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Champ Games - Lady Bug Arcade (2600)

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*** EDIT: The ROMs for the first public demo of Lady Bug Arcade can be found in this post! ***

 

Hello all,


Today marks 15 years since I first posted on AtariAge about my intention to develop Lady Bug for the Atari 2600.  :o 

 

To mark the anniversary, Champ Games has started work on Lady Bug Arcade which will be an enhanced version of the 2006 version of Lady Bug using the latest technology.

 

The planned improvements are:

 

- full 11x11 arcade maze (2006 version was 11x9) and the correct # of dots

- 20 independent doors (2006 version had 16 symmetrical doors)

- flicker-less maze using alternating playfield colors (2006 version used color-blending that tended to flicker)

- door opening animation

- enhanced status display on top showing SPECIAL, EXTRA and multiplier

- more arcade-authentic lady bug intro from the bottom of the screen

- multiple maze layouts selectable at the start of the game (or just play with the arcade maze)

- high score saving to SaveKey

- high score initial entry screen similar to the arcade

- scoring and instruction animation screen similar to the arcade

- up to 6 skulls per level (2006 version had a max of 2)

- improved graphics, including multi-colored veggie graphics

- 2 player alternating and possibly 2 player co-op (or vs.) mode

 

The 2006 version featured amazing graphics by @Nathan Strum and he has graciously offered to update some of the graphics, most notably the enemy graphics since they all need to be 1 line shorter to fit in the new screen dimensions.  The new version will still feature the awesome sounds by Bob DeCrescenzo (aka @PacManPlus).  

 

Here is a screenshot of the current work-in-progress:

 

 

ladybug_arcade_3.thumb.png.417a7506cec98da7314efaf1f68c7502.png

 

EDIT: (2021-01-15)  I figured out how to display the maze and dots in 3 colors (pink, green and white) with no black lines and barely any flicker! :D  I also have the reserve/score display working properly, and it alternates with the PART/veggie display:

 

ladybug_arcade_4.thumb.png.1a1b5dd828de8a4df53891baaeaeb769.pngladybug_arcade_5.thumb.png.566dd239ede805c90638595b835c4f41.png

I also captured a video of the first level, but the resolution is terrible (480p) and the status area doesn't show up correctly, but it does show the arcade maze and door animations:

 

 

We have not made any decisions about when and how Lady Bug Arcade will be released, but we plan on having it completed before the end of the year to coincide with it's 15 year anniversary.  I will also post a demo in the next month or so when I have something playable.

 

Thanks,

John

 

Edited by johnnywc
Added link to demo ROMs
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17 minutes ago, johnnywc said:

Hello all,


Today marks 15 years since I first posted on AtariAge about my intention to develop Lady Bug for the Atari 2600.  :o 

 

To mark the anniversary, Champ Games has started work on Lady Bug Arcade which will be an enhanced version of the 2006 version of Lady Bug using the latest technology.

 

The planned improvements are:

 

- full 11x11 arcade maze (2006 version was 11x9) and the correct # of dots

- 20 independent doors (2006 version had 16 symmetrical doors)

- flicker-less maze using alternating playfield colors (2006 version used color-blending that tended to flicker)

- door opening animation

- enhanced status display on top showing SPECIAL, EXTRA and multiplier

- more arcade-authentic lady bug intro from the bottom of the screen

- multiple maze layouts selectable at the start of the game (or just play with the arcade maze)

- high score saving to SaveKey

- high score initial entry screen similar to the arcade

- scoring and instruction animation screen similar to the arcade

- up to 6 skulls per level (2006 version had a max of 2)

- improved graphics, including multi-colored veggie graphics

- 2 player alternating and possibly 2 player co-op (or vs.) mode

 

The 2006 version featured amazing graphics by @Nathan Strum and he has graciously offered to update some of the graphics, most notably the enemy graphics since they all need to be 1 line shorter to fit in the new screen dimensions.  The new version will still feature the awesome sounds by Bob DeCrescenzo (aka @PacManPlus).  

 

Here is a screenshot of the current work-in-progress:

 

 

ladybug_arcade_3.thumb.png.417a7506cec98da7314efaf1f68c7502.png

 

I also captured a video of the first level, but the resolution is terrible (480p) and the status area doesn't show up correctly, but it does show the arcade maze and door animations:

 

 

We have not made any decisions about when and how Lady Bug Arcade will be released, but we plan on having it completed before the end of the year to coincide with it's 15 year anniversary.  I will also post a demo in the next month or so when I have something playable.

 

Thanks,

John

 

Awesome John!

Will this replace the other Lady Bug in the AA store in the future?

 

 

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Just now, Arenafoot said:

Will this replace the other Lady Bug in the AA store in the future?

I hope not. The original is excellent and deserves to stay.

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3 minutes ago, Arenafoot said:

Awesome John!

Thanks Brian!

3 minutes ago, Arenafoot said:

Will this replace the other Lady Bug in the AA store in the future?

 

No, I don't have any plans on removing Lady Bug from the AA store.  Lady Bug Arcade isn't intended to replace Lady Bug, just to be an improved version (think Breakout and Super Breakout ;) ).  Plus, if Lady Bug Arcade is sold through AA, it will most likely be at a price double of what Lady Bug retails for, so I still see it filling a need (plus it's 4th all time in sales for 2600 homebrews :P ).  

1 minute ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

I hope not. The original is excellent and deserves to stay.

Thanks TJ! :D 

 

 

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Awesome news and so glad to see the champ games train rolling strong. I'll definitely be buying this when released. I know it's early on but will the label and box art be the same other than a name change or are you going to completely redesign it?

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Just now, AtariLeaf said:

Awesome news and so glad to see the champ games train rolling strong. I'll definitely be buying this when released. I know it's early on but will the label and box art be the same other than a name change or are you going to completely redesign it?

Thanks!  Nathan has mentioned that he is interested in re-doing the label and box art if there is a physical re-release. :) 

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1 hour ago, johnnywc said:

Hello all,


Today marks 15 years since I first posted on AtariAge about my intention to develop Lady Bug for the Atari 2600.  :o 

 

To mark the anniversary, Champ Games has started work on Lady Bug Arcade which will be an enhanced version of the 2006 version of Lady Bug using the latest technology.

 

The planned improvements are:

 

- full 11x11 arcade maze (2006 version was 11x9) and the correct # of dots

- 20 independent doors (2006 version had 16 symmetrical doors)

- flicker-less maze using alternating playfield colors (2006 version used color-blending that tended to flicker)

- door opening animation

- enhanced status display on top showing SPECIAL, EXTRA and multiplier

- more arcade-authentic lady bug intro from the bottom of the screen

- multiple maze layouts selectable at the start of the game (or just play with the arcade maze)

- high score saving to SaveKey

- high score initial entry screen similar to the arcade

- scoring and instruction animation screen similar to the arcade

- up to 6 skulls per level (2006 version had a max of 2)

- improved graphics, including multi-colored veggie graphics

- 2 player alternating and possibly 2 player co-op (or vs.) mode

 

The 2006 version featured amazing graphics by @Nathan Strum and he has graciously offered to update some of the graphics, most notably the enemy graphics since they all need to be 1 line shorter to fit in the new screen dimensions.  The new version will still feature the awesome sounds by Bob DeCrescenzo (aka @PacManPlus).  

 

Here is a screenshot of the current work-in-progress:

 

 

ladybug_arcade_3.thumb.png.417a7506cec98da7314efaf1f68c7502.png

 

I also captured a video of the first level, but the resolution is terrible (480p) and the status area doesn't show up correctly, but it does show the arcade maze and door animations:

 

 

We have not made any decisions about when and how Lady Bug Arcade will be released, but we plan on having it completed before the end of the year to coincide with it's 15 year anniversary.  I will also post a demo in the next month or so when I have something playable.

 

Thanks,

John

 

Save a copy foe me :)

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2 hours ago, johnnywc said:

Thanks!  Nathan has mentioned that he is interested in re-doing the label and box art if there is a physical re-release. :) 

I can’t wait to add Lady Bug Arcade to my Champ Games Lady Bug collection (Original and Coleco). Looking forward to RC1 John, as well as, the new box & label. Lady Bug was my first Champ Games purchase and remains a regular in my rotation of games.👍

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This is super exciting. Ladybug is already my one of my all time favorite 2600 games, definitely in the top 3. Can't wait!

 

Sad fact: For all the times I've played it, I've never got a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. believe it or not.

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Looks outstanding@johnnywc as always. I'm a fan of your Ladybug for the 2600 and this will certainly be even more faithful to the arcade. Looks like new programing like CDFJ are making some things possible that may not have been in the past.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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Your games are top-notch! What I also like, you pick some really fun and sometimes underappreciated titles!

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Awesome! The earlier one is already incredible. I found out (thanks to MiSTer) there is a game on Ladybug hardware named Dorodon that got a port to MSX. I'm not sure if it's anywhere near as good as Ladybug, though. 

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i played the old one last night, im ready for the upgrade dawg!  love how this looks on the vcs, these arcade color choices featured in recent 32k atari games!!! yyyy!!!

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Apart from Mr.Do! it is the best game universal made. I love it very much. Champ Games 2006 version was already overwhelming, didn't think that could be done any better.
Just incredible! 🙂

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1 hour ago, MoonSpoon said:

Apart from Mr.Do! it is the best game universal made. I love it very much. Champ Games 2006 version was already overwhelming, didn't think that could be done any better.
Just incredible! 🙂

Sounds to me like Champ Games should tackle a port of Mr. Do for the 2600 😉

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1 hour ago, AtariLeaf said:

Sounds to me like Champ Games should tackle a port of Mr. Do for the 2600 😉

Or - even better IMO - a port of Mr. Do‘s castle 🤔

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Yes, that would be the greatest of course, but that would probably be too much of a challenge. Mr.Do! is just awesome. It has so much finesse. Let's be realistic, I think it's next to impossible to do the arcade version of Mr.Do!
but on the other hand Champ Games already accomplished the impossible several times. ;-)

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37 minutes ago, MoonSpoon said:

Yes, that would be the greatest of course, but that would probably be too much of a challenge. Mr.Do! is just awesome. It has so much finesse. Let's be realistic, I think it's next to impossible to do the arcade version of Mr.Do!
but on the other hand Champ Games already accomplished the impossible several times. ;-)

Sounds to me like you're issuing him a challenge. I like it 😁

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That looks awesome! Oh, I'd love to see a Mr. Do! Arcade.  That'd be fantastic.

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No, I don't want to challenge him. John really does amazing things, and I have the utmost respect for his performance. Of course it would make me, like many, overjoyed, but I would never ask for anything like that. This post is also about the fantastic new version of Lady Bug and this achievement should first be given adequate tribute.

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13 hours ago, MoonSpoon said:

No, I don't want to challenge him. John really does amazing things, and I have the utmost respect for his performance. Of course it would make me, like many, overjoyed, but I would never ask for anything like that. This post is also about the fantastic new version of Lady Bug and this achievement should first be given adequate tribute.

Hi there!

 

No worries, I like challenges. :)  More importantly, I like to make games that people want to play that I also have fond memories of playing as a kid.  I have to admit that I didn't play Mr. Do! a lot back in the day.  They had one at the Cumberland Farms next to my high school that I played probably a dozen times or so, but honestly I wasn't good at it and didn't really know what I was doing :lol:.  With that said, I think an updated 2600 port would be really cool!  My only concern is that the graphics and sound/music are integral to the game (two things I'm *not* good at), so if Champ Games did tackle this one day, I would need someone to help out with both.  @Nathan Strum is my graphics guy but I'm not sure if he's a fan of Mr. Do!.  Finding a sound/music guy is usually the biggest challenge, so if anyone is interested, send me a PM and maybe we can work something out! :D  

 

Back to Lady Bug Arcade, I had an epiphany last night and woke up with an idea about how to get the maze and dots displayed in 3 colors (pink, green, and white) with little or no flicker, and this is what the game looks like now  (on Stella, it looks equally as good with barely any flicker on my S-video modded Atari or my RF Atari on a CRT): 

 

ladybug_arcade_4.thumb.png.5149a0a96c2983c38125694d12e7a8db.png

You can still use the non-flickering alternating lines display using the right difficulty switch for those who are sensitive to flicker, although the flicker is barely noticeable IMO.  I would like to give a shout-out to @McCallister for inspiring me to 'think outside the box' and come up with a unique way to achieve this. :thumbsup: 

 

I've added the reserve/score display, and it alternates with the PART/veggie display:

 

ladybug_arcade_5.thumb.png.a226b18833909ebd9150ef5e55731933.png

 

I hope to have a demo posted sometime next month. :D  

 

Thanks,

John

 

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Wow! With this statement you really make me more than happy. 😄
John you are right, the graphics as well as the sound, especially the music, are an integral part of the game.
As an graphic artist I could even help you with the creation of the graphics, but I would certainly never be as good as Nathan. About his performance, I also take my hat off. 
 

Edited by MoonSpoon
spelling mistake
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