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RevEng

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Everything posted by RevEng

  1. RevEng

    Tetris

    Looking good! Suggestion: in the pretty much all tetris variants, you get more points for more difficult fills. 4 consecutive single-line fills will give you less points than a tetris. Some versions take this even further, and give more points for 2 consecutive tetrises than just 2x the points for a tetris. I'm not saying you need to go that far, but certainly a tetris should be worth more than 4 single lines. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris#Scoring
  2. Not all the game zone data is complete. As a consequence, the unofficial end to the game is a black platformless void where you fall to your death. You can cheat death for a while by grabbing a helipack or bubble first, in which case you can drift through the void and rack up some extra points. Eventually the game scrolls into ram (I think) and kills you no matter where you are. As unintentional endings go, its actually a pretty good one. You need to make sure you grab a helipack or bubble before you make it to the void, and ideally you've also grabbed a mushroom along the way too, so you can maximize your points in the void. (Will had some excellent tips on this earlier) Alex Herbert, the author, indicated some heath issues were delaying the game earlier in this thread, and then he completely stopped replying entirely. VectrexMad! says he contacted Alex on another matter, and Al seems to be hinting that he's been in touch with Alex as well. @bizarrostormy: that's definitely how the mushroom works, though I'm not sure if its been posted or not. But I agree that the game is fantastic. Its actually my favourite 2600 one-player game.
  3. I don't disagree with your premise that there is a lot of crapware on the Wii, no doubt. The same thing happens to the console with the biggest installed base every generation. There was a ton of crapware on the PS2 as well. Frankly I'd prefer that the console manufacturers keep their hands off and let the market decide. I know how to sort of the wheat from the chaff myself, and I'd rather not take the chance of them killing off a would-be World of Goo or Crayon Physics because it doesn't meet some moron's idea of a polished game. If you don't want to buy crapware, just research a little before you buy a game. It doesn't take much more than a couple of minutes to hit up metacritics Wii games sorted by score. There are a lot of games deserving of your time at the top of that list, without any crapware in sight.
  4. If you don't care about the games, pick a console based on features. If you do care about the games then spend some time on metacritic and see which console has the most games that appeal to you. Search by top rating and by genre. Otherwise you'll just be making a decision based on other people's biases, which may or may not hold true for you.
  5. To all of you that missed your period: don't worry! It happened to my girlfriend too, and things turned out for the best! Sorry, couldn't help myself. FWIW, the first batch of confirmation notices took about a month.
  6. I worried about that too. I sent my mail the same day this thread appeared, with the period at the end of the subject line. When batari sent out the first batch of confirmations, I got mine. But I suspect he's not relying on the period being there.
  7. This is great news! Between this, all of the other emulators, usbloader and Mplayer, the Wii is a versatile little console. I'll give mame a shot soon!
  8. I sure hope not. I followed the instructions in batari's first post, which didn't include replying on this thread. Monk, don't sweat the lack of confirmation thing too much. The first set of confirmations sent out were greatly delayed - I get the feeling its a manual or only semi-automatic process for batari. If you're in the mail inbox with the right subject line, you should have your spot in line. But I totally understand your anxiousness. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas too!
  9. Thanks Will! Anybody else get their vision messed up after ending a game of MGD? For a few seconds after dying I still "see" motion. Unsurprisingly I get a similar effect in Guitar Hero.
  10. I managed to join the over-2000 club with a score of 2381. Where do I send away for the patch? I'd love to see a "finished" version of this game too, but only if the new version maintains the kind of planning you presently have to do to maximize your score through the void. The void and death platform may be unintentional, but they add serious depth to the game.
  11. Totally agree, and the all-on-screen multiplayer is the icing on the cake. This game is a must-buy for anyone that has ever complained that they don't make good 2D platformers anymore. My only complaint is that it only supports wiimotes. Why no gamecube controller support?
  12. Check out the wikipedia entry on light guns. Yes all light guns sense light or dark, but one kind ignores what the game outputs on the screen and sees the relatively brighter (but brief!) electron beam as it passes, the other kind operates as you describe. Specifically read up on "Sequential targets" vs "Cathode ray timing". More good information on how fast the Cathode Ray Timing method needs to operate at is included in the "Combined Method" section. The irony here is that the 2600 doesn't look at raw position of the paddle, but rather there is extra helper circuitry built intentionally into the VCS to read it, namely a (dis)charging capacitor and ADC to indirectly measure the position of the paddle. @gdement: Nice work on the pseudocode. I'd guess the 7800 gun uses something similar to the paddle scheme... a capacitor that discharges in the HBLANK and charges until the time the electron beam is detected, or some variation on that. No actual reason why you couldn't extend that over multiple lines, except the resolution of the ADC would limit your horizontal resolution. Just guessing, as there could be a lot of functionally equivalent schemes, but it seems the Atari way of doing things. And that definitely doesn't hold for more modern Cathode Ray Timing guns, which could just have their own microcontroller that only needs to be appraised of the frame start, after which it can count cycles until it sees the electron beam pass, and report back that time (or a failure to see the beam) to the console after each frame.
  13. Is it really any different than other light guns? I thought the difference is just in the programming. I don't see why a NES game couldn't be programmed to use scanline timing. It apparently wasn't convenient though, probably due to the way that system handles it's graphics. The zapper reports back light/dark to the console every 1/30th of a second. This relatively slow rate means the zapper can be a dumb device and let console can deal with the timing issues itself. It also means you don't need a photoreceptor that's anywhere near as fast or sensitive. I'd guess that most electron-beam based guns have additional circuitry to assist with the horizontal position/timing as well. If they were dumb devices you're looking at about 80000/s worth of light samples to transfer and process. (assuming 80 pixel wide resolution)
  14. Correction: the nes zapper detected only light. Other lightguns and lightpens of the era dealt with scanline positioning just fine. The big N used the light/dark method to lower the cost of the gun.
  15. That's a most interesting sounding homebrew - Can't wait to see the finished product!
  16. I don't think you need to apologize. It's an interesting topic, and if someone is upset over the discussion they should just hit the back button on their browser. If you're intent on timecapsuling a 2600 for generations, you might look into a few things... Replace the electrolytic caps with polymer caps. Place it in a vacuum bag. Store it at a very cold, but not freezing, temperature. Never use it. Do the above with a second or third unit for donor parts. But I personally wouldn't do it. I'll replace the caps in my 2600 when the time comes, and enjoy it with my kids in the now.
  17. Damaging is a pretty harsh word. The caps are smoothing our ripples in the cheapo power supply, just as they're designed to do. If you reduce the amount of work they do, then you'll reduce the inevitable wear and tear on the dielectric. Unfortunately I don't have a good suggestion on where you'd get one with the right voltage and plug, ready to use with your VCS. I'd personally just adapt a spare one from a spare laptop or later generation console. (eg. gamecube, wii, xbox360). If anyone goes this route, just avoid small cellphone chargers; yes they're regulated, but they tend to have bad ripple at the switching frequency.
  18. I've had something similar in the back of my mind... my idea was to use Melody/Harmony carts, with SPI and some minimal interfacing to connect the carts together. One cart would be the SPI master, and the others could be the slaves. Communication from the VCS to the SPI driver layer could happen through a pseudo-bankswitching scheme. Lots of potential with the SPI in Melody/Harmony. You could use it to hook up multiple SPI controllers to a single VCS too. For example, you could hook up Wii nunchucks and each player would have an analog stick, 2 buttons, and accelerometers.
  19. Why bury your head in the sand? Something can be done about it in most cases. In the case of the 2600, the only parts that can't be easily replaced is the 6507 processor and the TIA. Creating functional replacements using microcontrollers or FPGAs wouldn't be a colossal task. I believe there are already open 6502 FPGA cores available. If it's really a huge worry, see what you can do to jumpstart the Stellacon/Open 2600 project. Also, get yourself a regulated power supply if you want to be kind to those capacitors. The less ripple they see, the longer they'll last. In the case of the a8 computers, get yourself some SIO2SDs or SIO2PCs. IMO an SIO2SD is a reasonable tradeoff that will allow your "drive" to last hundreds of years.
  20. HDMI is definitely more convenient. You'd probably notice a small difference between it and component if you did A-B tests, but its not a big enough difference to be noticable in practice. Bascially the edges of stuff look slightly crisper. Be sure you get the most expensive Monster brand cable you can. The 1's and 0's enjoy their transport over an oxygen-free latinum-core cable better, and will provide happier entertainment on the other side of the TV. Seriously though, feel free to cheap-out on the HDMI as much as you like, though some of the super-cheap ones are a bit flimsy, so watch for that. And if you're thinking of upgrading your speaker wires, try coathangers.
  21. MausGames, not sure what you mean. Wouldn't scrolling every other line in alternate directions just make the lines jiggle? Or do you mean scroll the lines in alternate directions until they're off the screen, like a fancy screen wipe? Michael, that was an excellent suggestion, but I figured I'd write the superchip version and write up a rolled-up version at the same time. parallaxwrap.bas.bin parallaxwrap.bas
  22. White nerd here, late 30s, and I used to DJ all kinds of music back in the stone age, including rap and house. Used to scratch and mix on beat with the best of them. I think this DJ controller might be a major fail . One of the reasons why GH is neat is your hands do a crude approximation of what a guitar player does. This DJ controller thing just fails. Buttons on different parts of the record? WTF?!? And it would have been just as easy to just make the buttons part of a fake cross-fade/level control instead. I'll give it a shot in a store someday, but I'm not expecting great things.
  23. Ah, looks like I misread the bB guide. Dang. Well, easy enough to adapt. Each asm roll needs to change to something like... lda r000 ror ; or rol depending on which pf byte sta w000 Unfortunately I don't have the time right to fix it in time for your halloween demo. If someone doesn't beat me to it I'll post a real SC parallax example in a day or so.
  24. If you constrain yourself to using the parallax in the portion of the playfield that uses normal ram instead of superchip ram, it's fairly easy to do by rolling your own scroll routines. Disclaimer: I'm no great shakes at 6507 assembly... [edited the code out for brevity.] ...this is just a first pass. You could make a short general line scroll instead of unrolling the code like I have here. But hopefully this puts you in the right direction. If you need to use parallax with the superchip ram area it becomes a bit more involved and cycle hungry, because you can't simply roll the memory locations. You need to read in the read-location sc-memory, roll the resgister, then store the result in the write-location sc-memory. parallax.bas parallax.bas.bin
  25. Very nice! You've managed a very difficult feat. You've tweaked the gameplay of a classic and actually made it better. Well done!
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