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Indy 500 XE Track Design Contest
Indy 500

Indy 500 XE Contest Winners Announced!

Gustavo del Dago and AtariAge have chosen the 16 tracks that will be included in the Indy 500 XE binary and the cartridge to be sold through the AtariAge Store . The three random recipients of an Indy 500 XE cartridge are Chris Johnson, Rico Dones, and Jon Stewart. In addition, every individual who had a track chosen will receive a $5 gift certificate in the AtariAge Store.

Below are the winning entries, organized by the type of game:

 
RACE CAR
 
Yves Larouche
Chris Johnson
Yves Larouche
Chris Johnson
 
Ray J
Chris Johnson
Ray J
Chris Johnson
 
Jeff Thompson
MoJoFLTR
Jeff Thompson
MoJoFLTR
 
Jeff Thompson
Jeff Thompson
   
ICE RACE
 
Rico Dones
Jon Stewart
Rico Dones
Jon Stewart
MoJoFLTR
Jeff Thompson
MoJoFLTR
Jeff Thompson
 
CRASH n' SCORE - TAG
 
Jeff Thompson
Duane Alan Hahn
Jeff Thompson
Duane Alan Hahn
 
Pato
Rico Dones
Pato
Rico Dones
  
Walter Lauer
Walter Lauer

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who made this a hugely successful contest! You can view all 274 submissions here.

Contest Details

Indy 500Atari created a great driving controller for the Atari 2600, but only released one game to take advantage of it: Indy 500. While Indy 500 is great fun to play, it has a limited number of tracks. Gustavo del Dago has taken it upon himself to develop a new version of Indy 500 titled Indy 500 XE. This new version features more tracks (the game has been increased in size from 2K to 4K), the tracks are double-resolution, allowing for more detailed and interesting levels, different car graphics for each player, and more game variations.

Additionally, Gustavo has created an easy-to-use Windows-based track editor that allows the easy creation of new tracks, loading and saving of tracks (so you can go back later to refine them), selection of background, playfield, and player colors, and the ability to generate a binary so you can immediately test your creations. AtariAge and Gustavo are sponsoring a contest on AtariAge to allow everyone a chance at creating tracks that might be included in a cartridge version of Indy 500 XE, scheduled to make its debut at PhillyClassic 5 in March.

We will choose at least 16 different tracks from all the entries received, and then include all of them in Indy 500 XE. Each person with one or more more entries selected will receive a $5 gift certificate in the AtariAge Store as well as credit in the Indy 500 XE manual. Additionally, three winners will be selected randomly to receive a free Indy 500 XE cartridge.

As we receive entries, we will post them on a submissions page so they can be enjoyed by everyone. The contest runs until 11:59pm on Sunday, March 7, 2004. Please make sure you get your entries in by then! Read on for information on how to enter...

How to Enter:

To enter, you'll first need to download the Indy 500 XE Track Editor that Gustavo del Dago has written for Windows. You can download the Indy 500 XE Track Editor for Windows by clicking the following link:

NOTE: If you downloaded the track editor before March 4, 2004, you'll want to grab this latest version. This version fixes a problem with the lap counter not always updating when cars cross the start/finish line.

After downloading the editor, unzip it and run Indy500XETrackEditor.exe. The editor will start and you can begin drawing in the area occupying most of the screen. Keep in mind that Atari 2600 playfields are symmetrical, so what you are drawing is an image that is mirrored on both the left and right halves of the screen. Once you start drawing with the editor you'll quickly realize what this means.

Indy 500 XE Track Editor

To draw playfield obstacles, left-click in the playfield area. To erase obstacles, right-click. You can choose the background color and playfield color, as well as the colors of the two cars, by selecting "Background", "Playfield", "Player 0", or "Player 1" and then clicking on a color in the "Atari 2600 Palette". To change the starting positions of the cars, click and left drag on a car to move it about the playfield. You can also rotate a car so it is facing a different direction by right-clicking a car and then moving the mouse.

Before saving your track, you'll want to choose what type of track you are creating (see below for more information about the different game types). You can do this by choosing Game->Options from the menu. You can save and load tracks by using the File->Save and File->Load menu options. When you are ready to turn your track into a 2600 binary you can test out in an emulator, choose File->Hack ROM.

Once you've created a binary, you can then use your favorite Atari 2600 emulator to test the game. We recommend using z26, which will allow you to simulate the driving controllers with the keyboard. However, you need -to tell z26 that you are playing a game that requires the driving controllers. To do that, you need to start z26 as follows from a command prompt:

z26 -w1 track.bin

Substitute "track.bin" for the name of the binary you saved when using the File->Hack ROM feature in the editor. Once you start the game you can use the arrow keys to steer your car left and right, and use the left CTRL key as the gas.

Note about Race / Ice Race games: When designing a Race Car or Ice Race game, it's important to understand how the game mechanics work. The Start / Finish line will be drawn from the bottom of the playfield up until the first playfield square is hit. In order for cars to score when they cross the finish line, the cars must pass through the upper half of the screen.

Here are screenshots taken of the above design, saved as both Race and Ice Race tracks (the colors were changed before saving as an Ice Race):

Race Car
Ice Race
Race Car
Ice Race

Indy 500 XE supports four different game types:

Race Car   The object is to race around the track as quickly as possible. How many laps can you make before the time expires?


       
Crash n' Score   You must crash headlong into the blocks as they appear randomly on the playfield. How many blocks can you collect before the time runs out?
       
Tag   In this two player game, you must try to tag the other player so he or she is "it". You score one point for each second that you are not "it"! First player to 99 points wins!
       
Ice Race   Similar to a normal game of Race, except the track is covered in ice, making your car much harder to control!

We are looking for designs in each of the above categories. Once you have created one or more designs you'd like to submit for the contest, please send both the .IND and .BIN files for each track generated by the Indy 500 XE Track Editor to editor@atariage.com. The .IND files are created when you use the File->Save option. The .BIN files are created when you use the File->Hack ROM menu option. We will post entries to a submissions page as we receive them.

Have fun and good luck! Remember, the contest ends at 11:59pm (CST), Sunday, March 7, 2004!