The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

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Junosix
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The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:33 pm

Been a Retro Gamer reader for quite a while (top mag! Always look forward to a new copy) but never thought to sign up on the forums before now! Thought I might just prod you all in the direction of a 2600 game I've nearly finished making.

It started after I got a bit inspired last year when my girlfriend bought Racing the Beam for my 30th birthday - it's a fantastic and accessibly geeky read. I caned through it in a couple of days and was itching to have a go at assembler which is something I hadn't touched since I prodded around with it at college almost 15 years ago.

My goal was to fit the game into 4K which is the natural limit of the 2600 ROM addressing range. It would have been so easy to have made it larger using a technique called bank switching but I loved the fact that the enforced parsimony meant that I had to use good discipline to pauperise the small space to fit enough levels in to make it a complete game. The thing with the 2600 I found is that after you spend some time with it you start to become hoodwinked into feeling that the machine was put on this earth just to play your game, everything just seems to fit perfectly. But in reality you're so confined by its limitations that if you don't stick to them your game simply won't work. That said, I now realise what an incredibly considerate and resourceful piece of design the 2600 was for its time.

So, here we go: The Wicked Father is a swimming bastard simulator for the Atari 2600.

Playing the unconsionable character of the title who has taken out insurance on both his house and family, you enter his world the moment after he has just trapped them in the basement and flooded the property. PROFIT!!!

The controls are the controls of these controls: Joystick - left/right. Fire - jump/swim.

Here (http://junosix.adsl24.co.uk/TheWickedFatherDemo.bin) is a deliberately palsied demo version of the game (4 levels and a sandbox level for trying out the swimming thing), to run on an emulator like Stella or z26. It's been my labour of love for the past 6 months of part-time coding. I hope you enjoy it. If you don't, then... I'm sorry.

Full version is pretty much ready (just finished off a few levels) so I'll be posting an update when it's done.

YouTube vid of a slightly older build of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9X_zDFFtb8

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will2097
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by will2097 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:55 pm

That's awesome. Well done.

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Junosix
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:21 pm

Thanks dude :)

Release candidate here: http://junosix.adsl24.co.uk/TheWickedFa ... didate.bin

Grab the Stella emulator from http://stella.sourceforge.net/downloads.php

There is one small bug that will either be a showstopper or glitchy curiosity that the odd player may occasionally get. Don't know which because I can play it from start to finish without making too many errors (obviously). Let me know if you come across anything.

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mrspud
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by mrspud » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:36 pm

Funky little thing. I played the first version you posted the other day and had a weird glitch where my chap suddenlly skewed off to the right hand side on screen 2. I haven't managed to reproduce it since. I haven't tried your new version yet, but I will when I get a spare five minutes!
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by the_hawk » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:08 am

I really like the look of this. Good work fella.
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by moshboy » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:40 am

I think the simplicity is what makes it work - neat. I liked it.

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Junosix
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 am

Thanks, loves.

It's interesting to see the reactions of different forums where I've posted this (only three including here, actually). You've all been extremely receptive of a newbie that's just popped along and said "LOOK AT MY GAME!", whereas elsewhere they've practically refused to download it because there may or may not be a glitch that I'm not sure about, and someone else has asked me to retitle it "Titanic" instead essentially just in case Josef Fritzl's daughter wants to play it, because having a man selfishly pluck himself out of the Titanic tragedy without saving anyone else isn't horrible, is it?

I like this place :)

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Junosix
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:01 pm

Last edited by Junosix on Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Junosix
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:48 pm

Absolutely final version in this Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wicke ... 33?sk=info (you don't have to be a FB member to view it), plus some instructions. Have fun!

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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by mrspud » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:36 pm

I love the death float. I see it a lot because it is bastard-hard. The collision detection aginst walls when you try to jump is ruthless! I still like it though and I've yet to see past screen 4 - perhaps I need an autofire joystick.

Great work. :D
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Junosix
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:08 am

I'd say using auto-fire would be an acceptable circumvention of the fact that his swimming skills are far, far less than Olympic standard. :)

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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by the_hawk » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:49 am

Yup, great effort this.

I played a few games on my PSP this morning, I too have not seen past screen 4 yet but it's a very enjoyable homebrew game. Nice one.
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by pantal00ns » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:13 am

Does look simple and effective, can appreciate the game but platformers I am seriously sh!t at.

Keep up the good work though, no doubt programming for the 2600 is a bugg8r.

Side Note: I picked up a Spectravideo Compumate keyboard quite a while ago add-on with a view to programming a game of some sort. Is this actually possible with the hardware, i.e save to tape and reload etc?

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Junosix
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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by Junosix » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:33 am

Not sure whether the Compumate lets you do full-on assembler, might just be an in-built BASIC that allows you to use the RAM rather than ROM space (the 2600 has 128 BYTES of RAM so it'd be pretty painful to do anything!). Certainly a mental looking bit of kit though (http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/10 ... compumate/), and a nice, rare bit of kit to have in your collection!

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Re: The Wicked Father (my Atari 2600 homebrew game)

Post by stvd » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:55 am

I've also DL'd it and stuck it on my Xbox. Checked it worked but nothing more.
Will have a go on it tonight.
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