New game (conversion): Altair

ibmibm
edited January 2015 in Brand new software
Hello, I only want to announce this game Altair I programmed for the Spectrum 48K.

Altair is a game from 1981, for arcade machines, developed by the Spanish company CIDELSA. This is a conversion made for the contest being held by Ivanzx at El rinc?n del Spectrum .

The final version of the game can be donwloaded at https://sites.google.com/site/inmensabolademanteca/home . I've made a .tap for an English version as well. If any English speaker finds a mistake, please tell me.

The game is fully programmed in assembly. Full source available.

Hope you like it :)

Thanks.
Post edited by ibm on
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Comments

  • edited March 2014
    Very nice. I don't think I've ever seen the original arcade version of Altair, but having watched a video of it on Youtube, this seems like a very faithful reproduction.

    Thanks for sharing! :)
  • edited March 2014
    No..way!
    A game I only encountered once and that was in a social club years back and I have never forgotten playing it,difficult to find on mame too.Now this I am looking forward to playing and
    What an interesting choice for a speccy port . :)
  • edited March 2014
    jammajup wrote: »
    No..way!
    A game I only encountered once and that was in a social club years back and I have never forgotten playing it,difficult to find on mame too.Now this I am looking forward to playing and
    What an interesting choice for a speccy port . :)

    Thats an interesting piece of info!
    Was it in the UK or you played it in a holiday stay in Spain?

    Im glad you like it, and as you said, it is a extremely faithful conversi?n with all its coin op feeling :)
  • edited March 2014
    Great game, man!
    I?m playing it on my TK90X and works perfectly! :)
    Runs faster and the gameplay is also good!!

    It really has an arcade feeling.
  • edited March 2014
    This is awesome ! Just like an arcade game - and nice to see a new old school shooter again on the Speccy... I'm getting into the space invader / galaxian type games again lately... they're so playable and the Spectrum can replicate them very accurately if programmed as well as this.... Thanks for that... Has gone straight on my Gameboy Advance too.
  • edited March 2014
    Ivanzx wrote: »
    Thats an interesting piece of info!
    Was it in the UK or you played it in a holiday stay in Spain?

    Im glad you like it, and as you said, it is a extremely faithful conversi?n with all its coin op feeling :)

    It was here in the West Midlands area of the UK,I do have a sort of record/archive of where arcade games have been and I will refer to it as I am sure there may be two locations this game has been seen in.But to answer your question the version I played was in Hateley Heath social club which was more or less a community bar and hall which no longer stands,it has long since been demolished and houses now stand were it once was.These social clubs as they are known here were popular years ago but are all meeting a similar fate.
    *EDIT*
    Okay I have checked my online record and Altair was also known to have been in a fish & chip shop (Cods Place) a few roads away from the social club,this suggests that both locations had the same supplier for their amusements (arcade game boards),it makes sense as I never saw it anywhere not even at seaside resorts. link - http://www.jammajup.co.uk/cods.htm
  • edited March 2014
    Wow, I never heard of this game before. At first I thought it might be a bug when the wings of the ship got destroyed..:lol:

    It's fairly tough.. Took me about 25 attempts to get to the second wave. Gamers in the early 80s really must have been made of sterner stuff..:o

    It's pretty addictive..
  • edited March 2014
    jammajup wrote: »
    It was here in the West Midlands area of the UK,I do have a sort of record/archive of where arcade games have been and I will refer to it as I am sure there may be two locations this game has been seen in.But to answer your question the version I played was in Hateley Heath social club which was more or less a community bar and hall which no longer stands,it has long since been demolished and houses now stand were it once was.These social clubs as they are known here were popular years ago but are all meeting a similar fate.
    *EDIT*
    Okay I have checked my online record and Altair was also known to have been in a fish & chip shop (Cods Place) a few roads away from the social club,this suggests that both locations had the same supplier for their amusements (arcade game boards),it makes sense as I never saw it anywhere not even at seaside resorts. link - http://www.jammajup.co.uk/cods.htm


    Its really interesting to know that this Spanish arcade was even exported to a place like the UK where it was supposed to be flooded with high quality arcade, so that may mean that Cidelsa was doing well.
    The game itself is a bit of a clone of a Invaders-Phoenix, and quite addictive and hard. Its not a technical marvel, but we are speaking about 1981, so for that time it is more than decent. The conversion imo is really good, I think Cidelsa itself would be very proud of it!

    And dont forget to try the rest of the games from the Compo!
  • edited March 2014
    please look at this snapshot
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3152568/bug1-altair.z80
    what is supposed to be done ? dunno if this is a bug, i can't move or shoot on that snapshot (wasdspace defined)

    it is fun to get the ship behind the enemies and attack from the rear :-)
  • edited March 2014
    Ivanzx wrote: »
    Its really interesting to know that this Spanish arcade was even exported to a place like the UK where it was supposed to be flooded with high quality arcade, so that may mean that Cidelsa was doing well.

    It is good to see of course and although it does not really matter I have no idea if it was an original board or a clone / bootleg,I say this as on the coast at sea side resorts you would find mostly original games but inland where money was tighter and especially approaching the 90's in the West Midlands you would see more of the clone boards appear instead of the originals, so we would often see Falcon instead of Phoenix ,Venus instead of Gyruss,Solar Warrior for Soldier Of Light (Xain D Sleener),Frog in place of Frogger,etc,etc.
    Anyway I am downloading this as soon as I get out of work and will look forward to playing it tonight.
  • edited March 2014
    This is a great game! I'd never heard of it before, either, so I found a video of it on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D82rB1vbKEs), and your version is *very* authentic! I downloaded the arcade rom, and copied it to my MAME folder, but my version of MAME wouldn't play it, as my MAME is old but I don't want to update it as I'd have to go through the rigmarole of updating various roms and sound samples, and this version of MAME has everything I want to play on it, so I didn't bother.

    And because of you, I can now play Altair on the Spectrum, so thanks very much for making it! And thanks also for making the keys redefinable - I wish every game had this option.
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    hikoki wrote: »
    please look at this snapshot
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3152568/bug1-altair.z80
    what is supposed to be done ? dunno if this is a bug, i can't move or shoot on that snapshot (wasdspace defined)

    it is fun to get the ship behind the enemies and attack from the rear :-)

    Hi, this is on purpose. This is exactly how the original works. On the "bird's" level (as I call it :) ), you can only move left or right. And you actually fire, but the shots are invisible. Why? These are the possibilities that I can think of:

    1. The original hardware had some restriction and was not able to paint the "shield" of the bird (the white rectangle on the bottom where you have to shoot) and the shots of the player at the same time. But I doubt this.

    2. The designers of the game did it on purpose. If you play, you will see that it is more difficult to align the ship with the "shield" of the bird if you don't see the path that your shots form. If the shots were visible, this will be very easy. I think this is the correct answer...

    3. Or... It can be that the MAME emulation in this case is failing, and I have imitated it :o
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    Turrican wrote: »
    Great game, man!
    I?m playing it on my TK90X and works perfectly! :)
    Runs faster and the gameplay is also good!!

    It really has an arcade feeling.

    Oooooh! Nice to know it works. I don't know how very different the ROM of the TK90X is. Anyway, I have only used, from the ROM, the characters and a table that maps codes to characters. These must be identical, then...
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    Morkin wrote: »
    Wow, I never heard of this game before. At first I thought it might be a bug when the wings of the ship got destroyed..:lol:

    It's fairly tough.. Took me about 25 attempts to get to the second wave. Gamers in the early 80s really must have been made of sterner stuff..:o

    It's pretty addictive..

    Haha! In fact, that the wings can be lost is an innovation of the game. Perhaps someone did it before, who knows. And you can use this fact in gameplay: you can attack the enemies by the side and destroy them with your wings, by loosing them, of course.
  • edited March 2014
    I'm afraid it is the third case, please see the above video at 2minute12sec :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D82rB1vbKEs&t=2m12s
    Also the enemy bullets on this video seems to me bright white, which would improve visibility, and why not make the ship's bullets in bright yellow despite the original looks like the zx version, the style and feeling is close enough to the arcade so why not improve the boss as well since the original one, let us be honest, is quite pussy. It'd be nice that the speccy game was better than the arcade.
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    retromad wrote: »
    This is awesome ! Just like an arcade game - and nice to see a new old school shooter again on the Speccy... I'm getting into the space invader / galaxian type games again lately... they're so playable and the Spectrum can replicate them very accurately if programmed as well as this.... Thanks for that... Has gone straight on my Gameboy Advance too.

    Thank you!

    Talking about space invaders type games... I want to continue making games. I have some ideas for games (not space invaders type), but I think they are too much at this moment for my artistic skills. So before going with that, I thought about using the same engine of Altair for another space invader / galaxian game. What I really want to have on this one is two simultaneous players. But I don't promise anything... :)
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    ewgf wrote: »
    This is a great game! I'd never heard of it before, either, so I found a video of it on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D82rB1vbKEs), and your version is *very* authentic! I downloaded the arcade rom, and copied it to my MAME folder, but my version of MAME wouldn't play it, as my MAME is old but I don't want to update it as I'd have to go through the rigmarole of updating various roms and sound samples, and this version of MAME has everything I want to play on it, so I didn't bother.

    And because of you, I can now play Altair on the Spectrum, so thanks very much for making it! And thanks also for making the keys redefinable - I wish every game had this option.

    Thank you!

    About the redefinable keys, my sister is left-handed (I hope this is the correct expression in English :o) so I always think about this... or she kills me.
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    hikoki wrote: »
    I'm afraid it is the third case, please see the above video at 2minute12sec :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D82rB1vbKEs&t=2m12s
    Also the enemy bullets on this video seems to me bright white, which would improve visibility, and why not make the ship's bullets in bright yellow despite the original looks like the zx version, the style and feeling is close enough to the arcade so why not improve the boss as well since the original one, let us be honest, is quite pussy. It'd be nice that the speccy game was better than the arcade.

    Haha! Ok, you are right. For me is easy to show the bullets or not, they are there. Anyway, I wouldn't count on this to be the actual behavior of the machine. As you see in the video you don't collide with other ships or bullets. A switch have been enabled for invincibility that can modify everything else. I like it to be more difficult to align to shoot... But ok, it is strange to not see your bullets.

    About the bright colors for bullets, this can be done as well. I haven't used bright in this game for anything. This is something to learn for the next one. When I was programming it, I thought on how people would see the game on a real television, even a black and white one, but I didn't have time to test all this posibilities.

    About the boss... Well it was a pain to program at first. I tried to see if the original one had a pattern or was totally random. I dind't find a pattern and I didn't have time to think of better ways. I did mine pattern based, but it has one move very fast downwards... if you are shooting at that moment you have to be very fast to go away or die. And remember that you have only one life. Only one touch with the boss and you die. If you had an energy bar or something, I would agree to make it harder.

    Anyway, these are the decisions you make when you decide to port. Make it as close as the original or improve it? I decided to make as close as I can and time permitted. Remember that I had a deadline for the game.

    I can do a version in which anyone can switch to see the shots on the boss level and bright colors for bullets. I will see to do it :)

    But the boss I won't touch it. It is a headache and I want to move forward to new games :) The source code is there for anyone who wants to try new things...
  • edited March 2014
    ibm wrote: »
    Thank you!

    About the redefinable keys, my sister is left-handed (I hope this is the correct expression in English :o) so I always think about this

    Yes, "left-handed" is the correct expression.

    ... or she kills me.

    :lol:


    By the way, if you're accepting requests for which game to port next to the Spectrum, then I think Mr Do! would be really popular. It's a fantastic game (my favourite ever arcade game), and sadly we never got a port, even though most of the other well known arcade games of the time appeared on the Spectrum. If you're ever wondering what game to work on next, please think about Mr Do!.
  • edited March 2014
    ewgf wrote: »
    By the way, if you're accepting requests for which game to port next to the Spectrum, then I think Mr Do! would be really popular. It's a fantastic game (my favourite ever arcade game), and sadly we never got a port, even though most of the other well known arcade games of the time appeared on the Spectrum. If you're ever wondering what game to work on next, please think about Mr Do!.

    I think that could be quite do-able with AGD as you could make the ball he throws a bouncing of walls sprite and set instructions for when it collides with other sprites.
  • edited March 2014
    I've been playing the arcade version finding a few differences so far :
    - the arcade is a bit more colorful
    - the remake's sound is far better
    - the arcade allows only 2 bullets at once, whereas in speccy 3 are permitted which along with a lower screen height makes the game more of a smash buttons, to me that makes the remake more intense and addictive :) besides this way it's easier to get behind the enemy and shoot from their back which is fun.
    - Bullets seem faster in the original version, the ones that follow the ship are more fun in the arcade because you can dodge/cheat them for longer by making different dribbles, dunno if that's due to the longer vertical dimension or the different tracking algorithm (suggestion: make enemy bullets slower, increase their frequency and make them more responsive to the ship's motion)
    - on the speccy version if you place the ship under the base quickly and shoot without stopping then it is easier to take enemies out in a row which makes the game easier than the coin-up (I haven't run into the bird yet), in the original that's more difficult because they spread faster as well as only two bullets are allowed at once and take longer to disappear because of the taller screen.
  • edited March 2014
    Managed to get a few waves in but still haven't made it to the mothership yet.

    Have got used to having around 10 lives nowadays, not 3...! :o
  • edited March 2014
    very good but bloody hard!

    reminds me of Galaga (bbc b game iirc - or maybe Galaga was based on this?)
  • edited March 2014
    ewgf wrote: »
    please think about Mr Do!.

    If someone wants to program it, I can try to convert Mr Do!'s sprites.
    Looks like an interesting game.
  • edited March 2014
    Wow this is good from the moment it loads and goes through an attract mode you know this could be something different,I was not dissapointed as it had an arcade feel to it and behaved just like you expect it too i.e kicks ass, game over and next player please.....
    Despite the difficulty I just want to insert another coin,best arcade port since Moon Cresta (and Mole Rat/TARG).
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    ewgf wrote: »
    By the way, if you're accepting requests for which game to port next to the Spectrum, then I think Mr Do! would be really popular. It's a fantastic game (my favourite ever arcade game), and sadly we never got a port, even though most of the other well known arcade games of the time appeared on the Spectrum. If you're ever wondering what game to work on next, please think about Mr Do!.

    Mr Do! would be quite nice. I never played before, I played a little and it is a very nice game.

    The problem I see with this is that it seems that the original company Universal is still alive (search in Wikipedia), and I have seen they released a version in 2009 for mobile phones (J2ME) and recently for Wii Virtual Console. Maybe it is a risk to do a conversion of this game without permission, and the permission for sure won't be granted... :(
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    hikoki wrote: »
    I've been playing the arcade version finding a few differences so far :
    - the arcade is a bit more colorful
    - the remake's sound is far better
    - the arcade allows only 2 bullets at once, whereas in speccy 3 are permitted which along with a lower screen height makes the game more of a smash buttons, to me that makes the remake more intense and addictive :) besides this way it's easier to get behind the enemy and shoot from their back which is fun.
    - Bullets seem faster in the original version, the ones that follow the ship are more fun in the arcade because you can dodge/cheat them for longer by making different dribbles, dunno if that's due to the longer vertical dimension or the different tracking algorithm (suggestion: make enemy bullets slower, increase their frequency and make them more responsive to the ship's motion)
    - on the speccy version if you place the ship under the base quickly and shoot without stopping then it is easier to take enemies out in a row which makes the game easier than the coin-up (I haven't run into the bird yet), in the original that's more difficult because they spread faster as well as only two bullets are allowed at once and take longer to disappear because of the taller screen.

    Right in everything :)

    But I don't know why you say that in the conversion 3 bullets are allowed. Only two are allowed like in the arcade. Maybe it is a visual effect. Try to shoot 3 times and quickly pause the emulator: you will see only 2 shots. What is true is that they reach the end of the screen sooner than in the arcade; the screen in the arcade is much taller.

    About the sound, I tried to made it as good as I could, given that this is the first time I deal with sound in the Spectrum. But it can't still match the arcade sound without slowing all the game down. In the Spectrum 48K to make sound you have to stop the processor to do anything else. A version using the AY chip in Spectrums 128 and up will probably match it, but I have to learn still how to program this...
  • ibmibm
    edited March 2014
    jammajup wrote: »
    Wow this is good from the moment it loads and goes through an attract mode you know this could be something different,I was not dissapointed as it had an arcade feel to it and behaved just like you expect it too i.e kicks ass, game over and next player please.....
    Despite the difficulty I just want to insert another coin,best arcade port since Moon Cresta (and Mole Rat/TARG).

    Many, many thanks!
  • edited March 2014
    but we do have a mr do kind of game already done by Bob Smith....don't we?
    ewgf wrote: »

    By the way, if you're accepting requests for which game to port next to the Spectrum, then I think Mr Do! would be really popular. It's a fantastic game (my favourite ever arcade game), and sadly we never got a port, even though most of the other well known arcade games of the time appeared on the Spectrum. If you're ever wondering what game to work on next, please think about Mr Do!.
    Find my (mostly unfinished) games here
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1694367894143130/
  • edited March 2014
    but we do have a mr do kind of game already done by Bob Smith....don't we?

    Yes, Famer Jack in Harvest Havoc, http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0016793 and it's really good, but it differs from Mr Do! in a couple of ways, such as you can't dig all the way up under an apple (well, a stone, in Farmer Jack's game!) and wait as long as you want before you move left or right to let the apple fall, as in Farmer Jack the apple (stone) falls straight away when you touch it, plus in Famer Jack your weapons are mines, whereas in Mr Do! it's a bouncing ball. Farmer Jack in Harvest Havoc is a really good game, but the Spectrum deserves a real port of Mr Do!, I think, as it's such a famous and fun arcade game.
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