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RevEng and I aren't quite ready yet to post the latest version yet as there are still a few more changes that need to be made. In the meantime, David Exton has finished up on the label art and after getting his approval I wanted to share it with everyone. He did an amazing job!

That label art is badass !

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RevEng and I have gotten to the point where we have another solid WIP build to share with everyone. There are a lot of changes in this version and a whole lot of bug fixes and code optimization. I updated the original instructions in the first post and put it all into a pdf file. I highly recommend reviewing the instructions, if you don't you're likely to miss some key elements of the game. The AtariVox does not currently work with this build on the MCP DevCart (the game will not load if it's plugged in) but it works fine on the Cuttle Cart 2. RevEng is investigating that issue.

 

Below is a very brief list of the new features, which are explained in much greater detail in the the attached instruction manual.

 

An expanded dungeon. The dungeon has an additional horizontal corridor at the bottom of the screen.
New speech. A whole lot more AtariVox speech was added to the game. There's over three dozen unique speech phrases now.
The Wizard. The newly added wizard appears in the transition between each level.
Color changing. The background color selection was removed and the game now changes background colors with each level up instead.
Small spider webs. The spider randomly lays small spider webs that slow you down and must be shot to clear (based on skill setting).

A new spider sprite. The redesigned spider sprite looks much more like a spider.

 

I wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions, posts, and most importantly for playing the game. Special thanks to Defender_2600 (Marco) for the new spider sprite, it looks great. Thanks to classicvidgamer for the idea of changing the background color as you level up. Thanks to Tarzilla for the idea of having the spider create small webs that you need to shoot to clear. It goes without saying, but many thanks also to RevEng for all his hard work on this game and Trebor for the many hours he's put in with gameplay testing and suggestions. I certainly couldn't have done all this by myself!

 

Edit: The downloads and the manual for v1.190 were removed from t his post, as many bugs, features and enhancements were made to the most current version. Please refer to the first post in this thread for the most current version of the game and the manual. While I don't recommend playing them, I did include my previous versions in a zip archive. It's also in the first post.

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The AtariVox does not currently work with this build on the MCP DevCart (the game will not load if it's plugged in) but it works fine on the Cuttle Cart 2. RevEng is investigating that issue.

 

Well, the I/O board is plugged into port 2, how could that ever work? Or am I missing something?

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Well, the I/O board is plugged into port 2, how could that ever work? Or am I missing something?

 

This is after powering off the console, disconnecting the I/O board and attaching the AtariVox after a successful upload of the binary.

 

Power on the console --> at the MCP logo screen press pause --> blank/black screen.

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I see, that makes some sense, if the Vox triggers a signal. Have you tried either of these methods?

 

1.) Hold down PAUSE, then power on.

2.) Let the game execute after upload, unplug the I/O board and then plug in the Vox?

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I see, that makes some sense, if the Vox triggers a signal. Have you tried either of these methods?

 

1.) Hold down PAUSE, then power on.

2.) Let the game execute after upload, unplug the I/O board and then plug in the Vox?

 

1) Received a solid red-orange screen - No response to either console or controller input.

2) Same blank/black screen result.

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1.) ARRGH, you have both difficulty switches to the left and entered BIOS flashing mode.

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1.) ARRGH, you have both difficulty switches to the left and entered BIOS flashing mode.

 

LOL...Nice.

 

Anyhow, nothing lost. MCP logo still appears and upload to the cart worked fine.

Having difficulty switches to the right, I receive the same blank/black screen.

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Interesting, not sure what the deal is then, unfortunately all I got today is 2 defective AtariVox+ units. I will try to cobble a working one together out of the two and see what the deal is, this weekend.

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Interesting, not sure what the deal is then, unfortunately all I got today is 2 defective AtariVox+ units. I will try to cobble a working one together out of the two and see what the deal is, this weekend.

 

I think you are trying to make me look bad. For everyone else's clarification, they were known defective when I sent them to CPU. :P

 

..Al

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LOL, I wasn't trying to make you look bad, obviously I knew they were defective. :)

 

EDIT: Come to think of it, it doesn't even need to be fully working, I can test with the one that has crappy audio output. I'll give it a whirl tonight and maybe hook up a logic analyzer to port 2.

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LOL, I wasn't trying to make you look bad, obviously I knew they were defective. :)

 

Oh, I knew YOU knew!!

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Just so everyone is aware, after further testing tonight on real hardware with an AtariVox plugged in I've noticed a few glitches may appear with speech. It's on the to-do list to fix for the next release in the near future.

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Hmm.. this is getting pretty close to 'pro'. Sadly MESS doesn't emulate the VOX so I can't hear that at the moment...

 

Only things I would suggest for polish is:

 

Change the 'select' sound to something less 'boomy'. Going up and down on a menu shouldn't have such a dramatic effect. It screams 'amateur'.

 

Invulnerability time should probably be a little shorter.

 

Snake coloring between hits should be more obvious. The shades of green are too similar.

 

Otherwise, well done. Look forward to a cart of this.

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After many weeks of hard work and testing it's time to share the 1st release candidate for Dungeon Stalker, which is now the 232nd(!) revision of the code. Many thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread with suggestions as all were carefully considered and reviewed, and many were implemented. Special thanks of course to RevEng and Trebor for their incredible contributions and support for this project. Trebor has spent a great deal of time with gameplay testing and providing excellent gameplay videos. He'll have a new one coming soon that also features all of the new AtariVox speech. :) Thanks also to PacManPlus for an important code contribution in recent days.

 

Here's the long list of the changes which are all from memory. There may be a few things I'm forgetting as there have been so many changes, but this should cover the major updates.

 

1. Colors changed. The background color was changed to black and the dungeon maze color changes with each level up rather than the background. It really makes the sprites pop and makes everything in the game clearer and easier to see. Several other color changes were made to accommodate the background color change. The bats were changed to grey instead of black, and as an added bonus, the black background makes it much easier to see the arrows.
2. Wizard Mode enhancements. The wizard now has a special warp move as he moves around the screen (along with a new warp sound and warp animation), explodes when you kill him rather than just disappearing, has a unique background sound, and his behavior has been tweaked since the last version so he's more difficult in later levels. There were also numerous bug fixes relating to wizard mode. The wizard will also no longer spawn directly on top of you, which was a possibility in the previous release.
3. Scoring changes. After hours of gameplay testing some scoring updates were made and it's detailed in the new instruction manual. This was done to help balance out the gameplay and the pace of leveling up.
4. Ranking changes. The level needed to achieve the final rankings were updated, again it's detailed in the new instruction manual.
5. Updated AtariVox speech. More speech was added and existing speech was tweaked to make it sound better.
6. Demo/Attract mode updates. Sound was added to demo mode and some was customized just for that mode. Collisions were also enabled for this mode so it more resembles playing the game.
7. Menu sounds changed. The menu movement sounds were too loud and they were updated to be shorter and softer. Other audio tweaks were also made in other areas of the game.
8. Damaged Bunker changed. The bunker will now be damaged and will not protect you from enemy shots from the top after you reach 37,500 points (and is always damaged in Expert mode). Speech was also updated when the bunker enters the damaged state.
9. AtariVox code updates. The last version I posted (v190) had many AtariVox speech issues. This has been thoroughly tested and everything is now working perfectly. Many thanks to RevEng for helping with this, as he provided many 7800basic code updates to help resolve the issues.
10. New Instruction Manual. The manual was completely re-done and is best experienced with the pdf version rather than the text-only version as it includes graphics. David Exton is helping out with an awesome new manual for the final printed release which should be done in the next 2 or 3 months. Many thanks to him for the label he already created, it's amazing.
11. Minor audio change. You will now hear an audible 'beep' if you try to fire an arrow with an empty quiver.
12. Arrow firing fixes. It was evident in the earlier releases that the bullet appeared to travel through the edge of the dungeon walls when fired horizontally. It's been corrected.
13. Code optimization. RevEng has made many optimizations to 7800basic as well as many optimizations to this game to minimize slowdown and other issues on real hardware. This game really pushes the limits of the 7800 with the number of dynamic on-screen sprites.
14. Bug Fixes! Countless bugs were discovered and fixed since the last revision, too many to remember and mention individually. This has taken the most amount of time by far. While this is a beta release, after the huge amount of testing that's been done it seems to be a very solid release. It's been tested on real hardware with both the MCP devcart and the Cuttle Cart 2 (including the AtariVox) with great success.

 

While I'm anxious to call this game complete, I'm very open to suggestions and bug reports to improve the game. I love feedback!

 

I'm going to attach the latest build and the latest version of the manual here tonight, but will still need to go back and update attachments and the instruction manual text in my earlier posts later to keep everything current. That will likely happen sometime in the next few days. The final source code will eventually be released and will be extremely well commented but it's not quite ready to share yet, and I'd also rather wait until the game is officially completed at this point.

 

Thanks to everyone, and thanks for playing! :)

 

Steve

DungeonStalker_1.232.a78

DungeonStalker_1.232.bin

DungeonStalker_LabelArt.zip

DungeonStalkerManual_1.232b.pdf

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Love it! Sign me up for a cart!

 

It would be cool if at least one of the enemies followed your character, trying to kill you. Maybe the guy with the shield? It would add some challenge as you would need to kill him fast as he chased you around or (if you ran out of arrows) run away in a mad dash to pick up more arrows. (I'm imagining Pac man when a ghost chases you every so often.)

 

But regardless, this is turning out to be a great addition to the 7800 library.

Love the voice work!

Great job!

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