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#301 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 8, 2017 10:55 AM

What about making the bank switching schemes "external". Each BS would have it's own BS file, like a config file or module? A plugin! And when a new scheme becomes available, it would be distributed with the rom. And it could simply be added by copying a file.

 

Since I don't fully know all the details and internal architecture that may or may not be a realistic. Maybe it's a bunch of BS to begin with!


Edited by Keatah, Tue Aug 8, 2017 10:56 AM.


#302 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 8, 2017 12:24 PM

Not impossible, but again, too much work for the amount of times that a bankswitch scheme changes.  I don't know of any emulator that does such a thing, precisely because the need for it is so small.



#303 Stewart_Pidd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 6:14 AM

I blame Atari for not making the 2600 forward compatible. Lets boycott them!



#304 cd-w OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 6:56 AM

Not impossible, but again, too much work for the amount of times that a bankswitch scheme changes.  I don't know of any emulator that does such a thing, precisely because the need for it is so small.

 

Agreed - writing a new bank-switching scheme is a large undertaking - it has taken around a year to develop CDF (given all the issues with 7800 compatibility) and it is safe to say that I won't be writing another one for a long time!

 

Chris



#305 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 9:33 PM

Not impossible, but again, too much work for the amount of times that a bankswitch scheme changes.  I don't know of any emulator that does such a thing, precisely because the need for it is so small.

The Melody is naught but a highly sophisticated bankswitch scheme. It's a single piece of hardware, just like the VCS. It's a coprocessor to the Atari, no different than say the SA-1 or Super FX is to the SNES.

All the information needed to run the "driver" you speak of is already embedded into the ROM itself. Otherwise ie to play Draconian on a 2012 Harmony Cart, you would need to reflash the firmware, but it isn't necessary to do this. Draconian runs on it's own because it was designed for the Melody PCB.

If someone designs a game exclusively for Encore, or some new expansion hardware not yet fabricated, then the gamer would need to buy a new flash cart. This isn't the case however. Draconian runs on older Melody hardware.

But Stella version 4.X runs older Melody games but not newer Melody games, even though the hardware supposedly being emulated has not changed. So the emulator isn't truly compatible at the instruction level. Someone should HiGain or BSNES Stella so when a homebrewer creates something designed for a Melody PCB, it will function samely in the emulator as in hardware.

Lots of Melody exploits to be discovered and lots of patches yet to come for Stella. Besides Melody -> Encore -> Concerto, what other patches, if any, have been necessary to the Melody platform in order to run new games?

#306 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:25 AM

Higanize Stella.. sounds good to me.



#307 cd-w OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:51 AM

But Stella version 4.X runs older Melody games but not newer Melody games, even though the hardware supposedly being emulated has not changed. So the emulator isn't truly compatible at the instruction level. Someone should HiGain or BSNES Stella so when a homebrewer creates something designed for a Melody PCB, it will function samely in the emulator as in hardware.

 

I'm sure Stephen would be happy for you to contribute an emulation of the full LPC2013 micro-controller.   However, this would be a large undertaking and the end result would be that Draconian runs exactly the same in Stella as it currently does.

 

Star Castle Arcade is actually running on a Cortex M3 platform, so this would also need to be implemented for full compatibility ...

 

Chris


Edited by cd-w, Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:21 AM.


#308 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:42 AM

The Melody is naught but a highly sophisticated bankswitch scheme. It's a single piece of hardware, just like the VCS. It's a coprocessor to the Atari, no different than say the SA-1 or Super FX is to the SNES.

 

 

Go for it.  While everybody's told you multiple times why they are not going to do it, nobody's going to stop you from implementing and submitting Melody support to Stella.  If you're not willing to do it yourself, then give it rest already before you end up on our Ignored User lists.



#309 DirtyHairy ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:47 PM

Someone should HiGain or BSNES Stella so when a homebrewer creates something designed for a Melody PCB, it will function samely in the emulator as in hardware.

 

 

Go ahead, knock yourself out, it's just a ARM SOC running at 70MHz connected to the VCS bus. Stella is open source, the LPC2103 data sheet is freely available, and the ARM instruction set is well documented. I don't think anyone else will beat you to it :evil:


Edited by DirtyHairy, Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:48 PM.


#310 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:47 PM

Someone should HiGain or BSNES Stella so when a homebrewer creates something designed for a Melody PCB, it will function samely in the emulator as in hardware.

 

Look, you're *this* close to being put on the ignore list.  I really take offence to your implication that Stella is grossly deficient and needs someone from other emulator teams to improve it.  We've just spent the past 8 months nearly perfecting the TIA emulation, which is now the best of all emulators, *bar none*.  And when we get the new sound core integrated, it will be the same thing.

 

And we've spent the past week on performance improvments, including a 100+ post discussion on introducing threading and making Stella able to run on older systems.  Talk about ungrateful.

 

We don't need BSNES to come along and fix things.  What we need is people to stop armchair quarterbacking and kick in and help.  Or stop complaining when the reasons are clearly stated why we can't do something.

 

You know, to hell with it.  To the ignore list you go.



#311 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:16 PM

Go for it.  While everybody's told you multiple times why they are not going to do it, nobody's going to stop you from implementing and submitting Melody support to Stella.  If you're not willing to do it yourself, then give it rest already before you end up on our Ignored User lists.

/signed

 

BTW: See my signature!



#312 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:41 PM

 

Agreed - writing a new bank-switching scheme is a large undertaking - it has taken around a year to develop CDF (given all the issues with 7800 compatibility) and it is safe to say that I won't be writing another one for a long time!

 

Chris

What's CDF?



#313 cd-w OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:43 PM

What's CDF?


CDF (Chris, Darrell, Fred) is an enhanced version of DPC+ bankswitching, which adds support for digital samples and fast jumps. It is being used to implement Draconian.

Chris

#314 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:45 PM

What's CDF?

 

Welcome back!!!

 

 

I decided to not reboot Draconian using BUS Stuffing due to problems with some systems, so cd-w and I created CDF.  See the following Draconian blog entries for more detail:

 

Overview of CDF - http://atariage.com/...ot-is-underway/

 

Addition of Fast Jump, basically JMP $0000 is redirected via a dedicated datastream - http://atariage.com/...reboot-delayed/



#315 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:22 PM

In Draconian, is it possible to make the ship's laser blasts stay one color, white for example? Instead of changing to whatever is nearby or on the same scanline..

 

Is it a hardware or other necessary limitation?



#316 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:33 PM

Sure, if I drew the shots using players instead of missiles, but the tradeoff would be a significant increase in flicker.



#317 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:16 PM

Then stay with the multi-color lasers/bullets. Wife says it adds color anyways.


Edited by Keatah, Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:21 PM.


#318 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:45 PM

What's CDF?

Sounds like a new type of optical disc technology to me... :dunce:

Actually it's like Voodoo on a cart. Games are amazing yo. Breaks the VCS over backwards to the point you don't even feel like you're playing a VCS game. But I'd love to see a "bus stuffing" version as well...

#319 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:11 AM

Just for layperson discussion purposes. Briefly. What in Draconian had to be given up because using CDF instead of BUS? Or was it all successfully worked out?



#320 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:37 AM

For Draconian, the addition of the FastJump feature made it possible to put in everything I thought I needed BUS for.

 

BUS is still needed for kernels like the one used in RPG demo.

post-3056-0-92674000-1487952528.jpg



#321 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:55 PM

Good news - it looks like Chris was able to fix the issue with Draconian not working on some 7800s (this would show up if you flashed the game direct, same as done for stand-alone cartridges using the Melody, as opposed to running it from the Harmony's menu).  Bad news - it changed the CDF driver enough that it won't work in the current build of Stella, so I'll need to make an update for it.


Chris made a minor change to the driver so it now contains a CDF version number. I just finished updating Stella and it now uses that number to configure CDF emulation. This means the recent builds of Draconian will still run in the next release of Stella. The debugger will tell you which version you're running:

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 7.41.28 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 7.41.41 PM.png

#322 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:50 PM

I know there's some ancient magic woven into the code of Draconian. ;)

I mean, what else could it be?

I'm smart enough to know a 2600 game can't look this awesome. :twisted:



#323 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:10 PM

I know there's some ancient magic woven into the code of Draconian. ;)

I mean, what else could it be?

I'm smart enough to know a 2600 game can't look this awesome. :twisted:

Voodoo on a cart. Literally.

 

In Draconian, is it possible to make the ship's laser blasts stay one color, white for example? Instead of changing to whatever is nearby or on the same scanline..

 

Is it a hardware or other necessary limitation?

Sure, if I drew the shots using players instead of missiles, but the tradeoff would be a significant increase in flicker.

Flicker would be undesirable if avoidable. Honestly the bullets changing colors is so minor in the scheme of things. All of the sprites are bright enough that they are visible and this minor artifact does not detract in any way from the gameplay. I honestly kind of like the "rainbow" bullets. ;-)

 

= = = = = = = =

 

@Spiceware, @cd-w, @stephena, and anyone else involved in Melody development:

 

Forgive my previous obsession with emulating the entire Melody ARM hardware instead of individual Melody "drivers". If it's not practical to emulate, it just isn't. I'm not a programmer; I just enjoy playing retro games and homebrew, so I need to quit it with the armchair development. :dunce:






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