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SO IT'S BEEN A WHILE since I've been very active on AA; but in the last few weeks I have again started some fairly intensive 2600 development. I'm sorry to say, Nathan, that it isn't RPS - which is still on my slow-moving to-do list - but rather a project that I toyed with years ago: a semi-faithful port of Tank Battalion.


I'll try to find time to put up the in-progress ROM of what I've got so far along with some screenshots, plus other details. And I am having some difficulty with the graphics and could use some help from those who are more talented. But I'll save the begging for later. ;)


EDIT: Now I'm at home; here's a screenshot and a binary.




It's pretty ugly at the moment. The explanation:

I'm trying to use the same technique that batari used in his Rally-X demo - using the missiles as alternate frames for the sprites to have 4 semi-flickered sprites. The ball (flickered) will be used for the tank bullets.


The current ROM has two different graphics in it - the original graphics I came up with are used for the L/R-facing tanks and the downward-facing tanks. The upwards-facing tank uses another version. I'm not really satisfied with either.


The constraints are:

the sprite is 8x12, which isn't set in stone.

The missile can only start or stop drawing on even-numbered scanlines. I.e., they can only be 2, 4, 6, etc. lines tall and the can only be positioned (vertically) every two lines. They can be 1, 2, 4, or 8 pixels wide. The missiles can only be rectangular in shape - they can't have blank lines in the middle or change widths in the middle.


Anyone got anything better, or have any good suggestions?

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That's okay about RPS - it's so far down my to-do list that it's fallen off the bottom a few times. ;)


I'm sure we'll get around to it someday. Maybe re-theme it as a holiday cart. :D


Tank Battalion sounds like a completely doable port for the 2600. Dave Dries did a write-up on the arcade game some years back.

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Looks good - I like the combination of player and missile sprites to give 2 colours to each tank.


The tanks seem to get stuck on the edges of corners very easily - I'm not sure if that was the case in the arcade version?



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Interesting game. Couldn't play it in MAME due to "missing roms", but it did work in iMAME which is based version 0.34/0.35 of MAME.


Movement is jerky, note the ghosting on the top tank - the tanks move 1/2 their length at a time.



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Just so you all know, unless there is a huge clamor for a pixel-perfect port, I'm going to play very fast and loose with this. Mostly, I like the high-level concept: a maze with shootable walls, multiple enemies, and a base to defend. Everything else is up for grabs!


And Chris: the tanks getting stuck on corners is IMO a bug that is high on my list of things to fix. ;)

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sounds good to me as while the game was interesting, I found the jerky movement a bit disconcerting. The smooth movement in TankMaze (other than stuck corners) is better.

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