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Bruce-Robert Pocock

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About Bruce-Robert Pocock

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    Chopper Commander
  • Birthday 10/21/1977

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    Training Grizzards
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    Fort Lauderdale, FL
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  1. For completeness, let me point out that https://github.com/ascrnet/Joy2Bplus is the (canonical?) description of the protocol and has descriptions of altering various devices to work with it, and a number of 8-bit Atari games that work with it. Note the last section shows that it is fairly simple to alter a Genesis/MegaDrive controller if you'd like. (tiny amount of soldering involved)
  2. I do not know … my Stelladaptor I reflashed to test AtariVox in Stella. I imagine I could reflash it back and find out at some point in near future, however. If they work with paddles, then I imagine they would do fine with it, however …
  3. OK, here we go again … this is Full Beta 4 release. Changes since Full Beta 3: Fixes a weird combat bug whereby monsters can try to heal themselves and instead … run away, let's say … making you unable to win the combat if they were the last surviving monster. Fixes the crasher bug when speaking to the person south of the green house in the Southern Field. The manual has been extensively edited, including The online PDF manuals are now formatted for US Letter (roughly A4 sized) paper, in case you want to print them. (The pagination is less than ideal, however.) New Troubleshooting entry for Stella + keyboard situation discussed yesterday / above, Single manual for all regions (with NTSC screenshots) Fresh screenshots in the manual for all screens A few internal changes to the build tools (eg. a tweak to the MIDI-to-TIA converter, updates for the latest Quicklisp libraries) Fixes to some subtle timing issues (e.g. “one frame with wrong scan line count” type errors), mostly in PAL + SECAM builds Work on leveling the game Some peephole-type optimizations to the code If you're confused by all these attachments, visit https://star-hope.org/games/Grizzards and use the Chooser on the right hand side to find the right ROM image file (and PDF) for your use. There are also daily builds posted there, as well as a few other downloadable goodies (like the sound track in MP3 format). If you only have an Atari Flashback Portable, this version (rife with visual glitches) may work slightly better for you. Refer to the NoSave manual, below. (I may, or may not, fix the graphics on this machine some day, but it's a low priority.) Grizzards demo beta 4.bin If you want to play on hardware (multicart) and do not have a SaveKey / MemCard / AtariVox, you want this version. As the name suggests, it's the same as the Demo below, but you cannot save. Grizzards.NoSave.full-beta-4.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.SECAM.full-beta-4.a26Grizzards.NoSave.PAL.full-beta-4.a26Grizzards.NoSave.NTSC.full-beta-4.a26 If you want the 32kiB Demo, either to play in Stella or on a multicart with a memory device, here's that Demo version. Grizzards.Demo.full-beta-4.pdf Grizzards.Demo.NTSC.full-beta-4.a26Grizzards.Demo.PAL.full-beta-4.a26Grizzards.Demo.SECAM.full-beta-4.a26 If you're using Stella, the .pro file for your build may help configure Stella's controller ports correctly; otherwise, refer to Troubleshooting in the manual. These are not needed for multicarts. Grizzards.Demo.NTSC.full-beta-4.proGrizzards.Demo.PAL.full-beta-4.proGrizzards.Demo.SECAM.full-beta-4.pro If you want the full game, either to play in Stella or on a multicart that can handle 64kiB “EF” binaries with a memory device, there's the full version. Note that the original (non-Encore) Harmony multicart can not handle this; you'll need the Demo above for that cart. Grizzards.full-beta-4.pdf Grizzards.NTSC.full-beta-4.a26Grizzards.PAL.full-beta-4.a26Grizzards.SECAM.full-beta-4.a26 Again, the .pro files are optional and specific to Stella only. Grizzards.NTSC.full-beta-4.proGrizzards.SECAM.full-beta-4.proGrizzards.PAL.full-beta-4.pro If you're uploading the PlusStore, and pretty much under no other circumstances, here is a manual (or quick reference card) cut down to be read in the PlusCart text viewer. Grizzards.Manual.txt What's next Exhaustive analysis of timing on every screen / routine for every region, eliminating any remaining timing (scanline count) issues Exhaustive playtesting and leveling of the game to feel more “fair” and fun Minor graphics tweaks Final “combat” illustration for manual … no, really, it will happen! If time and space permit, a few other enhancements may squeak in. Also, some other Secret Squirrel work is in progress (which isn't really a secret if you've RTFM fully) but I'm holding my tongue on that for now. For the record, there are three “Easter egg” codes in different places in the game, two of which actually help you out (cheat for you) and one of which is just a cute hidden screen. Thanks to everyone for helping out finding these bugs, and as always, any feedback is deeply appreciated.
  4. I've just found out that there is a crasher bug in the error reporting code from another bug … there exists a person who, if you speak to them, the game will crash and report the error address (on the Sad Face screen) as 000000 rather than the real source of the problem. I've found the bug in the error reporting code that's causing it (due to an off-by-two error in counting ROM banks, of all things) and I'm hunting down the actual source right now. I expect to build a beta 4 release with this patch shortly, as this does affect the beta 3 release. The person of interest is … when you enter the Southern Field from the tunnel complex's exit, and continue south past (around) the green house, the person on the southernmost screen below that. On the other hand, if you've never experienced the White Sad Face screen, here's (hopefully your last) opportunity …
  5. Note; the Joy2b+ protocol is different from, and incompatible with, the 7800's two-button mechanism. You can use Joy2b+ on the 7800 — if a game supports it — but you can't use a 7800 ProLine type controller on the 2600. (So if you're looking at buying one, anything that says “2600/7800” will not work with Joy2b+/Genesis mode … the Joy2b+ stuff is usually marked for Atari 8-bits machines.)
  6. That is awesome Perhaps I'll get a chance tonight to improve my fork with that logic as well. At that rate, I may have a PR waiting for y'all in a week.
  7. Splitting this off into its own thread … It seems that perhaps Grizzards is the first 2600 game to use Joy2b+ controllers. I thought I'd open up a thread to discuss them a little. I'm just gonna mention that RetroGameBoyz makes lovely NES-style Joy2b+ game pads, which is what I use, although I believe there are a few other sources out there as well. Getting Joy2b+ support into your game As we all probably know, the basic CX-40 joystick's FIRE button is mapped to INPT4 on the 2600. This same control is also the B button on the Genesis (MegaDrive) controller, and the I button on Joy2b+ bit INPT4 bpl ButtonIPressed The Genesis controller's A and Start buttons are effectively unavailable on the 2600, but its C button is mapped to INPT1, and can be read in much the same way. However, you need to confirm that a Genesis pad exists first with a short sequence. First, you'll want to dump INPT[0123] to ground by setting bit 7 of VBLANK, eg lda #$80 sta VBLANK Then, wait about a frame and check whether both pins are clear, eg, in Grizzards I set a flag during startup like so: lda INPT0 bpl NotGenesis lda INPT1 bpl NotGenesis lda SystemFlags ora #SystemFlagP0Gamepad bne DoneGenesis ; always taken (gne) NotGenesis: lda SystemFlags and #~SystemFlagP0Gamepad DoneGenesis: sta SystemFlags The Joy2b+ works essentially the same as a Genesis controller, in that Button I = B and Button II = C. The only new wrinkle is that Button III is also available, on INPT0. My reading routines are in my common VBlank code, but it's fraught with debouncing logic and not the cleanest example. Getting Joy2b+ support into Stella This leads to a second wrinkle … support in Stella. You can set the controller type to Genesis and access Button I & II (as B & C) just fine, but you can't test Button III without hardware. I certainly don't want to rush anyone — I understand the motivations for the current break — but perhaps we all can help out the Stella team, as well. I've taken a whack at the easy part of Stella support, over here: https://github.com/brpocock/stella/tree/joy2b%2B … that is, mapping the keyboard events, and adding the Joy2b+ controller type, and a debugger widget for it. That fork mostly seems to work, but has a double-free-memory crash-on-exit that I haven't tried to track down in any detail, but I'm sure is some foolish mistake on my part — my C++ chops are easily 10 years out-of-date. The harder part will be to auto-detect a Joy2b+ controller, without breaking auto-detection for the keyboard controller. In the ControllerDetector class, the heuristic used to detect the keyboard is to identify reads from both INPT0 and INPT1. My thought in that direction is that perhaps the keyboard controller auto-detect might be enhanced to also look for a write to the digital pins that the keyboard uses for row selection, as it would be unusual (and not useful) to write to the gamepad's directional controls. I have not done any coding in that direction, yet, however.
  8. I've just looked into the Stella ControllerDetector class and that seems to be the case; since we support Joy2b+ controllers now, it (generally wisely, but in this case incorrectly) believes that we must be reading the Keyboard controller. I've added a section to the manual's Troubleshooting chapter titled Joystick does not work in Stella on today's daily build as well. Thanks for pointing that out @Fort Apocalypse! I have profiles for all the cartridge images that explicitly tell Stella in what configuration to run, so I hadn't noticed that particular snag. (It was probably introduced around 20 March into the dailies and thence into the beta as well.) The latest dailies should be uploading now, hopefully that will clear things up.
  9. That would be the issue. I guess the gamepad support confused Stella into thinking I was reading the Keyboard controller. If you change that to either of Joystick or Sega, it should work all right.
  10. Unfortunately @Fort Apocalypse it seems to work for me in a clean release/6.7 build … but I think it may be auto-detecting the left controller as Keyboard, possibly because of the Joy2b+ support? Can you check please the Game Properties and make sure that Joystick or Sega controller type is selected?
  11. I'll try to check that out, I have 6.7pre from a month or two ago still I think.
  12. RecApp-2022-06-28-20:29:45.mp4 It should be that up/down rotate through letters, and left/right move the cursor across the screen. Are you in the NTSC region? … Can you tell me on what hardware & multicart or emulator you're playing?
  13. I believe I have found the source of the error — it had to do with limiting the max possible healing amount to the Max HP of the creature healing itself. I found the suspected source of the bug using a kinda nasty procedure, so my confidence is not 100% that it's solved, but some quick testing here suggests that it probably is. The daily builds on the web site have been updated: https://star-hope.org/games/Grizzards (note, the beta 3 release hasn't been updated, scroll down for the daily builds)
  14. I have good news, and I have bad news. Bad news first: It's come to my attention that the latest builds still have a bug, which presents like: You're in combat with a single monster; That monster tries to use a healing move (e.g. FIRST AID) The “outcome” screen comes up with e.g. “HORRID SLIME 1 FIRST AID HORRID SLIME 1” You return to the combat screen, now it's your turn, but there are no monsters to fight. This was something that had occurred before, which I thought was cured, but I was just tonight able to reproduce on the latest daily build. Naturally I'm looking into fixing this ASAP. In good news, the manual has been revised so that one manual PDF covers all three game regions (NTSC, PAL, SECAM), so if you're following the “daily” builds on the web site, you may notice that has changed. (The beta 3 release still has three separate manuals, but whenever a beta 4 release comes out it will have the unified manual as well.) The pagination on the unified manuals is fairly wonky, but the contents should be readable.
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