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Is there ANY possibility of a Boulder Dash Re-issue

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Why can't they just keep editions "open" and earn dividends over the years as people buy the carts? Suppose First Star gets a flat $10 per cart sold. That could rack up over time.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am glad they made it, but artificially limiting production by cutting off sales after a given number (2600) or a given date (Intelli) only leads to frustration for those who missed the boat, and extremely high prices on the secondhand market.

 

I totally dislike limited releases of nearly everything. Makes it all that much harder to get replacement parts for it later should they be needed.

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There is a perfectly playable demo available, exactly the same code as the cart, with several fantastic levels included.

 

The demo "cured" my curiosity of what all the hoopla was about.

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To see it a bit more clear from distance: the 2600 version of boulder dash is not so playable as other versions (like the C64). Thats because of the lack of hardware capabilities of course (not the programmers fault). So this is a very stripe-down version of the original game and IMHO this is a brilliant tech-demo for the 2600 and nothing more.

I agree with this sentiment. I sold mine because it was nigh impossible to see enough of the field to prevent getting hammered by falling stones. By the time they appear on the cieling, it is too late to react. It is an impressive tech demo though.

 

Maybe the A8 version is a fair alternative should I ever decide to buy myself an XEGS.

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To see it a bit more clear from distance: the 2600 version of boulder dash is not so playable as other versions (like the C64). Thats because of the lack of hardware capabilities of course (not the programmers fault). So this is a very stripe-down version of the original game and IMHO this is a brilliant tech-demo for the 2600 and nothing more.

 

If somebody will play Boulder Dash seriously, then many other versions are available... so I think FSS could release this version to the public... that would be my wish but seems to be not the reality.

 

But anyway, I can live with it! :-)

 

I always preferred the Apple II version - for numerous, reasons.

 

1 - fast disk access

2 - an overall green/brown looking playfield

3 - high contrast objects, blue rocks, color-cycling diamonds, orange/white squares(eyes)

4 - most importantly it was the first version of the game I got to play back in the day.

 

Next up would be the Atari 400/800 rendition. There's this homebrew level pack or something that's got all sorts strangeness and coolness going on. Levels created by the construction kit. Some looking like physics puzzles. That's fun. And the series goes up to 3 installments for this platform.

Edited by Keatah
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Buy an a8 and a 25 dollar bluetooth device, get the app and enjoy thousands of games and about 35 boulderdashes are on there at least maybe more. Thats one option too.

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I agree with this sentiment. I sold mine because it was nigh impossible to see enough of the field to prevent getting hammered by falling stones. By the time they appear on the cieling, it is too late to react.

That's definitely a concern for a casual gamer. We added the look-around feature especially for those players. But of course this doesn't cure the problem completely.

 

For me, as a long time BD player, the limited view is only a problem when it comes to Butterflies or Fireflies. There I regularly use the look around feature. But I never react to falling stones, just because I am very much used to the physics and have a lot of BD experience. So I do not have to see the boulders, I know where they are. :)

 

Anyway, for me the limited view gives the game a more claustrophobic feeling and makes it a bit harder. And I am a fan of hard games. Try Thrust or Star Castle Arcade and you understand my preferences. :evil:

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I totally dislike limited releases of nearly everything. Makes it all that much harder to get replacement parts for it later should they be needed.

Same here. It creates artificial value and sometimes it seems that limited releases are only meant to maximize the profit of the sellers.

 

Boulder Dash was different. Here we had (and have) no other option.

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That's definitely a concern for a casual gamer. We added the look-around feature especially for those players. But of course this doesn't cure the problem completely.

Wait, there was a "look around" feature!? I was never aware of this... :dunce:

 

As for Star Castle Arcade, I have gotten to level 3 a couple times. Game is brutal though.

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I feel like there is another issue floating around.

 

Boulder Dash for the 2600 is a massive technical achievement, pushing the 2600 far beyond what it was ever intended to do.

 

Here too, we have a relatively modern game, one for which the source code is probably not yet lost to the sands of time, like so many 2600 resources. The sources that make up the game (including the levels which are arguably derived works of FSS) are an extremely important technical and historical artifact.

 

However, with no ROM release or source code release (for understandable reasons, to be sure), this piece of (modern) Atari 2600 history is in great jeopardy of not being preserved in the fidelity it deserves.

 

A release to the Internet Archive is probably undesirable to both the authors and FSS, but would preserve things far better than they would in the current state of the world.

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I feel like there is another issue floating around.

 

Boulder Dash for the 2600 is a massive technical achievement, pushing the 2600 far beyond what it was ever intended to do.

 

Here too, we have a relatively modern game, one for which the source code is probably not yet lost to the sands of time, like so many 2600 resources. The sources that make up the game (including the levels which are arguably derived works of FSS) are an extremely important technical and historical artifact.

 

However, with no ROM release or source code release (for understandable reasons, to be sure), this piece of (modern) Atari 2600 history is in great jeopardy of not being preserved in the fidelity it deserves.

 

A release to the Internet Archive is probably undesirable to both the authors and FSS, but would preserve things far better than they would in the current state of the world.

 

Thomas and I have re-started discussion on getting the source code released ASAP. We are/will remove any FSS material - specifically the graphics and game logic - so it won't be able to be assembled into a running game. It will, however, have all the technology and the engine in there that allows the 2600 to make games like BD possible. Might take us a little while, but when we're ready then everyone will have access to a repository and we will call on the community to refine and improve it to use a more suitable bank-switching scheme. So, it won't be lost.

 

Edit: The levels ARE FSS copyrighted, but we used the exact data format that FSS did, and those data are easy enough to find on the web.

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Thomas and I have re-started discussion on getting the source code released ASAP. We are/will remove any FSS material - specifically the graphics and game logic - so it won't be able to be assembled into a running game. It will, however, have all the technology and the engine in there that allows the 2600 to make games like BD possible. Might take us a little while, but when we're ready then everyone will have access to a repository and we will call on the community to refine and improve it to use a more suitable bank-switching scheme. So, it won't be lost.

 

Edit: The levels ARE FSS copyrighted, but we used the exact data format that FSS did, and those data are easy enough to find on the web.

 

Yuck, please don't do that. More crap games.

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I've been curating classic material since the days of the single-board micro. And I'm still dismayed at how uncaring companies and individual authors are when it comes to preservation of their work.

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I agree with this sentiment. I sold mine because it was nigh impossible to see enough of the field to prevent getting hammered by falling stones. By the time they appear on the cieling, it is too late to react. It is an impressive tech demo though.

 

Maybe the A8 version is a fair alternative should I ever decide to buy myself an XEGS.

Wait, there was a "look around" feature!? I was never aware of this... :dunce:

 

Reading the manual was the first thing I did. Anyway, it is definitely not just an impressive tech demo. It is a well made complete game.

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Wait, I remember it now. Been forever since I played it. Hold FIRE and move Joystick to scroll the entire stage.

 

But this still does not allow you to view enough of the stage to see where the stones are falling while the character is actively moving around. You are a sitting duck even while you scroll the screen around...

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Wait, I remember it now. Been forever since I played it. Hold FIRE and move Joystick to scroll the entire stage.

 

But this still does not allow you to view enough of the stage to see where the stones are falling while the character is actively moving around. You are a sitting duck even while you scroll the screen around...

 

It also slows the clock down. So, you can look ahead to plan things out while taking less of a time penalty. It's not perfect but it helps. I think possibly a better solution may have been to only limit the scrolling viewing area to what would be on the screen in other versions. That would keep you from wasting time scrolling too far and only allow you to see what you need to.

 

It is a die and remember game. Therefore, everything is in the same spots, you memorize the levels, and you solve them like a puzzle. That makes it much more playable than if rocks were just randomly falling from different random locations.

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As for Star Castle Arcade, I have gotten to level 3 a couple times. Game is brutal though.

 

Star Castle... saw it today the first time (gaming a bit in the last minutes).

 

This is also a very impressive game!

VERY WELL done!

 

When I saw the title screen it was hard to believe that this is 2600 grafics!

Is there an explanation on how this is done?

I did not get into it even with stellas debugger!

 

 

Shame on me but I did not manage to get to level 2. :)

 

(Sorry for being a bit off topic)

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Try ALT+ ',', then you should get an idea. And disable phosphor.

 

I did that already! ;)

 

Also disabled Player, Missiles etc...

 

 

For me it looks like this scheme:

 

Colors are not from the sprites, they come from the background and playfield (so thats the trick to have 2 colors).

All Sprites and Missiles are always black to hide parts of the playfield.

 

Layer 1: Playfield with the 2 Colors (Back, PF) for the 2 Colors of Hi-Res.

Layer 2: Sprites in Black to cover the most playfield background. 3 copies of each (8 bit wide, then 8 bit space covered by the missile in black, then the next copy).

First all 3 copies of P0/M0 then all 3 copies of P1/M1. Additional flickering each frame to cover the full area.

 

Right so far, is it?

 

What I did not get into it is how you can start the scanline black, then background color and then again black till the end of the scanline.

First I thought you set the background black, then color, then black, but thats not the case.

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Thomas and I have re-started discussion on getting the source code released ASAP. We are/will remove any FSS material - specifically the graphics and game logic - so it won't be able to be assembled into a running game. It will, however, have all the technology and the engine in there that allows the 2600 to make games like BD possible. Might take us a little while, but when we're ready then everyone will have access to a repository and we will call on the community to refine and improve it to use a more suitable bank-switching scheme. So, it won't be lost.

 

Edit: The levels ARE FSS copyrighted, but we used the exact data format that FSS did, and those data are easy enough to find on the web.

 

That is encouraging news! Any code would be super exciting. Keep us posted...

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What I did not get into it is how you can start the scanline black, then background color and then again black till the end of the scanline.

First I thought you set the background black, then color, then black, but thats not the case.

It is possible to do this by switching VBLANK on and off at the edges?

 

Chris

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Didn't YOU code this? :)

I did, but can't remember the details now :). I should take a look at the code again ...

 

Chris

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Like some other posters I bounced pretty hard off the reduced view of the game. I was used to the C64 version, where I typically played in an improvise-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth style. I swore a lot during my first few plays of the VCS version.

 

But I persisted, and I agree with Schizophretard 100% - you need to play this game like a speedrunner, developing perfect runs (or at least skeletons of perfect runs, where you can react quickly to natural variations in the timing of events to quickly get back to the optimal path). This is a very oldschool way to play. It reminded me of playing Rick Dangerous, or early 80s shooters where any lack of correct anticipation was usually fatal. Once I got into that groove I had an absolute blast with Boulderdash! It's a serious contender for the best official release on the system in my opinion. It's one of those games though - it is so intense to complete, that having done so the idea of doing it again fills me with paralysing dread. From now on, I'll only play it for thoughtless fun, which means dying quickly and often.

 

It saddens me that others can't experience Boulderdash, but I understand the reasons. It makes me feel a little guilty at holding on to my own copy. Maybe someone should liberate their copy as a library cart, to be posted on from AtariAge user to user on limited loan so everyone can have a go, before returning to its owner. A global version of loaning it to the kid up the street, from where it does the whole neighbourhood before returning home.

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Maybe someone should liberate their copy as a library cart, to be posted on from AtariAge user to user on limited loan so everyone can have a go, before returning to its owner. A global version of loaning it to the kid up the street, from where it does the whole neighbourhood before returning home.

 

OK, I might actually be prepared to let MY copy be this loaner cartridge. The idea appeals to me. Perhaps on the condition that each "borrower" pays for postage in advance, that the cartridge is sent registered mail, that they agree to hold it for a set period (say 2 weeks), and that they agree to do an honest review on an AA 'review' thread setup just for that purpose. If all those could work, then yeah, I'd be prepared to let my cartridge travel the world and satisfy those people who REALLY want to play it. Great idea.

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