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Posts posted by playsoft

  1. I can't get ab5200.hyb to run in Atari800WinPLus 4.0. What do I have to do?


    Thank you, Chris


    Hi Chris, I don't think the emulator supports this format but I will be releasing an identical 8-bit version soon (tonight if I have time) which is in Atarimax 8Mbit Flashmax cart format. This runs on Altirra but I have not checked Atari800WinPLus but I think it should work - will check and let you know.



  2. WOW!! This is fantastic. You could make a couple of different games out of this. Also I think you could make a better version of Xevious out of this as well.


    Looking forward to seeing a finished game.




    Thanks Alan. It's all about getting the building blocks in place at the moment and there are still some major things to address, but it will get there eventually.



  3. Here is a new demo release of the project, now called ATARI BLAST! due to the inclusion of ANTIC modes.


    The filename extension has changed to .hyb but it still runs on the Atarimax Ultimate SD cartridge. It now uses hybrid mode which provides 8K bank switching instead of 32K, making it easier to align with the 8-bit version.


    Two of the new ANTIC 4 levels are reworkings of Harvey's graphics from HawkQuest, an excellent game he developed with Andrew Bradfield for the Atari 8-bit published by Red Rat Software in 1989.


    There is another new ANTIC 4 level and a new ANTIC 2 level. Harvey has also been busy refining all the original GTIA levels too.


    There are now sound effects, some varied music, some new sprite paths and enemy missiles. Controls are now:


    • any fire button will fire
    • 1..8 will jump to that level (at any time)
    • * will start auto-fire which will remain active until you press a fire button


  4. pps was right - there are other Bee Gees fans in the world! My midi converter is extremely basic at the moment but this turned out well enough that I wanted to do something with it - hence the karaoke.

  5. Thank you all for the positive feedback.


    Place Logo Here, on 26 Oct 2013 - 5:08 PM, said:

    Depending on the price, I would be willing to buy just the bin for a finished version of this (instead of waiting for it to be made into a cart).


    No plans to make a cart, only intending to release it as a public domain bin for the SD cart.


    grips03, on 28 Oct 2013 - 05:28 AM, said:

    Looks awesome! Mario, that killer ship, 5200 system board, etc.


    Can't wait for sound effects, enemy patterns, bosses, smart bomb


    auto fire, fires at pefect speed


    Can you keep the border / overscan area black vs. changing?


    Due to super colorful background perhaps make enemy shots be pink or alternating pink / black


    Slow down the vertical scroll a little, so much to take in :)


    Is it possible to make 2 player simultaneous ?


    Amazing demo!!!!!!!!


    With 512K so much is possible but as a spare time project it has to be fun to develop with no deadlines or pressure. The intention is to work on it for another year and hopefully end up with something reasonably playable.


    Sound effects = planned

    Enemy patterns = currently being worked on

    Bosses = maybe

    Smart bomb = maybe


    Most of the border changes you see are in GTIA 9 - you can't have the border black and the screen a different hue unfortunately. The GTIA 10 screens have a green border which is also one of the playfield colour registers. I know we looked at making that black but I can't remember the reason why we didn't now.


    The current missiles toggle the fifth player enable bit each frame which results in varied colours and does help them stand out a little bit better than they otherwise would. The multi-coloured player bit is set for the sprites and this does lead to some strange blending of the missiles. It's not ideal, but just about acceptable. The missiles can be made fatter which does make them more visible, but they don't look right coming from the ship design.


    There are currently 2 rates of vertical scrolling, 60hz and 30hz which is selectable every screen (a screen being 24 lines of characters). The idea was to scroll at 60hz to show the power of the machine and 30hz when there was an interesting design to draw attention to.


    2 player simultaneous = no plans but perhaps afterwards might consider a cut down version which could support this

    • Like 1

  6. this reminds me of a 5200 version of a Jeff Minter game (Tempest 2000). Trippy! Keep up the good work. Will be great to see this completed? Are bosses possible or physical (non-enemy) obstacles?


    The plan is to add some more attack patterns then reassess what to do next. Originally it was to be a disk based 8-bit game but now that it's on a 512K cart almost anything is possible - but I have to balance that against what I can get done in my spare time.

  7. This is another of my old magazine games converted for the 5200.




    A.N.A.L.O.G. COMPUTING Issue 53 April 1987





    A brave gladiator droid fights the mutants for our descendants' amusement.


    This game is set not too far into our future (some time around the year 2048). A new form of entertainment has developed, based loosely on the ancient "sport" of gladiator fighting. In the center of the arena a single droid stands alone, armed with an infinite supply of photon missiles and a protective shield dependent upon the droid's own strength. This is Floyd.


    All around him, multitudes of ghastly mutated life forms move vertically and horizontally across the arena at near- lightning speed. When these reach one side of the arena, they're transported to some new location-and their trail of terror continues.


    It is Floyd's objective to exterminate these progressively increasing waves of foul creatures, by either blasting each one with a photon missile (up to four missiles can be fired at anyone time), or by coming into contact with a creature, destroying it with his protective shield. This, unfortunately, results in the droid's strength diminishing. If it's reduced to zero, Floyd's destruction results.


    However, also whizzing around the arena are lonely hearts, which, when collected by the droid, yield an increase in his strength. (Note that shooting the lonely hearts has no effect on Floyd's stamina.)



    This then sets the scenario for Floyd the Droid Goes Blastin' - with the player controlling Floyd.

    Listing 1 is the BASIC data used to create your copy of Floyd the Droid Goes Blastin'. Please refer to M/L Editor on page 11 for typing instructions.



    Your START key will begin the game. If you want to pause the action, hit OPTION. A second press of OPTION continues the game.

    The droid is controlled via a joystick connected to port 1. Moving the joystick in the particular direction results in Floyd's moving that way. Pressing the trigger and moving the joystick in the appropriate direction will fire a photon missile.

    You begin the game at level 1, with a strength of 10. For every alien with which you come into contact, you lose a strength point. Every lonely heart you collect gains you two strength points. For every creature you help Floyd destroy, your score is incremented by 1, and when all the creatures are annihilated, you advance to the next level. (Level 1 begins with one creature, level 2 with two creatures, and so on.) The game is over when your strength is reduced to zero.

    If your score is high enough, you'll be able to enter your name (up to eight characters), at the appropriate position on the high-score table. To enter your name, move the joystick left and right to move the cursor. Moving the joystick up and down will alter the character under the cursor. When you've finished entering your name, press the trigger to leave the high-score table.

    Floyd is waiting for your help. Enjoy the blasting!





    • Like 4

  8. 25 years ago I dissected a friend's 5200 and noted how it differed from my Atari 400. I also disassembled the ROM and compared it to the 400/800 OS. I then used the info to convert the 5200 PacMan cart to run on the 400/800. From those notes I wrote this article for ANALOG magazine:



    My question to all of you is this: Which game conversions were done using the info in that article?


    I used it for my two recent ports thank you.

    • Like 1

  9. gb5200.bin


    This is a work in progress demo of GTIABlast! ported to the 5200. It is a 512K image for the Atarimax Ultimate SD cart. It doesn't use all that memory at the moment, but it will eventually.


    Aking asked if I'd considered porting to the 5200. I had not but it fitted in nicely with the direction the 8-bit development was going. In this demo Harvey has improved the GTIA 9, 10 and 11 levels from the 8-bit version, added a new GTIA 9 level and a whole bunch of new sprite designs. Thanks again to Aking for all the testing.


    A 5200 version of the GTIA 9 background designer will be made available soon for anyone wanting to make their own demo.





    • Like 6

  10. Thanks to Aking for cajoling me into porting one of my old Page 6 games to the 5200 - and for testing it.


    Unfortunately I have not kept any of my 8-bit stuff from back then, but this was a short program and I was able to port via disassembly.




    PAGE 6 PUBLISHING'S NEW ATARI USER issue 46 Oct/Nov 1990




    HOT BLOCKS is a version of one of the most successful games released on the ST, a simple yet utterly addictive game in which you direct different shaped blocks falling from the top of the screen so that they form completed lines at the bottom with no gaps.


    Every time a complete line is made, it is removed and all the other uncompleted lines are moved down. The game is over when the screen is full up with uncompleted lines.


    Falling blocks can be moved left and right by moving the joystick accordingly. They can also be rotated round by pressing the the trigger. It is possible to drop the block immediately by pulling the joystick down.


    Points are scored for every block which is used. The game advances onto harder (faster!) levels when the appropriate number of completed lines are formed.



    Blocks are controlled by a joystick in port 1

    Press START or trigger to begin at level 5

    Keys 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, begin at the specified level

    S key toggles sound on or off

    Spacebar pauses/resumes game

    ESC aborts a game


    For the 5200: # toggles sound, reset aborts and pause pauses!

    • Like 3

  11. I have created a MegaCart image which runs ok in Altirra in 5200 mode, do I need to do something to let the Ultimate SD cart know it's MegaCart format?


    Edit: does it just need a CART header (now added)?


    Edit again: I think the issue is that MegaCart means something different in these two cases (Altirra and the 5200 SD cart).


    On Altirra/A800Win etc...


    Type 31: MegaCart 512 KB cartridge

    A bank-switched cartridge that occupies 16 KB of address space between $8000 and $BFFF. It is controlled by a byte written to $D500-$D5FF. Five lowest bits select one of 32 available banks, bit 7 disables the cartridge.


    But the SD cart says...


    MEGA-CART Bank-switched ROM images up to 512KB (M.U.L.E, etc)


    For this ROM to work on Altirra you need to select the 5200 64K Cartridge (32K banks) option.


    So they are different formats and I need to modify the code from 16K banks to 32K banks.

    • Like 1



    Any chance you could do a sequal to heavy metal or floyd the droid...And how much did you get for the latter game (since i recall it did appear on some budget label)


    I am committed to GTIABlast! for the time being, after that who knows. I've not kept anything from the 8-bit days, so this is all starting from scratch for me.


    Floyd was published by Bug Byte after ANALOG failed to pay the prize money for the ST programming competition. I'd heard they'd gone bankrupt although when I google I see it continued to be published (different publisher though) and they even printed another of my programs (which I can only assume was a deal with Page 6, I knew nothing about this until a few months ago). Anyway Bug Byte wanted to release the 8-bit version as well as the ST version. I can't remember exactly, I think they paid around £200 for the 8-bit version.

  13. Best case with Pokey Timers is to have the OS switched out and use the hardware vector direct.

    Additional to that, make the Timer the only possible source of an IRQ which means there becomes no need to do bit testing, you only then need to disable/enable the Timer again to allow the next required IRQ.


    Jitter is generally unavoidable with any interrupt due to the fact that 6502 will always finish an executing instruction before servicing an interrupt. On C64 on technique is to use 2 IRQs and have the first IRQ sit executing short instructions so the second one has a guaranteed "short" jitter.


    We have the WSync register which allows a guaranteed known cycle position on the scanline but of course it can be defeating the purpose of using Timers rather than DLI in the first place if we want to conserve every possible machine cycle.


    The other thing with Timers is that in emulation the accuracy is generally not very accurate. Altirra generally gets them cycle perfect but most others will only be scanline accurate which is next to useless for many purposes.


    Thank you for the explanation of the jitter, what I saw initially makes sense now. I already have the timer as the only IRQ, but I'd not swapped out the OS - I will try and see if that gives a more consistent zone on the XL/XE. I tried on another emulator and that was completely out, so this is not practical at all really.

  14. Not nearly as impressive as the example above, but for starting out this might be useful.


    Has anyone had any success using a Pokey timer, so that it doesn't hog so much cpu time?


    I've had a play around with this tonight and this seems about as good as I can get it.





    I've sync'd the timer up to the display and used a display list interrupt at the top and bottom of the display to enable and disable the Pokey interrupt.


    As you can see, there is some jitter. Originally I wasn't printing any characters, I just left the program in a tight loop doing nothing and there was no jitter... but obviously the point of this is to be able to do other things with the cpu!


    Is there anything I can do to improve this?


    I did try disguising the jitter by setting the colour registers to match and also using characters in the jitter area which look the same in both modes. This is the HIDE_JITTER option in the source code (which is ca65).


    I did get some variation as to which characters I had to disguise. In Altirra (PAL & NTSC) it is character columns 23..27, my 400 (PAL) 24..29, my 130XE (PAL) 26..31 and my 800XL (NTSC) 25..30. Since I don't have two machines the same, I don't know if this is variation in components or machines. So I covered all bases and did characters 23..31.




    In Altirra there is some jitter on the right edge of the screen which is not present on any of my machines, but I think this is down to change getting in earlier.

  15. Pleased to hear you enjoyed it. They were all programmed for my own enjoyment and that Les put them in the magazine was a bonus (I never really knew whether that was just a means of filling the pages!). I never really got any feedback, one letter (from Harvey, that's how we first made contact) although I did get a Reader's Award for Munchy Madness --- and Les really got me with that. I received a letter in the post saying I'd won and that "they'd like to invite me to Atari HQ in Sunnyvale to receive the award" - that was as much as I read and I remember shouting upstairs to my mum - "guess what I've won". At that point I read a bit further... "but unfortunately we can't afford that"... so no Sunnyvale, think it was one of the computer shows in London instead. I never made it to their offices but would always say hello at the shows.

  16. If anyone fancies playing around with it, the GTIA 9 Background Designer used to generate the GTIABlast! demo is available at http://www.playsoft..../gtiablast.html


    Similar to the player editor (http://www.playsoft....tari_index.html) you can run it in a browser or as a standalone Adobe AIR application.


    There are instructions and a few example files - the public demo designs, some alternative sprites and an info bar. Basically it is a GTIA 9 combined character/map editor with some basic character animation facilities and the ability to generate a demo executable.


    It is written for a widescreen monitor but I've tested at 1024x768 and it is not too bad from a browser window in full screen mode - you only need to scroll to reach some of the inverse characters.



    • Like 3

  17. Playsoft/Paul, wasn't it you that did that tetris game for new atari user? I used to love that game, it was my first experience of tetris.


    Yes that was Hot Blocks! I'd moved on to programming the ST at that time but was missing the 8-bit so returned for one last program.

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