Different idea for highscore season

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Wouter Scholten
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Different idea for highscore season

Post by Wouter Scholten » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:08 pm

So, I have a quite different idea for a high score season, I will not have time this round, doing other things and my BBC is in the attic until these other things that take my time are done. So, perhaps after this season I could make time. I will first talk a bit about general classic gaming and then the idea it gave me for a different high score season:

I watched some of the Kong-off 6 and MeowWolf galaga championship on twitch and watched quite a few videos on youtube for how versions of well known arcade games play compared to the BBC micro versions. First it seemed most games (such as versions of Defender), look a lot uglier on other home computers than on the BBC micro, and with Defender it seemed from those videos that the game didn't get much harder at higher levels on the C64/Atari than on the start level... The original arcade games are very colourful and slightly higher resolution than the BBC micro's MODE 2. Donkey Kong is way better than Killer Gorilla in this respect (and in Donkey Kong what is quite different is that there is more room for error in jumping etc.). Planetoid is good but the sprites are wider which gives a more cramped feel (which also makes it harder in some sense), with some sacrifice to detail most of the sprites could be halved in width to give the same feel as with the arcade original, I think and I thought about doing that, but I suppose making it more like the arcade original and smoother like Guardian should also be done then and that would be a big hack... So, I felt when watching various arcade classics, that the BBC micro versions in several cases continue to get harder, contrary to the other home computer versions that I saw, and it seemed to me that the arcade versions also have far lower limits on difficulty, than the BBC micro versions, esp. in the case of Defender/Planetoid, Hopper/Frogger, and from a cursory examination this seems the same with Arcadians/Galaxian. For a proper examination I need to play more of them on Mame but I mentioned some issues with keyboard that makes Defender unplayable. Galaga (and Zalaga, I played xgalaga too long ago) never appealed to me but what I saw on MeowWolf made me think those players who beat the game on the BBC micro with score of many millions, but likely too Jeremy Grayson who 'only' scored 800k, should be able to do quite well on Galaga... That the difficulty is restricted more than on the BBC micro versions is shown in another sense already that many can be played by good players, almost indefinitely, which is not the case for the BBC micro versions, e.g. Planetoid, except for Zalaga (those 30 million scores are likely real as there is only 1 difgicult situation in Zalaga, master that and it is possible to play alnost indefinitely)

So, the idea is this: Play 2 weeks with the BBC micro version, then say 1 or 2 weeks (but might get boring with another 2 weeks playing almost the same game?), play the arcade original on Mame and see what score you can get. Perhaps BBC micro players could wipe out the arcade records? ;-) With Defender and Asteroids and in fact many arcade originals, as I mentioned there is an issue with the difficulty not becoming high enough such that if you're good enough they can be played for as long as you can stay awake (such as Defender, Asteroids, Missile command). So in those cases I guess we would need to use TGTS (twin galaxies tournament settings), which usually means something like 5 lives or 5+1 but not 1 life extra every 10k as normally in Asteroids/Defender.

So possibly:

Planetoid | Defender
Hopper | Frogger
Missile base | Missile command
Fortress | Zaxxon
Arcadians | Galaxian
Zalaga | Galaga
Super invaders at setting 1 | Invaders
Snapper | Pac man
Rocket raid | Scramble
Meteors | Asteroids

Perhaps doing that a whole season would be not interesting as we likely all know these classics (I will insert a comment here: Esp. Acornsoft and their authors did a really good job of making fantastic conversions with excellent difficulty curve, of the arcade originals!), so it could be e.g. just 2 games included into a regular season, so say 6 games + 2 classics + 2 arcade originals on Mame.

Interesting idea?

I would really be curious if any of you have played the BBC micro AND arcade versions of the some of these games, and what was the result, difference? Were the arcade versions easier or harder, better or worse? (I mean in playability and difficulty curve)

Jeremy, have you played Galaga on Mame?

And TopBanana, you have 2 original Defender cabinets, have you payed it at TGTS settings? We know what you scored on Planetoid from that thread unless you scored higher in the mean time, but if you played TGTS, what is your score on Defender with TGTS? (So 5 lives + 5 smart bombs, no new lives/ bombs at any time)

Edit: Some of my impressions:

- I wrote more about Defender vs. Planetoid on my page on Planetoid (http://wouter.bbcmicro.net/bbc/spellen/planetoid.html), but the main difference for me is that the start speed is higher with Defender, whereas Planetoid starts easier and then doesn't stop getting faster except for the wrap around of bullet speed and baiters at very high scores.

- Meteors vs. Asteroids: Meteors gets very hard very quickly, and esp. the small purple space ships don't miss with their 3rd shot, whereas in Asteroids I've seen the spaceships shooting about 10 times and not hitting... Speed of the Asteroids also doesn't go up as in Meteors.

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tricky
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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by tricky » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:49 pm

I would be a little wary of comparing some of the BBC games to the arcade originals, but I like the idea in general.
A similar option would be to allow the arcade and all BBC ports (maybe even Electron and Atom) of the same game and use a scoring system similar to pinball (as I was listening to a podcast that was talking about it this morning).

So for two weeks, you play all versions of a single game. e.g. Phoenix: Arcade (assuming everyone is happy with MAME+ROMs), Eagle Empire and mine.
For each version, there is 7pts for the highest score, 4pts for second, 3, 2 and 1 for the next three places (can be scaled up accordingly - actual is 100, 90, 85, 84, 83... maybe).
At the end of the fortnight, you sum your points for an overall position, I'm not sure what they do then, but I'm sure we could work something out; maybe just the same thing again, converting this total to a position and points.

I'm not trying to change the way the system currently works, I'm just trying to think how the multiple game idea could be combined into a fortnightly timetable.

For something like Frogger and Space Invaders, there are many, many options, which would make score keeping more work, but the system would still hold up.

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Wouter Scholten
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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by Wouter Scholten » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:14 am

tricky wrote:I would be a little wary of comparing some of the BBC games to the arcade originals,
Why? I'm curious about playability differences and how everyone views similar games. It may take a long time to get really good on a game and thus give a proper view, do you mean that?

tricky wrote: but I like the idea in general.
A similar option would be to allow the arcade and all BBC ports (maybe even Electron and Atom) of the same game and use a scoring system similar to pinball (as I was listening to a podcast that was talking about it this morning).

So for two weeks, you play all versions of a single game. e.g. Phoenix: Arcade (assuming everyone is happy with MAME+ROMs), Eagle Empire and mine.
For each version, there is 7pts for the highest score, 4pts for second, 3, 2 and 1 for the next three places (can be scaled up accordingly - actual is 100, 90, 85, 84, 83... maybe).
At the end of the fortnight, you sum your points for an overall position, I'm not sure what they do then, but I'm sure we could work something out; maybe just the same thing again, converting this total to a position and points.

I'm not trying to change the way the system currently works, I'm just trying to think how the multiple game idea could be combined into a fortnightly timetable.

For something like Frogger and Space Invaders, there are many, many options, which would make score keeping more work, but the system would still hold up.
That could be an interesting way, run all clones and arcade original and see how they compare. However, the problem with multiple versions running all at the same time is that it might come down to players thinking "I have no time for all, so I will play the one (or 2) that I'm best at"...

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tricky
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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by tricky » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:38 am

If they care about overall score, then there is an advantage to playing more/all versions, but if you just don't like a game, you only have to wait a fortnight and only miss one score.
Anyway, it was just an idea, I'm not attached to it and don't usually get time to play.

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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by richardtoohey » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:39 am

Sounds like fun, but carving the time out of my day would be the hard part.

I'd add Mr Ee!/Mr Do to the list. :D

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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by CMcDougall » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:34 am

If its not a Beeb, Elk or Atom I ain't interested in the slightest.
At high school I only had Outrun & Xenon2 on cabinets in the fish & chip shop, so other 'things' /machines don't have any flashbacks of the good times when did not have a care in the world 8)
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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by KarateEd » Thu May 24, 2018 5:15 am

I just saw this. Though this is an interesting idea, this is an Electron, Beeb, Master site.

If people want to play on Mame, I believe there is already a site set up for that somewhere. If not, Wouter, why don't you suggest it there or set one up yourself?

I could easily play Mame and have in the past but also have no interest in it as per Mr. McDougall.

The other thing is the management of the gaming, not really interested in making it more complicated. I may be retired but I have only so much time to devote to volunteering on the gaming site.

Of course, others should chime in and be truthful. If you want this, say so, if you don't also say so.

And of course keep the conversation going, ideas are never bad and free expression of them, in a civilized way would never be censored.

Ed...... :-)

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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by KarateEd » Thu May 24, 2018 5:17 am

tricky wrote:If they care about overall score, then there is an advantage to playing more/all versions, but if you just don't like a game, you only have to wait a fortnight and only miss one score.
Anyway, it was just an idea, I'm not attached to it and don't usually get time to play.
Missing one score right now is the difference between losing and winning the overall tournament. If you look at the current scores, you'll see that there are 3 players very close to each other after 7 rounds. It's a tight race. If any one of us should miss then you will become out of the running.

Ed...... :-)

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Wouter Scholten
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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by Wouter Scholten » Mon May 28, 2018 10:34 pm

KarateEd wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 5:15 am
I just saw this. Though this is an interesting idea, this is an Electron, Beeb, Master site.

If people want to play on Mame, I believe there is already a site set up for that somewhere. If not, Wouter, why don't you suggest it there or set one up yourself?
The thing is that my specific interest is comparing the BBC micro versions with the arcade originals. This is a BBC site but also Atom since a few years, so things change :) Exceptions are good, do something different now and then and it is specifically BBC related because of the comparison with BBC micro versions.

Setting up an alternative season here, or elsewhere, next to another running season, will likely give no participants beside myself. Competition and interest from others is what stimulates, but, there are not that many people here playing in the competition. if there were 100 I could poach some I suspect, but at about 10, not viable.
KarateEd wrote: I could easily play Mame and have in the past but also have no interest in it as per Mr. McDougall.
The point is that quite a lot of good games are not originals, a lot are clones of arcade versions. And surely it's interesting to see where those games came from? It is the BBC versions that to me look far better than on any other home computer that I've seen on youtube (but not just there, I played with many types of old home computers in the early 2000s, I was not impressed...) so it makes most sense to suggest it (i.e. a comparison season) here. If I suggest something like this on another site, likely an american site, they don't know what a BBC micro is and are unlikely to be interested...
KarateEd wrote: The other thing is the management of the gaming, not really interested in making it more complicated. I may be retired but I have only so much time to devote to volunteering on the gaming site.

Of course, others should chime in and be truthful. If you want this, say so, if you don't also say so.

And of course keep the conversation going, ideas are never bad and free expression of them, in a civilized way would never be censored.

Ed...... :-)
I don't mean an additional season besides the normal one, but instead. If there's no interest I guess I will go ahead and just play a few myself, but I'm interested in how others see the BBC games vs. arcade (or other origin) originals, so that's why I suggested. I'm thinking of going for some records if it goes well, but need to do some more keyboard hunting first.

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tricky
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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by tricky » Tue May 29, 2018 6:45 am

Maybe you could start with a comparison video like the recent frogged one, possibly with commentary and see if that gets any interest.

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Re: Different idea for highscore season

Post by sydney » Tue May 29, 2018 1:53 pm

I don't think I'd like to see it as part of the High Score Challenge but I'd possibly submit a score or two for a mame based competition - it'd have to go in the off topic sub forum though.

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