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Posted (edited)

Pitkat is a side view puzzle game for the Atari 2600. It introduces a new graphics engine that permits scrolling tile-based graphical representation. The game was featured on the ZeroPage Homebrew Show Friday 3rd July 2020. 

 

The latest release R1 is available below. This basically fixes Stella Developer Mode bugs, first order address of screen rolling and improves visibility of cursor on level select screen. More notes are in the readme.
 

PITKAT_R1.zip

Edited by MarcoJ
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Posted (edited)

We have the EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE of  PitKat on tomorrow's (Friday July 3) 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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Posted (edited)

Thanks to the ZeroPage Homebrew show for showcasing Pitkat. 

 

Here is the first release. 

 

Not sure why it fizzed out on Zeropage's Harmony. I used a regular Harmony (non encore) with a PALJR 2600 and 4 switch NTSC woody to test. Would be great to get feedback if anyone else experiences a game crash.

 

Cheers

Marco

 

Note: Depreciated release is deleted, please see top of forum for latest.

 

Edited by MarcoJ
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Cute game! Reminds me a lot of Boulder Dash, and the like. :3

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I didn't see the show, but I just downloaded the game it rolled like crazy in Stella.

 

If you haven't done so already, be sure to turn on developers mode in Stella to help find errors.

 

Looking through the debugger, I believe one problem is that a # is missing for ldx #3 in your source code. It is being compiled as ldx zeropage instead, and is loading CXP1FB which has a bunch of undefined bits. In developer mode of stella these bits get randomized so these errors become easy to detect. The line of code is here:

Pitkat.thumb.PNG.3cf7a5516a3d3124d510ccf9828265c7.PNG

 

 

 

 

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When going from one screen to another the game is loosing sync, at least in the NTSC version. The scanlines should be stable all of the time or else it will cause the TV screen to bounce or roll.

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Also, I just wanted to say I looked at your game some more, and I really love how you drew it.

 

I like that you avoided flicker altogether by just leaving the screen as is, and not trying to interlace the missing picture bits over multiple frames. It looks cool, and is unique so I appreciate it.

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Hi Omegamatrix. Thanks for your reply. Good find on the lda non #. This goes to show, even running on real hardware may not find bugs on other hardware systems. And for the roll, that's it, gotta fix it. Even if it demands a rom size sacrifice.

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I've been playing Milly and Molly for C64 (7800 wip) and this has a lot of similarities. Very impressed, hoping to play it on real hardware later.

Sent from my SM-T727V using Tapatalk

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Wow, this was a pleasant surprise.  VERY nice.  When you said "side view puzzle game" I imagined something else entirely.  I would have never expected a Millie & Mollie type puzzle game on the 2600.  Awesome work!  Thank you!

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I'm very impressed with this game, and the colorful tile kernel. I'm looking forward to playing future versions on my system. Stella with developer settings enabled can be a huge asset for catching these kinds of issues.

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Wow, just watched the replay of last nights ZPH and this is impressive! @MarcoJNot sure if this is your first 2600 game, but if it is, what a way to come out of the gate👍. Can't wait to download and give it a try. Thanks for the ROM.

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Excellent game!

 

Could you describe briefly how you use the Harmony’s resources (e.g. how much RAM, whether you use the ARM to emulate a display coprocessor or for actual game logic)?

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Posted (edited)

Hi All,

 

Thanks for your nice comments. Yes, this is my first 2600 game. The game uses the E7 banking scheme (16k ROM) and the full 2K of RAM. It doesn't use a co-processor. The 1K bank is solely for the 8 x 8 virtual display kernel, it contains code that runs in the ram. The tile addresses and colours are the modified portions of the display ram. The tile address is absolute and can be referenced from anywhere in memory space, though practically this is restricted to the current 256b RAM selection and the fixed 1.5K ROM portion at the end of ROM. Each tile can be any one colour in the 2600 Palette. The 4 x 256b banks are for timer/round display, tile map, tile set and rewind memory. The tile map supports 16 x 8 tiles (though could be 16x16 generically). The Tile RAM supports 32 tiles. The display supports use of both ROM addressed tiles and RAM addressed tiles. The character set uses direct ROM addressed tiles. The display takes 4 frames to update.

 

Feel free to use the first release on Stella. It works OK, though not in developer mode. I have tested the game with a regular Harmony cartridge on a PAL and NTSC Atari 2600 and has worked OK for extended periods. I would appreciate if the community could try the game out on real hardware too, especially a Harmony Encore (This proved unstable on ZPH's system). 

Currently I'm working on reducing or eliminating screen roll so it's more stable on digital TV hardware. I hope to get Pitkat out of the pit lane (excuse the pun) and back into the race soon.

Edited by MarcoJ
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Awesome game and graphics engine!  Thanks for sharing those details.  Kudos for trying something different and using the E7 bankswitching scheme.

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4 minutes ago, MarcoJ said:

Feel free to use the first release on Stella. It is works OK, though not in developer mode. I have tested the game with a regular Harmony cartridge on a PAL and NTSC Atari 2600 and has worked OK for extended periods. I would appreciate if the community could try the game out on real hardware too, especially a Harmony Encore (This proved unstable on ZPH's system).

I have tested the first 12 levels on a PAL 2600Jr. with the PlusCart and it was working fine. So UnoCart should work too.

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46 minutes ago, Al_Nafuur said:

I have tested the first 12 levels on a PAL 2600Jr. with the PlusCart and it was working fine. So UnoCart should work too.

Just tested the first 10 levels on my original Harmony, Harmony Encore and UnoCart. I can't commit, but my aim is to try to play through as many levels as possible sometime this weekend.  Loving the game mechanics, I did experience the screen roll (which Omegamatrix mentioned) upon each level start. 

 

Very nice game😄

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I tested on a Harmony Encore and an Unocart, and didn't get crashes, either. I did notice screen jumps during screen transitions as noted by others, however.

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If you find any bugs then either mention them here or email us at [email protected]

 

Hope everyone read the README.TXT and looked at the manual. :) Any feedback you have for that would be most appreciated too :)

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I put this game in the same category as Robomechanik, another excellent puzzle game that frustrates me to no end.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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I finally got a chance to watch the gameplay on ZPH. Impressive! Everything from the sound, tiles, gameplay, rewind, etc!

 

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48 minutes ago, KevKelley said:

I finally got a chance to watch the gameplay on ZPH. Impressive! Everything from the sound, tiles, gameplay, rewind, etc!

 

Feel free to play it, the download is on the 3rd post and works well in Stella. :)

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4 hours ago, Jamtex said:

Feel free to play it, the download is on the 3rd post and works well in Stella. :)

I must have skipped over that post! I will definitely have to check it out! It is sad a game like this had not came out during the life of the system.

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Nice game indeed. Watching on ZPH looked enjoyable.

I am new to the scene, so I don't have a reference on how hard that was to achieve, but looks awesome.

I will try on a PAL hardware and let you know.

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