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ARCTIC LANDTRAN -- An Adventure on Ice!


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At the edge of the world... Near the arctic circle... Where a warm day is 45 below zero....

Lay the vast, rich oilfields of Northern Alaska...

The men and women who work there need vital supplies...

Their only link to civilization is a road made of the thin ice that covers the deep frozen lakes, rivers, and tundra of the Alaskan bush...

A road so fragile, that the smallest mistake can shatter the ice and send drivers plummetting to the depths of the frigid waters... their bodies freezing instantly, before they even have a chance to drown...

Imagine driving a 20 ton transport truck on top of a frozen river or lake, with only a few inches of ice seperating you from the deep water below...


No big deal... It's just another ordinary day driving the ARCTIC LANDTRAN...


Do you have what it takes to take on the most dangerous job on Earth?

Get onboard, driver!!! Here are your keys to an adventure on ice!


(cue dramatic music) ;)

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Drive your transport truck on the frozen road, through both day and night, fighting bad weather, avoiding cracks and slippery patches in the ice and dodging oncoming trucks and caribou crossing the road--all the while staying within the road's boundaries. Off road driving damages and weakens the ice, eventually causing the road to shatter and collapse, with your truck sinking to the bottom of the frigid water.




To start the game, press reset. To increase the skill level, press select. For joystick control, set the left difficulty switch to B. To use the driving controller, set the left difficulty switch to A. Pressing the button accellerates the truck. Steer using left and right controls.


At the bottom of the screen are two status bars. The left status bar is distance driven towards your destination--the oilfield. The right bar is the "health" of the ice you are driving on. Every second you are off the road, the ice weakens and the bar length increases. When the bar is full, the ice shatters, the road collapses, and the game ends with part your sunken truck visible at the bottom of the water. On road driving helps restore the strength of the ice, until it is eventually healed.


Reaching the oil field will give you a 5,000 point bonus! Press the button after you've reached your destination to transport another load!




To switch to two player mode, set the B&W/Color switch to B&W. In two player mode, the left player steers the cab of the truck, whle the right player steers the trailer. Try to coordinate your movements so as to stay on the road. The right player controls the truck's horn with the button. Set the right difficulty switch to A to use the right driving controller for player two (player 2 driving contrller still buggy)




Don't be a leadfoot!!! The surest way to get into trouble is by driving to fast. The course is very difficult! Slow and steady is the way to go! Keep pumping the accelerator on and off to maintain a medium, confortable speed!


If you can't get past the caribou... stop the truck and wait a bit, they will move up and you can plot a course to get past them.


Some cracks and slippery patches are unavoidable... Try minimizing your truck's contact off the road. If only your cab or trailer is off the road, the ice will be damaged at half the rate than if the entire truck is offroad. Use that to your advantage!


If you are still having trouble, the game is significantly easier using the driving controller (only on a real Atari, not with emulation).




The design of the game was inspired by the late 70's Atari coin-op arcade game, Fire Truck

This is the first public Batari Basic game using reverse color scrolling (that I know of)

This is also my first Barari Basic game! :D


Enjoy! Let me know if you encounter any problems:


Edited by lord_mike
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Great job! It is very challenging. I really like the scrolling with different colors, the landtran, and the trees, etc. A lot of work was obviously put into it, and it shows.


Here are some thoughts about possible changes (but I don't know whether this would be good or not):

* It might help to make the turning just a little less responsive (or basically just slow game down a little bit - it is pretty hard!)

* May want to make landtran move on its own without pressing fire button (maybe fire button would make you turn faster?)

* If not then maybe add a time limit?

* Change background color for night driving.

* Drive with paddle?

Edited by Fort Apocalypse
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Thank you all for the kind comments... :) I really appreciate it!


This game was a Christmas gift to my wife, and I had been planning it since last summer. I was able to make the Christmas deadline, but I still had a few odds and ends to finish with the game before I was ready to post it. Originally, I was going to do a 3-D driving game, but when I saw the color scroll example (either Curtis or Michael presented it, and it was way cool.. thanks, guys! :) ) here on this forum, I thought that top-down would be better. I immediately thought of the Fire Truck game that was one of my favorites as a kid, so I went with that idea. Fire Truck had the truck fixed in the center, and you could go all four directions with scrolling. I figured that would be too difficult to implement, so I limited the directions and allowed the truck to move sideways on the screen. That worked better than expected. I wanted multicolor sprites, but that caused a problem with the color scrolling. The big challenge was implementing a separate cab and trailer and doing it while flickering the two. I had a bear of a time dealing with decmial numbers... Fortunately, studying Batari's zombie chase got the movement the way I wanted it to be.


The game is significantly easier with the driving controller than with the joystick. I realize that most people aren't going to play this on a real Atari, and I am going to work on making the joystick version easier... I don't want people turned off by the game being too complex... on the other hand, I want to make sure it isn't too easy, either! ;)


Now onto Fort Apocalypse's specific comments and questions...


* It might help to make the turning just a little less responsive (or basically just slow game down a little bit - it is pretty hard!)


That is actually a FEATURE of the game taken right out of Fire Truck. Basically, it is a penalty for drivng too fast, you more easily lose control of steering. That is how almost all the crashes occur in Fire Truck... the difference is that acceleration and deceleration in Fire Truck is slower, and maybe I can work on that part. I will find a way to make it easier... One of my thoughts is having a low gear... I will experiment with some stuff and see how it goes. In the meantime, make sure to "pump" the accelerator off and on to keep a comfortable medium speed.


* May want to make landtran move on its own without pressing fire button (maybe fire button would make you turn faster?)


That would make it harder, don't you think? You'd be unable to pause or stop... the hairpin turns might be harder to maneuver.


* If not then maybe add a time limit?


I'm out of variables!!! :sad:


* Change background color for night driving.


The background colors are supposed to simulate "headlights"... I tried to reduce the intensity of the colors of the obstacles, but, for some reason, I couldn't get it to work right... I think I can darken the background some more to make it more of a challenge... (like the game needs it!) I will play around with it.


* Drive with paddle?


My original intent was to make the game for paddles. Unfortunately, the pfcolors and readpaddle kernel options do not go together, and I really wanted the color scrolling... so, I made the sacrifice, knowing I had a pair of driving controllers handy.


Thank you again for all your kind words! This forum has been incredibly helpful. I spent almost a whole year just watching and studying this group to learn how to make this game. I will keep tweaking it and posting updates! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)





Edited by lord_mike
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  • 4 months later...
Do you plan to release a cartridge version? I think a 2 player version with forced forward movement could be fun.


I did think about it... I was hoping that Albert would have seen it and be so impressed that he offered it in his store! :cool: Ah, well, we can dream, can't we?


There are still a few bugs, especially with the two players and the driving controller... I'd want to work that out...


I've thought about maybe doing a "hi-res" version if Albert can (and is willing to) support superchips...


Maybe I'll drop Albert a line and see what can be done... Maybe I can get this put out for the Christmas season... It would be cool to see my product listed on the front page!


Thanks for all the compliments! I enjoyed making it... turned out better than I expected... beginner's luck, I guess! ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

What a surprise! I haven't been on the board in awhile, and what's the first thing I see when I log in? Someone complementing me on a game I made over a year ago! Thanks! :) I'm flattered!


Everything seemed to just work out with this one, and I had fun making it. It's my first, and only, game at the moment, although, I'm eager to make some more with the new Batari Basic update that allows bitwise variable names (will make like much easier).. If I could only find a 2600 emulator for the blackberry, that would make things even better!


As for the cartridge... I was going to clean up some of the code and create a special cartridge release, but then Albert closed up the store... If there's enough demand, I could work with a different cartridge maker and get some released on cartridge.... Let me know... maybe I'll post a poll in the main atari forum to see if there is enough interest to make it worth my while...


We'll see what happens... In the meantime, thanks for the kind words! :) I'm pleaseantly surprised that this game is still garnering interest after all this time... I'm glad you are enjoying it! :cool:

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  • 3 months later...

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