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Karl G

This is not Ultima (Atari 2600)

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I have updated the first post of this topic with the beginnings of a manual, which gives background premise information.

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There are few things more motivating for a project than knowing that there will be an upcoming demo. Many new features have been added since I last posted an update, including adding city conversations, working vendors (bars, armor, weapons, food, healing potions), levelling up to level 6, and the ability to learn a new spell, if you figure out how.  I'm looking forward to hearing feedback after the demo on ZeroPage Homebrew, and from PRGE.  :)

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Sounds promising... I look forward to seeing some gameplay footage from PRGE.  

 

Could make for a hefty manual when this finally sees release!  I like manuals with some good reading!

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We'll be featuring an exclusive new WIP build of Penult LIVE on tomorrow's (Wednesday) ZeroPage Homebrew stream on Twitch at 11AM PT | 2PM ET | 6PM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!

 

Twitch Stream: https://www.twitch.tv/zeropagehomebrew/

 

Games:
Penult (2019 WIP Exclusive Update) by Karl Garrison aka Karl G
Cave Rescue (2019 WIP) by Natanael Vasconcelos Leitão
AtariBlast! (2016 8-Bit) by Paul Lay aka Playsoft

 

EDIT: Archive Video of Stream

(SET VIDEO TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY)

 

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew
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Are you gonna allow us to flee from combats ? That was one thing that made the early ultimas more playable when it was introduced in U4. 

 

Also how does saving work... is there saving ? 

 

Edited by tradyblix

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9 minutes ago, tradyblix said:

Are you gonna allow us to flee from combats ? That was one thing that made the early ultimas more playable when it was introduced in U4. 

 

Also how does saving work... is there saving ? 

 

I had not planned on allowing fleeing from combat. In the case of Ultima 4, the option to do so came as a trade-off since it lowered your Valor. Still, I'll put it on my list of features to consider when I'm doing more balancing of the game.

 

Game saving is probably one of the first things I will work on after I finalize the demo for PRGE - it won't be needed for the demo, but it will be for the final game. Probably a AtariVOX or SaveKey will be needed to save/restore, since a code string to enter would likely be prohibitively long. In Ultima 3, saving was automatic when you entered or left the castle or cities, so I may do something along those lines.

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12 hours ago, Karl G said:

I had not planned on allowing fleeing from combat. In the case of Ultima 4, the option to do so came as a trade-off since it lowered your Valor. Still, I'll put it on my list of features to consider when I'm doing more balancing of the game.

 

Game saving is probably one of the first things I will work on after I finalize the demo for PRGE - it won't be needed for the demo, but it will be for the final game. Probably a AtariVOX or SaveKey will be needed to save/restore, since a code string to enter would likely be prohibitively long. In Ultima 3, saving was automatic when you entered or left the castle or cities, so I may do something along those lines.

Glad to know I placed an order for a SaveKey from the AtariAge store last month.  It's the waiting that's the hardest part... Al must have been flooded with orders as I'm still patiently waiting for my goodies.  It doesn't help that I'm in Canada and that adds more time to shipping. 

 

I'm just glad to know that my SaveKey will be used for more games in the future!

 

By the way, this is looking simply amazing and on the 2600?  Zany!  I love it!

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2 minutes ago, King_Salamon said:

Glad to know I placed an order for a SaveKey from the AtariAge store last month.  It's the waiting that's the hardest part... Al must have been flooded with orders as I'm still patiently waiting for my goodies.  It doesn't help that I'm in Canada and that adds more time to shipping.


Yes, I'm currently building a ton of games for orders due to the sale in the store.  I expect to have most of these orders shipped this week.

 

  ..Al

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25 minutes ago, Albert said:


Yes, I'm currently building a ton of games for orders due to the sale in the store.  I expect to have most of these orders shipped this week.

 

  ..Al

I can only imagine the number of carts you had to build as a result of the sale.  Add that to the preparations you have been making for PRGE and you are a very busy person!!

 

I'm hoping some folks who attend PRGE can post some thoughts on their experience with Penult!

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2 minutes ago, King_Salamon said:

I can only imagine the number of carts you had to build as a result of the sale.  Add that to the preparations you have been making for PRGE and you are a very busy person!!

Yes, let's just say that the next month is going to be pretty crazy for me. :D

2 minutes ago, King_Salamon said:

I'm hoping some folks who attend PRGE can post some thoughts on their experience with Penult!

I'm looking forward to seeing how people react to the game!  I'm sure there are many people who've enjoyed old-school RPGs like Ultima and Wizardry that will enjoy seeing this on the 2600!

 

 ..Al

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1 minute ago, Albert said:

Yes, let's just say that the next month is going to be pretty crazy for me. :D

I'm looking forward to seeing how people react to the game!  I'm sure there are many people who've enjoyed old-school RPGs like Ultima and Wizardry that will enjoy seeing this on the 2600!

 

 ..Al

If someone could take a time machine back to 1983 and slip a couple of copies of this game into the world, it would blow peoples minds!  I'm still having a hard time believing this is for the 2600!  lol

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Just now, King_Salamon said:

If someone could take a time machine back to 1983 and slip a couple of copies of this game into the world, it would blow peoples minds!  I'm still having a hard time believing this is for the 2600!  lol

That could be said of many homebrew games.  :)

 

 ..Al

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1 minute ago, Albert said:

That could be said of many homebrew games.  :)

 

 ..Al

Very true... lol  I'm just thinking back to 1983 when my buddies and I would talk about these Ultima games and that they would NEVER be possible on the Atari.  lol  Little did we know... it just goes to show that you should never say never!

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7 minutes ago, King_Salamon said:

Very true... lol  I'm just thinking back to 1983 when my buddies and I would talk about these Ultima games and that they would NEVER be possible on the Atari.  lol  Little did we know... it just goes to show that you should never say never!

If I went back to 1983, I'd buy all the rare first and third-party games that are worth quite a bit of money now and fill up a few large, climate-controlled storage units with them.  But bringing back homebrew games to release them as new third-party games back when the market was still "hot" would have been pretty interesting.  :)

 

Edit: And I'd buy a bunch of interesting stock.

 

 ..Al 

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5 hours ago, Albert said:

...And I'd buy a bunch of interesting stock. 

 

Introducing Apple's CEO for the past 36 years and counting... Albert!

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55 minutes ago, FujiSkunk said:

Introducing Apple's CEO for the past 36 years and counting... Albert!

I don't need to be the CEO, but having a hundred thousand APPL shares when the stock was < $2.00 through most of the 80s and 90s surely would not suck!!

 

 ..Al

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17 hours ago, King_Salamon said:

If someone could take a time machine back to 1983 and slip a couple of copies of this game into the world, it would blow peoples minds!

In particular as there still weren't that many RPG 2D games on any format with the complexity of Ultima itself. Of course the same could be said about bringing e.g. Minima Reloaded (C64) back to 1983.

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5 hours ago, carlsson said:

In particular as there still weren't that many RPG 2D games on any format with the complexity of Ultima itself. Of course the same could be said about bringing e.g. Minima Reloaded (C64) back to 1983.

Very true!  The only reason why I bring this up is due to the 'limitations' of the 2600.  Compared to the power of the c64, the 2600 is considerably inferior in terms of processing power.

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I've wondered what an official port or VCS-specific version of Ultima would have looked like BITD. The biggest limiting factor would have been ROM size. Mine is 64K, and I'm not sure I'll be able to fit everything I want into that size, even. Maybe something like a colorful version of Akalabeth would have been more feasible, since it replies on procedurally-generated content, rather than static maps and lots of dialog.

 

Running out of cycles for the most part hasn't been a big issue, since it's a turn-based game, so I can put tasks in different frames as needed to not go over.

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On 9/23/2019 at 11:43 AM, Albert said:

If I went back to 1983, I'd buy all the rare first and third-party games that are worth quite a bit of money now and fill up a few large, climate-controlled storage units with them.  But bringing back homebrew games to release them as new third-party games back when the market was still "hot" would have been pretty interesting.  :)

 

Edit: And I'd buy a bunch of interesting stock.

 

 ..Al 

 

  Yeah... and I would be sure to be sending in lots of Proof Of Purchase's to get multiples of those games not available in stores! 😁

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For that matter, it seems you could do fairly well if you went back to 1983 only to buy Ultima related games released so far. Of course I would include Escape from Mt Drash in that subset, even if Lord British reluctantly would acknowledge it.

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3 hours ago, carlsson said:

For that matter, it seems you could do fairly well if you went back to 1983 only to buy Ultima related games released so far. Of course I would include Escape from Mt Drash in that subset, even if Lord British reluctantly would acknowledge it.

That's true, and I'm a huge fan of the Ultima series!  I'd probably just need a warehouse somewhere that I could stock with...interesting things.  :) 

 

 ..Al

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After seeing the ZeroPage Twitch stream... I am more excited than ever about this game... fantastic job so far. Reminds me of my C64 adventure genre playing days! :)

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I've begin to look at game saving, which won't be part of the PRGE demo. Ultima 3 does frequent automatic saves when you e.g. enter/exit a town or dungeon, or when you die in combat. The NES versions had a defined place you could go to save the game. I'll probably go with the latter approach to save on the number of writes to the AtariVox/SaveKey, but have thew game automatically save when you go up a level or die (no turning off the Atari to avoid losing all of your equipment!).

 

If I make the place where you save the game also be a resting spot to regain Hit Points and Spell Points, then I will "only" have to save about 25 bytes  at a time.

 

Now I'm positive that I won't be able to realistically have an option to save/restore via a code input by the user. This would be around 50 hex digits for the user to record and re-enter each time!

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On 9/24/2019 at 10:13 AM, King_Salamon said:

Very true!  The only reason why I bring this up is due to the 'limitations' of the 2600.  Compared to the power of the c64, the 2600 is considerably inferior in terms of processing power.

Strangely enough, the 2600 CPU clock is actually a little bit faster than the C64 (1.19 vs ~1.02Mhz for NTSC regions).  On the flip side, the C64 blows the 2600 out of the water graphics-wise.  :)

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