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Andrew Davie

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Posts posted by Andrew Davie

  1. quote:

    Originally posted by liveinabin:

    A question, I don't think it says in the rules. Do you want 'Special Edition' on the label or are we just sticking with Qb.

    What's yer preference?


    I have no preference. Whatever looks good to you is the best way to do it. Entries so far are so amazing, I'd like to include every one of them in the special edition documentation. If you do NOT wish your entry included please drop me a note.




  2. Well, I'm quite thrilled with the quality and variety of the entries so far. Well done, everyone! I'm so pleased, in fact, that I've decided to extend the prizes, and will be giving a regular Qb cartridge (signed if you wish) to 2nd and 3rd place entries.




  3. quote:

    Originally posted by Thomas Jentzsch:

    Originally posted by Rhindle The Red:

    [qb]It could be "KZIPE"



    For what it's worth, I agree with this pronunciation, though I do like the "hype" one, too.




  4. quote:

    Originally posted by Mindfield:

    I have one question.


    Is Qb an egg?


    I have no definite idea of what the guy is. He's a good example of programmer-art, squashed into 8 pixel width. In answer to an earlier question, it's a smile, not an arm or a shadow.


    Basically you don't need to follow the visuals of the screen too closely - if you want to make it an egg, fine. If that works for your art. If you want to make it Darth Vader without the helmet, fine too. I'm trying to keep the design as completely unencumbered with my preconceptions as possible


    In answer to the note/question about later additions of text, etc., and allowing the original artist to do this - I don't forsee a lot of changes. It's quite probable that the winner's artwork will be used as-is, without changes.


    Can't wait to see some designs




  5. quote:

    Originally posted by liveinabin:

    As far as I know, I don't think the Xype 'range' is gonna have a definite design style. [snip/snip]... but i think the only constant here is gonna be Xypes logo


    I'm just looking for great design in the label. Feel free to 'bend the rules' a bit if you think you need to do so. The final design may have slight wording/position/art changes from what the winner submits - so the actual logo you use isn't that important.


    What is important to me is the look/feel of your design, not the actual font or pixel position of elements. Of course those who go to greater efforts to get it all 'right' will have a greater chance of winning.


    Above all else, have fun

  6. A demo version of my GBA Atari 2600 emulator is downloadable from www.2headed.com/2600.bin - this contains many ROMs (explaining the size), only two of which are enabled (Qb and Pitfall). Speed is quite dismal - about 4fps, but I am midway through an upgrade and will announce further speedups as they occur.


    This emulator runs on actual Gameboy Advance hardware, and some emulators. It's just super-cool to play (even slowly) '2600 games on your GBA!


    Anyway, thought some would like to see stuff running. If you have a specific game request, I'll do a version if it gets more than 10 votes from others.

  7. quote:

    Originally posted by Albert:

    Wow, those boxes are going to be pretty cool once you get them painted! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished boxes! How much time do you think you'll end up spending on each individual box?


    Thanks for sharing!




    Not a lot. An hour or so. I'm very pleased with the results, by the way - I had them specially commissioned from a disabled workshop. They cost me a fortune, but I guess it makes them special, after all.




  8. I've just received the boxes for the Qb special edition, and have some pictures to show...











    These show the unpainted box (it will be painted either green, yellow or red, reflecting the background colours used in the game for next level, loss of life, end of game). On top of the box are rare-wood squares, which will be varnished and in random pattern. These represent the game itself. There will also be a gold/brass serial number on the box lid, looking like a score.


    Inside the box you see a CD in case, '2600 cartridge, and under those is a manual. This is a final-stage mockup, in that I'm awaiting the cartridges from Hozer, and final printing of manual, etc. But in essence, all ready to go.


    Those who have preordered should contact me about arranging payment now. [email protected].

  9. quote:

    Originally posted by C. Schell:

    Keep in mind that 100 copies of Qb were sold at PhillyClassic, and that there are I think 100 people on the list of the super deluxe (Ok, I can't recall the name) version as well. This might explain why Hoser has moved so few copies.




    Only 50 copies were sold at PhillyClassic. Yes, there are 100 preorders for the special edition, but it is by no means certain that I will produce 100 copies. Hopefully. The special edition is a rewrite, by the way, so the game looks visually much prettier.


    Finally, Hozer has sold so few because I had asked Randy not to sell Qb until I gave the OK. I did that only a month or two back.


    As for people not buying copies, I have always encouraged people to download and play on emulator, or burn their own ROMs. But if you want the real thing, then the purchase of a cartridge from Hozer does assist me greatly.




  10. You can see some screenshots of the emulator in action at www.2headed.com/2600.html, and download

    a very early alpha binary of Qb too. The binary is my '2600 game Qb running on the '2600 emulator running on a Gameboy Advance. This will run on hardware, or emulators (tested on Mappy, and VisualBoy Advance). Frame rate is about 4fps on hardware - which, I know, is dog-slow. But on the other hand it's all C++ at the moment, and I'm mid-stream in my quest to convert it to fast assembler. I'm very pleased with the progress so far, and have had the emulator running about 20 different games with no problems at all!




  11. quote:

    Originally posted by atari70s:

    they talk about LDY as "in a way one may say thats how the screen is drawn" in testing the lower number less text is shown and closer to 255 i go the amount of room one can fit ona screen seems to fill up. now looking at HELLO that prints on screen.i see some things like color you work off the digits on the bytes. now i get teh feeling that HELLO is being used by the program with careful byte counting is that the PF0 that i was refering to earlier. i see it on top of my page here.yet


    PF0 is 4 5 6 7 now looking at the code since the notes are 0+3 = 3 would that be why PF0 starts at 4 and since the AND # 7 is that why it stops at 7?



    I put it as politely as I could in my earlier message. This time, not so politely... your questions are showing your complete lack of understanding of the fundamentals. You obviously have absolutely NO idea what is happening in that code, and are trying to guess your way around it. It's not black-magic. You need to develop an understanding of assembler, and the machine. And to do that, you need to start at square 1. There's no easy quick-start - you actually have to put in some effort.


    As others have suggested, find a decent book on starting assembly code, and go from there. Your questions are so fundamentally clueless that they are impossible to answer - your underlying assumptions about how the whole thing works are just terribly wrong.


    Great entertainment, though.




  12. quote:

    Originally posted by atari70s:

    i got alot of web info on 6502 yet i havent been able to comprehend. its gonna take a long long time. some things i get like color and to some extent the screen size (top to bottom LDY but i wonder to adjust the screen from left to right if LDX would work. now from the program playfield i see them doing STA PF0 [0]+3=3<23 then later on i see <29 and <49 and such. also i see they are adding 3 and 4 which makes me ask why? does it have something to do with the line


    X= ( (Y-PlayfieldY) /4 )mod 7 well off to find some books



    What you missed is that the only bit of code is the "STA PF0". The rest is a comment by the programmer to assist him in knowing exactly where he's at in terms of cycles and screen position.


    STA PF0 ;[0]+3=3<23


    That's basically saying something like "store to the background playfield register". We're at cycle 0, and this is a 3-cycle instruction. So we're now at cycle 3, and this line needs to execute before cycle 23. Boy that sure looks like my code. Remember, everyting after a semicolon is a comment, and is not part of the code itself.


    LDY and LDX are nothing to do with screen positions. They are 6502 instructions to load numbers into the Y and X registers. LDY and LDX have *nothing* to do with adjusting the screen. They have nothing at all to do with the screen at all.


    '2600 programming is like nothing you've ever seen before. Yes, it is going to take a long, long time.




  13. The [stella] mailing list is one of the most helpful, interesting, and intelligent group of people it has been my pleasure to work with. This group is full of people who give help when they can, and ask for help only when they need it.


    If you wish to be welcomed with open arms, you must at least make an effort to learn. That means looking through the archives for an answer to your question, before you ask it. It means providing as much information as you possibly can when you have a problem you need solved. It means trying to answer other peoples' questions when you can. It means asking intelligent, well-thought-out questions.


    If you expect somebody to hold your hand and tell you every little thing about programming the '2600 - forget it. Information that can readily be gained by simple web searches and by studying such source as "How to draw a Playfield" and 6502 programming books should be gained from those sources - NOT by asking the [stella] members.


    It's not that the members of the list are elitist - far from it - it's just that the [stella] list is for a very targeted group of people - those who have a detailed technical interest in programming, and in the internals of, the Atari 2600. It is full of awesomly clever people, and absolutely fascinating ideas and technical data. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in programming this machine should at least browse the extensive archives of source code and technical discussions. In several cases you can see the full history of the development of a '2600 game (including binaries and source).


    But please, if you do write to the list, respect the standards that have come to be expected and followed by the existing members. Email in text (not HTML) format. Don't include attachments, unless they are simple '2600 bin files or zipped source code. Be humble and polite. And remember, if you haven't made a real and sincere effort to learn and help yourself first, how can you reasonably expect anyone to treat you with respect.


    The [stella] list is about learning about a very intersting and challenging machine. That's all people there really care about. If you come aboard and haven't paid attention to some of the "I'm here to learn" guidelines followed above, then you're just going to look clueless.


    So my advice: grab how to draw a playfield, and the stella manual. Peruse the archives, and start to learn how to actually program the thing. If you don't understand assembler, you're going to have to learn that. It is NOT like QBASIC, and what's worse, the Atari 2600 severely restricts your programming style even further. It takes a special breed of coder to be able to cope with the limitations that the '2600 places upon you. The [stella] list is the way to become one, but the bottom line is, you have to learn for yourself, others won't do that for you.


    I guess I just wasted 2c, but what the heck.

  14. quote:

    Originally posted by CosmicJoke:

    Andrew Davie:

    Would you have any plans to actually commercially release this 2600 emulator for use on a real Game Boy Advance? I've not quite decided on whether or not I want to purchase a G B Advance, but, this might push me into it


    My current plans are to tinker with the speed (it is running a bit slow, but I have lots of tricks up my sleeve) and then release it for general consumption. I don't think I'll be charging for it.


    In answer to the other question - once you have a flashlink setup, you can program your own games onto it. There's really no problem getting a game of your own choosing onto a cart. In theory, one could put a couple of hundred '2600 games and my emulator on a single cart.


    So, current plans are to keep developing, improving the speed and ironing out any bugs that show up. Once I'm satisfied (a few months), I'll release it to the public. Unless I don't Some people have already seen preview versions, so can confirm it exists and works as advertised.




  15. quote:

    Originally posted by Cybergoth:

    I just thought to reserve topic #2000 for a special announcement...








    I'll leave it up to you to announce, Manuel. Any time you want - how does next week sound?




  16. I'm not sure if I've announced it before, but I have been working in my spare time on an Atari 2600 emulator for the Gameboy Advance. Well, things have progressed nicely, and I'm now able to reveal that the emulator is up and running, and though in very preliminary stages, it does run my very own Qb quite happily. You can follow progress, and see screenshots - and soon even download binaries - from http://www.2headed.com/2600.html





    Andrew Davie - [email protected]

    TwoHeaded Software - www.2headed.com

  17. quote:

    Originally posted by liveinabin:

    After playing it on emulator, I must get a copy of Qb - brilliant game! (if you ever need a label for that one, I'll be only too happy)



    Thanks for that. In fact, there will be a Qb label competition shortly. I need a label for the special edition, and once Manuel (Gunfight fame) thinks its OK to announce our top-secret-plans I'll let everyone know what else is happening, too!


    So how about it Manuel... ?




  18. quote:

    Originally posted by StanJr:

    The idea to give each contestant a copy of the game with their label is sheer genius! Well played.


    The actual wording was...


    "Would it be possible to allow every contestant to buy cartridges flying _their_ label?"

    And the answer was YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Hozer Games will soon receive a big package, with all your submissions & a list of names. Everybody on this list can exclusively order Gunfight cartridges with _his_ selfmade label!



    One couldn't seriously expect Manuel to give every contenstant a cartridge. Hozer charges over $10 a cart, there's just no way this would be practical for a homebrew author. Sounds to me like Manuel has made an arrangement where those who have entered will be able to have their own labels printed and attached to carts they buy.






    PS: Manuel, re your secret message - yeah, great idea. I'm on-board


    [ 12-01-2001: Message edited by: Andrew Davie ]

  19. quote:

    Originally posted by liveinabin:

    p.s. anyone else making homebrew carts, I hope you all realise you now have a top pool of talent to tap among the various entries.


    Well actually....


    Firstly I thought your label was bloody brilliant - and although I didn't spot it as the winner before it was chosen, I really like it and think it was just a brilliant idea by Manuel, too. To tell the truth I'm now envious he has such a great label for his game.


    Labels for my game (Qb) are pretty shoddy I know. If I didn't feel like it was stealing Manuel's thunder, I'd steal his idea and ask for submissions for labels for the upcoming Qb special edition (which is in production). But, only if Manuel would feel comfortable with the theft of his idea, I'd offer a special edition of Qb as prize for a similar competition.


    Maybe this could be a regular thing - label design for homebrews via competition. All kudos to Manuel, once again, for the neat idea. And I'd understand if he wanted to keep this approach to himself.


    Anyway, congrats to you for winning. Great labels everyone.




  20. TwoHeaded Software (www.2headed.com) is also working on an Atari 2600 emulator for the GBA machine. The tricky bit is not getting an emulator running, as there is already lots of source code available on the 'net to get you started. That's why the author of that emulator (gba.vg-network.com) can claim "2 hours work". The trick is to get any sort of decent speed; his emu is running way less than 0.1fps

    Otaku's emulator appears to be very nice, and quite speedy, but currently uses hardware scaling to squash to the screen. This method is straightforward to implement, but ends up losing you some 40-50% of the screen lines, and IMHO looks crappy. Otaku hasn't released his emu publicly, so the screen shots are all that's currently known about it. Another alternative to hardware squishing is to allow scrolling over a larger screen, acceptable but a bit odd.

    TwoHeaded has been concentrating on sophisticated caching systems to enable the emulator run as close to 60Hz as possible, whilst also supporting bilinear filtering. This allows the screen to be squashed in real time in software whilst keeping as much of the detail as possible. We're doing this project on a part-time basis, so no promises. But the future looks bright, and I'm sure that we will see excellent '2600 emulators on the GBA in the near future.



    • Like 1

  21. Following my recent announcement/update of the Qb special edition, I've been inundated with emails from people either a) wanting to be on the list or b) making sure they're on the list. Since the (preorder) list is full, it's futile asking to be on the list - too late. Since I'm not planning on bumping anyone from the list, please don't be insecure. If you've been told you are on the list, then you are. Don't keep asking me already!


    Thinking about the rush of demand for positions on the list ((mad scramble would be a good description) made me start to wonder... what if people started trading Qb preorder positions. eg: #72 position on eBay. Now that would be neat


    So I better emphasise... those on the list are guaranteed to be on the list. They are not guaranteed to ever receive an actual cartridge. They'll receive an offer to purchase one IFF I actually make 'em. The more you ask if/when they're going to be made, the less likely I am to make 'em


    I should note, however, that cart #1 is *guaranteed* to be manufactured - I have donated/committed this to the AtariAge auction thingy for charity for the USA terror situation.




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