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Justin

Squad Challenge - Pac-Man 8K Homebrew (Atari 2600)

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This post is largely ancedotal...

After watching that video, it's as if Frye had no blueprint whatsoever when working on the 2600 version. Perhaps Frye didn't know how to extend the capabilities of the 2600, which is fair given how many titles looked & played later on once game designers figured out ways to trick the system.

I agree in that a little humility from Frye would go a long way.

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35 minutes ago, RickR said:

This version truly is incredible.  Honestly, I completely forgot I was playing a 2600 game, it feels so much like the real arcade version.  Really great controls too.  This actually beats the 5200 version due to the speed and controls. 

As the kids might say, "This, 💯!"

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Ok, I give up. I came within a few points of my last score and gave up the ghost👻.  Time for a break! 

I recalled another attempt at Pac-Man 8K. This was a hack by AA member Nukey Shay using Tod's original code, kernel, ghost AI and maze layout but with improved control, speed, colors and sound. Here's the bin file. This still feels very 2600 but it's interesting nonetheless. 

IMG_20190414_212058616.jpg

Pacman8k.bin

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I very much like that hack.  It is still Atari's Pac-Man but with enough elements of the arcade added.  Even that would have received a better reception if that was what released in the 80's.  This one has the siren, the right colors, the fruit/prizes, an eye-less Pac=Man that looks in the direction he is going, the flashing when the level ends...

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10 hours ago, atarilbc said:

I recalled another attempt at Pac-Man 8K. This was a hack by AA member Nukey Shay using Tod's original code, kernel, ghost AI and maze layout but with improved control, speed, colors and sound. Here's the bin file. This still feels very 2600 but it's interesting nonetheless. 

IMG_20190414_212058616.jpg

Pacman8k.bin 0 B · 0 downloads

We ALMOST played Nukey Shay's 8K Pac-Man for our Squad Challenge this month! Maybe next year 😉

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Heres a recent (within the past year) Arcade Attack interview with Tod Frye. The interviewer asked some very thoughtful questions and I found this enjoyable to listen to. It’s a  wide-ranging interview covering everything from Pac-Man, SwordQuest, 2600 Xevious, his time at Atari and more:

 

 

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:pole_position_blimp_big: Congratulations Marco1019!

 

Congratulations @Marco1019 on an excellent score! DINTAR816's Pac-Man-Man 8K was our first Homebrew Squad Challenge, I'm thrilled to see the turnout and enthusiasm for this game! Kudos to DINTAR816 for creating this amazing home-brew! It was great to have all of you jump in this challenge, and to welcome new member Marco1019 to the forums! Marco won the Squad Challenge with a high score of 146,770. @kamakazi20012 brought his A-Game with 61,140 points, and @RadioPoultry took 3rd with 47,560 points. @atarilbc scored 41,790 points, @TrekMD checked in with 37,750 points and @RickR was right on his tail with 37,610. @Atari Creep rounded things out with 11,680 points. I disqualified my score because I started playing the wrong ROM. Great showing guys! Congrats to everyone who played! I'd like to welcome Marco1019 to the Atari I/O Forums and encourage him to post his new high score on the Scoreboard, and maybe this Challenge can continue on! 

Our next Squad Challenge will be for the TurboGrafx-16 and will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16th. See you there!

 

 

PAC-MAN 8K FINAL STANDINGS

 

1   MARCO1019                  146,770

2   KAMAKAZI20012            61,140

3   RADIO POULTRY              47,560

4   ATARILBC                          41,790

5   TREKMD                             37,750

6   RICKR                                 37,610

7   ATARI CREEP                    11,680

 

 

atari_league_world_championships_150.gif

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1 hour ago, Marco1019 said:

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and encouragement. Also, thank you for allowing me to compete in the Squad Challenge. I probably won't win many challenges but the most important part is to elevate each other's gameplay and spread the word about the community.

Absolutely! That's what it's all about. I'm glad you got to join us for High Score Squad, I hope all of you had a good time celebrating Pac-Man! :pac_man:

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On 4/15/2019 at 10:16 AM, Justin said:

Heres a recent (within the past year) Arcade Attack interview with Tod Frye. The interviewer asked some very thoughtful questions and I found this enjoyable to listen to. It’s a  wide-ranging interview covering everything from Pac-Man, SwordQuest, 2600 Xevious, his time at Atari and more:

Yeah, Tod claims he has plenty of time to defend his Pac-Man game - a game that by every possible metric is undefendable.   Yet for all his plans to recreate all his tech demos, to fix Pac-Man (which several people have already done), and to finish up SwordQuest AirWorld, he's quick to admit he probably won't get around to doing them.

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10 minutes ago, Scott Stilphen said:

Yet for all his plans to recreate all his tech demos, to fix Pac-Man (which several people have already done), and to finish up SwordQuest AirWorld, he's quick to admit he probably won't get around to doing them.

My hope would be if Tod could get around to finishing just one of those projects that it would be SwordQuest AirWorld. I don't get the sense that Tod really understands why some gamers disliked his Pac-Man so much and it doesn't seem like his corrections would go above and beyond what the homebrew community has already offered up. Secondly, Tod isn't the original "creator" of Pac-Man, but he is the creator of SwordQuest. SwordQuest was mostly his vision, Tod is still alive and able to complete that vision through AirWorld and I would love to see that happen. Even if it's not the best game ever made, at least that would close out the original SwordQuest series.

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I agree.  From what he's said were his plans for AirWorld over the years, it was far from yet another rehash of the same game, which is all FireWorld and WaterWorld were (and in retrospect why the whole contest was pretty much doomed from the start, since there was never a great vision for the games to begin with).  It's a shame he never kept a copy of the code he had at the point it was cancelled, but there's only one person on the planet who could possibly make the game, because he's the only one who had the idea for it.  I don't know if doing a Kickstarter or GoFundMe campaign would be enough to 'light a fire' under him, and given how often he changes his accounts of his experiences at Atari, and how 'serious' he claims to have been back then about his work, there are plenty of stories about how goofy and doped up he was, and how hard it was to motivate him to complete projects (his former manager at Atari, Dennis Koble, stated Tod had trouble focusing on deadlines even back then, so it would appear that's still very much an issue with him).  If he made a concerted effort to show he was serious about doing it, I have no doubt he'd have plenty of backers from the community, but unless he does, I think it would be a wasted effort for anyone to initiate it.   But personally, I'd sooner start a fund campaign to have the 4th comic book done :)

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