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The Southsider

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As many of you will now know, I have been working on a new Atari 2600 homebrew title called Chetiry. This blog entry should hopefully clear us some of the confusion surrounding the project!


Chetiry is a tetromino matching game that should be familiar to most gamers. The original Chetiry project (Chetiry means 4 in Russian) was started by Zach way back in 2006. However, Zach retired from Atari 2600 homebrewing in 2009 with the Chetiry project still unfinished. I had been hoping to see Chetiry completed, and so I contacted Zach to ask if he would allow me to continue his work. Fortunately he agreed, and so I have been working on the project in my spare time over the last year, mostly on airplanes while travelling for my work!


There have been several other tetromino matching games for the Atari 2600. However, I wanted Chetiry to be as close to the original Gameboy version as possible, as this is my favourite version. The new Melody hardware also inspired me to include digitized music throughout the game, based on the Pitfall-2 technique.


I originally thought the project could be quickly completed, as Zach had already done a lot of the coding. However, I ended up rewriting the game code several times over to support the digitized music! The only original code remaining now is the neat 10 color kernel that Zach designed. The core game code is a little under 8KB, but with all of the music and artwork, the game now occupies around 48KB of cartridge space!




The awesome artwork for Chetiry was designed by the prolific Nathan Strum. At one point in the project, he suggested doing a Gameboy-themed version of the game! This seemed like a good idea for a demo version, as the full game cannot be played in Stella. The Gameboy-style artwork was completed shortly before the beginning of April, and so one thing lead to another :)


The Gameboy-themed version of Chetiry will not be developed further, and so I have attached the source code and binaries to the end of this entry. The full version of Chetiry will have (at least) the following enhancements:


  1. Full color game grid
  2. Hiscore tables saved directly on the cart
  3. 4 game modes (Marathon, Sprint25, Sprint40 and Ultra)
  4. 6 digitized tunes
  5. Easter eggs!

Nathan has kindly produced a video of the current (full) version of Chetiry:



Chetiry should be released on a cart sometime later this year. There is still a bit of programming required, and the cart label and manual have yet to be designed. As always, it will be released when it is ready :)



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I knew the project would be in good hands, Chris.


By the way, is this version of the AtariAge logo new? The two-colored 48 pixel sprite is a nice trick.

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Thanks for the complements!


Zach - the AtariAge logo is new (drawn by Nathan). The two-color effect is done using black sprites masking a coloured playfield (so no mid-line colour changes are necessary).

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The game looks very polished.

I never thought you could put so many colors on a row, inspiring stuff.

Well done!

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Thanks for the complements. The game is basically done, but there is still some work on the label, manual, and cart production. Hopefully it will be released before the end of the year.



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The suspense is getting to me as to whether we'll see it soon, but I can hold on until Albert starts selling Stay Frosty 2. I presume other games will come out at that time.


I wait patiently knowing that homebrews are often delayed.

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With any luck it will be available towards the beginning of the new year. The code is now complete, but the label, manual and board production still need to be done.

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The label's coming along. I got sidetracked with SF2, but should be back on track in time for the next batch of games to be added to the AA store.

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No rush, Nathan. Chetiry is worth waiting for. That's cool that you're working on Stay Frosty again. I look forward to hearing more. ;)

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How is this coming along? I just rememberd this project today.

As Nathan said, it is all done and ready for release. Just waiting for BD to get out of the door first.




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Just played the Gameboy version again on the Harmony today, and this is great. Can't wait for the full-color version on cart. I know this won't be cost-effective, but wouldn't it be cool to do a cart release in grey plastic, to mimic the GB?

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Just played the Gameboy version again on the Harmony today, and this is great. Can't wait for the full-color version on cart. I know this won't be cost-effective, but wouldn't it be cool to do a cart release in grey plastic, to mimic the GB?


Than would be nice, but I don't think anyone has produced new Atari cases for some time. Curt said something about considering it, and I think Fred (batari) has had managed to make one using Makerbot ...

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