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Champ Games - Gorf Arcade (2600)

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2 minutes ago, sramirez2008 said:

I have these...but gonna need more. 😄

Organizers.jpg

You're going to need much larger ones for the boxed games.  :)

 

 ..Al

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Gorf looks amazing! I can’t wait to add this gem to my collection. Which reminds me - I still need to purchase Zoo Keeper and a couple of other Champ titles I missed out on initially.

 

This is more of a sidebar question I’ve been meaning to ask: How does Champ Games produce such high quality graphics, sound and gameplay for their Atari 2600 releases? Is it due to the larger ROMs they use, or is there something else (i.e. a chip/processor inside their cartridges) that help produce such amazing quality? 

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33 minutes ago, ColecoGamer said:

Gorf looks amazing! I can’t wait to add this gem to my collection. Which reminds me - I still need to purchase Zoo Keeper and a couple of other Champ titles I missed out on initially.

 

This is more of a sidebar question I’ve been meaning to ask: How does Champ Games produce such high quality graphics, sound and gameplay for their Atari 2600 releases? Is it due to the larger ROMs they use, or is there something else (i.e. a chip/processor inside their cartridges) that help produce such amazing quality? 

Their titles utilize the ARM processor in the Harmony cart to assist with the display kernel.  Regardless, still takes great programming and design skill to turn out what they are.

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2 hours ago, ColecoGamer said:

Gorf looks amazing! I can’t wait to add this gem to my collection. Which reminds me - I still need to purchase Zoo Keeper and a couple of other Champ titles I missed out on initially.

Thanks, and thanks in advance for the support! :thumbsup: 

Quote

This is more of a sidebar question I’ve been meaning to ask: How does Champ Games produce such high quality graphics, sound and gameplay for their Atari 2600 releases? Is it due to the larger ROMs they use, or is there something else (i.e. a chip/processor inside their cartridges) that help produce such amazing quality? 

 

1 hour ago, Stephen said:

Their titles utilize the ARM processor in the Harmony cart to assist with the display kernel.  Regardless, still takes great programming and design skill to turn out what they are.

As @Stephen pointed out, most of our new games use an ARM processor and 32K ROM sizes (Turbo Arcade actually uses 64K ROM).  The ROM size helps us add a lot of bells and whistles, levels, etc. plus storage for more advanced graphics, animations and sounds.  The ARM processor helps out immensely by providing more RAM including 4K of display data used in datastreams that typically contain data for the TIA registers for the player graphics, background graphics, colors, etc. and 2K of additional RAM to store game info (very useful for games like RobotWar that can have up to 100 objects on the screen at once).  The ARM processor can also execute C code (typically during vertical blank and oversan, before and after the actual screen is displayed by the 6507 assembly kernels) at a much faster rate than the 6502 (~70Mhz vs ~1Mhz) so more complex game logic and collision detection can be executed each frame (plus data preparation for the graphics).  Oh, not sure if this helps, but I have been doing this (making 2600 games) for about 15 years, so I would think my experience has helped with these games also.  I should also mention that the graphics and sounds are usually done by experts (Nathan Strum, Bob D, Mike Haas, to name a few) and without their contribution the games wouldn't be nearly as good. :D 

 

EDIT: I should also point out that in addition to the extra ROM, RAM and CPU speed, we are also using the CDFJ bankswitching which can trace it's origin back to the DPC chip developed for Pitfall II.  This allows for more updates to be done per scanline by updating TIA registers using a fast-fetch technology.  Additionally, the DPC chip offered 3 part digital audio that we utilize in Mappy. :music:   

 

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On 1/1/2021 at 9:59 AM, johnnywc said:

Hello all,

 

To celebrate the New Year, here is the first publicly available ROM for Gorf Arcade! :D 

 

(note: be sure to plug in an AtariVox for voice support! :music: :) )

 

The demo is full featured with the following restrictions:

 

- the game will wrap around to MISSION 6 after MISSION 10 is completed (after the 2nd flagship is destroyed)

- Savekey support for high scores is not supported.

 

I estimate the game to be about 85% done, with an expected release of August 2021. 

 

To-do list:

- add in the ability to enter in your initials for high scores.  For now, the default 'PL1' is used.  

- finish sounds.  Some are placeholders from WoW and some were made hastily by myself. 😕  Lee "@keebz" Kebler has signed on to add a professional polish to the sounds (thanks Lee!).

- 2 player support (alternating)

 

Special thanks to Nathan Strum for the graphics, AtariVox voices, design and testing.  Also, thanks to Ross Keenum for the initial batch of sound effects, and Steve Ramirez for testing, and James @ ZeroPage Homebrew for hosting the Gorf Arcade reveal a couple weeks ago on his Twitch stream. 

 

I will add in more details tomorrow. ;) 

 

Any suggestions are welcome or bug reports are appreciated!

 

Thanks and Happy New Year!

 

John

 

NTSC demo ROM:

gorfarc_20201231_demo1_NTSC.bin 32 kB · 692 downloads

 

PAL60 demo ROM:

gorfarc_20201231_demo1_PAL60.bin 32 kB · 321 downloads

 

 

 

Do I need another Stella update? I tried running the rom and all I get is a black screen. I've already updated Stella to get compatibility with Draconian when I had the same problem with that game.

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47 minutes ago, Tangentg said:

Do I need another Stella update? I tried running the rom and all I get is a black screen. I've already updated Stella to get compatibility with Draconian when I had the same problem with that game.

Hmm, I'm not sure what version of Stella added support for CDFJ, but to be safe you should always be running the latest (6.5.3). Hope that helps!

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On 10/25/2021 at 9:17 AM, Tangentg said:

Do I need another Stella update? I tried running the rom and all I get is a black screen. I've already updated Stella to get compatibility with Draconian when I had the same problem with that game.

 

Draconian uses the CDF coprocessor, which was introduced in Stella 5.0.

 

Gorf Arcade uses a newer version of the CDF coprocessor known as CDFJ, which was introduced in Stella 6.0.1.

 

However, if you take a look at the Stella Changelog you'll see there have been improvements to CDF emulation (which includes CDFJ) in even newer versions, as seen in the entry for 6.4, so it's always best practice to make sure you're running the latest build of Stella if you run into issues.

 

Quote

November 2, 2020

 

Stella release 6.4 for Linux, macOS and Windows is now available.

  • Added basic (entire and single line only) text cut/copy and paste.
  • Added color parameters to 'Custom' palette.
  • Some improvements to AtariVox-USB adaptor functionality:
  • Made serial port used for an AtariVox-USB adaptor editable.
  • Autodetection of serial ports no longer messes up devices plugged into other serial ports.
  • Added CPU load stats to debugger. Related to this, added debugger pseudo-registers '_ftimreadcycles' and '_fwsynccycles' to show the number of cycles since the start of frame under certain circumstances (see manual for more details).
  • Fixed bug with aspect correction and fullscreen mode; snapshots from such a mode are now pixel-exact.
  • Fixed a bug that caused CDF ROMs to crash on the Retron77 and reduced ARM emulation performance for CDF ROMs on other platforms.
  • Fixed crash with missing or incorrectly sized SaveKey data file, and with certain functions not working (erase pages, erase entire EEPROM).
  • Fixed Atari mouse autodetection.
  • Fixed bug in ROM launcher, with last ROM selected not being remembered when exiting and re-entering a directory.

 

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On 10/31/2021 at 12:24 PM, SpiceWare said:

 

Draconian uses the CDF coprocessor, which was introduced in Stella 5.0.

 

Gorf Arcade uses a newer version of the CDF coprocessor known as CDFJ, which was introduced in Stella 6.0.1.

 

However, if you take a look at the Stella Changelog you'll see there have been improvements to CDF emulation (which includes CDFJ) in even newer versions, as seen in the entry for 6.4, so it's always best practice to make sure you're running the latest build of Stella if you run into issues.

 

 

 

On 10/25/2021 at 11:05 PM, johnnywc said:

Hmm, I'm not sure what version of Stella added support for CDFJ, but to be safe you should always be running the latest (6.5.3). Hope that helps!

Thanks.

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Man, the degree of faithfulness is simply astounding. I wasn't actually expecting the blue sky and flashing shield for the Space Invaders stage and you have translated it all perfectly!

 

I wasn't sure if shooting the laser ship wouldn't cause the rest of the squadron to break from formation. That's what I remember reading but they don't do that here. I also could have sworn I hit that Space Invaders stage GORF thing and the shot just disappeared but maybe I just misjudged it...

 

Interesting seeing the Galaxian Stage. I really liked the new Galaxian sound effects of the GORF game and I'm really glad that was replicated here. I only gave it a few preliminary tries and haven't gotten to the Space Warp and Flagship stages yet.

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3 hours ago, Tangentg said:

Man, the degree of faithfulness is simply astounding. I wasn't actually expecting the blue sky and flashing shield for the Space Invaders stage and you have translated it all perfectly!

 

I wasn't sure if shooting the laser ship wouldn't cause the rest of the squadron to break from formation. That's what I remember reading but they don't do that here. I also could have sworn I hit that Space Invaders stage GORF thing and the shot just disappeared but maybe I just misjudged it...

 

Interesting seeing the Galaxian Stage. I really liked the new Galaxian sound effects of the GORF game and I'm really glad that was replicated here. I only gave it a few preliminary tries and haven't gotten to the Space Warp and Flagship stages yet.

If you have one, don't forget to plug in an AtariVox.  The speech (and the 5 levels) really brings home that arcade experience.    

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Is this game going to be released in physical form (or has it already been)?  Looking forward to buying this and adding it to my collection.

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21 hours ago, Gazbaz2 said:

Hi all

these games on champ games for the Atari 2600, will they work on the uk console ?

Yes, they will work fine if you buy the PAL60 version of the games. 

9 minutes ago, Tidus79001 said:

Is this game going to be released in physical form (or has it already been)?  Looking forward to buying this and adding it to my collection.

Yes, Gorf Arcade will be released in physical form at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in mid-October. 
 

  ..Al

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1 hour ago, Albert said:

Yes, they will work fine if you buy the PAL60 version of the games. 

Yes, Gorf Arcade will be released in physical form at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in mid-October. 
 

  ..Al

I guess I had better jump on getting an AtariVox then for my Atari 2600 😄

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16 minutes ago, Tidus79001 said:

I guess I had better jump on getting an AtariVox then for my Atari 2600 😄

Definitely!  Great device to have if you own several homebrew games that support it. :)

 

 ..Al

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Hello all,

 

With Qyx development complete and the amazing artwork by David Exton ready to go for a summer release, we have turned out attention to completing Gorf Arcade.

 

There have been many changes and updates since the last demo, including:

  • Enhanced graphics and animations, including a proper Flagship explosion and Space Warp animation (courtesy of @Nathan Strum).
  • All new arcade-quality sounds, courtesy of Bob DeCrescenzo (aka @PacManPlus).
  • Additional speech phrases (over 35 now), also courtesy of Nathan. 
  • Mission Select screen to choose the starting rank and battle.
  • Numerous game play tweaks, difficulty ramping, etc.
  • All-new Challenge mode with new gameplay features, including:
    • Additional invaders in ASTRO BATTLES (up to 48!) 
    • Additional laser gunners and formations in LASER ATTACK, plus the bombers now, well, drop bombs. 💣  
    • Full Galaxian arcade formation in Galaxians (max 48 enemies) plus the enemies can fire in formation now.
    • Your ship gets pulled to the center of the worm hole in SPACE WARP, plus missed enemies will reappear in the center.
    • The FLAGSHIP battle now features bombers in addition to the Gorf escort ships, plus a regenerating shield if you don't destroy the Flagship fast enough. :evil:  

Gorf Arcade is scheduled for release at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo this October (available at the AtariAge booth in limited quantities) and then through the AtariAge store for the holiday season.  The full ROM will be available to purchase through the Champ Games website soon after that.

 

Head on over to the Champ Games download page to try out the latest demo (requires Stella 6.7 or Gopher to run) and let us know what you think!

 

Thanks,

John

 

PS Here are a few screen shots of the new features and CHALLENGE mode:

 

Select the RANK and battle to start with:

gorfarc_9.thumb.png.fffbac9fff5c49df409dafb9e3bc67d9.png

 

Additional invaders in ASTRO BATTLES challenge mode:

gorfarc_11.thumb.png.d53b69d8a7a3d9ddf767134562fc919d.png

 

Later GALAXIANS challenge mode features a full Galaxian level (including arcade colors!):

gorfarc_10.thumb.png.817e8983402bb8db9e5b9d3ebd5bd4db.png

 

 

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2 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Qix is done? That was fast.

Looks like I started it about 2 years ago (first 'reveal' post on AA was July 19, 2020), so it's been a while. ;)   Incidentally, I checked the Gorf folder and dev started on July 11th, 2019 so we're 3+ years dev on that one. :o 

 

It will be nice to get these games released - still lots of other games in the hopper! :D 

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2 minutes ago, Prizrak said:

Gorf Arcade NTSC is crashing in Stella (locking up).
 

Are you using the latest version of Stella (6.7)?

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For this moment I've tried 2600.emu and RetroArch on my android phone, normally don't have issues running anything except your Turbo demo. Will this only work on 6.7?

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk

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I'll try my harmony cart when I get home tonight......

 

Works fine on my cart, must be they need to update Stella in these other emulators.

 

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing the Exclusive WIP Full Version Update of Gorf Arcade on tomorrow's stream LIVE on Twitch, hope you can join us!

 
Games:

(WATCH AT 1080P60 FOR BEST QUALITY)

 

 

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Wow! Bringing out the heavy hitters James! Big show!!

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