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Space Rocks (2600)


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Thanks! I spotted a minor issue in the video that I need to fix - the debris from all the destroyed objects, with the exception of the small Magna Mines, continue along the object's original trajectory. I need to make the Magna Mine debris do the same.


There's a 0% chance of digitized audio or changes to the sound effects. At this point in time only bug fixes, like the stationary Magna Mine debris, are being done as the game is in the final testing phase.

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Have you thought about giving the rocks some kind of texture? To structure them a bit or give them some 3D depth?


Espire8 did a sample of that using a static rock, but there are a couple of problems. First, because the solid rock data is used for collision detection for both solid and vector options, there were restrictions on how big any holes within the solid sprites could be. Because of flickering, it could cause a shot to pass right through them. Second, trying to make a texture rotate with the 2600's oblong pixels (especially for the large rocks which are 2x wide) would be a nightmare - it was hard enough just making the solid ones rotate and still have acceptable results for the vector rocks. It's much harder to maintain complex shapes when rotating them, and the smaller the rocks get, the more any such detail begins to break down. We tried to keep the shape of the rocks as close to the arcade game's rocks as possible, and make the rotation appear smooth. As it is, due to space constraints, we still had to cut the rotations down from 32 to 24 for the rocks. If we hadn't rotated the rocks, adding texture would have been easy.

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  • like all other fragments, Magna-Mine debris now continues to travel along the path of the destroyed object
  • When the double-section Magna-Mines were shot, if it was coming straight at you the back half would always turn clockwise to come after you. It now randomly selects the direction.
  • shield now takes time to recharge, twice as long as the amount of time you used. If you used the shield for 1 second, it takes 2 seconds to get back to full strength. You can still use shields if they're not fully recharged - but as before, if the charge runs out you'll lose your ship!
  • updates to credits easter egg
  • Blinky's color is brighter (the second easter egg)
  • ramp up of asteroid speeds is slightly faster than before
  • hyperspace cool-down delay has been cut in half

Release Candidate 4 ROMs - Harmony or Stella1




1 Requires Stella ver 3.7.1 or later. See first post for instructions on how to reduce flicker.

Edited by SpiceWare
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Alright, time for me to write a full-fledged review!


Those of us who have been here for a while know that SpiceWare is synonymous with high-quality offerings -- Medieval Mayhem being the ultimate, eponymous version of a certain Atari IP to remain unnamed. ;) The latest offering from SpiceWare, Space Rocks, not only meets the high bar of expectation for SpiceWare's products, but completely blows it out of the water. This game is simply THE version of yet another Atari IP to remain unnamed; with visions of, oh, what are those called....those things that exist in a belt between Mars and Jupiter.....oh well, I can't seem to remember.....dancing in your head, you will be absolutely BLOWN TO BITS with the sheer FIREPOWER this version has. The graphics are wonderfully smooth, with flicker near non-existent (in fact, it basically is non-existent, because instead of a visible flicker, when multiple objects are on screen all my eyes see are a 'fade' effect), and SpiceWare has managed to put more sprites on screen than any other game thus far has managed! It is absolutely phenomenal. Your ROCK-HARD determination will be tested with new enemies, such as the Magna Mines, and your STONE-faced teeth-gritting will be at maximum pace when you see just how fast these rocks can fly!


Seriously, this game seems beyond the capabilities of the little ol' 2600, and it's absolutely astonishing what Darrell manages to do with the console. This game is to Asteroids what Pac-Man 4K is to its 2600 predecessor......absolute night and day, and from the moment you flip that switch and start a game, you won't even remember what the previous version was like, because all that cart will do is gather dust while you play the technically, artistically, and FUN-TASTICALLY superior SPACE ROCKS!



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DAMNIT! I always get that wrong! Editing now!


Though if SpiceWare set about making the pinball machine on the 2600, I'm pretty sure he could do it! :D In fact, that should be added to my review: "Even if one were to misplace the name, thinking of Medieval Madness, the eponymous pinball machine, SpiceWare is so talented that I'm sure he could come up with a way to make even THAT on the Atari 2600!"


Actually, it is beyond the capabilities of the little ol' 2600. ;)


Shhh....don't tell anyone...... :D


Someone should make a Plimpton-esque commercial comparing the SpiceWare version and "the other guy's" version.....LOL!

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