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Champ Games - Lady Bug Arcade (2600)

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While we finish up the demo ROM for Lady Bug Arcade (expected to be posted in the upcoming week), here are a few teaser screenshots from the progress we've made:  :D 

 

 

Enhanced title screen.  Lady Bug Arcade will have 4 skill levels and support 1 or 2 players, plus we're planning on adding in a special 2 player versus mode where each player will take turns controlling the lady bug or the insects! 

ladybug_arcade_15.thumb.png.4bda1b622d9ab478eee7ab70d6bab44e.png

 

Full animated instructions, just like the arcade! 

ladybug_arcade_18.thumb.png.fdb151966f8cd8448b538f99af112a9e.png

 

Support for multiple mazes!  Choose from the arcade maze or five new mazes, or choose to play with all six in a game (either in rotation or random):

ladybug_arcade_20.thumb.png.3da8e17738357ce89d133dcf8b8efee4.png

 

Start level screen, now featuring multi-colored veggies (in game too), plus up to six skulls!  

ladybug_arcade_24.thumb.png.b7bb6f7cc7563771fb340fb6ae40c8cb.png

 

In-game action with new maze graphics that use a new method to alternate and mix colors to produce 3 color maze/dots with virtually no flicker:  (you will still be able to select the option to have separate colors per line with NO flicker)

ladybug_arcade_14.thumb.png.62fa4f29a95547d142e29f3a3d8f5939.png

 

Enhanced extra ladybug screen when you spell out EXTRA with yellow letters:

ladybug_arcade_22.thumb.png.7116d9cf7ddb15beab46eb730cbd2112.png

 

Arcade-like high score entry with no flicker!  (thanks @Omegamatrix - I finally used those kernels you wrote for me about 8 years ago. although I took a few creative liberties to get it to work within the existing LBA kernels ;)  ).

ladybug_arcade_19.thumb.png.7d9ce31b919e8bfa555001b111c0505d.png

 

Special thanks to @Nathan Strum for re-doing all of the graphics to fit the new screen height (and thanks again for doing the original sprites back in 2006! :D ).  Also thanks to @McCallister for game testing and feedback! :thumbsup: 

 

Thanks,

John

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Looks awesome! Love your old port and looking forward to the update.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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Looks great!

How did the screen height change? From to to?

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Looks great John! I'm glad the high score screen was added, but the rest of the game is very polished too. The enhanced ladybug screen looks beautiful, and I'm really looking forward to the improvements on how the maze was drawn.

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15 hours ago, sramirez2008 said:

Looking great! Can’t wait to see the demo ROM.👍

Thanks Steve!  I'll post it here sometime before Friday. :)  

15 hours ago, Prizrak said:

Looks awesome! Love your old port and looking forward to the update.
 

Thanks!  Having the original port to work off of has greatly sped up development, and it was quite interesting going back and try to decipher my own assembly code from 15 years ago! ;)  

8 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Looks great!

How did the screen height change? From to to?

Thanks TJ!  The screen height has changed from 200 to 208 (most modern Champ Games have a height of 208).  This allows me to have 12 lines for the top status , 6 lines for the timer (top and bottom), 179 lines for the maze (including the outside borders) and 11 for the bottom score/veggie display.  The vertical height of the tunnels in the maze was reduced from 14 to 13 so that's why Nathan re-did the graphics for all the insects and lady bug, plus he wanted to re-visit his own work from 2006.  

32 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

Looks great John! I'm glad the high score screen was added, but the rest of the game is very polished too.

Thanks Jeff!  I think my original plan back when I reached out to you for assistance was to expand the assembly-only 2006 version to 32K and add a few bells and whistles, but that was pre-ARM and I couldn't resist the dark side ;) and doing a complete re-write with major improvements like the arcade accurate maze and asymmetrical doors which would not be possible in an assembly-only version (at least not without extra RAM).  To get the spacing right with the high score screen, I couldn't find enough cycles to change the text color 3 times so I opted to have it just do it twice and put CLR/END/RUB on the right side, but it works pretty well. 

32 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

The enhanced ladybug screen looks beautiful, and I'm really looking forward to the improvements on how the maze was drawn.

Thanks - yes I think it looks pretty well!  The maze drawing probably isn't anything too ingenious as it's just alternating colors and the PF values per color each frame so the entire maze flickers at 30hz and doesn't have to blend the pink and the green colors.  However, since it's alternating every other line per frame (it draws both pink and green every frame but on alternating lines using interlacing, flipped each frame), the flicker is barely noticeable.  A nice coincidence is that pink and green, which happen to be the arcade colors, blend perfectly to create white for the dots (which don't flicker at all).  :D   The 2006 version of Lady Bug didn't have the advantage of the ARM to dynamically create the PF colors and values every frame so for that version I had to blend the pink and the green (which created more of a dark pink for the maze) and have the green part flicker at 30hz with no blending which flickers much worse (but still not too bad IMO).   For those who don't want any flickering for the maze, you can flip the right difficulty switch to A and get the alternating PF color per line (no blending, no interlacing), but the walls won't appear solid.   Well, that's probably more than you wanted to know but hopefully some of it was useful!  PS I'm thinking I can use the same technique on Qix to have the different colors solid and blend to create a white border. :) 

 

 

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Wow. You had me at full arcade maze (11x11) with correct number of dots👍


New maze graphics, support for multiple mazes and 1-2 players along with a “special 2player versus mode where each player will take turns controlling the lady bug or the insects!” will be amazing. You continue to create games that provide more than a single game/player experience and I can’t applaud you enough for this.
 

My wife likes Lady Bug and I know she’ll like this version. Can’t wait to pull her into the ROM testing.

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This looks great. I am adding it to my 'get when released' list.

 

I missed out on getting the previous run of the first version of Ladybug with the Coleco style case and ended up having to get the 'normal' version - is there any chance this gets a fancy Coleco style release, or would that end up making things too complicated (Al told me when I asked about if he had more copies of the Coleco case version that those things are a pain to work with). 

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On 1/31/2021 at 12:24 PM, sramirez2008 said:

Wow. You had me at full arcade maze (11x11) with correct number of dots👍

 

Thanks Steve!  The arcade maze with asymmetrical doors makes a big difference in game play!

On 1/31/2021 at 12:24 PM, sramirez2008 said:

New maze graphics, support for multiple mazes and 1-2 players along with a “special 2player versus mode where each player will take turns controlling the lady bug or the insects!” will be amazing. You continue to create games that provide more than a single game/player experience and I can’t applaud you enough for this.
 

Thanks again!  Making the game play as close to the arcade is always challenging, but being able to expand upon the original with new features, game play modes, etc. is the fun creative part! :D 

On 1/31/2021 at 12:24 PM, sramirez2008 said:

My wife likes Lady Bug and I know she’ll like this version. Can’t wait to pull her into the ROM testing.

Cool - we'll definitely need so testers for the vs. mode for sure! :thumbsup:  

11 hours ago, SearsRoebuck said:

This looks great. I am adding it to my 'get when released' list.

Thanks, and thanks in advance for the support! :)  

11 hours ago, SearsRoebuck said:

I missed out on getting the previous run of the first version of Ladybug with the Coleco style case and ended up having to get the 'normal' version - is there any chance this gets a fancy Coleco style release, or would that end up making things too complicated (Al told me when I asked about if he had more copies of the Coleco case version that those things are a pain to work with). 

Right now there are no plans to release the game in a Coleco-shell; I was a bit wary of releasing the original Lady Bug in a Coleco shell since, well, Coleco had nothing to do with the game ;) but there was enough demand for that specific collector's edition.  Al has his hands pretty full with regular releases as it is (Champ Games alone is planning 3 for 2021) and since most of the work required for a collector's edition is from an artist for the box/manual/label etc., I think it's best that those resources and time be used on different projects.  Plus, as you mentioned, I know there was some physical issues with boards and Coleco shells which I'm sure is headache Al wouldn't want to deal with. :P  

 

The good news is that Nathan Strum has already volunteered to do all of the artwork for Lady Bug Arcade (after re-doing most of the in-game graphics) so it will be very exciting to see what he comes up with!  :D  

 

Thanks!

John

 

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I think for me it wasn't so much the Coleco shell, but I liked the arcade art on it better, ie taken from the cab and flyer and using the arcade logo, instead of the original art that was used on the non Coleco version.  I mean, I am happy to get this however it comes out, but I always thought the cabinet of Ladybug had beautiful art and I hope that can be utilized. 

Edited by SearsRoebuck
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11 hours ago, johnnywc said:

The good news is that Nathan Strum has already volunteered to do all of the artwork for Lady Bug Arcade (after re-doing most of the in-game graphics) so it will be very exciting to see what he comes up with!  :D  

No pressure. :roll: 

7 hours ago, SearsRoebuck said:

I think for me it wasn't so much the Coleco shell, but I liked the arcade art on it better, ie taken from the cab and flyer and using the arcade logo, instead of the original art that was used on the non Coleco version.  I mean, I am happy to get this however it comes out, but I always thought the cabinet of Ladybug had beautiful art and I hope that can be utilized. 

It won't be the arcade cabinet artwork. When I was creating the Collector's Edition artwork, I got pretty familiar with the cabinet artwork, and do have an admiration of sorts for it. But this will be original art, as all Champ Games use. That said, I've never been all that happy with the artwork I originally created for John's version, so I want to do something different than that. How different... well, I won't know until I actually start working on it.

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18 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

I've never been all that happy with the artwork I originally created for John's version, so I want to do something different than that. How different... well, I won't know until I actually start working on it.

Can't wait to see what you come up with.🙂

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QUADTARI WORLD DEBUT!

 

ZeroPage Homebrew has the exclusive world debut of Lady Bug Arcade that uses Nathan Tolbert's brand new four joystick adapter, the QuadTari on tomorrow's (Fri Feb 12, 2021) stream LIVE on Twitch at 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 2AM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!

 

 

Games:

 

 (SET VIDEO TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY)

 

Note: Lady Bug Artwork not official!

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew
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On 2/12/2021 at 2:18 AM, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

QUADTARI WORLD DEBUT!

 

ZeroPage Homebrew has the exclusive world debut of Lady Bug Arcade that uses Nathan Tolbert's brand new four joystick adapter, the QuadTari on tomorrow's (Fri Feb 12, 2021) stream LIVE on Twitch at 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 2AM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!

 

 

Games:

 

 (SET VIDEO TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY)

 

Note: Lady Bug Artwork not official!

Is label of „Lady Bug Arcade“ tentative - it is somewhat cool 😎.

l‘m eagerly awaiting the demo BIN-file 🙃

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52 minutes ago, Bomberman94 said:

Is label of „Lady Bug Arcade“ tentative - it is somewhat cool 😎.

It is pretty cool!  It is, however, not the tentative label. ;)  I think James @ZeroPage Homebrew just whipped it up using the arcade artwork.  @Nathan Strum has graciously offered to do the updated box/manual/label art for this new release, but has not started it as of yet (at least I don't think so) since we're not planning a release until the end of the year (and he's also doing the artwork for Gorf Arcade, expected to be released in late summer :D  ).

52 minutes ago, Bomberman94 said:

l‘m eagerly awaiting the demo BIN-file 🙃

Yes, thanks for the reminder! :P It looks like there was only a few small issues with the ZPH exclusive debut version, so I just need to get LBA demo ready (PAL60 version too) and will post the ROM by the end of the week. :) 

 

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1 hour ago, johnnywc said:

It is pretty cool!  It is, however, not the tentative label. ;)  I think James @ZeroPage Homebrew just whipped it up using the arcade artwork.

Exactly, it was something I adapted from the arcade artwork so I had something for the cart art. It actually took quite a while as I had to recreate part of it due to the angle the photo was taken and overlap of the border and the arcade cabinet. I also had to create the 'Arcade' part of it and match the colours to the original art. The marquee art was from a separate source as well.

 

I made sure to put below the graphic "Note: Lady Bug Artwork not official!" so people would know it wasn't the real artwork. Looking forward to Nathan's art!!

 

- James

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ELWiMD4WsAA9i9y.jpg

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Hello all,

 

Here is the first official demo for Lady Bug Arcade (NTSC and PAL60 ROMs).  This is a completely playable version of the game with the following restrictions:

 

  • 1 player only.  The full version contains options for 2 player (alternating) and 1 or 2 player versus modes (where one player controls the lady bug and the other the insects.  In 2 player versus, the players take turns controlling the lady bug and compete for a high score).
  • Standard difficulty only.  The full version contains options for NOVICE, STANDARD, and ADVANCED, plus a special CHALLENGE mode that adds randomly flipping doors and the SPIDER, a special insect that can open doors! 🕷️
  • 2 mazes to select from.  The full version contains 6 total mazes (arcade plus 5 custom mazes), plus the option to play a game with all mazes, either in rotating or random order.
  • 4 different insects.  The full version contains 8.
  • 8 levels (the full version contains 99).  Once you complete PART 8, the game wraps back to PART 1.
  • SaveKey disabled.  The full version will save the top 5 high scores for all 4 skill levels.

 

OBJECT

 

Use the joystick controller to guide the lady bug around the maze to collect all of the dots and bonus items while avoiding the skulls and insects.  A life is lost when an insect catches the lady bug or the lady bug collides with a skull.  The game ends when all reserve lady bugs have been used.

 

OPTIONS

 

The demo current only contains one game play mode:  1 PLAYER, STANDARD difficulty.  To play, press RESET or the joystick button.  You can also use the joystick to press up/down to cycle through the Scoring and Instructions, High Scores and Credits.

 

MAZE SELECT

 

When you start a new game, the MAZE SELECT screen is displayed.  Move the joystick left/right to select between the two mazes (ARCADE maze and a custom maze) and press the button to continue.

 

LEVEL START

 

At the start of each level (or part), the level's information is displayed:   Current PART #, the bonus veggie and it's point value, the 3 letters that need to be collected, 2 - 6 skulls that must be avoided, and 3 hearts that also need to be collected.

 

GAME PLAY

 

The level starts with the lady bug moving to the middle of the screen.  Use the joystick to maneuver the lady bug around the maze to collect the white flowers (dashes) and the 6 bonus items (3 letters and 3 hearts).  The bonus items will cycle through three colors: RED, YELLOW and BLUE.  The lady bug can also move through the green doors by pushing against them to "flip" them.  Insects cannot flip the doors.

 

STATUS

 

At the top of the screen is the current game status, including the SPECIAL letters, EXTRA letters, and the bonus multiplier (2x, 3x, 5x).  Try to collect the letters and hearts when they are a certain color:

 

- collect hearts when they are BLUE to increase the bonus multiplier to 2x, 3x and 5x.  The points awarded for collecting the dots and bonus items will be multiplied by this value.

- collect letters when they are YELLOW to spell out the word "EXTRA".  If you are able to collect all 5 letters, the current part will end and you will be awarded an EXTRA lady bug.

- collect letters when they are RED to spell out the word "SPECIAL".  If you are able to collect all 7 letters, the current part will end and you will be treated to a special VEGGIE BOUNTY HARVEST screen.  On this screen, collect as many veggies before the timer runs out.

 

SCORING

 

  • Collect a flower (dash/dot): 10 points * the current multiplier value (2x, 3x or 5x) 
  • Collect a bonus object (letter or heart):
    • 100 points when it's blue, times the current multiplier value
    • 300 points when it's yellow, times the current multiplier value
    • 800 points when it's red, times the current multiplier value
  • Collect the veggie in the middle (1000 - 9500 points)

 

TIMER

 

As the level progresses, a timer moves around the perimeter of the maze.  Each time it makes a full rotation, an insect will enter the maze (up to 4).  

 

SKULLS

 

Scattered throughout the maze are skulls.  If the lady bug collides with a skull, a life is lost.  If an insect collides with a skull, it is sent back to the middle and will re-enter the maze when the timer makes a full loop.  Note that 

 

VEGGIES

 

After the 4th insect has entered a maze, the current veggie will appear in the middle.  Collect the veggie for big points (shown on the level start screen) and to also freeze the insects for a few seconds.  If an insect collides with a skull while the veggie is out, the insect returns to the middle and the veggie is lost, but a new veggie will appear once that insect has entered the maze.

 

GAME OVER

 

The game ends when the last lady bug reserve is lost.  If you have earned enough for a high score, the high score entry screen is displayed.

 

HIGH SCORE ENTRY

 

In the high score entry screen, maneuver your lady bug around the maze and pass over the letter/number/symbol to add to your name (up to 6 characters).  If you make a mistake, move the lady bug over RUB to erase one character or over CLR to start over.  Move the lady bug over END when you are finished.  You have approximately one minute before the timer reaches the top to enter in a name.

 

GAME CONTROLS

 

Press SELECT during a game to return to the title screen.

Press RESET during a game to start a new game.

Flip the Color/BW switch (2600) or press PAUSE (7800) to pause a game.  Press the joystick button to resume.

 

MAZE DISPLAY OPTIONS

 

Lady Bug Arcade uses a special method of blending and interlacing to display the maze in 3 colors per line with minimal flicker.  If you prefer a completely non-flickering maze, you can flip the Right difficulty switch to 'A' which will display 1 color per line.  Additionally, if the colors are too bright, you can flip the LEFT difficulty switch to A to darken the colors.

 

RELEASE PLANS

 

Lady Bug Arcade is about 90% complete.  We are currently planning on releasing it in November of 2021.  We will keep you posted with more info as it becomes available.

 

Any feedback is welcome!

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

Thanks,

John

 

 

ladybug_arcade_demo1_NTSC.bin

 

ladybug_arcade_demo1_PAL60.bin

 

PS If you are able to test the PAL60 version on a CRT, any feedback regarding the colors (too bright/dark/recommendations) would be appreciated! :D 

 

Edited by johnnywc
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Just want to [email protected] that there is something about your ports that I truly enjoy over the arcade verisons. I've played a lot of these in the arcade and then play them via CoinOps on my XBox. Whether it's WOW, Galagon or any of your other titles; the 2600 ports are excellent and are always a choice for me over they're arcade counterparts. Awesome work buddy

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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Quote

PS If you are able to test the PAL60 version on a CRT, any feedback regarding the colors (too bright/dark/recommendations) would be appreciated! :D 

Played it with my light 6switch PAL60 Atari 2600 on a B&O MX4000 TV (normal antenna): colors are a bit too bright (OK during gameplay but Instructions, Top Scores etc. are slightly too bright) Hard to capture but maybe this helps:

65F4F505-35EC-411F-BB6F-6C683A5F3813.jpeg

0EDA27DB-FC76-4031-9145-5E9220C8FED1.jpeg

D12740E6-BFFC-4AA6-BD33-63E59937B935.jpeg

Edited by Bomberman94
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Just to say that the previous version was already a true masterpiece, an exciting game that I have 
enjoyed for several years. This new version is absolutely stunning. Unthinkable that it could 
have been done since 2600! A true technological miracle. For this I want to congratulate
 John Champ who once again managed to go ... beyond the limits of technique ... and imagination!
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On 2/18/2021 at 11:10 PM, Prizrak said:

Just want to [email protected] that there is something about your ports that I truly enjoy over the arcade verisons. I've played a lot of these in the arcade and then play them via CoinOps on my XBox. Whether it's WOW, Galagon or any of your other titles; the 2600 ports are excellent and are always a choice for me over they're arcade counterparts. Awesome work buddy

 

Thanks so much, I'm glad you're enjoying them! :)  I'm a bit biased, but I prefer the 2600 versions over the MAME versions too! :D 

On 2/19/2021 at 7:54 AM, Bomberman94 said:

Played it with my light 6switch PAL60 Atari 2600 on a B&O MX4000 TV (normal antenna): colors are a bit too bright (OK during gameplay but Instructions, Top Scores etc. are slightly too bright) Hard to capture but maybe this helps:

 

Thanks for the feedback!  The PAL60 colors are generally darker than the NTSC counterparts; hopefully some other PAL60 uses can give some feedback too!  Are other games bright on your TV or just Lady Bug Arcade?

12 hours ago, e1will said:

Looks and plays great!

Thanks Will! :thumbsup:      

2 hours ago, Dari1t said:
Just to say that the previous version was already a true masterpiece, an exciting game that I have 
enjoyed for several years. This new version is absolutely stunning. Unthinkable that it could 
have been done since 2600! A true technological miracle. For this I want to congratulate
 John Champ who once again managed to go ... beyond the limits of technique ... and imagination!

Thank you very much!  We figured after 15 years and the advances in technology, it was time to give Lady Bug a true upgrade. :)  We're glad you're enjoying the results! :thumbsup: 

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47 minutes ago, johnnywc said:

Thanks for the feedback!  The PAL60 colors are generally darker than the NTSC counterparts; hopefully some other PAL60 uses can give some feedback too!  Are other games bright on your TV or just Lady Bug Arcade?

I own a Harmony cartridge with tons of games and several original cartridges (Champ Games and many older Atari/Parker/Activision/Imagic etc.). This version of Lady Bug Arcade is brighter than the others - can make more pictures or a video if it helps!?

 

Edit: Maybe a side-by-side comparison (e.g. Lady Bug <-> Lady Bug Arcade Demo) with same setting will clear this?

Edited by Bomberman94

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