1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Attack of the Petscii Robots

Discussion in 'SIG: 8-Bit Software' started by M.D.Baker, Nov 16, 2021.

  1. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

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    Is a game for most 8 and 16-bit micros of their era. So I posted it in the general 8-bit forum instead of Atari, even though there is an Atari 8-bit version too.

    The game was written by The 8-bit Guy from Youtube. Done first on a Commodore PET computer, hence the name. All versions of the game are for sale at his website. Versions available include PET, VIC-20, C64, C128, Plus/4, Apple II and Atari 8-bit. Apparently even an NES version. 16-bit versions are available too, at least Amiga as far as I know, but apparently they ported and sold by others?

    Atari version:

    His shop with all versions available from $10-$50, which is $10 for digital download and up from there for "lite copy," "Standard," and "autographed." The last two are full box sets.

    https://www.the8bitguy.com/product-category/music/

    All versions on Youtube:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=attack+of+the+petscii+robots
     
  2. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    Yup, one of the guys on AA did the actual port of it to the Atari, not sure if it's for me, must have a play of the C64 one to see if I like it..
     
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  3. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    The Atari version isn't the best graphically, that's for sure, even though they could have done it with bit-mapped high-res like the Apple version and use artifact colors (NTSC anyway) or the Atari's 5 color character mode, but to keep it able to run on a 48K Atari (always short-changed for that, instead of 64 or 128K versions like the others!). Still too many people with 800's and no Incognito I guess.

    But it's the only version I can play on real hardware now, as I loath PC emulation, and there's no version for the Coco computers yet, and with their character set it would be even worse than the Atari unless the programmers took the time for a 64K high-res bitmap mode like Apple II, too.

    I hope you find the colorful C64 version to your liking, though from what I understand game play is virtually the same, so if color isn't enough to change your mind I doubt you'll care for it much either @Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine .
     
  4. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    I'll have a sniff, I read why Philsan did it the way he did, I personally think it could have been a bit nicer but what do I know.
     
  5. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I think he should have used sprite underlays for color like has been done on high-res conversions from C64 and Spectrum games (Ultimate Play The Game and others) that look really good, but that needs more than 48K I'm sure. And it could have a wonderous Pokey soundtrack and better sound effects. I think it's a poor conversion by Philsan actually, and did little to upgrade froma the basic PET version, even The 8-bit Guy had to convince him to do better with the character graphics!

    I'm glad we got something, and I would rather have monochrome I think to blockier 5 color character mode, but it could have been so much better, especially if it was upped to 128K like Apple II and C128 versions. In fact, they should have used one of them to do the port in the first place! Apple II would to Atari high-res would be best for NTSC users, but all could benefit with added P/M color underlay and the NTSC version could have both artifacting and P/M colors in composite video mode and be every bit as colorful as the C64 version and more so than Apple II.

    But it is what it is and I'm no programmer, yet.
     
  6. by Vyper68
    Vyper68

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    I just bought the C128 version as it has fully bit-mapped graphics and looks a lot nicer than the stock C64 version, I was contemplating the A8 version but decided against it. I am not bothered that it doesn't use PETSCII graphics characters like the originals it just looks a lot better. Plus if you have two monitors the 80 Col VDC chip is outputting a real-time map while the 40 Col VIC-II is providing the main game.
    I just wish games like this were around when the C128 was released rather than forever playing games in C64 mode.
     
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  7. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    I have a gamebase for the C128 with around 250 games in it yet if you go through the gamebase you see that many are mislabelled, they do work on a 128 but in go64 mode, so not a real 128 game. As for the dual monitor setup, it was the first time i'd seen it used in 8bitguys video, I don't think there's any previous stuff that did it that way.
     
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  8. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    There was no use of dual monitors, as far as I know, before PC's with Windows and video cards. I had no idea that the C128 could do that myself, though I no very little about it beyond the basics of being a C64 and a CP/M machine with more memory. Of course back in the day the 800 could do this too, with the Bit-3 80 column board putting out it's signal for a separate monitor. Of course with the VBXE or Sophia 2 it could be done with all Atari's now (since Sophia 2 works with 400/800) having the monitor output from those boards and the legacy outputs too, though I imagine special programming would be required to do it, just like the C128, so the video boards and legacy video outs aren't just showing the same thing. That is a definite plus for the C128 version. But regardless, if I had a C64, or when I do eventually get one, I think I will get that version, assuming no Coco version exists still.

    I think the Atari version should have been based off the Apple II version with it's high-res bitmap graphics, instead of the PET version, especially since Atari computers only have 128 unique characters instead of the 256 of other micros of the era. Taking advantage of NTSC color artifacting for us NTSC users too, just like the Apple II, which is very colorful, as well as P/M underlays so even PAL people could have color too, if not as much.

    Well, enough along those lines, I'm just starting to repeat myself from my last post. I'm not interested much in the Atari port myself, which I, as the 8-bit Guy himself, think was a lazy port from the PET (that he had to help make a bit better) and Philsan should have left it alone if he wasn't going to do it to make the most of the hardware, like every other version made does. I'm not impressed with it at all.

    I just shared because it's for multiple micros and some of you have micros with better versions you can enjoy. Maybe I'll get lucky and some one from Coco/Dragon land will make a good bit-map version for these micros using the Apple II version to start from and use the Coco/Dragon's high-res artifact color mode as should have been done on the Atari. I'd get that version if done that way, if for no other reason than the Coco/Dragon have poor libraries of games compared to Atari and Commodore and Apple machines. They need a decent modern game like this.
     

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