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There's a sizeable update in the first thread:

 

Update 11/06/2021 - Many updates

  • Refined controls. Smoother navigation. Button action now mimics the arcade, so it can not be held down indefinitely.
  • Credits screen has been added
  • Snow-bees hatch faster
  • Tighter snow-block collision. (Almost too easy now!)
  • Intermission penguins walk from off-screen now. Music is sync'd to where it plays the full tune after level 6. The arcade ALWAYS cuts the tune off. (The intermission can be skipped with the joystick button once the penguins are half-way across the screen.)
  • Additional level layouts: 16 regular and 2 hidden (ZPH & Blob mode)
  • Minor cosmetic changes
  • The most noticeable updates:
    • Refinements to POKEY music. Thanks again @playsoft for the engine and Popcorn POKEY.
    • Intermission has dedicated POKEY music @Pat Brady
    • Brady updated and refined the TIA Engine, adding dedicated harmonies. He reworked the TIA tunes (LEFT DIFFICULTY selects POKEY/TIA)
  • I have no issues with my versa-cart or Dragonfly.
  • POKEY sound is fixed on Concerto (At least is works on my cart). TIA sound also works on Concerto. I did have one issue where the game would crash when I tried to start the game. I erased the game off of my card and recopied it to the card. It has been running on my Concerto for 3 hours now in invincible mode. It's now up to level 80, since the snow-bees forfeit after 2 minutes of inactivity. Half has been in POKEY mode, and half in TIA.

Quick shot of it running (invincible mode), on the Concerto. Been quite a while! I am burn testing. Have already done so with Dragonfly and versa cart.

20211106_195357.thumb.jpg.bde3212b28f1b7eaf8859ca01f2a57a5.jpg

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Wow.. just wow.  I insist on playing Arcade mode and I cannot "feel" a difference between this and the Arcade now.  Controls indeed refined and the silky smooth navigation is a joy.

 

I'm playing, listening, and thinking wow POKEY sounds really good this release.  The enhancements are great. 

It wasn't until I played further in the game I realized it was *TIA* I was listening too.  Holy crap.. that sounds so great!

The update is an incredible TIA refinement.  The dedicated harmonies will make you swear it's an additional chip.

 

This is not to short change the POKEY work in the least bit.  Once I did switch over to POKEY, it was glorious.  Those dedicated intermission tunes are a beautiful addition.  I know there are many fans for Popcorn, but that unique melody is like a symphony.  Perhaps on the fence in earlier releases between the two; however the unique/dedicated music of this release (easily) tipped the scale.  Nonetheless, it is excellent work all around. It's truly a team effort that has knocked the audio out of the park.

 

Last but not least, and this can't be stressed enough.. the presentation here is fantastic!  From that opening AtariAge logo to those Arcade coin inserts, start of the game, and throughout.. intermission, demo mode, game over, and most importantly in-game, there is some magic going on and a dedication to quality that just shines.  This port makes me want to play it over and over again.

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I finally got around to trying this on my Mister and it is pretty awesome. :)  I REALLY like the idea of having the 2 soundtracks alternating.. it's like the best of both worlds and keeps it fresh.  The gameplay spot-on too and a lot of fun to play. The difficulty is well balanced I think too from the first 4 stages I've played.

 

My one single question may have already been talked about before, or may not be possible, but with all the bells and whistles included (e.g. attract modes/intermissions, etc.) would it be difficult to also include the arcade's "ice clearing" intro to each stage as well? Some people like the versions without it, but to me.. that with the accompanying music would 100% complete that Pengo "package". :)  'Course if it's not possible that's fine but figured I'd ask. It's awesome as is!

Edited by NE146
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On 10/23/2021 at 10:11 AM, Jinks said:

Watching that last video I have no idea why someone would want the generic popcorn music in the background to cheapen the game.  Each game should have it's own music.

Because it was the original tune of the arcade game? It was just a different time back then and they played a lot looser with stuff.  Heck as we all know now, even Frogger copied its music and that even made it to the 2600 version! :lol:

Edited by NE146
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Just played through the most recent demo.  It's really coming together well.

 

The only thing that I picked up was a misspelling: in the arcade game, the enemies are Sno-Bees, but in this version they're Snow-Bees.

 

Here's hoping for a digital release :D It's a really fun game.

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5 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Just played through the most recent demo.  It's really coming together well.

 

The only thing that I picked up was a misspelling: in the arcade game, the enemies are Sno-Bees, but in this version they're Snow-Bees.

Good catch. I saw the hyphen and missed that detail.

5 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Here's hoping for a digital release :D It's a really fun game.

I would imagine somehow. Thank you.

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6 hours ago, NE146 said:

I finally got around to trying this on my Mister and it is pretty awesome. :)  I REALLY like the idea of having the 2 soundtracks alternating.. it's like the best of both worlds and keeps it fresh.  The gameplay spot-on too and a lot of fun to play. The difficulty is well balanced I think too from the first 4 stages I've played.

Thank you.

6 hours ago, NE146 said:

My one single question may have already been talked about before, or may not be possible, but with all the bells and whistles included (e.g. attract modes/intermissions, etc.) would it be difficult to also include the arcade's "ice clearing" intro to each stage as well? Some people like the versions without it, but to me.. that with the accompanying music would 100% complete that Pengo "package". :)  'Course if it's not possible that's fine but figured I'd ask. It's awesome as is!

The arcade literally carves out the mazes with a special algorithm. These mazes are pre-drawn.

 

With that said, I have thought of ways to "fake" the draw, but I would only want to do it on the popcorn levels. That might be really weird to some players, without historical reference. If I had to do it all the time or none, I would choose none.

 

I did toy with this at one time, but I had other issue that distracted from the effort. The game would have to keep track of whether the level has already been drawn or not, for each player. (Did the player just lose a life or is this a fresh level?) There would be a lot of opportunity for adding timing issues.

 

Even though I don't personally prefer the draw, it is the only thing missing. I have to think about it. The risk of throwing something off at this point in the game might be an issue. I just get really nervous changing things at this phase, because it sometimes affects another thing that one would never suspect. I feel really good about the balance, speed (It flies after level 14), and stability. We'll see.

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Pengo is not my favorite game but it is a lot of fun and it's great to see it suddenly appear for the 7800. I tested the binary gave it a quick play - runs great from both my Dragonfly and Concerto, so yay. :) 

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18 hours ago, NE146 said:

...would it be difficult to also include the arcade's "ice clearing" intro to each stage as well? Some people like the versions without it, but to me.. that with the accompanying music would 100% complete that Pengo "package". :)  'Course if it's not possible that's fine but figured I'd ask. It's awesome as is!

You had to go and tempt me.... I think I'd like to call it done now, so I can rest for a bit (minus and major bugs). :) I get really stressed making changes this late in the game, but this was worth it.

 

I think this captures the essence, even though it doesn't carve the paths off in branches. It only happens on Popcorn levels (odd numbered or when forced to Popcorn). @Pat Brady came up with the maze draw tune. I think it turned out quite well.

 

I release a demo once I make sure there's nothing broken.

 

The only thing that happens some times is that sno-bees will go through blocks that have eggs hidden in them, if the sno-bees are in dig mode. I am afraid It's not that bad, and I am afraid that trying to tweak that could cause slowdown. I think all home ports have their quirks.

 

@x=usr(1536) I did remember to fix "Snow-Bee" after I made that video. The next version will have the corrected "Sno-Bee" spelling.

 

image.thumb.png.ff5d1cc66615f8cfd8970d94f02b3ef6.png

Edited by darryl1970
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14 hours ago, darryl1970 said:

I think this captures the essence, even though it doesn't carve the paths off in branches. It only happens on Popcorn levels (odd numbered or when forced to Popcorn). @Pat Brady came up with the maze draw tune. I think it turned out quite well.

It's perfect.  It does indeed capture the essence of the Arcade, while giving the 7800 port its own spin and unique twist on it - just like the background music presentation.  Great job!  That put the icing on the cake :)

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2 hours ago, Trebor said:

It's perfect.  It does indeed capture the essence of the Arcade, while giving the 7800 port it's own spin and unique twist on it - just like the background music presentation.  Great job!  That put the icing on the cake :)

This really is the icing on the cake. Great suggestion and thanks for working it in. Just when you think the game can’t get any better.👍

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I need to update my earlier post. As a guy who insists I don’t really like PENGO all *that* much, I spent much longer than I expected this afternoon figuring it out and enjoying all the little animations and trying to develop strategies to maximize playtime with those sad, few lives available.

 

Please tell me this will get *SOME* kind of full release, even if only as a paid download. I really want to unlock some options (like “Middle Aged/No Reflexes/Teddy Bear” Mode!).

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8 hours ago, darryl1970 said:

You had to go and tempt me.... I think I'd like to call it done now, so I can rest for a bit (minus and major bugs). :) I get really stressed making changes this late in the game, but this was worth it.

 

I think this captures the essence, even though it doesn't carve the paths off in branches. It only happens on Popcorn levels (odd numbered or when forced to Popcorn). @Pat Brady came up with the maze draw tune. I think it turned out quite well.

lol man that's perfect! It definitely captures the essence and its those little details (in addition to the core gameplay) that to me, make it pretty much a given this will be the de-facto best Pengo on the classic consoles. Heck I'd even put it above the Game Gear version simply because of the faithful music. :)  

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Okay, Darryl - this port has actually turned me into a PENGO fan. I cleared all four of the Demo levels tonight for the first time. :) 

 

IMG_1065.thumb.JPG.f1be645d5be03cddf6fbf25f670ec609.JPG

 

Can I ask - what is the plan for the full release?

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Wow.  Just wow.  You have created too of my favorite games I used to play on my Atari 800XL back in the day.  I would spend hours playing them.

 

Both Pengo and Popeye!  Masterful job!

 

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16 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

Okay, Darryl - this port has actually turned me into a PENGO fan. I cleared all four of the Demo levels tonight for the first time. :) 

 

IMG_1065.thumb.JPG.f1be645d5be03cddf6fbf25f670ec609.JPG

Very nice!! :) I am glad you are enjoying it. I had no desire back in the day. Pengo 5200 was in the bargain bin during the crash. I got it, because it was cheap. It became one of our go to games. I am glad I captured the magic that my friends and I felt.

 

I've gone back and played the 5200 version recently. It's still a brilliant port, but it's a lot slower than I remember.

16 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

Can I ask - what is the plan for the full release?

You can, but I do not know. I haven't discussed it Al. I know he's pretty busy, and Popeye is one of the things that may be keeping him busy. :)

 

I think this is getting pretty close to done. @Pat Brady just tweaked a little music, and he's fine-tuning that. I think that might be the last bit for the game itself. If it will be cart and box, those will need created.

 

I am all for digital releases, but I want to see what AtariAge's plan will be.

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11 minutes ago, darryl1970 said:

I think this is getting pretty close to done. @Pat Brady just tweaked a little music, and he's fine-tuning that. I think that might be the last bit for the game itself. If it will be cart and box, those will need created.

 

I am all for digital releases, but I want to see what AtariAge's plan will be.

<INSERT SHUT-UP-AND-TAKE-MY-MONEY.GIF> 😛

 

Excellent! I need more levels and lives to clear. I’m having too much fun to be stuck with 2 lives and 4 levels.

 

 

C3163AD7-81DB-4E3E-BC5C-047C63C06B81.jpeg

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1 hour ago, darryl1970 said:

 

I think this is getting pretty close to done. @Pat Brady just tweaked a little music, and he's fine-tuning that. I think that might be the last bit for the game itself. If it will be cart and box, those will need created.

 

I am all for digital releases, but I want to see what AtariAge's plan will be.

I have a question. If I buy a digital release of this game or any other, am I then allowed to order a custom cart from the Atari age store and have the binary placed on the cart?  
 

obviously if a boxed copy is produced or going to be produced it wouldn’t be needed, I’m mostly ask about a digital only type release. 

Edited by Silver Back
Clearify question
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3 hours ago, Silver Back said:

I have a question. If I buy a digital release of this game or any other, am I then allowed to order a custom cart from the Atari age store and have the binary placed on the cart?  

Sorry, but I do not know anything about AtariAge's business model or plans.

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IMO, I'd like to get this as soon as possible as well, but a bit of a delay after finishing a game has been a godsend in the past - I think Bob went through about 4 different 'final' builds of Pac Man 40th when out of nowhere someone would spot an obscure bug for him to fix. Time gives us all a bit longer to play around with the game and spot these kinds of things.

Edited by SearsRoebuck
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Excellent looking version!  One of my most favorite games of all time!  Pengo is up there for me with Paperboy with the handlebar controller!

 

Hoping this gets a retail release and hopefully with at least the option of adding a Pokey or hokey.

 

Thank you for all of your amazing work it looks great!

 

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22 hours ago, SearsRoebuck said:

IMO, I'd like to get this as soon as possible as well, but a bit of a delay after finishing a game has been a godsend in the past - I think Bob went through about 4 different 'final' builds of Pac Man 40th when out of nowhere someone would spot an obscure bug for him to fix. Time gives us all a bit longer to play around with the game and spot these kinds of things.

I love this!

 

I would go this far, I'll pay in advance for the CIB in the future along with the rom. All of us that do this will be supporting your project upfront.

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1 hour ago, Yurkie said:

I would go this far, I'll pay in advance for the CIB in the future along with the rom. All of us that do this will be supporting your project upfront.

I don't necessarily want a full CIB for every great homebrew, but I *do* want to support the authors. Hell, I'd Paypal money tomorrow (*) if I could get the full ROMs for this, Popeye and a bunch of others from different folks. Champ Games is already doing digital downloads for their 2600 games. I seriously hope Albert gets something similar for AA Store games too. I don't have infinite storage space for pretty boxes, and even "just" a bare cart can become burdensome once you have a few hundred of them. With POKEYs being so expensive, and HOKEY not quite ready for prime time, a digitally-signed ROM download would be perfect for me, especially for games I don't have a deep emotional attachment to but just happen to really like.

 

(*) tomorrow is a metaphor. Realistically, it means, "next payday," and that's still about 9 days away, but you get the idea. :)

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