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Boulder Dash (R) Demo Release


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#51 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:51 PM

Why does it not work with harmony cart?


Boulder Dash® uses 16K of RAM, but the Harmony cartridge only has 4K of RAM.
Boulder Dash® should work with the Krokodile cartridge.

#52 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:53 PM

It's alive!

I am doing some test-playing right now, it works really nice. The movement feels really good.

Just a question (I did rtfm). I can't move the block to the right on the following screenshot, is that right?


Technically, you should be able to. Practically, what's probably happening is that the push delay that happens before boulders can move, and the movement of the firefly, mean that at some point during the process the game determines that the boulder can't be pushed into an occupied spot. So it aborts. I think this should be fixed, so I have it chalked-in as a fix for the next release. Thanks for reporting it!

#53 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:39 PM


I followed this formula using DPC+ and this is the result. Sounds a bit better on Harmony than Stella.


I would love to use original music. However, it must be stock-standard '2600 with no hardware support.
Can anyone help me with this?
Cheers
A

I can make a frequency-accurate BD theme without special hardware, but it will require some kernel time. How much is available per scanline the title screen? How much more would be available without the "snow" effects?

#54 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:13 AM

I can make a frequency-accurate BD theme without special hardware, but it will require some kernel time. How much is available per scanline the title screen? How much more would be available without the "snow" effects?


LOL!..."per scanline"? None! One call per frame is all the music/sound gets... can be a few scanlines in length if necessary.
The snow effect costs 10 cycles per *frame*... total. There would be no saving removing this. The music (during gameplay) needs to be a 1 call per frame system I'm afraid.
The current system does a reasonable job (turn on the music during the game)... but the new system doesn't need to run during gameplay; only on the title
screen so there's plenty of cycles available there. Say, 10 per scanline...?
Cheers
A

#55 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:18 AM


I can make a frequency-accurate BD theme without special hardware, but it will require some kernel time. How much is available per scanline the title screen? How much more would be available without the "snow" effects?


LOL!..."per scanline"? None! One call per frame is all the music/sound gets... can be a few scanlines in length if necessary.
The snow effect costs 10 cycles per *frame*... total. There would be no saving removing this. The music (during gameplay) needs to be a 1 call per frame system I'm afraid.
The current system does a reasonable job (turn on the music during the game)... but the new system doesn't need to run during gameplay; only on the title
screen so there's plenty of cycles available there. Say, 10 per scanline...?
Cheers
A

The title screen music is all I was after, as I believe it can be done without hardware support and can be faithful to the original without being blippy or out of tune. 10 cycles probably wouldn't work, though. At least 16 would be best. If you think that is doable, I can try to work up a demo.

#56 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:34 AM

The title screen music is all I was after, as I believe it can be done without hardware support and can be faithful to the original without being blippy or out of tune. 10 cycles probably wouldn't work, though. At least 16 would be best. If you think that is doable, I can try to work up a demo.


It's an asymmetrical playfield with a single GRP0 lda abs,y/sta GRP0. So, 3x lda abs,y/sta PF* for the left half, then the same for the right half. Then the sprite. Then the dey/branch.
That technically leaves 22 cycles to play with. If you can do it in 22 cycles with a workable asymmetrical playfield in the background... yes, do-able.
However, there's only $ED bytes available in the title screen bank! So if you need more than that (for data, e.g.) then you need to bankswitch. Add a lda/sta for switching bank in and another for restore. That's 10 cycles. Another issue is the 6-sprite "FSS" section at bottom right. Gets difficult.
Cheers
A

#57 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:06 AM

Is it really impossbile to make a version for the best-selling Harmony cart?

In that case (and not only in that case) I would like a boxed version of the game.

PAL60 version please (only colors need to be converted, you can use this tool: http://www.randomter...olor_conversion)

#58 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:37 AM

did you send a preview copy to First Star?

How was that going with them in the end, seeing they were so against it?

#59 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:06 AM

did you send a preview copy to First Star?
How was that going with them in the end, seeing they were so against it?


My relationship with First Star Software is a very good one. They have been accommodating and friendly.

One must remember, Boulder Dash® is their property. They have (I would guess) had many many people effectively steal this from them and they (rightly) are keen to defend their rights. They have the rights to do whatever they want with it. Anything I do, using Boulder Dash®, must make them happy. It disturbs me that people are having a go at them, because -- basically -- they don't HAVE to approve anything. What's in it for them? We are lucky that they're willing to let this demo proceed. So please, be careful what assumptions you make about what FSS thought, or did -- and particularly what statements you make. They are a company protecting their commercial property, as they need to do.

Yes, I have sent preview copies to FSS and they are impressed with the quality of the conversion. I suspect they have only looked at the videos (which do not include sound), and not actually played on an emulator. So, I'm not sure they've heard the music, which might be a sticking point -- but this is a preview demo anyway, and that should change soon.

The only impediment to making this a fully blown release is pretty much issues on MY side of the fence, not theirs. For now, how about just enjoying what we have?

Cheers
A

#60 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:24 AM

Is it really impossbile to make a version for the best-selling Harmony cart?

In that case (and not only in that case) I would like a boxed version of the game.

PAL60 version please (only colors need to be converted, you can use this tool: http://www.randomter...olor_conversion)


Much as I'd love to support Harmony, Boulder Dash® 2600 requires 16K of RAM. The Harmony only provides 4K when using the 3E bankswitching scheme that this game uses.
The PAL version is switchable (RTFM!). It's a PAL50 format.

#61 Kroko OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:55 AM

Great to see this released to the public! I am not playing a lot on the 2600 (because I have always been more a hardware guy).
This is probably the only game I still play from time to time :D

#62 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:06 AM

I'm trying to remember what RTFM stands for.

Rapid Transit Failure Misunderstood?

Rattling Tilted Fuchsia Mudguards?

Really Tasty Fluoride Meatballs?

Risky Toad Fondling Mishap?

#63 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:20 AM

About the sound, for DPC+ sound you need a Harmony and the Harmony does not have 16K ram, only 4K as I've read, so you could that possibly work?

I've managed to push (sideways) a block on the (magic?) wall that turns stones into diamonds:

Maybe I should keep the atari xl version next to it so I can compare it...

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#64 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:43 AM

About the sound, for DPC+ sound you need a Harmony and the Harmony does not have 16K ram, only 4K as I've read, so you could that possibly work?

I've managed to push (sideways) a block on the (magic?) wall that turns stones into diamonds:


Definitely a bug. Thanks for reporting it.
Buglist updated. http://www.atariage....hr-bug-reports/

DPC+ is out. I'm not going down that path.

#65 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:53 AM

7. Pushing block onto magic wall starts the wall.
This is a definite bug.


What I ment to say is that the block doesn't fall through the wall when it is pushed from sideways. Maybe this is just ok and blocks must have velocity to fall through the wall?

Edited by roland p, Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:53 AM.


#66 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:54 AM


did you send a preview copy to First Star?
How was that going with them in the end, seeing they were so against it?


My relationship with First Star Software is a very good one. They have been accommodating and friendly.

One must remember, Boulder Dash® is their property. They have (I would guess) had many many people effectively steal this from them and they (rightly) are keen to defend their rights. They have the rights to do whatever they want with it. Anything I do, using Boulder Dash®, must make them happy. It disturbs me that people are having a go at them, because -- basically -- they don't HAVE to approve anything. What's in it for them? We are lucky that they're willing to let this demo proceed. So please, be careful what assumptions you make about what FSS thought, or did -- and particularly what statements you make. They are a company protecting their commercial property, as they need to do.

Yes, I have sent preview copies to FSS and they are impressed with the quality of the conversion. I suspect they have only looked at the videos (which do not include sound), and not actually played on an emulator. So, I'm not sure they've heard the music, which might be a sticking point -- but this is a preview demo anyway, and that should change soon.

The only impediment to making this a fully blown release is pretty much issues on MY side of the fence, not theirs. For now, how about just enjoying what we have?

Cheers
A


Oh no, I wasn't gonna bash First Star, they were one my my favorite publishers on A8/VCS way back. Purchased many of their titles. Boing! on VCS is totally excellent, wish it wasn't so rare so I could get that game.
Glad to hear they weren't against BD on VCS :-)

Edited by high voltage, Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:57 AM.


#67 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:31 AM

7. Pushing block onto magic wall starts the wall.
This is a definite bug.


What I ment to say is that the block doesn't fall through the wall when it is pushed from sideways. Maybe this is just ok and blocks must have velocity to fall through the wall?


Right. Thanks for clarifying! I believe it currently exhibits correct behaviour, then.
http://www.elmerprod...jects/0000.html
Looks like only falling objects can trigger the wall. Pushed boulders aren't falling.
Cheers
A

#68 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:42 PM


The title screen music is all I was after, as I believe it can be done without hardware support and can be faithful to the original without being blippy or out of tune. 10 cycles probably wouldn't work, though. At least 16 would be best. If you think that is doable, I can try to work up a demo.


It's an asymmetrical playfield with a single GRP0 lda abs,y/sta GRP0. So, 3x lda abs,y/sta PF* for the left half, then the same for the right half. Then the sprite. Then the dey/branch.
That technically leaves 22 cycles to play with. If you can do it in 22 cycles with a workable asymmetrical playfield in the background... yes, do-able.
However, there's only $ED bytes available in the title screen bank! So if you need more than that (for data, e.g.) then you need to bankswitch. Add a lda/sta for switching bank in and another for restore. That's 10 cycles. Another issue is the 6-sprite "FSS" section at bottom right. Gets difficult.
Cheers
A

I am pretty positive it might work somehow.

#69 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:43 PM



The title screen music is all I was after, as I believe it can be done without hardware support and can be faithful to the original without being blippy or out of tune. 10 cycles probably wouldn't work, though. At least 16 would be best. If you think that is doable, I can try to work up a demo.


It's an asymmetrical playfield with a single GRP0 lda abs,y/sta GRP0. So, 3x lda abs,y/sta PF* for the left half, then the same for the right half. Then the sprite. Then the dey/branch.
That technically leaves 22 cycles to play with. If you can do it in 22 cycles with a workable asymmetrical playfield in the background... yes, do-able.
However, there's only $ED bytes available in the title screen bank! So if you need more than that (for data, e.g.) then you need to bankswitch. Add a lda/sta for switching bank in and another for restore. That's 10 cycles. Another issue is the 6-sprite "FSS" section at bottom right. Gets difficult.
Cheers
A

I am pretty positive it might work somehow.

OK, looks like I can do something with 18 cycles per scanline, and maybe 512 bytes total? It doesn't appear to be very hard to do, so I'll see if I can get a demo done today.

#70 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:56 PM

18 cycles seems quite a lot. Definitely not possible during the FSS logo. Can you update every 2nd or 3rd frame instead? How would your code look like?

512 bytes has to be possible somehow.

#71 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:47 PM

18 cycles seems quite a lot. Definitely not possible during the FSS logo. Can you update every 2nd or 3rd frame instead? How would your code look like?

512 bytes has to be possible somehow.

It will need to run on every scanline or it probably won't sound very good. I didn't expect it to work during the FSS logo, anyway, just the title screen.

I tried an experiment with 18 cycles per scanline and although it's better than the plain TIA versions, there are a few notes out of tune and it's not acceptable. I'm going to try a different approach which will take a few more cycles but hopefully sound better.

#72 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:20 PM

OK, I rewrote the music and it's at 19 cycles per scanline. No special hardware, and currently around 512 bytes.

Let me know what you all think.

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#73 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:47 PM

Another that sounds a tad better (IMO) but uses 21 cycles.

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#74 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:56 AM

Another that sounds a tad better (IMO) but uses 21 cycles.


These are both excellent :)
I'd like to use this. If you're amenable to that, could you please send me the source code so I can integrate it?
Cheers
A

#75 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:49 PM

Talking about history in the making...

It still blows me away how impressive this conversion is.

This game definitely deserves a place in First Star's BD library.

A truly brilliant creation.

8)




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