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The Classic Atari Arcade Classic Pole Position gets ported to the Atari ST

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Yes, that's right, a brand new Homebrew port of the classic Atari / Namco racer : Pole Position will shortly be making it's way to an Atari ST near you and it's around half-complete at the moment. No downloads at the moment, but there's a Youtube video (along with some detail on the history of the project) that you can watch here :



This video is a work-in-progress preview of my conversion of the Pole Position arcade coin-op for the Atari ST computer. I always felt it to be a bit of a shame that only the 8-bit machines received (somewhat mediocre) conversions of this classic arcade game and so recently decided to do something about it. If you're familiar with the arcade game, you might recognise the sequence in the video as being the demo mode from the arcade game.


The conversion is based upon my "ppengine" library - a library containing the reverse-engineered logic from the original arcade game. This library is also used in my as-yet-unnamed Pole Position remake for modern computers - which in contrast to this version, runs in fully hardware-accelerated 3D.


The work on this conversion is around half-way complete - I still have a fair bit of work to do in the following areas:


- Sound - there's none yet! If anybody knows about ST sound programming and wants to get on board, I'd be glad of the help.

- Graphics - I haven't implemented all of the billboard types yet, and there's no starting line, gantry or puddles on the track. No car explosions, no clouds in the sky yet, and there's no title screen.

- Performance - you'll be able to see from the video that the frame rate is somewhat lacking - I think it's around 8-10fps for the most part on a standard 8Mhz ST. Most of the graphics code is currently in C, apart from the car and billboard realtime scaling routine which has been written in moderately optimized 68000. I'm not yet sure how much more performance I can gain without either losing graphical quality or doing things that are likely to take forever. If you're familiar with 68000 optimization I'd be glad of a hand in this area.

- Memory optimization - it's currently running on a 1 meg machine only. I hope to have it running on a 520 at some point.


I don't intend to implement a high score table or the spinning "game over" screen on this conversion (neither are particularly interesting things to work on) but I'm hoping that all other sequences from the arcade game will make it over intact.


I'm hoping to release the code as open source once it's finished and I've had a chance to tidy it up. Perhaps somebody might like to convert to the Amiga.

regular updates on his Twitter feed can be found here : https://twitter.com/RetroRacing.


Source: Atari Forums :)


p.s. here is his Windows port in production also, I'm soo hot for this port!!



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That isn't too shabby a conversion. It is almost arcade-perfect, as the Professor said. I remember "Pole Position" in the arcades as a third-grader. It brings back great memories. The 1980s were a video game Renaissance. This is truly a classic arcade title that will go down in gaming history and I hope that this conversion exemplifies it well, which it should by the look of it. Amazing work! :)

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