Jump to content

Photo

Colony 7 (2600) in Stella with trackball?


41 replies to this topic

#1 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:39 AM

Any Stella experts here who can tell me how to use a computer trackball with Colony 7 to play it Missile Command style? I've tried about a dozen different settings, but always get the same limited movement of the cursor to only about a fifth of the width and height of the screen.

 

Alternatively, I've used the Atari trackball in joystick mode with the 2600daptor, but you have to spin the ball like a madman and it still take several seconds to cross the screen. Is there a way to speed up the trackball motion?



#2 alex_79 OFFLINE  

alex_79

    Stargunner

  • 1,022 posts
  • Location:Italy

Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:18 AM

The slow movement is the expected behaviour.
Colony 7 is a joystick game. If you use a pc trackball/mouse to play it on stella, the emulator needs to translate the mouse movements into joystick ones for the game to understand them. So you don't get porportional motion and acceleration like you would expect from a real trackball game. (That's true also for real hardware when using a trackball in joystick mode). Some games might work better than others in this configuration, but they won't "feel" like real trackball games.

Thomas Jentzsch and Omegamatrix hacked a few games to take advantage of real trackball mode (there's also Colony 7: http://atariage.com/...17#entry3481427), so try those for a better experience (you might have to tell Stella that the game uses a trackball if it's not already in its database)

On the other hand, the fact that the cursor movement is limited to a portion of the screen when using a PC mouse/trackball in Stella might be a bug.
Apparently, Stella doesn't allow you to "grab" the mouse cursor (CTRL-G) when emulating a digital device like a joystick.


 



#3 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:39 AM

The slow movement is the expected behaviour.
Colony 7 is a joystick game. If you use a pc trackball/mouse to play it on stella, the emulator needs to translate the mouse movements into joystick ones for the game to understand them. So you don't get porportional motion and acceleration like you would expect from a real trackball game. (That's true also for real hardware when using a trackball in joystick mode). Some games might work better than others in this configuration, but they won't "feel" like real trackball games.

Thomas Jentzsch and Omegamatrix hacked a few games to take advantage of real trackball mode (there's also Colony 7: http://atariage.com/...17#entry3481427), so try those for a better experience (you might have to tell Stella that the game uses a trackball if it's not already in its database)

On the other hand, the fact that the cursor movement is limited to a portion of the screen when using a PC mouse/trackball in Stella might be a bug.
Apparently, Stella doesn't allow you to "grab" the mouse cursor (CTRL-G) when emulating a digital device like a joystick.


 

Thanks for the info. Not having a lot of luck with the trackball hack in Stella. This is something new to me, so may just take a lot of figeting or the hack may only work on the 2600 console, although it sounds like it was developed in emulation before hardware testing. Unfortunately, there are no original Atari 2600 games made for trackball mode to use as a "control" test.



#4 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:56 AM

It also doesn't help that I don't have a trackball either, so I'm unable to test with Stella.

 

Maybe someone can consider a donation of one.



#5 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:40 AM

It also doesn't help that I don't have a trackball either, so I'm unable to test with Stella.

 

Maybe someone can consider a donation of one.

Isn't the regular PC/Apple computer mouse supposed to emulate the joystick or CX22/80 correctly? I just get jitter in a small portion of the screen for both the joystick and trackball version of Colony 7 with my mouse. I would have to go back and systematically document with a few different games to see what does and doesn't happen to pin down whether the mouse ever works for me in Stella and to what extent. As I said, however, I was able to get my actual CX80 to work in Stella with the CX80 set to joystick mode about the same as it would on the 2600 console, but the CX80 is rather slow in joystick mode. I have noticed Stella does not appear to map mouse movement. Oddly enough, with the CX80 version of Colony 7, the only "fire to start" that worked was the mouse button, as neither the mapped keyboard or trackball buttons were communicating with Stella (the mouse still produced only small jitter movement). Usually the keyboard always works. I remember I was able to get good trackball movement and fire button communication with the CX80 in trackball mode with the PC's joypl controller tester, but nothing in Stella. However, as I said, I am completely new to trying out a trackball hack in Stella.

 

Edit: Just looking through Stella User Guide, it looks like keyboard (or anything else but mouse) does not function when Stella is in trakball mode, so that explains why only the mouse button would emulate the fire button. However, puzzled on if there is a way to change jitter with mouse to smooth movement in trakball hacks (or joystick versions, as far as that goes).



#6 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:11 PM

Like I mentioned, I've never used a trackball (of any variety) with Stella and Stelldator/2600-daptor, so it's not surprising that the support for it isn't great.  If I can't physically use and test something, then chances are that Stella will not properly utilize/emulate it.


  • jhd likes this

#7 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

Thomas Jentzsch

    Thrust, Jammed, SWOOPS!, Boulder Dash, THREE·S, Star Castle

  • 22,693 posts
  • Always left from right here!
  • Location:Düsseldorf, Germany, Europe, Earth

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:16 PM

I got a 2600-daptor, just missing a cable yet. Then I can test Atari and Amiga mouse but not CX22/80.



#8 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:24 PM

I also have an Atari and Amiga mouse.  The Atari one is an actual Atari one that came from an ST, maybe?  But the Amiga one is actually dual-purpose, in that it has a switch on it to make it compatible with either Amiga or Atari.  I believe it's a 'Wizard' mouse.  I also have a Stelladator and multiple versions of  2600-daptor.  I haven't tried these mice with Stella yet, mostly since I haven't had any time.

 

I don't have, nor have I ever seen, a CX22 or CX80 trakball controller.  So a donation of one (or both) of these would be appreciated.



#9 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:41 PM

Like I mentioned, I've never used a trackball (of any variety) with Stella and Stelldator/2600-daptor, so it's not surprising that the support for it isn't great.  If I can't physically use and test something, then chances are that Stella will not properly utilize/emulate it.

Are you okay with getting a used one?



#10 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:57 PM

Are you okay with getting a used one?

 

I always assume that any donations are used, since they don't make old Atari stuff anymore.  I'm not a collector, so it doesn't need to be NIB; this is something that will be used for testing, so its collectors value means nothing to me.


  • jhd likes this

#11 mr_me OFFLINE  

mr_me

    Stargunner

  • 1,912 posts
  • Location:Ontario

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:21 PM

If you have a USB mouse you have a trakball as far as Stella is concerned.  There are two colony 7 hacks; one for cx-22 the other for cx-80.  To configure Stella select one of the roms and goto "options > game properties > controller"

 

for cx-22 select "P0 Controller"  -> "Trakball"

for cx-80 select "P0 Controller" -> "AtariMouse"

 

I tested in Stella 5.0.1 and both work well.


Edited by mr_me, Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:22 PM.


#12 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:05 PM

LOL! Just going to post that that is what I've learned after 70 minutes of puttering. :)  Use modern usb mouse with game properties > controller set to Atari mouse for CX80 hacks, trackball for CX22 hacks. Thanks for the effort.

 

Have not found a way to make the USB mouse work with a joystick (i.e., original) version, although an atari cx22 or cx80 will sort of slowly work if you set the 2600daptor and trakball and stella properties >controller to joystick mode.

 

I think what I would need to make this work is a mouse axis to key binder. Several have been made in the past, but they seem to have stopped with Windows 7 and do not recognize my mouse as a controller in win10. The closest I came was something called Pointy's KeyBinder. It could bind the keys but could not recognize the mouse as a controller, oddly enough.



#13 mr_me OFFLINE  

mr_me

    Stargunner

  • 1,912 posts
  • Location:Ontario

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:33 AM

Have you tried vjoy with mousetojoy; but it won't be as good as a game written for mouse/trackball control.

https://github.com/r...ystick/releases
http://vjoystick.sourceforge.net/site/

Edited by mr_me, Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:42 AM.


#14 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:22 AM

A mouse will never work well in emulating a joystick.  There is (or was) code in Stella to do this, but I may have removed it.  They're just too different in terms of output.  A joystick can be pushed right, and for as along as it's pushed, an event is generated.  For a mouse, you move it right, it generates an event, and then stops.  There's no way to get it to emulate a joystick, unless you keep moving it across the screen.  Basically, one is an absolute axis device, and the other is relative.

 

I suggest sticking with games that are programmed for mouse/trackball when using a real mouse.  It will never work to your satisfaction when using a mouse to emulate a joystick in a joystick-only game.



#15 mr_me OFFLINE  

mr_me

    Stargunner

  • 1,912 posts
  • Location:Ontario

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:43 AM

If you have a trackball that rolls freely, that would work better than a mouse when emulating a joystick.

#16 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:08 AM

If you have a trackball that rolls freely, that would work better than a mouse when emulating a joystick.

 

You're right of course, but I was referring to mice specifically (you'd need a large table to move to one end, and then back again).  A trackball (basically an upside-down mouse) is much better in this regard, but overall it's still better to use a game specifically designed for a trackball rather than a joystick game with a trackball/mouse emulating a joystick.



#17 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:24 AM

Have you tried vjoy with mousetojoy; but it won't be as good as a game written for mouse/trackball control.

https://github.com/r...ystick/releases
http://vjoystick.sourceforge.net/site/

 

 

A mouse will never work well in emulating a joystick.  There is (or was) code in Stella to do this, but I may have removed it.  They're just too different in terms of output.  A joystick can be pushed right, and for as along as it's pushed, an event is generated.  For a mouse, you move it right, it generates an event, and then stops.  There's no way to get it to emulate a joystick, unless you keep moving it across the screen.  Basically, one is an absolute axis device, and the other is relative.

 

I suggest sticking with games that are programmed for mouse/trackball when using a real mouse.  It will never work to your satisfaction when using a mouse to emulate a joystick in a joystick-only game.

I downloaded vjoy last night but didn't try it. Not aware of mouse-to-joy, so will have to look into it. Thank you. I ended up figuring out how to run colntsc.bin (colony7 joystick) with a2600 in MAME, which worked with a mouse, although setting up the command prompts is a pain and the resolution is also much worse with a2600 in MAME than with Stella.

 

My USB mouse is a Kensington Expert trackball mouse, so it is similar to arcade style, only smoother.

 

Using the USB trackball mouse to emulate the joystick in MAME is slower than with the trackball hacks in Stella and, as I said, the graphical resolution is much better in Stella. It was faster than using my actual CX80 in joystick mode through the 2600daptor.

 

Mainly, I wanted to see if I could implement a way to play 2600 games I would like to play with a trackball mouse if there is not a trackball hack. However, as Stephen said, the results are not ideal and more just a novelty than a best way to play.

 

From what I have learned, I plan to see how my actual CX80 works in Stella through the 2600daptor II using the Atari mouse setting in Stella game properties > controller. I knew there was some difference between the CX80 and CX22, but had forgotten that the CX80 is actually like the Atari mouse. Basically, the root of my problem was that I was thinking of the CX80 as a trak ball rather than an Atari mouse.

 

mbank271203_560_560.jpgIMGP0330.jpg



#18 mr_me OFFLINE  

mr_me

    Stargunner

  • 1,912 posts
  • Location:Ontario

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:50 AM

The results should be similar to 1983 and someone buying a CX-22 to use with their Atari 2600.  And that is the point of this exercise to emulate that experience.  Using a trackball as a joystick should give you the exact same speed as using a joystick, you shouldn't expect anything different.  It would also be limited to eight directions like a joystick.

 

Mousetojoy feeds vjoy, the two work together.

 

Try mameui64 (http://www.mameui.info);it's gui makes using mame a little easier.  To improve the graphics quality increase the mame "bitmap prescaling" to 2.


Edited by mr_me, Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:52 AM.


#19 dualcam OFFLINE  

dualcam

    Chopper Commander

  • 187 posts

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:31 AM

Just noting here the 2600-daptor II generates mouse output for all the supported trak-balls.  The emulator would then synthesizes emulated trak-ball input from mouse movement.  So other than feel, a PC USB mouse or trackball should also work to test the trak-ball functionally.

 

EDIT: this is trak-ball in native mode.

 

Tom

http://2600-daptor.com/


Edited by dualcam, Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:40 AM.


#20 stephena OFFLINE  

stephena

    River Patroller

  • 2,962 posts
  • Stella maintainer
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:54 AM

Just noting here the 2600-daptor II generates mouse output for all the supported trak-balls.  The emulator would then synthesizes emulated trak-ball input from mouse movement.  So other than feel, a PC USB mouse or trackball should also work to test the trak-ball functionally.

 

EDIT: this is trak-ball in native mode.

 

Tom

http://2600-daptor.com/

 

I assumed it worked this way, but not having a CX22 trakball and hence having never tried it, I couldn't say for sure.



#21 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:11 AM

 Using a trackball as a joystick should give you the exact same speed as using a joystick, you shouldn't expect anything different.

I think this is true theoretically, but I think in practice it is difficult to keep up with the joystick due to the different mechanics, but that just adds a bit more challenge. I just noticed it was harder to catch up with the ships moving away from your cursor with the trackballs in joystick mode than with the joystick. And with the CX-80 having more friction than the Kensington Expert mouse, it slowed it down a bit more, especially changing directions. The differences are not massive going from joystick to USB mouse as joystick to actual CX80 as joystick, but noticable, like 20% slower each step. I suppose if I really went to town on the trackballs I could keep up with the joystick, but probably get tennis elbow. :-D

 

IIRC, the earlier versions of some trackball hacks were later* sped up due to requests from AA members who tried them, so they may be a little bit speedy by comparison.

 

Edit for clarity*



#22 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:22 AM



Try mameui64 (http://www.mameui.info);it's gui makes using mame a little easier.  To improve the graphics quality increase the mame "bitmap prescaling" to 2.

Something about a2600 not having a BIOS in contrast to pretty much every other console requires going through the command prompt rather than accessing files through the GUI like you can with other consoles in MAME64. The main pain is having to use long directory strings or move your files and change file names to remove confusing punctuation marks used in many rom file titles. I don't know if this changed in MAME64UI. Never had to worry about the bitmap prescaling before implementing a2600 in MAME64, so I don't know if this is in MAME64 as well as MAME64UI. I will check into it, though. Thank you.



#23 iesposta OFFLINE  

iesposta

    River Patroller

  • 3,344 posts
  • Retro-gaming w/my VCS
  • Location:Pennsylvania

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:29 PM

 

I assumed it worked this way, but not having a CX22 trakball and hence having never tried it, I couldn't say for sure.

 

I played the latest Millipede TB with the latest Stella on Mac OSX using the 2600-daptor II in so-called "mouse" setting (really just the Trak-Ball output) with a CX22 Trak-Ball.

Everything worked just fine. 

 

Remember I did have problems with the developer USB device to AtariVox device due to thinking I needed the latest FTDI driver. It failed to work until I removed the driver. Mac OSX has it built-in, and that works.



#24 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:52 PM

The slow movement is the expected behaviour.
Colony 7 is a joystick game. If you use a pc trackball/mouse to play it on stella, the emulator needs to translate the mouse movements into joystick ones for the game to understand them. So you don't get porportional motion and acceleration like you would expect from a real trackball game. (That's true also for real hardware when using a trackball in joystick mode). Some games might work better than others in this configuration, but they won't "feel" like real trackball games.

Thomas Jentzsch and Omegamatrix hacked a few games to take advantage of real trackball mode (there's also Colony 7: http://atariage.com/...17#entry3481427), so try those for a better experience (you might have to tell Stella that the game uses a trackball if it's not already in its database)

On the other hand, the fact that the cursor movement is limited to a portion of the screen when using a PC mouse/trackball in Stella might be a bug.
Apparently, Stella doesn't allow you to "grab" the mouse cursor (CTRL-G) when emulating a digital device like a joystick.


 

I found out using Stella that my CX-80 is wired like a CX-22 rather than an ST mouse, but with the right settings in "trackball" mode in "properties" it works almost like the USB mouse in "Atari mouse" setting. The most elusive fix was realizing you had to turn off "grab mouse in emulation" or your speed was kept at at a joystick rate and setting "use mouse" to "only analog" appears to increase trackball accuracy or resolution. Other than that I turned off "use all 4 directions on joystick" and set "mouse range" in "properties" and "trackball sensitivity" to maximum and the crosshairs fly accurately across the screen to where-ever you want them to go at high speed. Only glitch I notice is it seems the trackball "runs out" of x or y axis sometimes and starts "hitting an invisible barrier" a couple inches from an edge of the screen, which you can remedy by giving it a good spin in the opposite direction. I can still do better with my USB trackball mouse, but I think that has more to do with the shape and construction of the trackball mouse versus the CX-80. Mainly, the trackball mouse has more of the globe exposed, so you can use your fingers more effectively, rather than "flat handing" the CX-80 globe which barely clears the surrounding surface.



#25 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 584 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:04 PM

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that I'm now using my CX-80 as my PC mouse. ;-)






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users