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Alien Pinball

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I just love pinball. I currently have eight pins at the house and enjoy everything about them. So I thought.. humm I need to try out the DCP+ Kernel for the next 2600 project and pinball should be easy.. (yea right).

 

After much work and compromise Alien Pinball is what came out. Now I've come to the conclusion that this will never play like a real pinball. I tried all sorts of ball physics. Some were more realistic but the game play was no fun at all. Anyway this is what I ended up with. Please let me know what you think.

 

Game Info:

Starting in version 0.4 switch difficulty is active.

Left Switch on B = Easy game

Left Switch on A = Harder Game

 

SWITCH A:

Gravity is more of a factor 

Ball behavior is different

Joystick up for both flippers is disabled.

Wall hits are slightly different.

The tilt is more sensitive. 

 

From title screen press fire to start.

 

Version .9 I think I have fixed the scan line issues. If you have a harmony cart, please test it

 

Pull back on joystick to pull spring back and press fire to launch the ball.

 

Push left on the joystick to fire the left flipper

 

Push right on the joystick to fire the right flipper

 

Push up on the joystick to fire both flippers (in version 0.5 and up, this is only true if left difficulty switch set to Switch B.)

 

Nudging the pinball can be done (version 0.4 and up). To nudge hold the fire button + up, down, left, or right.
It is possible to tilt and lose your ball and bonus points. If you nudge too often it will tilt.

 

At the end of game press fire to begin a new game.

 

Scoring:

 

Space Ship bumper point values - 100 - 200 - 300 (depending on their level).
 
The moving space ship bumper when stationary - 5000
Hitting the right button will freeze the moving space ship for a time. While the ship is stationary the value is 5000.
 
Spinner value - 50 - 100 - 150 - 300 (score depends on the level)
 
Top rollover button value 500 per hit + 1000 bonus points
After going over the rollover button at the top of the play field it will award a bonus point of 1000. The maximum bonus points held are 10. There is an indicator for the number of bonus points displayed. Bonus points are awarded at the end of a ball. 
The rollover button when hit will disappear but can be put back in play by hitting the right wall button.
Once you get 5 bonus points, bonus values are doubled. Once you get 10, bonus points are tripled.
 
Mother Ship pylon value - 1000
 
Space ship bumper and spinner values are increased by hitting both pylons on the middle space ship. When both are hit a ship is dispatched to protect the pylons from additional hits. This ship must be destroyed in order to hit additional pylons. For every successful completion of the pylon destruction an indicator will appear below the ship. Up to four indicators will be shown. On the fifth destruction of the pylons all bumper and spinner values increase, the play field will slightly change and the ship bumper colors will change.
 
I have not placed a way to earn an extra ball yet. I'm thinking around 200k points but will see why you folks think would be a fair point value is.
 
Let me know of any issues. I do not have a harmony cart but have put the code in for it to run on one. If anyone out there tries it, let me know. It's current form is NTSC only (sorry PAL).
 
 [attachment=378745:alienpin-title.jpg][attachment=378741:alienpinb-gameplay1.jpg][attachment=378742:alienpinb-gameplay2.jpg][attachment=378743:alienpinb-gameplay4.jpg][attachment=378744:alienpinb-gameplay3.jpg]
 
[attachment=380564:alien-pinball-0.6.bin]
[attachment=382076:alien-pinball-0.7.bin]
[attachment=407264:alien-pinball-08.bin]
 
Edited by winkdot

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Whoa! Now this is a project I had hoped someone would take on; a home-brew pinball game. Wish we'd see more of 'em. Thanks for answering a prayer winkdot!  lol     

 

I'll give it a try soon on a real 2600 via Harmony and let you know how it goes... 

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Great start! I love pinball as well. I feel like more of a spectator in your game. I wish i had more control over what the ball does. In video pinball you had the option of nudging the ball while in midnight magic the ball found its way to the flippers more. I hope you keep up with this.

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Great effort, and awesome that you're a pinhead! :D

 

I like the playfield on that the deck. Simple, but has a decent amount of shots. I agree with Mountain King though, nudging would be nice, and despite, being fun, the ball feels a bit floaty to me.

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Pinball!

 I have wanted to do a pinball game. 

What always stops me is that I would need to study and program a ball physics routine. 

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Great effort, and awesome that you're a pinhead! :D

 

I like the playfield on that the deck. Simple, but has a decent amount of shots. I agree with Mountain King though, nudging would be nice, and despite, being fun, the ball feels a bit floaty to me.

Thanks. Mountain King is right. Afraid that nudging will require a rewrite of the pinball movement logic. The ball is floaty. I had another version that did a lot of gravity but that strangely felt odd also. Not sure if I can come up with something that feels like real pinball.

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Winkdot, how are you handling collisions? I'm having difficulty identifying collisions with the multiple player1 sprites, since you can't use "collision(player2-9,missile1)" 

Ah yes, ran into this and was perplexed. In this one only player0 can have a collision with any missiles. 

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One of these days I hope to make a pinball game using part of the guts of this program:

 

atariage.com/forums/topic/211497-chipoff-breakout-style-example-program/

 

I wouldn't know how to make realistic flippers, though. I also wouldn't know how to make the ball realistically interact with the flippers. Maybe there is a "how to make a pinball game" book out there.

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Great start! I like the layout, but it could definitely use something at the bottom of the playfield, slingshots or lanes, something to get the ball to the flippers more often. Right now it seems like there are too many times the ball just bounces back and forth across the bottom third. I'd like to see a version with some more gravity if it's possible. It's weird for the ball to be traveling down, hit a wall, and start going back up.

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Posted an update to Alien Pinball. Version 0.3 (see first post).

 

New stuff:

 

Gravity is now in play on the pinball.
 
Nudging the pinball can now be done. To nudge hold the fire button + up, down, left, or right.
It is possible to tilt and lose your ball and bonus points. If you nudge too often it will tilt.
 
Changed the mothership pylons a bit.
 
I haven't put a lot of test time into this so there could be issues. Let me know.
 
Would also like to know if it tilts too easily or not enough.
Is there better ball control with gravity active. I can't tell anymore :)  

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Looking good! I'd like to suggest the flippers be improved so the ball reacts differently when they're moving and stationary. Right now the game practically plays itself if you just hold up. Though even that is fun to watch. I got to 155k before I got tired of holding up :)

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Neat changes, feeling pretty great. :)

 

I like the tilt addition, need to play through a few more times yet, but did manage around 122k. :)

Edited by Jinroh

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Snowed in so.....

 

Out pops version 0.4

 

I have tried to take the above input and make changes. Thanks!

 

Whats new:

I have included the left difficulty switch. There are also many tweaks to the game.

The pinball finds it's way to the flippers quite often now.

 

Left Switch on B = Easy game

Left Switch on A = Harder Game

 

SWITCH A:

Gravity is more of a factor 

Ball behavior is different

Joystick up for both flippers is disabled.

Wall hits are slightly different.

The tilt is more sensitive. 

 

So game A is much more difficult. Actually I think game B is harder than the other versions. Please let me know if you can get the space ship bumpers to red (I can't). 

 

Added game start and game over music(?) 

 

Please give it a try and post your thoughts. It's crazy but because of my inefficient coding I'm pretty much out of space.

I still have no idea if this will run on an actual 2600. If you have the means please let me know if it works.

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Okay, just now giving this a try. Your latest build using Harmony and an Atari 7800 and a Heavy Sixer. 

 

Plunger is stepped either on or off. No analog equiv. to strength of shot. 

 

Ball hits two, maybe three things and immediately drains. In other words, game is unplayable… 

 

Slope (gravity) of playfield way too high. I was able to "shake" the machine or ball, only to watch it immediately drop to the return lane and bounce (super quick like) down to the out hole. 

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Okay, just now giving this a try. Your latest build using Harmony and an Atari 7800 and a Heavy Sixer. 

 

Plunger is stepped either on or off. No analog equiv. to strength of shot. 

 

Ball hits two, maybe three things and immediately drains. In other words, game is unplayable… 

 

Slope (gravity) of playfield way too high. I was able to "shake" the machine or ball, only to watch it immediately drop to the return lane and bounce (super quick like) down to the out hole. 

Alright thanks for trying it out on a real machine!

Plunger does not have strength variance. It only pulls back and fires so that is normal. There is no skill shot so I didn't see that as a priority. 
Was the left difficulty in the A position? If so, B is much more forgiving. 

It sounds like the graphics didn't roll and it worked on a Harmony, 7800 and first gen 2600 which is good news.
I would assume the player flicker was not too bad?

While playing on Stella with difficulty B I was able to play quite a bit. I didn't get as far as on the the previous versions though.
Could be I have made it a bit too difficult. Hopefully others will try it and chime in.

Thanks much for the input and giving it a go on real hardware!!!
 

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I'm liking your game more and more. Ball movement is still a little odd, but i do feel more involved. A minor thing, the flippers appear to pivot from the center. If you changed the y value when the flippers are activated it might look better.

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Mountain king was spot on about the flippers. I had not even considered that. Added, and thanks Mountain King!

 

Version 0.6 (down load on first post. It's not in order now, must have been the way I edited it.

 

Whats new:

 

You can now multiply your bonus points.

There is an indicator that shows the bonus multiplier on the lower left side, outside of the table) 

Get 5 bonus point and it's x2 bonus.

Get 10 bonus points and it's x3 bonus.

 

Flipper update (thanks again Mountain King :) )

 

Some graphics updates.

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While playing I noticed that the ball will occasionally pass through objects when it's traveling straight up. I think it even passed through the top of the screen once. The easiest way to see this is to just hold up and watch the ball bounce around for a bit.

 

If you can find a way to improve the ball and flipper physics, this will be a really awesome game. Keep up the good work!

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