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Justin

Squad Challenge - Galaxian (Atari 2600)

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I can't believe these amazing scores!  I've yet to break 10,000.  At least I have time to improve.  I'm using this as an opportunity to get used to OBS. I won't post a score yet, but this is how Galaxian is making me feel!

Also, does anyone else think the sprites in this version are more reminiscent of the sprites in Galaga than Galaxian? Compared to the arcade, A8 and 5200 versions - the shapes have a much more Galaga vibe to me.

 

2020-09-05 12-52-04_Moment(2).jpg

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13 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I got off emulation, which is what was used to create the videos before, and tried on real hardware.  HUGE difference. 34,510!  My best yet.  Nothing beats the real deal.

What was the different you felt @Atari 5200 Guy? I hear people talking about lag when playing on emulators. Was that it?

Outside of the Atari 2600 collections available on other consoles like PlayStation, I never played 2600 games on an emulator before. My biggest hurdle to enjoying 2600 games on other consoles has been primarily the controller -- I need a proper joystick.

 

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I tend to switch back and forth between emulators (on my PC) and the real hardware.  To me, they play identically.  But you hit on the key...I have a USB adapter that lets you use a real 2600 joystick (or Genesis controller). 

The other thing is to keep your emulator up-to-date (I use Stella for 2600). 

Edited by RickR

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16 minutes ago, RickR said:

I tend to switch back and forth between emulators (on my PC) and the real hardware.  To me, they play identically.  But you hit on the key...I have a USB adapter that lets you use a real 2600 joystick (or Genesis controller). 

The other thing is to keep your emulator up-to-date (I use Stella for 2600). 

Good point -- if you use Stella, then the play experience should be identical.

What adapter are you using? I picked up the 2600-daptor a few months ago thinking that I'd set up Stella on my Mac (but never did) and use 2600 controllers with it.

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6 hours ago, RickR said:

No fair, @MaliciousCarp is using coffee!  

I'm kidding of course.  Hey, get us a picture of that sweet looking controller you're using.  Looks pretty nice.

 

So, I am a little obsessed with building my own controllers because parts are so readily available and cheap!

That one is part of set that I built pretty recently. This one did make me realize that I have a lot to learn about design though - I designed the cases in Tinkercad and printed them on an Ender 3.  Unfortunately, I didn't consider the importance of rounded corners and edges though (whoops!).  They are still great to play with though (even though they are a bit pokey).  I will probably redo the cases at some point, but I always have a million projects in flight.

IMG_20200905_172009543.jpg.54826ae4bebcb5ea0bbff549c7d06f80.jpg

 

If I get around to it - I will have to make a post showing off some of the different controllers that I have built (in a more appropriate thread 🙂 )

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Just now, MaliciousCarp said:

So, I am a little obsessed with building my own controllers because parts are so readily available and cheap!

That one is part of set that I built pretty recently. This one did make me realize that I have a lot to learn about design though - I designed the cases in Tinkercad and printed them on an Ender 3.  Unfortunately, I didn't consider the importance of rounded corners and edges though (whoops!).  They are still great to play with though (even though they are a bit pokey).  I will probably redo the cases at some point, but I always have a million projects in flight.

IMG_20200905_172009543.jpg.54826ae4bebcb5ea0bbff549c7d06f80.jpg

 

If I get around to it - I will have to make a post showing off some of the different controllers that I have built (in a more appropriate thread 🙂 )

Those look good!  You should definitely create that post showing off your creations. 

Q:  Do you just steal the cable and connector from an Atari joystick?

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13 minutes ago, RickR said:

Those look good!  You should definitely create that post showing off your creations. 

Q:  Do you just steal the cable and connector from an Atari joystick?

No  I actually ordered the cables from Ebay (The brand is Classic Game Source.  They sell them in packs of 2)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TWO-8FT-9-Pin-Replacement-cable-cord-wire-to-repair-Atari-7800-Joystick-E22/172745283257?hash=item28386bd6b9:g:2IcAAOSwHLNZTUdP

You could take one from an actual joystick, but it would be hard to find 8' cables that way! 

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45 minutes ago, MaliciousCarp said:

No  I actually ordered the cables from Ebay (The brand is Classic Game Source.  They sell them in packs of 2)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TWO-8FT-9-Pin-Replacement-cable-cord-wire-to-repair-Atari-7800-Joystick-E22/172745283257?hash=item28386bd6b9:g:2IcAAOSwHLNZTUdP

You could take one from an actual joystick, but it would be hard to find 8' cables that way! 

Great work @MaliciousCarp! Are you able to just wire the cables directly to the buttons and joysticks or is there more work involved?

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16 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I got off emulation, which is what was used to create the videos before, and tried on real hardware.  HUGE difference. 34,510!  My best yet.  Nothing beats the real deal.20200904_205736.jpg.5a75d86f7054229c702e580bf33d54f0.jpg

I will start playing on real hardware soon. Just heard from @RickR that he got my thing and is sending the game. What a nice guy.

2 hours ago, MaliciousCarp said:

So, I am a little obsessed with building my own controllers because parts are so readily available and cheap!

I have told y'all about my plans to build a 7800 arcade controller before, but I recently had another idea. I have a broken 2600 controller board and have thought about making a Dragster controller with nice, clicky, microswitched buttons. You only need up, down, fire and left for that (one of the traces is broken on the left joystick position, but I could probably rewire to the right button). Of course, I will have to actually GET Dragster first. It's quite fun now that I know what I'm doing.

@Atari 5200 Guy How is Galaxian on the 5200? It has long looked interesting because of its analog control. It looks like a blast with one of those paddle-modded 5200 joysticks.

Edited by HDN

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2 hours ago, Justin said:

Great work @MaliciousCarp! Are you able to just wire the cables directly to the buttons and joysticks or is there more work involved?

These are 7800 compatible, so there is a little bit of extra wiring needed.  I used a great wiring diagram that I found on AtariAge as a guide 

(https://atariage.com/forums/topic/258152-byo-atari-7800-controller-schematic-for-dummys/)

I just built a simple circuit on a scrap bit of prototyping board, but I recently found out that EdLaddin makes a board for building your own 7800 arcade sticks  (I think @HDN had posted about them).  Those would make it super simple to do.

You could wire everything directly, but it would get really ugly really fast.

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2 minutes ago, MaliciousCarp said:

I just built a simple circuit on a scrap bit of prototyping board, but I recently found out that EdLaddin makes a board for building your own 7800 arcade sticks  (I think @HDN had posted about them). 

Yes, I did, back when I was considering buying a 7800. Now, I own one, but I digress. If anyone is interested, it is $15 over at the AtariAge Store. 

https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1077

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9 hours ago, HDN said:

How is Galaxian on the 5200? It has long looked interesting because of its analog control. It looks like a blast with one of those paddle-modded 5200 joysticks

To appreciate Galaxian on the 5200 you would have to learn the 5200 on a per game basis because every game treats those analog controls differently.  The misconception is Galaxian only uses the analog feature as an analog joystick to a point.  If you move the joystick left the player moves left, move it right the player moves right, but put the joystick in an almost center state and the player stops.  The only difference is the speed of the ship which is determined by how far you move the joystick.  It has two speeds: slow and fast.  Both come in handy in avoiding enemies and their fire.

Visually it is better than the 2600 port but that is about it.  I love the game because I grew to like it.  It was one of the first games I got Christmas morning with the system...but it is not 100% accurate.  The yellow Galaxians are not right, it has glitches if you know where to find them, and the sounds are way off.  It is still fun, still uses the same rules, and the 5200 can give a butt whippin' especially on skill level 9.  But I don't think it would work well with a paddle-modded controller.

 

Edited by Atari 5200 Guy

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11 hours ago, socrates63 said:

What was the different you felt @Atari 5200 Guy? I hear people talking about lag when playing on emulators. Was that it?

Outside of the Atari 2600 collections available on other consoles like PlayStation, I never played 2600 games on an emulator before. My biggest hurdle to enjoying 2600 games on other consoles has been primarily the controller -- I need a proper joystick.

 

I use Stella so no slowdowns and my PC is a beast so ... Yea.  Thanks to the donor for that.  I use a wired 360 controller on my PC as well.  I didn't notice any lag. 

I blame my mind set on that one.  I mean...I was playing on a PC, not a real Atari. Whooptydo.  Once I got on the 2600, even with the Europad controller, my mind set changed.  I concentrated more on the game.  It became more fun being on the actual hardware.  I mean...it's an Atari almost as old as me and we are both aging but still able to enjoy a good game together. 

These old machines are hanging in there far better than most modern systems.  That alone is impressive to me.  Nothing will ever be the same as the real deal to me.  Absolutely nothing.  I always smile when I see these Atari machines just sitting there.  These are my children ready to play at any given moment.  So, yes, Atari stuff will always be special to me.  Maybe that is what made the difference.

On a side note my oldest nephew and me played Indy 500, Air*Sea, Combat, and Space War together.  We had a blast!!  We also discovered a few bugs in Indy 500.  Still, we had a blast.  He's 13 BTW and I'm 46 so...huge generation difference.  He wants to do that again.

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1 hour ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

It became more fun being on the actual hardware.  I mean...it's an Atari almost as old as me and we are both aging but still able to enjoy a good game together...

On a side note my oldest nephew and me played Indy 500, Air*Sea, Combat, and Space War together.  We had a blast!!  We also discovered a few bugs in Indy 500.  Still, we had a blast.  He's 13 BTW and I'm 46 so...huge generation difference.  He wants to do that again.

I read comments from some people that say there's no reason to play on actual hardware. I suppose from a technical perspective that that may be true, but I remember the first time that I inserted an actual Atari cartridge into my 7800. It was the first time I inserted a 2600 cartridge in nearly 40 years. That physical experience really connected me to the game in ways that an emulator could not have. And when I got my 2600 two months ago, playing on that felt different than playing 2600 games on the 7800 (a console I never owned before). It transported me back to the early 80s when I was a little younger than your nephew playing games on my VCS.

Head to head two player action on these simple games really distills gaming to its essence. It's akin to playing on the playground with other kids -- all pretense is stripped away and you're just having fun and enjoying the company. Great job, uncle! And credit to your nephew for not being turned off by 80s graphics and sound and experiencing the game play.

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3 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Thanks to the donor for that.

That was me and you're welcome.

2 hours ago, socrates63 said:

I read comments from some people that say there's no reason to play on actual hardware.

I'm with you on this.  There's something magic about a real console.  I will do emulation only when pressed for time, or if my kids are using the gaming room.  Or if I don't own the system in question.  Emulation to me is a way to preserve those precious old games in case something goes wrong with my console.  I really got into emulation with the Atari 8-bit, as a lot of my original software was on floppy disk, and I knew those wouldn't last forever.

Just as an example of when I will use emulation for the 2600, a few of these Galaxian runs have been done while I'm working and have 10 minutes until a meeting starts or something like that.  

The other piece of magic that I currently don't partake in is to use a real CRT TV for the old systems.  I use an old analog LCD, which looks great.  But it's not quite the same.  

 

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