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I see that the PF graphics have a different color for each line(I think I see 4 repeating colors).  How are the diamonds white, or are they not drawn using the PF graphics?

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The PF is drawn using alternating red, green, blue lines. Three repeating colours. The diamonds appear white, but really they are just red, blue, green as the close-up image attached shows. It's all to do with how TVs blend colours, at least to our imperfect human eye.

 

Cheers

A

 

closeup.jpg

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Ah - I thought the slight discoloration in the video was MPG compression artifacts. Thanx for the explanation!

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Thomas Jentzsch is totally responsible for the amazing same-line 2 x 4-digit score routine shown in action in this MPG (1.5MB). This is kind of impossible on a '2600 ;)

 

Thanks Thomas. The MPG shows the left side saying D=000 where the number is the number of diamonds retrieved, and the right side shows the 4 digit number of moves made by the player. Apart from making debugging much easier, this display routine looks fabulous in split-screen mode, where each player has her own score under her window.

 

Cheers

A

 

Here's another pretty screen grab.

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Excellent work Andrew! :cool:

 

It'll be really interesting to see what other games are possible now with these carts with extra RAM and clever engines like Andrew's.

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It'll be really interesting to see what other games are possible now with these carts with extra RAM and clever engines like Andrew's.

Most of that stuff was possible back then too. The more RAM you have, the more you can play with selfmodifying code. That's why Supercharger games look so good.

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It'll be really interesting to see what other games are possible now with these carts with extra RAM and clever engines like Andrew's.

Most of that stuff was possible back then too. The more RAM you have, the more you can play with selfmodifying code. That's why Supercharger games look so good.

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That would explain a lot - for some reason I hadn't realised the Supercharger had a whole extra 6K of RAM - However, it is rather limited by having to load it all from a slow tape. So, lots of bank switch ROM + easily filled extra RAM = even nicer possibilities? :)

Edited by Sheddy

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This is looking more and more impressive for every day. And is certainly *the* most important homebrew for the 2600 since Thrust. Shockwaves should be rippling through the whole retro gaming world...

 

Regards,

Moderntimes99

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This is looking more and more impressive for every day. And is certainly *the* most important homebrew for the 2600 since Thrust. Shockwaves should be rippling through the whole retro gaming world...

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Starting to see some rapid improvements now that the systems are reaching a refined stage. Here we can now see

some very complex gameplay and action. There have been some major changes for this version.

 

* The addition of a wall around the entire board area. This makes many movement routines simpler, as they don't have to bounds-check.

* Nobody noticed, but due to the oddities of '2600 graphics, the diamonds actually mirrored when they were in columns 2,3 and 7,8. In fact, *all* characters mirrored in these columns. Go back and look at earlier MPGs if you don't believe me. In any case, this is now an optional feature, and the new MPG has non-mirroring diamonds, soil and boulders. It looks much better, trust me!

* The score digits have been redone, and spacing is now pixel-perfect on the two 4xdigit scores. Again, thanks to Thomas Jentzsch for this bit of trickery. You can see the scores in action -- they are providing me some debugging information at the moment.

* Some of the graphics have been improved -- in addition to the wall, the slime is reworked. Graphics are likely to change as the game is refined.

* There is one less row on the screen. Available processing time is scarce, and this helps me just that little bit. I will be aiming to put it back when I can get a chance to optimise -- again!

 

Well, that's about it. I'm really stoked about how it is looking right now. I have a couple of well-defined bugs; I should tackle those tomorrow. And after that I have a long list of things to work on. The show isn't that far away, but I'll definitely have something worth coming to see.

 

Cheers

A

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Hi Andrew

 

I noted in the videos, the game took half of the screen.

 

Is Boulderdash really use half of the screen or the video used more lines to display?

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I noted in the videos, the game took half of the screen.

 

Is Boulderdash really use half of the screen or the video used more lines to display?

Currently the game display only ~170 lines because Andrew removed one row (~20 lines). So, finally it should display ~190 lines, which is usual for Atari 2600 NTSC games.

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This is a rather major system update. A new kernel (display system) is now operational that allowed the blank line between character rows to be removed. It wasn't truly bad, but now that it's gone, vertical groups of objects don't have an annoying blank scanline (eg: walls).

 

Now, the new code is totally awesome. Prompted by Thomas Jentzsch suggesting it might be possible, I started work on the kernel and got it mostly working. And Thomas then went to it and completed the magic, fixing up the timing for me. It uses some *very* obscure programming techniques.

 

In conjunction with the new kernel, the sizes of objects have been increased from 18 scanlines each to 21. The reason was that they appeared to be a bit squashed -- and the removal of a blank scanline from each row meant that I had roughly 9 more scanlines available on the screen. It all balances out, and this video shows the new kernel operating with 21-deep characters. This has impacted slightly on processing speed, so I guess I'm just going to have to optimise things (what, again?!).

 

I do hope some of you make the effort to come to the show to see this actually running on hardware!

 

Cheers

A

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The attached image shows the new (left) and old (right) kernels side-by-side for comparison. As you can see, the characters are 'squarer' on the new kernel -- and that kernel uses more of the screen. These images are generated through a capture card, explaining the vast expanse of black. In reality, the playing area takes up much of the visible area on a TV.

Cheers

A

post-214-1116594228_thumb.jpg

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* Nobody noticed, but due to the oddities of '2600 graphics, the diamonds actually mirrored when they were in columns 2,3 and 7,8.  In fact, *all* characters mirrored in these columns.  Go back and look at earlier MPGs if you don't believe me.  In any case, this is now an optional feature, and the new MPG has non-mirroring diamonds, soil and boulders.  It looks much better, trust me!

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Hmm... noticed the mirrored diamonds, but thought they were a feature :-)

 

Couldn't download the mpg for the latest kernel, but judging from the screen-shots it looks even better than before. Funny, even though the graphics are fairly blocky the feeling of the original is captured in a very good way!

 

I couldn't resist to replay the C64 version and loaded it up in the VICE emulator yesterday. One thing that I noticed then was what important role sound effects play in creating atmospere in the game. Considering the dignity of this project - wouldn't it be a good idea to ask Paul Slocum himself if he possibly would like to try to recreate the original sound on the 2600?

 

Regards,

Moderntimes99

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Couldn't download the mpg for the latest kernel, but judging from the screen-shots it looks even better than before. Funny, even though the graphics are fairly blocky the feeling of the original is captured in a very good way!

 

I couldn't resist to replay the C64 version and loaded it up in the VICE emulator yesterday. One thing that I noticed then was what important role sound effects play in creating atmospere in the game. Considering the dignity of this project - wouldn't it be a good idea to ask Paul Slocum himself if he possibly would like to try to recreate the original sound on the 2600?

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The.... dignity..... of the project? I don't think I've ever worked on a dignified project before; how strange ;)

 

I am shifting everything to a new web-host. The one I was using was a major pain and I've finally up and left. But transferring whole websites at 4Kbps is rather painful. I have also (finally) ordered broadband. I expect everything to be back up in a few days. That's why the MPG links are currently dead.

 

I uploading that latest MPG again, so it should be there now.

 

As to asking Paul 'himself' -- I do hope Paul will be able to do some music and sound for the project. It is a good idea. Paul, Thomas and myself working together on this project would be awesomely dignified, don't you think?

 

Cheers

A

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I am *really* pleased to present this MPG of Boulder Dash Level 1 in action (8MB). I would like to acknowledge the most useful assistance of Thomas. It now looks almost certain that I will be presenting 20 or so levels of original BoulderDash caves at the show. Playable!

Cheers

A

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This is torture. Torture! I know I keep saying it but there's gotta be a way to get this released in some kind of legitemate way -- even if it takes special bank-switching hardware on the cart.

 

Bajeesus but it's looking mighty good. It's fast, it's smooth, it's packed with all the required (original) elements, and I really think this is a new level of accomplishment in 2600 programming -- let's face it; you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in the vast VCS library that compares to this on a technical or (from the look of it) playable level.

 

Stunning, Andrew. It seems to take a lot to impress me these days (lo, for I am very jaded :-)) but this impresses my shoes off.

 

Seriously, they're watching the monitor with their tongues hanging out.

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Maybe I missed the video with this in it but what happens when the character gets crushd with a boulder or dies in any other way. I would like to see that if you could point me to the mpeg or maybe post a new one. :cool:

 

Looking very nice. Can't wait to play it at OVGE. Can I reserve my spot as the first person besides you to ever play it? :D

 

How many levels of the original do you think you'll be able to fit in? Are there any levels you think will not be doable? How come you kick so much ass?

 

Keep up the good work!

 

-Tim

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Maybe I missed the video with this in it but what happens when the character gets crushd with a boulder or dies in any other way. I would like to see that if you could point me to the mpeg or maybe post a new one. :cool:

 

Looking very nice. Can't wait to play it at OVGE. Can I reserve my spot as the first person besides you to ever play it? :D

 

How many levels of the original do you think you'll be able to fit in? Are there any levels you think will not be doable? How come you kick so much ass?

 

Keep up the good work!

 

-Tim

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I have not yet implemented crushing. Some of the systems are very complex to get 'right', as I have taken many shortcuts in the design to improve the speed. Before adding new features (crushing), I hope to improve those that are already there.

 

First come first served as far as who gets to play it, sorry.

 

I am not aware of any levels that I cannot implement at this stage. The more creatures doing things, the slower things go... but I am still able to do much optimisation so I hope mostly it will run at a reasonable speed. I have mucho ROM space for adding levels.

 

As far as 'kicking ass' -- you just have to REALLY want to do something, that's all. Most people give up too easily.

 

Cheers

A

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As far as 'kicking ass' -- you just have to REALLY want to do something, that's all.  Most people give up too easily.

Yes, it's all about the "hardwork". :)

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First come first served as far as who gets to play it, sorry.

 

 

 

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I know but I just had to try. :twisted:

 

As far as 'kicking ass' -- you just have to REALLY want to do something, that's all. Most people give up too easily.

 

860833[/snapback]

 

 

:thumbsup:

 

-Tim :)

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As far as 'kicking ass' -- you just have to REALLY want to do something, that's all.  Most people give up too easily.

Yes, it's all about the "hardwork". :)

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hardwork, patience and tenacity...

 

BTW Andrew, I am very impressed with all of your hardwork, patience and tenacity but beyond that, you're pretty damn clever as well!

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As far as 'kicking ass' -- you just have to REALLY want to do something, that's all.  Most people give up too easily.

Yes, it's all about the "hardwork". :)

860850[/snapback]

 

hardwork, patience and tenacity...

 

BTW Andrew, I am very impressed with all of your hardwork, patience and tenacity but beyond that, you're pretty damn clever as well!

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Thank you for the compliment. 'Clever', as such, comes from insight, which comes from experience, which comes from persistance, which comes from hardwork, which comes from tenacity, which comes from patience :) The point I am trying to make is that I am no different from any other person who is prepared to put in the effort to master a craft. You can do it too... you just have to want to bad enough.

 

Cheers

A

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