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retrorussell

THE DIG DUG THREAD!

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Has anyone thought of making a better-looking homebrew of Dig Dug for the Atari 2600?

I know there is a Dig Dug Arcade rom "out there," but it looks pretty much like the original.  I think it has speed and scoring fixes applied (can't find the thread).

 

I did find this thread that looks only like mock-ups:  http://atariage.com/forums/topic/280543-dig-dug-arcade-for-2600-ideas/?hl=dig+dug+arcade#entry4067845

 

 

Edit: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/267344-dig-dug-35th-anniversary-edition/?hl=%26quot%3Bdig+dug+arcade%26quot%3B#entry3804283

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it's getting closer to the release of dig dug which i will be getting.

however, if this really is the packaging, then there will only be 1 button
on each side of the stick, making it impossible to play dig dug 2...

193565b1.jpg

later
-1

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I love this game!

 

I only ever saw this game once in the 1980s -- if memory serves, it was on Prince Edward Island, probably not too longer after it was released (i.e. June or July 1982). It was not in an arcade, but in a ferry terminal or an airport. 

 

I endevoured to program my own version for the Coco a few years later. I managed to get a character who could "dig" through the layers, but I did not get to the stage of adding enemies (or any other elements). 

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My new personal best off the arcade machine, played at GROUND KONTROL in Portland OR:

334,780.  Round 34.  Got a lot of the pineapples.  This beat my old high score by just over 100K!

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Countercade (Bartop) of Dig Dug is here.

Just got it an hour ago.

Will have a detailed review of it shortly.

Box is very well packed, hard foam on top and bottom, and a spacer to fill out the box.
Plastic shell to protect screen.

Soft plastic tear off screen protector.
Hard acrylic control panel protector for the artwork.

So far the material is the same as the Arcade 1UP cabinets, it seems sturdy enough.

Joystick is slightly better than the previous stock, but I will be replacing with
it an actual Red Ball joystick, and same with the black buttons. I'm thinking about
getting two volcano buttons for the 1/2 player buttons possibly, but they are harder to find.

Other upgrades : Larger screen than the 8 inch one, and possibly modding it with another input
for connection to a PC.

Dig Dug 2 requires 2 buttons on the same side, instead of 1 on each currently.
So I will have to drill a hole on the left and move the joystick over. Since I
play with my right hand.

Box side:
UPHBsj0.jpg

Box inside:
c3z84V3.jpg

Box top:
DlviKXt.jpg

Plastic Shell protector:
Yyz6Z10.jpg

The mini cabinet:
AZppdHC.jpg

Dig Dug - Version
---------------------------
Gameplay is the Namco version from Japan, so its set to extra at 20k, and another at 60k, thats it.
I've hit 1 million on it with 5 men, and of course the American version defaults to an extra at 10k,
and every 40k, which makes it a lot easier.

Also, the atari version doesn't have a killscreen, this one should at level 256.

This version should have slowdown after level 136.

I will verify all of that in the next week or so.

==============

Dig Dug 2 is more of a mystery, as I've only played it on plug and plays, and MAME.

So i have to see if this is the new or old version of it.

===========================================================

The controls for Dig Dug are ok.
The controls for Dig Dug 2 are terrible, as they've assigned pump to the left button, and jack hammer to the right.

It's very awkward.

A lot more news to follow.

later
-1

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Reposted from the countercade thread:
-------------------------------------

ok people, sit back and relax.
here's the review for new dig dug countercade.

there is the retroralph countercade review, but its only for pac-man,
and he ended up modding it anyways.

dig dug is an interesting choice for Arcade 1up. It is part of the
2nd wave of titles, and is one of the initial titles of the countercades.

it is also interesting, because it is not going to be a full-sized one.
it is strictly made for this size, and it has the added bonus of
including a rare conversion for its 2nd game, which is dig dug 2.

dig dug is a very popular namco/atari title which has a lot of fans,
due to its colorful look, and basic gameplay. it also offers challenges
for intermediate and expert players looking for more. it is pattern
based, so you can eventually learn several patterns to go through
the repeating levels.

dig dug 2 is a very obscure, and lesser known game, which came out
for the NES system, and later on namco classics, and plug and plays.
it has some similarities to the original with the enemies, and pumping
them up, but also adds the challenge of breaking up pieces of land,
with a jackhammer. it never really caught on, and is considered a
lesser title.

i'm not going to bother going over the pro's and con's or the
basic information about the games, sounds, lists, etc. as they are sometimes
personal opinions, or have already been gone over many times already.

these are my opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

tldr version:
==============================
controls are not arcade accurate - but actually,
and surprisingly do the job for average players,
they are subpar for intermediate and expert players

(unfortunately for dig dug 2, they are not actually feasible to play with,
unless you alter your gameplay drastically)

games play near arcade accuracy - framerate, and response is decent,
graphics are blocky and pixelly of course due to an incorrect scaling option used,
instead of 7:9 [most likely the monitor is 3:4]

sound - decent, loud enough but not overdone

screen angles are shallow - but are pretty vibrant enough in most cases
- color is slightly dimmer than usual
===================================================================================


the long review follows:

i am going to go into gameplay details,
response times, and control mechanics for the games i know.

================================================================================
background -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
i have been playing videogames from the days of pong, breakout and space invaders
i stopped playing them in the late 90's, and 00's when deluxe units were the norm.

i do know most of the atari, williams, namco, and capcom library inside and out.

i am NOT an expert at every game, but have played all of them either extensively
in the arcade when they originally came out, at home in MAME, and in pretty much
every port on PC, console, and remake that has come out.

hardware control experience
----------------------------
i have used arcade controls, buttons, trackballs and spinners since they came out.

i have home versions of those controls, and actually don't use dpads or analog stick
on any console unless i'm forced to.

my preference is always dedicated controls for arcade games


arcade gaming habits
-----------------------
i play arcade games, or ports pretty much every day, through the 80's, i stopped
in the 90's, and then picked up mame, and played it every day for a few years.
stopped again, until the 2nd year of the xbox 360. got gameroom, and pretty much
every arcade game, and port on those systems. i have continued this when ports
started showing up on the xbox one. i have played them on the playstation also,
but only the original and PS2, and now the PSP 2000.

lately, over the last couple of years, i have been playing arcade ports and games
everyday for a least a few hours. i usually place in the top 1-10 place on games
that i'm an expert in, and below that on other games.

as far as dig dug is concerned, i've mastered that game early on,
back when it was originally in the arcades. it took a few weeks
of playing, and watching someone else do patterns. then the
joystick magazine came out with other patterns and strategies.

i was able to flip the machines score at 1 million multiple times,
on the standup and cabaret versions. never saw the cocktail version though.

dig dug 2 was a much later discovery, and i've only played it on and off
over the years through MAME and namco collections.

i've recently gotten back into dig dug over the last few years,
and have topped the leaderboards on steam, xbox live, and others.
the scores stop tracking at 1 million, so theres no point in playing
further unless you go for a world record, or personal best. (mines 1.7 million).

i can still play it pretty well, and just have to touch up on my
patterns. i should be able to hit the killscreen with some practice,
although this version is the namco 5 man total, which makes it a
lot tougher.

i've played dig dug 2 on and off, but have never really
mastered it, or played seriously. i can play it adequately
through several rounds, and about 100k. i plan on learning
the dig dug 2 play style in the next few months, but it will
be hard to play given the controls they've implemented.

======================================

now with that out of the way, lets get to the actual countercade

time spent playing
==========================================================================
i have spent a few hours playing dig dug, since i'm more familiar with that
game, and probably an hour or two playing dig dug 2.

dig dug - countercade (bartop)
==========================================================================
condition - after the numerous complaints about the first series of machines
that came out, arcade 1up has made a few fixes that have trickled down to
these countercades.

these machines are pre-assembled, all you have to do is plug them in.
the control panel does come with a clear acrylic protector over it,
so the artwork won't wear out. its held in with 2 screws, 1 on each side.

the joysticks and buttons (non-clicky) are again a slight improvement over
the previous generation stock ones. they're not arcade quality, but do the
job for now. they matched the arcade ones with using black for the pump
buttons, the player starts, the volume and on off switches.

durability - the unit is constructed fairly well, it has significant weight
for its size. it doesn't wobble, and doesn't move unless you jostle it with
a lot of strength when playing. if you put it on carpet, or a non-slip
surface on a table, you should be fine. perhaps not on a floor, or just
plain wood though, as it would possibly slide.

the control panel is solid, and supports both hands easily, with no flexing
or bending. the side panels are thick and supportive. the marquee is also
solid. the top panel, and back, are thinner, and allow for easy removal.

the screws holding all the panels fit well, and are tight, so there is no
movement.

ergonomics - one of my major complaints about the stand up cabinets is that
the control panel were not placed at an angle, they were flat.

fortunately for these units, they are placed at a slight upward angle, making it much
easier on the wrists when playing. especially for long periods of time.

visuals - the artwork is printed in decent quality, scaled and cropped to
fit, and same with everything else on the control panel (omitting the instructions).
it looks well done, and mine didn't have any scratches or marks on it.

screen - the screen is an 8 inch LCD screen that is of average quality.
not great on the viewing angles, but with the distance that you will be
sitting to play this, it is actually decent in size, and clarity.
the colors are a little dimmer than expected.

gameplay - dig dug
======================================================================================
dig dug is a very basic game. you control your player with 1 four directional joystick,
and 1 pump button.

to emulate the arcade, they've placed 1 button on either side of the joystick.

due to the limited space on the control panel, the buttons are placed very close to
the joystick, so you have to alter your gameplay.

one minor annoyance for me when playing, is i am right handed, so i use my
left hand for the left pump button, but the rest of the fingers brush against
the player 1/2 buttons when playing. it doesn't impact the gameplay, but it's
something to get used to.

i played several games and noted the following:
-----------------------------------------------
1) namco revision of the game
- i don't know if its version 1 or 2 yet, i still have to play it much further
- the 2nd version had bug fixes due to killscreens, and gameplay slowdown in latter levels

2) default settings
- 3 men start, 1 extra at 20k, 2nd extra at 60k thats it.

3) difficulty
- i think it defaults to medium default

4) game allows unlimited continues, but resets your score back to 0
5) highscores are saved when machine is unplugged
6) new loading font, new arcade 1up menu screens and sounds when selecting game

i scored 100k, and quit on the first game around level 12.
scored 150k with continuing to level 20 plus.
scored 300k playing normally up to level 32.

this is good enough for now. after level 11, 12-15 repeat every 4 levels.
after level 32, the boards speed up until the 50's.
if this version has slowdown, it will occur around level 136 or so.
if it has a killscreen it will be at level 256.

i probably won't get that far playing normally, but with continues
to find out.

i will get to a million, and flip the score (999,990->0), and post a
video when i get a chance.

as far as emulation goes, i did not detect any noticeable lag in the
gameplay. the sound was mostly accurate, and at a decent level.
there is some odd pixel scaling since it is not at 7:9.

dig dug 2
============
dig dug 2 as mentioned is a somewhat radical departure from the first game.
all the same characters and elements are there, with new additions.

controls for the arcade update - 1 4 way joystick to move, and 2 buttons
one for pump-inflate, and secondly one for jackhammer.

this is where a huge problem occurs. in this case instead of having 2
buttons next to each other, they've designated the left as pump, and
the right as jackhammer.

this basically makes the game impossible to play correctly.
i end up using my rightmost fingers to hit the button, while
still holding the joystick, and the left hand is normal for
the pump button.

why they didn't have someone playtest it, or ask anyone that
knows about the game first is how it ended up like this.

most people don't know this game, and probably won't impact them.

but it's just lazy, and poorly implemented especially when it
could have easily been fixed.

----------

gameplay involves rounds of different islands. you are above ground,
and enemies move around the playfield to trap you. you can either
pump them up, or use strategically located points on the playing field
to connect with the jackhammer. when an enclosed area is marked it
collapses into the ocean, and kills any enemies, and yourself if you
are not careful.

i have played this game many times, but not to the point of mastery.
the game has 32 levels, and no ending (16 levels repeat),
but the score maxes out and stays at 1,000,000. this is a bug that
i'm currently investigating to fix.

i can hit about 100k and get through several rounds, but haven't
learned all the strategies yet.

things noted
---------------
1 there was an old and new ROM revision for this, i'm not sure which
one this is

2 default is 3 men start extra at 30k, 80k and every 80k after
3 difficulty is probably medium
4 no continues
5 high score is saved

dig dug 2 is a very acquired taste to play, it might not be as fun
or easy to play as the first one. but it does offer a challenge
regardless of the controls.

as far as emulation goes, i did not detect any noticeable lag in the
gameplay. the sound was mostly accurate, and at a decent level.
there is some odd pixel scaling since it is not at 7:9.

it was a good choice to get, but poorly thought out.
=======================================================================================
Final thoughts
----------------
A valiant, but in the end subpar experience,
unless you're going for nostalgia,
and love dig dug, and are ok with the compromises.

overall, i would give 1up countercade a grade of C for effort.
C for quality and longevity, B for emulation, C for graphics.

So an average of C+ overall grading, or 3/5 stars for the price.
---------

Take into account the games you like, how much you will play them,
and how rough these things will be handled.

If you don't play often, these things will last and look good.
If you do play often, they WILL wear out, the buttons,
the controls, etc, eventually.

Modding the buttons and joysticks, will do some good perhaps, but in the end,
you will have to decide how much you want to upgrade.
---------
I have several upgrades planned
- possible volcano buttons for 1 and 2 player start
- new arcade quality joystick
- new arcade quality buttons
- moving joystick to the right
- putting 2 buttons on the same left side, instead of one on each
- larger screen
- multigames with a PC

There will be a breakdown of the game later on, with more
details about the pcb, system, etc, at some point. will be
working on that.

---

the price was not a factor to me, its the same for all of them currently,
and is at the low end of bartop kit models. every other prebuilt or
configured one is several hundred dollars more, and usually unlicensed.

the official namco multigame bartop goes for $2k, so that's for the rich.

i don't recommend these bartops to anyone looking for accurate gameplay,
arcade quality controls, or bargains. they are mostly for collectors,
and fans of the game.

other options will suit your needs much better than these.
but like the stand up units, are excellent bases to begin
making mods on, to make them much more useful and enjoyable.


later
-1 Edited by negative1

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Dig Dug Killscreens
=====================
Slow boards occur at 136-255, constantly speeding up.
No Slow boards - boards stay at the fastest speed after round 50+


Version       Default        Slow Boards   Kill screen Behavior Setting
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Namco Rev 1   20k, 60k       Slow Boards       Kill screen     Normal
Namco Rev 2   20k, 60k       No Slow Boards    Kill screen     Normal


Atari Rev 1   10/40k,every 40k   Slow Boards     Kill screen    Normal
Atari Rev 2   10/40k,every 40k  No Slow Boards   No Kill screen Normal

-----------
Using Invincibility and level select.

Namco Rev1/Atari Rev1 - You can pass the killscreen, the rock in the middle
does not drop, however you can kill the enemies, and it cycles
back to wave 253-256 repeatedly.

Namco Rev2 - You can pass the killscreen, the rock in the middle
does not drop, however you can kill the enemies, and it cycles
back to wave 254-256 repeatedly.

round 256/0
olyqtfi.png

extra man corruption
emxf4Rc.png

back to round 253
BP6e1L7.png

later
-1 Edited by negative1

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Hit 513k today.

fPXAiXi.jpg

Also, they are using Namco Revision 2, this means no slow boards past level 136, but there is a killscreen.
Used continues, and played to level 150 to check.

The credits are messed up, there are always 2 credits when you start.

Will work on the killscreen after I get to 1 million on 5 men.

later
-1 Edited by negative1

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practice continues, 428k round 34.

Good start, but sloppy play at the end resulting in getting to the fast rounds 32 and up,
but only 2 boards in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P21QRr2Xxg

later
-1

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Nothing too special... just a couple Dig Dug pictures I took when I went to the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas.  (I'm the one playing in the arcade... damn I'm fat...)

 

[attachment=640667:IMG_2262.JPG]

 

[attachment=640669:IMG_2282.JPG]

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