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About this blog

Geeky things I'm up to

Entries in this blog

 

7800 sprite to display list idea

One of the frustrating aspects of 7800 coding is constructing the display lists. On paper it sounds like a great plan - a list of pointers to sprites with width and horizontal positioning info. Very powerful and flexible, but damn difficult to use in practice.   My balldemo code has, what I thought, to be as efficient way of doing this as possible. The pseudo code goes something like this: For each sprite determine which display list based on the vertical position. Add sprite pointer etc

EricBall

EricBall

 

7800 music app idea

One of the classic complaints against the 7800 is it uses the 2600's TIA for sound. Maybe that could be used as an advantage.   Imagine a TIA music editor which uses the 7800's graphical capabilities to display notes on a scale and to scroll in realtime during playback.   My only question is how to get compositions out of the 7800 and back to a PC so the creations could be added to 2600/7800 homebrews. Maybe via a SaveKey <-> serial interface?

EricBall

EricBall

 

7800 Graphics Modes

Figured out what the problems were. The main one was my ROM->RAM copy routine needed to be reworked since it had to copy more than 128 bytes.Attached is a simple test program which displays all 6 graphics modes onscreen. Press player 1 button to enable kangaroo mode, press player 2 button for colorkill (may be combined). (CC2 7800_8K 78QUICK, should work on both NTSC and PAL)Okay, what are you looking at, eh? The screen is divided into 9 areas (3x3 grid):320A (pallete 0-3) 320C (palette 0

Guest

Guest

 

7800 cycle counting

I've done some cycle counting of the display list builder for SpaceWar! 7800 and the results aren't pretty:   103 cycles per display list (25 NTSC, 30 PAL) 403 cycles per player sprite, +191 for horizontal wrap around 248 cycles per non-player sprite, +82 for horizontal wrap around 50 cycles per sprite header vertical wrap around 200+ cycles of overhead   At 114 cycles per raster, just the display list builder is going to chew through all 62 lines of VBLANK.   So, what to do? 1. Optim

EricBall

EricBall

 

7800 & Tempest MAME

I'm nearly done a DLI version of my paddle proof of concept & trackball proof of concept. (Just need to fix an error in my ROM to RAM copy routine, I used the wrong label.) I'll put them up tonight. Hmm... just to complete the set I should do one for the driving controller too.In non-7800 geek news I made a bezel for my Tempest cab and put the glass back in. It looks really, really nice. Unfortunately, the next to-do is a biggie - getting the software set up on the PC so it's functional

Guest

Guest

 

6502 sinewave

Since I can't find my Leprechaun round tuit, I've told myself I have to work on SpaceWar! 7800 some more. One of the features I really want to add to SW78 is the starfield background (Expensive Planetarium). But the tile map is much larger than the screen, thus it needs to move in some way to show the whole thing. My original idea was to make the movement based on the spaceships wrapping around; they'd kinda drag the starfield with them. The disadvantage with this idea is there are two ships

EricBall

EricBall

 

4K why?

The other day I was browsing a warehouse sale which had a few 4K TVs (but no 3D, which I found interesting), and it got me to thinking about them. Not because I want one, but strictly on a why? basis. The local cable company is hyping their 4K TV offering, starting with local baseball and hockey games. But when I'm watching my 55" HDTV, I'm not thinking "boy, I'd pay big bucks to have more picture detail". Maybe if my TV filled the entire wall so HDTV looked like 320x200 VGA on a 21" mon

EricBall

EricBall

 

3D TV is dead

https://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/17/01/19/2218238/3d-tv-is-dead I don't dispute that 3D TV never took off, what I find interesting is the TV manufacturers decided to drop a feature - no matter how unused. What's interesting is 3D is still popular enough to make 3D films. (Although my preference is for 2D editions I saw Rogue One in 3D because there wasn't a non-3D showing on a big screen.) Personally my 55" LG TV is passive 3D capable - so the glasses don't require batteries. I

EricBall

EricBall

 

32K SpaceWar! 7800

Current status - static starfield complete (NTSC version)   The next big step is turning the Star X,Y into DLL & DL entries and going to a dynamically built DLLs (one for on grid i.e. StarY&7=0) instead of the static DLL & DLs. Once that's done, I'll need to integrate the 4K SpaceWar! 7800 sprite to DL routine.   Sorry if this is a little dense and cryptic. It's mostly for me to remind me of the design decisions which I've made (or remade).   Reviewed old blog entries, found

EricBall

EricBall

 

2b2t Minecraft continued

My first plan on my journey away from my book making base was to set up a fresh spawn point. So I column jumped up to cloud level and created a 7x7 small platform on which I put small pond, melons, wood blocks and my bed (which I slept in to reset my spawn point). The idea was if I died I would at least have enough food and wood to make a fresh start, and I could get down from the clouds by turning the pond into a waterfall. One item of interest I found on my journey was an Ocean Monument, c

EricBall

EricBall

 

2b2t Minecraft - starting a YouTube channel

I am going to start a YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxuqdYak8Q81EUkUeSDoUVg of my 2b2t experience. My plan is to kill myself so I start back at spawn, then work out from there. Hopefully passing along a few bits of wisdom for new players and a few laughs. I'm bringing home a headset from work tonight to see how that works out. QuickTime does a great job of recording the actual gameplay at 4K then converting it down to 720p for YouTube.

EricBall

EricBall

 

2b2t Minecraft - Darwin Award

My second base was semi successful. While the mine bottomed out into lava, it still yielded a few diamonds and other ores; but no emeralds (not that I've seen a village, where emeralds are used for trading). I also found an abandoned mine shaft, complete with a cave spider spawner. Unfortunately, it's difficult to create a automated grinder for cave spiders. I constructed a Nether portal, but discovered it linked to an existing portal so I didn't return to my base. I now better understand

EricBall

EricBall

 

2b2t - ultimate public SMP Minecraft

I finally took the plunge and bought Minecraft for the PC (after playing many hours on the PS3). An article about 2B2T, an "anarchy" server with a world which is now five years old, intrigued me. The world is littered with stuff players have built up and others have torn down. The central spawn point is a wasteland of blocks floating far over bedrock. Simply not dying of falling or starvation when you start is difficult. And yet, in spite of it's reputation as a lawless environment, it's s

EricBall

EricBall

 

"free to play"

Although I don't program games for a living, I visit gamasutra.com daily. A common topic in many articles is "free-to-play", from philosophical treatises to in-depth tutorials on how to best convince players to pay-up. Personally I think "free to play" is killing the industry (Nintendo being the current whipping boy) because it disrupts the most direct feedback loop between the creators and the players.   You see, IMHO players should be paying for content, because this is what the programmer

EricBall

EricBall

 

'nother review of an old(er) game

This weekend while my wife was in Miami and my son was at school or asleep I played far too much Half Life 2. I got the game as part of the Orange Box for the PS3, which I bought to play Portal. But HL2 is an FPS and thus is verbotten in my wife's opinion. But what she doesn't know. . . Based on the walkthrough, I've played through over half of the game (maybe even two thirds). And although I had fun, it wasn't quite as satisfying as the original. I will say that I thought many of the envir

EricBall

EricBall

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