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p.opus

Any interest in redoing Star Raiders the "right way"?

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I am not a coder, or else I'd be doing this instead of posting about it.

 

Star Raiders is easily my favorite computer game of all time. There have been more epic space adventures, there have been better looking ones, but I think Star Raiders creates the perfect balance in a space combat game. There is strategy, tactics, skill, and the unnerving race against time.

 

There have been three attempts to recreate this on the 2600 and all of them have their shortcomings. I don't count Star Voyager, since it's simply an endless journey from one sector to another.

 

1. Star Raiders completely gutted the tactical environment by distilling it to "one fleet/one starbase". The took a game that required some thought about how to engage the enemy and turned it into a complete twitch fetch. Heck, the enemy continues to advance on your base even while you are fighting? So what's the point of hyperwarp?

 

2. Starmaster, by Activision is much closer, in that it incorporates a navigational component to hyperspace and the need to protect starbases from multiple waves of enemies. However all the enemies are the same, there is one ship type, they attack one at a time, and the "beam effects" just can't compare to the originals' "torpedos"

 

3. Phaser Patrol has better graphics and multiple enemies that attack you, but there is no moving starfield, no need to find or dock with the starbase, and it just feels, a bit sterile.

 

Considering the fine work some have done here on titles like Space Rocks and Star Castle, it seems possible to combine the strengths of each to create the Star Raiders that should have been created in the first place.

 

I understand the limitations of the 2600, but the original game only took up 8K. And while a clone of the original 8 bit game is probably not possible, (long range scan, rear view, computer tracking), it seems that it could get a lot closer.

 

Heck, even the "pad" that shipped with the original cartridge only used 5 of the available 12 buttons.

 

Is there any folks out there as passionate about Star Raiders as I am that has the skills to take up this challenge. I mean, just how close could one get on the 2600 hardware?

 

If there is no interest then this can just be an "appreciation" thread, and I can play Starmaster on my Sears Light Sixer, and the real deal on my PC through my 800 emulator.

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Would be neat to see Star Trek: SOS expanded to have more depth. As it is, great simple arcade translation of course.

 

Despite the cool add-on controller keypad, never really got into Star Raiders. Always reached for Starmaster instead. :)

 

 

Here you go p.opus:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242060-ive-got-star-raiders-in-unopened-cases/

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What about Solaris?

Solaris strikes me as a game that exceeds it's grasp. The Graphical complexity of Solaris shows that they can do so much better. The manual is very cryptic and although I have done some playing, it just doesn't grab me like Star Raiders did. There are some interesting concepts, but they don't feel fully realized, and while I can grasp hyperspace, some of the concepts in Solaris just seem to be "out there".

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Is there any folks out there as passionate about Star Raiders as I am that has the skills to take up this challenge. I mean, just how close could one get on the 2600 hardware?

 

Pretty close. Throw enough resources at it and you can make a lot happen. Maybe not everything you want, but more than anyone would think possible. But like you hinted at--interest level is going to be the main obstacle.

 

Finding someone with both interest and skill is a 1 in a million shot. More likely you will find one of the two. And either way from there it's tons of work. Either the guy with the interest has to learn programming, or the programmer has to slog through without pay or interest.

 

Ever thought about just peeking under the hood, hacking a few sprites in Star Raiders just to get your feet wet? No you won't be able to implement the things you mentioned, but just messing around with the graphics can be a lot of fun. And who knows what that might lead to down the road.

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Another issue would be that the 12-button keypad would probably be required to include many of the features of the 800 version. Perhaps the 2nd controller could be used to switch between different modes (Galactic Map, Long range scanner, front view, aft view)

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Another issue would be that the 12-button keypad would probably be required to include many of the features of the 800 version. Perhaps the 2nd controller could be used to switch between different modes (Galactic Map, Long range scanner, front view, aft view).

 

Still need speed control for your ion engines, raise/lower shields, etc.

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Another issue would be that the 12-button keypad would probably be required to include many of the features of the 800 version. Perhaps the 2nd controller could be used to switch between different modes (Galactic Map, Long range scanner, front view, aft view).

 

Still need speed control for your ion engines, raise/lower shields, etc.

Star Raiders for the 2600 already requires the keypad in addition to the joystick. But I wouldn't mind being able to explore more of the Galaxy.

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I am not a coder, or else I'd be doing this instead of posting about it.

 

Star Raiders is easily my favorite computer game of all time. There have been more epic space adventures, there have been better looking ones, but I think Star Raiders creates the perfect balance in a space combat game. There is strategy, tactics, skill, and the unnerving race against time.

 

There have been three attempts to recreate this on the 2600 and all of them have their shortcomings. I don't count Star Voyager, since it's simply an endless journey from one sector to another.

 

1. Star Raiders completely gutted the tactical environment by distilling it to "one fleet/one starbase". The took a game that required some thought about how to engage the enemy and turned it into a complete twitch fetch. Heck, the enemy continues to advance on your base even while you are fighting? So what's the point of hyperwarp?

 

2. Starmaster, by Activision is much closer, in that it incorporates a navigational component to hyperspace and the need to protect starbases from multiple waves of enemies. However all the enemies are the same, there is one ship type, they attack one at a time, and the "beam effects" just can't compare to the originals' "torpedos"

 

3. Phaser Patrol has better graphics and multiple enemies that attack you, but there is no moving starfield, no need to find or dock with the starbase, and it just feels, a bit sterile.

 

Considering the fine work some have done here on titles like Space Rocks and Star Castle, it seems possible to combine the strengths of each to create the Star Raiders that should have been created in the first place.

 

I understand the limitations of the 2600, but the original game only took up 8K. And while a clone of the original 8 bit game is probably not possible, (long range scan, rear view, computer tracking), it seems that it could get a lot closer.

 

Heck, even the "pad" that shipped with the original cartridge only used 5 of the available 12 buttons.

 

Is there any folks out there as passionate about Star Raiders as I am that has the skills to take up this challenge. I mean, just how close could one get on the 2600 hardware?

 

If there is no interest then this can just be an "appreciation" thread, and I can play Starmaster on my Sears Light Sixer, and the real deal on my PC through my 800 emulator.

Ever consider that when the person who initially PROGRAMMED Star Raiders the felt it WAS done the right way? I mean that's like saying "Let's redo Yars' Revenge", when there is no need to after all even Howard Scott Warshaw HIMSELF stated Yars' Revenge was his best selling game of all time. There is nothing wrong with Star Raiders either, the way it is encoded and programmed it challenges the mind and I like that about it.

 

Dumbing down games for those who can't figure them out makes about as much sense as the last 2 Star Trek movies....sorry to say but it's my personal opinion

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And the reason there were OTHER buttons on the touch pad is there were to be OTHER games that utilized it and had either MORE functions or a whole different arrangement, much like not even Intellivision or ColecoVision games use 100% of the buttons ALL the time

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Ever consider that when the person who initially PROGRAMMED Star Raiders the felt it WAS done the right way? I mean that's like saying "Let's redo Yars' Revenge", when there is no need to after all even Howard Scott Warshaw HIMSELF stated Yars' Revenge was his best selling game of all time. There is nothing wrong with Star Raiders either, the way it is encoded and programmed it challenges the mind and I like that about it.

 

Dumbing down games for those who can't figure them out makes about as much sense as the last 2 Star Trek movies....sorry to say but it's my personal opinion

If you think, after playing the Atari 800 version and the 2600 version that the 2600 version is " the right way " All I can say is wow...

 

Perhaps Doug is happy with his work on Star Raiders 2600. He did mention that programming for the 2600 was a much greater challenge than the Atari 800, so maybe he had more satisfaction that he could even get something that resembled Star Raiders on the 2600 at that time. However in terms of gameplay it's a pale reflection to the original Atari 800 version and is even outshined by Starmaster. The decision to eliminate all the starbases and distill the enemy to a single fleet takes away all the tactical nuances of the game.

 

Your comparison to HSW is hardly applicable. Yar's was a game originally developed for the 2600. Star Raiders was a port. And while some compromises were to be expected, Star Raiders was so bare bones as to be barely recognizable.

 

And by looking at Solaris it's clear that Doug could have and did do better.

Edited by p.opus

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My whole thing is, when you're a kid you don't look for "dead on accuracy", in fact all a kid looks for in an Atari port of the game is that the basic gameplay be SIMILAR, it didn't matter to me if it was identical, if it made me feel good to see the score climbing, if as the score went higher my heart beat faster that was all that mattered.

I wasn't obsessed with accuracy or perfection. As long as the fun factor was there I was content. And I feel the same way about the Atari games NOW, I play them as they are because it's what I remember and I love those memories. I play the games as I remember them, no better and no worse, the games were the best they could be for the time and I was satisfied with it then and am still satisfied with it now because it's about a lot of great memories.

Granted some games I could beat easily back then, these days I am like "What the heck did I do back then to beat the game?", and others I can play exactly the same as I did then. It actually sucks getting older because some games I could easily beat back then after a bit I have to re-familiarize myself with now. To change a game from something it was is kinda like re-learning how to walk after an operation which by the way I will have to do soon. I normally walk pigeon toed (toes pointed in toward each other), but I am undergoing surgery to correct this so I will have to re-learn all over again how to walk in a WHOLE NEW WAY.

But at least the games I loved as a kid will be exactly the same and provide me the same level of entertainment they did back then. I just need to find me a classic looking 80's style notebook to write more scores in :P

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