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I kind of hope that someone would put 2 or more Trak-Ball conversions with a selection menu on one cart.

Probably won't happen, but when the Trak-Ball controller is hooked up, I want to play all the conversions and a collection cart is more convenient and overall less expensive (I hope) than 8 or so $25 carts (and double that for CIB individuals). After all these are just controller hacks (albeit sometims difficult code).

8 games on a new or refurbished Harmony cart is more cost effectIve than 8 $25 carts.

Agreed. But, I'd like to financially support the work in some small way.

I'm not sure which, if any, of the converted titles would be able to be sold without licensing issues.

Edited by BigO
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Over the years, Albert has been constantly working on reducing costs (or at least keeping them constant) and build effort.

 

And our current plans for the TB hacks are mostly aiming at players, not collectors. So the packaging will be quite simple compared to other releases. Also my royalties are only symbolic. If you look at other hacks in the store, you get an idea about the price.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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Agreed. But, I'd like to financially support the work in some small way.

I'm not sure which, if any, of the converted titles would be able to be sold without licensing issues.

 

Yeah, the perennial problem with these sorts of things.

 

But if a worthy hack/homebrew can't be sold for whatever reason then you can always contact the coder and see if they need or want anything from the Atari store or elsewhere.

 

Like this thread has me drooling over a trak-ball....anyone need any hacks done? :-D

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I kind of hope that someone would put 2 or more Trak-Ball conversions with a selection menu on one cart.

Probably won't happen, but when the Trak-Ball controller is hooked up, I want to play all the conversions and a collection cart is more convenient and overall less expensive (I hope) than 8 or so $25 carts (and double that for CIB individuals). After all these are just controller hacks (albeit sometims difficult code).

8 games on a new or refurbished Harmony cart is more cost effectIve than 8 $25 carts.

The bankswitch would either rely on a selection menu that smart-detects the controller type (including joystick) or a menu that involves using the select and reset switches to select the controller type. There are four possible standards:

 

Joystick

CX-22 (most CX-80s)

Atari ST Mouse (gray code - rare factory modded CX-80s)

Amiga Mouse

 

Most games were either 4k or 8k, and 16kb or 32kb banswitch PCBs could be used with a menu select ROM plus each of three possible trackball ROMs. The ROMs would need to be modified to reserve certain bytes at the end of the ROM in the bankswitch area, and reads on the 8kb ROM bankswitch area need to be fixed so that they point towards the appropriate bank.

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And our current plans for the TB hacks are mostly aiming at players, not collectors. So the packaging will be quite simple compared to other releases. Also my royalties are only symbolic. If you look at other hacks in the store, you get an idea about the price.

I refuse to say "I'm a player", so I'll say that I'm not a collector and would be good with cart only release.

Edited by BigO
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That was meant to be semi-humorous based on one possible connotation of "player" (or "playah" if so inclined).

 

But, I guess "supporter" would not be inaccurate. In some cases, "enabler" might even apply. :-)

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Spot on! :thumbsup:

 

Thomas,

I mentioned this game Missile Control, but you never commented.

Maybe you missed it because it is Video Gems "code steal hack" of Missile Command.

 

Not only did you add Trak-Ball to Missile Command, you also converted this game from PAL to NTSC.

You would get a third credit if you also added TB to Missile Control!

And we all would get another Trak-Ball game.

There are other more obvious hacks of Missile Command sold as shovelware by companies I wouldn't bother adding TB as I'd never play them again, but Missile Control is quite different (at the same time sounding exactly the same) from Missile Command.

 

Maybe? Please?

 

post-29575-0-29375500-1483675879_thumb.jpg

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Missile Control is no hack of Missile Command. Therefore the kernel is completely different and much busier than the the Missile Command kernel. I am not sure if I can add TB controls into this.

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I have hacked TB controls into Missile Command (see 1st post).

 

This one was quite easy, due to my experience and the ROM offering enough free RAM and ROM space.

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I have hacked TB controls into Missile Command Control

;)

 

Finally tried it on real hardware. I wasn't familiar with this game, but I think it's very interesting and fits perfectly with the trackball. Probably the first levels are a bit too easy, but since you have the option to start with the later ones, that's not a problem.

So far I played the PAL60 versions (atari mouse and trackball variations) and I have no issue or bug to report. Are the PAL50 ones slower?

I will surely play more of it.

 

Thanks again for the great work with these hacks!

Edited by alex_79

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Personally I found the game getting too hard with waves 5 and especially 6. Also the difficulty ramp up is IMO not quite. The code here solely relies on the frame counter. This doesn't allow fine tuning of speed and also converting from 50 to 60Hz.

 

Also IMO the cursor area is vertically much too small. This is due to the kernel being quite small vertically, which is caused by doing all logic in vertical blank and none in overscan (notice the big blank area at the top of screen). With an increased cursor area, you can react better to the alien missiles and gain more flexibility in attacking the alien ships.

 

Also the alien ships move too far to the right, so that you can hit them directly even though the alien force fields are enabled

 

I am currently working on changing all this. This should make the game much better playable.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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Personally I found the game getting too hard with waves 5 and especially 6. Also the difficulty ramp up is IMO not quite.

Yeah, levels 1 and 2 are very easy with the precise trackball control, while 5 and 6 are insanely hard. I can last a while only if I started on a easier level, so to have a reserve of points when level 5 starts.

In this case I can let the aliens destroy some of the cities so I can concentrate defending a smaller area. But if I start directly on harder levels, (where there are only 800 points and every destroyed city costs 200) I die before being able to "warm-up".

Maybe you could make the aliens less "smart" so that they sometimes bomb also already destroyed cities? And/or start with more points in harder levels. A more gradual speed increment would be ideal.

 

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I have just added version 1.1 of my Missile Control hack. This one should be much better playable than 1.0 and the original game.

 

Changes over 1.0:

  1. much increased cursor area, this results into more game play strategy options and better Trak Ball responsiveness
  2. smooth difficulty ramp up
  3. extra difficulty levels after wave 6
  4. 1200 instead of 800 initial points
  5. a few better matching colors for NTSC version
  6. a number of smaller fixes
  7. guess! :)

IMO this game makes much more fun now. Please look for any errors and check if the difficulty ramp up is OK.

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6 digits. And I just realized that there is a bug in the bonus city scoring, that causes you to get no extra points in the highest difficulty.

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Interesting. Another game I probably wouldn't have played with a joystick, but isn't bad with a trackball controller.

(Same was true for Missile Command, Centipede, Colony7, etc.)

 

I've only played your ver 1.1 but the controls feel smooth and intuitive. Though, I don't yet understand all that's going on in the game.

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