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Jumpman 2600 Development

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Hi there!

 

Uihja... so I spent several weeks playing through all levels of Jumpman and Jumpman Jr. making screenshots and transferring level data to the 2600. I can present a first list of levels that seem to be doable on the VCS now. All of these levels are marked with a number in the list.

(Note: This means not necessarily that these levels will be in the final VCS version, but it means definitely that those marked with an "X" won't be there...)

 

Attached in the ZIP are 31 VCS binaries showing those levels who are still "in the game" ;)

(Note: Just the background GFX, no gameplay. Most also won't work on a real TV yet)

 

And here's the list:

 

///////////

//JUMPMAN//

///////////



1. Easy Does it

2. Robots I

3. Bombs Away

4. Jumping Blocks

5. Vampire

6. Invasion

7. Grand Puzzle I

X. Builder



X. Look Out Below

X. Hot Foot

8. Runaway

9. Robots II

10. Hailstones

11. Dragonslayer

12. Grand Puzzle II

13. Ride Around

14. The Roost

15. Roll Me Over



16. Ladder Challenge

X. Figurit

X. Jump'n'Run

17. Freeze

18. Follow the Leader (Berzerk Style)

X. The Jungle

X. Mystery Maze

19. Gunfighter

20. Robots III

X. Now You See Me

21. Going Down

22. Grand Puzzle III (+ 23. Secret Level)



///////////////

//JUMPMAN JR.//

///////////////



24. Nothing To It

25. Electrocution

26. Dumbwaiter

27. Hellstones

X. Figurits Revenge

28. Walls

X. Zig-Zag

29. Spellbound (Title+Demo)

X. Blackout

30. Herethereeverywhere

X. Hatchlings

31. Hurricane (+ 32. End Sequence)

 

Greetings,

Manuel

jumpman.zip

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Thats amazing.

 

How big do you think the finished game will be? 32k? 64k? Whatever it is, it'll have to be huge...

 

very nice work :D

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This is indeed very cool! I love Jumpman and I can't wait to see what you do with the 2600 version. Already the work you've done is very encouraging! Keep up the great work!

 

..Al

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Hi there!

 

How big do you think the finished game will be? 32k? 64k?

 

Hm... it'll be one of the two indeed. I hope I get the game packed in 32K, but it'll depend on a lot of things I have to "try and see" yet. For example I'm not certain right now wether I can do the asymmetrical Jumpman kernels on the VCS or not. The playfield now certainly works, but that is already 6 reads+writes for each scannline. Adding in 2 sprites and 3 particles can easily turn out to be impossible even for a 2LK. It's mostly depending on the "style" and the obstacles of the level though. A level without ropes would be a lot easier to do for example.

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Hi there!

 

How big do you think the finished game will be? 32k? 64k?

 

Hm... it'll be one of the two indeed.

 

We do have a new 64K board design that was developed for Paul Slocum's 2600 RPG, so that is a viable option if you need the extra space. :)

 

..Al

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Hi there!

 

great work.When will the first playable level be available?

:)

 

Hm... good question. I'm parallelizing all tasks required for this conversion, so I'm completing the kernels required for all levels first. Once I know what I can display, I'll continue adding the game-logic for each level. Overall I don't expect a release before spring 2006, I'm sorry.

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Hmm... Interesting choice of levels that you're not including.

 

X. Builder

 

Hmm... Why would this level be left out? Nothing too special about it, just parts of the level get added over time.

 

X. Look Out Below  

X. Hot Foot

 

Thank you! I HATE these levels! :)

 

X. Figurit

 

Same reason as builder? Is it too difficult to add or change parts of the level as you go?

 

X. Jump'n'Run

 

I don't recall this level having anything special. IIRC it was similar to Builder where parts of the level appeared and disappeared as you went.

 

X. The Jungle

 

Too many vines to display?

 

X. Mystery Maze

 

I suppose this would be impossible on the 2600.

 

X. Now You See Me

 

Actually I believe this is is called Now You See It... (might be wrong on that). Same reason as Builder and Jump and Run? Disappearing levels too hard to do on the 2600?

 

X. Figurits Revenge

 

Same reason as Figurits?

 

X. Zig-Zag

 

Diagonal moving bullets too hard for the 2600?

 

X. Blackout

 

Same reason as Mystery Maze I assume.

 

X. Hatchlings

 

Too many moving items? This is very similar to Freeze however, I can't see why this couldn't be done if you're doing that one.

 

 

I'm not second guessing your choices, I'm just curious as to why you left these out.

 

Tempest

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Hi there!

 

I'm not second guessing your choices, I'm just curious as to why you left these out.

 

Main reason why I excluded most levels would be RAM usage. I'm buffering small parts of the structure in RAM, so I can apply small changes of the level structure. Removing a small part of the floor would cost 3 bytes, removing part of a ladder for the size of Jumpman would be 9 Bytes, etc. If the ladder is sitting right between 2 PF stripes than it's 18 bytes and so on.

 

I now just set up a simple rule reserving up to 64 Bytes for such changes. Most excluded levels just would require more than this, simple as this. (There'd be no other reason for leaving out Htchlings or Zig-Zag then)

(The 2 Figurits and Builder let you rearrange almost the whole level for example)

 

"Hot Foot" is special, as it let's you change the structure at a micro level down to single pixels anywhere on the screen. -> Impossible even with extra RAM.

 

Your right about the "Darkness" and "Mystery Maze" levels. That'd require buffering the whole level in RAM and I don't think one could turn ropes on/off at single pixels for example. Impossible again.

 

"Now You See It..." and "The Jungle": I actually have to think some more about those. I guess The Jungle is somehow possible, but I feared it'd require way too much flicker.

 

Other than that, I have to reduce the # of levels anyway. Jumpman Jr. does 12 levels within 16K, but on the VCS each level will require more data than on the 800.

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Hi there!

 

Decided to give you some project diary entries every once in a while here...

 

After some more research I'm now certain that *fully* assymetrical kernels won't work for any of the Jumpman levels, even the most simple ones.

 

I've now started to redesign the assymetrical levels a little so that at least one of the three PF values is mirrored.

 

To playtest my changes I use the Jumpman level Editors of "Jumpman UC" and "Jumpman Lives", depending on the level type.

 

I finally decided to drop "Follow the Leader" entirely, because neither the "followers" nor the level structure could be done without severe changes.

 

Instead I converted the structure of "Jump'n'Run", a level which might work with a small change in the game logic.

 

I also already adopted the layout of the "Secret" level to mirrored PF0 and additionally made it somewhat easier to play.

 

Another experiment I did some time ago is presenting the structure in 2 colors in the Grand Puzzle III level. I'll probably do this to all levels if the flicker is considered acceptable.

 

Attached are the new binaries for "Grand Puzzle III", "Jump'n'Run" and "Secret".

 

Greetings,

Manuel

jumpman.zip

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Greetings!

 

Sorry I have to necro post like this, but I am really interested in this project. I'm wondering, was this put on the back burner or is it still "in the works"?

 

I would love to see a finished product on this, as it was always on my Atari "wish list" for game ports.

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Sorry I have to necro post like this, but I am really interested in this project. I'm wondering, was this put on the back burner or is it still "in the works"?

1003911[/snapback]

 

If nobody else feels like doing a Jumpman-style platformer I might have to take it up.

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WOW. Im a huge fan of this game and I know you may already had a label for it after your done but I just cant wait for my self to make one form two origanl box art I got of the game on C54 and Apple2 of Jumpman plus I made two type pf end label one from the old Atari Silver label with Red text end and one from the Jumpman text.

post-5587-1137835007_thumb.jpg

post-5587-1137835043_thumb.jpg

post-5587-1137835052_thumb.jpg

post-5587-1137835058_thumb.jpg

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Sorry I have to necro post like this, but I am really interested in this project. I'm wondering, was this put on the back burner or is it still "in the works"?

1003911[/snapback]

 

If nobody else feels like doing a Jumpman-style platformer I might have to take it up.

1004000[/snapback]

Please do... For reasons that I can't understand, Manuel is doing non-Jumpman-related things right now. :grin:

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Hi there!

 

Sorry I have to necro post like this, but I am really interested in this project. I'm wondering, was this put on the back burner or is it still "in the works"?

 

I haven't been working on it in a long time and at the moment I have no concrete plans to return to it, so right now it's all in limbo.

 

If nobody else feels like doing a Jumpman-style platformer I might have to take it up.

 

I personally am not at all interested in a "Jumpman-style platformer", I want the real thing! :D

 

Please do... For reasons that I can't understand, Manuel is doing non-Jumpman-related things right now. :grin:

 

:lol:

 

Ah well... I have so many iced projects, I'd be busy for 3 decades just finishing half of them ;)

 

No really, anyone interested in porting Jumpman, just do it. If there's interest in continuing my work (I have already converted the layouts for most Jumpman/Jr. levels that seem doable without extra RAM) just let me know and I'll pass on my material.

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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I thought the 64K cartridge was based on the Krok Cart and that it supported extra RAM?  Isn't that what Andrew Davie's Boulderdash written for?

This is the 3E (64K ROM and 32K RAM) prototype I made in case Andrew gets the license to release notBD on cartridge. I wanted to do all I can to make notBD on cartridge possible. On the other hand, I have currently no plans to mass produce this special board unless Andrew needs it for not BD, also because I will be busy with the next Krokodile run for the next few month ...

 

The 64K board design that Albert has available is not supporting RAM. It is just the next logical step that comes after F4 to support 64K instead of 32K.

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I thought the 64K cartridge was based on the Krok Cart and that it supported extra RAM?  Isn't that what Andrew Davie's Boulderdash written for?

This is the 3E (64K ROM and 32K RAM) prototype I made in case Andrew gets the license to release notBD on cartridge. I wanted to do all I can to make notBD on cartridge possible. On the other hand, I have currently no plans to mass produce this special board unless Andrew needs it for not BD, also because I will be busy with the next Krokodile run for the next few month ...

 

The 64K board design that Albert has available is not supporting RAM. It is just the next logical step that comes after F4 to support 64K instead of 32K.

1004355[/snapback]

 

 

forgive my ignorance but what is "notBD" if it needs to be a PM so be it.

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forgive my ignorance but what is "notBD" if it needs to be a PM so be it.

1004405[/snapback]

notBD = not Boulder Dash

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This is the 3E (64K ROM and 32K RAM) prototype I made in case Andrew gets the license to release notBD on cartridge. I wanted to do all I can to make notBD on cartridge possible.  On the other hand, I have currently no plans to mass produce this special board unless Andrew needs it for not BD, also because I will be busy with the next Krokodile run for the next few month ...

1004355[/snapback]

 

I've also done a cart with 64K flash and 32K RAM (note: the flash is not writable from the 2600). There's a programmable logic device which can support 3E bankswitching, but it also supports a new method I've somewhat arbitrarily coined "4A50". The 4A50 banking method allows a few tricks I've not seen in any other cart, including the ability to perform "natural" reads and writes at the same address (even things like "INC $1002" will work as they naturally should). The only hitch with 4A50 (beyond the fact that getting anything assembled seems to cost too much) is that carts would not be dual-usable as both PAL and NTSC because of the different clock rates. The cart has an oscillator that must be equal to dotclock*4, within about 0.1%; such accuracy is no problem with a 14.31818MHz oscillator in the cart and a 3.579545Mhz crystal in the 2600. But PAL 2600's use a different crystal that's about 1% slower.

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carts would not be dual-usable as both PAL and NTSC because of the different clock rates.

I think that magic write idea is quite interesting. If it works reliably, then this could really be something very interesting for future board designs. But I don't understand one thing there. Can you explain please, why a difference of 8 ns for the whole cycle or 4 ns of one half cycle makes it necessary to have different designs for PAL and NTSC ? The 8 ns seem to be not very important, or ? And of course the timers on the VCS board are not so very accurate as well. Do you think they are better than 0.1% ?

 

Or maybe I didn't get the point ? :D

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