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Shamus 2080 First Look

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Screen Shot of what I perceive to be a modernized version of Shumus that can be done in 8 bit and the limitations of stock Colecovision.








I used the Intellivision Font as a place holder but I plan on using my Zwei font which will be consistent throughout my games

Edited by Captain Cozmos
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Tim for scale.




New scoring routine which I now have in all my games.  No BCD

I wish programmers would shy away from that because it's not very portable to other processors.

I plan to put another digit to make 6 for an overflow if you make it that far into the game. Without it you can theoretically only achieve 65535 in your score.


Edited by Captain Cozmos
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I've did a lot of research to the structure of the mazes and I've noticed that the TI99 version is different than the original as far as the colors and the map is not the same.

I may be wrong but the pictures online as far as the maps and where everything is located seems to not jive with the TI99.
I ended up using MESS to play the TI version because I have pause and a save structure to go through every inch of the game.

This also gives me the ability to see first hand enemy movements, shooting as in you only get two shots and you can shoot enemy bullets.

The overflow for scores past 65535 is necessary because after you beat the final enemy it starts from the beginning except faster.


More to follow.



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Updated all the map area's.
Now, the walls are separated  for effects and you will get zapped if you run into them.

The secondary map areas can now change colors, blue...red...whatever

All map defects have been fixed, complete map and traverse of all 128 area's.

Running guy animation has been updated.


The original game has double height fonts.  I'm a yes and no on the subject.

Yes I kind of like to use that space but at the same time I want to update this game so your not playing the same thing from 40 years ago.




Is it just me or does this give the vibe of Armor Attack?
Maybe I should change this to 100% Vectrex style...

Edited by Captain Cozmos
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Third time's the charm. That last version is GREAT. The red pulsing with white mediates the eyestrain, and looks much, much better. As to name, Shamus 2080 or 2084, either one would work. I think 2084 would be pretty easily confused with Robotron, and 2080 would make title more "unique".

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9 minutes ago, zyzzle said:

Third time's the charm. That last version is GREAT. The red pulsing with white mediates the eyestrain, and looks much, much better. As to name, Shamus 2080 or 2084, either one would work. I think 2084 would be pretty easily confused with Robotron, and 2080 would make title more "unique".

Maybe Robotron was in the back of my mind and that's why...
It is far better than my first choice, Shamus 2049er

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19 hours ago, Captain Cozmos said:




Who doesn't like the 50's style SCI-FI movie lasers that do absolutely nothing other than flash.


I think this is f**king awesome man! I love how it almost looks like vector graphics. I'll buy my copy now if I can test the roms. :)

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Not much to look at inside the enemy test screen but this is animated and why post a video of the little NAZI symbol spinning.
I am also working to give the patterns full movement in 8 directions.
If they can do it in Frenzy and the other gentleman did it in Robotron then who am I to have my baddies blink across the screen.

I disassembled Frenzy and they used PUTOBJ.  Being as regardless of all the documentation out there I can never get the thing to work right so I will use my own tables.

I would like to use 16x16 enemies.  This will not only allow me up to 4 colors for the player but also have better looking baddies than the one above.

We will see because the way Frenzy had it, 2 robots made up some 90 patterns give or take.  The eye robot was 16x16 so I may have to stick with 8x8 simply for math sake.
If I use 8x8 then I should be able to fit 6 different enemies at one time using my 8 direction math.  The original Shamus only had 4 enemy types and one of them was "The Shadow"

The down side is that how many ways can you change an 8x8 block to look like something menacing.

I have 255 patterns available at one time.

0=blank screen space

0-9 number symbols

the minimal number of letters for level and room number.

the patterns that make up the play filed.

the keys, potions, question marks and the locks.

So the rest gets divided up for enemies and bullets.

You can understand how programing can be a headache.  Just think what Dino Eggs was doing to my sanity.






Edited by Captain Cozmos
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15 hours ago, imstarryeyed said:

Hey Captain Cozmos just wanted to pipe in and let you know that your project sounds really fun.  Shamus is one of those games that I cut my teeth on as a kid and was delighted to hear you taking it on.


Looking forward to buying it from you when it is done one day!

Working on it.
Things are at a crawl for the moment over "my cable tow" which is code for I have personal admin to work on.
But, I do get a couple of hours of free time each day.

I am seriously moving towards making this 100% Vectorscan style graphics.  It just seems right for the game.



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Been rather busy lately.

I am currently working on an 8 directional pattern display.


Meaning I can have a pattern based enemy move in all 8 directions with the near perfect scrolling.

I am getting there, I have 4 directions in the bag 4 more to go.


Because of the style of the game these are only 8x8 characters but I am going to place 4 or 5 types of onscreen enemies.


I am still working out the math but so far I have the N/S/E/W in near perfect scroll from one cell to the other.

I developed my scrolling technique when I was working on Haunted House.

If you can find the demo on this site you will see a near perfect scroll.  In that case it scrolls every 2 bytes.
At one time I had a perfect scroll at every single byte but it was as fast as the system could handle and scrolling in HH needed to be sped up a bit.
So, I changed it to two.
Now, because these are simple 8x8 enemy types I have these things speeding across the screen and I had to slow them down by repeating every 5x per game loop to slow them down.
I can change them to a 1 byte scroll but I am also looking out for pattern space.  So far, they come out to be 26 patterns per enemy.
So regardless of the math you might not see much of a difference between 1byte scroll or 2 but if I have the resources I might just do the 1byte.

Frenzy uses 2 byte movement and a lot of patterns but I am free in all 16 directions.


My other game, which is near completion, TBFCars taught me how to incorporate pattern animation with scrolling.
So, there is always something going on every time these things move.

Those missiles took some serious coding.  Not only do they fly across the screen at a high rate of speed but they had to pass over all the dots that were not collected.

They did this by layering the memory in both X and Y.  I also had to figure a way to map the onscreen memory with the 1k memory and run two seperate patterns coordinating with each other.  A pain and yet I did it. 


They also have to collide with any obstacle in their way be it a car or a missile collection pod.  In that game, you do not start with missiles, you collect them before your opponent does.  Or, you can shoot them before your opponent and if their car is near by adios opponent.

Basically this is Dodge'em (atari), Head on (arcade), and Car Wars (ti994a) on steroids.


Regardless, I am working on these routines and will have a Demo binary or video up as soon as it is ready.
This will be the basis of all my NPC's for now on unless I need an enemy with more than two colors then I will use a sprite.

I also updated my mapping system which uses 127 less LD A's now.
This brings us to scoring because I am adding a new level so it does not just jump back to the beginning like the original.
So, I may end up use BCD after all.  I because of personal reasons I am not thrilled with using BCD but to use all 6 digits up to 999999 I may have to.
I can make an overflow system but it depends on how much memory I have left over.  Either way, I want you to obtain those high scores.

Being as this is a rom based game I may have a password system to get to save your position but it will definitely have a pause button like most modern Coleco based games.







Edited by Captain Cozmos
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Completed and going to bed.


8 directional 8x8 pattern enemies with animation in all direction.  Up, down, left right diagonal with speed adjust for levels.  Scrolling every two bytes.


Now I have to optimize the code then add a few more enemies along with a set of pattern movement to show off the accomplishment.


So, hopefully I will have a demo of the enemies in action out before the end of this week.



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  • 2 weeks later...



I know, it does not look like much but there is a lot going on under the hood.

These are 8 independent enemies that can travel in any of the 8 directions at the same time while also being animated in any of those 8 directions.  Also, stationary...meh...


Allow me to say that I have gotten to know tables really intimately.


Only 8 you say?  No, just this snapshot because these guys are hard to start and take a snap while they are moving.

In reality I can put as many of them on the screen that will fit, memory limits as well, and so far nothing has slowed down.  My max goal is 40 onscreen enemies where each type will have their own personality such as chasing you, speeding up, shooting, lurking, blocking you from existing.


I have 4 types so far but these two are the only ones with a full pattern set.  The other 2 are fleshed out, I just have to finish the in between patterns.

I have set aside enough space for a total of 5 enemy types but that is a limitation of the VRAM patern table unless I do some heavy swapping somewhere but at the end of the day 4 or 5 should be fine.

I guess I can swap out patterns in the harder levels but we'll see when I actually start playing the thing.  If it needs spicing up or not.


To clarify, I could always use Mode 1.  All the enemies and walls are 1 color but the reality is there are so many iterations of an 8x8 block.
It took a day just to come up with 4 characters that looked half way decent and the Swirly Red symbol was inspired by the original game.

So, in order to avoiding setting up color tables every 8 bytes I endless hours of a boring little set of pixels, 4 or 5 enemy types should be satisfying.










Edited by Captain Cozmos
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