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Here's a review from the German magazine Telematch Computer August 1984, thing is, Germans have a problem with 'shooting games', especially Hartmut Huff (He totally ruined Battlezone in a review). In Germany Final Legacy plays on another planet.

Germans, bold enough to start two WWs, but some computer simulation, tail between their legs.

That's completely bizarre on so many levels. Sure never knew this came out in Germany.

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Hm, I've seen it around way back, don't know if it was a localized version though, as I purchased mine in the UK.

As you said, memory plays tricks on me too.....:-)

Edited by high voltage

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Don't know, Dan.

 

I only maintain the Atari 2600 section of Atarimania.

 

I do know The Last Starfighter on the VCS, programmed by Douglas Neubauer:

http://www.atarimani...ter-_14024.html

 

Which was the prototype of Solaris, one of the most imressive VCS titles ever programmed:

http://www.atarimani...aris_s6941.html

 

8)

Douglas Neubauer's name seems really familiar too, but probably I just heard his name a lot. I was searching around and he did the POKEY chip AND Star Raider so I think if I'd met him I would have remembered. And I do keep seeing Solaris at the top of people's lists. That way impressive to me. I wish Chris could have gotten him into the group. That would have really been something.

 

I've been confusing Douglas Neubauer's name with Dave Getreu who I worked with on the ST. Don't ask me why I confused those two names.

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I was looking around to see if I had put any German cities in Final Legacy...didn't know the Germans were so sensitive. And I saw this screen shot on Atraiprotos.

 

finallegacy_9.png

Not really an easter egg, but Kendall is a tiny town in Upstate NY where I grew up. Forgot about that.

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Sensitive? That's beyond sensitive, that's stupidity:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/River_Raid

 

And it is stupidity, I mean I'm German myself, but banning games like River Raid. Funnily enough playing Cowboys and Indians is ok with Germans.

 

Sorry, best not to dwell on it, just makes me mad.

Edited by high voltage

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I also see now what you all are talking about icon vs text.

 

I see a video on YouTube from Poland with the icons and AtariProto has text. And all the 5200 screen shots have text. My boxed computer version has text on the box's screen shots.

 

I assume there were 3 versions sent to production.

 

1. Computer with text.

2. Computer with icon to international production.

3. 5200 with text.

 

I must have had a reason why they weren't all icon because they all went out on basically the same day and all icons would have been easier. My guess is selecting the 4 screens Nav, Sea-to-Air, Torpedo, Sae-to-Land could be done in one joy stick move. The icons were too large for the N-S-E-W layout so had to be a horizontal layout requiring more joy stick moves. I remember really liking the one move selection.

finallegacy_3.png,

 

I see "The Legacy" a lot. I only remember "Legacy". That's what I wrote on my focus test cart and is on the splash screen. So I don't know where "The Legacy" came from. Can't say I like "The Legacy" either. Never liked "The" in a title.

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Sensitive? That's beyond sensitive, that's stupidity:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/River_Raid

 

And it is stupidity, I mean I'm German myself, but banning games like River Raid. Funnily enough playing Cowboys and Indians is ok with Germans.

 

Sorry, best not to dwell on it, just makes me mad.

Pretty funny to me. I would have killed to have a game banned in Germany. The guys at Digital Pictures told me that having Night Trap in the Congressional hearings and banned from stores put that game on the map. I got to port it because of the infamy. No such thing as bad publicity.

 

When I was at Any River they had a game being done outside, an aliens on earth theme that was about to come out when the alien autopsy was still hot in the press. They started getting questions from the press about whether the game was based on the alien autopsy and they had a meeting to discuss what could be done. I was like "Hell yes! The game is absolutely all about the alien coverup. Aliens are real...we need to do a commercial showing how the alien was killed...in our game...yada yada yada Hire some lobbist to make sure the CEO is called before congress". And they were worried about negative press...Are you freakin kidding me! First company I ever worked at where the venture capitalists shutdown the company before the money ran out. Biggest train wreck ever.

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We've expanded David Crane's DPC into DPC+ to access the additional ROM and RAM found in the Harmony/Melody, as well as to decrease the time it takes to update a TIA register from DPC's 7 to 5 cycles. We've also added the ability to run game logic on the ARM. The code for the ARM is written in the afore mentioned C. The ARM game logic can only run during Vertical Blank and Over Scan as the ARM must relinquish control back to the 6507 when it's time to draw the display. Games like Space Rocks and Frantic are the result.

I wanted to absorb a bit before looking at these games, so I'd have an idea of what I'm seeing. Space Rocks and Frantic look really great. Especially Space Rocks. Sound, graphics, movement, really nice. I'm so itching to play them. Have to get a 2600. Thanks for posting all the info, really helped me.

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Once Frantic is done I'm planning to work on a bus-stuffing driver for the Melody. It'll enable TIA updates in 3 cycles of time and would allow a kernel to be written like this:

OK, thanks. I understand the bus-stuffing thing, at least what I could do in software...the hardware end - no clue. What does it mean to work on a driver? The Melody can do bus-stuffing hardware wise but needs a driver? How hard does that look to be? Bus stuffing can't be done today? Or you're going to write a tweaked driver?

 

Every time I learn something new about the Melody it amazes me.

 

It does tear me a bit. The bus stuffing really changes 2600 programming a lot, the kernel is almost gone. On the other hand it would still be nice to kick Demon Attack's butt.

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Sensitive? That's beyond sensitive, that's stupidity:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/River_Raid

 

And it is stupidity, I mean I'm German myself, but banning games like River Raid. Funnily enough playing Cowboys and Indians is ok with Germans.

 

Sorry, best not to dwell on it, just makes me mad.

 

It kind of makes sense though. It's the typical over-reaction to WW2. The nation let themselves be fooled into creating horrible atrocities. Guilt was their constant companion. I think it's easing up now. You can impersonate Hitler if it's scripted (came up in a wresting event WWE probably) and surely time is healing. Kids have the comfort of knowing that they weren't there.

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It kind of makes sense though. It's the typical over-reaction to WW2. The nation let themselves be fooled into creating horrible atrocities. Guilt was their constant companion. I think it's easing up now. You can impersonate Hitler if it's scripted (came up in a wresting event WWE probably) and surely time is healing. Kids have the comfort of knowing that they weren't there.

 

And USA-icans have to live with the killing and marginalization of "Native Americans," but we still watch movies and play games about it, even though we are the bad guys.

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And USA-icans have to live with the killing and marginalization of "Native Americans," but we still watch movies and play games about it, even though we are the bad guys.

 

You missed the healing with time part. We are not the bad guys. I have not killed anyone native or not. The Germans that banned River Raid were post war communists put into power by the Soviet Union. The memories of the war were still on their mind. Their kids have less guilt because it was their parents who were there. We are horribly straying the topic though, maybe we should stop before we derail it.

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Not so fast, Germany still bans video games nowadays, it's just called something different, the 'index'. Also, 18 rated games are not allowed to be reviewed in gaming magazines, and not sold openly in game shops. To me that is just like the old days.

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OK, thanks. I understand the bus-stuffing thing, at least what I could do in software...the hardware end - no clue. What does it mean to work on a driver? The Melody can do bus-stuffing hardware wise but needs a driver? How hard does that look to be? Bus stuffing can't be done today? Or you're going to write a tweaked driver?

 

Every time I learn something new about the Melody it amazes me.

 

It does tear me a bit. The bus stuffing really changes 2600 programming a lot, the kernel is almost gone. On the other hand it would still be nice to kick Demon Attack's butt.

 

If you'll (eventually) be working on new software for the 2600, I would strongly recommend checking out Stella too. While the Melody/Harmony is absolutely amazing hardware, and no developer should be without one, there's still a place for software emulation during testing. In particular, when you want fast turnaround times and an in-depth debugger for bug-fixing, nothing beats being able to do it all on your PC. Have a look at the Stella project, particularly the documentation and notes on the debugger.

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You missed the healing with time part. We are not the bad guys. I have not killed anyone native or not. The Germans that banned River Raid were post war communists put into power by the Soviet Union. The memories of the war were still on their mind. Their kids have less guilt because it was their parents who were there. We are horribly straying the topic though, maybe we should stop before we derail it.

 

Yep, we better stop, but I should say that unlike slavery, which we had nothing to do with, we are squatting on land that doesn't belong to us. We have not killed anyone (if we don't count the indirect deaths of people who die making our clothing and other things), but we are still living on "Native American" land and keeping them pushed out. That's something we all are doing at this moment. If we wanted to do the right thing, we'd leave this country and create man-made islands out in international waters and live there instead.

 

On the other side of things, it looks like the people we call "Native Americans" weren't the first people to make their way to North America. They killed off whoever was here before them, so if that's true, "Native Americans" can suck it. They're just as evil as we are.

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If you'll (eventually) be working on new software for the 2600, I would strongly recommend checking out Stella too. While the Melody/Harmony is absolutely amazing hardware, and no developer should be without one, there's still a place for software emulation during testing. In particular, when you want fast turnaround times and an in-depth debugger for bug-fixing, nothing beats being able to do it all on your PC. Have a look at the Stella project, particularly the documentation and notes on the debugger.

I was of course drawn to Stella. We'd have gladly given Larry Minor's left nut for one. But Melody features like using the ARM and bus -stuffing I assume Stella can't emulate?

 

At first I was just thinking, yeah one more VCS game for the road, sounds like fun. But this Melody thing and Wickeycolumbus overclocking has me thinking differently. And I just wrote this to Andrew, you've doing something really different in all of gamedom. All game systems I'm aware of are very balanced, very symmetrical. If it has 8 bit color 640x320 bit map graphics it has a matching CPU. Doesn't do any good to have more bits than the CPU could ever push around or more CPU than you need. They always buy the appropriate sized CPU because even the next size up CPU is going to be hugely expensive.

 

You guys are making something very asymmetrical. Yeah you're able to maybe double the graphic power of the VCS, but you're still pretty constrained. Yet you still have a ton of horse power. The only use I can see for that unused horse power is game logic. That's different. That's like the Galapagos Islands. To compete I think your developers will be forced to use that unused CPU power. That could generate a whole new kind of game. I think developers would be forced to.

 

Like putting a Cray chip into an Apple II. I don't know what you're going to get out of that but it sure is going to be something different.

 

So anyways, that's where my head is right now. I'm kind of looking at what you have as a new platform, a modern platform.

 

Does anyone have an idea how much the Melody ARM can do? Like some bench mark per vblank?

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On the other side of things, it looks like the people we call "Native Americans" weren't the first people to make their way to North America. They killed off whoever was here before them, so if that's true, "Native Americans" can suck it. They're just as evil as we are.
Don't forget, some of the Central American native tribes (like the Aztecs and the Mayas) performed human sacrifice on their own kind to appease the gods. It's one thing to kill your enemy, but your own flesh and blood? I'm pretty sure western settlers never did that, oh wait yes they did, forgot about the Salem Witch Trials... |:)

 

Thread officially derailed now. :P

Edited by stardust4ever

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I wanted to absorb a bit before looking at these games, so I'd have an idea of what I'm seeing.

What might help is to start with the my DPC Sprite Demo, which shows how to do sprites using David Crane's original DPC co-processor. Basically instead of something like this in your kernel, which updates sprite + color in 26 cycles:

lda #SPRITEHEIGHT
dcp SpriteTemp
bcs DoDraw
lda #0
.byte $2C
DoDraw
lda (GfxPtr),Y
sta GRP0 ;+18 cycles
lda (ColorPtr),y
sta COLUP0

 

you use this, which updates them in 14:

LDA DF0DATAW ; 4
STA GRP0 ; 3
LDA DF1DATA ; 4
STA COLUP0 ; 3

 

 

Then check out Harmony DPC+ Programming, which is done using only 6507 code, to get that down to 10 cycles:

LDA #<DF0DATAW ; 2
STA GRP0 ; 3
LDA #<DF1DATA ; 2
STA COLUP0 ; 3

 

 

Space Rocks and Frantic look really great. Especially Space Rocks. Sound, graphics, movement, really nice. I'm so itching to play them. Have to get a 2600. Thanks for posting all the info, really helped me.

 

Thanks! PacManPlus (Bob DeCrescenzo) created all the sound effects, he has a way better grasp of TIA audio than I ever well. He's mostly active in the 7800 Forums and has written most of the 7800 homebrews that are available from AtariAge. Nathan Strum did all the graphics, he's quite talented and his work appears in a number of homebrews. A number of others contributed as well, such as Omegamatrix who came up with the flicker-free 14 digit score/lives display (you can see how that developed in this topic). You can use the current version of Stella to play DPC+ games like Space Rocks as ARM emulation was added to it a few versions ago. Stella doesn't know much about the ARM though, so any ARM code runs in 0 cycles as far as the 6507 is concerned. Also the interactive debugger won't let you step through the ARM code.

 

 

OK, thanks. I understand the bus-stuffing thing, at least what I could do in software...the hardware end - no clue. What does it mean to work on a driver? The Melody can do bus-stuffing hardware wise but needs a driver? How hard does that look to be? Bus stuffing can't be done today? Or you're going to write a tweaked driver?

 

The ARM monitors the address bus to figure out what's going on. There "drivers" understand the various bankswitching hardware that was developed and emulate them when presenting the cartridge image to the 2600 thru the 4K memory window. For DPC+ we added the ability to monitor for LDA # so we can override it in so DPC+ registers can be read in 2 cycles instead of 4. The bus stuffing will do the same, but override STX instead. Batari's going to write the actual driver (I don't know ARM assembly), I'm going to spec it out by adding a bus-stuffing driver to Stella so we can figure out the best way to implement it.

 

Every time I learn something new about the Melody it amazes me.

That it is.

 

 

It does tear me a bit. The bus stuffing really changes 2600 programming a lot, the kernel is almost gone. On the other hand it would still be nice to kick Demon Attack's butt.

True. The challenge with DPC+ and Bus-Stuffing comes from the ARM only seeing the Atari thru the 4K cartridge slot, so it must coordinate with the 6507 to update TIA, read controller ports, etc.

 

These are screen shots from another DPC+ project of mine that's currently in limbo as there was a management shakeup at the company I was working on it for. It's pushing DPC+ to the limits and I'm planning to reboot it using the bus-stuffing driver. Sometime in June I plan to write up a blog entry about it that goes into more detail.

post-3056-0-11660500-1369160310_thumb.png post-3056-0-42492300-1369160316_thumb.png

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