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Interest Check - Desert Bus for Intellivision

Interest Check - Desert Bus for Intellivision  

64 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you buy Desert Bus for Intellivision?

    • Yes! CIB all the way!
      33
    • Sure! Loose cart please!
      1
    • I'd probably buy a ROM copy.
      7
    • No way, this is the worst game idea ever.
      23


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I don't think it's really appropriate for a Dadaist "anti-game" to get its own CIB release, unless maybe a big portion of the proceeds is going to charity.

 

I really enjoy the fact that a complete or near-complete Intellivision collection is still within reach for most folks, and allows for a huge overlap between gamers and collectors, if that makes sense (who buys Stadium Events or Air Raid to play it?). And we're also lucky that just about every released homebrew has been worthwhile to play, so getting them all means getting to play fun games.

 

But the more we clutter up the library with stuff that doesn't really merit a release, the more it becomes a rich man's pastime -- and that much harder to justify to our spouses and significant others: "So you bought a game you're never going to play?"

 

I agree that it ruins the joke and/or misses the point to make a properly "fun" version of Desert Bus. However, I wouldn't have any problem with it being one of several games on a multicart. I think the whole "multiple games in one cart" thing has been vastly underutilized on the Intellivision end of things; Stella's Stocking is a great example of how well that can turn out. How about a transportation multicart with Desert Bus, Gosub, Mad Drivin', and Biplanes, eh?

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How about a transportation multicart with Desert Bus, Gosub, Mad Drivin', and Biplanes, eh?

Gosub deserves its own release. Blix is a game that i have yet to figure out how to play and didnt deserve a release. Maybe if they gave instructions with it maybe i could figure it out, but without them it didnt deserve a release. Not sure what biplanes is so i cant comment on that one

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Mad Drivin would be an awesome stand alone game if it was ever finished.

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Gosub deserves its own release. Blix is a game that i have yet to figure out how to play and didnt deserve a release. Maybe if they gave instructions with it maybe i could figure it out, but without them it didnt deserve a release. Not sure what biplanes is so i cant comment on that one

Some ideas have been floated for Super Pro Biplanes. I'd love to see an upgraded 'triple' game release CIB including:

 

Super Pro Biplanes

Air Strike

A 3rd biplane game

 

If an upgraded Air Strike doesn't have a cave map, maybe a SuperCobra-esque cave horizontal scroller could be the third game. All three would share the Biplanes physics. Make it so number one!

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Programming sub-question: how are you keeping track of time (8 hours+) in the game?

 

 

[snip]

Here's the thing - the entire "game" is driving a bus through almost mind-numbing scenery for 8 hours. In realtime. With no pause, no savegame, and nothing to do but hold down the gas. The bus slowly drifts off the road and can get stuck, so you need to actually play it - for 8 hours. Once you get to your destination, you gain one point. And have the option to drive back. Rinse, and repeat ad nauseum.

[snip]

 

 

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I like this idea a lot, using Truckin' as a model for the graphics/gameplay. Also including bug splats on the windshield from time to time would be cool.

 

Truckin' had a nice pseudo 3D / first person view - showing the hood of your truck with the road in front of you. If you used that perspective, I think it would not only make the game more interesting, but keep it true to the original. Maybe just show a bit of dashboard and 1/2 or 3/4 of the steering wheel, moving as you 'steer' down that long, straight road...

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Programming sub-question: how are you keeping track of time (8 hours+) in the game?

 

I don't know specifically how freeweed's going to do it in IntyBASIC.

 

I know how I would do it: The Intellivision retrace interrupt is 60Hz (NTSC) or 50Hz (PAL/SECAM). IntyBASIC does keep a simple frame counter named FRAME that counts the number of ticks. It's a fairly simple matter to compare the current value of FRAME to the last one you saw and add that to your notion of 'elapsed time.'

 

Or, you could use the ON FRAME GOSUB that nanochess added to update a clock.

 

8 hours is 1728000 ticks (at 60Hz), so you'd need to split the elapsed time over a few variables. I personally would break it up into hours, minutes, seconds as byte variables. Something like this:

UpdateTime  PROCEDURE
            ASM DIS ' disable interrupts for atomic access to "FRAME"
            ticks = ticks + FRAME - prev_frame
            prev_frame = FRAME
            ASM EIS ' re-enable interrupts
            IF ticks < 60 THEN RETURN
            ticks   = ticks - 60
            seconds = seconds + 1
            IF seconds < 60 THEN RETURN
            seconds = 0
            minutes = minutes + 1
            IF minutes < 60 THEN RETURN
            minutes = 0
            hours = hours + 1
            RETURN
            END

As long as that gets called periodically (at least once every 60 frames), it will keep time just fine.

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I don't think it's really appropriate for a Dadaist "anti-game" to get its own CIB release, unless maybe a big portion of the proceeds is going to charity.

 

I really enjoy the fact that a complete or near-complete Intellivision collection is still within reach for most folks, and allows for a huge overlap between gamers and collectors, if that makes sense (who buys Stadium Events or Air Raid to play it?). And we're also lucky that just about every released homebrew has been worthwhile to play, so getting them all means getting to play fun games.

 

But the more we clutter up the library with stuff that doesn't really merit a release, the more it becomes a rich man's pastime -- and that much harder to justify to our spouses and significant others: "So you bought a game you're never going to play?"

 

I agree that it ruins the joke and/or misses the point to make a properly "fun" version of Desert Bus. However, I wouldn't have any problem with it being one of several games on a multicart. I think the whole "multiple games in one cart" thing has been vastly underutilized on the Intellivision end of things; Stella's Stocking is a great example of how well that can turn out. How about a transportation multicart with Desert Bus, Gosub, Mad Drivin', and Biplanes, eh?

A few great points in here that I see!

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Programming sub-question: how are you keeping track of time (8 hours+) in the game?

 

What intvnut said, in a nutshell.

 

I like this idea a lot, using Truckin' as a model for the graphics/gameplay. Also including bug splats on the windshield from time to time would be cool.

 

Bug splats are already there, as they were in the original game. They're not very common, but they're there :)

 

 

 

As to folks' comments on the merits of a weak and/or anti-game: I appreciate the candor. To be honest your thoughts reflect exactly what I thought when I heard that someone was doing an actual release of Flappee Bird. Again, I don't mean to shit on it (because every game takes time and effort, and this one certainly looks very nice), but... I was a bit surprised to see the enthusiasm for something that I'd think would be a minigame or on a multicart at best. It's what prompted me to finally "come out" and see what people think about Desert Bus.

 

I've thought about the multicart angle but I don't have anything that really ties together yet - although it's certainly in my thoughts. I may just toss everything that hits a certain level of completion together into a collection. Like so many programmers, I find I get distracted and wander off onto a new idea once I get a game to that 60-70% level. Still fun and playable, but not really deserving of a full-blown release. So that's one possible future. The carts we have available typically have a ridiculous amount of spare ROM space, so putting 2, 3, even 4 games like this on a cart is certainly feasible. GoatNom is certainly a contender for that - I really got stuck at a certain point with it and just can't get it past where it is right now.

 

I'm glad someone finally brought up the charity angle. That was actually my original intent - ideally, I think it would be keen to see the various people involved in putting a game together donating some or all of their time. There's already a charity pretty much set up for this, it's what the Desert Bus For Hope is all about (they donate to the Penny Arcade charity). When you look at all of the pieces, development, artwork, packaging - homebrew isn't exactly making anyone rich here, in fact most people are working for well under minimum wage when you factor in how much work is actually spent, but.... there's still a decent amount of money that could be collected from a CIB sale of say 100 or so copies. I think it would be good karma for the INTV community to do something like this. And I think people would probably pony up a few more bucks if they knew all profit was going to charity (say, turn a $50 CIB into a $60?). I didn't exactly get an overwhelming level of excitement over it, so I kinda put it on the backburner for now. Obviously I can't volunteer other people's time and effort, but I'm certainly willing to forgo whatever development profit exists on a cart such as this, if it's for a good cause.

 

So let me ask y'all - does the idea of a charitable release change people's opinions on whether or not this is release-worthy?

 

Keep the feedback coming, regardless. :)

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I would be in for all those reasons Freeweed, and I would love to support your first CIB Intellivision release.

 

And, I would have backed it without the charitable part anyway. I was just backing up Goldenbands rich man pastime comment that it is hard to buy every game coming out if it is a questionable release.

 

I buy everything that comes out CIB, I was just looking out for others that are trying to keep up. And, believe me, I hear the so you are buying a game you are never going to play comment from my Wife and is she far from wrong? Damn, I gotta admit.No.

 

For all the great reasons you would put this out however, I am in. ;-)

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So let me ask y'all - does the idea of a charitable release change people's opinions on whether or not this is release-worthy?

 

I'm excited to hear about any new Intellivision games, but I'm only going to buy ones that I want to spend time playing. Obviously, Desert Bus doesn't fit that criteria, but the charity idea had occurred to me, and I'd buy a CIB version of this if it generated money for a good cause. It's a great idea, if those who have to do the heavy lifting are up for it.

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I was going to say nah at first, why bother... but then I saw the screenshot mockups. :lol:

Except those are not mock ups, they are actual, completely programmed screens with snapshots taken with an emulator.

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Except those are not mock ups, they are actual, completely programmed screens with snapshots taken with an emulator.

 

They sure are, and they're only half of what exists in the game. But why ruin the surprise, when I can force some unlucky contestant to play for 32 hours just to find them all? :D

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They sure are, and they're only half of what exists in the game. But why ruin the surprise, when I can force some unlucky contestant to play for 32 hours just to find them all? :D

i will do it!! :)

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They sure are, and they're only half of what exists in the game. But why ruin the surprise, when I can force some unlucky contestant to play for 32 hours just to find them all? :D

 

This might be the first case of where the --macho flag in jzIntv could be used ironically.

 

See, the --macho=<#> flag in jzIntv speeds up the emulator by a factor of <#>. But if you use it with Desert Bus, it's because you're not macho enough to pull a 32 hour marathon. :D

 

 

(EDIT: This is obviously only possible if you also offer a ROM release.)

Edited by intvnut
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I'd really like to see this as Super Pro Desert Bus where the original in all its mind numbing glory is included but also a fun, playable game is included. :) that is something I would buy multiple copies of. From the ideas I've seen mentioned I think there's a really fun game there to be made/fleshed out.

 

We have started to hit the saturation point with pointless ideas for Intellivision.

 

There needs to be a gameplay hook. The original was satire. Copying satire has no significance.

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What intvnut said, in a nutshell.

 

 

Bug splats are already there, as they were in the original game. They're not very common, but they're there :)

 

 

 

As to folks' comments on the merits of a weak and/or anti-game: I appreciate the candor. To be honest your thoughts reflect exactly what I thought when I heard that someone was doing an actual release of Flappee Bird. Again, I don't mean to shit on it (because every game takes time and effort, and this one certainly looks very nice), but... I was a bit surprised to see the enthusiasm for something that I'd think would be a minigame or on a multicart at best. It's what prompted me to finally "come out" and see what people think about Desert Bus.

 

I've thought about the multicart angle but I don't have anything that really ties together yet - although it's certainly in my thoughts. I may just toss everything that hits a certain level of completion together into a collection. Like so many programmers, I find I get distracted and wander off onto a new idea once I get a game to that 60-70% level. Still fun and playable, but not really deserving of a full-blown release. So that's one possible future. The carts we have available typically have a ridiculous amount of spare ROM space, so putting 2, 3, even 4 games like this on a cart is certainly feasible. GoatNom is certainly a contender for that - I really got stuck at a certain point with it and just can't get it past where it is right now.

 

I'm glad someone finally brought up the charity angle. That was actually my original intent - ideally, I think it would be keen to see the various people involved in putting a game together donating some or all of their time. There's already a charity pretty much set up for this, it's what the Desert Bus For Hope is all about (they donate to the Penny Arcade charity). When you look at all of the pieces, development, artwork, packaging - homebrew isn't exactly making anyone rich here, in fact most people are working for well under minimum wage when you factor in how much work is actually spent, but.... there's still a decent amount of money that could be collected from a CIB sale of say 100 or so copies. I think it would be good karma for the INTV community to do something like this. And I think people would probably pony up a few more bucks if they knew all profit was going to charity (say, turn a $50 CIB into a $60?). I didn't exactly get an overwhelming level of excitement over it, so I kinda put it on the backburner for now. Obviously I can't volunteer other people's time and effort, but I'm certainly willing to forgo whatever development profit exists on a cart such as this, if it's for a good cause.

 

So let me ask y'all - does the idea of a charitable release change people's opinions on whether or not this is release-worthy?

 

Keep the feedback coming, regardless. :)

 

I like the idea of a good version and the original version.\

I can live with the idea of the game on a collection cart.

I also think a ROM release would be fine.

 

But I just think that this should be released in-full.

 

(And it is funny about Flappy Birds. The first developer who did a clone for WiiU -- as a 99-cent download -- was basically shamed to the point he has stopped developing for the console. We are the bad of crazies who paid $55 for the same privilege)

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I honestly wouldn't pay for what amounts to a non-game. However, if there were at least two modes in it, say one that was the original Desert Bus and another that was an actual playable game of some type, then you're talking. After all, the original version was never meant as a stand-alone game, but as part of a complete package with other activities in it.

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This might be the first case of where the --macho flag in jzIntv could be used ironically.

 

See, the --macho=<#> flag in jzIntv speeds up the emulator by a factor of <#>. But if you use it with Desert Bus, it's because you're not macho enough to pull a 32 hour marathon. :D

 

Already took that into account. Because the bus drifts off the road sporadically, if you speed up the emulation too much you'll just end up in the ditch - VERY quickly. It's pretty unforgiving about how quickly you need to steer out, too - about 4 seconds in real-time. And the steering, like everything, is massively sped up by the macho flag. Have fun with a 20x speedup, Daniel-san. :D

 

Edit - with all this talk of a "real game" .. I must say, playing this on 10x or faster actually makes it an insanely tricky twitch game. Even at 5x on Arctic Bus is tough, because the ice slides you off the road so darned quickly.

 

It's unfortunate that the hardware can't natively support what I'm doing at those kind of speeds - imagine scrolling at 600fps. Because in essence, it turns it into another form of Flappy Bird :P It's too bad there's no way for the game to track the "macho" setting you're using, and somehow come up with a scoring system based on that. We could go with the honour system I suppose...

 

I would be in for two CIB copies, will you contact people I'd this happens?

TIA!

 

Never fear, like all releases there will be plenty of hooplah here and other places.

Edited by freeweed

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