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StarBlitz

 

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EDIT:

Here are the new versions of the game based on feedback from this thread:

StarBlitz_double_fun.bin StarBlitz Double Fun! :) Use the BW switch to change between 30 HZ and 60 HZ! Interesting display artifacts that show up only on the real hardware in both modes.

 

StarBlitz_60HZ_v1.bin StarBlitz at 60 HZ - is it better than 30 HZ?

StarBlitz_v5C.bin (most recent and different than the site download, continuous cityscape and meteor animation improvements; white flash left over from testing has been removed).

StarBlitz_v5B.bin(bugfix - meteors now stable near enemy drones, difficulty ramped up)

StarBlitz_v5.bin (added enemy drones, pods easier to shoot)

StarBlitz_v4A.bin ( pods can be shot)

StarBlitz_v4.bin (added enemy flyer with pods)

StarBlitz_v3.bin (no motor background sound)

StarBlitz_v2.bin (more meteor paths, sound scheme revisions)

StarBlitz.bin (original version)

 

StarBlitz is a high resolution smooth scrolling Defender style game where you protect the colorful cities of Mars from comets and meteors.

 

Each Martian CityScape is different than the next. How many cities can you protect? :)

 

Game play:
Destroy the comets and meteors before they level the city to progress to the next level. The game ends when your ship is hit without shields or a city is destroyed.

 

Weapons:
Drone Torpedoes - Your Ship is equipped with short range drone torpedoes that you control.

 

Shields:
Magnetic Ion Shields - you'll quickly get a feel for how many meteor hits you can take; your ship changes color as the Ion field loses magnetic flux.

 

Strategy:
Inertia - use your Horizontal Drift (drift is considerable, inspired by Defender) to maneuver your Drone Torpedoes for maximum effect while avoiding the falling meteors. Larger meteors can do more damage to your shields but are easier to hit.

 

Scoring:
Interactive - your in-level score will periodically appear as a falling comet.

The number of levels completed will appear on screen briefly during play at the beginning of each level, and at the end of the game.

 

Catch or shoot score for additional points.

 

Leveling up - when your in-level score reaches 8 you move on to the next City.

 

Progressive Difficulty:

StarBlitz is easy to play but difficult to master, difficulty ramps up as the levels progress.

 

Easter-Egg:

If you're light fingered you can play on the title screen too!

 

Hope everyone enjoys! :)

 

Edited by Mr SQL
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Had a brief play on Stella 4.7. Some thoughts :-

- After you fire the torpedo the shot noise repeats.
- Torpedo tracks your height. Seems a bit odd to me.
- Continuous "music" that is really grating and detracts from the game to the point where I had to stop playing.
- Continuous and irritating clicking noise.

- Doesn't seem to be much variation on how the enemies come into the screen. I might have played longer to see more but man, that audio :P

Good start but the audio needs serious work.

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The scoring is confusing to me -- is the overall score simply the number of levels completed?

 

Also, I think the difficulty level needs to be ramped up more from the start -- I was trying to die to see my final score, but I couldn't off myself.

 

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

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The scoring is confusing to me -- is the overall score simply the number of levels completed?

 

Also, I think the difficulty level needs to be ramped up more from the start -- I was trying to die to see my final score, but I couldn't off myself.

 

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

 

There are two scores - your in-level score which floats down like a meteor every so often, and your levels completed score which displays briefly whenever you complete a level, and when you die.

 

The difficulty ramps up because you have less time to complete each level as the cities become increasingly vulnerable to meteors (when cities sustain enough damage to lose their color you only have about 20 seconds to complete the level or the game ends) . How many levels did you complete?

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Aiming and shooting seems too random to me. I can't do much more than flying into one direction with permanent shooting. There should be some speed control which would allow some tactics.

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Had a brief play on Stella 4.7. Some thoughts :-

 

- After you fire the torpedo the shot noise repeats.

- Torpedo tracks your height. Seems a bit odd to me.

- Continuous "music" that is really grating and detracts from the game to the point where I had to stop playing.

- Continuous and irritating clicking noise.

- Doesn't seem to be much variation on how the enemies come into the screen. I might have played longer to see more but man, that audio :P

 

Good start but the audio needs serious work.

 

That stuff and I don't like the screen to flash.

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Had a brief play on Stella 4.7. Some thoughts :-

 

- After you fire the torpedo the shot noise repeats.

- Torpedo tracks your height. Seems a bit odd to me.

- Continuous "music" that is really grating and detracts from the game to the point where I had to stop playing.

- Continuous and irritating clicking noise.

- Doesn't seem to be much variation on how the enemies come into the screen. I might have played longer to see more but man, that audio :P

 

Good start but the audio needs serious work.

 

GroovyBee, great feedback! Try this version, the Torpedo no longer takes over the other sound schemes and there is more variation on how the comets and meteors come into the screen:

 

StarBlitz_v2.bin

 

I left in the "clicking" noise, it's supposed to be the ships motor :)

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Aiming and shooting seems too random to me. I can't do much more than flying into one direction with permanent shooting. There should be some speed control which would allow some tactics.

 

Speed control would lose the illusion of fine pixel scrolling! :-D

 

I see what you are getting at Tom, I had a build where the enemies frequently fly onto the screen from the furthest reaches giving you enough time even at high speed to consistently torpedo them, it was fun but the gameplay was too easy - maybe I should include those option as a trainer/easy setting?

 

Tactics - while your torpedo is already in the air try changing directions to swing your torpedo around on a meteor, you can make the Drone do loops around your Ship.

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I guess I get that the missile is a drone or whatever rather than a bullet, I just don't think it makes for very good gameplay. I mostly end up going back and forth constantly trying to get it to hit the target. It would probably be easier with a joystick instead of a keyboard. The scrolling cityscape is very impressive.

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Just curious, why is the download 8.25kb? Shouldn't it be 8.00?

 

Actually I've only used up half the space in the binary, have any ideas to add to this game? :cool:

 

I'm thinking of adding enemy ships that fly in at variable speeds unlike the comets and meteors which plumet straight down - this would work along the lines of what Tom suggested but without compromising the fluid scrolling of the the city. They could shoot at the player as well but probably not launch drones.

 

Also thinking of adding some power-up's to catch besides the score, perhaps different weapons like in Road Blaster.

 

Here's another build without the motor noise in the background to try:

 

StarBlitz_v3.bin

 

If Al or a mod can give me edit privs on my first post I'll put all the builds at the top :)

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Just curious, why is the download 8.25kb? Shouldn't it be 8.00?

The extra 256 bytes are resulting from the ROM being in Supercharger format.

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Update: Two new versions - one with an enemy flyer that takes multiple hits to destroy while launching indestructible heat seaking pods at you, and another (since that didn't seem fair) with destructible pods.

 

Still planning to add more power-ups to catch besides the score...

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Very cool, I like defender style games!

 

Finally got to try it last night. I'm not very good at it, but blasting the enemy ships is satisfying. Gonna have to try it on my SuperCharger. :D

Edited by Jinroh
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Uploaded a new version that fixes a bug where meteors oscillated near enemy drones and ramps up the difficulty.

 

Almost all of the ideas from this thread have been added except RT's not wanting the screen to flash - good article but disintegrating meteors should make the sky flash IMO ;)

 

Here's a video of the game on real hardware (with the bug):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWHJrPY6bQY

The scrolling city and title screen are animated at 30 FPS, the digital camera loses synch a few times.

 

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Like I reported in "that other thread", the flickering is very hefty. That hefty, that I cannot play the game for more than a few minutes.

It seems like your are running out of time and use the blank screen for scrolling the SC RAM. I am not 100% sure, but I suppose there must be a better compromise than the current flickering. Maybe the code can be optimized a bit (I could try to help here, checkout my SC based Paradroid demo), the vertical game screen size could be reduced and the total number of scan lines could be increased a bit. When combined, there is a chance that we can get rid of that blank screen.

Else I suggest to a different banks witching and extra RAM scheme, which allows moving RAM data faster.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

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Other than the breaks from the digital camera losing sync (!) the 30 FPS of full screen animation doesn't appear to be flickering in the video to me; perhaps only you and RevEng can see it to the point it makes the game unplayable for you? In the emu, the real hardware or both?

 

The reviewer Trixter on that other thread saw minimal flicker but found it "well within limits, particularly for an Atari game" and the display captivating.

 

If any gamers can see flicker that is making the game unplayable on an NTSC Television or in your Stella emulator, please discuss it here!

 

The display Engine in StarBlitz is the same as KC Munchkin - it outputs 30 full frames of animation per second (KC does it in bursts) for very low flicker and StarBlitz has all the display elements balanced at 30 HZ.

 

30 HZ is the same frequency as NTSC Television and adds the same hypnotic effect to the game. If there are breaks in the display the effect can be unpleasant, here is that other thread if anyone is seeing the issues described by Keatah affecting the StarBlitz display engine in Stella on certain Windows hardware/OS configurations (and are intermitten and very different than minimal flicker):

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/248950-new-code-making-stella-47-display-inconsistant/?p=3437333

 

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