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Game Idea: Dino Eggs 2600


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Hi, today my work was boring, so I made a new basic design of a Dino Eggs VCS port. Platforms, ladders and rocks are playfield elements, rest are players.


Is it true that I can put a player so many times in a row I like? Is this design possible to realize? Does anybody know the original game? I like it very much.


I want only a little discussion to learn more about the VCS possibilities. I haven't a programmer to to this work.



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I actually thought about doing this two years ago (the discussions should still be in the Stella archives), but gave up on the idea. I don't think the 2600 could handle it properly.


I would make a dandy 8-bit game though (assumibg that hasn't already been done).



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...
It's been a while...


Anyone having an idea for dino moms foot? :)


Well, it all depends on how much flicker you can stand. Obviously, there often are too many objects on each scanline to do without flicker. Another problem is that you can lay down your eggs anywhere, so if there are multiple stacks of eggs on one scanline, you probably need multiple players to display them. Same problem with the wood that can be laid down anywhere.


As for Dino mom's foot... on the mockup screenshot the playfield is already asymmetric, so I would just overlay that asymmetric playfield with the foot, if possible. The foot should be 48 pixels wide on the 2600, which corresponds to 12 background pixels. I'd draw the foot with the background graphics and have all other background graphics on those scanlines change color to the color of the foot. Alternatively, you could use two players with quadruple width, but then flickering would be almost unavoidable (not that it would be avoidable if you don't do it like this...).

This could be accomodated by a special version of the kernal which doesn't change the foreground colors as it normally would, but instead takes the foot into account when writing to the PF registers. For this application, the foot could be confined to a few positions which don't make too much trouble (i.e. covering a full PF register and half of another one). The foot animation could also be simplified so that the foot raises and lowers a half or a full playfield level at a time.

I think it would make sense to divide the playfield in regions, as usual for Atari 2600 games:


- sky region with typical Atari 2600 mountainscape and incoming spiders

- 4 main regions which are subdivided as follows:

- region for high flying objects

- region for low flying objects

- platform, eggs, wood and rocks

- status and scoring region


Between each region, as usual, there would be an opportunity to reposition players.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, it's looking good so far. But some more comments to those screenshots:


1. The blue region below the mountains doesn't have to turn grey when the foot comes down because it can actually be drawn with the background color which then changes to black. So blue = background (stays blue), grey = dino mom's foot (turns grey).

2. Dino mom's foot could actually come in multiple colors. At least the toes could have a different color than the main foot. Since toes and leg are divided by a row of black pixels, this would look pretty realistic... there still is no scanline where the toe and leg regions overlap.

3. The solid wood graphics don't look too much like wood. Look at the C-64 screenshots... the wood is not drawn solidly in the original game, and I think it wouldn't make much of a difference doing it like that as well in the 2600 version.

4. I would do a blank line between the floors and the eggs / rocks. Why? You would need some cycles to reposition the players between those areas in order to display the eggs and wood (or, alternatively, above the floor, but in this case the players wouldn't be able to touch the floor).


Then I thought about how much flicker would be involved in the screenshot as you're showing it now.

On the upper level, at least two of the objects shown (two stacks of eggs and one wood) would have to flicker 30 Hz because there are only two players to display them. You have the same problem on the second and on the fourth level. The third level could be displayed without a flicker.

One little detail would be the spiders and their threads. I'd display the spider threads with missiles and the ball, which unfortunately means that they're changing color depending on where they are. But such is life (and that can be seen on other 2600 games as well, such as Jungle Hunt or Realsports Tennis).


Another idea would be to limit the "grid". In the Apple II and C-64 versions, there are 4 horizontal levels, divided into 12 spaces where either eggs, rocks, flowers, wood or ladders could be. If you limit those to 10 for the Atari 2600 version, you could space them apart by 4 playfield pixels which could make things much more convenient. Among other things, you could try to reduce flicker if you have the multiple copies in the same row (such as eggs and wood) to displaying them using multiple copies of a player object. Even multiple, different sized, stacks of eggs could be displayed that way by changing the number of copies of the player on the fly. Might not always work, but sometimes it just might.


Oh, and I've created some screenshots of the Apple II version for comparison (since shots of that version can't be found anywhere on the net). Note that in that version, there are actually two regions of mountains... one upper, richly colored, and one lower, only sparsly colored (that's where the spiders are). Food for thought maybe?post-8393-1224171589_thumb.pngpost-8393-1224171594_thumb.pngpost-8393-1224171602_thumb.pngpost-8393-1224171605_thumb.pngpost-8393-1224171608_thumb.pngpost-8393-1224171611_thumb.pngpost-8393-1224171615_thumb.png

Edited by Kurt_Woloch
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