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Time Plot WIP


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Thanks for the you-tube clip of the original.


It appears you do not die when colliding with enemies.


The only reason I suggested the burst button was because I felt like

I was literally playing asteroids, and was trying to avoid enemies.

But since running into them is not a problem, there's no need for the button.


As to distinguishing disc/buttons, many other games (like the sports titles)

don't seem to have this issue.  Though perhaps they are making compromises

under the hood that I'm not aware of.  I realize the key/disc/side button mappings

have some ambiguities if multiple things are pressed at the same time.  But it

seems like you can detect if only a button was pressed.  Again, not a huge deal,

but would add a little polish.

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I haven’t had a chance in the past few days to look at your updates, but I am  very much looking forward to playing with your various revisions this week-end.


The changes you’ve mentioned so far sound exciting!



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OK, I'm catching up.  Here it goes ...


On 7/25/2022 at 1:10 PM, artrag said:
  • Parachutes do not look bad, but perhaps the grey colour is not the best -- they are hard to discern in a monitor against the blue background,and I suppose it would be even harder in a bright and fuzzy CRT.  I recommend either Tan or Yellow.
  • The parachutes in the original swing a little slower, so maybe slowing down the animation a little would make them better.
  • The player death sequence is also very long -- in the original, it is quick and sharp.


On 7/27/2022 at 1:07 PM, artrag said:
  • Personally, I like them better this way.  (They remind me of the Triple Action biplanes, which works well for the 1910 biplanes.) ?


On 7/28/2022 at 10:07 AM, artrag said:

Eperimenting with missilesnow we have bipanes casting bombs AND homing missiles ;-)

TimePilotTest.cfg 126 B · 5 downloads TimePilotTest.bin 31.18 kB · 6 downloads

  • Wow, those missiles are relentless!  It's hard to shake them.
  • I am not that good at the arcade so I barely make it to the 1940s, so I haven't seen the missiles myself; but I saw a video of them and they appear to look and behave similarly.
  • In the game-play video I saw of the arcade, the missiles seem slightly faster than the player, so they can actually catch up to him.  In your test, they appear to go at the same speed, so I can keep my distance when going in the same direction.
  • Also, the original missiles seem to be orange (or red) and yellow, not blue.  (Come to think of it, there is quite a bit of yellow in the arcade's palette.)
  • The original missiles are also very thin.  I know it will be a challenge to replicate that within the Intellivision's constraints, but they currently look out of proportion to the craft from which they are launched.
  • I noticed that homing missiles are shot by helicopters in the original (1970 era); I wouldn't imagine biplanes having that capability. ;)


On 7/29/2022 at 5:00 AM, artrag said:

Early implementation for copters from 1970 and their missiles 

TimePilotTest.cfg 126 B · 1 download TimePilotTest.bin 32.92 kB · 1 download

  • Helicopters look good.  I would recommend making them slightly thicker in the middle when facing forward, just to give them a heavier and more substantive look:
  • The missiles look much too large for the size of the helicopters.  I do not know what can be done about this, but just something to consider.


On 7/29/2022 at 8:06 AM, artrag said:

Early draft implementation of all 5 levels. 

You can select the level with the keyboard at startup

For ufos the space with rocks and other details are still missing.

TimePilotTest.cfg 126 B · 1 download TimePilotTest.bin 34.47 kB · 2 downloads

  • I like the progression, it reminds me quite a lot of the original arcade game.  The change in aircraft type -- even in the crappy resolution of the Intellivision, and within the limitations of your framework -- works rather well. ?
  • This test, unlike the previous ones, is very "flickery."  It seems that the frame-rate decreased:  the movements and scrolling seem sluggish, and even the multiplexing of the player's aircraft sprite (and the clouds when it crosses over them) appear to slow down frequently.  I'm sure some optimisations are forthcoming, but I thought to mention it.
  • Irrespective of the frame-rate, the pace of bombs, planes, parachutes, etc. -- especially during the earlier eras -- is much too aggressive.  I'm sure that difficulty balancing and such things will come in time but, like the frame-rate, I thought it worth pointing out just in case.
  • I think this game has the potential to be a flagship for the Intellivision, in a similar vein that many consider D2K to be -- the visuals, the action, the complexity, etc., will impress the pants out of everyone!  And if you get the pace and other details intrinsic to the original just right, it will be more than a technological marvel, but a truly fantastic gem.

Great job!!! Keep it up!  It's looking great so far.  ??



Edited by DZ-Jay
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  • 2 weeks later...
20 minutes ago, artrag said:

My first post on the new forum

Very draft first boss

All kind of glitches expected

TimePilotTest.bin 46.51 kB · 0 downloads TimePilotTest.cfg 172 B · 0 downloads


Just tested quickly -- yes, it's like glitch city!  😆


But the blimp in 1910 is not bad, a little chunky, but what can you do. :thumbsup:


On the 1940s mono-planes, it seems to me that their wings could use a little finesse when on their diagonal orientation:



They appear to be pointing forward, which makes them look more like a sparrow.  Perhaps there's a pixel or two that can be re-arrange.  Just an idea.


The game is looking good!



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  • 3 weeks later...
5 minutes ago, artrag said:

Dealing with the publishers. All game elements are in place, this is why I have stopped sharing roms. I am tuning the difficulty and adding few details 

That sounds great!  I can’t wait to see and play the final published game.


By the way, let me know if I can be of assistance in any way, in case you need to optimize the code or do some beta testing.  :)



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I just watched the video and I am very impressed -- it looks great!  I like the new graphics.  I also noticed that the enemies can go in front and behind the clouds, for extra coolness -- good job! 👍


I do have a few quick comments:

  • I still think that the death sequence of the player plays for much too long.  In the original game, it is a rather quick explosion.
  • The fire on the Zeppelin is not all that noticeable in white.  Would it be possible to make it orange or yellow?
  • Maybe the enemy planes would look better in a darker shade of green.
  • Maybe the Zeppelin would look better in the green color that the planes currently have.

It's looking great and even better than before!



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This is looking very good. Are the blimps and parachutes both tan? Would be nice if they differed. Maybe yellow for the blimps. I think that having the enemies different colors helps compensate for lower resolution vs. the arcade and generally makes the game visually more interesting.

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1 hour ago, mthompson said:

This is looking very good. Are the blimps and parachutes both tan? Would be nice if they differed. Maybe yellow for the blimps. I think that having the enemies different colors helps compensate for lower resolution vs. the arcade and generally makes the game visually more interesting.

To me, the Zeppelin looks more like Light-Green (pastel green).


I agree that it and the paratrooper may look better with one in yellow and the other in tan.

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48 minutes ago, artrag said:

A bit of transition effects using Bresenham

Zeppelin now in orange



Looks good.  The Zeppelin in orange fits nicely.


The transition is good, but a bit coarse.  Since you are transitioning on a static screen with little colour, perhaps you could briefly switch the screen mode to Color Stack and use Colored Squares to make the transition line slightly smoother.  I believe @catsfolly has done something like that in the past and it looks nice.  (I made a library to draw blocky discs using a variation of Bresenham's algorithm, and he converted it to Color Squares.)


It's just an idea for extra polish.  Still looks good as is.



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On 8/30/2022 at 2:10 PM, artrag said:

Ok I was courious so I implemented the wipe effect in color squares.

It is slower than the previous.

Which is better?



It looks great, but ... yeah, it's a little slow.  It seems to drag when it gets to the horizontal part, perhaps because the line segment is longer and takes more time to draw.


If you could adjust the timing to make it slightly faster and even -- or at least just even, then the colored squares version would be better.

Personally, it think it's worth exploring due to the increased resolution.



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