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Juno First - Final Version (Atari 2600)


cd-w

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The high score table is greyed-out if no SaveKey is detected.

I liked the previous way as it looked more impressive, eye catching, and arcade like.

It still looks the same as before - but only with a SaveKey or AtariVox attached. Otherwise, it doesn't work anyway. I like it grayed out, since it lets the player know they're missing out on something.

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The ship is invulnerable for a few seconds after starting, and after you lose a life - this is shown by a flashing ship.

I like this in concept... but it also means if you can't pick up an astronaut while flashing. Any chance of changing that?

 

Good point - I hadn't thought about that - I'll see what I can do :)

 

Chris

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Great to hear that you reconsider investing more time to fine-polish this masterful creation :)

Can only second Mos6507's comments about the difference such attention to detail often makes...

Although one can all too well understand the tedious aspects of this, it's always rejoicing to see a vailliant homebrewer going that extra mile to deliver a masterpiece :thumbsup:

 

 

ship animation: I really like espire8's animated cockpit ship, I think it could further (subtly) enliven the game. Hopefully you could give it a try...

:ponder:

 

 

:)

 

Juno_First_BETA7_cockpitflash_NTSC.bin

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The ship is invulnerable for a few seconds after starting, and after you lose a life - this is shown by a flashing ship.

I like this in concept... but it also means if you can't pick up an astronaut while flashing. Any chance of changing that?

 

I don't think it should pause between lives. If you really want a pause, code it to use the B-W/COLOR switch or something. I think it interrupts the flow of the game too much. But really, I don't think you need a pause for a game like this. If marathon games like Journey Escape, Enduro, etc. don't have a pause, I don't think you need to worry too much about your super-fast action twitch shooter having a pause. :)

 

Big thanks for the effort to implement that feature :thumbsup:

 

It would serve best though as a replacement for the between-lives pauses, which really break the high-octane feeling of the game IMO. (vdub_bobby brought this to the point nicely)

 

For the same game-flow considerations, I find that this safe phase is currently much too generous.

Its function should be limited to rule out the instant-death risk of rematerializing above an enemy after losing a life. It should not provide the player an opportunity for (long) relaxation and easy scoring.

I'd thus suggest the following fine-tunings:

- disable the player's shooting while invulnerable

- shorten the invulnerability to a few seconds only (at least half of the current length).

 

Other than that, I'd only keep my fingers crossed that a 2600 sound wizard may provide you assistance for that couple of extra sound effects suggested earlier. :music:

 

A fantastic 2600 game in any case :thumbsup: :cool:

Edited by r_type2600
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- disable the player's shooting while invulnerable

- shorten the invulnerability to a few seconds only (at least half of the current length).

 

How about having invulnerability last until the player shoots (up to some maximum time)?

 

That would be even better!

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I agree with r-type, the invincibility stage should be shorter, maybe half what it is now. If its shorter then I don't think you'll have to stop it from firing.

 

The last idea is interesting too, but that may make the game more relaxing.

Edited by JunoReaktor
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Been playing your game alot.

Very hard game, like the challenge though.

 

Suggestion:

I got tired of reaching for the select sw to cont' where I left off.

 

Is it too late to possibly include a cont' feature so players don't constantly have to reach for the select sw?

 

If the difficulty switches are still free, maybe you can have them function like DIP switches on the arcade board to set it up as you like.

 

The settings here is what I recommend for a difficult game as this, but you can ramp it up or down as you see fit.

L diff = starting wave; (A) wave 5, (B) wave 9.

R diff = bonus life; (A) first at 20,000 & every 50,000 after, (B) first at 15,000 & every 30,000 after.

B/W sw = (color) use current DIP sw (L&R diff)setting; (b&w) disable DIP sw setting and use default setting regardless of L&R positions --> starting wave 1, bonus life at 10,000 and every 25,000 after.

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All I have to say is:

 

Wow!

 

For a moment, I thought I had opened by Commodore 64 emulator! The graphics excel anything I thought possible on the Atari. The game itself, is incredibly fun.

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Here is another small update:

  1. The ship now reappears immediately after you die.
  2. Firing is disabled while your ship is flashing slowly (I find this quite annoying, so I will probably remove this in the next version).
  3. You can now collect the astronaut while flashing, and the flashing time has been reduced.
  4. Finally found and fixed an annoying kernel bug where the sprites would occasionally judder at the right edge of the screen.

As usual, let me know what you think about the changes, and if you find any bugs.

 

Many thanks,

Chris

Juno_First_BETA8_NTSC.bin

Juno_First_BETA8_PAL60.bin

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ship animation: I really like espire8's animated cockpit ship, I think it could further (subtly) enliven the game. Hopefully you could give it a try...

:ponder:

 

Thanks for putting this together, but I think that it makes the front of the ship look too disconnected, and it doesn't add anything to the game. I'm going to stick with Nathan's original sprite designs as he put a lot of effort into them and I completely happy with the results.

 

Chris

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- disable the player's shooting while invulnerable

- shorten the invulnerability to a few seconds only (at least half of the current length).

How about having invulnerability last until the player shoots (up to some maximum time)?

 

I have shortened the time period in the latest version, but I may implement this approach in the next version. I'm slightly worried that it will be too easy to accidentally fire and blow oneself up.

 

Chris

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I have shortened the time period in the latest version, but I may implement this approach in the next version. I'm slightly worried that it will be too easy to accidentally fire and blow oneself up.

 

Well, after a few times I think players would learn not to do that.

 

Though if you wanted to be nice you could make the fire button inoperative during a ship/missile collision.

 

Or if you wanted to be really super nice you could retroactively cancel a shot that was fired one or two frames ago if the player's ship gets hit again (and was invincible when the shot was 'fired'). This might come across as odd unless you delay the shot's sound effects by 1-2 frames.

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I have shortened the time period in the latest version, but I may implement this approach in the next version. I'm slightly worried that it will be too easy to accidentally fire and blow oneself up.

Well, after a few times I think players would learn not to do that.

Though if you wanted to be nice you could make the fire button inoperative during a ship/missile collision.

Or if you wanted to be really super nice you could retroactively cancel a shot that was fired one or two frames ago if the player's ship gets hit again (and was invincible when the shot was 'fired'). This might come across as odd unless you delay the shot's sound effects by 1-2 frames.

 

Here is a basic implementation to see how it works in practise. Your ship is invulnerable for a few seconds unless you hit fire (in which case it immediately becomes vulnerable). I think this works well, and is much less annoying than the previous approach? Also, having played it a few times I didn't find myself pressing fire accidentally, so I don't think we actually need a workaround?

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Chris

Juno_First_BETA8B_NTSC.bin

Juno_First_BETA8B_PAL60.bin

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Thanks for putting this together, but I think that it makes the front of the ship look too disconnected, and it doesn't add anything to the game. I'm going to stick with Nathan's original sprite designs as he put a lot of effort into them and I completely happy with the results.

 

I agree. Side by side movement like River Raid is more appropriate, but since the coinop doesn't do this, it really doesn't add anything.

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Here is a basic implementation to see how it works in practise. Your ship is invulnerable for a few seconds unless you hit fire (in which case it immediately becomes vulnerable). I think this works well, and is much less annoying than the previous approach? Also, having played it a few times I didn't find myself pressing fire accidentally, so I don't think we actually need a workaround?

 

It's a little unusual but I think it works really well! It prevents the gamer from getting free shots but still gives you time to maneuver your ship into the clear.

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Here is a basic implementation to see how it works in practise. Your ship is invulnerable for a few seconds unless you hit fire (in which case it immediately becomes vulnerable). I think this works well, and is much less annoying than the previous approach? Also, having played it a few times I didn't find myself pressing fire accidentally, so I don't think we actually need a workaround?

 

Perfect! :thumbsup: :)

 

- one small observation/request: could you set a timer (say 10 seconds or so) for the game over screen before it automatically returns to the scoreboard/title sequence? That would be more arcade-like, avoiding static moments in case the gamer leaves without interaction. (just visualizing the game demoed on a show floor)

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ship animation: I really like espire8's animated cockpit ship, I think it could further (subtly) enliven the game. Hopefully you could give it a try...

:ponder:

 

Thanks for putting this together, but I think that it makes the front of the ship look too disconnected, and it doesn't add anything to the game. I'm going to stick with Nathan's original sprite designs as he put a lot of effort into them and I completely happy with the results.

 

Chris

Your welcome. I wish you would still include the arcade color and cockpit flash as Nathan's version don't capture that. I'm not knock'n this work, arcade realism is what i'm after. I want to see the ship as close to the arcade as the vcs can produce.

Juno_First_cockpit_flash_BETA7_NTSC.bin

post-7623-1212563279.pngpost-7623-1212563286.png

I know it don't add to the game but it add to the "arcade look" that make a difference I think any stranger will appriciate.

I agree. Side by side movement like River Raid is more appropriate, but since the coinop doesn't do this, it really doesn't add anything.

No mos6507! No! You're not helping my request! it's not about side movement! it's the color! and the cockpit!!

 

flashing cockpit not gonna happen with remark like that. I'm I alone with wanting this??

 

Chris, really, I'm for whatever you want to do with your game, -your the boss. Do as you please,

 

BUT--

I betcha if I hack my own version w/ flashing cockpit and make a compare poll outside AA community, more will favor the cockpit version. I know it will. You disagree? I'm not trying to say I'm better than others but why do you think some people hack vcs arcade games in the first place? To make the graphics look more arcade like.

 

Sorry for sounding persistant.

 

I'll leave it alone.

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I betcha if I hack my own version w/ flashing cockpit and make a compare poll outside AA community, more will favor the cockpit version. I know it will. You disagree? I'm not trying to say I'm better than others but why do you think some people hack vcs arcade games in the first place? To make the graphics look more arcade like.

 

Flashing cockpit is fine with me. I was just objecting to the version where the ship rocked forwards and back.

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Moving swiftly on - here is another quick beta. The changes this time are:

  1. Setting the right difficulty switch to B enables "continue mode". In this mode, the starting wave will default to the last wave that you reached in the game. Setting the switch to A disables this mode, and pressing reset on the title screen sets the starting wave back to 1.
  2. The fuel gauge is now double thickness to distinguish it from the grid lines. Also tweaked the colouring of the fuel gauge and moved the lives indicator down a bit from the score.
  3. The game will automatically go back to the title screen after a few seconds once the game is over.

Let me know what you think of these changes.

 

Chris

Juno_First_BETA9_NTSC.bin

Juno_First_BETA9_PAL60.bin

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Here is a basic implementation to see how it works in practise. Your ship is invulnerable for a few seconds unless you hit fire (in which case it immediately becomes vulnerable). I think this works well, and is much less annoying than the previous approach?

Works great - I like it!

  1. Setting the right difficulty switch to B enables "continue mode". In this mode, the starting wave will default to the last wave that you reached in the game. Setting the switch to A disables this mode, and pressing reset on the title screen sets the starting wave back to 1.
  2. The fuel gauge is now double thickness to distinguish it from the grid lines. Also tweaked the colouring of the fuel gauge and moved the lives indicator down a bit from the score.
  3. The game will automatically go back to the title screen after a few seconds once the game is over.

Good changes all around, I think. :thumbsup:

 

Revisiting an earlier discussion - is it possible to add in the end-of-round timer/fuel bonus?

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Didn't try out the difficulty switches, but very happy with the implementation of the other two features. They further smoothen the game experience IMO; thanks for going these extra steps. :thumbsup: :)

 

Sorry to drop one more mini-request: could you wait a couple of seconds before rematerializing the ship after loss of a life? Currently it goes so fast, that you hardly get to register you just died. A short break would remedy that and also allow to refocus properly.

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