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Peripheral

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  1. How are we supposed to know which games benefit from ECS and/or ivoice? Running jzintv's rom2bin on the .rom's typically gives a config file that says things like ecs = 1 voice_compat = 1 (or voice = 1, for Mr. Turtle) From some old threads, I gathered that "ecs = 1" is conservative, and should probably be replaced with ecs_compat. So I was guessing that the contest entries do not use ECS. And I guessed Mr. Turtle was the only one using ivoice. But from this award, it seems Infiltrator can also use ECS and/or ivoice. So which contest entries can use ECS and/or ivoice? And going forward, is there a way to determine this on our own? thanks!
  2. Will there be a zip file coming with all the entries, as in past contests, or should we assume the latest and greatest roms can be found in the individual threads? A *huge* thank you to all the entrants. These games clearly took a lot of time and effort! FWIW I agree with the final outcome of Infiltrator in 1st place, Pandora in 2nd. While I enjoy both, with Infiltrator I can get to a safe area, relax for a bit while planning a strategy, and enjoy the nuances of the scenes. With Pandora it's more hectic. Once the action starts, there are no breaks. As echoed in some of the earlier posts, a few comments from judges left me scratching my head. But to each his own.
  3. Some recent threads peaked my interest in the old ECS Basic games at http://spatula-city.org/~intvlib/inty/ecsbasic.html It takes some effort to try them out, as you need to enter the ECS Basic source. But with the jzintv simulated cassette tape, they can be saved to a file, and loaded as needed. @intvdave took the time to do so for some of the games, and provided them in posts #7 and #27 at https://atariage.com/forums/topic/286411-jzintv-christmas-update Posts #66 and #67 in that thread have updated versions of nc1 and bombrun2, and post #68 has an updated nc2, provided by @Zendocon. To prevent duplicate effort, I fleshed out the remaining old games, and added in the above contributions, all in the attached ecs_basic_27_feb_2021.zip file. Be warned that not all of the games are playable. The zip file has a readme.txt giving more details on each game. The thread at https://atariage.com/forums/topic/284474-ecs-basic-color-coding-patent discusses the poor performance of the Intellivision ECS Basic engine. In spite of this, I found a few of the games to be interesting. Perhaps someone more motivated than I could convert and package them all in a single IntyBasic game. There is one issue I couldn't figure out, but isn't holding anything up. When I typed in Inty Road Race, and deleted the unsupported "!" character in a PRIN statement, my saved ecs_tape_ROAD.ecs file did not match the one provided by @intvdave. I eyeballed the LISTings side by side, but couldn't spot a difference. I then tried a binary search, deleting chunks at a time and resaving the files, and narrowed down the difference to be near 300 CLR 310 FOR C=1TO11 If I delete statements 300 and beyond, the saved files are identical. But if I keep statement 300, they differ. So I'm just curious if the tape format is non-deterministic. I've given up on this, but if anyone wants to dig further, my progress is in the attached road.zip. Subdirectory y0 contains intvdave's tape files, and y1 contains mine. File z299, for example, is the saved ecs_tape_ROAD.ecs after deleting all statements above 299. ecs_basic_27_feb_2021.zip road.zip
  4. I finally made it out, though I still have room to improve my final score. Anyway, just one other feature request. For repeat playing, the slowness of drawing the terminal output is a bit painful, as is having to continually hit the action button to move through them quickly. I get why you do it ... it's a nice effect ... the first time around. But I'd like to be able to enable a 'quick mode', that automatically draws these screens quickly. Overall, terrific job on both Pandora and Infiltrator! Who knew escape rooms could be brought to the Intellivision?!
  5. I was just wandering around trying to find my way out. I haven't quite memorized the whole layout yet. But I want to do that on my own, as opposed to looking at your help guide, as exploration/learning is a key part of the fun of such games. I still find the whole layout disorienting, and haven't yet figured out which rooms are bays or cryo pods or storage or dining halls or whatever. But I'll get there eventually (I hope).
  6. I don't think it would be "all of the sudden". Touching the elevator button causes the button to light up (or blink) ... indicating you've bumped into it. But the elevator still takes a while to arrive. That all seems natural to me.
  7. I tried reproducing the issue with being immediately prompted to call the elevator, or open a terminal. But no luck this time. It is sporadic, after all. Perhaps if my first disc movement after exiting is left or right, instead of backwards, that triggers it? I seem to recall it happening frequently after I open the escape pod hatch to let Newton in. But, that might have been in some earlier roms. BTW, I just noticed another escape pod issue. Let's say I get Newton into the escape pod. And sometime later I revisit that room and open the escape pod hatch again ... I was surprised to see Newton's farewell message again! As far as the elevator button, I assume it would work the same way the elevator query works now. Not simply by walking by it, but rather, by walking into it. Is there any harm in accidentally bumping into it when doing something else, like battling a monster? I wouldn't think so.
  8. Looking great! Just a few nits. None of these are a big deal, but could improve the polish. The "y" overlaps the "O" in the attached screenshot. Perhaps separate them with an empty line. Also, this doesn't happen all the time, but sometimes when I exit an elevator, or a terminal, I'm immediately asked if I want to request the elevator or open the terminal. So I have to respond "no" before I can continue. With some terminals/messages, it seems I can press either a side action button or Enter to skip through quickly. But Enter doesn't always work, for example in the long discussion when Ellen first finds her injured pal. Would be nice if Enter was useful consistently. It might be a bit late for this request, but I'd like to push a button to summon an elevator, instead of answering a question. Then, that button could blink if the elevator is on its way. Just like a real elevator control
  9. So I googled a little further, and came up with a potential answer in the thread at https://atariage.com/forums/topic/230132-intellivision-rom-bankswitching-cartridge-ram-questions In particular these two passages from @intvnut: "Also, the EXEC and ECS boot sequences probe for ROM at $7000 and $4800; if they detect ROM at either location (upper bits of the data at the location are all 0s), they'll short-circuit the boot sequence. So, programmers will need to be aware of this, either expecting to intercept the boot sequence, or plugging values like $FFFF at these locations to fool the ROM detection." "For ROM at $2xxx, $7xxx and $Exxx, it's perfectly safe to map ROM in those locations on an unexpanded Intellivision. If the EXEC detects ROM at $7xxx (upper 6 bits of location $7000 are 0), it will jump to $7000 directly, very early in the EXEC boot sequence. But, there are no bus conflicts or anything else." So, even a "regular" Intellivision, i.e. one without ECS, will look at $7000 during boot. My "bad" ROM, as well as those others I listed (Congo Bongo, etc), all have 0's in the upper 6 bits of the 16-bit word at $7000. So presumably those games are designed such that they desire the boot sequence to jump to $7000, but my game is not. (Or perhaps those games override the boot sequence somehow, and avoid this issue altogether.)
  10. Thanks for digging that up! I'd still be curious to know why my program ran OK some of the time, and why Congo Bongo, Defender, Dig Dug and PacMan seem to work OK. Perhaps it depends on the actual content of the ROM in 7000 .. 70FF? It's not urgent, so no need to dig further. But, if anyone does know, I'd still be curious to learn why.
  11. > "RAM at $7000 confuses EXEC boot sequence." That says "RAM", which implies writability. I thought program code and data were all ROM, no?
  12. Thanks for the tip, I'll avoid $7000 to $70FF going forward. > As the jzIntv document mentions, there is an issue with the lower addresses in the $7xxx space that conflicts with the EXEC boot sequence, with or without the ECS. I saw a bit about the ECS using this memory, but didn't see anything about a conflict when ECS is not present. Can you point me to the documentation you're referring to? thanks.
  13. I'm a bit confused by the legal memory ranges, and am hoping some of you could shed more light. Not sure if I should have started a new thread, but it seems on topic for this one. I'm attempting to write a game with IntyBASIC. At some point it got so large it crashed, and I just added an "ASM ORG $D000" in one spot, to avoid spanning the $7000 address. That made the crash go away, though I never dug any deeper to see why. At some later time, I took out that ASM ORG, and voila, it began to work again. But then after some more changes, it crashes again. The "bad" .cfg file contains [mapping] $0000 - $2CFF = $5000 while the "good" one has [mapping] $0000 - $1EFF = $5000 $1F00 - $2CFF = $D000 The reason I'm confused is that the jzintv memory_map.txt document says this about available memory ranges: $5000 - $5014 ROM ok. RAM ok only if boot ROM at $7000 or $4800. $5015 - $6FFF RAM/ROM ok. $7000 ROM ok if no ECS. RAM at $7000 confuses EXEC boot sequence. $7001 - $77FF RAM/ROM ok if no ECS. $7800 - $7FFF ROM ok if no ECS. Do not map RAM here due to GRAM alias I'm not adding any RAM, and not using ECS, so I assume my program is all ROM (except of course for the variables IntyBASIC allocates in 8-bit scratch ram and 16-bit system ram). Thus it would seem safe to let it span the range $5000 thru $7CFF. And there appear to be some games out there that do span this range ($5000 .. $7FFF), for example Congo Bongo, Defender, Dig Dug and PacMan, to name a few. Is my memory map OK, and I just need to look for the problem elsewhere? Or is there something not quite right about my understanding of $7000.
  14. I loved those handheld games, both football and basketball. Seems like it would be trivial for one of the many game designer folks in this forum to whip up Intellivision versions, except that they would need to know the algorithms for moving the blips. Are those algorithms obtainable?
  15. Curiosity had gotten the better of me last year, when I looked into why both 1+9 and 3+7 were both valid Pause combinations. So I whipped up the attached program which computes all the possible key/button/disc combinations that produce each 8-bit signal. I build and run it on Windows with cl controller.c ./controller.exe > zout For each of the 256 8-bit signals, it lists the set of minimal combinations that produce that signal. The first few lines of the output are, for example: [ 0 = 0x00] [ 1 = 0x01] { S } [ 2 = 0x02] { E } [ 3 = 0x03] { SSE } { E, S } indicating there are no ways to produce 0x00, only one way to produce 0x1 and 0x2, and two ways to produce 0x3. If you're only interested in how many signals can be produced with, say, exactly 6 key presses, invoke it as ./controller.exe 6 Not sure how useful this information is, but it seemed appropriate for this thread. Enjoy. controller.c zout
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