Jump to content

Ramp Rage - Abbuc Software Contest 2014

Recommended Posts

Here is the latest documentation for Ramp Rage my entry in this years' abbuc software contest (German translation in the current abbuc magazine: #118)


Ramp Rage

By Jason Kendall © 2014

For the Atari 8-bit Home Computer (48K) and all Atarians

Boot without BASIC (can’t believe I’m actually putting this!) [apparently I'm not as it auto detects!]

PAL or NTSC systems: emulator users may prefer the NTSC video setting as the playfield is taller and the game looks nicer. The game will only be playable using a joystick!


Ramp Rage is a fun, classic, vertical scrolling arcade game that requires an element of skill.

Quick Summary: Shoot stuff, collect stuff, go over the ramps, collect targets, dock and level up! If you want to know more then read on…


Aboard the Rampanator, a powerful new speedboat, you set out to survive level after level of the deadly waters of River Illusion . Your challenge is to steer over the ramps where your craft becomes air-bourne and transforms into a plane, then all you have to do is collect the targets… if only it was so simple! When you have colleced the required number of targets, dock with the mother ship to complete the level. Why are you doing this? You may ask… "Ours is not to reason why, Ours is but to do or die, Move the joystick, Learn to fly, Collect the targets, And score high"


Title Screen:

Press Select or move the joystick to set the difficulty: Novice, Normal (default), or Expert

Press Start or Fire to begin your mission



[space bar] to pause; move joystick or press a key to resume play

Joystick to move

[start] to abort

[Option] "The last resort"; exchange a spare ship plus any extra letters and powerups you have collected for a full tank of fuel. Only once per go.



Press fire to launch missiles, hold fire in for autofire. Push up before firing to lock the missile direction to up, handy when you have a bad guy approaching from above!



The Rampanator’s built in Reflex Shield can absorb minor damage from obstacles, the craft changes to orange and then red when your shield becomes critical, luckily this recharges when you are back on open water. This does not protect you from the baddies but the PMG shield which can be collected as a power-up does.


Ramps, Jumps & Targets

As you move the speedboat down the screen, your speed and potential jump distance increase. When you go over a ramp you are lauched into the air. You now have only one control: push up on the joystick to shorten your jump if you wish. After this ‘take-off’ period your craft spouts a pair of wings, clever people eh?. When the plane turns grey you have manual control of the plane and can hunt down the targets; collect as many as you can by hovering over them. When it is time to land your craft flashes purple three times so get back over clear water to complete the landing. You score points during your initial jump distance and for collecting targets.



River Illusion mysteriously loops around so you can re-try missed targets, however, you have a limited number of re-fuelling stations on each level. When fuel is low your craft turns green, yes I know it’s already green, but it turns even more green and the warning siren is activated so you have no excuses. If you run out of fuel it’s bad news as any spare craft will also start with minimal fuel! If you are low on fuel you cannot transform into the plane but may still make the jumps. Stay over the refuelling stations for as long as you can for maximum benefit.


Status Display

The status display at the top of the screen shows your score (white) , number of targets left to collect (pink), EXTRA letters collected and lives (light blue). Along with the speed gauge (middle) and fuel gauge (top).


Completing a Level & Docking

After collecting the required number of targets the docking craft is activated. To dock you must approach the docking runway at the back of the mother ship. Then stay aboard for long enough to secure the docking and move fully into the craft. If you fail you are expelled and may try again (though you may be destroyed as I can’t seem to find this coding feature to fix it, ok it’s a bug!) . If the docker has gone off screen, take another ramp to re-activate and try again. You can repeat this until you run out of fuel or you may wish to collect the extra man letters instead first.


Bad Guys

Various craft and strange creatures patrol the waters of River Illusion, they approach from the top or bottom of the screen. Some are much tougher than others to destroy and some are equiped with gravitational weapons. As you inflict damage they turn brighter and eventually start to disintegrate before setting on fire.



Collect any power-ups that appear from destroyed enemies: "p" increases your fire power, collect 100/200/500 for bonus points, the PMG shield (or flying underpants) protects you from the baddies (you flash yellow). You can sometimes chase escaping power-ups by scrolling fast and you can destroy them too!



Boosts increase your speed for a short while, useful for reaching distant targets if collected before taking a ramp, but also likely to crash you into a rock at high speed! The plane can also collect the boosts handy for extending your flight just that little bit more.


Some of the other items and features

Gates: They open and they close… what did you expect?!

Logs: They float! made of wood don’t you know… some of the logs can be controlled!

Spikes: decend and rise from the water, luckily they are tipped with rotting vegetation so they may not destroy you unless you take a direct hit.

Turbulence: rock now rock your boat

Rocks and scenery: ok so that’s more rocks!

Some rocks crumble and re-appear giving you a chance to pass.

Bridges and Tunnels: go through them, watch out for the baddies as they can too. Will cause damage to the plane. Warning: Taking a hit when entering a tunnel may cause serious fuel loss.

Pylons and Mountains: Also cause damage to the plane.

Flak: appears when you are air-boune and guess what? Yes, also cause damage to the plane!

Ramps two types; regular and trickier ones that appear and disappear. Also cause damage to the plane.



Collect the letters [E][X][T][R][A] for an extra speedboat. When you are in the air uncollected letters become obstacles to the plane.



There’s lots of little tweaks but play on Normal. If you struggle with games play on Novice. If you’re a former (or potential) Bundesliga or High Score Club Champion try Expert ;)



You start with 5 speedboats instead of 3. Slower movement and scroll speed, less targets, stronger reflex shield, damage instead of crashing. Less baddies and weaker types which do not harm your boat or launch missiles at you. Fuels stations remain on after use. EXTRA any 5 letters in any number of boats for an extra life. Docking is automatic, so relax and enjoy the ride!



Faster movement, less on-board shield, power shield depletes when used. More baddies, some are tougher, contact destroys your boat, they can fire missiles. Fuels are cleared when used. Targets harder to collect. EXTRA each of the 5 letters must be collected in one boat (apart from on level 1). Turbulence stronger. Some boost when landing. Manual Docking.



Faster movement, even more targets required, only one target can be collected on each jump until you collect a power-up and yes, they’re harder to collect too. Select your targets carefully as there's more boost after landing, so watch out! Minimum reflex shield so contact with anything solid causes your destuction! Baddies are tougher, contact destroys your boat and they can heal themselves and fire missiles.

Turbulence more extreme and may drain fuel. Fuels are cleared when used. EXTRA each letter must be collected in one boat, plus the letters toggle off if you collect the same one twice! Low fuel not reset after at the start of a level. Manual Docking but harder.



Each level has a number of obstacles and items but their positions vary each game. Generally reflex shields get weaker and target collection gets trickier as you progress. Fuel and EXTRA letters also become more scarce and the speeds of your adversaries, obstacles and target collection periods vary too. There are 29 hard coded levels then the game goes into a formulae mode so they may not be quite so varied, let’s be honest you’ll never make it this far!! [it locks up on level 30! erm congratulations you have beaten Ramp Rage… for now!] [now fixed so the game will go on forever… may be!]



Destroying a bad guy 100 points, plus any power–ups collected (100/200/500)

First target collected on each jump 200pts; for a 2nd target 400pts, then from the 3rd onwards 800pts each. Points also scored for long jump distances

Collecting a boost 10+pts

Collecting an EXTRA letter 100pts



Look out for the ‘ramp ahead arrows’, the ramps are not always present but if they are they will be directly in line with the arrow and not too far away. Targets that seem too near a ramp might be collected by making a small jump so go slow and hold up; or you might need to use an earlier ramp and make a long flight. Often the next ramp can indicate targets ahead.


Usually fuels and extra letters are located in the trickier side sections. Get a couple of "p" power ups to boost your firepower. On Expert get the targets from the sides. Try and use the open water secrtions when docking; holding up slows the scroll.


Not being fully in-line with the ramps will always instantly destroy your ship (or plane), so if you're not going to make it steer away even if you go over the outside edge.


Have fun and PLAY ATARI




Yes I finally swapped the READY prompt for the EDIT prompt!

Ramp Rage is my first assembler game developed on my 130XE using a MAC/65 cartridge along with Envision and Genesis utilities . I have been working on the game periodically for the last two years, I intended to enter the game in the 2013 contest but couldn’t get the game working so I held it back for more development. After this years abbuc contest I will welcome feedback and assistance with making Ramp Rage 2 with improved sound and graphics and hopefully more playfields and features.


Thanks to abbuc for supporting our favourite little computers, consider joining if you haven’t already done so; the yearly software competion has some excellent games (and utilities of course) and the prize money might encourage more programmers to participate too. Members get to vote receive the entries a month or more before they are released and you get a quarterly disk through the post along with the abbuc magazine (German text). The small fee is worth it for the competition games alone.


Thanks to everyone who has helped with my programming questions and special thanks to JAC! For getting the game to actually load for the contest.

[Your mission as abbuc member is to play test the game and report any bugs or suggestions for the post abbuc editon – the game will probably be too hard or not have enough fuels to allow you to collect all of the targets on the higher levels but I have ran out of time for more in depth play testing. There remain a few glitches, mainly with the accuarcy of the wiping collected items but they shouldn’t affect your enjoyment too much and will probably make it easier as you then collect multiple items.]


Contact me on atariage.com as user therealbountybob

And be sure to checkout Gwobby at www.gwobby.webs.com


All the best fellow Atari fans,



Attached Screenshots: RampRageTitleScreen. GameScreen-Boat, GameScreen-Plane



Nearly 2 months on from the contest deadline and I’m still working on Ramp Rage!!!

Ramp Rage v1.1

Many tweaks and changes to the abbuc version [will be released after feedback from contest ver]:

Improved the controls and increased the scrolling speed range

Improved the wipe routine

Added some sound affects e.g. landing and shield low alerts

Improved some of the playfields designs & graphics

Fixed the baddies not moving enough, stopped them suddenly appearing at the top of the screen, now change brightness when damaged and when you scroll faster their speed is effected, stop moving l/r when they are destroyed

Adjusted the difficulty level settings, docker speeds

Fixed the game locking up at level 30

Fixed the docker eject destroying your ship

Fixed spurious graphics showing at end of sections

Fixed corruption after extra man on easy

On Expert multiple targets can now be colleced after the first power-up on each level

Improved shield; lasts longer & now destroys baddies

Last target / additional targets take longer to collect

Currenty working on:

Advanced docker which has to be opened before docking

Docker can now be damaged!

Level variation - gradually introducing obstacle types, harder features on later levels

This will be an ATR version as need all the RAM I can find!

Edited by therealbountybob
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jason,


Great work my friend! You have a lot of willpower and patience to get such a task completed.


I did not check your game a lot yet, but now I have read this post, I will definitely try it out this weekend.


Keep doing your big efforts for the a8 scene.




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have been playing this game for a while now. I really should read the manual better... this game serious has potential.


Is it just my PAL computer or is there a slight WSYNC problem in the title screen (and the screen before the actual level starts)?


I already wrote it Jason, plenty of respect here for you... this must have been a lot of work! I'm now back to my 800xl... trying to get those 6 targets of level 1.


Thanks for your contribution!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess, if jason would have had some more time, he would have created an introductionary Level. I like this game, but I am afraid that many people do not spend enough time with it, as it is not so easy going as the other games.

Every time I tried to record a video, I failed badly, because I am really bad at plaing in the Emulator, but that´s the only way for me to get a good video recording.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess, if jason would have had some more time, he would have created an introductionary Level. I like this game, but I am afraid that many people do not spend enough time with it, as it is not so easy going as the other games.

Every time I tried to record a video, I failed badly, because I am really bad at plaing in the Emulator, but that´s the only way for me to get a good video recording.


A good idea is to step back to easy. I have playing this a few hours today, and I must say: it is quite a nice game.


Indeed it is a bit harder, and the controls are not as smooth as desired. But the fact that the shield compensates small collision, is making it more easy.


The idea of a boat changing into a plane is really awesome. That is original, and everytime when I move my boat through that 'thing' (don't know the word anymore) I get that feeling like: YEAH!


I'm looking forward to new productions of therealbountybob. Although it is not the best game of this year, he definitely wrote his name on the atari map!

Well done!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys :thumbsup: yes the revised version has improved controls and this makes it easier to avoid things and I'm staggering various things from coming on so baddies do not have gravity weapons or shoot for a few levels. The abbuc version is a bit tough on "Normal", and Expert is very hard!


Play on Easy to get the hang of it first - I'm still working on things - keep an eye on the bottom of the first post for what I have updated. Like I said this game is only suitable for joystick play!


The wysnc flicker is just down to my [lack of] knowledge - I've only got a simple single DLI but I preffered the colour change on every line of the title screen text opposed to change on every other line and no glitching.


I'm really aiming for a game that will have long term playability with Ramp Rage so all feedback is appreciated. I want the three difficulty levels to cover players of all abilities too, so fire away :)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a download for this game somwhere ?

sorry, not yet but I'm "close" to releasing the final version so hold tight (and play the other games) :)




If anyone wants to help with creating a nice PDF or something with the instructions a few screenshots, some showing the items, and/or perhaps some artwork please get in touch :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I think it would be good to make all the targets flicker during our airplane flight. It would help to see what is collectable.

Hi Adam,

I did look at this but the playfields are used for various items so they would all flash. Originally I had a nicer bigger round target but getting the clear playfield item routine to be accurate was one of the first problems I had (and still is) with the various scrolling speeds and the various movement speeds and directions the smaller target was more accurate.


Thanks for the suggestion though - I've had some detailed feeback from a couple of others (messaged) mainly on the difficulty/controls so it's all welcome :thumbsup:


If someone else would do some nicer docs these can show all the items - otherwise I'll have a go but it will take a few more days after I've finished the programing :-o



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps it's a VERY kinky idea, but why don't you code a DEMO-mode? That's what Blue Max does... when you idle too long on the title screen it starts flying around and playing the game.


That might be interesting too for novice players, and very professional too in the game.


Take your time btw. It's just an idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did look at this but the playfields are used for various items so they would all flash.

My proposition was about dynamic changes of several characters in the charset (which would look like flashing or flickering of appropriate objects), not about changing colours on the whole playfield.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My proposition was about dynamic changes of several characters in the charset (which would look like flashing or flickering of appropriate objects), not about changing colours on the whole playfield.


He might struggle a little with 15 bytes left! :) Lets see what he can clear up...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Still looking for someone to do a front screen or "box cover" or some artwork for Ramp Rage :(


I like the idea of a first person view showing some of the games features, something like River Raid's A8 box or River Raid II's 2600 box



It doesn't have to be anything great. Anyone know of anywhere else on the web budding artists are just waiting to hear about this?!

Thanks :)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...