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Tony Cruise

Cavern Fighter for Colecovision

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On 12/31/2019 at 3:25 AM, Tony Cruise said:

 

Any chance you might post the beta rom here so we can take a test flight?

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After a little bit of early beta testing, I had a few bugs to fix and I decided I would have another go at trying to get Cavern Fighter to run on a standard Colecovision without needing the Super Game Module (SGM) or an Adam with their 32k of Ram.

I had to rewrite quite a bit of the games scrolling engine and object engine but I have managed to get the game to run stability in the standard Coleco's 1k of Ram!

This is of course great as it widens the audience that will be able to enjoy the game.

I have sent it off for some more testing and have a couple more bugs to sort (including improving the sound effects), but it is very close to being done. Another update very soon.

The game will be released in physical form with a box and a manual by CollectorVision.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tony Cruise said:

After a little bit of early beta testing, I had a few bugs to fix and I decided I would have another go at trying to get Cavern Fighter to run on a standard Colecovision without needing the Super Game Module (SGM) or an Adam with their 32k of Ram.

I had to rewrite quite a bit of the games scrolling engine and object engine but I have managed to get the game to run stability in the standard Coleco's 1k of Ram!

This is of course great as it widens the audience that will be able to enjoy the game.

I have sent it off for some more testing and have a couple more bugs to sort (including improving the sound effects), but it is very close to being done. Another update very soon.

The game will be released in physical form with a box and a manual by CollectorVision.

 

 

This looks great.   If you ever need another beta tester I would love to play this

 

Have you considered a standard colecovision release or 'cavern fighter' as well as a 'super cavern fighter' that would use the Adams extra RAM.   

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On 3/2/2020 at 9:57 PM, rietveld said:

This looks great.   If you ever need another beta tester I would love to play this

 

Have you considered a standard colecovision release or 'cavern fighter' as well as a 'super cavern fighter' that would use the Adams extra RAM.   

I don't think extra Ram would add that many features, although I have thought about additional non-arcade levels and different cavern end bosses.  I could mostly do this with the remaining Rom space as I have only used 18k of Rom so far and can easily use up to 32k if needed (same cartridge cost - not like back in the day).  It will depend on how I go with writing my own sound effects engine and how many bytes I can steal from OS functions I am not currently using :)

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2020 at 7:15 PM, Tony Cruise said:

I don't think extra Ram would add that many features, although I have thought about additional non-arcade levels and different cavern end bosses.  I could mostly do this with the remaining Rom space as I have only used 18k of Rom so far and can easily use up to 32k if needed (same cartridge cost - not like back in the day).  It will depend on how I go with writing my own sound effects engine and how many bytes I can steal from OS functions I am not currently using :)

That said, you could use up to 24K of ROM and have 4K of RAM in the cart that is fully readable and writeable. That's a useful extra amount of RAM to have on a CV, if not on an Adam.

Edited by MrPix

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2 hours ago, MrPix said:

That said, you could use up to 24K of ROM and have 4K of RAM in the cart that is fully readable and writeable. That's a useful extra amount of RAM to have on a CV, if not on an Adam.

I didn't know there was a cartridge layout that allowed that, I know one of the Megacart designs has read/write flash storage as part of it, they allow up to 128k Rom, are definitely more expensive though. I hadn't heard of any for smaller cartridge sizes.  It would also depend on manufacturing cost as well.

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If you’re using 24k of ROM, you have 8k left. Split that into two 4K blocks. One reads, and one is aliased to the same 4K, but as writes. So you can have the address decoder select an SRAM and assert read for the lower 4K and write for the upper 4K.

 

Make sense?

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17 hours ago, MrPix said:

If you’re using 24k of ROM, you have 8k left. Split that into two 4K blocks. One reads, and one is aliased to the same 4K, but as writes. So you can have the address decoder select an SRAM and assert read for the lower 4K and write for the upper 4K.

 

Make sense?

Yeah understand the concept, would need a custom PCB to be designed and would be more expensive than a straight 32k Rom cartridge, but doable.  Not necessary for this game, but would definitely be worth looking at for some future projects, especially ones that would benefit from either additional Ram or flash storage.

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3 hours ago, Tony Cruise said:

Yeah understand the concept, would need a custom PCB to be designed and would be more expensive than a straight 32k Rom cartridge, but doable.  Not necessary for this game, but would definitely be worth looking at for some future projects, especially ones that would benefit from either additional Ram or flash storage.

PM me and we can talk. :)

 

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10 hours ago, Tony Cruise said:

Yeah understand the concept, would need a custom PCB to be designed and would be more expensive than a straight 32k Rom cartridge, but doable.  Not necessary for this game, but would definitely be worth looking at for some future projects, especially ones that would benefit from either additional Ram or flash storage.

The only homebrew game that I know have that set up 24KB ROM/8KB RAM is a PCB board for Lord of the Dungeon which has battery back up save, which can be use as RAM.
 

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A small, low power SRAM of recent manufacture should be able to hold contents safely for 20 or 30 years off two CR2032 or similar primary cells.

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I have sent off the final release version of my new game Cavern Fighter for the original un-expanded ColecoVision. 30 years in the making, it is a conversion of the last title I was working on for the Spectravideo and MSX, that never got released.

It is of course heavily inspired by one of my favourite arcade games, Scramble.

It has six different stages and three difficulty levels, giving every player a reasonable challenge.

It really pushed the original hardware to the line, I was literally down to the last couple of bytes of Ram left.

I thought I would give it a decent play through on real hardware to give everyone a decent look at the game play.

It will be available to purchase from the CollectorVision website in a few weeks time, once the box and manual have been completed.

 

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 4:46 AM, Tony Cruise said:

It really pushed the original hardware to the line, I was literally down to the last couple of bytes of Ram left.

 

I don't understand the obsession with "stock Coleco." Nobody at Coleco working on the games wanted to release it with that little RAM, but they acquiesced to the accountants with the idea they would upgrade the RAM the following year, when prices dropped, via the Super Game Module. In other words, using additional tech to boost the games is living up to the ideals of everyone at Coleco involved in game production, and focusing on "stock Coleco" is following the accountant's ideal. Those of us who had the system as children understand because Coleco sold the idea of boosting the system using the expansion port from day one.

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5 hours ago, Miner Jumpman said:

I don't understand the obsession with "stock Coleco." Nobody at Coleco working on the games wanted to release it with that little RAM, but they acquiesced to the accountants with the idea they would upgrade the RAM the following year, when prices dropped, via the Super Game Module. In other words, using additional tech to boost the games is living up to the ideals of everyone at Coleco involved in game production, and focusing on "stock Coleco" is following the accountant's ideal. Those of us who had the system as children understand because Coleco sold the idea of boosting the system using the expansion port from day one.

i don't understand the obsession with "add on" to improve the console.

If you find your colecovision not enough powerful ,  just play on sega master system  for instance or a megadrive.

 

I think programmers who are "obsessed" with "stock colecovision"  like me .  It is just because the challenge is more interesting.  What programmers  loves in retro programming is to jungle with limitation of a machine.

 

 

 

 

Edited by youki
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7 hours ago, youki said:

i don't understand the obsession with "add on" to improve the console.

If you find your colecovision not enough powerful ,  just play on sega master system  for instance or a megadrive.

 

I think programmers who are "obsessed" with "stock colecovision"  like me .  It is just because the challenge is more interesting.  What programmers  loves in retro programming is to jungle with limitation of a machine.

 

 

 

 

Telling someone to just go play another system is an unsatisfactory answer. Your response is also telling because, for people like you, the endeavor is not about producing what fans want, but playing your own puzzle game.

 

If someone designs a game and finds they can fit it all without any added technology, great. However, most want developers to pull out all the stops to get it as accurate as possible when copying an existing game (ideally, it surpasses the existing game giving a compelling reason to play it instead of MAME).

 

I'm glad Tony had fun, but we are left with a version that looks more like the 2600 than the 5200. Normally, ColecoVision comes out ahead or it is at least close when making a head-to-head comparison with the 5200. Here we got absolutely smoked. That's the dead giveaway that Tony didn't grow up with the ColecoVision because anyone who did would not let it happen.

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5 minutes ago, Miner Jumpman said:

Telling someone to just go play another system is an unsatisfactory answer. Your response is also telling because, for people like you, the endeavor is not about producing what fans want, but playing your own puzzle game.

 

If someone designs a game and finds they can fit it all without any added technology, great. However, most want developers to pull out all the stops to get it as accurate as possible when copying an existing game (ideally, it surpasses the existing game giving a compelling reason to play it instead of MAME).

 

I'm glad Tony had fun, but we are left with a version that looks more like the 2600 than the 5200. Normally, ColecoVision comes out ahead or it is at least close when making a head-to-head comparison with the 5200. Here we got absolutely smoked. That's the dead giveaway that Tony didn't grow up with the ColecoVision because anyone who did would not let it happen.

Can't think of how to adequately respond to this without expletives - so all I can say is good grief!!!!

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6 minutes ago, Miner Jumpman said:

 [F]or people like you, the endeavor is not about producing what fans want, but playing your own puzzle game.

 

It's his project, not yours. If you can better it, do. If not, please don't speak for every "fan". Thanks.

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36 minutes ago, Miner Jumpman said:

Telling someone to just go play another system is an unsatisfactory answer. Your response is also telling because, for people like you, the endeavor is not about producing what fans want, but playing your own puzzle game.

 

If someone designs a game and finds they can fit it all without any added technology, great. However, most want developers to pull out all the stops to get it as accurate as possible when copying an existing game (ideally, it surpasses the existing game giving a compelling reason to play it instead of MAME).

 

I'm glad Tony had fun, but we are left with a version that looks more like the 2600 than the 5200. Normally, ColecoVision comes out ahead or it is at least close when making a head-to-head comparison with the 5200. Here we got absolutely smoked. That's the dead giveaway that Tony didn't grow up with the ColecoVision because anyone who did would not let it happen.

Your post reeks of self-entitlement. Do the rest of us a favor and get over yourself.

 

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50 minutes ago, Miner Jumpman said:

Telling someone to just go play another system is an unsatisfactory answer. Your response is also telling because, for people like you, the endeavor is not about producing what fans want, but playing your own puzzle game.

 

You are not too far from the truth.  i speak only for me , i can not tell for others.  But personally programming on old console i do it is just for my own pleasure. It is purely selfish.  I don't care about "fan" .  If a game i do  is appreciated by fan i'm very happy ,it is rewarding but it is just bonus ,  but it is not a problem if the game is not appreciated.  I just want take pleasure to code what i want how  i want.  I don't do business.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Miner Jumpman said:

Telling someone to just go play another system is an unsatisfactory answer. Your response is also telling because, for people like you, the endeavor is not about producing what fans want, but playing your own puzzle game.

 

If someone designs a game and finds they can fit it all without any added technology, great. However, most want developers to pull out all the stops to get it as accurate as possible when copying an existing game (ideally, it surpasses the existing game giving a compelling reason to play it instead of MAME).

 

I'm glad Tony had fun, but we are left with a version that looks more like the 2600 than the 5200. Normally, ColecoVision comes out ahead or it is at least close when making a head-to-head comparison with the 5200. Here we got absolutely smoked. That's the dead giveaway that Tony didn't grow up with the ColecoVision because anyone who did would not let it happen.

Plus why wouldn't you try to target the largest audience with your game? Not everyone has a SGM compatible ColecoVision. I appreciate anything anyone wants to do with a system that lost commercial support in the mid 80's.

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2 hours ago, zaphro72 said:

Plus why wouldn't you try to target the largest audience with your game? Not everyone has a SGM compatible ColecoVision. I appreciate anything anyone wants to do with a system that lost commercial support in the mid 80's.

Yes, I am with you. I am not even a fan of the SGM. If someone creates a unique game, I support it regardless of what I think of it.

 

However, when someone takes the most iconic games, like Scramble and Berzerk, how it looks, sounds, and plays are important. My point is, even if programmers could easily add the tech to the cart, many are more interested in engaging in an intellectual exercise than pleasing the fan base.

 

I've confirmed this idea by a programmer in this thread who stated, "It is purely selfish. I don't care about 'fan.'" This attitude is prevalent from developers in the ColecoVision community and helps explain why games cost double than similar games on other systems and are not readily available.

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4 hours ago, Pixelboy said:

Your post reeks of self-entitlement. Do the rest of us a favor and get over yourself.

 

Interesting because you are one of the worst offenders. A few years back, I had seen someone on this forum make a valid complaint about not being able to purchase your games. You responded by berating him for not taking the time to contact you about purchasing because you would always sell.

 

I've contacted you about games, and you said not a single game you produced or planed on producing was available or ever would be. You've made it like a private club where only a few anointed individuals are permitted admission. Many people have permanently abandoned Coleco for other communities that are more fan-friendly.

 

I routinely give you high praise because you've done some of the most exceptional work for the community. Yet many of your business practices are head-scratching. I spoke to an Atari Age employee about these issues, and he said, "you are preaching to the choir" and couldn't understand the philosophy.

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4 hours ago, youki said:

You are not too far from the truth.  i speak only for me , i can not tell for others.  But personally programming on old console i do it is just for my own pleasure. It is purely selfish.  I don't care about "fan" .  If a game i do  is appreciated by fan i'm very happy ,it is rewarding but it is just bonus ,  but it is not a problem if the game is not appreciated.  I just want take pleasure to code what i want how  i want.  I don't do business.

 

 

I respect that, and if you've created games, I've likely supported them. For me, this issue is limited to essential titles. If releasing games as significant as Scramble or Berzerk, I want to see the best Coleco can produce. I see no evidence that Atari 5200 is that much stronger of a system.

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