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johnnywc

Scramble - 2600

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Holy crap.. I haven't played this yet but those screenshots look OUT of this friggin world! Scramble is one of the games I was always hoping for as a kid to "come to the Atari" and while we got Super Cobra later on, it wasn't the same. I did always think that someone could hack Super Cobra to make a Scramble but it looks like you went far and beyond that. :lol:

 

Am definitely looking forward to trying this out!

Edited by NE146
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I really do not understand why great games like this are given away for free, before a cart release can even happen. Hozer is probably already making up some crap label for it.

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Awesome game and so much fun! Plays much smoother than Parker Bros 2600 Super Cobra did. My only little gripe after playing it for a few days now is that it needs a continue mode.

 

My fondest memory of Scramble was watching some guys playing it at Shane's Games in my hometown back around 1981-2. They must have used 50+ tokens to finish all 6 waves.

Edited by WildBillTX
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I love this game! Easily within the top 10 best 2600 arcade ports.

My only complaint is that my thumb is aching from playing it so much this evening.

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I really do not understand why great games like this are given away for free, before a cart release can even happen. Hozer is probably already making up some crap label for it.

 

Money isn't the point. Getting feedback to make the game the best it can possibly be is:

 

Right now I would estimate that the game is 95% complete. Any suggestions are welcomed.

 

Have fun!

 

If people want a good release of a finished game, and want to support the person who actually programmed it, they'll wait and buy it from AtariAge when it comes out. If not, it wouldn't matter anyway.

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I really do not understand why great games like this are given away for free, before a cart release can even happen. Hozer is probably already making up some crap label for it.

You can't stop people going cheap to Hozer anyway. Quality games are targeted at a completely different group.

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Played the cart today at the Houston Area Arcade Expo.

I played it a month ago at PRGE, it was fantastic in it's current state. I wonder how well it will look on an LCD, but on a tube at the AtariAge booth it was incredible! It and Star Castle really surprised me.

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Funtastic !

So great to see ChampGames back, and with a side-scroller on the VCS, no less!

Really unexpected and impressing achievement, would not have expected the gameplay of a classic sidescrolling shooter being so perfectly translated to the 2600.

Everything else topnotch as well - graphics, sound, presentation.

 

Can't really see any possible improvements - game appears perfect to me, and am looking forward to its release on the AA store.

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If you have space, one option you could add with something like a difficulty setting is rapid-fire so those who don't like to press and let go of the fire button so much can just hold it down.

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Can't really see any possible improvements - game appears perfect to me, and am looking forward to its release on the AA store.

You need more attention to detail. :)

 

Do not get distracted by the great look, check the game to the bones. Menu, controls, sound effects, overall playability, difficulty levels and difficulty ramp up, scoring, bonus lives, score recording, replay value, differences to the arcade version, new features...

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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Aye Aye, Sir!

 

The wife found a bug, ding-ding..

The wife found a bug, ding-ding..

Hi-Ho the Marry-O the wife found a bug. Ding-Ding!

 

When earning a 4th ship the (ship-lives) graphics get scrambled, no pun intended. She can play this game for hours straight away.

 

post-4806-0-05579100-1447573362_thumb.pngpost-4806-0-48510100-1447573360_thumb.png

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She can play this game for hours straight away.

So for her even Expert level is too easy?

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Maybe a bit, yeh. Another 20% increase in difficulty, somehow, someway, could be a good thing. Faster missiles? More of them launched to make you have to get out of the way? Ehh.. IDK.. difficulty is always hard to quantify and equalize across different players with varying skill. We all know that.

 

She said getting the base at end, is just about right, however. And so is navigating the narrow corridors toward the end. I personally wish Scramble would let your ship fall back faster than the terrain scrolls, of course then it wouldn't be true to the arcade.

 

I do have a question, in the Vectrex version does the difficulty increase by making the terrain more narrow? Pushing you to the top more often? I could be imagining that or superimposing and confusing that behavior from another game though.

 

I also believe auto/rapid fire should be an option. Seasoned gamers from the 70's and 80's like that sort of thing - features like so will keep them out of the doctor's office. Reduces repetitive motion injuries when playing on ergonomically less-than-ideal hardware. AND it will be easier on the controllers too! That sort of thing.. Many people that visit and play on my emulation station always ask for autofire on shooters and blaster type games.

 

ADDED:
The fuel consumption seems about right and making changes there (to increase difficulty) would make it more frustrating.

Edited by Keatah
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You need more attention to detail. :)

 

Do not get distracted by the great look, check the game to the bones. Menu, controls, sound effects, overall playability, difficulty levels and difficulty ramp up, scoring, bonus lives, score recording, replay value, differences to the arcade version, new features...

 

Hey, I don't want to play it to the bones now. Want to preserve that excitement for when I have the physical cartridge release! :)

 

I gave the game several more runs on the emulator, yet with all the points you raised, I still can't really find any notable weaknesses.

Menu, controls - work great

Sound effects - seem to be spot on, as far as the 2600 allows.

Gameplay - smooth and fast.

Difficulty levels, ramp up, replay value - 3 levels seem to be sufficient, but ok, I sure would not complain if there were a couple more to warrant longevity.

Scoring, Score recording, Bonus lives - seem to follow the arcade original point for point. Don't see what more one should ask for.

Differences to the arcade version - I noted the missing stars background. Would be nice, but attributing this to the VCS limitations, I can very well live without it.

New features - Scramble is THE classic horizontal shooter, the game that invented the genre, and a well-rounded game experience anyway. Adding features would just detract from the joy of having such a faithful translation of an essential arcade classic on the VCS . If one wants to expand on it (and consequently change it) then give us "Super Scramble". But leave this game experience as pure as it is now.

 

If John can be tempted to work on a follow-up game (such as Sea Dragon or Tail of Beta Lyrae known from the 400/800 or the obscure arcade game Scorpion from zaccaria), that would be the opportunity to suggest new features/ideas/levels and expand on the original game ;-)

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I can't get enough of this game, but while playing it yesterday, I couldn't help but wonder if John could also hack it into Comic Avenger. He already gave us one of Colecos vapourware titles "Ladybug". I in no way understand programming and I don't want to derail this topic, but I was just curious. Finally, do we have an idea when Scramble will be released on cart? It would make a great Christmas gift to myself. Lol

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Been playing this quite a bit... has anyone else noticed your bullets intermittently disappearing in the cavern/UFO stage? Seems the UFO's follow each other too closely as well.

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I really do not understand why great games like this are given away for free, before a cart release can even happen. Hozer is probably already making up some crap label for it.

Scramble's a DPC+ ARM game, Hozer can't touch that :)

 

 

I can't get enough of this game, but while playing it yesterday, I couldn't help but wonder if John could also hack it into Comic Avenger. He already gave us one of Colecos vapourware titles "Ladybug". I in no way understand programming and I don't want to derail this topic, but I was just curious. Finally, do we have an idea when Scramble will be released on cart? It would make a great Christmas gift to myself. Lol

Cosmic Avenger was the original plan; but, as happens from time to time, the plan changed - kinda like how Frantic lead me to this one little 50 sprite experiment, which ended up becoming a finished game while Frantic languished on the back burner. Someday I'll return to Frantic, but make no promises as to when that'll be.

 

I did this small tech demo for John to get him up to speed on coding for DPC+ with ARM support. This was actually the inspiration for my DPC+ ARM Development blog series (one of many things I plan to resume work on after the holidays).

post-3056-0-45622400-1447604984_thumb.png

 

ROM

scrolldemo_20150210.bin

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This seems relevant :D

 

Hello all,

 

Scramble is probably the game I remember the most fondly from my childhood. It is high on my list of games that I *want* to make for th 2600. Of course, the 4-pixel coarse scroll is the limiting factor. The question is: would it still play well with that scrolling? I think Super Cobra is pretty good considering, but I don't think hacking SC is the answer as I believe a better version can be made from the ground up. IMO, the choppy movement of your chopper makes SC pretty unplayable, although I'm sure they did that for a reason.

 

- the ship will use one sprite

- missiles can be M0/M1, bombs can be the ball. Or, since they are always vertically seperated, you can probably multiplex one missile or the ball to be both, leaving the other two for possible sprites

- there are 3 kinds of enemies IIRC: fuel, rockets and the mystery. One of those certainly can be represented by missiles/ball combo, the others by P1 (or P0 if available). You can also make sure they are spaced in such a way that the NUSIZ copy feature can be used

- enemies should be seperated vertically as much as possible. The terrain can help out here.

 

I think a pretty good port could be done if the gameplay is altered to accomodate the 2600's strengths (ie. NUSIZ) and avoid it's weaknesses.

 

Maybe I should move this discussion to the homebrew forum... icon_smile.gif

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This seems relevant :D

 

The sad thing is that the test for smooth scrolling the playfield was successful, but what worked on one display failed on others (even between CRT televisions).

So would it be worth it to design a game around a technique that only works on some Atari & display combinations?

Probably best used for a demo that needs a scrolling text or feature.

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Scramble's a DPC+ ARM game, Hozer can't touch that :)

 

 

 

Cosmic Avenger was the original plan; but, as happens from time to time, the plan changed - kinda like how Frantic lead me to this one little 50 sprite experiment, which ended up becoming a finished game while Frantic languished on the back burner. Someday I'll return to Frantic, but make no promises as to when that'll be.

 

I did this small tech demo for John to get him up to speed on coding for DPC+ with ARM support. This was actually the inspiration for my DPC+ ARM Development blog series (one of many things I plan to resume work on after the holidays).

attachicon.gifscrolldemo_20150210.png

 

ROM

attachicon.gifscrolldemo_20150210.bin

Thanks for sharing the demo, it definitely gives me an idea on what Cosmic Avenger could have looked like. your talent is truly impressive.

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Awesome! Thanks for this... have it for the 7800 of course, but so glad to see one of my all time favorite arcade games for play on the 2600!

 

Just got through playing a bit and am beside myself in awe. Really excellent everything, including the all important gameplay!

You're welcome and I'm glad you're enjoying it! I agree - it's a nice compliment to Bob's amazing 7800 port. :)

 

It did seem like once or twice in the cavern stage with the UFO's, that my shots disappeared for a bit. Seems like there may be too many saucers floating around, or maybe too close in succession. Action just seemed a little more hectic during that stage than I'm used to and probably accounts for why your forward bullets were disable for a brief moment?

 

Been playing this quite a bit... has anyone else noticed your bullets intermittently disappearing in the cavern/UFO stage? Seems the UFO's follow each other too closely as well.

Hmmm - I haven't seen the issue where bullets 'disappear'; they certainly do flicker as I'm drawing all 3 bullets and both bombs with the ball graphic. Worse-case scenario should have them not drawn for a maximum of 2 frames (20hz) flicker which shouldn't be that bad. The missiles/bombs are drawn independently from the saucers and ground targets so one shouldn't really affect the other.

 

I agree it seems a bit crammed with 4 saucers on the screen at once but the pattern and # match the arcade; actually the 2600 version is 'wider' so it should seem less crammed:

 

post-30-0-63502600-1447681621_thumb.png

 

One issue may be the starting point of the saucer is a 'range' in my version while in the arcade version it's fixed; this may be causing a couple saucers to be closer together than they should be. I agree it's better to have it uniform which will probably help with the spacing and will look into making it more arcade accurate.

 

Thanks for the feedback - it's much appreciated!

 

John

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Aye Aye, Sir!

 

The wife found a bug, ding-ding..

The wife found a bug, ding-ding..

Hi-Ho the Marry-O the wife found a bug. Ding-Ding!

 

When earning a 4th ship the (ship-lives) graphics get scrambled, no pun intended. She can play this game for hours straight away.

Wow that's pretty impressive! Your wife is quite the Scramble player - I have not been able to get a 4th ship in reserve yet - thanks for finding the bug! :) I found the issue and the fix will be in the next build.

 

 

Maybe a bit, yeh. Another 20% increase in difficulty, somehow, someway, could be a good thing. Faster missiles? More of them launched to make you have to get out of the way? Ehh.. IDK.. difficulty is always hard to quantify and equalize across different players with varying skill. We all know that.

I agree... the more I look at the arcade game the more it seems that the missiles launch when they are in front of you, meaning the game takes into account the location of your ship when deciding where and when to launch a missile. I will reach out to Bob (who did the 7800) and see what approach he took as his game seems to be spot-on with the arcade.

 

She said getting the base at end, is just about right, however. And so is navigating the narrow corridors toward the end. I personally wish Scramble would let your ship fall back faster than the terrain scrolls, of course then it wouldn't be true to the arcade.

Agreed - the base level feel spot-on; the maze level actually seems a bit easier in the 2600 version but I'll wait for people's feedback before I make any changes.

 

I do have a question, in the Vectrex version does the difficulty increase by making the terrain more narrow? Pushing you to the top more often? I could be imagining that or superimposing and confusing that behavior from another game though.

Hmmm I haven't played the Vectrex version in a long time, but I know the arcade version does not make the terrain more narrow. I believe the game you're thinking of is Cosmic Avenger.

 

I also believe auto/rapid fire should be an option. Seasoned gamers from the 70's and 80's like that sort of thing - features like so will keep them out of the doctor's office. Reduces repetitive motion injuries when playing on ergonomically less-than-ideal hardware. AND it will be easier on the controllers too! That sort of thing.. Many people that visit and play on my emulation station always ask for autofire on shooters and blaster type games.

Good idea... I just implemented select-able autofire via a difficulty switch and I'm testing it now. I think it will be a welcomed addition!

 

ADDED:

The fuel consumption seems about right and making changes there (to increase difficulty) would make it more frustrating.

Agreed.. I've been tweaking the fuel consumption #'s to make sure that it's challenging but not frustrating. By Level 8 your fuel consumption is pretty quick but a skilled player should be able to find a gas station before they run out. :) BTW what's your wife's high score? One change I made from the arcade was allowing a free ship at 10,000 and every 50,000 (arcade is only at 10,000). One option for the EXPERT level would be to only give a free ship at 10,000 per the arcade, or perhaps I could make it more challenging like every 100,000. I tend to like to have the goal be more challenging than to remove it completely.

 

Thanks again for all the great feedback!

 

John

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