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65

Both the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the Pac-Man arcade machine used the Zilog Z 80 CPU. Pac-Man's display was slightly larger and vertical at 224×288 while the Speccy's was horizontal at 256×192. The Speccy did not have hardware sprites or pixel-addressable colours. The original 48K Speccy only had "1 bit" beeper sound though later models had an AY ...


61

Pong. I've lived in the UK for many years and never heard it called Ping! That is news to me. Now, when talking about the video game called Pong, we call it Pong.


29

Most of the time, game coders are not going to program an A.I. just to show the demo so the moves are pre-recorded, and generally the demo ends quickly with the main character dying/exploding (maybe not to show too much of the level) To record the moves, the programmers probably added some piece of code to log all player input along with the exact frame ...


27

According to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Pong was marketed as "Ping" in the UK. He said so in this 1982 BBC interview ("because evidently Pong is not a good word in England"), and repeated it 16 years later in this interview with German online magazine Telepolis. If nothing else, Bushnell is probably the source of the story you heard....


26

I actually did this with pinball machines in 1980-ish. Getting 3-5 games before the coin was lost wasn't impossible, and some of my friends did better than that.


21

It's difficult to be sure that there was never a system in use that was vulnerable to this trick, but certainly there were systems available from a very early stage that weren't. This coin acceptor is typical: it uses a ratchet mechanism that engages the moment the coin is accepted to prevent reverse motion.


17

You could fool purely mechanical devices with mechanical tricks. One trick I have used when a kid, was with bottle caps. We wore them out underneath our shoes, until they were the size of a coin, fit for a bubblegum machine. But I get the feeling that with the earliest introduction of electronics into slot and arcade machines, the electronic sensing of the ...


16

I can personally confirm this worked on at least some video arcade machines in the 80s, when I was young. I can vividly remember being at an arcade at one point, and losing a quarter in the machine. Instead of refunding my money, the attendant came by and gave me a free game with the use of a coin-shaped slug welded to a long, flexible wire. It looked like ...


15

For space invaders what happens is the game has short list of movements (11 in ROM but only 10 are used) left and right or stay still. If there is no bullet in flight the player fires, each time the bullet fires the next direction action is pulled from the list and the player starts moving in that direction. The time of flight of the bullet acts as a timer, ...


14

(Links are to the pertinent points in the video) 00:15 Казахскся. ССР. A.D.2048 "Kazakh SSR A.D.2048" (Russian script, Latin date) 02:49 Сиби́рь 1 "Siberia" (Russian script) 06:24 געלראב "Balrog"2 (written backwards and mis-spelled3) (looks like some kind of Aramaic or Hebrew script; Hebrew shown above) 11:03 Amazon "...


13

Arcade cabinets are closed systems that you simply plug into the wall; the only thing that needs to change between regions is the PSU. The internal hardware will run at the same frequencies and therefore output graphics at the same rates and sizes regardless of the region. Conversely, consoles and home computers of the era mostly expect the user to supply ...


13

When MAME started, the aim was to make the classic games work on a "modern" machine. For that, a lot of shortcuts were taken: hardcoding some game data / hardware color palette in the code giving names to EEPROMS that weren't the most logical sometimes the emulator used the Yamaha YM chip from the popular Sounblaster / AWE64 to play the sounds of ...


12

The answer is yes, in some cases.... Back in the 80's my college roommate figured out how to defeat the coin operated washing machines at the local laundromat. The machine took US quarters. It had the type of coin receiver where you loaded several quarters into slots on a metal plate, then pushed the plate in and pulled it out. The machine took the coins,...


12

In Battlezone, the code for the play loop is shared between "play" and "attract" modes. At various points, a flag is tested to see if the game is "played" by the player or a demo. A counter is used to cycle between showing the logo, showing high scores, and driving around. The self-driving logic is in the UpdatePlayer code. ...


10

It was marketed as PONG (note the capitals) and can be seen (subject to current restrictions) at British retro preservation venues like the Centre for Computing History. http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/4007/Atari-PONG/


8

Many arcade games came in upright and cocktail versions, using the same PCB assembly for both versions. They usually had one dip-switch position on the circuit board to designate the cabinet type, while some had a software configuration menu where you could change the cabinet type, and some others (for example, I think Space Invaders) had a different ...


8

As @user3840170 said, it looks like the mechanism is similar to the wheel mechanism in a mouse, which would make it a type of rotary encoder... basically a bigger, more robust version of the infinitely-rotatable volume and/or tuning knobs in modern car radios or the rotary encoders you can buy on eBay to use with an Arduino. (Though that'd have been my first ...


8

The sprites in the 1982 Arcade Game Xevious were designed by Shigeki Toyama on graph paper by hand. They were admired in the day for their appearance, but they look pretty simple compared to subsequent games. If you look closely at this screenshot, you can see that explosion is quite low detail, though precise use of colour and many frames of animation can ...


8

In the early days, some pay-phones were modified because it was possible to recover the coin (push button A), once a connection had been made. The other common device was to use slugs (like washers or coins of lower value), to get the games at discount prices. This is one of the reasons for having different-sized coins for different denominations and ...


7

There's probably some obscure way to do it in the GUI... But it behaves exactly like you want it to if you just run MAME from the command line with the target machine as an argument. In cmd.exe or a similar shell: c:\Program Files\MAME>mame64.exe pacman pacman.6e WRONG CHECKSUMS: EXPECTED: CRC(c1e6ab10) SHA1(e87e059c5be45753f7e9f33dff851f16d6751181) ...


4

Not a gaming machine, but a street phone operated by coins. Pretty much working trick in '80s in USSR and "influenced" countries (I think there was only one model of a street phone). The trick worked for a while (years), then rather strong inflation kicked in and the trick became pointless.


4

The question is way too broad to answer completely, but I'm pretty sure that in almost every case it was either graph paper (+ manual translation into hex, + manual fine tuning), or simple sprite editors. The latter existed on most platforms since at least the mid-80s (from personal knowledge), probably earlier. Editing sprites with these editors was still a ...


4

There was some washing machines that were susceptible to a modified "quarter on a string" trick. These washing machines were circa 2002-2004. Given that the above mentioned "coin on a string trick" worked in 2002-2004, the example shows that some coin slots could be tricked (and these machines were not old)! I think coin slots are ...


3

Until the 1990s, pay phones in Israel used asimonim, tokens with a hole in the middle. I was told in the 1970s by Israeli kids that the string trick worked on many pay phones.


3

Not for a coin on a string, but there is (and probably several) cases of 'bill on a string'. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2019/05/24/bill-string-car-wash-theft-suspect-faces-new-charges-after-chase/1204906001/ This was not the one I remembered, but similar to. A laminated bill and a long spool of plastic were fed into the machine. When refunded, ...


3

The ability to skip cut scenes was a rather late addition to the arcade scene. I'm not quite sure why; if a player would rather skip a cut scene than spent time watching it, I can't imagine arcade operators being opposed. Pinball machines likewise took awhile to let players skip animation sequences, though in the days before such sequences could be skipped ...


3

You have to run the game without the MAMEUI, in order to do that, launch your game in cmd windows, with (example) mame64 pacman This will give you an error if you don't have the correct cksum for the roms, but the game will start ! Enjoy ! Gerald (COY)


3

The earlier answers here explored the calculations that the math box performs. It's also helpful to understand what the games that use it are trying to accomplish. Battlezone, the first game that included it, used the math box for five things: 3D "view" transform 3D "model" transform and perspective projection radar blip position 2D distance calculation ...


2

MAME emulates a fixed, finite (if rather large) list of arcade games. The complete circuit board layout of every game is stored in the MAME executable. All code and data needed for emulation of most of the chips is compiled into the MAME executable, but for practical reasons, the contents of ROM chips are stored in external files. This is partly to keep the ...


2

This rather detailed article does give some insight in the ways they worked back then: Designing 2D graphics in the Japanese industry It doesn't go into details of fireballs, but does capture the various stages of development and their evolution over time. Especially the example of CRT vs. pixel is an interesting one.


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