Man was released in March/April of 1982.

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To avoid confusion for those who don't know or weren't alive then, Atari 2600 Pac-Man was released in March/April of 1982.

Ah thanks. I can remember details of that night, but not the date. I just remember the copyright. Lol. I remember we pre ordered it from Penny's. We picked it up. I was so excited, but I had to eat first. Mom made hamburgers with swiss. They were the thick, hand-formed ones that I didn't like then, but I'd love to have them now. Mom and Dad let me turn on the tv and watch it while I ate. I remember wondering what I was looking at, but I was still excited. Lol

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