X:8 is a new side-scrolling shoot-em-up-style game for the Atari 8-bit computer made for the ABBUC Software Contest 2013. The game will only be available to ABBUC members during a voting period. Later it will be released to the general public.
- Graphics / Production: José Pereira
- Code / Music: Xuel
- Sprites: TMR / STE'86
The graphics are converted and inspired by several other 8-bit era games including Armalyte for the ZX Spectrum, Gradius for Nintendo Game Boy, and Nemesis for Game Boy. The music is a cover of the level one theme song of Ruff 'n' Tumble for Amiga.
Start - Start or restart at level 1 or finalize high score entry
Select - Toggle music
Option - Toggle sound effects
Joystick - Move or enter high score
Trigger - Shoot
Your mission is to fight your way past waves of enemy ships, ground weapons and obstacles to defeat the forces of the X:8 empire. Along the way you can collect eight different powerups dropped by enemy ships to enhance your fighting ability against enemy ships of varying strengths. Eight levels await you.
Double shot - Improves primary weapons from a damage of 1 to 2.
Spread Shot - Slow weapon with damage of 2. Angle shots are ineffective in this version of the game.
Fire Ball - Slow weapon with damage of 3.
Piercing Shot - Fast weapon with damage of 3.
Ray Gun - Fast weapon with damage of 4.
Invulnerability - Places shield around your ship that prevents all damage for a short period of time.
Bomb - Instantly destroys all enemy ships on the screen.
Extra Life - Increases your lives by one up to a maximum of eight.
X:8 uses a combination of high-res and medium-res graphics modes. The middle part of the playfield is ANTIC mode 2 (Graphics 0). The borders and status bar are ANTIC mode 4 (Graphics 12). Player/Missile graphics are used to for the player's ship and various enemy weapons and obstacles. José conceived of the screen layout and described it on the Format War forums in May of 2013. Xuel got involved after posting an initial mock-up of a rendering engine for José's idea in that thread.
The engine runs at full frame rate (50FPS on PAL, 60FPS on NTSC). To achieve fast drawing speeds, many shortcuts and approximations are made. The enemies can only be positioned on a 4x2 grid. This means that only 8 different shifted versions of the enemy ships are needed. These occupy 72 characters of the ANTIC mode 2 character set that is active in the center of the screen. The rest of the characters are used for debris, powerups, stars, and enemy projectiles with various shifts pre-applied. Drawing consists only of changing the screen ram. No changes are made to the character set except between enemy waves when a new enemy template is pre-shifted into the character set. This happens in the background without disturbing the smoothness of the scrolling, hero movement or other enemy objects. A downside to this approach is that you will occasionally see blank areas when one object is drawn on top of another, but hopefully it doesn't detract too much from the game play.
- STE'86 for permission to use Armalyte sprites
- TMR for hero ship sprites
- phaeron for Altirra and VirtualDub
- fox for xasm
- fox for inflate
- jaskier for TMC2
- AtariAge Forums
- Format War
- Tiled Qt
- Armalyte ZX Spectrum
- Gradius Game Boy
- Nemesis Game Boy
- Ruff'N'Tumble Amiga
505, +Adam+, atari8warez, candle, CharlieChaplin, CreatureXL,
Cosine, drac030, emkay, Exin, Faicuai, flashjazzcat, foft, fox,
Heaven/TQA, Hiassoft, ilmenit, Irgendwer, ivop, JAC!, Johny,
Kaz, MaPa, Matosimi, Mclaneinc, miker, MrFish, Oswald, PG,
phaeron, popmilo, Rybags, sack-c0s, SimPiko, skr, snicklin,
STE'86, Stephen, stRing, Synthpopalooza, tebe, Tezz,
therealbountybob, TMR, w1k, xeen, xxl
We planned many more features but ran out of time.
- Enemy waves that come from the borders
- Enemy ships that shoot projectiles
- More enemy movement patterns
- Destructible border weapons
- Better ship weapons
- Large end bosses
Stay tuned for another release with these features and more after the contest period.