I am working on a project and I would like to ask directly to the Atari community about some things. First, let me give you some background. I grew up using Commodore 64, and so I am very familiar with those machines. Back in those days, you only got one machine, unless your family was super rich. Me and my colleagues now have Atari XL machines, and we're playing with them and learning about them.
So where is this thread going?
Well, this is not meant to be a plug for our YouTube channel, but only to make you aware that is what our project is for. You see, we're working on sort of, digital puppets, for lack of a better word. We then put these machines in front of a green screen, and then the programs animate their faces and mouths and makes them look like they are emoting, etc. The programs use keyboard and joystick input to change the faces. Then we take this footage and put the computer "AI's" into stories. We already have a C64 version (Clicky), and an Amiga version (Amy). We want to program the same sort of thing but for Atari XL machines. Here is an example of the kind of stories we're making just for reference
The programming is not what I am focusing on here, as I could surely figure that out easily. My question is more about feedback from the Atari community to learn about quirks of the Atari XL's that I could artistically incorporate into the "face". For example, Clicky has what appears to be memory being written to the screen in the kind of way that unpackers would use screen memory for unpacking and it would create a few rows of characters that changes rapidly on the screen.
I have included a couple of images of Clicky and Amy from one of our vids (April Fools Day vid), to give you an idea of what we're doing.
I was wondering if there are any kinds of visual things like this that Atari XL users would know and recognize as being Atari, if that makes sense. Or if there is any other kinds of suggestions that would help to show this face is that of an Atari of the character that we'd like to call Pokey.
As you can imagine, we are going to put this to good use on our channel. We are working on other computer "AI's" as well for these types of videos, and so we want to have a whole range of characters that represent each of the old 8 and 16 bit machines so we can make hijinx and fun stories with them. Also, we are not going to use this as a way to lambaste the Atari XL or whatever, that isn't the intent. We will probably address the old rivalry between 8 bit systems, but we will do it in a fun way that is unbiased and so we want to bring out the best qualities of the Atari's for this, and to be inclusive to the Atari community for it.
One other question is about voice synthesis. We use SAM for the C64 Clicky character. Is there any modern programs that emulate an Atari XL speech? We record the audio on our PCs then overlay them into the video editor to sync with the puppets faces talking so it appears that they are talking. So what I am looking for is a way to record this voice synthesis easily in this sort of manner.
So yeah, just looking for some feedback and tips about how to make our Pokey character look and sound "Atari-ish". If you're good at Atari XL programming, it would be great to hear from you as well for tips on the characteristics of these machines.
Thanks for your time,