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Arlasoft

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A member registered Mar 18, 2017 · View creator page →

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Hi there, enjoyed playing your game and was looking for a simple project to dip my toes into Atari 2600 development (although nothing on the 2600 is simple...). Here's my version: https://arlagames.itch.io/toptom-2600

Thanks Tony, I'm still working on bits and pieces when the mood takes me, so there might be the odd game now and again. 

Thanks, will get these fixed for 1.1.

Thanks, will fix for v1.1!

Good catch - we were so focused on catastrophic bugs like the scrolling completely breaking, we missed this off-by-one error. Will fix in 1.1.

Damn. I've had this exact idea running around my head for about 10 years, and even started building it in Unity. But I'm a programmer not a game designer so I couldn't flesh out the mechanics to make it fun, or find someone with those skills to work with me. I haven't played this yet but it looks like you've achieved that, congratulations! It's cool to see pretty much exactly what I envisioned in my head come to life (he says through gritted teeth...)

I admire your 'pay-what-you-want' model, I do that for all my C64 releases. At the same time I don't think anyone would begrudge this being on Steam and reaching a much bigger audience. After all, if you haven't got $10, you probably haven't got the PC capable of playing it....



The hi-score bug only occurs on the final entry....the final byte is not being saved. An update will be done soon. As for issues with Ultimate 1541, I have no way of testing this. If it works on a real 1541 and VICE it suggests a bug with the ultimate.

No reason, just busy. I'm finishing a new game this week, so after that's done I can tie up a few loose ends before going back to Robotron.

Yeah, before I implemented it I thought it would be noticeable, but it isn't, even when scrolling. It would seem the brain can't tell an object (or the screen) has moved twice as far in a frame, it just perceives the overall average speed. 

Looks like you're scrolling a big area in this game though so I guess there might not be enough time to copy all the data.

Great work! Regarding the NTSC/PAL speed thing, for Galaxian I just call the game loop twice every 6th frame on PAL. Might be tricky when scrolling is involved but I'm currently working on a game with vertical scrolling and calling the game loop twice seems to work fine. 

Apparently they sound much better on VICE than a real SID

Will definitely be louder on 6581. Posted a list of their phrases in the blurb. I've heard them so many times now they sound as clear as a bell :D

Yeah, there is no way to improve it without having flickering sprites. The sample player has to make way for the multiplexor so playback is inconsistent. I'll post a list of their phrases, if you know what you're listening for it's better!

No problem, good luck with the 6502, I learnt everything I needed from Shallan's 'Let's make a C64 game' YouTube series, which I first saw in September 2019.

Thanks...I'll try and get the code up on GitHub tomorrow?

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A superb bit of software that I use for all my C64 games. 

One option I'd love to be added to the compress data is 'only clear un-used chars' or perhaps even the option to specify a character index to start from other than 0. 

What I mean by that is often I'll have my A-Z, 0-9 and a few other common symbols in my set, in the correct place to be used programatically. If I want to retain those I can just draw them in an un-used part of the map.

But when I compress data, any currently un-used chars in between those sub-sets are deleted and now the symbols and numbers are in the wrong place. So it would be nice if un-used chars were just optionally cleared rather than deleted. 

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Hi, just to let you know I enjoyed this game after seeing it on a Youtube compilation, and have converted it to the Commodore 64. https://arlagames.itch.io/paper-planes-c64

It's a fair point, just going to upload a new version where the speed ramps up 3x faster, and also the maximum speed is increased.

On this page? The high scores don't save on the browser version.

I will hopefully get some time before Xmas and New Year to sort out a final update. I wanted to make some improvements to enemy movements but ended up breaking the whole game so had to revert back to v105.

It's possible I guess, testing could be tricky as I don't have one myself!

Absolutely

Do you mean the lives count? You share three lives, although only the losing player can lose the final life.

Do you mean when they all just stop moving for a moment? They are able to sense an incoming bullet and will stop if continuing to move would have put them in its path, until the bullet has reached the top of the screen.

There's already a very good port of Gaplus done back in the day, not sure I could improve it dramatically. Got a number of potential projects on the go....not decided which to focus on yet.

Can you try Galaxian and see if the auto fire is fixed on that? If so I can put that fix into Galaga too.

Yeah, with Galaxian being released in the next few minutes (spoiler), I'll hopefully have some time to tweak a few things on Galaga. 

Galencia's sprites are much bigger, so you can obviously add more detail. The smallest sprite in Galaga is half the size of a Galencia sprite.

But at that point they take up so much room compared to the overall dimensions of the screen it's no longer Galaga. In Galencia the swarm is virtually on top of you, it might look more like a zoomed-in Galaga, but it can't possibly play like it.

There are also less sprites so they don't need to use chars, and they have the advantage of not having to look like anything that came before so can be designed with double-wide pixels and the available colours in mind.

As I say, I'm no artist but I can't really see how you can make Galaga on the C64 look significantly better without compromising on gameplay.

If I were making a brand new IP like Galencia, built specifically for a 320 x 200 landscape screen as opposed to 224 x 288 portrait one, absolutely the graphics wouldn't be good enough. And I agree there are definitely elements from the arcade gameplay that I haven't quite captured yet. That's why for Galaxian I am porting directly the arcade code.

The choice is really down to chunky, less detailed sprites or no game at all. And there's no way I'm doing hi-res single colour enemies, this isn't a Spectrum ;)

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The C64's hardware limitations make it impossible to improve the graphics in any meaningful way. You can either have hi-res characters, meaning you can define every pixel in a 8x8 character block or 24x21 sprite, but they can only be one colour, or you can have multi-colour meaning you can only define pairs of pixels but have three colours, two of which must be shared across all chars/sprites. I chose to go for more accurate colour over sharper sprites that are all one colour.

Contrast this with the NES that can have hi-res sprites with any three colours from a palette of 54.

Unfortunately some compromises are inevitable, if it was easy it would have been done in the 80s.

Same with the sound, it's as close I can get without the benefit of dedicated sound hardware built specifically to make Galaga's sounds that the arcade has. 

I see that you can 'fire' when being captured on the arcade but this doesn't really add anything to the game, the bullets just fire off in random directions and I've never seen one hit anything. Because I'm drawing player bullets with characters, changing their X position in flight would take probably a couple of days to code, for very little benefit. 

A potential great post but spelling and punctuation should improve.

Yeah you're right, there's another bug where I copy what ever is in GameZP to the actual ZP upon launch, when I intended to just back up the Kernal ZP at that point. It just happens it doesn't crash this game but it did the next project. Will fix! 

Thanks! No 1 is not a bug, if you shoot the boss in formation, your ship flies out of the level and rejoins as the last enemy in the next normal level. This happens in the arcade too.

Number 2 sounds like it might be though, video would be great.

I only got to talk to the Freaky Fish dev this afternoon. He worked out that there is a bug in Final Cart 3, when it saves files it switches the C64 to VIC bank 0, then doesn't switch it back to what it was. Therefore the game is still technically functioning but displaying graphics from the wrong area of memory. 

I've uploaded a new v105 that should fix this and is also a brand new .d64.

Also just made it playable in the browser on the main page.

There's a few on Youtube, here's one 

I'll check it out today.

And I think the sound you're referring might be the 'transform alert' when an enemy is about to spawn three transform enemies. It does sound similar to the extra life effect.

Which version are you playing? That bug should be fixed.

Ah ok, that wasn't mentioned on the FAQ I was using for the scoring. Easy enough to add to the next update.

I always recommend Shallan's Youtube series 'Let's Make A C64 Game'. The first six episodes were enough for me to start making my first game.

Brilliant, thanks for making the video - glad you're enjoying the 2-player mode!