Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Atari 2600 denial '77 release notes

The first product of my retro programming project is (almost?) done.

denial '77 (Atari 2600)

denial '77 (NTSC)
denial '77 (PAL)

PAL mode (50Hz) has been tuned separately from NTSC but is still probably a little easier than NTSC or PAL60 (maybe I should create NTSC55 & PAL55 and split the difference?)

If no obvious problems are found, this will be the final (or at least initial final :) version).

The game is loosely modelled on Space Zap, an arcade game from 1980.


Left player difficulty sets game difficulty
Right player difficulty sets starting level (1 or 14)
Reset or joystick button to start.


You're protecting the base in the centre, move the joystick in the direction you want to fire.
The base heats up when you fire, changing colour and expanding. The base firing rate slows as the base heats up.
The base also heats up when hit. It's game over if the base hit when it is overheated.
The level number is the only scoring mechanism.


If anyone tries it out I would be interested to know what level you attain - and whether it was using an emulator or real hardware, easy or hard, 60Hz or 50Hz.


This was always intended to be my warm-up game as I returned to Atari 2600 programming after a 14 year hiatus.
It is lacking some polish generally found in modern 2600 games (separate title screen, option screen, more detailed scoring, game over screen, multiple chances etc.). Maybe it's more like a quick and dirty cash-in game from 1978 :)
Part of me wants to go back and make it "the best it can be" and fix some of the "naive coding choices", but another part of me says I have other games I want to do on the 2600 and the Atari 8 bit (and other platforms) so this is probably it for this game.

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