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johnnywc

Champ Games - Robotron: 2084 (2600)

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12 hours ago, ZylonBane said:

Regarding the borrowed 7800 sounds, I kind of really hope you don't end up keeping them. I always thought the sound effects were the weakest aspect of the otherwise excellent 7800 port. They come across rather wimpy compared to the punchy arcade sounds.

Hello ZB,

 

I personally like the 7800 sounds but agree they can probably be improved upon.  I'm using them for the demo out of necessity (I don't have the talent nor ability to make decent sounds for the 2600) and right now there is no plan as to what sounds will be used in the final release (planned for early 2021).  If anybody wants to volunteer to spice up or redo the sounds, send me a PM.  I would certainly appreciate it! :D 

12 hours ago, ZylonBane said:

My only other complaint would be the motion of the Hulks. They move too smoothly compared to the arcade Hulks, that moved in chunky steps.

Good point and suggestion!  I'll take a closer look at the arcade and will try to more closely mimic the clunky movement. :thumbsup: 

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Posted (edited)

Okay okay, most of the sounds are actually fine. It's just that there are a few effects that rely on the sound registers being updated much faster than once a frame for their unique sound, most notably the human pickup, bonus life, and wave end/begin sounds.

 

So is it even possible with this kernel to update sounds more than once per frame? In an ideal world you'd be able to program the DPC+ to run this algorithm to reproduce the Robotron sounds precisely, but I assume it's already busy doing other things.

 

EDIT: Getting back to the animations, I finally figured out what specifically is going on. In the arcade version, the animation cycles of the Hulks (and humans, and probably all the other bipedal enemies) are tied explicitly to their movement. That is, every time they move, they also advance to the next animation frame. The 2600 port instead appears to just cycle animations at a fixed rate no matter how they're moving, which makes them kind of look like they're skating around the screen.

Edited by ZylonBane
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On 6/1/2020 at 6:06 PM, ZylonBane said:

Okay okay, most of the sounds are actually fine. It's just that there are a few effects that rely on the sound registers being updated much faster than once a frame for their unique sound, most notably the human pickup, bonus life, and wave end/begin sounds.

 

So is it even possible with this kernel to update sounds more than once per frame? In an ideal world you'd be able to program the DPC+ to run this algorithm to reproduce the Robotron sounds precisely, but I assume it's already busy doing other things.

That algorithm is really cool!  Unfortunately we're not using the DPC+, just plain ol' TIA.  DPC+ requires you update the DPC chip every scanline and unfortunately the kernels in Robotron don't have any more free cycles to do that.  I guess we could try to update the TIA registers twice a frame, but I think that would take a ton of ROM for the sounds and we're already at maximum cycle usage just to run the game as is, so we're probably stuck with single-update TIA sounds.

On 6/1/2020 at 6:06 PM, ZylonBane said:

EDIT: Getting back to the animations, I finally figured out what specifically is going on. In the arcade version, the animation cycles of the Hulks (and humans, and probably all the other bipedal enemies) are tied explicitly to their movement. That is, every time they move, they also advance to the next animation frame. The 2600 port instead appears to just cycle animations at a fixed rate no matter how they're moving, which makes them kind of look like they're skating around the screen.

Thanks for the insight!  I'll take a look at the animations more closely and see about syncing them with movement instead of being constant. :thumbsup: 

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On 6/3/2020 at 10:16 PM, flickertail said:

SpiceWare posted on my blog about your Robotron 2600 game project in response to my MrBoehm USB/Bluetooth controller project. Excited to be able to buy a copy once it is released.

 

It'll be a great use of this feature:

MrBoehm Double-Joystick Template

That looks really cool! :thumbsup:  Do you plan on selling those or is the project a one off?

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I'm not big on selling it myself. Once we have a working prototype, I think David and I would like to work with someone else to make it available to others.

 

IDK, I'm friends with the guy who owns the local gaming cafe. He fixes game consoles including old ones. I thought we might partner with him to make it available more widely. I'm mostly doing it for something to do while being locked down at my house.

 

Though I would hate for it be just a one-off as I've invested a vast amount of time in it, and just making only two of them (one each for David and I) would seem to be a bit of a waste of effort. Worst case scenario, we'd make the plans PCB drawings and code free for people to download.

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Just tried this today and all I can say is just WOW... :o

 

And I thought Galagon and Mappy were milestones.  This plays fantastic ( considering ).. even with one controller.  I managed to make it to the stage with the little boxy things flying around.

 

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Dont know if its too late to do any fan art on the game but I wanted to see if I could do a classic 1950's/ 80s  style label box art with it.

robo.png

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