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Displaying a page of text on 2600, possible?


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#26 ZackAttack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:10 PM

Here's a quick test rom. I don't have an AFP to test on. Can someone who does give this a try? I'd like to know if it displays correctly.

 

DaveC1964 would this be a viable solution for what you want to do? Keeping it a 4K rom would leave enough room for 16 pages of text. Each page is 6 rows of 32 characters. I made each character 5 pixels instead of 3 because they looked too tall and skinny with only 3 pixels.

 

ABCDEF.png

 

 

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#27 DaveC1964 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:36 AM

Here's a quick test rom. I don't have an AFP to test on. Can someone who does give this a try? I'd like to know if it displays correctly.

 

DaveC1964 would this be a viable solution for what you want to do? Keeping it a 4K rom would leave enough room for 16 pages of text. Each page is 6 rows of 32 characters. I made each character 5 pixels instead of 3 because they looked too tall and skinny with only 3 pixels.

 

attachicon.gifABCDEF.png

 

 

Well yes kind of.  I think making users rotate the unit to read then rotate back is a bit awkward. Those running on a TV would need to cock their head 90 deg. 

 

The idea was to make this work for all users, even the home console 2600 versions.   Limiting just to portables would be a very small section of users. 

 

Is there a way it could be done in a normal orientation?


Edited by DaveC1964, Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:34 AM.


#28 ZackAttack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:43 AM

Well kind of.  I think making users rotate the unit to read then rotate back is a bit awkward. Those running on a TV would be even worse as they would need to cock their head 90 deg. 
 
The idea was to make this work for all users, even the home console 2600 versions.   Limiting just to portables would be a very small section of users.  Is there a way it could be done in a normal orientation?


If I'm understanding this correctly. The AFP emulation is not accurate enough to run the existing 32 char kernel that has proper orientation. So I was proposing a workaround that uses a simpler kernel which hopefully works on the AFP. It should be possible to detect if the code is running on the AFP or not. Then the sideways kernel could be used for AFP and the other one with correct orientation could be used everywhere else. Sure, rotating the AFP would be a little odd, but it's the best I could come up with. Personally I would prefer to have a solution that requires turning the AFP over a solution that uses flickering, interlacing, or venetian blinds.

 

Has anyone tested on the AFP with the bin file I posted above? Does it render properly and is the text readable?



#29 DaveC1964 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:53 PM

If I'm understanding this correctly. The AFP emulation is not accurate enough to run the existing 32 char kernel that has proper orientation. So I was proposing a workaround that uses a simpler kernel which hopefully works on the AFP. It should be possible to detect if the code is running on the AFP or not. Then the sideways kernel could be used for AFP and the other one with correct orientation could be used everywhere else. Sure, rotating the AFP would be a little odd, but it's the best I could come up with. Personally I would prefer to have a solution that requires turning the AFP over a solution that uses flickering, interlacing, or venetian blinds.

 

Has anyone tested on the AFP with the bin file I posted above? Does it render properly and is the text readable?

I just tested on the AFP.  It does work fine. 

 

In normal mode are you saying that you can only get 6 characters across?  What would the other options look like (flicker etc)?

 

While I can see this being ok for the AFP for now it is a bit of a kludge to have system detection etc.  What happens in the future when they update the emulation on AFP 2018, 19 ...? maybe it will work, maybe it won't detect and not work right.  There are so many combinations of hardware and emulators out there that trying to manage them all now and in the future may be a bit of an issue. Then all of the work doing instructions will be negated. What about Harmony carts, 2600 jr.s, modded flashback 2s, FBxx mods, etc?

 

My goal was to have a pure 100% compatible way to display the instructions no matter what you run on from past devices/emus or in the future.  The only real way to do that is to make something that will run on any 2600 compatible hardware or emulator.  If it will run a bog standard 2600 game, it will display this text.  (BTW those displaying on CRTs may have trouble with dark blue, maybe white or something NTSC friendly ? making this compatible with any display device is another consideration).

 

Maybe this goal is impossible.  I thought it might be as we are talking ancient tech here.  It was worth a shot though.  Thanks for doing what you did.


Edited by DaveC1964, Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:12 PM.


#30 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:30 PM

My goal was to have a pure 100% compatible way to display the instructions no matter what you run on from past devices/emus or in the future.  The only real way to do that is to make something that will run on any 2600 compatible hardware or emulator.  If it will run a bog standard 2600 game, it will display this text.  (BTW those displaying on CRTs may have trouble with dark blue, maybe white or something NTSC friendly ? making this compatible with any display device is another consideration).

 

Maybe this goal is impossible.  I thought it might be as we are talking ancient tech here.  It was worth a shot though.  Thanks for doing what you did.

The ancient tech is fine. It's the AFB that is the problem. It does not emulate things correctly, unfortunately.



#31 ZackAttack OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:19 AM

The idea was to make this work for all users, even the home console 2600 versions.   Limiting just to portables would be a very small section of users. 

 

Is there a way it could be done in a normal orientation?

 

One other idea to consider. Only use an asymmetric playfield for the text. This should work on all systems and fix the orientation issue. The drawback would be that you would only have enough room for 10x10 characters on a page. The good thing is that it would fill the whole screen and the letters would be large and hopefully easier to read.



#32 DaveC1964 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:12 PM

 

One other idea to consider. Only use an asymmetric playfield for the text. This should work on all systems and fix the orientation issue. The drawback would be that you would only have enough room for 10x10 characters on a page. The good thing is that it would fill the whole screen and the letters would be large and hopefully easier to read.

Yeah that would be ok too.  Maybe two solutions would not hurt.  One best case like SpiceWare's solution that works the best but is not compatible with dodgy emulators.  Another solution as you say that may not be as good but works for everything.  The author could then choose which way to go.  That would leave out some users now if the author choose the best case one but eventually emulators should all evolve enough so that they all work. 


Edited by DaveC1964, Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:14 PM.





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