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Deaf Edna


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So I'm beginning a game inspired by Defender for the Odyssey2. What inspired me? I got my Defender arcade cabinet Christmas tree decoration. So I thought, "Odyssey 2 has no Defender type game, so why not make one?" For the title screen I wanted to do something cool: Recreate the BMX Airmaster 2600 title screen. After several horrible attempts, I looked at the BMX Airmaster title screen frame by frame in Stella and tried to recreate what I was seeing. I think the BMX Airmaster title screen animation is 10 frames. Mine is 4. After all, I don't want to take up very much room for a fancy title screen, I do have to program the game too! So this is my first public attempt. Feedback requested.


The name "Deaf Edna" comes from the fact that it sounds like "Defender." Like if a dyslexic New Yorker said it. EDNA stands for Electronic Directional Nuclear Assimilator. I made that up, too. It also is the ship's name.


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Renamed this to "Shoot the B's." You control an A, which is in his spaceship floating above A-land when flying B's from B-land start attacking. The B's aren't in the game yet, so all you can do is move the A around and shoot lasers. You can also move him up and down in an Atari 2600 "Taz"-like way.




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As it stands, this game is really far away from Defender... yes, it's inspired by it, but even on this system I think it could be much closer. One of the main parts of Defender is that you can actually move your ship to the left and right... here you can only move it up and down, in this way the game is actually closer to "Taz" (or, in Europe, Asterix) for the Atari 2600 than to Defender. So, the question is now which direction to take... do you want to make t closer to Defender, or to Taz, or do you have ideas of your own that differ from both games?


I don't know if it's a good idea to restrict the player's ship to certain positions that line up with the "grid" on the Odyssey so that the grid lines can be used to display the shots. The problem is that the grid positions are spaced so that sometimes you get a B in a position where you can't shoot it because one possible shot height is above the B and the next one is below it, but there's none that would hit it.


Another problem is that you can't really see how far up and down you can take your ship. I often found myself hit by a B because while there was still some room below it, my ship wouldn't go down far enough to avoid the B, resulting in a collision.


So... as a programmer I would try to bring the game closer to Defender. The enemy ships in Defender actually look somewhat like "A"'s, so those would make good approximations of enemies while the men appearing in Defender also are part of the Odyssey's standard character set. The tree on the surface could scroll left and right in order to give the illusion of moving over the surface, and maybe it should also be interspersed with some small hills consisting of the two "ramp" characters, and between that would be the men you're supposed to protect, which the A's would try to abduct. As for how to display the enemies, the landers could be green A's, the mutants could be cyan A's, the baiters could be one half of an 8, the bombers could be filled blocks, the pods could rapidly change between +'s and small x's, the swarmers could be red "ship" characters and the enemy's fire could be made up of dots. I don't know if you're up to that task though because doing the ground properly would involve keeping track of multiple ground objects which scroll, appear and disappear according to the player's position, and the left and right acceleration should also somewhat obey the laws of physics, so the calculations are a bit more complex than just moving left a pixel if the player holds the joystick left and doing the same thing for right. Just sayin' because I've even seen some commercially released games where, for instance, the enemies' movements don't quite match up to the ground scrolling etc. Maybe you should team up with Bob (PacManPlus) who at one point planned to port Defender to the Atari 7800...

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