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Ducks Away (WIP)


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Ducks Away is the 7800's first light-gun compatible homebrew and one of a very few light-gun games in general to support 4 players (in this case via the QuadTari). You and up to 3 friends must defend your vegetable garden from the local ducks who have grown sick of stale bread. Use your popgun to shoot corks at the ducks, or play as the family dog and jump at them to scare them away.

Note that A7800's light-gun emulation doesn't work correctly for Ducks Away.
Pressing the button skips to the next section of the intro.

Player Select Screen:
Left / Right on a controller chooses whether to use the popgun via an onscreen cursor, play as a dog

Fire button on a light-gun toggles playing as the popgun or not.
When the timer runs out the game will start with the selected players

Point and shoot with the light-gun as one would expect.
Use the joystick to move the cursor around and shoot with the button.
Left / Right move the dog, down barks (does nothing), and the button jumps. 



  • Add PAL colours.
  • Fix Rice in ground bug.
  • Fix 1 frame graphical glitch on Intro > Player Select transition.
  • Fix 1 frame graphical glitch on Player Select > Game transition.
  • Fix 1 frame graphical glitch on Light-gun Detection > Game transition.
  • Complete Intro Sequence.
  • Add intro skip for light-guns.
  • Add Music.
  • Improve Sound.
  • Animate Dog.
  • Add effect when bread-ducks' armour is shot.
  • Limit cursor to screen bounds.
  • Improve feel of cursor handling.
  • Improve feel of cursor hit detection.

Play on JS7800


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1 minute ago, SlidellMan said:

Coding that must not have been easy.

Actually the hard part was adding QuadTari support when I don't have a QuadTari to test with. Fortunately I've had a lot of help in that regard. Once the code for one gun worked I could extrapolate that to the others just by keeping track of which gun pulled the trigger.

The light-gun stuff itself was dead simple because I'm using 'target selection' where it'll flash hitboxes on screen and I only need to know if the gun saw something that frame, compared to the other method where the whole screen flashes and then strict timing is used to determine where the gun was pointing before running through a bunch of other logic to see if there was something at that position.
In theory target selection is more accurate, but with all the action on screen there'll be a lot of flashing with 4 players.


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7 hours ago, SmittyB said:

Note that A7800's light-gun emulation doesn't work correctly for Ducks Away.

What does not work correctly? 

After the lightgun controller is selected, the console must be Reset:


Controllers are not hot swappable.


I am able to play fine with lightgun selected under A7800:



The Crosshair options can even me tweaked to user's preference:


The sensitivity/response of the mouse can be tweaked as well:



Anyhow, fantastic job!  Looks and plays wonderful!

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22 minutes ago, Trebor said:

What does not work correctly?

It works in that it'll register hits, but not necessarily where the cursor is pointing in my experience. It seems to register hits on what I assume would be the first target only.

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12 minutes ago, SlidellMan said:

Blake, will there be options to use the ST/Amiga Mouse and 7800 Trak-ball?

I hadn't considered it but if I can make it work then I think that'll be a good idea. The difficulty will be in having a good way to select them as I don't know how I can auto-detect them like I can the light-gun, and I'll need to handle them separately so as to not break the QuadTari stuff when they're not in use.

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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing a FOUR PLAYER SIMULTANEOUS game of Ducks Away with FOUR LIGHT GUNS on tomorrow's special ZPH stream LIVE on Twitch! All four co-hosts will be there and we hope you can join us in the chat!


Fri Jan 12, 2024 | LIVE @ 2PM PT | 5PM ET | 10PM GMT   <- NOTE SPECIAL START TIME




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I played until I got up to the 86th wave (as the dog, using the proline), and I think it would be insane if when you start getting up there in the waves, the waves become more crazy, and maintain the craziness with all the different ducks, and have a longer duration, and the ducks should take off faster once they grab a veggie!


I don't have a light gun sadly.

Edited by KrunchyTC
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You both flatter me, thank you very much.


As I define more waves it'll definitely get crazier. At the moment I have 20 defined that it just loops through and 99 is the current limit, so I do intend to balance things so that getting anything close to 99 is a challenge. I have to balance it so that anyone can play so the first few waves at least will be easy enough. There's also a limit to just how much chaos I can have on screen at once because potentially with 4 dogs the whole thing will slow to a crawl. At least it turns out 4 lightguns isn't unplayably flashy even if it is hard on the eyes.

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

If I had to guess I'd say somebody on the nomination committee is a trigger-happy duck-hater because Ducks Away has been nominated for an award in the 6th Annual Atari Homebrew Awards!

Thanks again to the nomination committee, to James for all the unseen work it takes to make these awards happen, and to the AtariAge community for whom this game was made.

Don't forget to don your stale bread-armour and dive to the polls before the deadline on the 18th of February.


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/16/2024 at 6:29 AM, KrunchyTC said:

Wondering if you plan to add a texture to the grass? Really tie the look of the game together :P

It's something I've considered but I don't want to do it unless I can make it look right with the scrolling, not be too distracting, and I have to be very careful about the palettes I'm using.
There are many plans, it's just that graphics have been a low priority for a while.

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