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Simon

New game development for Atari 2600: ENCAVED

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Hi,

 

following the development of my last game "Raster Fahndung" I started working on a new game...

 

You have been captured and are hidden in caves and have to find your way out as fast as possible. The problem: you are surrounded by complete darkness. You were equipped with a small pda showing your current position and the remaining time of your oxygen. You also got the possibility to navigate a small radar spot over the caves to show you the ways and walls of the maze.

 

You control your man with the joystick. You control the radar spot with the joystick while the fire button is pressed. You have to find an exit in the outside walls to escape the cave and advance one level. Each cavern contains a hidden object which supplies you some more oxygen.

 

The intro is finished, the game routines work fine and I'm currently designing the level maps. The game consists of 4kb and I currently plan to include 24 levels.

 

I hope that you like the attached screenshots and can imagine the game concept behind.

 

Thanks for your interest,

Simon

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I"m pretty sure the title screen can't be done as cleanly as shown, due to haveing to use BG, and txt sprites simultaniously.

 

The mockup for in game is pretty good, and the Idea sounds cool though.

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The title screen looks quite doable. The black diagonal would be the BALL, the gray would be the playfield, the text done by shifting the sprites 1 pixel per row.

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I"m pretty sure the title screen can't be done as cleanly as shown, due to haveing to use BG, and txt sprites simultaniously.

 

It's a screenhot.

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I"m pretty sure the title screen can't be done as cleanly as shown, due to haveing to use BG, and txt sprites simultaniously.

 

The mockup for in game is pretty good, and the Idea sounds cool though.

Well, it is doable. It's an screenshot directly from the emulator z26. Thanks for the kind words... :D

 

The logo is shown as both sprites with y-stretch and the credit text is a reused (change of register nusiz0) sprite 0 with normal width. The border of the logo is made of the two missiles. The black diagonal behind the logo is the ball - it's moving horizontally. The whole screen is scrolling up and down as if it is moved by the chains.

 

Thanks,

Simon

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The logo is shown as both sprites with y-stretch and the credit text is a reused (change of register nusiz0) sprite 0 with normal width. The border of the logo is made of the two missiles. The black diagonal behind the logo is the ball - it's moving horizontally. The whole screen is scrolling up and down as if it is moved by the chains.

Thanks for explaining that, I was trying to work out how you did it. I figured the border was drawn with the missiles, but I couldn't figure out how you got the credit text in addition to the title. :)

 

MR

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The logo is shown as both sprites with y-stretch and ...

Sorry for the typo, I meant x-stretch of course.

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man that looks sweet, kinda like sword of fargoal type of 'reveal as you go' display. i like the concept. cant wait to see where it goes (monsters? pick axe to kill em with?) :-)

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It may be my imagination, but doesn't a ball have to match the color of at least one of the sprites? That was my first thought though...

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It may be my imagination, but doesn't a ball have to match the color of at least one of the sprites?

The ball matches the color of the playfield. So the background behind the logo is probably the actual background color, while the sides are masked out with a black playfield. :)

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Hi,

 

just to let you know: I updated my small webpages at http://www.quernhorst.de/atari/ with a more comprehensive explanation of the game.

 

All different levels are designed and I'm currently playtesting the game. I have to add some sound effects and will see what the amount of available ROM space will look like afterwards...

 

Later,

Simon

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I"m pretty sure the title screen can't be done as cleanly as shown, due to haveing to use BG, and txt sprites simultaniously.

It's a screenhot.

It sure is hot. And it took me about one second to figure out what was happening.

 

Even cooler would be (if it doesn't already), don't do the HMOVE on every scan line, and make it tilt at different angles under software control.

 

So it's an invisible maze game with a flashlight where you can only see a small segment at a time? That sounds like a brilliant way to work within the 2600's graphics limitations.

 

Hmm... if the playfield is set to priority over the player (the TIA can do that, right?), and the playfield color is set to the same color as the background, then it should overlay the player as seen above. Is that how it works?

Edited by Bruce Tomlin

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Hello and thanks for the kind words.

 

Even cooler would be (if it doesn't already), don't do the HMOVE on every scan line, and make it tilt at different angles under software control.

You must do the HMOVE on every scanline, because the sprites are moved one pixel to the left with every scanline... but it would still be possible to move the logo horizontally. I decided not to move it horizontally, because of the additional copyright text.

 

So it's an invisible maze game with a flashlight where you can only see a small segment at a time? That sounds like a brilliant way to work within the 2600's graphics limitations.

 

Hmm... if the playfield is set to priority over the player (the TIA can do that, right?), and the playfield color is set to the same color as the background, then it should overlay the player as seen above. Is that how it works?

Yes. The playfield has got priority over the sprites and playfield and background are displayed in black. The two sprites (one is man and the other is the spotlight) are moving behind the playfield. As the man can not cross walls (collision detection) you will never see this sprite totally covered by the playfield (only a bit to show the collision with the wall as you ran into it). The spotlight crosses ways and walls to show the labyrinth.

 

Thanks,

Simon

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man, that looks cool. just checked the web page. Now I really wish the game had weapons and enemies :-) this would make a great fargoal/apshai/etc type engine.

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man, that looks cool. just checked the web page. Now I really wish the game had weapons and enemies :-) this would make a great fargoal/apshai/etc type engine.

Thanks for the kind words. It's not the intention of this game to have weapons and enemies - it's about being held captured alone in a dark cavern and finding the exit. And believe me: it's hard enough. :) If you replay the game again and remember the way through a maze from your last game, you may not even have to use the spotlight. The game awards you with double points then.

 

I already made plans for a different game in which you could choose either weapon or light for your movement and have to locate and exterminate all enemies in a mine.

 

Later,

Simon

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this would make a great fargoal/apshai/etc type engine.

But doesn't the maze stay exposed as you move around in those games? I don't think the engine for Encaved could do that, since it's like the dark dungeon/catacombs screens in Adventure.

 

I think an expose-as-you-go (map-as-you-go) game could be done on the 2600, though.

 

MR

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I think an expose-as-you-go (map-as-you-go) game could be done on the 2600, though.

See TROGDOR's blog for an example; he's writing Hunt The Wumpus for the VCS.

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Hello everybody,

 

after some months of playing videogames instead of creating new ones, I wanted to give you the following update for "ENCAVED":

 

- The PAL version of the game is finished.

- I'm currently converting the NTSC version.

- The game will be manufactured and sold by AtariAge. We are currently working on the label and manual designs.

 

Thanks,

Simon

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