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Draconian (2600)


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  • Stations are now solid - this means the player's shots no longer pass thru it, so you must fly around the station to pick off all the pods (or hit the energy field)
  • Flying into a station will destroy both the player's ship and the station
  • Pods now explode when destroyed
  • Stations now explode when destroyed - station explosion is not deadly to the player's ship

Nathan's been busy so these are just some placeholder graphics that I threw together.


Pod Explosion



Station Explosion







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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Thanks! Just got back from Colorado Springs so it'll probably be another week or so before the next update. Was there for my cousin Natalie's wedding



it was held at The Broadmoor, an awesome setting



didn't have much time for site seeing, though we did manage to make it out to the Garden of the Gods for a couple hours. Moving objects cause some rather interesting artifacts in panoramic photos :lolblue:




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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...



I've worked on making the shots come out the station pods, but the way I was implementing it didn't work out well, so I decided I'm going to have to roll back to the source code from May 13 and come up with a different way to do it.


However, it's going to be a while before I can do that as I volunteered to give my Atari Homebrew presentation at the Classic Game Fest in Austin on August 16.


I've been giving the presentation every year at the Houston Arcade Expo since 2011, and also gave it at last year's PRGE. I like to revise the presentation based on how the prior one went. This time I'm added an example of developing a 2K game called Collect. I've allocated a few weeks to write it, then a few weeks to rework my presentation to include it.

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  • 2 months later...

One thing: And this is probably a screen issue: Is it possible to move at the same speed for all directions?

It's possible. Code was in place at one point that compensated for the 2600's non-square pixels. I promptly removed it due to how crappy it turned out. All the stationary objects(asteroids, mines, stations) get a bad case of judder due to how object flicker and fractional movement clash with each other.

I'm back to work on Draconian!


Nathan and I didn't agree on the judder being a problem so last weekend's blog entry has a new menu option, TRUE 45°, that will turn on logic that compensates for the 12:7 aspect ratio of the 2600's pixels.


Having tested it, I've decided the judder is no longer an issue - I believe that's because when I did the prior test there was no gameplay logic, not even collision detection, so you just flew around while looking at the sprites. Now when you fly around you are actively trying to avoid objects and/or shoot them, so you don't have time to notice the judder.


I've already removed the menu option, but left the compensation logic turned on.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Awesome news :)



It's going very slowly - I got sidetracked back on the 8th when I spotted a preorder special for an online iOS 8 programming course for $80. It also included the iOS 7 course, so I started working my way thru it. They've just started to release the iOS 8 lessons, but I decided to finish the iOS 7 course first since I'm already a couple weeks in. I'll do the iOS 8 course afterward as things have changed - I accidentally updated Xcode to 6 (needed for iOS 8 ) when I updated OS X to 10.9.5 and the changes in Xcode were making it difficult to follow the iOS 7 course. Al helped me track down Xcode 5.1.1 in Apple's developer portal, so I installed it alongside ver 6.


I've already learned quite a bit about XCode and Objective C that will come in handy when I write the AtariVox Mac utility program. Up until now all my Mac programs have been command line based as I hadn't yet wrapped my head around how the OS X GUI and Objective C worked.

Edited by SpiceWare
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I bought a new computer!


To test out that I've set up my 2600 development software correctly, I've dropped in some updated graphics from Nathan! We now have new digits :D







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

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I knew stylish playfield digits would be a great improvement. Looks so much more sophisticated.


That they do! I've just dropped in the character set so we can display the messages like Alert! Alert! and Battlestations! for those without an AtariVox.




Hmm, I believe there are enough cycles in the kernel that I could make the 6 characters on the left show up as a different color whenever the messages are displayed :ponder:

Edited by SpiceWare
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I just tried out the latest build above on my PAL 2600 jr and Harmony but the game seems to freeze after I hit the fire button. I chose PAL in the main screen... :(

check your right difficulty switch.



  • Left Difficulty - A= Diagnostic Display (time remaining in Vertical Blank and OverScan)
  • Left Difficulty - B = Score Display
  • Right Difficulty - A = stationary ship (used for diagnostic purposes)
  • Right Difficulty - B = moving ship
  • SELECT = return to menu
  • START = start game
  • Joystick = move around in sector
  • Fire = shoot
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Oops! I've never been the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. Thank you. :)


No problem - that'll be removed once we finalize the graphics. Nathan recently sent me some revised destroyed station pod graphics and the first draft of the enemy ships with all 16 directions :D


It's easier for him to make sure I didn't convert something incorrectly if he can freeze the gameplay.

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