A first version of a ported game would run on a Atari ST as well but even without any graphic emulation the memory requirement would be 4 MB due to the fact that the memory mapped register space is so big. Emulation of the graphic hardware would add some more megabytes for the video buffers. The reason for the emulation approach is that I don't have to change the original X68000 game code much to get it running on the Atari. In fact, the first running version of PacMania (as shown in the YouTube video) required only less than 20 lines of code changes within the game logic.
While working on the emulation layer I learned that the Atari Falcon is an underrated machine even having an unfortunate 16 bit system design. The Videl gives a lot of good options for display configurations and the true color mode is really great for this kind of arcade games. Not optimal but still great.
Porting a game to the ST(E) would require many changes within the code. To change the code you have to understand it and this is sometimes... well... hard. At least it would take a lot of time.
Very impressive work. I was wondering why it required so much RAM on the Falcon [14MB] when the X68000 shipped with 1MB RAM [albeit with 1MB of Video RAM, err, 512k graphics+32k for sprites] but then you mentioned the emulation factor.
Any way of getting the Motorola DSP* to do some "lifting" or even a 68882 co-processor?
*There's gotta be a way to get the DSP to emulate the Yamaha 2151 sound chip...
You probably have your trakball set in joystick emulation mode. Not quite the same think as true trakball mode.
That's how I always used my 2600 Trackball, in joystick mode. I always had better results with it on Missile Command, Centipede, and Millipede. And that's exactly how I used to play the 7800 Centipede with great results.
Jaynz, on Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:53 PM, said:
The other half of my previous order (I'm running out of the 'cheap' games now).. Xevious has a rattle in the cart, but it works and I'm loathe to open the cart, ruin the sticker, and see what's shakin' inside. The game is surprisingly true to the arcade, albeit not as pretty and certainly not as good-sounding. I'm amazed at the graphics shown, though, and the smooth vertical scrolling is pretty nice. Easily shows that games like 1941, Dragon Spirit, etc., could have found a home on this console if it had been better supported.
Xevious is a definite must-have on the 7800. And like with Galaga, Dig Dug, Joust, and other "7800 titles" that made it to the NES, I'd have to say the 7800 version is better.
Jaynz, on Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:31 PM, said:
No "Super", No "Mushrooms", dammit. This is the old-school Mario Brothers! I played the hell out of this when there was a machine at the local 'convenience store' (forget the name of it, it wasn't a chain like Village Pantry, etc.) . The gameplay of the Atari 7800 port is all right, though a little sluggish. Music isn't as awful as I would expect, but games like this really make you wonder why they didn't just put the damn Pokey chip on the MB... Anyway, a good port that seems fairly complete. Not perfect, and not as good as the NES version, but that's probably to be expected.
If you really like the Pokey audio chip, definitely buy Ballblazer [and Commando]. Commando actually uses the Pokey and the 2600 audio chip so it has 6-channel sound. Ballblazer's audio I'd rate higher on the 7800 than on the C64.
Looks like Tony Porter and\or Bob Amour would be the guys to try and track down maybe?
wouldn't it be great to get hold of them and they say "oh yeah, it's been hanging around in my attic for years"!
i wonder how they could be tracked down?
Ya that would be great. If someone would be intrested in finding them I would assume a google search or facebook would be a good start.
AtariAge user Tempest knows alot of sources to track down the old programmers from days gone by so he might have at least a starting point
to go off of if you ask him real nice.
Well, interesting. Thanks for the extra info. As I said, I'd never heard anything about the Atari-Gates connection before and usually the gaming articles on Yahoo are pretty good. Of course, I forgot that when Bushnell is involved everything must be taken with a grain of salt.
There is another Gates-Atari connection. Gates got the idea for the Microsoft Developer Network from the Atari Program Exchange (APX). According to the creator of APX, Gates told him that personally.