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Mr SQL

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  1. Great thread topic! There's been some interesting research on the subject over the years ranging from the ergonomics of the controls to the concept, subject matter and the layout and presentation of the game. RelationalFramework recently conducted several player gender preference studies including one here on AtariAge using a new version of Space Invaders; what's most interesting about it is the study didn't start out that way! There were indeed two versions of the game but no gender group study was intended, it emerged from the test group analytics comparing outcomes. Atari age downloads also indicate a preference for the boys version based on the name alone; that's too bad, both are a lot of fun! How to participate in the study: Play both versions of the game in a darkened room with the volume turned up and let yourself become immersed in the experience; the soundscapes are shaped to your individual style of play and change with each level progression. As you can see from the long play video, it takes about 15 minutes to see the two playable bonus stages and additional rounds to reach the final ending screen. Stella 6 with the improved sound or a classic console should be used for the full effect; which version was preferred by in your study? Any thoughts to explain the phenomena?
  2. Awesome port of Man goes Down by the Sock Master! Very cool it is written in BASIC and uses the speech pack and semi-graphics. Here's another awesome port of this game by John Linville, also with enhanced sound: And another awesome BASIC port using ASCII art graphics on the MC-10 by Jim Gerrie: http://jimgerrie.blogspot.com/2015/01/4k-color-computer-programming-contest.html
  3. The darker colors on the left of the palette map particularly the blues also help optimize 30 Hz flicker. I think 30 Hz is within tolerable limits for players, particularly if they are Atari fans. There are also two types of flicker applicable to the Atari, though motion blur flicker isn't well understood for having only recently been identified and resolved with new technology built into monitors and software solutions. I prefer 30 Hz with no motion blur flicker to 60 Hz with motion blur flicker and have written a couple of games that feature an adjustable flicker rate where you can see the difference and pick the type of flicker you prefer:
  4. Try this one: It should play great on your UNO cart. For the ZeroPage crew and anyone running Stella (including the Retron77 latest community firmware) make sure to turn off phosphor frame merging if it is on by default, or the game won't render properly like it does on classic hardware.
  5. Castle Wolfenstein's Doom engine did, and this wireframe virtual world is from 1982:
  6. Thanks Al, I tried the search using Everywhere and the local Forum options but I could not find "fahrfall" via search (the other CoCo port of Man Goes Down). Instead I get a message the search index is still being built by MySQL/NoSQL.
  7. Hi Al, there's a new BASIC game for the CoCo written by the Sock Master (an awesome programmer from bitd) that looks pretty cool; it's based on Man goes Down for the Atari, a fantastic game with original concept written by another awesome programmer. I like ports that are different, and I wanted to compare them but now I can no longer find the Machine Language CoCo port of Man goes Down by Linville because the search dialog is no longer local; it searches all of AtariAge which is more like using Google and not a sub board search - before it would search just the sub board. There's probably a dialog setting buried somewhere that is on longer on by default; might be an Easter egg hunt to turn it back on.
  8. willymanilly, Here are two versions of WARPDRIVE with different schemes that should play exactly the same: SuperCharger_WARPDRIVE.bin WARPDRIVE_AFP.bin The AFP version uses CBS RAM but relies on the decimal flag being clear on powerup, the previous version of Stella on the Flashback 9 console sets this flag by default though now that has changed. Defaults should allow the greatest range of compatibility imo, very cool you have merge frames off by default to get the classics to look right. ---------------- Hey TJ, you follow me around throwing insults - most recently during a live review of my new games; why not be inspired instead to add artifact color support or invent game maker programing languages or new technologies like motion blur reduction? At least come up with a new game
  9. Awesome smooth scroller with great music! I like the Weapon the character has - very different than Mr Do or Berzerk. I prefer interesting genre ports like this one and Gemintronic's Pacman that build on the classics with new concepts over exact clones.
  10. If you want to emulate Stella be careful to avoid the default Phosphor emulation in the latest version which combines frames to break the display on classics like ESB and newer releases including Retron 77 games like WARPDRIVE: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/289929-stella-6-on-the-r77-the-eagle-is-landing/?p=4277457 WARPDRIVE is a good stress test for TIA emulation as the only Atari game that pushes 60 FPS of full screen animation, bw switch toggles it during play.
  11. With ARM games I think it's more like Windows being incompatible with the Mac - the UNO cart has an ARM processor too but ARM assisted games can also rely on operating system calls in addition to running the gameloop. With a different OS, only a translation layer can make those games playable on the UNO; I think there is already discussion of one underway. I wrote a similar translation layer to allow SuperCharger games to be recompiled as CBS RAM games, though both classic formats are supported on the UNO and the Harmony. The SuperCharger format has the distinction of being the only legacy format with an OS to place calls to, though luckily few calls are made since the OS is even more minimal; translation to CBS RAM format requires no OS calls are made to load data. Not sure what the limitations would be for writing ARM game translators in either direction with the UNO and Harmony ensemble.
  12. X2, awesome! Very cool if you can turn this demo or your Zaxxon one into playable games.
  13. Awesome program Jeremiah! This is really interesting - you are indeed not using any of the 128 bytes, but the registers T1024T and INTIM could count as register RAM; the Fairchild Channel F has 64 bytes of register RAM used like the direct page on the VCS. I think the hardware acceleration makes this code possible since the TIA can transparently access additional RAM; here there is another parallel with the Fairchild Channel F having 2K of video RAM and no way to read it back but with the VCS this is not so; our 20 bits of playfield video RAM and 19 bits of sprites are write only but the bits can be read back by other registers and calculated anywhere within a 40*n scanline matrix for the playfield or a 160*n matrix for the bit sprites.
  14. It's interesting that programming languages have been influenced by game construction kits with the addition of GUI designers for screens, levels, character graphics and sound. In the 70's and 80's the BASIC didn't count by itself, but the program could because you could write a template program with all of those things to create a game maker construction kit; I did this with the adventures I wrote and had a few (improving) versions of this "adventure maker" as it evolved. Good point about the arcade construction kits paling by comparison to commercial Space Invaders, but the Space Invaders video on this thread shows off an arcade construction kit BASIC being used to create a high FPS version of Space Invaders with enhanced graphics, animation and sound far beyond the commercial releases. I'm in the process of porting the BASIC to the Atari 400 (the 8K version) and up and hope to see this game and many others running unchanged in a minimal footprint!
  15. I agree the 'phosphor' setting enhances those games and that almost all other games are better with the effect turned off. And I think it's a good point the emu should emulate a CRT as closely as possible which essentially means not merging frames. All CRT's render 60 frames per second from the Atari's nonstandard video signal and HDMI can do that too, so the issue isn't about CRT or LCD but simply about emulating the nonstandard Atari signal. Merging those frames together with the 'phosphor' settings on LCD or CRT creates visibly blurry double vision score power ups falling down the screen that are hard to read in STARBLITZ and similarly blurry animation in ESB because the console doesn't render 60 frames per second any more.
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