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New Atari 8bit port WIP: Saboteur!


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In this game all characters and elements are so big, that I would consider changing graphics mode to 160x200, gaining some colors. You won't lose to many details - of course it's just an option.


Of course panel can remain in hires.


I like the idea. The game would be a little like "Mission Shark".


Does the game use graphics 8 or graphics 0 currently?

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I've just emailed you a video... and a couple of questions for the interview.




- Y -





I haven't got that far in the game. Can you please send me save state from the crash? Also, I prefer Altirra as I am more familiar with this emulator, so I will appreciate save state from Altirra.

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I like the idea. The game would be a little like "Mission Shark".


Does the game use graphics 8 or graphics 0 currently?


Personally I prefer original hires game graphics. They are very unique and are in fact some kind of hallmark of Sabotuer (not sure if it is proper English word here, I meant "sign, that is recognized by everybody").


Game is running in graphics 0, but this is used to "emulate" C64 bitmap layout.

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I've gone through the ZX map now and counted a total of 146 rooms although that includes 11 rooms where the two trains pass through the tunnels which is I assume just a scroll effect so that should be a total of 135 rooms. There are 13 monochrome rooms and some others that can be done without overlays so that's still within what was considered :) I'm preparing the code and data now, It should take quite a while to create all the needed room data however.

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Thanks for the file.


Here a better mock-up: The formerly unused missiles are now borders, making the scene colour more border independent.

Removed also unnecessary DLI's (there is still some potential in the status display) for better load estimation.

Memory usage is 2 bits for every cell ('colour ram'). If not shared/compressed for cells (which I would suggest), this means 128 bytes per scene. PMG Colouring is four bytes for definition: Colour, 4bit start, 4bit length (covering 17 cells vertically) for even/odd. Attached scene has even two of those (not very common) so 8 bytes here.


For 146 screens (thanks Tezz!) this would mean max. 20k. But I think the C64 version has also so kind of compression for the colour ram, making a 1/8th of that more realistic... ?


Unfortunately Altirra's PAL mixing isn't very near to what is shown on TV screens. So 'real' appearance is even more convincing (e.g. no different 'reds' in the status area). Please note: Due to colour ram, I think some cell definitions have to be inverted to result in a better look. Have done so here for the motor of the boat...




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Just discovered the game crashes in Atari800WinPLus when you arrive to certain location




Found an issue and fixed it. Turned out to be a problem with one unpatched SID access, which was messing ANTIC DLIST register.


Also fixed the issue with scrolling on this screen. When you enter the train, the rails scroll to give impression of running train.


Attached version with fix. Game can actually be completed now - I was able to find the disk and then find helicopter and escape from the building.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, just a quick update with Saboteur. I joined Mariusz on the project and we've been making good progress the past few days. Much more has been fixed now with the game and buffer switching sync has been added. We've started making some additions, the font and border frame are now added from the original ZX Spectrum version rather than the repeated frame pattern of the c64. The colour overlays and procedures for the control panel and frame have been added. I've had a method in mind for a few years for including individual overlays to a hi-res game with 100+ rooms using minimal memory so I got around to writing that this morning. It's quite long and labororious manually writing the various tables for the procedure next however so it will most likely take me a couple of weeks of free time to get everything together for the entire map but it means the final game should be within 64kb :)


Jose has also reworked the title / hi-score screen from the original which we can hopefully find room to squeeze in.


The current executable is attached. If you can report any bugs in the gameplay that you notice.



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Happy new year everyone!

After a lot of hard work here's Saboteur for the new year. (I was hoping to release it just before midnight but I had a few last minute delays).

Memory required: 64kb
Code: Mariusz and Tezz
Intro art: Ooz
Music: Miker

Thanks also to Jose who has been following the development and sharing his opinion as the game has been worked on. We didn't have enough free memory to fit in the ninja gfx on the selection screen unfortunately. The lack of free memory added to the struggle of working on the game actually.

I'm glad to have put into practice one of the methods I had in mind a few years ago for adding colour to a hi-res game with 120+ unique rooms without using masses of resources.

With the c64 game there were several errors and/or changes in the room mapping that I noticed which I've fixed, I didn't like the background visually rendering with the foreground sprites then appearing a few frames later so I reworked screen rendering and sprite procedures. Knowing the original Spectrum game well from that era I could see a few graphics and small additions had been dropped from the c64 version, it might be that this version was converted originally for a memory reduced platform before being ported to the c64. I've put as much back in as memory would allow, one thing very noticable was the missing foreground railings on all the stairs which I've recreated from the Spectrum and now included. I've changed most of the graphics and the font to the Spectrum look with a few exceptions like the barrels which I think look better on the c64.


I didn't notice back in the day that some rooms are actually modified with the difficulty selected I always thought it was just the guns, guards and dogs that attack and follow you with more intensity. I usually choose the easy option with games.


I intentionally chose a dark luminence for the underground rooms to recreate the very dark blue/black that the Spectrum game used, Jose and Mariusz mentioned that it was too low so editing all of those rooms was on my to do list but I wanted to make the new year deadline. Let me know your opinion with that and I can ammend them and post an update if needed.


Enjoy :)







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