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johnnywc

Champ Games - Robotron: 2084 (2600)

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Hello all,

 

As some of you may have heard, the Champ Games secret project was revealed this week on @ZeroPage Homebrew's Twitch stream - Robotron: 2084 for the 2600!

 

Object:

 

The object of Robotron is to guide your player around the screen and save the last human family (dad, mom, & Mikey) while avoiding a vast array of enemies, including:

  • The Grunts robots constantly pursue your player and speed up as the wave progresses
  • The Hulks roam around aimlessly and are indestructible, and will destroy the humanoids if they come in contact with them.
  • The Sphereoids are circular enemies that fly around the borders of the screen, launching Enforcers.
  • Enforcers will pursue your player and fire a steady stream of Spark missiles towards you.
  • Brain Robotrons will wander around the screen searching for humanoids to program into deadly Progs.  Brains will also fire Cruise missiles that must be avoided.
  • Quarks move around in erratic patterns and spawn Tank Robotrons.
  • Tank Robotrons will purse your player and fire bouncing Bombs that ricochet off the walls making them difficult to avoid.
  • Electrodes are scattered throughout the level and are deadly to the touch; however, they will also destroy Grunts if they collide with them also.

 

Control:

 

Robotron supports multiple control schemes:

  • 1 joystick with no autofire (left difficultly on B)
    • In this mode, use the left joystick to move your player and press the button to fire in the current direction.
    • You can continually fire in one direction by holding down the joystick button and move in another direction. 
      • To fire in a different direction, release the button and move in the new direction you wish to fire and then press the button.
    • To fire in place (fire without moving), center the joystick and hold down the button.  You can then fire in any direction by moving the joystick in that direction (your player will not move).  Release the button to move your player.
    • If you have a Genesis controller connected, you can press the second button to fire backwards (opposite direction that your player is currently firing).
  • 1 joystick with autofire (left difficulty on A)
    • This is similar to the no-autofire mode except your player automatically fires in the current direction (no need to press the button)
    • To change the fire direction, press the button and move the joystick to the new direction.  Release the button to continually fire in the new direction.
    • You can also "fire in place" by centering the joystick and pressing and holding the button.  In this mode, you must fire by moving the controller in the direction you wish to fire (your player will not move).  Note that your player will not fire if the button is held down and the joystick is centered.
    • If you have a Genesis controller connected, you can press the second button to fire backwards (opposite direction that your player is currently firing).
  • 2 joystick (prefered)
    • If you have 2 joysticks, you can use the left joystick to move your player and the right joystick to fire, just like the arcade.  There is no special settings that need to be done to enable 2 joystick mode since the buttons aren't used.  Note that you can also play a co-op game by having one player move and the other player fire! :) 

 

Game Play:

 

From the title screen, move the joystick left or right to select the skill level.  Note that your player's helmet will match the color of the skill level:

  • Novice (green): 5 lives to start.  1/2 of the enemies from the Advanced level.  Less enforcers and tanks are spawned.  Grunts move slower.  
  • Standard (blue): 4 lives to start.  3/4 of the enemies from the Advanced level.  
  • Advanced (red): 3 lives to start.  # of enemies on each level match the arcade.  More enforcers and tanks are spawned than Standard.  Grunts move faster.

 

Bonus lives are awarded every 25,000 points. 

 

Game Over:

 

Your game ends when all your reserves have been destroyed.  If you obtain a high score, the high score entry screen will be displayed for the current skill level.  Move the joystick up/down to select the characters to enter and press the button when finished.  Note that Savekey support is currently not supported so high scores will be reset when the game is turned off.

 

Credits:

 

Special thanks to Nathan Strum who did all the graphics for the game and all the game testing and assisted with the design.  

 

It should also be noted that the sounds have been "borrowed" from the 7800 version of Robotron, which was developed by David Brown.  We are currently trying to reach Mr. Brown to obtain his permission to include his sounds in this game.  

 

Current State:

We estimate the game to be about 80% done.  Due to other projects, a release is not expected until early 2021.

 

Here is a playable demo if you would like to download it and give it a try.  It works on real hardware (recommended), the latest version of Stella and Stellerator, and will also work on the Retron77 with the latest community build.  It will *not* work on the Flashback Portable. 

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_NTSC.bin

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_PAL60.bin

 

The demo is fully playable with the following restrictions:

  • When the player competes Wave 9, the game will wrap back to Wave 5.  In the release version, all 40 unique waves will be included and up to 99 waves will be playable.
  • There is currently no SaveKey support in the game (this has been disabled) but it will be available in the final version.

 

Any feedback is appreciated.

 

Have fun!

John

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_NTSC.thumb.png.a7660b9ac0476bf28210992ff2eb6353.png

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_NTSC_1.thumb.png.c51eafcc0d06c8b9c8145296a428bdac.png

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_NTSC_4.thumb.png.fb063bfa56c82508d4dd9de2fb946b84.png

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_NTSC_7.thumb.png.eb1aa8b88e3ba1ea6a7ba9cfffc2a890.png

 

robotron_20200516_demo1_NTSC_8.thumb.png.b5cf357a44999ee1f62d2e664d18262c.png

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so exciting!

 

this has been floated elsewhere, but is there any talk of developing a cx-40 joystick coupler?

 

you guys sort of mentioned it as a possibility in passing on ZPH and Nathan mentions it here:

 

thought that it would be a good idea to make this a part of this thread.

 

there are assorted homemade 7800 and 5200 couplers kicking around on AA but I am not sure if any were ever fully completed or whether anyone ever made one for the cx-40.

 

The other issue, of course is that there are a ton of different 2600 joysticks out there and the cx-40 may not even be the best one for robotron...

 

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Posted (edited)

:-o Wow, Champ Games! This is beyond impressive! I'm definitely buying this when this gets fully released! :)

Edited by Isaiah Austin
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Another impossible game made a reality on the 2600!  Awesome!

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Been loving it!  now I have another use for the joystick coupler from the Atari 8 bit version of Robotron :P

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Posted (edited)

We'll be playing more of the full version of Robotron: 2084 on tomorrow's (Sun May 17) ZeroPage Homebrew stream LIVE on Twitch at 11AM PT | 2PM ET | 6PM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!


Games:

 

 (SET VIDEO TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY)

 

 

 

 

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew
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Posted (edited)

I'm so happy some of the best programmers and pixel artists in the world happens to be really into the 2600, because so am I!!!!!!! 🤠

This one's surreal.

Edited by Lillapojkenpåön
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I can confirm that the Edladdin Super Twin 78 controller works with this game. I’ll test more tomorrow.


Gameplay is very smooth. 
 

Thanks for the ROM John.

 

Btw, need more room to display the HS ranking number (please see 2nd pic below).

EF09F846-5992-434C-89D2-9025FD867868.jpeg

 

0E0A3F7D-4C89-426A-9605-8C7424FAAA3E.jpeg

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I never played Robotron back when it was in the arcade but played it some via emulation. It's amazing to see this game come life, feels technologically impossible. It's a testimony of the programing prowess of the guys at Champ Games. To start off I went with novice till I got the hang of it, much easier to hit 100k or over with some practice. I'm going to tackle some normal mode next and see how I fair.0483728610f271ee55c5527c28126cc8.jpg

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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The last time I played the arcade version was two years ago at Musee Mecanique in San Francisco.  I played three times and got a lower score each time. 25,000 was my lowest score, if I remember correctly.

 

I've been playing this version until 3:00AM tonight.  What a great version of the game. It seems to capture pretty much everything from the arcade. The movement is so smooth and the controls are tight. 

 

Using Stella, the control setup that I ended up using is one Atari Flashback joystick hooked up with a Stelladaptor and using the keyboard as the second joystick. I use my right hand to move with the joystick and my left to fire with the keys. It took some time to adjust to this but I think I'm doing better now. I'm playing on Novice and at one point, it seemed to get easier, with the humans worth big points each time.

 

I tried to take a screenshot with Stella but just got garbled text on five tries.  Do I need to change one of the settings on Stella? I had to take a picture with my phone.  I hope the file size isn't too big.

IMG_20200517_030105838.jpg

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Awesome... as usual!

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Amazing. Excellent, excellent work John!

 

Just the amount of moving things on the screen.....wow. Even Gauntlet seems possible at this point.

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Robotron:2084 for the 2600..

..and it plays like the arcade! unbelievable, pure magic, awesome, geil 😲

 

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Well I already mentioned how it looks super flashy and great on your Facebook page.

 

I noticed how there's sometimes more than 1 GRUNT cluttered up into the same space and it'd take multiple shots to the place the destroy all the GRUNTs occupying there. Is this intended or would that be changed?

 

Also, a minor issue, but are you planning to change the wave-initial sound for the Brain waves?

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2 hours ago, Tangentg said:

Well I already mentioned how it looks super flashy and great on your Facebook page.

Thanks!

 

2 hours ago, Tangentg said:

I noticed how there's sometimes more than 1 GRUNT cluttered up into the same space and it'd take multiple shots to the place the destroy all the GRUNTs occupying there. Is this intended or would that be changed?

Hmmm, I'm not sure - can you kill multiple grunts with one shot in the arcade?  If so, I can easily change this.

2 hours ago, Tangentg said:

Also, a minor issue, but are you planning to change the wave-initial sound for the Brain waves?

Yes - I spent the least amount of time on the brain waves so it's truly a work in progress.  Some things that I'm working on to improve this level:

  • Add in special wave-intro sound with brains and grunts "materializing" in like the arcade
  • Add in trails to the humanoids once they are turned into progs
  • Add in logic to the cruise missile so it pursues your player.  Right now it's moving around randomly.
  • Add in cruise missile animation when it changes direction (similar to the arcade)
  • On level 10, 20, etc. add in double-wide electrodes (possibly with "84" displayed as well).  In the arcade it displays "2084" but since 2600 pixels are double wide, this would be a good compromise.

Thanks for the feedback!

John

 

 

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I cant tell you how much joy this demo has brought me.  Robotron 2084 is my favorite game of all time.  I am simply blown away by the effort put into this.  Like many others, I too thought this would never be done.  

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I just saw Willie's video and man, I am beyond impressed! It looks & sounds just like the arcade, pretty damn close anyway. Truly amazing stuff! 😎 Thanks so much for the demo and I'm definitely buying a copy once it gets a full release! 👍👍

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1 hour ago, johnnywc said:

Hmmm, I'm not sure - can you kill multiple grunts with one shot in the arcade?  If so, I can easily change this.

 

 

Each shot kills just one enemy. Source: The arcade game in my house. 😉

 

Fantastic work, by the way! I never thought I'd see this game done so well on the 2600.

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My only problem with this so far is how the grunts look like electrodes.  Other than that, this kicks ass!

This is the biggest achievement on the 2600 to date!

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johnnywc right now when you shoot diagonal

the shot looks like this

xx

   xx

      xx

         xx

 

have you tried this to make the pixels square

xx

xx

   xx

   xx

      xx

      xx

         xx

         xx

 

and moving the y pos twice as much the x pos to shoot true diagonal?

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