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Nojeee

Major Blink - C16 port to the A8

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Hi. It's me again...

I didn't know about this 2nd Jet Boot Jack that it seems only appeared on C64 in 1985 (1st was in 1983): http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/legend-of-the-knucker-hole-starring-jet-boot-jack/screenshots.

Did you remember the reason for not an A8 version? Machine constraints, market, company doesn't want to,...?

It could be also nice to see it on A8. Just an idea in case you want and have the will to.

:thumbsup:

Edited by José Pereira
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I don't see anything making the second version not possible, and it actually looks like it might be improved on. I would suspect market/business decision timing.

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Yeah Jon, I guess it’s the eternal search for the balance easy to learn-hard to master. IMHO the best games are those who find that delicate balance. The Atari arcade games creators were masters at it..... I once read that Toru Iwatani had the basis of Pac Man running within a few weeks and then spent months fine tuning the gameplay....

 

Not sure if I’m particularly good at it...don’t really think so. I did play a lot of Eyes when I still had a Ms.Pac Man machine (with a 99 in 1 multi-kit) and this also has a similar maze set-up and moving targets.

 

Were you inspired by Eyes/Amidar when you wrote Major Blink ?

 

I also wonder why you went from the A8 to C16/plus4 since that platform looked like a huge step back in time to me when they were released....

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Hi. It's me again...

I didn't know about this 2nd Jet Boot Jack that it seems only appeared on C64 in 1985 (1st was in 1983): http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/legend-of-the-knucker-hole-starring-jet-boot-jack/screenshots.

Did you remember the reason for not an A8 version? Machine constraints, market, company doesn't want to,...?

It could be also nice to see it on A8. Just an idea in case you want and have the will to.

:thumbsup:

 

The only reason the follow up Jet Boot Jack game didn't make it to the A8 was the decline of the Atari games market in the UK. At that time I was a freelance programmer trying to make a living from writing games; it's a sad fact that Commodore dominated the market so the game only made it to the C64 - it could certainly have been adapted to work on the A8. I was never happy with a few areas of Jet Boot Jack 2 so wouldn't port the game as it is. However, I do hope to revisit it soon and create a new game that would include some elements of the original.

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Were you inspired by Eyes/Amidar when you wrote Major Blink ?

 

I also wonder why you went from the A8 to C16/plus4 since that platform looked like a huge step back in time to me when they were released....

 

The game came about while I was thinking of ways to write something 'different' that would fit in 16K and work with the limitations of the C16. Berks 1 had effectively been based around a main player and enemies that fitted within a 2 by 2 character matrix and Major Blink evolved from that. I think I had the basic game up and running within a week with just the main 'player' and the Diamonds. I felt it needed something more and the Bears were born - they proved really effective in making the player revisit areas and added some humour. I don't remember being influenced by any game in particular but I probably was ;-).

 

The reason for the move to the C16 / Plus 4 was simple ... money ;-). The market was quiet at the time and I was asked by CRL if I could do a quick game for the C16. I didn't earn much but the three games did manage to keep me going for a few months. The beauty of the C16 was that you could turn out a game in 4 or 5 weeks and make good use of it's ability to display colourful gameplay.

 

I ended up writing 5 C16 games plus the Baby Berks type-in program (which later became a budget title). I didn't think of it as a step backwards - simply a different challenge. It certainly helped keep me going until things improved in the market. Following the C16 games I moved back to the C64 and then onto NES and SNES. I'm still very fond of the good old Plus/4.

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The game came about while I was thinking of ways to write something 'different' that would fit in 16K and work with the limitations of the C16.

Nojeee, are you really the original author of these delightful C16 games?

 

You actually kickstarted my childhood! I remember standing in a bookstore that had a tiny computer section, having enough money to buy one game, and looking at the small selection of the C16 games. I had just purchased a C16, but I only had one game for it (Mr. Puniverse), so I was allowed to buy another game after awhile.

 

It was so hard to pick a game based on the cover alone, but the delightfully colorful covers took me to 'another world' in my mind, to a place of colorful euphoria and wonderful excitement - and of course, computer games!

 

I had played some C64 games in my friends' places before - Wizard of Wor, Dino Eggs, Spy Hunter and the like - and I had no idea C16 wasn't compatible with the C64.

 

When I saw those Berks covers, they really made me want all of them - but alas, I could only buy one. They told me I could return a game and replace it with another one, though, so I figured, if I buy one game, and return it and replace it with another one, I will get to play two games for the price of one!

 

So I bought Berks III. I played it a lot, but it was very difficult, so I decided to change it for the other, magical-feeling cassette with an exciting cover. And that's how I ended up with Berks, and played it throughout my Commodore 16-years quite a lot.

 

Even nowadays, when I got the game again, I notice it's always a great fun to play, the gameplay is just so well crafted and fluid, and the C16's abilities have been nicely utilized. I especially love the smooth, colorful flashing of the little guys.

 

I never played anything quite like Berks on other systems - it seemed very unique.

 

Thank you for giving the child version of myself so much hope, joy and delight - without the Berks games, it would've been much more miserable and depressing time.

 

It's a great privilege to be able to communicate with the mythical 'coder' behind a wonderful classic game that I loved so much as a kid.

 

(I originally came here to review the Atari version of 'Major Blink', but I wanted to create a separate post for expressing my gratitude for uplifting my childhood)

 

P.S. The 'cool bears' are really funny (:

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Nojeee, are you really the original author of these delightful C16 games?

 

Yes, it was me .. honest :)

 

It's great to hear that people had fun playing the games back in the day ... the C16 / Plus 4 was a very underrated machine.

 

The Major Blink and Baby Berks conversions were quick ports just to get me back into 6502 coding after so many years working on modern consoles. The hardware differences between the Atari and C16 made some things difficult to transfer but I'm hoping it sill provided some enjoyment.

 

I'm now working on a greatly expanded conversion of Berks 3 for the A8 which should be completed in a month or two. The game will no doubt still be difficult but there are a few added features that will help.

 

Finally, just to be perverse, I'm hoping to convert the final A8 Berks 3 conversion back to the Plus 4!

 

Regards,

Jon

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I like your games! Looking good and well balanced - lot of fun to play.

I'm looking forward to the extended version of Berks 3. Promise to be great fun.

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@Nojeee, you wrote on A5200 forum: "I've now ported Major Blink to the 5200. The game has numerous improvements over the A8 version which was converted just over a year ago."

Do you plan to release an updated version of Major Blink for Atari 8-bit? :)


 

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9 hours ago, +Adam+ said:

Do you plan to release an updated version of Major Blink for Atari 8-bit? :)

 

Most of the changes were cosmetic ... such as reworking the title page and adding music etc. There were a few improvements to the balancing of the game as it was fairly easy to get through lots of screens before it became difficult. I didn't think that the changes warranted updating the A8 version - it might have confused things.

 

I'm actually just finishing converting my old Timeslip game to the 5200. This has had lots of changes to the game play so I do intend to release an updated A8 '2020' version. 

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30 minutes ago, Nojeee said:

Most of the changes were cosmetic ... such as reworking the title page and adding music etc. There were a few improvements to the balancing of the game as it was fairly easy to get through lots of screens before it became difficult. I didn't think that the changes warranted updating the A8 version - it might have confused things.

 

I'm actually just finishing converting my old Timeslip game to the 5200. This has had lots of changes to the game play so I do intend to release an updated A8 '2020' version. 

If it's not too complicated, I would like an updated Major Blink A8 version too, but the time is limited therefore you should do whatever you prefer to do.

Timeslip update is a good idea, thanks!

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On 4/6/2020 at 11:15 AM, Philsan said:

If it's not too complicated, I would like an updated Major Blink A8 version too, but the time is limited therefore you should do whatever you prefer to do.

Timeslip update is a good idea, thanks!

 

Modifying the recent 5200 version so it runs on the A8 should only take a day or two so I'll gladly take a look at it as soon as Timeslip is out of the way.

 

I'll post the updated version on this thread.

 

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Great . I was playing Major Blink some time ago on the Atari before i read about the history of the game and i was wondering Who's the person behind this wonderful game .😉. Thank you . :thumbsup:

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Here's an updated version of Major Blink as requested. I'm using the same code as that released for the 5200 ... the changes are mainly to the front end which is more like that of Berks Four. There are a few cosmetic changes to the game itself along with some adjustments to the way the game ramps up difficulty with each completed screen. Extra lives are now based on your starting skill level - this stops you banking lives by starting at the lower skill levels. I also had to reintroduce some PAL/NTSC adjustments.

 

I've given this a day's testing on Altirra and it seems fine ... fingers crossed.

 

Major_Blink_2020.xex

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Thank you Jon, still finding time in retirement to make our lives more fun..Thank you..

 

You got that garden done yet :)

 

Btw, was there anything you wanted to go into multi boot but didn't have the ram / space for?

 

Personally I think its perfect but you programmers are always looking for above perfection.

 

You and yours stay safe..It must be like paradise where you are today...bar this awful lockdown..

Edited by Mclaneinc
Because I'm a typing idiot..

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3 hours ago, Nojeee said:

Here's an updated version of Major Blink as requested. I'm using the same code as that released for the 5200 ... the changes are mainly to the front end which is more like that of Berks Four. There are a few cosmetic changes to the game itself along with some adjustments to the way the game ramps up difficulty with each completed screen. Extra lives are now based on your starting skill level - this stops you banking lives by starting at the lower skill levels. I also had to reintroduce some PAL/NTSC adjustments.

 

I've given this a day's testing on Altirra and it seems fine ... fingers crossed.

 

Major_Blink_2020.xex 21.07 kB · 6 downloads

Thank you very much!

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3 hours ago, Mclaneinc said:

Thank you Jon, still finding time in retirement to make our lives more fun..Thank you..

 

You got that garden done yet :)

 

Btw, was there anything you wanted to go into multi boot but didn't have the ram / space for?

 

Personally I think its perfect but you programmers are always looking for above perfection.

 

You and yours stay safe..It must be like paradise where you are today...bar this awful lockdown..

I usually spend a lot of my time programming over the winter ... then get around to the ever growing list of things to do around the house and garden!

 

Multi boot was initially written for my personal use to save having too many floppies around (plus the fact it made it easier to swap titles with friends). I don't think there was anything major that was missing. Maybe I should have made it more difficult for people to change the title with a sector editor and pass it off as something different ;)

 

It's eerily quiet where we are at the moment ... strange times.

 

 

 

  

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We have a huge field behind us that you get the odd dog walker and drug dealer on but since the lockdown its blooming full of folk deliberately avoiding the lockdown....Mad times here..

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On 9/8/2018 at 10:28 AM, Nojeee said:

I recently ported my old Baby Berks C16 game to the A8 and uploaded it on the forum. Baby Berks was originally a cut down version of Berks 1 - initially created to be typed in from a magazine listing. I've now converted the second game in the Berks Trilogy ... Major Blink. The game dates from1985 and I haven't made any major (excuse the pun) updates to the gameplay. The original program had to run in 16K and this version should happily run in 32K. I've tested it on my PAL 130XE and in NTSC & PAL in Altirra. The game makes a few simple changes to compensate for the different NTSC frame rate but I haven't been able to test this on real hardware.

 

The game is a simple one; roam around the screen filling in the boxes while avoiding Diamond Geezers and Cool Bears (don't ask). There are eight different screen layouts chosen at random - repeating when they've all been cleared. Larger boxes contain a random bonus based on your entry skill setting. Fill in the box to gain the bonus. The Cool Bears appear at the top of the screen and work their way down, un-filling squares as they move. Diamonds inexorably move towards you but can be 'stunned' for a short while before setting off again. It's important to note that you must complete a screen before the bonus counter reaches zero or it's Game Over!

 

  • You can select a skill rating on the title page and this determines your entry position in a skill range of 1 to 16. The game gradually gets more difficult as you progress through the skill levels.
  • The skill level increases by one for every screen completed and you gain an extra life for every four screens completed.
  • High-Scores are kept for each of the five entry skill ratings - this is to counter somebody starting at the lowest skill level to gain extra lives.
  • Major Blink moves along the lanes in the chosen direction but if you release the joystick it will continue moving to a crossroads before stopping. You can reverse his direction at any time while he is moving.
  • Cool Bears randomly choose a lane to start from but will not regenerate while you're in the top 'green zone'.
  • Pressing the Space Bar will pause or un-pause the game.

 

There are a few tactics that will help you complete screens successfully but I'll leave that for you to work out. Changing direction takes a bit of practice so a good joystick is advisable.

 

Finally, the game is very much 'old school' and may not appeal to everyone. I make no apologies for the limited and repetitive sound effects - you may need to keep the volume low before you go ga-ga like I have over the past few weeks. ;-)

 

Jon

 

PS. Please let me know if you find any serious issues.

 

 

MajorBlink.xex 16.01 kB · 450 downloads

This game is awesome, JW!!! 

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Thanks for the great games Jon.  But there's a little problem with Major Blink, the score maxes out at 999999 points (which I got at about lvl 30 I think).

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I honestly never thought anybody would be able to reach that score ;)

 

As a matter of interest, are you playing the original version or the newer one based on the 5200 conversion? If it plays music on the title screen then it's the later version (Major_Blink_2020.xex).

 

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It was the old version.  Just downloaded the new one, is there any difference other than the title screen?

 

It's a fairly easy game, although very enjoyable.  It's not like I was playing for days on end :)  I played it a few times since you released it then yesterday I fancied another go, when I got 500,000 I figured I'd see if I can max the score and see what happens then 2 games later I did it.

 

Major_Blink_2020.xex

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