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How come there hasn't been any new Apple II games in like 10+ years?


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#26 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:52 PM

Something I read Jordan Mechner quoted in RG about the Apple ][, I have to look it up. Along the lines of 'you could squeeze things out of the A][ like you couldn't from any other 8 bitter'


No offence to Jordan Mechner but, if that's an accurate summary of what he said, it reads like rose-tinted hyperbole... what couldn't be squeezed from another 8-bit?

#27 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:26 PM

No offence to Jordan Mechner but, if that's an accurate summary of what he said, it reads like rose-tinted hyperbole... what couldn't be squeezed from another 8-bit?



Horrible Purple/Green jiggly art?

#28 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:44 PM

Horrible Purple/Green jiggly art?


Trust me, i can do horrible purple/green art pretty much anywhere... =-)

i've spent the evening fiddling with the Apple 2 and, after a few false starts and expletives, have got something going... but then i find that the vertical blank check Google located for me only works on some machines! Well that's a blinkin' nuisance, i wonder how many Apple 2s are around without rdvblbar and can i get away with not supporting them?

#29 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:27 PM

Trust me, i can do horrible purple/green art pretty much anywhere... =-)

i've spent the evening fiddling with the Apple 2 and, after a few false starts and expletives, have got something going... but then i find that the vertical blank check Google located for me only works on some machines! Well that's a blinkin' nuisance, i wonder how many Apple 2s are around without rdvblbar and can i get away with not supporting them?

I believe it was missing on the II and II+ but it's on the rest of the II series.

#30 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:41 PM

I thought only the //e had it? And not the //c or IIgs.

#31 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:52 PM

I believe it was missing on the II and II+ but it's on the rest of the II series.


I thought only the //e had it? And not the //c or IIgs.


And Apple Win reckons it works on the 2+, 2E, enhanced 2E and the clone it emulates... and my DOS boot disk doesn't work on it's straight Apple 2 for some reason so i can't test it! This is really confusing, why isn't there a doc site of some kind out there?!

Edited by TMR, Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:52 PM.


#32 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:23 PM

http://rich12345.tri...ivideo/vbl.html

#33 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:57 PM

http://rich12345.tri...ivideo/vbl.html


That's where i found it, but having the note about "unverified information" doesn't exactly inspire confidence... =-)

So for the original Apple 2 i'm assuming stuff just sort of winged it as far as vertical blank timing went, yeah?

#34 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:20 PM

That's where i found it, but having the note about "unverified information" doesn't exactly inspire confidence... =-)

So for the original Apple 2 i'm assuming stuff just sort of winged it as far as vertical blank timing went, yeah?

The timing circuit is there, you just can't read the vertical blank info. Games just ignored it or used a timer on the Mockingboard.
It's one of the reasons the Mockingboard was popular with some developers. You could generate timed interrupts equal to one vertical blank.

I seem to remember reading more about the vertical blank in some developer notes but I haven't the slightest idea where to find them.

I think someone also created a mod to make the signal readable on older machines but I don't know where I saw that either.

#35 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:38 PM

I am interested in something that absolutely has to have the vblank after 30 years of software, including entire GUI operating systems

read
http://folklore.org/..._Mouse_Card.txt

its very non technical but It does have a couple of tidbits, one being that the machine is too slow to read its own vblank, as it happens in one cpu cycle, and some tidbits on how they solved it. research from there

Its one of the things I actually like about the computer, since its so freaking limited ... IE its video system is a cpu banging bits from ram/rom addresses to a shift register not much different than whats in a NES controller, that you actually DO have to get down and think "how can I possibly do this"

then you look at other's work and what would seem like garbage crap for atari or commie, is somewhat boggling that they got even that good

Edited by Osgeld, Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:45 PM.


#36 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:41 AM

The timing circuit is there, you just can't read the vertical blank info. Games just ignored it or used a timer on the Mockingboard.
It's one of the reasons the Mockingboard was popular with some developers. You could generate timed interrupts equal to one vertical blank.


So skipping over the "just ignore it" option for a moment, i'd like to know which method is going to get the most "hits"; i like rdvblbar because it's simple to implement, but is that going to work on more physical machines now than going for the Mockingboard timed interrupt approach?

And if i supply some rdvblbar-based code, is there anyone reading to throw it at a real Apple 2+ to see if Apple Win is lying about it working? =-)

I seem to remember reading more about the vertical blank in some developer notes but I haven't the slightest idea where to find them.

I think someone also created a mod to make the signal readable on older machines but I don't know where I saw that either.


i suspect this goes some of the way towards answering the OP's original question; there aren't many games being written because, although there's information out there, it's spread quite thinly across the internet and bits contradict each other.

#37 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:14 AM

its very non technical but It does have a couple of tidbits, one being that the machine is too slow to read its own vblank, as it happens in one cpu cycle, and some tidbits on how they solved it. research from there


That idea's already crossed my mind as an option (it's documented in the same place i read about rdvblbar) but i'm not keen on the limitations it seems to impose; it may be i need to play further but i haven't got past the "lets INC a byte of the text screen" yet. =-)

#38 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:16 AM

I believe one of the best approaches to deal with the vertical blank is to init most of the settings on a Mockingboard timer, then start a routine that scans for the vertical blank.
The routine is written so that it will read at a different cycle each time the vblank signal takes place.
It may take several frames to detect the vblank but with 60 per second it doesn't take long to detect it.
Once the vblank is detected, the free running timer on the Mockingboard is kicked off to generate an interrupt when the vblank should take place.

Yeah, requiring a Mockingboard limits your target audience but it's supported in emulation and the only alternative, a mouse card, is almost impossible to find. At least someone is making clones of the Mockingboard.

#39 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:21 AM

BTW, the mouse card and Mockingboard both have a 6522 to you could use the same approach with either one, you'd just need to init the 6522 at a different address.
<edit>
There is a bunch of info on the 6522 VIA chip in old issues of 'MICRO the 6502 Journal'. At least I believe that's what it's called. I also set up an interrupt for the Mockingboard music player I wrote and posted in the It's on like Donkey Kong thread.

Edited by JamesD, Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:23 AM.


#40 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:49 AM

Besides the Mockingboard and the Mouse Interface, the Echo+ also has a 6522.

Jameco still sells new 6522's, so for Apple Owners that don't have a Mockingboard or Mouse ( or Echo+ ) a simple Slot Interface Card with a 6522 installed on it could be designed to provide the Timing. A very Cool implementation would be something like the No-Slot Clock, but using a 6522.. Something in the $15.00 - $25.00 range for either.. Or maybe even better would be a Clone of the Apple Mouse Card, because IIRC, the Apple //c Mouse was electrically identical to the Apple ][e Mouse, just without the Mouse Card..

#41 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:00 PM

Maybe a new "multi-function" card could come of this. Something that provides really basic low level services of a kind. Like what? I have no idea.. Something that would be under $50.00 and enable new hardware capabilities.

Though a no-slot implementation would be nice to see.

Does anyone remember Retro-Ball? I believe (though I have to check) that it came with a VBI mod kit in the baggie. Whether it was a tiny daughtercard that clipped onto a chip, or was a simply jumper wire I don't recall. But it was not compatible with the shift-key mod for the II+, that is a fact. You could do one or the other, not both.

#42 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:18 PM

I just don't see the need for a mouse on an Apple II except for the IIgs... and apparently most other people felt the same way which is why the cards are so rare.

#43 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:53 PM

I just don't see the need for a mouse on an Apple II except for the IIgs... and apparently most other people felt the same way which is why the cards are so rare.

Mostly timing (get it.. sorry..)..
Anyway, AppleDesktop is a pretty darn nice mouse based GUI for the Apple II.
But as it came out in 1986 (late 86.. 1987 really), most people who wanted GUIs were looking elsewhere by then.

(Starts about 40 seconds in... If you happen to have earphones on (if you were maybe watching Fringe on Netflix just before checking this video) and have the volume turned way up, be careful!! That initial Apple BEEP is REALLY loud!! Ow..)

Of course, GEOS for the C64 came out in 86 and did fairly well...
But GEOS came with GEOS apps, and I don't think Apple Desktop ever got any....

desiv

#44 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:40 PM

A GUI built around ASCII & MouseText. What a conundrum. That's AppleWorks. Perhaps we should call it AUI, TUI, MUI, for it has nothing to do with graphics and pixel bitmaps.

Anyhow, I never thought of the mouse interface as being a rare bit'o hardware. All the shit used //e consoles I picked up (and subsequently gave away after clean & refurb) ..all of them seemed to have mouse interfaces. I'm talking about 20-30 consoles from various sources. Not just one-single-classroom cleanout session.

Edited by Keatah, Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:40 PM.


#45 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:55 PM

Anyway, AppleDesktop is a pretty darn nice mouse based GUI for the Apple II.


I had Apple Desktop, Quark Catalyst, and Geos on an Apple //c in 1987. I recall all 3 being cool and surprisingly responsive... but pretty much useless other than as tech demos. My father used t Quark Catalyst for some specialized software that required it, otherwise it seemed pointless to fire up a GUI to do file functions that were much faster and more easily run from a command line. Not long after that I got over my bigotry against GUIs when I used Macs and Amigas :D

#46 Tanrunomad OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:00 PM

Of course, GEOS for the C64 came out in 86 and did fairly well...
But GEOS came with GEOS apps, and I don't think Apple Desktop ever got any....

GEOS was also available for the Apple II and there's open source GUIs like Contiki which offers apps like IRC, email, and browser. I personally use the mouse for graphics applications like DazzleDraw, but not much else. A few games did require it though like The Treehouse, but none that I can't live without. :)

Edited by Tanrunomad, Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:04 PM.


#47 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:04 PM

I think I'll stick with the GS OS if I want to use a mouse on an Apple.

Besides the Mockingboard and the Mouse Interface, the Echo+ also has a 6522.

Echo+? Even rarer than the other two but yeah.

#48 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:13 PM

But GEOS came with GEOS apps, and I don't think Apple Desktop ever got any....


GEOS is also on the II with its apps

#49 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:09 PM

Hey..
You know, I wonder if maybe they actually released GEOS for the Apple II...

;-)

You don't have to tell me 3 times..

..

Well, maybe you do.. ;-)

desiv

#50 magnusfalkirk OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:40 PM

Hey..
You know, I wonder if maybe they actually released GEOS for the Apple II...

;-)

You don't have to tell me 3 times..

..

Well, maybe you do.. ;-)

desiv


If you're interested in AppleGEOS here's a link to the official download of it: http://www.breadbox....egory=AppleGEOS
of course that's just the regular GEOS, if you're interested in GeoPublish you'll have to look around the web for that. Of course there were several other programs for GEOS on the Commodore side but they never made it to the Apple II.

Then there was even some newer version of it created free-ware wise for the Commodore, I just don't remember the name right now.

Edited by magnusfalkirk, Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:12 PM.




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