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SmittyB

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About SmittyB

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  1. The title screen in Plink does use a full-screen bitmap for the cyan, but even with the monochrome 320A mode the CPU time is a noticeable limiting factor to how much can be drawn in one frame. There are plenty of optimisations that can be made over what I did in Plink, and I think somebody could make a version of Missile Command with this technique, but there would have to be some clever compromises somewhere to make it playable at any real speed. There's a lot of potential in bitmapping, but I'd say it's best limited to things where frame rate isn't important.
  2. Blaze have been around in some form or another for a few decades now. They used to be in the business of making bargain bin accessories like rubber grips, somewhat dodgy memory cards, and controllers for GameBoys, Playstations, and other consoles of the era. Probably their most successful products back then were the Xploder series of cheat cartridges / discs, and the Scorpion light gun for PS1 which seemingly everyone and their mother had.
  3. They're 2 of the main inspirations actually, alongside the Dungeon Master games on Amiga and the Catacomb series on PC. This style of game is something I've done before because the basic concept is a fairly simple programming exercise (which this started out as) and a few of the ideas including the name come from previous similar projects that never got past the initial demo stages. I haven't given up on this. My employers have just been making a lot of stupid business decisions which have left me too exhausted in the evenings to give this the attention it deserves.
  4. I can't comment on the belt itself, but as you pointed out the Alien Brigade artwork is anachronistic for something purporting to be from the mid 80's, and I can also confirm that the Pac-Man image is from the cover of Pac-Man Collection. My PMC box credits "box art and label by Atariboy2600".
  5. SmittyB

    Atarivox 7800

    You won't be able to find a cable that fits exactly because of the difference between the styles of d9 connections used on consoles versus what can generally be bought these days. Just get a small penknife or file and scrape a bit of the plastic out of the extension cable socket to allow the AtariVox to fit.
  6. Who needs anything else when you have Memo Pad? Get a few friends on board and you've got all you need for a play-by-mail rogue-like. Simply take a photo of your television screen (don't use the flash!), get your photo developed, send it in an envelope to your friends, and await their response for the next move.
  7. If you want to play those troublesome 2600 carts on a 7800 then the best solution is to grab one of these. https://winzmods.com/product/atari-2600-lock-on-cartridge/ By acting as a pass-through it allows you to play the cartridges that won't fit without cutting or cracking the inner plastic of the 7800 (or snipping off the tabs on Tigervision cartridges).
  8. The closest thing I found when I started to look at the 7800 was this example code that I was then able to modify slightly to have a scrolling tile-map. https://atarihq.com/danb/files/7800sprt.s
  9. I'll always encourage learning a bit of assembly. 7800basic creates some nicely efficient code when compiled, but with assembly you can make assumptions about your code that the compiler can't especially when doing a lot of complex mathematics.
  10. Well sure if you want to use assembly (which I do when I can, just because), but strictly sticking to 7800basic you get a slightly slower loop. JMP is faster at 3 cycles compared to 5/6 for CLC/BCC.
  11. You're right, that is an odd omission. Fortunately you can just write a colour value to BACKGRND as you would on the 2600 and it will work. (You can't read the value back from BACKGRND so if you ever want your code to know what it is, it can be a good idea to store the background colour you want in a variable and then copy it when you want to). As for how often it can be changed, the answer is as quickly as you can change it. The below example is the smallest loop you can have to rapidly change the background colour and the results as shown in both A7800 (first screenshot) and Bupsystem (second screenshot) with Bupsystem being the more accurate. Unless you're changing the background mid-screen you don't need to worry about the difference though. a=0 mainLoop BACKGRND=a a=a+1 goto mainLoop
  12. I think this might be an appropriate time to plug Voxolotl, the tool I made for my own use to help develop for the AtariVox. There's 2 versions for the 7800, the original using a 2 button controller and the second using a keypad, then there's the Windows version that can output to the AtariVox over USB using an adaptor. They're buggy and require having the SpeakJet reference sheet to hand, but it's a lot easier to get a good result than trial and error.
  13. You don't have to worry about whether an AtariVox is plugged in or not. The commands will be sent to the controller port regardless and it doesn't matter if something is plugged in to receive them. The range for pitch is indeed 0 to 255 (with a default value of 88), but volume and speed range from 0 to 127 with 96 and 114 as their respective defaults not that there's any need to change the volume. Writing phrases for the AtarVox is a bit like learning to draw where you can easily make something that represents the what you want like a stick figure, but you have to look / listen at what it is you're basing it off to get something more realistic and there are hundreds of ways to get something that works. I listen to myself saying what I want the AtariVox to say and try to replicate that though it means it picks up on my accent a bit.
  14. I've also been thinking about this constantly, and so far with Spire of the Ancients I've revealed more than I ever intended to but I figure that even if I reveal all there'll still be people in the future who didn't follow the thread and will get to experience those surprises. There's still a few things I'll keep to myself until the end anyway, and I use some assembly trickery to be able to change things depending on if I'm compiling a demo build or a full build for testing.
  15. There's only the 20 maps and it'll just cycle through them so consider the game beaten.
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