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CardboardBox

DigiBeatz - Atari 2600 Rhythm Game

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Posted (edited)

 

 

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Hello everyone! I made a game and wanted to share.

 

DigiBeatz is a 4KiB rhythm game for the Atari 2600 that features software-generated sound to split the console's 2 audio channels into 5. It contains 7 originally composed tracks, each with 5 charts of varying difficulty.

 

After selecting a chart, notes will begin falling from the top of the screen towards the targets at the bottom. Before the note reaches the target, position the joystick so the corresponding target is highlighted - left, right or center. Then press fire right when the note overlaps the target. If the note is hit successfully, a color will flash at the bottom indicating how well the note was timed. Green means perfect timing: +100 points, +1 health. Yellow means good timing: 50 points, +1 health. Red means poor timing: 20 points, -2 health. If your health flashes red, it means the note was missed: 0 points, -4 health. If your health reaches 0, it's game over.

 

Setting the Player 1 difficulty switch to A increases the tempo of all songs.

Setting the Player 2 difficulty switch to A changes the game to work with the Track and Field controller. When a note reaches the targets, the corresponding button on the controller should be pressed.

 

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Note: I've tested this on Stella and Javatari but I have neither an Atari 2600 nor a flash cart to try it on (yet!), so I would appreciate if someone was able to confirm if it works on original hardware.

 

 

 

DigiBeatz_0.2.1.bin

Edited by CardboardBox
updated ROM to version 0.2.1
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I just checked this out on Emu2600 XL on my phone. Not the best controls so I had a hard time coordinating joystick and button presses but I must say the sound is awesome and would rival some classic systems and computers like NES or C64.

 

Everything appeared to work well on the emulator app except for the occasional moment where I lose, the screen changes, and the buzzer noise persists. It goes away and everything seems to play as normal once I hit reset.

 

Overall it is amazing and I would love to hear the entire track on its own.

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1 hour ago, KevKelley said:

I just checked this out on Emu2600 XL on my phone. Not the best controls so I had a hard time coordinating joystick and button presses but I must say the sound is awesome and would rival some classic systems and computers like NES or C64.

 

Everything appeared to work well on the emulator app except for the occasional moment where I lose, the screen changes, and the buzzer noise persists. It goes away and everything seems to play as normal once I hit reset.

Give it a try in Argon... As a bonus, the sound is in stereo with it!

 

As to controls -- after the 3rd or so go, I started doing really well on level 1 (finishing it, getting good scores). Sliding the stick right/left and tapping the fire button. I'd be curious to see how you feel they compare to Emu2600 XL.

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9 hours ago, KevKelley said:

I would love to hear the entire track on its own.

I've uploaded the tracks to soundcloud with downloads enabled, re-rendered with higher sample rate than in-game (44.1kHz instead of 3.9kHz) and in stereo. In theory if you play this in mono is what it would sound like if I could update AUDV0 2.8 times per scanline instead of once every 4 scanlines.

 

 

Edited by CardboardBox
added comment about stereo
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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing DigiBeatz on tomorrow's (Tue Jul 20, 2021) stream LIVE on Twitch at 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT+1Day! Hope everyone can watch!

 

Games:

AFTER DARK

(SET TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY!)

 

 

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14 hours ago, bhall408 said:

Give it a try in Argon... As a bonus, the sound is in stereo with it!

 

As to controls -- after the 3rd or so go, I started doing really well on level 1 (finishing it, getting good scores). Sliding the stick right/left and tapping the fire button. I'd be curious to see how you feel they compare to Emu2600 XL.

I had never heard of Argon but downloaded it and tried it out. Couldn't quite figure out how to find the files off my phone but I found it felt better. The haptic touch helped a lot (I don't know if Emu2600 XL has that but even the response seemed better. I may have to use this when I test a game on the go.

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6 hours ago, CardboardBox said:

I've uploaded the tracks to soundcloud with downloads enabled, re-rendered with higher sample rate than in-game (44.1kHz instead of 3.9kHz) and in stereo. In theory if you play this in mono is what it would sound like if I could update AUDV0 2.8 times per scanline instead of once every 4 scanlines.

 

 

Awesome! I will be listening to them as I work this morning.

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Also considering the three bars, this would be cool to play with the Track and Field controller.

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Hey that's a great game, but would you consider changing the controls so each note is directly a single Left/Right/Top tap?

The way it is now, you don't really get into the groove, as you have a random number of left/right shifts before tapping the actual 'beat' (fire button) each time.
So it kills any rhythm you're enjoying.

--

EDIT. Sorry I misunderstood the controls. I see the joystick doesn't position as described, but points momentarily.
That's great.  Would still be interesting to try without the needing the fire button though.






 

Edited by rbairos
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5 hours ago, KevKelley said:

Also considering the three bars, this would be cool to play with the Track and Field controller.

That's brilliant! I'll try the Track and Field controller with the game tonight on the show. 🙂

 

- James

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6 hours ago, KevKelley said:

Couldn't quite figure out how to find the files off my phone but I found it felt better.

You can have a collection in an Argon folder on Google Drive, or an Argon folder in your downloads folder. In the next release, you'll be able to pick whatever device side folder you want (and even more than one), and the UI will be updated to make it more obvious that you can BYO/how you do it.

 

In the meantime, the game will be showing up in the free play pre-loads soon.

 

What an awesome game -- and having the songs on soundcloud is such a great bonus!

 

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I've updated the game with the following changes since it was posted:

 

version 0.1:

- Removed purple rectangle indicating miss

- Fixed line count issues in screen transitions (Stella says everything is always 262 now :))

 

version 0.2:

- P2 difficulty switch controls controller mode - B for joystick, A for Track and Field Controller

- Pressing fire moves down on the song selection screen so the Track and Field controller can be used.

- P1 difficulty switch controls song tempo - B for normal, A for fast (Spinning joystick no longer increases song tempo, to make room for track and field controller mode).

- Health bar flashes red when a note is missed

- Poor judgement decreases health by 2 instead of increasing by 1 (to discourage mashing on the track and field controller).

- Miss decreases health by 4 instead of 5.

 

I also attempted to add a song progress bar but failed. I have one more idea to try for that but I'm not sure I can fit it on the cart.

 

Edit: Oops, version 0.2 had 263 scanlines every time your score passes a multiple of 10,000. Replaced with version 0.2.1 which fixes this and is otherwise the same.

 

New version in case you don't want to scroll up:

 

DigiBeatz_0.2.1.bin

Edited by CardboardBox
updated ROM to version 0.2.1

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