4 Paddle Lunar Lander

Beta prototype 2010.Feb.19 by Bill Kendrick

This is currently a very rough prototype of a 4-player simultaneous Lunar Lander style game, written in TurboBASIC XL for the Atari 8-bit computer.

4 Paddle Lunar Lander title screen snapshot

The disk image includes MyDOS 4.5 and both TurboBASIC XL and the game source, and the TBXL compiler and runtime programs, and the compiled version of the game. (When the disk boots, the TBXL runtime loads, and it immediately loads and runs the compiled version of the game.)


4-player simultaneous games are fun (e.g., Warlords, games for Nintendo Wii, etc.). While the original Ataris had 4 controller ports, later Ataris only had 2. The "MultiJoy" device lets you connect more joysticks to an Atari, but the software must be written to utilize it. Standard Atari paddles come in pairs, so with two controller ports, four paddles can be used... so I thought: why not design and write some new 4-player games that use paddles.

How to Play

Requires an Atari XL or XE, and one or two sets of paddle controllers. Disable built-in BASIC when you boot up (i.e., hold OPTION while you turn the power on).

The game should load, and a menu will appear. Each player who wishes to partake must press FIRE on their paddle. Then someone presses START to begin the game. (If someone changes their mind, press SELECT to clear all the joined players, and start the process over.)

On the main menu, each user is shown whether their paddle is centered or not — that is, whether the ship will be upright when the game first starts. It's not necessary to be upright, but it's good to know where your paddle knob is turned right when you start the game. ("OK" means centered, "!!" means not centered.)

Each player's ship appears along the top of the screen. (Leftmost player is paddle 1 on port 1, rightmost is paddle 2 on port 2.) Their current scores (or "--" for those not participating) are shown at the bottom.

4 Paddle Lunar Lander game screen snapshot

Gravity pulls the ships down. Rotate the paddle knob to change the lander's direction. Push FIRE on the paddle to thrust.

Objective is to land, facing up right and without descending too quickly, on a flashing landing spot.

You crash if you touch any other part of the lunar surface, or if you land on a flashing spot while descending too quickly, or with the lander at and angle.

Whoever lands first is awarded a point for the round. Once all ships have landed or crashed, the next round begins.

Press START, SELECT or OPTION to end the game and return to the main menu.


Future Plans & Ideas

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