Jump to content
KK/Altair

[Atari 2600] RoboMechanik - a puzzle/action tile-based game

Recommended Posts

I know this is a bit off topic, but as a pixel artist I need to ask - what tools are people using to achieve the level of graphics seen in games like this?

 

Incredible game, btw! It’ll be a day one purchase for me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this is a bit off topic, but as a pixel artist I need to ask - what tools are people using to achieve the level of graphics seen in games like this?

 

MS Paint. Really. :) Plus a custom made tool that shows the tiles with proper NTSC proportions and running animations.

Some tiles were made with a bit of math (circles and rotations at that aspect ratio are a bit non-intuitive), but in the end they were mspainted, too.

And the title screen was rendered in Blender, scaled to NTSC aspect ratio, dithered to 1-bit at several different brightness threshold levels and hand-merged in GIMP (by painting masks to choose which brightness threshold is used where).

So there were no fancy tools involved in the process, and everything except title screen can be made with any editor showing correct pixel proportions and live animations. :)

 

 

Incredible game, btw! It’ll be a day one purchase for me. :)

 

Thanks! :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate the explanation!

 

No problem! :) If you have any questions, feel free to ask! :)

 

 

Just an FYI - Omegamatrix figured out a 160 pixel display, 2 layouts using 15 Hz flicker, and a 3rd using 20 Hz. Source is provided, stock 6507 code

 

Thanks for the update. Still, as far as I can see first two work just by flickering two 96px (or 80px, in this case) displays side by side, but the third one is a nice trick indeed. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd never use the first two as I find them painful to look at.

 

Third ones iffy, I'd need to see it full-screen to see how well I'd be able to tolerate it; however, I'll most likely add that one to SpiceC as a Kernel Option even if I wouldn't use it myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd never use the first two as I find them painful to look at.

 

Third ones iffy, I'd need to see it full-screen to see how well I'd be able to tolerate it; however, I'll most likely add that one to SpiceC as a Kernel Option even if I wouldn't use it myself.

 

My thoughts exactly. :) But using third one in a demo (as on demoscene) would open some interesting options. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's your call, just wanted you to be aware that I only saw about 40% downloaded the Windows version of my level tool.

 

Thinking a bit more on this, I'm trying to implement your idea in browser JavaScript. Long time since I touched JS at all, but early proof-of-concept looks promising. Maybe in some time I'll be able to give you guys some fun with level design. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harmony cart user here: dawg your graphics are in a place of their own, mucho impressiveo. i havent explorred it a TON yet but i can get past the 1st few and i love the graphics, and it also has music

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rightly nominated for 2018 Atari Awards as Best WIP.

 

And got my vote there. :)

I think Krzysztof has the best programming skills in this community. Doing this, without any extra hardware, it's crazy!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How? How is this even possible? This is like a modern indie game that is trying to pull off a retro asthetic but its by asthetic only. This doesn't seem possible.

 

That aside, the game itself... This is the most addictive game I have ever played on the Atari. Hands down, this is the most addictive, compelling, and fun game I have ever seen on the system. Homebrew or not... Somehow you managed to make a great NES game and squeezed it into an Atari.

 

I grew up with a grey 1st Gen Gameboy, and this monochrome puzzle game took me right back to those long car rides for family vacations.

 

In short, this might be the best game I've ever played on the Atari IMHO.

 

Amazing work. You should be very proud and I hope this gains mega popularity. This is the type of game that could bring flocks of new people into the Atari Homebrew community.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That aside, the game itself... This is the most addictive game I have ever played on the Atari. Hands down, this is the most addictive, compelling, and fun game I have ever seen on the system. Homebrew or not...

That's exactly why I voted for it. IMO the game play is what really shines here.

 

Technically is not so special as far as I can tell. Mainly a standard 96 interleaved pixel kernel as known e.g. by Stellar Tracks. But used to its very best.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished this game. It's incredible from beginning to end. It also has moments of old school frustration gaming. The kind where you hate the game until you finally get it and then you're hit with that punch of accomplishment. Honestly, I haven't felt that in gaming in a long long time. Well done!

 

There are moments where you get mad because the controls are so tight and you end up moving a block where you shouldn't or worse. But even in those moments, you want to be mad at the game... But you know it's your fault.

 

This game had me spouting obscenities on the final level! I was so frustrated and it took forever to complete the level/boss... And as angry as I got, it was the "it" factor that just isn't in gaming anymore. And when I got through it... Woooooooo it was like the first time I beat a video game in 91'

 

This isn't a great Atari game... This is a great game that just happens to be on the Atari.

 

I know it's listed as a WIP but I have no idea why. This game is more complete than most cart games I own. I'm ready for a physical cart release!

Edit: A Few Notes After Completing

1) I honestly believe anyone who says this game is too easy hasn't played it all the way through. The start of the game teaches all the ideas in the game and lulls you into a false sense of easy. But if you play it all the way through... you'll find out you are thankful for being able to start at where you died.

2) A timer would ruin this game. In levels where timing is everything... a timer would suck the skill and thoughtfulness right out of the game.

3) The Atari needs more games where the score is not the goal. Not every game needs a score for it to be a challenge, this is one of the few. The game's difficulty ramps up so much that the replay factor is in fewer restarts and speed runs.

4) ANYTHING BEFORE LEVEL "E" IS JUST PRACTICE. Seriously, I've read some of the suggestions here and I get the feeling very few have played E and completed F. E and F are the actual game. F8 by it's very nature will average 30+ minutes once you understand what you need to do. And about 1,000,000 restarts.

5) The teleport function was amazing and it's a shame it was only used in one level. It was a really smart mechanic.

6) After G-1 the game should kick you into x-1 mode instead of looping back to the start. H.E.R.O. does this as well.

7) It would be nice if one of the difficulty switches could mute the music like in Moon Patrol and if the other switch could bank between the two songs.

8) it sounds weird but since this is a monochrome game, it would be nice if the B/W switch worked. Some of the colors can be harder to see than others and the B/W mode would help.

9) Extra life after the first boss battle would be a nice reward.

10) In the end, this is a bomberman style game. It's based on pattern, memory, and cleverness. It's replay factor is through the roof for people who are into this genre (like me). It breathes really well from easy to fast to confusing to near impossible (that's hard to do well). Please don't change the game select function, having that option for level practice is what will make this a game players will come back to again and again.

11) sequel

Edited by keebz
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'm actively NOT playing this game all the way through until I can play it on my actual hardware. I'm super stoked about it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what happened to this gem? I sure hope it is still active in development.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

So what happened to this gem? I sure hope it is still active in development.

I have also been curious about this game. When I first saw the game it went right to my have to have list of homebrews. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

So what happened to this gem? I sure hope it is still active in development.

It doesn't look too good based on his last post (Nov 2018) and last login (Feb 2019). Hopefully @KK/Altair returns to finish this masterpiece of a game, I definitely want a boxed version of this!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys! Thank you for your support and patience! :)

 

I definitely didn't drop this project, just got a bit burned with my extreme perfectionism.
Right now I'm able to fit about 97 maps in the 32k binary, but I would love to break the magic number of 100.

I see a clear way of breaking that number, but it would require a bit of rewrite cleaning up tile data in all the existing levels, which is not something I'm looking forward to.
So, given my very limited free time I focused on other things, waiting for my energy and focus to build up again for this task, or go forward to release the thing as is.

And going 64k just to waste 31.9k is again something my perfectionism can't accept. ;)

In any case, the project is not abandoned, and if you would like to reach me (e.g. to help with testing), find me on Facebook and just PM me (as you have notices, I'm not active user of this forum).

 

Take care!
KK/Altair

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news! Thanks for replying.

 

If you accept any help, I can try helping to optimize the code for size (I am pretty good at this 😄). It would be shame if this project gets further delayed or even abandoned.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

If you accept any help, I can try helping to optimize the code for size (I am pretty good at this 😄). It would be shame if this project gets further delayed or even abandoned.

Code size is not a problem, because all maps reside in two banks filled 99% with map data. Some map data could be shared between maps, but that would need serious cleanup of the maps.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, KK/Altair said:

Code size is not a problem, because all maps reside in two banks filled 99% with map data. Some map data could be shared between maps, but that would need serious cleanup of the maps.

Well, I once squeezed 600 puzzles into Jammed, using just ~2.5K (compressed of course). 🗜️  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KK/Altair said:

Hi guys! Thank you for your support and patience! :)

I definitely didn't drop this project, just got a bit burned with my extreme perfectionism.
In any case, the project is not abandoned, and if you would like to reach me (e.g. to help with testing), find me on Facebook and just PM me (as you have notices, I'm not active user of this forum).

Hooray! I'm so glad the project hasn't been abandoned! ZeroPage Homebrew is at your disposal for testing and I've PM'd you on FB!

I actually had RoboMechanik already scheduled for this coming Wednesday on the ZPH livestream before you replied back to this thread so this is incredible news that you're still around. 🙂 Looking forward to continuing on with World D onward in the game, we conquered World A-C last time!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, what an interesting game. It looks like it's not even 2600, it's very different. And it has great music and level design ;]

Please say hello to Lesnik for me ;]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, nooly said:

Oh, what an interesting game. It looks like it's not even 2600, it's very different. And it has great music and level design ;]

Please say hello to Lesnik for me ;]

This game had me at the splashscreen (excellent visuals and awesome music).  I love the look of it too and it plays very well. 

 

This game neeeeds a cart release.;-)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...