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Albert

Combat Redux Design Contest

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CombatReduxContest.gifEvery Atari 2600 fan is familiar with Combat, given it was the game included with the 2600 for many years. To add new life to Combat, Zach Matley has developed a version that supports 28 unique playfields, dubbed Combat Redux. To help create new playfields for this expanded version of Combat, AtariAge and Zach have teamed up to host a Combat Redux Design Contest. Zach has created a Windows editor that will allow you to generate new Combat playfields and test them in your favorite Atari 2600 emulator. We will choose 28 designs from all those submitted, and then create a binary that includes all the winning entries. Each person with one or more entries selected will receive a $5 gift certificate in the AtariAge Store, as well as credit in the Combat Redux manual. Additionally, three winners will be selected randomly to receive a free Combat Redux cartridge. For complete details, please visit the Combat Redux Design Contest page.

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I submitted my first two stage designs! It will be interesting to see what others come up with!

 

Great tool for designing the stages too!

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Already 50 entries have been sent in, and the contest has only been running for a day! Maybe we should have only run the contest for a week. :) Will try to get the first batch of entries up within the next 24 hours.

 

..Al

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Is there any way to read the binaries or do they need to be executed in a 2600 emulator? I ended up saving a ton of draft files and now I don't know which are the "good" ones. :?

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Is there any way to read the binaries or do they need to be executed in a 2600 emulator? I ended up saving a ton of draft files and now I don't know which are the "good" ones.  :?

 

Unfortunately there is no way to open the binaries in the editor. The editor is mainly a simple tool to help people create playfields without having to use graph paper and do them by hand. I suggest keeping the editor open and running generated binaries in your favorite emulator until you get the level just right. :)

 

..Al

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Probably the easiest way to read binaries is to use an emulator.

 

By the way, I drew the sample fuji logo in a hurry, and I trust that someone else can do a better job. ;)

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Is there any way to read the binaries or do they need to be executed in a 2600 emulator? I ended up saving a ton of draft files and now I don't know which are the "good" ones.  :?

 

Unfortunately there is no way to open the binaries in the editor. The editor is mainly a simple tool to help people create playfields without having to use graph paper and do them by hand. I suggest keeping the editor open and running generated binaries in your favorite emulator until you get the level just right. :)

 

Not so easy when you don't have a PC. I made all the binaries on a machine at work and will have to transfer them all home and look at 'em in Stella for Mac when I get theme. :|

 

Oh well. Better than graph paper, though.

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I'm having some problems getting the binaries to work in z26. It just loads the layout and I can't get it to actually play.

 

It is, however, useful to see the layout in Atari glory, though.

 

Now to do some Combat research for my next batch...

 

But first! A few questions for the organizers/moderators...

 

How many entries per person? There was no stated limit, but is there an unofficial limit you would like submitters to keep in mind, or do you want to get as many as possible?

 

Can you add to the Contest page a few more Example layouts? One or two per group (Open, Easy, etc) so we can get a better feel for the design nuances/intricacies of each group.

 

If this goes really well and you get a lot of good submissions, can Combat Redux be reevaluated to come in Volumes, with different maze sets per volume?

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I'm having some problems getting the binaries to work in z26.  It just loads the layout and I can't get it to actually play.

 

I haven't started loading all the entries submitted, but I did load the AA one I made and it worked fine. I was using the DOS version of z26, I have not tried these with the Windows version just yet. But over 50 entries have been sent in so far and no one has said anything yet about not being able to run them. Can you try another emulator?

 

How many entries per person?  There was no stated limit, but is there an unofficial limit you would like submitters to keep in mind, or do you want to get as many as possible?

 

Given how many entries have been sent in thus far, it may be prudent to put a cap on the number of entries. I believe the most sent in by any one individual so far is eight.

 

Can you add to the Contest page a few more Example layouts?  One or two per group (Open, Easy, etc) so we can get a better feel for the design nuances/intricacies of each group.

 

Well, I may set the submissions page up so you can sort the entries by layout. Once the submissions are posted and categorized in such fashion, there will be a ton of examples. :)

 

If this goes really well and you get a lot of good submissions, can Combat Redux be reevaluated to come in Volumes, with different maze sets per volume?

 

That's an interesting idea. We'll have to see how many submissions we get if there are enough that we like to consider doing multiple volumes. :)

 

..Al

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By the way, I drew the sample fuji logo in a hurry, and I trust that someone else can do a better job.  ;)

 

I'm just wondering, 'cause I've heard about the "Fuji logo" before, isn't that really the Atari logo? It looks darn alike.

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Given how many entries have been sent in thus far, it may be prudent to put a cap on the number of entries.  I believe the most sent in by any one individual so far is eight.

Oooh! I think that's me. :D

 

If you do put a cap on the number of entries, please allow for entries to be replaced. Some of the ones I put in are a bit similar (at least theme-wise) and I'd like to be able to submit a different idea if I get one.

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Regarding Play Modes:

 

How will the different play modes be handled in Combat Redux, versus the level layouts?

 

Will a play mode be assigned for each layout? (Normal Tanks, Pong Projectile Physics, Invisible Tanks, Biplanes, Biplane Teams, Three on One, etc)

 

Or will we be seeing something more complex in Combat Redux, where we can choose the play mode with any layout?

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All the game variations available in the original Combat will be in Redux.

 

One slight change to the interface is that you can start a new game with the trigger button and select game variations with the joystick.

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Any word on when we can expect a page devoted to what's been submitted so far?

 

At the latest, sometime this weekend. Possibly sometime Friday. However, I need to setup a nice, data-driven page that allows sorting by the submitter's name, type of playfield, date submitted, and shows a screenshot of each entry. I just did a quick count and already 112 (!!) entries have been submitted. Considering that I have to run z26 on each of these to get a screenshot, that's going to take some work. If I was smart, I would have asked entrants to include a screenshot with their entries. Oh well!

 

..Al

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All the game variations available in the original Combat will be in Redux.  

 

One slight change to the interface is that you can start a new game with the trigger button and select game variations with the joystick.

 

Maybe you answered and I misunderstood it, but does this mean you can select both the map and a game variation? Or do you play whatever game variation happens to land on the newly inserted map in the line-up?

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Just got done taking 121 screenshots! Phew! I'm going to create a nice submissions page, but in the meantime I created some pages with thumbnails so everyone can see the submissions while I work on the submissions page (which will probably take another day or so).

 

Combat Redux Submissions (temporary page)

 

I forgot to strip off the OS X titlebars before I made that page, will do that before I put the real page online. :)

 

Enjoy!!

 

..Al

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Wow, most of those look real good and functional. Too bad there wasn't more room on the cart. And too bad there wasn't a way to add some AI in either, as it would be great to challenge the CPU on some of these too!

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Wow, most of those look real good and functional.  Too bad there wasn't more room on the cart.  And too bad there wasn't a way to add some AI in either, as it would be great to challenge the CPU on some of these too!

 

There's probably another 30 that have been sent in since I posted those yesterday. Will get to them later this evening. It's possible to make a bankswitch cart that would store even more entries, but that would make the cart a bit more complex on the programming side of things, and a bit more expensive since bankswitching carts are more expensive to produce.

 

As for an AI, well, Zach Matley actually is working on Tank AI. Combat Redux is an offspring of Tank AI development. :)

 

..Al

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Wow, most of those look real good and functional.  Too bad there wasn't more room on the cart.  And too bad there wasn't a way to add some AI in either, as it would be great to challenge the CPU on some of these too!

 

Heh. A Man-VS-Multiple-COM for this one would be funny... :D

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Very nice!

 

Many of these designs look very interesting and will lend themselves well to some intense tank battles (particularly the richochet bullet modes!). I can't wait to see the final product! :)

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There's some great submissions already. Keep them coming!

 

I think everyone understands, but just to be crystal clear, there is no AI in Combat Redux.

 

Maybe you answered and I misunderstood it, but does this mean you can select both the map and a game variation? Or do you play whatever game variation happens to land on the newly inserted map in the line-up?

 

OK, allow me to explain in detail. In original Combat, there are 27 game variations. Some use an open maze, some use an easy maze, some use a complex maze, and some use clouds. These same 27 variations will be in Combat Redux, but with more playfields. For example, variation 1 is a tank game with an open field and guided missiles. In Combat Redux, you will have 7 open fields to choose from. Variation 25 is 2 vs. 2 jet-fighters with guided missiles and clouds, and you will have 7 cloud designs avaiable. I found this system to be the best way to multiply the number of playfields without making the users learn a whole new set of variations. Let me know if there are any more questions.

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Alright... so...if I'm understanding you....

 

Combat Redux: One would select Variation 1 (Tanks, Open, Guided Missiles), and then one of seven playing fields for that category of play.

 

vs

 

Combat: One would select Variation 1 and play whatever playing field that variation is set to and hope for a good time.

 

Combat Redux: In all, seven different variations and seven different playing fields per the category, making for 49 different possible gameplay scenarios per category. 196 different gameplay scenarios possible.

 

vs

 

Combat: Three different playing fields in Tank, two in Clouds. Seven variations of play per each of four categories. Ehh.. I'm not sure exactly how to calculate the different gameplay scenarios possible, so I'm not going to try. Significantly less.

 

 

So do I get it, or am I way off?

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