Jump to content
Thomas Jentzsch

Legacy versus ARM-based 2600 Game Development

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

I think the biggest issue with this thread is no one actually really knows what it's about. The title really doesn't do justice either because it looks like something from a mortal kombat splash screen "Legacy vs ARM -- FIGHT ". You only need to read through the 12 pages of comments and programmer or not it will leave your head spinning to what is really the subject.

Well, that's how it goes. First you have to exchange all the arguments and sort out your own mind. Only afterwards one can create something like a summary of the discussion. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

But if I had a rusted-out hulk of one that was a total non-runner and the money to fix it up, yeah, I'd totally throw a modern drivetrain and suspension in it to make it a proper daily driver.

I sure hope you don't think the 2600 is that "total non-runner". :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

\\

But that analogy makes me wonder if the ZPH awards are elevating the problem.

  • Since the ARM games arrived, they defined a new benchmark for Atari 2600 games. And some developers who prefer developing for more original hardware already felt that their work was clouded by the ARM games.

I can only agree that ARM is in a league of it's when it comes to the awards. With the rate of growth and knowledge/interest i suspect James may consider opening that category. IMO as too bB and DPC+ games should they have their own. With all the pros and cons or should i say restraints. This is something i have voiced a couple of times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are only a few ARM games that I know of and at least one of them is not very good, IMHO.  That has largely been the "problem."  Most of them have come from experienced devs who are putting out really good games.  Because of that, they have risen to the top and even set a new "benchmark" for a good game.  It seems that for now, the people using it are the ones that feel like they have already reached a limit with the standard hardware and needed it to up their game.  But to me it seems more likely that a slew of crappy games, some of which will be so bad as to not even be a game, is more likely if the ARM becomes more widespread than is the prospect of a bunch of new limit-pushing games that outshine the greatest non-ARM efforts.  Also probably more arcade conversions than original games.  I just really think game design is going to be a much greater limiting factor than not having an ARM based chip in the cart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

But that analogy makes me wonder if the ZPH awards are elevating the problem.

I don't think the popularity contests and "top homebrew" threads elevate the problem, they just reveal it. (if one can consider it a problem) They highlight a few underlying truths about the popular taste - mainstream 2600 game players don't care for the underlying tech so long as it's plugged into the console, graphics are heavily important even with 2600 games, and ports of big name arcade titles are favoured more highly than original titles with new mechanics. (I'm talking relative weights here, not absolutes, but I believe the weights are pretty strong)

 

You may not like the audience taste, and it may well represent a change, but it's the underlying popular taste that's conflicting with your own design aesthetics. I learned a while back that my own tastes would pretty much ensure I'd never come up with a wildly popular game. Things that I find stimulating about a game seem entirely opposite of what the crowd wants. I wish seemo would be widely recognized for the wildly original designer he is, but it is what it is. Like Andrew was suggesting, it's not helpful to pay attention to popularity contests, if you don't actually value the things that will make you popular.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also wanted to add that the historic 2600 dev culture of needing to always wow the audience with some visual achievement, is the seed that grew the expectation for better graphics each go-around, and has flowered into the ARM assist platforms. While I disagree strongly with people that technically compare ARM assist to period hardware assist, it's certainly a natural outgrowth for our current time and circumstances.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right and we really shouldn't bother if popular tastes differ that much from our own views. But then, like I said above, it is hard to permanently ignore that. Also the "crowd" is on average less informed than people who are creating the games. And this is not limited to games. E.g. in film and music there are popular awards and committee awards, the latter being more important. Probably for a reason.

 

Maybe the Atari homebrew awards could become a mix of popular and committee votes? :ponder:

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of initial disillusionment, I've become ok with being a weirdo that has had only moderate success. After a while you own it, if you understand the reasons behind it, and then it's easy to ignore the contests. It's even a bit liberating.

 

I think separate committee awards might be a step toward balance, but like your film comparison, the gamers will likely feel that the committee awards are voted for by a bunch of self-congratulating elites that ignore truly good games... just a caution, if that matters to you.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to emphasize again, maybe this was not emphasized enough by me before, that i absolutely don't grudge "Galagon" its awards, because for the game it is, in my opinion a non-standard Atari-2600 game, it absolutely earns every of this awards he got. I personally would have given even an extra-award to the game for gaming-innovation, just for the fact, that this great 2-player-simultan-mode was included in it and very well implemented. Just for the great innovative idea of this mode. Because such a mode is, what i always waited for in "Galaga" and sadly even later games like "Galaga 88" on the PC-Engine or "Galencia" on the C64 don't have it. Therefore very great, that "Galagon" has this now.

 

And then the fantastic looking game-box and cartridge-labels. In my humble opinion, best looking gamebox ever. This is really my opinion about this. I am a big comic-fan since my childhood and the style of these two pictures, between the buyer of the game can choose, is absolutely great. Looking superb. Therefore, well deserved award.

 

My meaning is, that this game is fantastic and i never said something else. I am concerned with three things mainly

 

- if it is a standard (normal) A2600 game and can be called this way, or not?

 

- if it should compete in all award-classes against standard (i use this word now instead of "normal", maybe this sounds better then) Atari-2600 games. For example, when it comes to the game-box, packaging or things like that, it doesn't matter at all, if a game use Melody-card or not. But in some other things it can matter

 

- if it is a good progress, when mostly those non-standard games are named for greatest hits of the A2600 in a year and which consequences this could have, seen in the long-run

 

But the game itself, is superb, there is no question about that. Just to emphasize this again, not that people think, i would not like this game or want to reduce the great programming-performance, the developers made here. This was not my point from the beginning on. I had other points to discuss and i stand by this, cause its my opinion. Other people can of course have other opinions, no problem.  :)

 

Edited by AW127
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is a magical mixture of votes that will somehow scale how games should be judged for the better. After all every vote should count, but saying some votes are more important than others is just not right and borderline discriminatory.

 

That being said it does sound like James is considering taking ARM games into their own category. This might be a step in the right direction, but it's a slippery slope. It's very clear none of us can agree on where the boundaries of categories should be. That introduces problems of what to do with new bankswitching schemes, games with extra ram, games that are not programmed in 6502 assembly, and whatever else "enhances" a game. There are grey areas everywhere.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

That being said it does sound like James is considering taking ARM games into their own category.

 

And this would be only necessary in certain areas. When it comes to things like the box, labeling, manual, stickers, posters and all that stuff around the game, of course ALL Atari-2600 or even ALL new games (i dont now how it is in the moment in this area?) can and should be in the same competition. No one here has an advantage from the beginning on then, so it does not matter.

 

Edited by AW127

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

You are right and we really shouldn't bother if popular tastes differ that much from our own views. But then, like I said above, it is hard to permanently ignore that. Also the "crowd" is on average less informed than people who are creating the games. And this is not limited to games. E.g. in film and music there are popular awards and committee awards, the latter being more important. Probably for a reason.

 

Maybe the Atari homebrew awards could become a mix of popular and committee votes? :ponder:

 

 

That's a good point.  There are movies that got rave reviews by the professional critics that absolutely bombed and were awful.

 

The same is true with music, but I do think with music they have a better point.  Just because something sells a lot of records or now, virtual files, doesn't mean it is any good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, AW127 said:

 

And this would be only necessary in certain areas. When it comes to things like the box, labeling, manual, stickers, posters and all that stuff around the game, of course ALL Atari-2600 or even ALL new games (i dont now how it is in the moment in this area?) can and should be in the same competition. No one here has an advantage from the beginning on then, so it does not matter.

 

I absolutely agree that packaging has nothing to do with how the game is built, and every game from every category should be included there.

 

However, I have heard ARM game boxes taste better. Myself I tend to stick to eating instructions only as I am a Manualtarian. We might need to break the packing category down further by "most digestible".

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, RevEng said:

After a bit of initial disillusionment, I've become ok with being a weirdo that has had only moderate success. After a while you own it, if you understand the reasons behind it, and then it's easy to ignore the contests. It's even a bit liberating.

 

I think separate committee awards might be a step toward balance, but like your film comparison, the gamers will likely feel that the committee awards are voted for by a bunch of self-congratulating elites that ignore truly good games... just a caution, if that matters to you.

Let's be honest here.... anyone writing games for the Atari 2600 in 2020 is already pretty much a weirdo. I am certainly a weirdo for liking old style games over modern games, which I do not play.    You are in good company:)

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Award categories are fine, but there should still be an unconditional "best game" category.

 

If you want to make special categories for other things, that is great, but there should be a solid line of demarcation. 4k is a great way to do this. Another way would be "standard bankswitching" that was actually available on actual released games back in the day. These two things are objective facts and nobody can argue about these categories.

 

Where you blur this line is when you talk about what could or could not have been theoretically possible or practical during the commercial life of the console. That is subjective, and probably not a good way to categorize games in an awards contest.


 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, christo930 said:

Let's be honest here.... anyone writing games for the Atari 2600 in 2020 is already pretty much a weirdo. I am certainly a weirdo for liking old style games over modern games, which I do not play.    You are in good company:)

lol yes, it's just a matter of degree. Even when I say things like "mainstream 2600 game players" it sticks in my throat a bit, because it feels like an oxymoron. Words are often such imprecise things, which is also why much of the controversy in this thread is over simple definitions.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

I absolutely agree that packaging has nothing to do with how the game is built, and every game from every category should be included there.

 

However, I have heard ARM game boxes taste better. Myself I tend to stick to eating instructions only as I am a Manualtarian. We might need to break the packing category down further by "most digestible".

Eatable packagings are a good idea for the future to prevent alot of trash. Good idea. I am sure, that even Donald Trump could say yes to this single environmental-protection point. And this would even have one advantage more, cause we have one award-category more then.

 

"who can eat the packaging of his last bought game to the last bite, in the fastest time"

 

of course, only sent-in videos of the whole eating-process can count then and not only photos with a stopwatch on which are people claiming they had eat it now in this time. 😀

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish they'd include a few photos of the open manuals for the packaging category.  Last year nobody even got to see my fave from the Dungeon II manual.

df.png.9b6e22797877874f321ac98221bd56d8.png

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, RevEng said:

lol yes, it's just a matter of degree. Even when I say things like "mainstream 2600 gamer players" it sticks in my throat a bit, because it feels like an oxymoron. Words are often such imprecise things, which is also why much of the controversy in this thread is over simple definitions.

 

This is because some people put every word on the gold-scales, even when they can see here, that some other persons are from different countries and that english is only their secondary language. Normal, that these people can not find everytime to 100 percent the best word to the situation. This is only possible, when you grow up with both languages as a toddler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

I don't think there is a magical mixture of votes that will somehow scale how games should be judged for the better. After all every vote should count, but saying some votes are more important than others is just not right and borderline discriminatory.

By that definition the Oscars are extremely discriminatory.

 

I know a lot of awards which are voted 50:50 by public and committee votes. The results are usually quite different and interesting. Frequently the winner by one vote is ranked very low by the other one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

I absolutely agree that packaging has nothing to do with how the game is built, and every game from every category should be included there.

Fully agreed too. I also suggested this to James, but that was a bit too late for this year.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

Myself I tend to stick to eating instructions only as I am a Manualtarian. We might need to break the packing category down further by "most digestible".

I'll make you eat those words!

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Omegamatrix said:

I don't think there is a magical mixture of votes that will somehow scale how games should be judged for the better. After all every vote should count, but saying some votes are more important than others is just not right and borderline discriminatory.

 

That being said it does sound like James is considering taking ARM games into their own category. This might be a step in the right direction, but it's a slippery slope. It's very clear none of us can agree on where the boundaries of categories should be. That introduces problems of what to do with new bankswitching schemes, games with extra ram, games that are not programmed in 6502 assembly, and whatever else "enhances" a game. There are grey areas everywhere.

I hope he doesn't categorize ARM games in their own category unless there is also an unconditional "best game" category as well.

 

To say that games with more modest hardware can't compete is nonsense. What makes for a good game is not necessarily all about its technical merit.

 

The most popular game ever is Minecraft which runs well even on modest hardware. And the massive success of Undertale also underscores the point being made here. There are many more examples to be found here that show the same thing.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, batari said:

Where you blur this line is when you talk about what could or could not have been theoretically possible or practical during the commercial life of the console. That is subjective, and probably not a good way to categorize games in an awards contest.

Any categories are already subjective. Putting a game into the best category could be done e.g. by the nomination committee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RevEng said:

I wish seemo would be widely recognized for the wildly original designer he is, but it is what it is.

I have to say, Seemo was the first person I thought of when I heard about the Lifetime Achievement Award. The creativity flows very strongly in that one, and the imagination and execution are in such sync that it is uncanny.

 

Seemo just does his own thing for the sheer joy of it. Whether people get it or not doesn't seem to bother him. He just keeps going to a beat all his own. He has my upmost respect, and I feel he doesn't at all get the credit that he deserves for the great work he does. His stuff seems to slide under the radar because it does not quite hit that mainstream popularity vibe. Again though, he just keeps going on and creating like none of that maters. I have great respect for that man.

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...