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Arcadia - a game for ABBUC Software Contest 2022


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I would like to present my first ever game for Atari 8-bit computer which is also my entry for ABBUC Software Contest 2022.


Arcadia is a Zuma/Luxor-like shooting game.


The main goal of the game is to remove all segments of marbles before they reach the temple at the end of the path. Otherwise the temple is being destroyed and the player loses a life. The steering is by the joystick plugged into port number one.


The player takes his aim by moving the joystick left and right and shoots a new marble by pressing the fire. He can swap the current marble with the next one by moving the joystick up or down. The player may pause the game by pressing the space bar on the keyboard.


If a newly shooted marble creates a group of at least 3 of the same color, the group disappears. Otherwise the new marble extends the segment.


Each consecutive removal of a group of marbles increases the combo or the chain reaction counter. Every third combo or chain reaction creates a power-up on a board which may be catched by a new marble shooted by the player.


There are power-ups which affect the movement of segments like slow down, pause or reverse. Other power-ups are painting the marbles in a particular color, removing all marbles of particular color, destroying a vertical group of marbles by lightning, removing marbles by a shield or sorting the order of marbles of the oldest segment.


Destruction a group of at least 5 marbles makes a heart power-up. Every tenth catched heart gives a new life for the player.


After each 3 consecutive levels a bonus round appears. The goal on a bonus level is to destroy as many marbles as possible. Every destroyed segment makes a new heart power-up. Player cannot lose his life on the bonus round.


There are 4 difficulty levels in the game - easy, normal, hard and insane. They differ by speed, number and length of segments to be destroyed.


In the game there is a hall of fame screen containing the top 5 scores. Also there is a help screen with a short description about the rules of the game.


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I would like to present a video containing sample gameplay through the first 3 levels and a bonus round at the end.

It presents the general game mechanics, catching and using various power-ups, passing to the next level and loss of life as well.


Hope you like it :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I am pleased to share a disk image with Arcadia. This is the exact version which I posted to the contest.


I tested it using my Atari 130XE (PAL) with SIO2SD, Altirra v4.0 and Atari 800 v5.0 emulators on PAL and NTSC systems.

Game does not require any additional hardware or extensions, the stock 64kB Atari should be enough.


If you have any comments or questions, feel free to write here.


I hope you enjoy the game 🙂.




Edited by amarok
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Just had a quick go. Very quick and responsive which is what you need for a game like this.


I failed after around 2 mins but that's at a first attempt without having read the instructions. :D

I can see this being very addictive. Thanks for creating it. Looks great too.


The standard for this competition is very high.

Edited by Beeblebrox
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@amarok - Great game! As an ABBUC member, I have been playing your game for a while now. I am glad to see other people are now able to play the game. I was impressed at how responsive the joystick was for setting your marble. I am used to playing Zuma with a mouse so I was not sure how well a joystick would work. 

Hints for others: you really need to shoot the power-ups when they appear. That will help you survive. Last night, I ended up just under the 5,000 points needed to make the half of fame. 

I think Arcadia saves your high score so you may want to download the ATR image if that is important to you. 

Bob C


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Wow, now this is a very well put together game. Well done Amarok.


It's a bit difficult on the first level for it to be called 'Easy' though in my mind.... but it is beatable. I think I need to use the powerups more, I am so obsessed with trying to get rid of the bubbles, I don't bother with the powerups very often. Maybe that's why I find the easy level moderately difficult.


It appears to have a lot more colour in the main playfield than it actually does, which is a clever achievement. Are those the default colours in the game, hard to tell? :)

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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing Arcadia as part of the ABBUC Software Contest 2022 Playthrough: Part 1 on tomorrow's ZPH stream LIVE on Twitch, hope you can join us! We will be playing the rest of the games in Part 2 on Tuesday's stream!





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For those who are interested I have published the repository of Arcadia.
You can find the source codes on my gitlab: https://gitlab.com/amarok8bit/arcadia


Below you can find some information about tools which were used to create the game:
- the game has been compiled with MadPascal by @tebe,
- fonts have been designed with MadStudio by @Gury,
- PMG of power-ups have been designed with SprEd by @bocianu,
- music and sfx have been done with Raster Music Tracker by Radek Sterba,
- title screen has been drawn in MS Paint,
- levels has beed designed with a simple editor which I implemented in Python.


Level editor is extremely simple and does not have any tools for drawing.
It just decodes the asm code containing selected level definition and draws it on the screen.


The image on the title screen is my version of the picture “Parthenon” by Heinrich Leutemann (1824-1905).


I used the following folk greek music pieces: “Patima”, “Sousta of Volissos” and “Milo Mou Kokkino“.


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