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Posted (edited)

Doggone It!

4K – NTSC & PAL60– Assembly – One player

7/5/2020 - Added binary for PAL60 version.

 

After growing up with the Atari 2600 in the 80’s, I rediscovered it a while back.  I obtained a Light Sixer from a local gaming store and started collecting games.  Soon, I became curious to see what it would take to make a game.  I had an idea for one based on some real life events.  Once I stumbled upon the Atari homebrew scene, I took the plunge and decided to make the game.  To pay homage to those early developers that brought me so much joy as a kid, I decided to make it in Assembly and limit the size to 4K.  After teaching myself Assembly, adjusting game mechanics as I learned the programming limitations, and more than just a few screen rolls later, I would like to share my game, Doggone It!, with the AtariAge community.

 

After having an inner circle of game testers play the game and a few revisions already taken place, I am considering this version to be a final release candidate.  I welcome any feedback, suggestions, and of course, discovery of any bugs/issues.  Also, I would be interested in your best scores.

 

While there is a story behind the game and my AtariAge display name, I would rather focus on the gameplay for now.  My graphic designer is currently working on developing artwork and a manual that will include more background on the game’s story.  In the meantime, I have thrown together a quick start guide, included in this post, presenting a condensed version of the essential information.  If there are any game elements that are not clear, I will certainly attempt to address them in this forum.

 

Thanks and enjoy.

 

- Andrew a.k.a. “Armscar Coder”

Doggone_It!.bin Doggone It! quick start guide.pdf

Doggone_It!_PAL60.bin

Edited by Armscar Coder
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This resonates with me since I have an unreasonable fear of dogs myself.  :P

 

Anyway, this looks really good! Great graphics, fun gameplay, and good difficulty scaling.  Lots of fun! 👍

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It looks really good and was fun to play - very professional effort.  Reminded me a little of Paperboy or Trashman.  I managed to score 12576 🙂

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Love the cat petting bonus!  That is supposed to be a bonus, right?  Would be funny if the cat followed you after you pet it and scared away the dogs, but that would probably be too much of a bonus.  Managed to get 20,147 so far.

 

Really nice graphics and intuitive game play! 

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The cat can give a powerup that is triggered by the button. I've gotten 2 packages for the price of one, and double speed so far.

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Absolutely love the game, why hasn't anyone made a game like this till now? Love the idea and it's fun to play, look forward to seeing updates.

Sent from my SM-T727V using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

Great game, i would love to have a PAL version..

 

the zero of your score font does not have the same style than the other digits. The zero is round while the others are square.

Edited by Al_Nafuur

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1 hour ago, Kevin McGrath said:

Love the cat petting bonus!  That is supposed to be a bonus, right?  Would be funny if the cat followed you after you pet it and scared away the dogs, but that would probably be too much of a bonus.  Managed to get 20,147 so far.

 

Really nice graphics and intuitive game play! 

As Karl G pointed out, petting Crazy Culvert Kitty earns you a power-up that can be triggered by the fire button.  The first version of the game had the randomly chosen power-up become active immediately.  One of my first playtesters suggested being able to trigger the power-up on demand and be rewarded for not using it.  I agreed and decided to add the power-up icons to let you know what power-up is stored.  I thought this modification added to the potential game play strategies.  One of my favorites is to activate the double package power just as I am about to deliver a package, allowing it to count as two packages.  I am then usually able to go get another package and deliver it before the power-up ends.  So, you end up getting four packages delivered for the price of two.  But if you are interested in maximizing your score, be sure to hold on to a power-up in Hank's power pocket to get the 1000 point bonus at the start of the next level.

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43 minutes ago, Al_Nafuur said:

Great game, i would love to have a PAL version..

 

the zero of your score font does not have the same style than the other digits. The zero is round while the others are square.

I would have to study up on what it would take make a PAL version, not to mention convince my wife I need to spend more time on this game.

 

Since my score display ended up being a little on the short and fat side, I consciously made the zero round to visually help distinguish it from an eight.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Armscar Coder said:

I would have to study up on what it would take make a PAL version, not to mention convince my wife I need to spend more time on this game.

You just need to change the colors for an PAL60 version.
There is a very good tool at @Random Terrain 's website:
https://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-tia-color-charts.html#ntsc_pal_color_conversion
 

Edited by Al_Nafuur

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Now this is cool! I just played it briefly on Javatari on my phone but I love everything - the gameplay, graphics, power ups, theme. All are great and work well. 

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16 hours ago, Armscar Coder said:

I would have to study up on what it would take make a PAL version, not to mention convince my wife I need to spend more time on this game.

 

As Al_Nafuur said, for a PAL60 version, it's just a matter of changing color values. That's it. It helps to have your color values in the code use symbols, and then define the value of the symbols based on if you are compiling for NTSC or PAL60. Here's an example with DASM from a game I'm working on:

 

;PAL60=1
 ifnconst PAL60
forecolor =             $0A
dforecolor =			$18
textcolor =             $0A
dstatuscolor =          $06
water_color =           $82
lava_color =            $42
castle_color =          $62
castle_basement_color = $02
acadia_color =          $22
stoneheart_color =      $F2
house_color =           $E2
oak_color =             $C2
dungeon_color =         $F4
duskgrove_color =       $E2
plains_arena_color =        $E2
forest_arena_color =        $D2
stat_color =            $A6
stat_highlight_color =  $AC
stat_number_color =     $0C
stat_not_selected =     $06
title_border_color =    $88
title_mountain_color =  $F6

 else
 
forecolor =             $0C
dforecolor =			$28
textcolor =             $0C
dstatuscolor =          $06
water_color =           $D4
lava_color =            $64
castle_color =          $A4
castle_basement_color = $04
acadia_color =          $44
stoneheart_color =      $22
house_color =           $32
oak_color =             $54
dungeon_color =         $24
duskgrove_color =       $34
plains_arena_color =    $34
forest_arena_color =    $54
stat_color =            $96
stat_highlight_color =  $9C
stat_number_color =     $0C
stat_not_selected =     $06
title_border_color =    $D8
title_mountain_color =  $26
 endif

In this case, I just uncomment the "PAL60=1" if I want to build a PAL60 version, or leave it commented for NTSC.

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Posted (edited)

We'll be checking out Doggone It! on tomorrow's (Tue Jun 30 <- NEW DAY) ZeroPage Homebrew stream LIVE on Twitch at 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!

 

Games:

 

 (SET VIDEO TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY)

 

 

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew
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On 6/29/2020 at 3:12 PM, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

We'll be checking out Doggone It! on tomorrow's (Tue Jun 30 <- NEW DAY) ZeroPage Homebrew stream LIVE on Twitch at 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!

 

Games:

 

1674827239_20200630-LetsPlay.thumb.jpg.f3b694ccd6fdd8ca67e79a3e7c2bc205.jpg

 

Thanks to ZeroPage Homebrew for playing Doggone It! on the show.  It was surreal to see my game being played by others online.  Even though it was a late night, my family and I had a blast watching James and Tanya playing it.  The show is great because it gives all developers a chance to show their work, whether it be a small game or the next mega-hit.

 

My next steps are to make a PAL version for Al_Nafuur (and our other overseas friends) and to keep working with my graphic designer on the artwork, manual, and box design.  I am planning on a limited run of cartridges with manuals and boxes to distribute to family and friends.  I will probably end up ordering a nice round number of cartridges, so I anticipate having a few extras.  If anyone would be interested in having a copy of the game for free, let me know, and when they become available (I don’t anticipate that being until the fall or later) I will send them to you.  If there is more interest than I have spare copies of the game, I will have to do a drawing out of a hat or something.

 

Just to clarify a few things from the show:

- On level 2, the gong can be hit as many times as you want, but you have to leave the hospital waiting room before hitting it again (essentially, Hank’s feet have to be in the green grass).

 

- The game does a play a little long and easy in the earlier levels, but it does ramp up.  I have attached a chart that shows the difficulty progression.  I didn’t want the early levels too hard for my kids.  For the record, I have yet to get through all of the difficulty levels myself, but I have come close.

 

- The use of power-ups is such that there are a lot of possibilities and strategies, some of which I am sure I haven’t yet considered.  James and Tanya were using the double package power-up very effectively by activating it just before delivering a package, giving Hank enough time to go get another package and delivering it before the power-up ended.  There is a balance for using a power-up and holding on to it for maximizing points.  Getting the 1000 points at the start of the next level is a lot, but it is your reward for not using the power-up.  Trust me, when you get to the later levels, you will need to use the power-up.

 

-  The one power-up that was not seen randomly chosen during the show was the dog invincibility.  In my opinion, this is the best one for level 3 (although the fast feet is my favorite).  My least favorite is the truck pause.  I usually go ahead and use it as soon as Crazy Culvert Kitty comes out in hopes of storing a better power-up for later.

 

-  Per one of the chat comments, yes, two packages at 200 points each does not equal 500 points, but it is an added bonus for delivering a package with the double package power.  Also, you still get the 500 points for two packages even if you only have one package left to deliver and do so when the double package power is active.

 

Another chat comment from the show was something in regards to art imitates life.  This is very true for Doggone It!  The story behind my game is that it is a dedication and thanks to some of those that have helped me with my cancer journey.  In July of 2018 (almost exactly two years ago), I had my second surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on my tongue along with the right half of my tongue, only to be replaced by fatty tissue from my left arm (the twelve inch scar that resulted is the inspiration for my AtariAge profile name and logo).  After seven weeks of radiation and chemotherapy following surgery, I was considered to be in remission.  During my treatments and recovery I was very uncomfortable and used all of my time watching something, anything to take my mind off of the discomfort.  At some point, I stumbled upon a YouTube video showing fifteen seconds of every original Atari 2600 game ever made.  After watching it three times, I decided to get my own original Atari and soon became re-hooked to this vintage system.  At the same time I was thinking of ways to thank certain groups of people who had helped me along the way.  What could I do for others that would be on par with saving my life?  Put them in a video game of course!  Both my surgery and treatments were in a different state than the one I reside in.  Level 1 is dedicated to our best friends who allowed us to live with them during the seven weeks of radiation/chemotherapy treatments.  The playfield is their wooded yard and the dog is their dog, Tinker, who does run wildly around the yard.  Level 2 is dedicated to my surgeon and radiation oncologist.  The playfield is a hospital waiting room.  And yes, there is a gong that radiation patients strike after they complete their treatment plan.  Also, I was visited by a therapy dog twice after my surgery.  The game premise of level 2 is that the therapy dogs have banded together and are on strike in the waiting room.  Level 3 is dedicated to my employer who not only kept me employed, but provided benefits with full pay while I was away from work.  My family didn’t have to worry about money and that was a good thing.  The setting for level 3 is a manufacturing plant that makes “hot dog” heaters.  Some of the hot dogs have come to life and are running around sabotaging the fork trucks and machines.  Those are flames coming off of their backs (my kernel was limited to one color for the dogs and that was the best I could do for flames with the limited frames I had for the sprite).  The recipient, Dwight, is jumping from machine to machine trying to fix the machines.  Your goal is to deliver spare parts ordered for overnight delivery to him.

 

I am not a technology guy.  I am not comfortable in online chats or forums (this is the first one I have ever participated in and I am sure I am doing things wrong).  I don’t text.  I do have a cell phone in case my car breaks down, but believe it or not, I don’t know my own phone number.  I am just a guy that likes to code and happens to be an Atari 2600 fan.  I thank everyone for allowing me to be a very small part of this community and I especially appreciate all of the positive feedback on the game.  The response has been such that I may even consider making another one.

 

Difficulty Chart.PNG

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Amazing story and journey. I'm glad to see your on the other side of things and you used them as an inspiration in therapy to keep your mind on other things. I really enjoy your game, I'm sure this community welcomes any new stuff you may produce in the future. As far as not having a cell or anything, sometimes folks wish they could unplug like that and truly get a break from the non stop information overload. I work for Verizon and deal with lots of folks who have gone through journeys like yourself as well as the no phone thing. Your an inspiration to us all, I'd be interested in a cart when they become available.

Sent from my SM-T727V using Tapatalk

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Thank you for sharing both your game and your story.  From watching and playing your game and reading your post one can sense your personal experiences in the care in which you presented every aspect, from the playfield to the people and dogs.  I wish you well in your continued journey.  I look forward to showing your creation with my children, as I believe they would truly enjoy it as well.

And I had commented on the video but was unaware that the game does speed up.  Your chart and instructions are very nice too.  If you ever get this made into a cart that would be awesome, as I think this is a perfect example of a game that deserves to be out there in every possible way! 

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I appreciate you sharing your personal story as well as your game. I am hoping that you choose to stick around here regardless of whether or not you choose to make another game. 🙂

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12 hours ago, Armscar Coder said:

Thanks to ZeroPage Homebrew for playing Doggone It! on the show.  It was surreal to see my game being played by others online.  Even though it was a late night, my family and I had a blast watching James and Tanya playing it.  The show is great because it gives all developers a chance to show their work, whether it be a small game or the next mega-hit.

You're so welcome, it was a lot of fun playing your game on the stream. What an incredible story behind the inspiration for the game, thank you so much for sharing it with us!

 

Welcome to the community and I hope you continue to make great games like this one!

 

- James

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for making this game Armscar Coder. I had fun playing it today. Tomorrow my 3 year old is getting to play it, i think he will love the dogs. Saw it on the Zeropage show and it was a standout. Cheers

Edited by MarcoJ

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I am enjoying this! I think I would like it if there were more dogs and obstacles. Also, I wouldn't mind if the dogs couldn't pass through the objects :)

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I was unaware of this game until ZPH showed it.  It is quite fun!

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Posted (edited)
You did this wonderful game with only 4kb?
I imagine expanding to 8, 16 or 32k.
I love to play this game, just addictive!
Edited by alfredtdk

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