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therealbountybob

HSC18 Round 3: QIX 5200

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EVERYONE WELCOME, JUST POST A SCORE, IF YOU MISSED ROUNDS 1 OR 2 POST SCORES THERE TOO :waving:

 

After applying the secret HSC forumlae and crunching the data the wiiner of the poll is... well you know already!

Qix 5200

We played the A8 version last time so it's the equally good 5200 port. Note emulator users must play the game at normal speed.

 

Play on default Skilled. Press return for the menu screen, little uns can play on Novice, note has 2 player mode too.

 

Qix 5200

http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=2719

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-qix_4208.html

 

 

Round ends Sunday 28th Feb 10PM UK time

EVERYONE WELCOME, JUST POST A SCORE, IF YOU MISSED ROUNDS 1 OR 2 POST SCORES THERE TOO :party::party:

Edited by therealbountybob
Extended to 10pm UK time - Sun 28th Feb
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Alright, I see this is a Qix.com file.   Does anyone have an .atr or better yet, an image that will flash on the Atarimax 1 mb flash cart?

 

Hours later...

 

Ok, got my Incogento 800 working.  Managed to load this image and have return and start work on the Atari 800 52K mode.

 

90,934 to launch us off.

 

20210214_221635.thumb.jpg.851be515c76aca45b3f211ea5b6dbf82.jpg20210214_221625.thumb.jpg.307905004ddd1c35e1efc2791aa64732.jpg

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2 hours ago, doctorclu said:

Alright, I see this is a Qix.com file.   Does anyone have an .atr or better yet, an image that will flash on the Atarimax 1 mb flash cart?

I found this one at the Vjetnam Atari 8-bit Games archive. It's listed as "Qix 2" - it looks like the same version to me. Can someone confirm?

 

Qix 2.atr

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Qix: 109,117

20210214_232245.thumb.jpg.ae26a96847a511e1ef6f09e19e109431.jpg

 

I like Qix, but I've never been very good at it. This version looks pretty great in comparison to the standard 400/800 version, though, and the "flood fill" algorithm seems much faster. Since they both came out in 1982, I wonder why Atari made a separate version for the 5200?

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33 minutes ago, graywest said:

Qix: 109,117

20210214_232245.thumb.jpg.ae26a96847a511e1ef6f09e19e109431.jpg

 

I like Qix, but I've never been very good at it. This version looks pretty great in comparison to the standard 400/800 version, though, and the "flood fill" algorithm seems much faster. Since they both came out in 1982, I wonder why Atari made a separate version for the 5200?

 

I guess this is the round where we will learn more about Qix.  :D

 

I would say this 5200 version does the fill animation better/faster.  Can see why this version was chosen.

My Dad had a lot of fun ripping Qix from cart and making a disk version when I was a kid.   Everyone now and then he likes to talk about it.

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As to why there are two different versions for A8 and 5200, doesn't that apply to a range of games? I get the feeling that Atari tried to market the 5200 as a brand new console, not a repackaged version of the 2.5 year old computer line. In order to maintain that appearance, I'm sure they had separate development teams making ports of the same games instead of combining resources which would lead to virtually the same game being released on two formats. Of course as customers and other devs found out what really was inside the 5200, nobody could be fooled any longer that it would be technically different.

 

Edit: I also see that in the advertising, it says that Qix is only available on Atari systems (and apparently the Fujitsu FM-7, but don't tell Atari about it). I suppose it means they had an exclusive license from Taito, which in its turn explains why official versions of Qix didn't get released for other systems until 1989. When Doctor Spuds blogged about it in 2019, I tried to dig a little deeper and found that a number of clones were available on other formats, so most of the market probably no longer were excited about an official version of the game more than a half decade later.

 

Edit 2: Ironically, the Wikipedia page mentions that Qix would have been released twice for the C64, which I think is a misunderstanding or typo. There was Stix by Supersoft in 1983, i.e. contemporary with Atari's Qix but it isn't an official port.

 

Edit 3: Here is a review of the A8 version of Qix in the more business oriented InfoWorld.

Edited by carlsson
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Also, StrategyWiki claims that "Qix was not as appreciated in its own time as it was later on. Due to its unintuitive gameplay, not too many companies were comfortable taking a chance on bringing it home". I'm not sure what is their source on that, but sure if Atari was the only one interested in conversions of the game, it more or less would make it exclusive even without a license deal.

 

Something interesting is that in two internal documents from Commodore, there is a QIX-like game mentioned. First there is a software list from May 12, 1982 which has that a tentative contract is made with the QIX authors to make it for the upcoming MAX Machine with 5-7% royalties. Then there is an Authorized Programmers List dated July 13, 1982 which lists Sandy (Pfeiffer) & Doug Hughes at Threshold Research doing a QIX-like game (again supposedly for the MAX). The very same Doug Hughes appears to have been a hardware designer who worked for Atari, but joined Taito to make Qix etc. It doesn't seem like he was a programmer, but perhaps she was. Now if he moved from Atari to Taito, and then offered Commodore a version of the game, perhaps in the mean time Atari secured some form of licensing deal with Taito so the MAX game never became realized. Honestly I'm not sure if the MAX would be able to pull it off with its limited amount of RAM that really doesn't allow bitmapped displays unlike the C64 does.

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How do you make sure you're on the right skill level?  I hit Option and Select both and neither brought up any menu like in doctorclu's first message.

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1 hour ago, 8BIT 1337 said:

How do you make sure you're on the right skill level?  I hit Option and Select both and neither brought up any menu like in doctorclu's first message.

 

Hit return and it will bring up that menu.

 

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I have a couple questions:

 

1.  How high can you advance the multiplier?  I got it up to 6x or 7x (but was not able to take advantage of that because I suck at this game.)

2.  What is the best strategy for racking up points:  Just keep splitting the QIX as quick as possible, and then go for the big score, or do you close them in some before trying to split them?

 

104,303

Qix 104303.png

Edited by Deteacher
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1 hour ago, Deteacher said:

I have a couple questions:

 

1.  How high can you advance the multiplier?  I got it up to 6x or 7x (but was not able to take advantage of that because I suck at this game.)

2.  What is the best strategy for racking up points:  Just keep splitting the QIX as quick as possible, and then go for the big score, or do you close them in some before trying to split them?

 

104,303

Qix 104303.png

You can probably score highest if you fence off about half the screen, preferably at half speed, and then split them. If you're a genius you could fence off everything to 1% below the threshold before splitting them. I have neither nerve nor dexterity to pull that off...

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42.367 (Atari 800 MacX in NTSC mode with a gamepad. I think this would be easier with a good stick. It's hard to draw small "pillars" with that gamepad.)

image.thumb.png.c92eb4e927738a145e3379fc98cc7f17.png

 

Second Try, 58.197. Interestingly, when starting from the skill selection screen, the game immediately returns there after the game, while it stays on the screen with the game over message when started from the default boot screen.

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I used the version from Fandal linked in the first post and occasionally lose a Stix "just so". Are there invisible Sparks or is this just an Atari800 MacX quirk?

 

Wonder how this played with original 5200 sticks. 

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2 hours ago, Deteacher said:

I have a couple questions:

 

1.  How high can you advance the multiplier?  I got it up to 6x or 7x (but was not able to take advantage of that because I suck at this game.)

2.  What is the best strategy for racking up points:  Just keep splitting the QIX as quick as possible, and then go for the big score, or do you close them in some before trying to split them?

 

104,303

Qix 104303.png

It's a "risk vs reward" game, all the way through. Most of my HSC players opt for pumping up the multiplier method.

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11 hours ago, carlsson said:

Also, StrategyWiki claims that "Qix was not as appreciated in its own time as it was later on. Due to its unintuitive gameplay, not too many companies were comfortable taking a chance on bringing it home". I'm not sure what is their source on that, but sure if Atari was the only one interested in conversions of the game, it more or less would make it exclusive even without a license deal.

 

Something interesting is that in two internal documents from Commodore, there is a QIX-like game mentioned. First there is a software list from May 12, 1982 which has that a tentative contract is made with the QIX authors to make it for the upcoming MAX Machine with 5-7% royalties. Then there is an Authorized Programmers List dated July 13, 1982 which lists Sandy (Pfeiffer) & Doug Hughes at Threshold Research doing a QIX-like game (again supposedly for the MAX). The very same Doug Hughes appears to have been a hardware designer who worked for Atari, but joined Taito to make Qix etc. It doesn't seem like he was a programmer, but perhaps she was. Now if he moved from Atari to Taito, and then offered Commodore a version of the game, perhaps in the mean time Atari secured some form of licensing deal with Taito so the MAX game never became realized. Honestly I'm not sure if the MAX would be able to pull it off with its limited amount of RAM that really doesn't allow bitmapped displays unlike the C64 does.

I do have an "Ultimate Qix" for C64 on disk.

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Aha! The arcade game Volfied is also known as Ultimate Qix, in particular on Genesis but I suppose also on C64. It is a 1989/91 title though, not 1982/83.

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It looks like the default skill level is 'Skilled' so no need to hit return.  But that did work so thanks!

 

170801

Qix.jpg

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