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DRAGSTER SIMULATOR
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Author:
Omnigamer
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First Released:
5/14/17
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Last Updated:
5/17/17
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Contact:
@TheOmnigamer on Twitter, Omnigamer on Twitch
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INFORMATION
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The spreadsheet on the next page is a complete recreation of the speed system in the Atari 2600 game "Dragster"
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By shifting up your gear at specific times, you can continue accelerating and reach the finish sooner.
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But if your tachometer goes too far, your engine will blow out!
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What's the fastest time you can get?
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The best achievable time is 5.57 with a distance of 97.38.
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OPERATION
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NOTE: Please make a local copy for yourself to play. This document is shared read-only to preserve it from incorrect edits.
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The spreadsheet is mostly automated. Please only adjust the "Shift" and "Gas" columns.
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A "1" in either column indicates that you are pressing that button at that frame.
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The race is over when your Distance is 97.
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You lose if your TACH value hits 32 or higher at any point.
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You can also control a frame counter and your starting TACH value. Please adjust in the control center as necessary.
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IN-DEPTH MECHANICS
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TACHOMETER & SPEED LIMITS
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The tachomter value changes according to frame rules, with the frame rule getting longer the higher gear you're in.
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ie, in Gear 1, it advances every frame. In Gear 3, it advances every 4 frames.
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This pattern is affected by a starting frame counter, which you can adjust in the Control Center.
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If you are pressing gas when the tachometer tries to advance, it will go up by 1.
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If you aren't pressing gas, it will go down by 1.
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Your speed limit is derived from your current Tach value and Gear number.
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If your current speed is more than 16 below your speed limit, the tachometer will also go down by 1. This is shown in the chart as PostTach.
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ACCELERATION & DISTANCE
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If the current speed limit is greater than your prior speed, your speed increments by 2.
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If the current speed limit is less than your prior speed, your speed decrements by 1.
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If the current speed limit is equal to your prior speed, it remains unchanged.
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If your speed remains the same for two consecutive frames, I regard this as a "stall."
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You should probably engage the clutch on the first frame you encounter a stall, or try to adjust your TACH to increase your speed limit.
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I included a special column to help you identify stalls.
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Every frame, your prior speed is added to the current distance.
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Distance is displayed as total distance divided by 256 for simplicity.
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CLUTCH
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To advance gears, you need to engage the clutch (marked as "Shift").
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The maximum Gear is 4. You can still engage the clutch after 4, but it will not advance past 4.
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When you engage the clutch, your speed will remain constant on the next frame.
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If you are holding gas the frame after shifting, your TACH will increment by 3. If you aren't holding gas, it will decrement by 3.
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