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#1 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:47 PM

RevEng and I cooked up something that might be interesting. :ponder: Who can figure out what you are looking at? I made the video "Blair Witch Project - Shaky Cam Style" on purpose, Trent would probably appreciate it. ;)



:cool:

#2 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:21 AM

I am looking at a computer screen, how else would I be able to reply? :?

#3 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:44 AM

I'm no good at this game. I just keep staring at the thumb ring.

#4 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:02 AM

LOL

BTW, Albert is not allowed to guess, neither is RevEng obviously. ;)

When some of the natives wake up, I bet someone can figure it out. I may just give this very first prototype away, as a winning gift, there is no way this could be faked in the future (well maybe, if you own the original, and you are good enough to repro some of my soldering f'ups).

#5 abaudrand OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:27 AM

a multicart game with a menu to select rom?

#6 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:12 AM

Batari Basic compiled and running on the Atari 5200?! Unpossible.

#7 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:58 AM

Here's my guess: It's demonstrating 16 banks. Before we were limited to 8 banks, but thanks to recently discovered alien technology, we'll soon be using 16 banks.

#8 abaudrand OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:26 AM

guess you re right RT...

#9 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:49 AM

64K in 16 banks would make some deep games, or room to splurge on graphics / levels / sprites / animation.
Too early in the morning, I saw a 5200!!! But it's a 2600.

#10 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:56 AM

64K in 16 banks would make some deep games, or room to splurge on graphics / levels / sprites / animation.


If my guess of 16 banks is correct, all of the good stuff might still get thrown into the last bank. It sure would be cool if more banks could be used for graphics.

#11 Cybearg OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:22 AM

If my guess of 16 banks is correct, all of the good stuff might still get thrown into the last bank. It sure would be cool if more banks could be used for graphics.

16 banks WOULD be great. Though, as you say, it would be nice if graphics could be pulled from other banks. Is that a particular reason why they have to be in the last bank, aside from batariBasic choosing to put them there?

Though I'll admit I don't really know what I'm talking about, that board doesn't look overly complicated, so is this bankswitching method more efficient as well, meaning there could be cheaper bankswitching boards in the future as well?

#12 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:09 AM

I'm having all sorts of trouble shuffling data and code around even in a 16k cart. bB manhandling where graphics and playfields go does make data management tricky sometimes. I've even had problems jumping between banks of memory with goto and gosub statements. Hopefully we'll find ways to mitigate these quirks.

Needless to say, CPUWIZ and RevEng have just made the first real RPG possible on the Atari 2600 =)

#13 SeaGtGruff OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:19 AM

I'm pretty sure it was a 2600. At first I thought it might be a 7800, but after the reference to a 5200 I watched it again in slow motion. The "2600" on the silvery chrome or whatever is clearly visible at one point.

Graphics and other data that get loaded directly from ROM while drawing the screen have to be in the last bank because that's where the code for the kernel is, and the kernel doesn't change banks as it's drawing the screen. Graphics and data that aren't in the last bank need to be somewhere that's accessible to the kernel at all times (i.e., some location that isn't affected by switching banks)-- such as in RIOT RAM or Superchip RAM.

#14 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:41 AM

So if this worked with, say, SARA..... :ponder:

#15 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:46 AM

So if this worked with, say, SARA..... :ponder:


.....then finding donor carts would be more of a pain and the cost of production would go up :)

#16 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:11 AM

I'm pretty sure it was a 2600. At first I thought it might be a 7800, but after the reference to a 5200 I watched it again in slow motion. The "2600" on the silvery chrome or whatever is clearly visible at one point.

Graphics and other data that get loaded directly from ROM while drawing the screen have to be in the last bank because that's where the code for the kernel is, and the kernel doesn't change banks as it's drawing the screen. Graphics and data that aren't in the last bank need to be somewhere that's accessible to the kernel at all times (i.e., some location that isn't affected by switching banks)-- such as in RIOT RAM or Superchip RAM.


My guess is that the bB kernel may be divided into 2 32k standard kernels here. Which means two different sets of playfields and graphics that cannot be interchanged. So, going from bank 2 to bank 15 may have consequences. All of this is wild speculation, though :)

#17 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:47 AM

.....then finding donor carts would be more of a pain and the cost of production would go up :)


Are they that rare? SARA games are what, R3, R4? I honestly don't know.

#18 Wickeycolumbus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:07 PM

If that's what it is, it will be great to have readily accessible 64K bankswitching :)

#19 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:13 PM

Are they that rare? SARA games are what, R3, R4? I honestly don't know.


It varies...



NTSC (rarity determined by AtariAge Database)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
8k
===
Defender II - R4 red
Stargate - R4 silver
Elevator Action - prototype

16k
===
Crack'ed - prototype
Crystal Castles - R2 silver
Dark Chambers - R4 red
Desert Falcon - R4 red
Dig Dug - R2 silver
Jr. Pac-Man - R2 red
Klax - prototype
Millipede - R3 silver
Off the Wall - R5 red
Radar Lock - R4 red
Save Mary! - prototype
Secret Quest - R4 red
Shooting Arcade - prototype
Sprintmaster - R4 red
Super Football - R2 red

32k
===
Fatal Run - prototype



PAL (rarity determined by PAL Cart Database)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

8k
===
Defender II - R5 red
Stargate - R4 silver

16k
===
Crystal Castles - R2 silver, R4 red
Dark Chambers - R4 red
Desert Falcon - R3 red
Dig Dug - R2 silver, R8 red
Jr. Pac-Man - R3 red
Klax - R4 red
Millipede - R4 silver, R3 red (with rainbow picture), R4 red
Off the Wall - R3 red
Radar Lock - R3 red
Save Mary! - prototype
Secret Quest - R4 red
Shooting Arcade - prototype
Sprintmaster - R3 red
Super Football - R3 red, R3 Red (7800 end label)

32k
===
Fatal Run - R4 red

#20 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:16 PM

Are they that rare? SARA games are what, R3, R4? I honestly don't know.


You could be right if the rarity is that low. I'm just wondering if I'll have to scramble to get a certain donor cart for these wonderous 64k wonders to work. If so, I'd like to know so I can start scavenging Flea Markets now! :P

#21 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:48 PM

R.T. wins the cookie, it's bBasic EF 64K bankswitching.

Attached Thumbnails

  • photo.JPG


#22 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:04 PM

R.T. wins the cookie, it's bBasic EF 64K bankswitching.

Congratulations Artie!

#23 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:08 PM

Now that we've had the reveal, a few points...
  • I have EF/64k bankswitching mostly working in bB. Goto and drawscreen work correctly, but I still need to fix up the return part of bankswitching gosubs. The issues around getting this last bit to work are well understood, it's just a matter of getting a few hours free. When its done, I'll create a new thread for the release.
  • The graphics go in the last bank with the kernel, just as they do with 8k/16k/32k games. As you guys may have noticed, I posted a workaround method that allows for multiple bB kernels in 32k bins, and will release a 64k version of the workaround after I finish this project.
  • The bB compiler needed some updates to make this work. I've made the changes with a light hand and done it in the style of the existing code, but it's not official until batari adopts it.
  • CPUWIZ should be able to produce the 64k boards in quantity, so coders shouldn't need to worry about availability of the hardware.
Hopefully I'll have something more to share in a week or so.

[edit - the sample binary is attached, in case someone is really bored]

Attached File  64K_EF_test.bin   64KB   131 downloads

#24 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:23 PM

  • CPUWIZ should be able to produce the 64k boards in quantity, so coders shouldn't need to worry about availability of the hardware.


Not only that, Albert will be able to support it as well. ;)

#25 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:38 PM

Not only that, Albert will be able to support it as well. ;)


This is great news! :) It's really attractive considering that Melody boards seem to be in high demand. Great job guys!! :thumbsup:




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