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Frantic (2600)


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#301 StephenJ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:01 PM

Spicewar,
It's really great to see new life being breathed into the 2600.

Don't mean to hi-jack this thread...
But, when you are thinking about your next 2600/Harmony Cart project, please consider doing a facelift to one of these:

- Burgetime (One of my favorites, but the 2600 version...well)

- Donkey Kong (Why should the Intellivision ONLY get an upgrade?)

- Klaxx (plays good but...)


I think the 2600 library has pretty good arcade representations...but these three could sure use your magic wand.


All the best (and good health) to you,
StephenJ

Edited by StephenJ, Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:00 PM.


#302 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:23 PM

Thanks!

After Frantic I plan to return to my ColecoVision Diversion and write an original game, Dragon Defense Squad.

Sorry, but I'm not a fan of Burgertime so I wouldn't do that - but I'm sure somebody could come up with something once we get all the kinks worked out of Harmony/Melody based games. They could probably use a variation of my sprite driver from Frantic to do it so that all objects get real sprite graphics.

For my next 2600 game I'm thinking about a reboot of Asteroids, or possibly Space Duel - I've always liked that game. I might even do Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe and Space Duel in a single game, like how Frantic has both Berzerk and Frenzy.

#303 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:30 PM

Will the Asteroids spaceship be able to fire more than two shots at a time?

#304 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:42 PM

My kernel supports 6 concurrent shots. Just did a quick test in iMAME (I'm on my iPad right now) and the saucer appears to have only 2 shots in the air at the same time so the player would get the other 4.

#305 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:16 PM

My kernel supports 6 concurrent shots. Just did a quick test in iMAME (I'm on my iPad right now) and the saucer appears to have only 2 shots in the air at the same time so the player would get the other 4.

Nice! :thumbsup:

#306 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:21 AM

Once I got the idea in my head, I couldn't get rid of it w/out doing something. Check my blog for a 50 sprite demo :D

#307 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:38 PM

Last version is very cool. I miss the really nice animations from earlier versions though.

#308 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:15 PM

Animations will come back, a reboot takes time and I think 6 concurrent shots is worth the effort.

Besides the 50 sprite test, I've been plugging along on another side-project called Frantic Speech. I'm using that project to figure out how to get digitized samples back in. Initially I've been working on reducing the CPU usage per frame - the original routines expanding a sample all at once, the new ones will expand just a small part with each screen update. That'll leave more CPU time on each frame for game logic.

Once I get that finished (probably another week or two) I want to figure out ADPCM. It'll reduce the ROM required to hold the samples, giving more space for additional words and/or graphics.

After digitized audio is figured out, then I'll know how much space I have for animation.

You can always play the old build with 4 shots :ponder:

#309 LidLikesIntellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:34 PM

You are really awesome! :thumbsup:
Just now I saw this project...
The cart release will be great! Congratulations!

#310 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:04 PM

Thanks! The project's on the back burner at the moment as I became side tracked with Space Rocks.

I plan to resume Frantic at the start of next year.

#311 IG-88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:25 AM

Thanks! The project's on the back burner at the moment as I became side tracked with Space Rocks.

I plan to resume Frantic at the start of next year.


Couldn't you just quit your day job and work on Atari and Colecovision games ALL the time? (just joking, kinda ;) ) You would make a lot of ageing gamers VERY happy! :thumbsup:

Edited by IG-88, Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:29 AM.


#312 IG-88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:28 AM

What the hell, do a kickstarter project and take a couple years off! Just think what you could accomplish with all that time!! :D

#313 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:52 AM

LOL - nice idea, but I'd be shocked if I could raise enough in a kickstarter project to cover my current income for a couple years. On top of that, I'd have to pay for insurance which means I'd need to raise even more than my current income.

#314 Random Terrain ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:26 PM

I plan to resume Frantic at the start of next year.


But the Earth will be eaten by a giant space aardvark before then.

#315 yllawwally OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 7, 2012 5:42 PM

How do you get frantic to run in stella. I get the main screen but it won't play.

#316 LidLikesIntellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 7, 2012 6:08 PM

How do you get frantic to run in stella. I get the main screen but it won't play.


Go to Stella Download Page and get the latest version. I think Stella support for DPC + started in version 3.7. Try the new version.

And don't forget to enter alt+p command to activate phosphor effect.

#317 Zeptari1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:48 PM

It's the next year now. Are you back to work on Frantic now? :-)
Can't wait to get my Harmony cart. Bezerk was one of my favorite
Games on the 2600. And you update looks great!

#318 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:30 AM

Not yet. I worked on two other projects besides Space Rocks and am a bit burned out on programming for the Atari. I might resume work on it next month, but no promises.

#319 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:41 AM

I'll just re-iterate my question as it seems to have been lost in the conversation. Can the recent improvements that almost make Frantic work on a modded FB2 eventually allow it to fully work?


Since you don't seem to understand the problem, I'm going to try to explain in simpler terms why Frantic, Space Rocks and other games will never work on the Flashback 2. First though, Space Rocks and Star Castle were not written using batari Basic.

Now to address the Flashback 2's A12 problem that you don't comprehend.

The 6507 CPU in the Atari 2600 can address 8K of memory. The lower 4K (addresses 0-4095) are things that are internal to the Atari: RAM, controller input, video chip, timers, etc. The upper 4K (addresses 4096-8191) is the cartridge port.

When the CPU needs to access something it puts the address on the A lines, which are A0-A12. That's 13 address lines, 2^13 = 8192, the number of distinct memory locations that the CPU can address. Address line A12 is what determines which 4K (lower or upper) is being accessed.

The problem with the Flashback 2 is the A12 line that goes to the cartridge port is always ON. Because of this, the cartridge thinks a memory access to 0 is an access to 4096, an access for 1 is for 4097 and so on. For ROM only cartridges this isn't a problem.

For cartridges that add extra hardware, be it RAM, DPC (used in Pitfall) or DPC+ (used in Frantic, Space Rocks, and some batari Basic games) this causes a major problem. Some examples of these problems for DPC+ are:

Changing the color of the playfield is done by updating COLUPF which is located at address 8. When the color is updated, the DPC+ cartridge thinks that 4104 (4096+8 ) has been accessed, which is DF0DATA. DF0DATA is used to read from a stream of data (such as sprite graphics). When the DF0DATA is erroneously accessed by the Flashback2, because of the always ON A12 line, the data gets out of sync. This can cause corrupted graphics, misaligned colors, or even a program crash depending upon how the data stream is being used in the program.

Whenever sprites, missiles or the ball are repositioned you must do an HMOVE to "fine tune" of the position of the sprite. This is done by accessing address 42. In DPC+, address 4138 (4096+42) is DF2FRACLOW, which sets the lower part of the address for the second Fractional datastream. What this means is that every time sprites are moved that this datastream gets redirected to the wrong location.



You bemoan "that a whole lot of these problems would be removed if people would just program homebrews like Ed Fries" because "it annoys me when a new awesome homebrew like Space Rocks comes out, I put it on my Harmony cart, slap that into my modded FB2 and get garbage onscreen."

The thing is, games like Space Rocks could not be done without using DPC+'s datastreams as they are significantly faster than traditional 2600 code. To update a sprite using traditional methods takes 18 cycles of processing time. Updating both sprites takes 36, which is 47% of the 76 cycles of processing time on every scanline. Using DPC+ datastreams drops this down to a mere 5 cycles per sprite (or 10 for both, which is 13% of the processing time). Without that freed up processing time, the routines needed for Space Rocks could never have been written.

Edited by SpiceWare, Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:52 AM.


#320 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:09 PM

Hi there, yup it's me the bad-mouther. Sorry I didn't get a chance to catch up on any of these discussions, I was out of town.
Anyway, I sincerely want to thank SpiceWare for the detailed explanation about the FB2 limitations (twice, I know) and you can all consider me "schooled" at this point. I think the reason I whine and complain about all of this is because modern gaming both on PC and consoles is a pile of compatibility nightmares sometimes and when I think of the 2600 I think of a simpler time when things just work so when I load up a homebrew on my modded FB2 and it doesn't work it gets my back up. I tend to rage and take out my frustrations online when really I should be happy that there are such awesome games being made for the 2600.

So this is me genuinely apologizing for all the cantankerous remarks I have made and thanking you all for patiently explaining to me the issues.

I'll be keeping my mouth shut on this issue from now on. Promise. :)

#321 aceha1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 18, 2013 4:34 PM

What a great game!!

#322 roryjr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 22, 2013 1:43 PM

Just want to chime in. After playing Space Rocks, it is a definite buy. That type of quality in this game will make Frantic a definite buy also. Great work, man!!

#323 Rodrigo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:08 AM

Wow, awesome!

#324 tremoloman2006 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:10 AM

Just a friendly bump in hoping this gets a dose of good news. 

 

I just ordered Space Rocks and can't wait to play it on real hardware. :)



#325 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:52 AM

I've another week left to finish Chun-Li, after which I'll be taking a break for the holidays.  I plan to resume work on Frantic early next year.






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