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M.U.L.E. - For the Apple, is it Impossible?


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#26 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 9:34 AM

The main Wizardry program would probably have required two disks on the Atari as opposed to one on the Apple.

The C64 could do four player MULE. Only one joystick was required for the development phase, but two joysticks were used during the auction phase along with two sets of keys on the keyboard.

#27 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:11 AM

The main Wizardry program would probably have required two disks on the Atari as opposed to one on the Apple.


Yeah but many Atari RPGs required 4 or 5, so no big deal there! lol

The C64 could do four player MULE. Only one joystick was required for the development phase, but two joysticks were used during the auction phase along with two sets of keys on the keyboard.


Depends. Can the C64 interpret two separate keypresses simultaneously? Lots of the computers of that era couldn't handle that.

#28 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:21 AM

I think "It's not possible" really means "We're not interested in doing it" MULE could be done, with some tradeoffs. The other versions had tradeoffs. Maybe you couldn't do 4 player, but the XL/XE and C64 couldn't do 4-player either. The XL/XE could do three players if you used paddles. You could mix joystick and keyboard on apple.

The Wizardry guys said the same thing when asked about porting Wizardry to Atari. "Not possible" Looking at that games graphics, I see nothing the Atari couldn't do. Supposedly the problem was the disk drive. Again, I'm sure tradeoffs could be made.

I think most of the people capable of doing it are just more interested in other projects.  
MULE is fun but it's definitely not pushing the envelope of what is possible.

Wizardy was a combination of things.  Not having UCSD Pascal, a fast disk drive, or even expanded RAM to preload code and data to eliminate delays.
Fast loaders, and expanded RAM are common now, but in 1981 when Wizardry came out, that wasn't the case.
And there still isn't a version of UCSD for the Atari.  That's mostly due to UCSD's creators and Atari though.  Neither one pursued it.

*edit*
Come to think if it, by the time Atari came out with a 64K model in 1983, UCSD Pascal might have been sold to a private company.
64K was one of the requirements of running UCSD Pascal.


Edited by JamesD, Tue May 16, 2017 10:58 AM.


#29 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:29 AM

Wizardy was a combination of things.  Not having UCSD Pascal, a fast disk drive, or even expanded RAM to preload code and data to eliminate delays.
Fast loaders, and expanded RAM are common now, but in 1981 when Wizardry came out, that wasn't the case.
And there still isn't a version of UCSD for the Atari.  That's mostly due to UCSD's creators and Atari though.  Neither one pursued it.


Oh yes, thanks for reminding me! Didn't UCSD have a virtual memory system in its runtime? And that was the cause of needing a fast disk drive?

So porting Wizardry would have meant rewriting it in a different language. I would still maintain Atari could handle the game itself, if rewritten in Action! or something. But again it's an effort they weren't interested in, so they just said "not possible"

Edited by zzip, Tue May 16, 2017 10:29 AM.


#30 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:44 AM

I think most of the people capable of doing it are just more interested in other projects.  
MULE is fun but it's definitely not pushing the envelope of what is possible.

Wizardy was a combination of things.  Not having UCSD Pascal, a fast disk drive, or even expanded RAM to preload code and data to eliminate delays.
Fast loaders, and expanded RAM are common now, but in 1981 when Wizardry came out, that wasn't the case.
And there still isn't a version of UCSD for the Atari.  That's mostly due to UCSD's creators and Atari though.  Neither one pursued it.


Wizardry was ported to the IBM PC, C64, NES and many other computer systems. I doubt that all of them had a Pascal runtime available to compile code suitable for each system.

#31 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 12:42 PM

Stop focusing on the hardware not possible and focus on the software not possible for them.

Wizardy was written by a couple college students just writing it for fun.
The guy doing the coding wasn't even a CS major if I remember right.
Do you really think they could have created Wizardry in assembly?

 

Action didn't come out until 1983.  These guys wrote it somewhere in the 1979-80 time frame.
Even assemblers were pretty primitive at that time.

There wasn't even a Tiny Pascal compiler for the Atari.

The IBM version probably used Turbo Pascal.  RAM and disk drive speed wasn't an issue.  
I do think there was a version of UCSD Pascal for the IBM though.  I'm not sure what year it came out though.

The C64 version came out in 1985.  With a potential market of several million machines, it pays to hire some guys to convert it to assembly.  
All the design work was basically done, so they didn't have to work that out at all. 

The NES uses a cart and tile based graphics system that doesn't have to worry about loading from a disk drive or how much RAM there is.

Wizardry didn't get ported to the Atari because the Atari didn't have the market of the other machines.
 

FWIW, there was a Pascal compiler for the C64 called G-Pascal that might have been able to do the job with a little work 1983.

UCSD Pascal could have been ported to the Atari, it just wasn't, and by the time Wizardry was being ported to other machines,

people saw the Atari as a small market in comparison to the IBM, C64 and NES.
 


Edited by JamesD, Tue May 16, 2017 1:02 PM.


#32 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 12:45 PM

The C-64 port of the Wizardry trilogy didn't release until 1987 (it even got Wizardry V, but not IV). By then the Atari 8-bit disk market was probably deemed not worth the porting effort.



#33 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 1:20 PM

Stop focusing on the hardware not possible and focus on the software not possible for them.
Wizardy was written by a couple college students just writing it for fun.
The guy doing the coding wasn't even a CS major if I remember right.
Do you really think they could have created Wizardry in assembly?
 
Action didn't come out until 1983.  These guys wrote it somewhere in the 1979-80 time frame.
Even assemblers were pretty primitive at that time.
There wasn't even a Tiny Pascal compiler for the Atari.


When I read their quote about "not possible to port to Atari" it was definitely post 1983 because I didn't read game/computer mags until 83.


Wizardry didn't get ported to the Atari because the Atari didn't have the market of the other machines.
 
FWIW, there was a Pascal compiler for the C64 called G-Pascal that might have been able to do the job with a little work 1983.
UCSD Pascal could have been ported to the Atari, it just wasn't, and by the time Wizardry was being ported to other machines,
people saw the Atari as a small market in comparison to the IBM, C64 and NES.


Which I'm sure is the correct answer. I'm just pointing out that devs were saying "Not possible" when they really meant "too much work/ not enough market/ or we just flat aren't interested"

#34 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 1:30 PM

Which I'm sure is the correct answer. I'm just pointing out that devs were saying "Not possible" when they really meant "too much work/ not enough market/ or we just flat aren't interested"

 

I agree, but I believe Sir-Tech at the time also had a general "not possible" attitude, being beholden to their Pascal-based dev system for way too long (much like Infocom with their dev environment). To prove the idea wrong, Silvern Castle was made in 1988 for the Apple II in AppleSoft Basic: http://finkjsc.a2hq.com/silverncastle/



#35 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 4:59 PM

This article claims they created port of Wizardry by porting UCSD Pascal ports.  
That might actually be easier than converting the game to assembly.

http://gaming.wikia.com/wiki/Wizardry
 



#36 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 18, 2017 3:13 PM

Wizardry was ported to the IBM PC, C64, NES and many other computer systems. I doubt that all of them had a Pascal runtime available to compile code suitable for each system.


Actually, UCSD P-System was available for the IBM-PC at the original Ship Date... It was the Third OS available for the IBM-PC, after CP/M-86 and PC-DOS v1.00.

( Remember that PC-DOS was shipped with the Machine and Included in the Cost, where as CP/M-86 and the UCSD P-System were an extra cost.. Look which one Won Out... )

MarkO

Edited by MarkO, Thu May 18, 2017 3:15 PM.


#37 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 5:05 AM

Can the C64 interpret two separate keypresses simultaneously? Lots of the computers of that era couldn't handle that.

I haven't played M.U.L.E. with four players a lot on either the Atari 800 or the C64, but I strongly think you can push multiple buttons on the C64 and read out their values individually. Some music programs allowed you to play three note chords on the keyboard that way, and it would work rather well.

 

If you are curious, there are some code examples and discussion here:

http://codebase64.or...ng_the_keyboard





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