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Thomas Jentzsch

Millipede vs Millipede

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Indeed. So which version do you prefer and why? And how would an optimal, "best of both worlds" version look like?

 

The linked AtariProtos website already shows a nice comparison and list of difference details. And I can add more:

  • The mushrooms in the GCC protos require only 3 shots to be eliminated. Atari's version and the arcade require 4.
  • The controls in the GCC proto suck, because they are not responsive enough.
  • While the GCC player looks nicer, its movement is much coarser than the Atari version
  • ...what else...?

BTW: Please ignore are technical flaws of the GCC prototypes, I am pretty sure those can be fixed.

 

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If Centipede drove you buggy the Atari Millipede is sure to raid your brain...

 

I did not even know that there was "another" version of Millipede. Both of them look and behave suspiciously similar and that's why it does not make sence to keep both of them in my Harmony. While the GCC prototype has nice multicolored mushrooms and some of the sound effects are perhaps more polished, the Atari version has much smoother player vertical movement and really burns the TIA to the max... screen constantly filled from top to bottom, from bottom to top

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The biggest bother I see in the GCC version is the use of a player object for the player's blaster and forces it to follow the same movement rules as the bugs and other player objects in that display kernel (all vertical motion goes in 'steps' that correspond with the mushroom rows). Presumably that's why the ball (I think) was used for the player's ship for the other versions - to allow free movement without over-stressing the kernel

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I prefer the released version. The GCC version has some nice touches (especially the title screen) but the released version is much more fun to play.

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I prefer the released version. The GCC version has some nice touches (especially the title screen) but the released version is much more fun to play.

Why is the released version is much more fun to play? (e.g. better controls, nicer difficulty...)

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Personally, I prefer the grey lower area over blue and the enemy sprites we got in the released version.

Within Stella, press CTRL+F until you get to NTSC 50 mode. Then you can see the colors, which are meant to be used. But in a final version, I suppose they would have given some polishing.

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The biggest bother I see in the GCC version is the use of a player object for the player's blaster and forces it to follow the same movement rules as the bugs and other player objects in that display kernel (all vertical motion goes in 'steps' that correspond with the mushroom rows). Presumably that's why the ball (I think) was used for the player's ship for the other versions - to allow free movement without over-stressing the kernel

Yes, that's why they used the ball. It definitely moves much smoother vertically. But what is the benefit of being able to position the player between two rows? IMO that makes it even more vulnerable.

 

Or is it more a matter of controls? That you cannot really predict in the GCC version, when the player moves a row (note that it moves down at double speed vs up; no clue why, maybe experimental code to show both speeds). Here definitely agree, but that's IMO mainly due to the lousy current controller code. It allows movement only at certain frames, so and movement faces some delay and a quick direction push on the joystick may get ignored completely.

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What about taking some of the graphics and sound from the GCC prototype and add it to the [otherwise superior] Atari version?

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Yes, that's why they used the ball. It definitely moves much smoother vertically. But what is the benefit of being able to position the player between two rows? IMO that makes it even more vulnerable.

 

Or is it more a matter of controls? That you cannot really predict in the GCC version, when the player moves a row (note that it moves down at double speed vs up; no clue why, maybe experimental code to show both speeds). Here definitely agree, but that's IMO mainly due to the lousy current controller code. It allows movement only at certain frames, so and movement faces some delay and a quick direction push on the joystick may get ignored completely.

Can't really say on the gameplay, as I've only seen videos and stills so far. It may be just the perceptual expectation - when something is allowed free movement in two axes, it's reasonable to expect the motion to work roughly the same way along those axes. I'd have to try out the GCC to see how it goes in practice though.

 

I wonder how possible it would be to modify the width/position of the ball per scanline to get a less block-shaped blaster in the Atari version.

Edited by Feralstorm

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Indeed. So which version do you prefer and why? And how would an optimal, "best of both worlds" version look like?

 

The linked AtariProtos website already shows a nice comparison and list of difference details. And I can add more:

  • The mushrooms in the GCC protos require only 3 shots to be eliminated. Atari's version and the arcade require 4.
  • The controls in the GCC proto suck, because they are not responsive enough.
  • While the GCC player looks nicer, its movement is much coarser than the Atari version
  • ...what else...?
BTW: Please ignore are technical flaws of the GCC prototypes, I am pretty sure those can be fixed.

I'll add that info to my page. Thank you.

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Objects should always move pixel per pixel if possible. It is just a matter of principle. A proof that the system has the ability to draw the screen properly...

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In the end I have decided to add the GCC version to my Harmony as well. There is something positive on the restricted vertical movement of the player and I really like the multicolored mushrooms and sound effects. So now, it is the only prototype I have in there...

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In the end I have decided to add the GCC version to my Harmony as well. There is something positive on the restricted vertical movement of the player and I really like the multicolored mushrooms and sound effects. So now, it is the only prototype I have in there...

 

But does it have native Trak-Ball support? :)

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Is track ball control really that great? I don't know but I remember that it did not feel anywhere near as good as mouse, when I played the Centipede arcade machine with track ball 2 years back. I can't even imagine a track ball in digital joystick mode...

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Is track ball control really that great? I don't know but I remember that it did not feel anywhere near as good as mouse, when I played the Centipede arcade machine with track ball 2 years back. I can't even imagine a track ball in digital joystick mode...

Trak-Ball or mouse are about the same. The control is precise for both. And you can play the Trak-Ball hacks with an Atari ST or Amiga mouse.

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Trak-Ball or mouse are about the same. The control is precise for both. And you can play the Trak-Ball hacks with an Atari ST or Amiga mouse.

 

Wait…did I miss something? Did you guys already hack the GCC version?

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