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Baby Pac-Man

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I played the .BIN on real hardware today. Everything is coming along very nicely. The Pac portion is really hard though! I feel like I might need a Teddy Bear difficulty option.

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Beatiful work. I'm getting the hang of it a bit. Got three ball flips in one game, but I think that was mostly luck. That upper left corner of the maze is a bear without power pellets.

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Thanks, guys

 

 

Now I noticed something else... something strange is going on in the tunnel. I reached a tunnel speed of 4 and was chasing two blue monsters that went through the tunnel. However, one of the monsters suddenly was lethal... I lost my Baby Pac-Man on eating it. At the same time, I could see its eyes going towards the pen, but much slower than usual, while the dying animation took place. Or was it actually the collision with the eyes of the other ghost I'd already eaten that was lethal? I don't know exactly...

 

On another occasion, also at this high tunnel speed I passed a non-blue ghost that was going through the tunnel in the opposite direction. I don't know if that's supposed to happen either...

That was a VERY weird issue, that only seemed to happen when the speed was 4. Anyway, I resolved it. I need to change a few things around I think...

Edited by PacManPlus
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Hi Guys:

 

Things completed:

- Energizers and Pinball Lights for them should all work now. (No more retaining them on the next maze after you've eaten them, and the blue arrows go out once you've eaten them and return to pinball mode).

- Drop down targets should now function as expected, including the middle one for the bonus baby. Please let me know if you see something not right (especially you, imstarryeyed!)

- Pacscalator is implemented. There may be a chance that it will start when you drain the ball by losing it, please let me know if that happens.

 

Things left:

- Re-write collision detection for maze portion.

- Spinners

- Drain ball with no points returns ball up to 3 times.

- Pinball sounds

- Bonus baby after 3rd maze

- Tilting.

 

Enjoy!

 

(EDIT - I do know about the random colors for the pacscalator - I will add that too)

BabyPac.BIN

BabyPac.A78

Edited by PacManPlus
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Just played this and made it to the third maze! Is Baby Pac-Man supposed to go fast when he enters the escape tunnel in the second maze?

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It depends - every time you complete the lights 'TUNNEL' in the pinball section, you go a little faster in the tunnel. The number on the bottom right of the pinball field states your speed. 1 = normal, 8 = fastest.

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Just played this and made it to the third maze! Is Baby Pac-Man supposed to go fast when he enters the escape tunnel in the second maze?

Sometimes I'm going fast through the tunnel on the first maze. Like PMP said, depends on how many activations you have on the tunnel.It can be a bit shocking if you don't expect it and you run straight into a ghost on the other end of the tunnel. It's a fairly complex game, but coming together very nicely.

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I just realized something... all this time, I haven't been testing two players... Now, I'm afraid to...

Edited by PacManPlus

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Thank you for the update! I tried it for a bit, and it's definitely easier to rack up the points and extra babies now! The behavior of the drop targets takes a bit to get used to though... is the middle blue target really supposed to retract by itself (without you hitting it) from time to time? Other than that, it must be the rules... I first thought there were some errors in the drop targets, but it all seems logical after a while, even though I have the feeling that the blue target doesn't always advance the arrows, but I may be wrong here.

 

One thing I noticed about the overlays with the monster scores is that sometimes it seems that they are non-transparent, that is, they cover everything while sometimes they're transparent. I think I've seen the 1,6K one lets the dot shine through while the 200, 400 or 800 one does not.

 

Also concerning extra babies, I think I've seen the original arcade machine award another extra baby at 100,000 points, or even every 100,000 points (at least until you've completed the third maze). But that may be a DIP switch setting as well...

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Hey Kurt! Thank you...

 

Yes, the blue target is supposed to retract by itself, and actually do that quicker the more arrows that get lit. From what I've seen, it comes back up when the top ball changes sides, when another drop target comes back up, or when you first start the board. It then drops after 7, 6, 5, 4, or 3 seconds, depending on the number of arrows lit.

 

I'll double check the 100,000 point thing. imstarryeyed, do you know off-hand? (I ask you because you have a real machine) …

 

Thanks, Bob

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None of us have friends to even be able to play a two player game :-)

Sadly true. I have been a completely solo player for 20+ years now. Hopefully in a few years when the baby is finally old enough she will want to play with me. Fate will probably deal me a cruel hand by that time, though, and give me terrible arthritis so that I won't be *able* to play. :P

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Great job on this build Bob it is coming along great, I had only just tried it for a few moments but will be spending more time on it tonight.

 

Bob is correct about the blue target it has a timing logic of going up and down depending on your arrow lights.

 

@Bob and @Kurt

 

To my knowledge I have never gotten extra pacs at 100K , 200K, but your question prompted me to go check it out just in case.

 

I went ahead and tried out the 100,000 point extra baby, and I could not get it to give me an extra one. I searched the DIP switches and tried all of the settings, I do not believe you get extra pacs at 100K. 200K up to 300K.

 

If there is a DIP switch for it, I was not able to find or configure it.

 

I also checked it again a video on YouTube with someone scoring over 1 million points just to see if PinMAME was giving it out and at 100K and 200K there was no award.

 

Sidebar .....

 

I also have to comment and say that scoring millions in the real arcade machine of Baby Pac Man is very hard and I personally do not think that PinMAME represents the pinball part correctly. The pinball part on PinMAME in my opinion is easier than the arcade game. In the arcade game when you hit a drop target solid the ball usually comes jetting down very very fast at you. The nature of the small play field and the pinball make hitting targets a dangerous proposition. I think the version Bob and Kurt have made already is much closer to the arcade game than the PinMame version.

 

I had asked Kurt, in an early build, to experiment with accelerating your ball from a drop target if it was hit directly hard in a straight line and hitting that blue target head on in a straight line will almost always drain your ball dead center. These details are the ones I am hoping to be able to test with this new build, if Bob is up to it there may need to be some speed tweaking here to balance the arcade experience vs what is fun and fair on a 7800. @Kurt do you recall what your final implementation was of this?

 

Remember you are not playing Baby Pac man without yelling at the machine saying "Unfair!!!!". Baby's charm really comes from knowing the game is stacked against you and learning the sweet spots to get better over time, so few games really go there.

 

In my opinion most people should not see the 2nd or later mazes until they have put some time into the game to get better at its "meanness" for the lack of a better word.

 

I however understand if Bob would like to go a different direction and completely support him.

Edited by imstarryeyed
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Sadly true. I have been a completely solo player for 20+ years now. Hopefully in a few years when the baby is finally old enough she will want to play with me. Fate will probably deal me a cruel hand by that time, though, and give me terrible arthritis so that I won't be *able* to play. :P

Ok, this is OT, but A8 Xenophobe has a co-op mode thats perfect for playtime with the kids. Although after five minutes with them I usually begin to wish for any option that would fry their character...

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Ok, this is OT, but A8 Xenophobe has a co-op mode that’s perfect for playtime with the kids. Although after five minutes with them I usually begin to wish for any option that would fry their chatacter...

 

That made me laugh out loud.

 

Xenophobe (7800 version) used to always get tons of play at my house as a co op game when I had friends over. I never got too into it as a solo game, but found it more fun with a friend

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Hi guys:

 

I have takes care of the random color of the pacscalator, and did the '3 tries' launching of the ball without any points.

I'm working on the 'bonus baby after 3 cleared boards' now, but my character table is full. Does anyone have a problem with me just writing 'BONUS PLAYER' on the 'BONUS' screen in-between the third and fourth level instead of 'YOU HAVE WON A FREE BABY'?

 

Thanks,

Bob

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Hi guys:

 

I have takes care of the random color of the pacscalator, and did the '3 tries' launching of the ball without any points.

I'm working on the 'bonus baby after 3 cleared boards' now, but my character table is full. Does anyone have a problem with me just writing 'BONUS PLAYER' on the 'BONUS' screen in-between the third and fourth level instead of 'YOU HAVE WON A FREE BABY'?

 

Thanks,

Bob

 

 

"Bonus Baby" has a nice ring to it.

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Sadly, I've noticed a flaw in my target logic... the collision detection and deflection actually only works correctly if the ball hits a target from below, but it works incorrectly if one target's already down and the ball hits another from the side coming from the space where the target's down. This happens much more often than I thought it would now that the target logic is correctly implemented, partly due to the fact that the target below the upper ball is always down. Thus if you have a ball deflected from the right and it sweeps across the target area from there, it's very well possible to take out multiple targets at once. I don't think this is very realistic, but I know that David's Midnight Magic has the same kind of simplified target logic where you can also take out the whole row of targets at once if hitting them the right way.

 

There would be multiple ways to remedy this, from the simplest to the most complex one this would be:

- Only turning the ball speed positive on hitting a target if it's going up, but not down... this would reduce the probability of taking out another target, but not rule it out.

- In addition to that, setting the ball below the target area on the first hit of a target... this would eliminate the possibility of taking out multiple targets at once, but the collision detection and deflection would still be incorrect.

- On hitting one target, if the ball is not in the bottom row of the targets, the horizontal speed could be set to 0. This would also eliminate the possibility of hitting two targets at once and the deflection would be somewhat more accurate, but the collision detection would still be incorrect

- Rewriting the handler so that if the ball goes farther than the bottom line of the targets, sometimes two targets get checked if up or down (because in this case the ball actually occupies an area where two targets could be). If both are down, the ball continues rolling, but if one is up, it should be taken down and deflect the ball accordingly. This would be the physically correct thing to do, with roughly correct collision detection and deflection. In this case there would be another deflection table similar to the one for the lower end of the divider.

 

The thing is, I don't actually know what happens if the ball hits a target from the side. Does the target still get taken down? And in this case, how sharply does the ball come down?

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@Kurt

 

On the real arcade machine swiping balls from side to side happens all of the time and is the safest way to take down targets. It is possible to hit 2 targets this way but it does not happen often as once you hit a target it slightly changes the direction just enough and it tilts it a bit down a few degrees but for better or worse keeps the same trajectory. On the machine you simply cannot take out any more than 2 targets at once on a side sweep and 2 is very very rare. Like you said about David's MM, taking out an entire row would be simply not be accurate to the machine at all.

 

I had suggested that side hits should not effect the ball speed, but straight shots to targets should greatly speed up the ball on the downward trajectory, too fast is not fast enough in my opinion for these hard straight shots.

 

If the speed and angle of the ball can be taken into consideration I would say :

 

1) No speed up on side target hits

 

2) Medium speed up for hits to targets that are somewhat wild hitting a target

 

3) Max speed for any hard shot that hits a target in a straight line, this would help create the authentic feel of the arcade in my opinion.

 

Since there are no kicking mechs in the triangle kicking rubbers the game is balanced since the kicking rubbers serve as a dampening counter force to the crazy pinball reflections from just bouncing around the machine like crazy for too long.

 

 

@Bob

 

Can you add the sound effect of the ball getting ready to launch when it comes out of the drain? This is just a minor thing but on the arcade the outhole drain has a light that lights up the entire outhole drain and plays a sound effect to let the player know the ball is launching. This sound effect and light flashing is useful for when the ball autolaunches. Seeing as the 7800 version the player launches the ball this might not be a big deal. If this is difficult do not worry about it, but it was on my things to mention to you list to add that extra arcade touch and let the player know the ball is coming out.

 

The sound effect is hard to explain but you can hear it in this video.. look for the outhole light and sound effect at time code 17:59.

 

Again this was useful on the real machines when the ball is autolaunched as it can take you by surprise, but may not be a big deal if you launch your own ball, I didn't even know about that DIP switch until I started working this you guys haha..

 

Again whatever you decide I totally support.

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OK, I'll think about how I could improve the target handler then... however, for this it would actually be useful to be able to work on the current version of Bob's code instead of the outdated one I still have.

 

About the ball serve, actually it's always a bit surprising to me if the ball gets launched from a hole instead of the bottom since it launches pretty quickly and, the pinball section being invisible until you re-enter it, you sometimes don't realize where the ball will come from until it starts moving. I think it would be better to lengthen the delay a bit here and maybe let the arrow below the respective hole flash in a different color if possible to draw the attention of the player to the location on the board where the ball will come out. This is especially true if the Pacscalator doesn't appear before that, which may happen if you've lost your Baby Pac-Man in the maze which actually would have had a chance to return to the pinball table, and then on escaping with your next baby, the ball is still there in the hole.

 

Update: I've done a little correction to the source code which I've just sent to Bob to include. This should make it harder to take out a sweep of multiple targets, but doesn't change the trajectory of the ball by much, as Imstarryeyed described. This fix should prevent the ball from "hanging" in the target area taking out multiple targets at once as it often happens in Bob's last update.

Edited by Kurt_Woloch
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Was playing the latest .bin on my Mateos 16 in 1 last night and there are a few things I've noticed...

 

1st is that the control of baby Pac in the maze has some issues. Specifically some directions are missed when I know I've pressed the controller in that direction for baby Pac to move. Usually happens when I'm moving left and want to move up. The Up seems to get ignored sometimes and baby just keeps moving left. Thought it was my controller so I swapped to my trusty Tac-2. Same issue.

 

I can't really tell a difference in the Ghosts behavior between arcade and classic? Has that been fully implemented yet?

 

Pinball section -

 

So I might just suck at this part but I'm usually pretty decent with pinball games in general. But I seem to lose the ball almost immediately upon launch about 1 in 3 times. Basically it will launch and hit that left bumper as just the right angle to immediately drain straight down the center. I also had the ball do something really strange once when it hit the upper left pit target. Normally when the ball get anywhere near those, it will just drop in, rack up some points and pop right out. But once last night the ball literally rounded the pit crazy fast and sling shot off to the right straight across the screen! It was actually really cool to see because I suppose that could happen in actual physics on a real table, but I've never seen that replicated on a simulated pinball game. I'm not sure it was supposed to do that anyway but thought I would mention it.

 

The pinball section in general I find to be crazy difficult and really wish I could figure out the nuances of it.

 

Now...here is something VERY odd I discovered while using two different 7800s with this last night. I have an original '84 made unit, an '86 made unit and I have a later '87 made unit currently being modded on the bench. Well the original '84 and '86 versions both play the game very smoothly. But the later made '87 model would exhibit slight but noticeable slow down in the maze at various times? Also seems like the pinball portion didn't play as smooth on this later made '87 unit. The '87 made unit does have the extra components in place for the timing circuit fix. So I'm not sure if that has something to do with it? I did try it both with C64 removed from circuit and in circuit and didn't see much difference. But there was a difference between those revisions in how the game played.

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Pinball section -

 

The pinball section in general I find to be crazy difficult and really wish I could figure out the nuances of it.

 

Now...here is something VERY odd I discovered while using two different 7800s with this last night. I have an original '84 made unit, an '86 made unit and I have a later '87 made unit currently being modded on the bench. Well the original '84 and '86 versions both play the game very smoothly. But the later made '87 model would exhibit slight but noticeable slow down in the maze at various times? Also seems like the pinball portion didn't play as smooth on this later made '87 unit. The '87 made unit does have the extra components in place for the timing circuit fix. So I'm not sure if that has something to do with it? I did try it both with C64 removed from circuit and in circuit and didn't see much difference. But there was a difference between those revisions in how the game played.

It is really that challenging. I lasted like 15 seconds on the pinball section at first.

 

I need to try this on real hardware. I have been playing it in emulation with A7800, so far ... BUT, I did see the maze and pinball issues you mention, but only once of many times loading the game. Might be a slightly tricky load of the game for some reason.

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