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Champ Games - Robotron: 2084 (2600)

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On 9/18/2020 at 2:40 PM, JungleJet said:

What about "Robot Ron"

apropos of nothing...

 

in the mid 90s, when I lived in the french quarter in new orleans, there was a guy who owned a few record stores there who called himself "Record Ron"

 

he bought ads on the carriage horses that clopped through the french quarter that showed the addresses of the stores and a little picture of himself, saying "Tell me I sent you!" which was ridiculous and both does and does not make sense.

 

So seeing "Robot Ron" makes me think of "Tell me I sent you!"

 

I know that no one will care about that (other than maybe @Arenafoot if he was visiting the french quarter then) but thought that I would bring it up on account of we are all friends here.

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1 hour ago, D Train said:

So seeing "Robot Ron" makes me think of "Tell me I sent you!"

 

No worries, "Robot Ron" is too close to Robotron so we're going with RobotWar (year pending). ;)  

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9 hours ago, AtariLeaf said:

Since both your Galagon and Spicewares Draconian are actually names of old Tandy Coco ports I submit we keep that theme going and call it Robotack 😁

I did not know that!  I will bring this up at the next RobotX staff meeting and see what the board thinks... I personally like it! :thumbsup: 

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7 hours ago, D Train said:

apropos of nothing...

 

in the mid 90s, when I lived in the french quarter in new orleans, there was a guy who owned a few record stores there who called himself "Record Ron"

 

he bought ads on the carriage horses that clopped through the french quarter that showed the addresses of the stores and a little picture of himself, saying "Tell me I sent you!" which was ridiculous and both does and does not make sense.

 

So seeing "Robot Ron" makes me think of "Tell me I sent you!"

 

I know that no one will care about that (other than maybe @Arenafoot if he was visiting the french quarter then) but thought that I would bring it up on account of we are all friends here.

Yeah, I've heard of it but never been to one! I was a West Banker so my record stores were Gramaphone (Oakwood Mall) later was Musicland/Sam Goody, Camelot Records and Sound Shop (both in Belle Promenade Mall) and Warehouse Records and Tapes (LaPalco Blvd). Occasionally went to Tower Records at Jax Brewery in town.

 

60328054_2641442772592847_8169038603129716736_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=i6cGnx6jEusAX-dj8yE&_nc_ht=scontent-dfw5-2.xx&oh=5205545a86f0ab058b7885dcc1cf8489&oe=5F8BB5B8

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1 hour ago, Arenafoot said:

Yeah, I've heard of it but never been to one! I was a West Banker so my record stores were Gramaphone (Oakwood Mall) later was Musicland/Sam Goody, Camelot Records and Sound Shop (both in Belle Promenade Mall) and Warehouse Records and Tapes (LaPalco Blvd). Occasionally went to Tower Records at Jax Brewery in town.

 

apparently, it was on the other side of the doubloon!

 

59858214_2641442769259514_20271328103256

 

I used to work in the building on north peters with the tower records, the bookstar and the hard rock.  good times!

 

so helpful to have keys to the building (and the bathrooms) on mardi gras day...

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Hello all,

 

It's been a while, but I am ready to share the latest demo of Robotron: 2084 for the 2600. :)   

 

There are literally hundreds of changes since the last build so I won't list them all, but I can say that this is about 99% done with the main focus now on game play difficulty ramping.

 

Major changes:

  • The name has been changed to "RobotWar: 2600".
  • 2 player alternating mode has been added (disabled in the demo)
  • 2 player co-op has been added:
    • 2 players each control a mutant (purple and orange) using their own controller.  
    • The 2 players share the score and # of reserves.
    • A maximum of 4 missiles total are active for both players (they share the # of missiles).  This is done to balance out the difficulty.  Working together as a team you can quickly figure out ways to overcome this 'limitation'
    • When 1 mutant is hit, he will stay on the screen and flash. 
      • The other mutant can revive him by making contact with him.  At this point, the 'revived' mutant is invincible for 1 second so they can escape to a safe area (note that they cannot rescue humans during this time).
      • If the other mutant is hit before rescuing the first mutant, a life is lost.
    • A mutant can be rescued once per wave.  If a mutant is hit twice, they will disappear for the remainder of the wave.
    • Enemies track both players when they are active.  When a mutant is disabled (or removed), all enemies will then track the remaining mutant.
    • Both mutants are revived at the start of the next wave.
    • A '+' sign appears before the player's initials in the high score table to indicate that this score was achieved in a co-op game.
  • Control schemes supported:
    • 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)
      • If you have a single button controller:
        • 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 (gamepad) connected:
        • Press Button B to rotate the fire direction counter clockwise
        • Press Button C to rotate the fire direction clockwise
        • To change the fire direction, press both Button B and C together and move the joystick to the new direction.  Release the buttons to continually fire in the new direction.
        • You can also "fire in place" by centering the joystick and pressing and holding both buttons B and C.  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 buttons are held down and the joystick is centered.
    • 2 joysticks (preferred, left difficulty on B)
      • 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! :) 
    • QuadTari support has been added so that both players can each use 2 joysticks in a co-op game or 2 player alternating game (the QuadTari is an adapter being developed that allows you to connect up to 4 joysticks to the Atari, available in late 2020/early 2021)
  • High score saving to Atarivox has been added (disabled in the demo)
  • The player can select the wave they want to start at at the beginning of the game (01-40).  (for the demo, you can select to start at wave 01 or wave 11 only)
  • Full animated intro story with scoring added (only first 2 pages available in demo).

 

The demo is full functional with the following features disabled (they have all been implemented and will be included in the full version):

 

  • 2 player alternating play mode is disabled
  • High score saving to Atarivox is disabled
  • Player can only select starting wave 1 or wave 11 for a 1 player game (in the full version players will be able to select waves 01 - 40)
  • Once 10 levels are complete, the game wraps back to the starting level.
  • The scoring instruction screen only shows the first two pages of instructions.

I estimate the game to be about 98% done (7 bytes left!) and we're shooting for a release in the AtariAge store sometime in 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.   Also, it should be noted that the ROM will not work on very old Harmony carts as it uses a part of the ARM that contains a bug in older revisions.  If there is a demand for it, I may try to put together a build that can work on old Harmony carts with some features disabled (the issue is that the ARM feature is required for the later levels when there are 100+ enemies on screen 😕 ).  Of course, the released cart will contain the latest Melody board which will work on all Atari 2600 models. :)  

 

Any feedback is appreciated!

 

Have fun!

John

 

robotwar_20201004_demo_NTSC.bin

 

robotwar_20201004_demo_PAL60.bin

 

robotwar_20201004_demo_NTSC_1.thumb.png.ad5856f10c69572fb87f104b740a0e6e.png

 

 

Edited by johnnywc
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What horrible timing on my part. We bought a new house recently so I've already packed up my Atari gear so I can't try this on my harmony and I'll have to settle for emulation. 2021 already sounds like it's going to be a much better year.

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I saw somebody on Facebook say that they were getting an Invalid Instructions error in Stella.  I tried to reply there, but it won't let me post the screenshots - so I posted a link to my reply here.

 

This error can occur if the Developer settings are enabled and Random startup bank is checked.

The error occurs if the randomly selected bank contains ARM code instead of 6507 code. To prevent this on real hardware the DPC+, CDFJ, and BUS schemes always start in a predefined bank. This developer feature should probably be ignored for these schemes.

 

792332348_ScreenShot2020-10-05at9_43_26AM.thumb.png.04fa3f6f7295c0aef29d1920f6c07028.png

 

1182705743_ScreenShot2020-10-05at9_44_00AM.thumb.png.0a84d5aad0290ebb388c5de8f2e73310.png

 

 

Disable this option and RobotWar: 2600 will run as expected.

908823287_ScreenShot2020-10-05at9_55_23AM.thumb.png.0cd99532070554ff5d9a99ac0ce64170.png

 

8269937_ScreenShot2020-10-05at9_56_06AM.thumb.png.8426331728687af4c398ec1311815337.png

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2 minutes ago, SpiceWare said:

To prevent this on real hardware the DPC+, CDFJ, and BUS schemes always start in a predefined bank. This developer feature should probably be ignored for these schemes.

We're about to do a new release this week.  I can disable random startup bank for these schemes, and have it in the next release.

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21 minutes ago, Cafeman said:

ROBOTWAR 2600 is a good name. 

Thanks!

21 minutes ago, Cafeman said:

Was the name change preemptive,  or demanded? 

Both. ;)   Demanded by @Albert. :lol: :cool:

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Great work guys - looking forward to giving this a run! Thanks for the PAL build also 👋

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18 hours ago, SpiceWare said:

This error can occur if the Developer settings are enabled and Random startup bank is checked.

Note: Though disabled by default, Random startup bank can also be enabled in Player settings.

 

This can be useful e.g. when new ROMs show up, which start in different banks than expected. With Random startup banks enabled, they will at least sometimes start correctly.

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5 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Note: Though disabled by default, Random startup bank can also be enabled in Player settings.

 

This can be useful e.g. when new ROMs show up, which start in different banks than expected. With Random startup banks enabled, they will at least sometimes start correctly.

 

Thanks, didn't realize that.  Just tried it:

764513866_ScreenShot2020-10-06at9_39_50AM.thumb.png.e59d69e354629fe7706504af7182ce93.png

and encountered different crashes:

1518087580_ScreenShot2020-10-06at9_40_46AM.thumb.png.fd45708e269406ceea41d3e804dde588.png

 

2089133641_ScreenShot2020-10-06at9_40_27AM.thumb.png.475346640fe519b44d7583bbfbee67b5.png

 

as well as the Invalid Instruction one:

 

375902942_ScreenShot2020-10-06at9_40_59AM.thumb.png.111f114bf2b5559f65ce00304f49922c.png

 

Switched back to Developer Mode and tested some more.  While it was mostly the Invalid Instruction screen, the black crash screen did show up on occasion (as did a valid game screen).

 

Looks like @stephena already committed an update for this, though I noticed a red X I've not seen before. I clicked it and it indicates a failure:

1754044300_ScreenShot2020-10-06at9_48_43AM.thumb.png.a1eefbf156328288f78d9a22526c9248.png

 

The following commits all have green checks, so it's probably OK:

 

1363142638_ScreenShot2020-10-06at9_50_41AM.thumb.png.50ea923a3a7a32babf001883f3774839.png

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The 'X' was because of issues on the build server itself, not relating to the code.  As you noted, later commits build fine, so this is fixed.  In fact, the CDF issue was fixed a few months ago; the commit above was to fix DPC+ and BUS in the same way.

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On 9/20/2020 at 2:23 PM, D Train said:

apropos of nothing...

 

in the mid 90s, when I lived in the french quarter in new orleans, there was a guy who owned a few record stores there who called himself "Record Ron"

 

he bought ads on the carriage horses that clopped through the french quarter that showed the addresses of the stores and a little picture of himself, saying "Tell me I sent you!" which was ridiculous and both does and does not make sense.

 

So seeing "Robot Ron" makes me think of "Tell me I sent you!"

 

I know that no one will care about that (other than maybe @Arenafoot if he was visiting the french quarter then) but thought that I would bring it up on account of we are all friends here.

Love the story, love the user name! 😄 👍

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Hello all - 

 

Has anyone been able to give the latest demo a run thru?  Any feedback on game play, difficulty ramping, bugs, screen rolls (if playing on real hardware), etc. is greatly appreciated! :D 

 

Thanks,

John

 

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I just played this for about 45 minutes in the Stella emulator with a PS4 controller.

 

Gameplay- excellent as far as I could tell. I did switch from Direct 3d to OpenGLES2 in Stella and the game felt overall faster. Not sure why on that one. The ramping of difficulty between Standard, Novice, and advanced all felt like an appropriate difference. I enjoyed looking at the different enemies on each stage so much that most of the time it ended up causing my deaths. The movement of your character feels a bit slower than when playing in mame, and a bit slower than the 7800 version. But overall not game breaking. Also your shooting when changing directions feels a bit slow, and possibly could be a bit faster.

 

The overall presentation and look of the game is unique enough to feel like a true 2600 port of the game. The transition screen looks very VCS to me and so do the enemies, especially the standard robotron robots.

 

If their are any bugs I haven’t noticed any yet. I’ll keep playing tonight for a couple hours and update this thread if I find anything.

 

I’m really impressed by this effort to bring my favorite game of all time to my favorite system of all time. This is at the top of my Christmas list in whatever year this game comes out. Thanks for making the demo available to try, it’s been a great time! Once my 2600 is back from being modded I look forward to trying this on a harmony cart.

 

Thanks again!!

 

P.S. I’ve logged hundreds of hours playing Robotron on the 7800 with an Edladdin controller and this game feels great to me so far. I’ve played the original game on mame, and ports of the 800, and 5200 versions. I think this is as close to a port of the arcade version as I would expect to the 2600. I like the way it looks and plays just as much as the 7800 version, which has been my favorite version until now.

 

 

I was thinking of possibly an expert variation where you could have friendly fire and kill the humans your trying to save. That would make your shots have to be very precise. Or possibly friendly fire co-op mode. As it is now it’s an incredible game though.

 

 

 

 

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I just played this for about 45 minutes in the Stella emulator with a PS4 controller.  

Gameplay- excellent as far as I could tell. I did switch from Direct 3d to OpenGLES2 in Stella and the game felt overall faster. Not sure why on that one. The ramping of difficulty between Standard, Novice, and advanced all felt like an appropriate difference. I enjoyed looking at the different enemies on each stage so much that most of the time it ended up causing my deaths. The movement of your character feels a bit slower than when playing in mame, and a bit slower than the 7800 version. But overall not game breaking. Also your shooting when changing directions feels a bit slow, and possibly could be a bit faster.

 

The overall presentation and look of the game is unique enough to feel like a true 2600 port of the game. The transition screen looks very VCS to me and so do the enemies, especially the standard robotron robots.

 

If their are any bugs I haven’t noticed any yet. I’ll keep playing tonight for a couple hours and update this thread if I find anything.

 

I’m really impressed by this effort to bring my favorite game of all time to my favorite system of all time. This is at the top of my Christmas list in whatever year this game comes out. Thanks for making the demo available to try, it’s been a great time! Once my 2600 is back from being modded I look forward to trying this on a harmony cart.

 

Thanks again!!

 

P.S. I’ve logged hundreds of hours playing Robotron on the 7800 with an Edladdin controller and this game feels great to me so far. I’ve played the original game on mame, and ports of the 800, and 5200 versions. I think this is as close to a port of the arcade version as I would expect to the 2600. I like the way it looks and plays just as much as the 7800 version, which has been my favorite version until now.

 

 

I was thinking of possibly an expert variation where you could have friendly fire and kill the humans your trying to save. That would make your shots have to be very precise. Or possibly friendly fire co-op mode. As it is now it’s an incredible game though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know after playing it again for awhile the movement and shooting speed feel right. It just has different sized sprites and a different sized play field area in relation to the 7800 and arcade versions. I think it’s just getting used to the space between objects and the time of your shot direction when switching between different versions on different systems.

 

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I played it a bunch last night and today. After plugging my PS4 controller in and not using it through Bluetooth I noticed the controls felt just right. I think there was a bit of lag over Bluetooth.

 

Wonderful game! I’m really having a great time.

 

The way it looks and feels like a 2600 game but plays like the arcade and 7800 is an amazing achievement. This might be the greatest Homebrew ever created.

 

Galagon, Mappy, and Wizard of Wor are the other games of yours that I own. I adore those games as well. But the amount of things going on at the same time on the screen in this game makes it feel like it’s on another level.

 

I’m not trying to add to your workflow or give you ideas but you could probably pull of bringing Tempest to the 2600. Having Robotron on the 2600 is enough for me to die a happy man though.

 

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21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I just played this for about 45 minutes in the Stella emulator with a PS4 controller.

 

Gameplay- excellent as far as I could tell. I did switch from Direct 3d to OpenGLES2 in Stella and the game felt overall faster. Not sure why on that one. The ramping of difficulty between Standard, Novice, and advanced all felt like an appropriate difference. I enjoyed looking at the different enemies on each stage so much that most of the time it ended up causing my deaths. The movement of your character feels a bit slower than when playing in mame, and a bit slower than the 7800 version. But overall not game breaking. Also your shooting when changing directions feels a bit slow, and possibly could be a bit faster.

Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you're enjoying the game!  I agree, the mutant does move a bit slower to accommodate the smaller screen vs. the arcade/7800 version, but I can easily speed it up a bit if needed.  I'm not sure what you mean by shooting when changing directions feels a bit slow; there is a small delay in between shots, but perhaps that should be removed if you're firing in a different direction than the last shot?  ie.  If you shoot two missiles to the left, there is an 8 frame delay between shots.  However, if you shoot up and then quickly shoot down (using two sticks), perhaps it should do so without the 8 frame delay?  :ponder:  

21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

The overall presentation and look of the game is unique enough to feel like a true 2600 port of the game. The transition screen looks very VCS to me and so do the enemies, especially the standard robotron robots.

I agree; it's definitely Robotron but with the unique 2600 look and feel. :D  

21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

If their are any bugs I haven’t noticed any yet. I’ll keep playing tonight for a couple hours and update this thread if I find anything.

There are a couple bugs in the demo; most notably I think on wave 9 if you are in the far right and shooting up or down, your missiles are invisible (I've fixed that in the latest dev version).  We've tweaked the game a bit since then and have logged about 10 hours of playtime and have not found any major bugs yet.  Thanks in advance for the testing! :thumbsup: 

21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I’m really impressed by this effort to bring my favorite game of all time to my favorite system of all time. This is at the top of my Christmas list in whatever year this game comes out. Thanks for making the demo available to try, it’s been a great time! Once my 2600 is back from being modded I look forward to trying this on a harmony cart.

Thanks and you're welcome!  We were originally planning a holiday 2020 release but since Zoo Keeper and Avalanche have been delayed in the store (plus we're still working on the artwork for RobotWar, being done by David Exton), we're pushing the release to early 2021 (not sure exactly when yet).  I've been playing extensively on real hardware (no slowdown of course ;) ) and spent a lot of time optimizing the code to eliminate screen rolls, especially on level 40 expert with 100+ enemies.  😮  

21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

P.S. I’ve logged hundreds of hours playing Robotron on the 7800 with an Edladdin controller and this game feels great to me so far. I’ve played the original game on mame, and ports of the 800, and 5200 versions. I think this is as close to a port of the arcade version as I would expect to the 2600. I like the way it looks and plays just as much as the 7800 version, which has been my favorite version until now.

Thanks! :thumbsup:  

21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

 

I was thinking of possibly an expert variation where you could have friendly fire and kill the humans your trying to save. That would make your shots have to be very precise. Or possibly friendly fire co-op mode. As it is now it’s an incredible game though.

Excellent idea - I was thinking the same thing!  However, adding in a different skill level is tough code wise (not much left) and also I would need to take up more Savekey slots to store Expert high scores (I try to keep it to 2 savekey slots to save some for everyone else! :) ).  I usually add those type of features using the difficulty switches, but those are currently being reserved for enabling Autofire.   With that said, I think being able to shoot the humans sounds cool but in the end I think it would be frustrating for players, especially on the harder levels where you need to blast stuff blindly just to survive for a few seconds (same with shooting your partner in co-op).  I'll think about it though; thanks for the suggestions!

21 hours ago, adamchevy said:

 

I don’t know after playing it again for awhile the movement and shooting speed feel right. It just has different sized sprites and a different sized play field area in relation to the 7800 and arcade versions. I think it’s just getting used to the space between objects and the time of your shot direction when switching between different versions on different systems.

 

That makes sense - I'm glad you're getting used to it and enjoying it! :thumbsup:  

Just now, adamchevy said:

I played it a bunch last night and today. After plugging my PS4 controller in and not using it through Bluetooth I noticed the controls felt just right. I think there was a bit of lag over Bluetooth.

Oh okay, that makes sense.  Once you get your Harmony back and play it on real hardware (no lag :D ) I'm sure it will play even better! 🤞

Just now, adamchevy said:

Wonderful game! I’m really having a great time.

 

Thanks - I'm glad you're enjoying it!  We've had fun making it (and playing it) too! ;) :P  

 

Thanks again for the feedback!

 

John

 

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This game is honest to goodness twin-stick fun! Loving it. No slowdown or screen rolls even at the highest levels and minimized flicker even on the 2084 screens. This is ready for prime time.👍

 

Thanks John.

723A3896-0D57-419D-ABB7-894F7B703DE6.jpeg
 

5CBF2CBE-51EE-4023-AB06-B9CAAC8D4831.jpeg

Edited by sramirez2008
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