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Octavio Pinho Bokel

Hellway, an Atari 2600 homebrew with love

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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing Hellway on tomorrow's (Tue Apr 20, 2021) 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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Hello you all and @ZeroPage Homebrew,
 

I want first thank for playing my game. Sorry for the abruptly leave, it was almost 4:30 am here in Amsterdam.

Nothing would make me happier than being a contender for the category under 4K, indeed a lot of work and soul had been putted into this game.

I have some points to address about the live, the first is the variable line count:
Every time you do a reset, the line count will fluctuate for 1 frame. This is expect and by design. The game performs a startup again, jumping outside the draw loop, cleaning everything except a few variables (so it does not reset the game mode for example). Your capture device just freaked out once of the many resets you did. A fix is doable but not trivial and have a high risk of introducing a bug, so I will not pursue it right now. The game never fluctuates from 262 lines when running. It was like that on the previous version also.

 

The reset switch was the only button I had left, that is why it also changes car...

 

About the vertical parallax, the code is in assembly and I squeezed every CPU cycle I could on the drawing cycle, but still, a color change on part of the playfield is out of the question on the 3 CPU cycles I have left. I cannot bend the laws of space and time. I also experimented with flickering the bottom lines to simulate a lighter color, but the effect was not good.

 

In the end of the game you actually select the hardest (or at least not beginner friendly) possible combination you could. Dragster, which is a fast car with bad handling for a mode with a lot of traffic (with the amount of traffic fixed) and a high speed difference between the tracks (making it even harder to change lines), but still, you could push the dragster to the limits once you get use to it and not just stay on the fastest line, also take advantage of the checkpoints, where it really shines.

I saw also a confusion between randomised traffic lines and random traffic intensity. I will try to explain in simpler terms and probably update the manual, it is indeed confusing...
Imagine each traffic line as a big tape, each position with a number value, ...|32|11|89|70|42|... while the game is running you are just adjusting the position of each tape using its relative speed to the car. A randomised traffic lines mode, changes the initial position of the tape. A non randomised mode will start the tapes at the same position always, playing back the same values, allowing even memorisation of the patterns (to some small extent at least) if you are truly serious about being competitive.


The traffic intensity is just the adjust where, given that I have a value on the tape at a position, it tells the threshold where I should spawn a car. This is what changes when cycling the intensity on checkpoints. On a random traffic intensity mode, you can get any value in every checkpoint, while in a regular mode each color has its own constant set. Random traffic intensity is more of a fun Party feature that you can get anything on your play session than a serious competitive mode. Not cycling on checkpoints on a Random intensity mode, will only make the checkpoint time fixed.

 

Stay posted for a solution to this confusion using the QR code. I will come up with something!

@ZeroPage HomebrewI want to use this space to say that I appreciate a lot being in your show, but also to do a formal complaint.
Your abilities really got worse between the 2 shows. It is obvious by looking at your videos that you guys are amazing video game players and that you can do much better than you did. My challenge to you and anyone that got this far on the thread is to try to post your high score with any car in mode Zero, difficulty switches BB (same config I did in a recent post with my videos). This will guarantee the same initial conditions to everyone and comparable scores.
 

Sorry for the long post. I wish a good rest of the week!

PS: I will prioritise the remaining work for the physical release.
 

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Hello you all,

 

I updated the landing page of the game QR code (still a proof of concept). Now you have access to the game functionalities in a much faster and visual way.

 

The most important part is the Game Mode Wizard. It is a interactive menu where you select the options you want in the game, and it gives back the game mode you should select. This is something that cannot be accomplished with a static page or manual.

 

The point is that this expands the game outside of the console bounderies. The QR code allows you to load an application (in this case a webpage that looks like it came from 1995) that works as an ideal game menu. You select the options you want, and it gives back to you the game mode you should select. It uses the user as the interface to send the result back to the game.

 

If a technology like the plus cart is used (it can send and receive bytes), the selected options could be sent directly to the game, without the need of the middle man. This is just an example, the possibilities are endless. While I am not going to pursue this at the moment, I thought the idea was interesting enough to be shared.

 

I am posting the QR code again so you can enter the page on the phone, or click directly here:

https://opbokel.github.io/g

 

Please let me know what you think.

 

Screenshot_20210423-202343_Chrome.jpg

hellway.asm_56.png.35a6755b6a1d54d6350a8a22856ce278.png

Edited by Octavio Pinho Bokel
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On 4/21/2021 at 8:01 AM, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

 

@ZeroPage HomebrewI want to use this space to say that I appreciate a lot being in your show, but also to do a formal complaint.
Your abilities really got worse between the 2 shows. It is obvious by looking at your videos that you guys are amazing video game players and that you can do much better than you did.
 

Sorry about that, we try our best! I was mainly focused on showing off all the new options you've added in.

 

- James

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2 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

Sorry about that, we try our best! I was mainly focused on showing off all the new options you've added in.

And I enjoyed every much! Thanks for it! Watching it was my inspiration to solve how confusing the game modes were with the new landing page. I am truly happy you liked my game. I will be glad to send you a copy once we have the cart.

 

If you do play it again some day for fun, please share you high score ;)

 

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6 minutes ago, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

I will be glad to send you a copy once we have the cart.

Thank you so much, looking forward to seeing it being made into a cart!

 

6 minutes ago, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

If you do play it again some day for fun, please share you high score ;)

We love doing high score challenges, tons of fun!

 

- James

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On 4/21/2021 at 5:01 PM, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

I have some points to address about the live, the first is the variable line count:
Every time you do a reset, the line count will fluctuate for 1 frame. This is expect and by design. The game performs a startup again, jumping outside the draw loop, cleaning everything except a few variables (so it does not reset the game mode for example). Your capture device just freaked out once of the many resets you did. A fix is doable but not trivial and have a high risk of introducing a bug, so I will not pursue it right now. The game never fluctuates from 262 lines when running. It was like that on the previous version also.

VERSION UPDATE 1.43:

 

@ZeroPage Homebrew Fixed the "problem" above and lost the perfect version number.

The game has 262 lines even when resetting. It also had a line count change when going to / from the QR code mode, because of the change on the VBLANK time.

First part of the fix was changing game modes at the very last part of the Game Loop, so modes and VBLANK times don't change in the middle of the loop.

The second part was making the reset routine a valid frame (timings and VSYNC), and made it happen inside that frame. It is a black frame, actually, I never disable VBLANK for that frame. For all that I could gather, keeping VBLANK should not be a problem, but I would appreciate that who can test in real hardware, please do, better safe than sorry. My gratitude in advance.

I putted "problem" in quotes, because this was by design. I added everything that could be outside the game loop, and just jump to the beginning of the rom every time a reset occurred. @ZeroPage Homebrew showed that this could freak some upscalers, I would not fix it at first, but I could not let it go and give a subpar experience for some people, some upscalers might even be more sensitive.

 

I want Hellway to be the best game it can be, and I could not let this go...

A piece of advice, addresses 64 to 128 are mirrored TIA registers. My first attempt I made the cleanning routine (that runs during reset) not mess with addresses 0 to 3, but it would still try to clean 64 - 67, making an invalid frame during the cleanning process. This took me a while to find it... I updated my cleanning routine to take advantage of this and fix the issue, it now starts at address 68. I hope this can save time to someone in the future.
 

    LDX #68 ; Skips (VSYNC, RSYNC, WSYNC, VBLANK), TIA is mirrored on 64 - 127
CleanMem
    CPX #SwitchDebounceCounter
    BEQ SkipClean
... Skips some more reset persistent variables ...
    STA 0,X
SkipClean
    INX
    BNE CleanMem
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On 4/26/2021 at 5:26 AM, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

VERSION UPDATE 1.43:

FYI - V1.43 works great on the AFP!!!!

 

 

 

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A quick update:

 

The game should be close to be release now. We submitted the requested changes to the box, and in the mean time revised the manual text. @Leonardons is finishing the layout of the manual (content is done). I will try to keep you guys posted!

Most important, a very good friend of mine, Layon Mauna, made an amazing trailer! Hope you like it! Fell free to share with friends or to post on social media!
 

 

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3 minutes ago, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

A quick update:

 

The game should be close to be release now. We submitted the requested changes to the box, and in the mean time revised the manual text. @Leonardons is finishing the layout of the manual (content is done). I will try to keep you guys posted!

Most important, a very good friend of mine, Layon Mauna, made an amazing trailer! Hope you like it! Fell free to share with friends or to post on social media!
 

 

The trailer looks great!  Looking forward to the CIB.🙂  Thanks for the update.

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Posted (edited)

Hello People,

 

It has been a while. I just want to keep you guys updated.

 

We finally delivered the manual to @Albert. Now we think there is nothing else to do on our side (at the moment). If changes are needed because of technical reasons, we will address them as soon as possible.

 

The dream is getting closer! I would like to say thanks to you all again. 

In order to celebrate, I am posting 2 pages of the manual. The special thanks and the one with Mr. Silva, a crazy Brazilian driver and protagonist of the game.

 

Have a wonderful weekend you all!

WhatsApp Image 2021-07-04 at 05.08.48.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-07-04 at 05.08.49.jpeg

 

The manual and the art was done by @Leonardons

Edited by Octavio Pinho Bokel
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Hello again my friends,

 

I was wondering if anyone had the opportunity to play the game a little more and found any bugs?

We are moving as fast as we can with the requested changes to the manual, since this is most @Leonardons part,
I thought I could make myself useful by making sure there are no bugs before we starting burning the ROM.

At this point there are 0 bugs I am aware of.

If anyone has something to report, now is the time :)

If you haven't played the game yet, this is also an invitation to do so (and possible find bugs :) ).

The digital copy will ways be free (and open source), and we are working to make sure the cartridge is something worth having!

https://github.com/opbokel/hellway

Peace!

Edited by Octavio Pinho Bokel
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Hello Again,

 

I have 2 announcements today.

 

1 - The first is that we delivered the last revision of the manual, which is very likely to be the final one! We hope the game will be soon available.

2 - I am proud to announce a partnership with @Al_Nafuur and the release of a PlusCart version of Hellway. He forked my last revision and did all the necessary changes for score submission. It also can be played online with score support. The code of the fork will be kept open (maybe incorporated on the main project one day), like the game itself. I did a quick test, but expect decent high scores soon.
 

 

I never thought of adding true online capabilities to the game (besides the QR code), I never knew the possibility even existed. I am very glad I kept the code open, and a talented developer took the time to do it! PlusCart is an amazing project!

 

Another very cool feature is that it is taking into account all variables that make a game variation, so the score tables are proper split taking into account the difficulty switches, game mode and used car (comparing apples with apples), 256 variations total!

I want people to buy the game for the quality of the material offered, not because access to the game is hard... If you do play the game for free and enjoyed, please consider doing any action that can make a positive impact in the world.

If you are going to buy the game from Atari Age, my sincere thank you!

 

I am making myself available to any questions regarding the game source code (if any...). Just ping me with an AtariAge message, or use this thread. 


Thanks again to @Al_Nafuur for making this possible!

Have a nice day you all!

 

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23 minutes ago, Octavio Pinho Bokel said:

Thanks again to @Al_Nafuur for making this possible!

Thank you both.  This is a really cool addition. 👍

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Hello you all,

 

After the PlusCart update I realised a sad truth, I am probably the best Hellway player in the world. I was able to make a top high score in all game modes played by other people (https://highscore.firmaplus.de/?page_sort=0&game_id=35, with the name of OctavioDev).

I am not a very good video game player, so I was expecting to see some amazing high scores from the community that I could not beat or would have a very hard time doing so.

 

I updated the QR code landing page (https://opbokel.github.io/g) to display a unique tip every time you open the page that can help you improve your high scores (24 until now). I hope this helps.

 

And I am opening a high score challenge, I would love to see some great high scores from you all, which I will try to beat. This process helps me to guarantee that the game will have no bugs before release, and is fun!

AtariAge release should be coming soon.

 

Kind Regards,
Octavio

 

Screenshot 2021-10-10 at 16.15.22.png

Edited by Octavio Pinho Bokel
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