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Berks Four (64K) - New Release

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Last year I converted two of my C16 games to the Atari - Baby Berks and Major Blink. I decided to follow this up by writing an enhanced version of another C16 game, Berks 3. After a few months it became clear that the game would be more than an improved conversion so it is now Berks Four. The game grew so much that needs a 64K machine to run on.


The original game contained a grid of rooms that the player explored looking for keys to gain access to the final Crystal. This new incarnation has four Worlds with the Berks 3 layout (of 6 by 5 rooms) forming World 3. The four Worlds increase in size from the new 4 by 4 and 5 by 5 rooms up to World 4 which has a 6 by 6 room layout. The largest World is split into 3 zones, each with a Puzzle Room that needs completing to gain access to the 'Final Chamber'.


The main reason to write the game was to see if I could get a retro-rush working on my code from 1985. I wanted to keep the style consistent with the original so there are no apologies for the old school nature of the game. There's no fancy music driver and the sound effects are very 1980's. However, it's been great fun getting back into Atari programming after so long. Development has been made much easier by the wonderful WUDSN and Altirra utilities - rather different from using Synassembler on my Atari 800 and sending the code across to the C16 via the joystick ports ;-)


I've put some basic notes together in the Berks 4 Notes.doc file and this contains a few hints to help along the way.


I've been playing the game for a good few weeks now and it does appear to be stable (famous last words?). I can complete Worlds 1 to 3 easily but World 4 is definitely hard!


Finally, the game uses all of the available 64K of memory and needs a 2-stage load to get everything into place. I've tested the bootable ATR disk on my 130XE and it runs fine. I'd be interested to hear if it runs ok from any of the cartridge utilities.


Please let me know if you spot any major problems. I hope you enjoy the game .......


Jon

BERKS4.ATR

Berks 4 Notes.doc

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Just tried this on Altirra love it will try on a real machine tomorrow

Sound effects 10/10

Music 10/10

Letter font 10/10

Terror tank new movement and firing 10/10

 

I have a few ideas but they might not fit in 64k

Add cool bears to rebrick any bricks shots?

Add hatching baby berks to make things more harder?

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Posted (edited)

I ran it with the emulator and then tried to run it on an 800XL known to be working because it is my daily driver for games. and Berks Four does not get past the loading PLEASE WAIT

 

BERKS FOUR

LOADING: 0360
PLEASE WAIT - - - - - -

Edited by rdea6

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Just tried this on Altirra love it will try on a real machine tomorrow

Sound effects 10/10

Music 10/10

Letter font 10/10

Terror tank new movement and firing 10/10

 

I have a few ideas but they might not fit in 64k

Add cool bears to rebrick any bricks shots?

Add hatching baby berks to make things more harder?

 

I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far. The first two Worlds are intended to be 'training grounds' leading up to the original Berks 3 layout and then World 4.

 

I'll be interested to hear if you think World 4 is easy or hard ;-)

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I ran it with the emulator and then tried to run it on an 800XL known to be working because it is my daily driver for games. and Berks Four does not get past the loading PLEASE WAIT

 

BERKS FOUR

LOADING: 0360

PLEASE WAIT - - - - - -

 

That's strange ... I don't have any XL hardware but I've tested the ATR on Altirra in that mode. Have you created a physical disk or are you using SIO2PC?

 

Maybe somebody else could check it on an 800XL?

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Works on real hardware with SIO2PC-USB, so I think it should work with all SIO devices.

Tomorrow I could make tests.

 

What loading device are you using Roy?

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Hello guys

 

Music is Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns. I love that piece.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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Posted (edited)

Works on real hardware with SIO2PC-USB, so I think it should work with all SIO devices.

Tomorrow I could make tests.

 

What loading device are you using Roy?

I am using Respeqt 4.x not the one for floppy (happy or other enhancements) I may have had the divisor set to low.. I will try again with divisor 10.

 

 

EDIT: I just now tried divisor 10 and it loads and now playing it.

Edited by rdea6

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Posted (edited)

 

I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far. The first two Worlds are intended to be 'training grounds' leading up to the original Berks 3 layout and then World 4.

 

I'll be interested to hear if you think World 4 is easy or hard ;-)

Yeah i was bit cream crackerd last night going to give a good test today see if i can complete the game

I remember you saying you was gonna do some work to the original C16/+4 version of Berks 3 would be interesting too see what's done with extra ram?

Edited by 256 colors

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Posted (edited)

I have an 800xl NTSC with a PAL ANTIC installed. It loads and plays correctly from SIDE2. Great game!

 

That's strange ... I don't have any XL hardware but I've tested the ATR on Altirra in that mode. Have you created a physical disk or are you using SIO2PC?

 

Maybe somebody else could check it on an 800XL?

Edited by Mark loves Stella

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Really enjoying it Jon, and yes, it gets damn hard :)

 

Thank you for your time and effort, its really appreciated...

 

Any future thoughts? :)

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I have an 800xl NTSC with a PAL ANTIC installed. It loads and plays correctly from SIDE2. Great game!

 

Phew! That's a relief ... thanks for letting me know.

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Posted (edited)

Jon, thanks a lot for the new game! :)

 

(...)

 

Thank you for your time and effort, its really appreciated...

 

Any future thoughts? :)

 

You may read about Jon's future plans here, in an interview from last year :)

 

An excerpt from this interview:

"My plans at the moment are to finish off the ever growing Berks game and upload that to the Atari forums. I then plan to convert the game back to the Plus 4 as there are still a lot of people who follow the machine … mainly in Europe. I think that will take a few months. As soon as Berks is out of the way I’m going to take a look at a Jet Boot Jack update. I’m hoping to make a single master disk that will contain the original version of the game, an updated version with (at least) 10 new screens and some new game mechanics … and then a new game that contains the main parts of Knuckerhole (I’ll call it something different though). Then I may sleep ;)"

Edited by +Adam+
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Ah, see, my memory going again, I read the Excel (?) and the Retro Gamer interviews.....

 

Thanks for the reminder Adam....Appreciated!

 

Can't wait for all that new stuff....

 

And Jon, no time for sleep mate, not while the creative juices are flowing :)

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Posted (edited)

I finally got round to testing bit more works lovely on the 1050 drive here and lotharek Sio2sd version 1.3

Also tested on a 800XL/600XL(upgraded) and 130XE those super slippery snakes are are a menace so fast but that makes it fun

 

Wish i have more time to play instead i have put up with the grand kids auguring who's playing next they love it too bits

Edited by 256 colors

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Jon, thanks a lot for the new game! :)

 

 

You may read about Jon's future plans here, in an interview from last year :)

 

An excerpt from this interview:

"My plans at the moment are to finish off the ever growing Berks game and upload that to the Atari forums. I then plan to convert the game back to the Plus 4 as there are still a lot of people who follow the machine … mainly in Europe. I think that will take a few months. As soon as Berks is out of the way I’m going to take a look at a Jet Boot Jack update. I’m hoping to make a single master disk that will contain the original version of the game, an updated version with (at least) 10 new screens and some new game mechanics … and then a new game that contains the main parts of Knuckerhole (I’ll call it something different though). Then I may sleep ;)"

 

That's still pretty much the plan ... I think I might sleep before doing all of that rather than after :)

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Woo hoo! Berks Four are great! I tried it now for the first time and I couldn't leave it. The berks has beaten me when I got all the keys so now I'm a bit angry, but I will try it tomorrow again and this time they will not win with me! Aha! A great continuation of the Berks trilogy! Thanks Jon! I still wait for the new Jet Boot Jack :D :D

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That's still pretty much the plan ... I think I might sleep before doing all of that rather than after :)

 

I love the double shot, it makes faster and perhaps easeir, although the game is not easy at all.

 

By the way, Who is Georgina ?

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Maybe its just my rose tinted views but there's something so special about getting a game from a dev who created games back then, it just breathes new life in to the old machine.

 

Don't get me wrong, our devs produce stunning stuff which we are so lucky to have but to have a figure like Jon who has a real spot in the Atari history with Jet Boot and Multi-Boot still making games is just seems a privilege and honor to be able to play them..

 

Make sure that tenner is in the post Jon ;)

 

Seriously, more great stuff on our favourite machine...Good times, thanks all...

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Jon

apols for repeating my comment from another board:

 

love the genuine retro feel - the title screen's nod to JetBoot Jack - sets a nice feel form the start.
the map feature is welcome.
the random paths/movement patterns of the Berks makes things more interesting/different each time you come back to it.
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Thanks for all of the kind comments. They're much appreciated and make it all worthwhile.

 

By the way, Who is Georgina ?

 

Georgina is one of my daughters ... if you keep playing you may spot the other one :)

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