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About SmittyB

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. There's only the 20 maps and it'll just cycle through them so consider the game beaten.
  5. I've always thought that a pair of paddles could fairly easily be repurposed into a 2 button analogue joystick by having each act as the X and Y axis and just using the existing 2 buttons. From there either software could run calibration on startup, and / or a couple of additional pots could be added to handle centering. Of course nobody's going to build one if software doesn't exist for it, and nobody's going to write software for it if it hasn't been built.
  6. Thanks very much. I do consider this version 'finished' as it was just a small project to avoid burning out on Spire of the Ancients so early and besides extra levels there's not much I can do with it, but I intend to start over one day using all I've learned since. Like a 'Plumb Luck DX'. I actually learnt recently that there was an arcade version of Pipe Mania that does the same with having to reach a drain tile, so while Plumb Luck might not be as original a spin on the idea I thought it was, I have something I can compare it to when I come to remake it.
  7. The way 160B combines palettes means not only do you get 12 colours but you get 4 lots of transparency. Anything trying to use colours at indices 0, 4, 8, and 12 will be transparent and as no graphics editor will be expecting that you'll need to use the parameters on incgraphic to adjust how things are mapped when it's imported.
  8. As a rule of thumb, if you have 2 sprites that overlap for more colours you're better off with 160B.
  9. Other than the awkwardness of arranging palettes to make the most of it, 160B is more efficient than 2 160A sprites as it's the same amount of data to store and render the object, but with 1 header fewer and 6 additional colours.
  10. Thanks very much. Things moved a bit quicker when I scrapped the original version and used what I'd learnt to start again, and it was certainly a pain in the neck in many ways, but I achieved what I set out to achieve and I'm very happy with how it turned out.
  11. From what I've learned trying to get keypads working they can do weird things depending on the implementation. Essentially they work by setting some of the pins on the controller port to output rather than input which then charges a couple of small capacitors in the console, then setting them back to input and working out which button or buttons have been pressed by seeing if the circuit is complete and the capacitor has discharged. The Stella programmer's guide states that a game needs to wait 400 microseconds for the capacitors to charge, but in my experience (at least on the 7800) it's necessary to wait a bit longer to get stable results, especially now that those components have aged a bit. I also found that quickly tapping the keys can confuse it, I guess by only partly discharging the capacitor so that it still reads as high for that key and then falling low when a later key is read.
  12. ... But... And hear me out, what if the 7800 released in 1984? Don't hurt me
  13. After you able to render to a 320 x 224 buffer offscreen and then draw that shrunken down, at least in width? It shouldn't affect the 160A graphics very much, and if antialiasing is possible the 320A modes should still be vaguely readable.
  14. Yeah that's definitely the background not changing line by line as it's supposed to. The coloured area should be compressed and finish in line with the mountain graphics. The black area would then be where the text is, and below that the ground. I change the graphics mode mid-screen hence the corruption. Even if it got past the title screen it would look rubbish in game as well because I do the same thing to draw the HUD, floor, and ceiling.
  15. The title screen changes the background colour each line to create the ground and it finishes fairly close to the bottom of the screen. I suppose if the emulator doesn't get the timing right and tries to wait longer than the visible screen that could mess things up. If you can get a photo of how it look when it crashes I'd like to see it. I'm curious as to whether I could figure it out.
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