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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

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Hi Marcel,

 

Thanks very much for all the fixes you've made and they all work flawlessly on Emma02, now just need to test it

with the multicart on a Studio II. ;)

 

About the Chip8.bin for the Studio II: Indeed that was fun and i still grateful that you did this as i've always wanted to play

Chip-8 games on a Studio II, and now we can play more than 100 Chip-8 Games and there still al least 200 Chip-8 games

that haven't been saved/typed-in so this will expand the game library by so much. And you also ported it to the Elf2K ?

Is there anything you can't do ?! LOL!! ;)

 

As for other programs that has the "shift" problem, there is "Blinky" that when you try it, the maze is gibberish. And the

author (Thomas Daley) of the emulator "Kiwi8" has made a list of games/programs that has mostly the same problem or

have other "glitches". You can check his list/report here: https://github.com/tomdaley92/kiwi-8/issues/9

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi sly DC,

 

Ok, we have a bit of a problem here....

 

I see that some of the games in your archive are different form the ones I have in the Emma 02 archive. Like Blinky, Connect 4, Tic Tac Toe, Space Invaders etc. All of 'my' versions work fine, the ones you have don't. I was sure my versions were the original but thought I check on David's site and to my surprise mine are NOT the originals, yours are :). So someone has already fixed some of these, not sure who....

 

Now the question is what we should fix, should we have multiple versions of the chip8 games or correct the chip8 code on the VIP, Studio II, Elf 2K and Elf?

 

I did a test with the chip8 on the VIP and have made a version to have the same load_store-quirk as on the page linked by you above. With this fix I could run the Connect 4 and Star demo from your archive correctly. 

 

It is all a bit messy, unfortunate that the Chip8 versions deviated from each other over the years. Of course my opinion is that the original VIP is the 'correct' one but at the same time we have a lot of code now that won't run on that version.... so maybe creating multiple chip8 interpreters with the quirk fixes is better?

 

Opinions from anyone?

 

Cheers, Marcel.

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Looked into the shift_quirk, that is actually not that easy to do in the chip8 interpreters. The code is the same for all/multiple 8XY. commands so it would alter other commands as well. So for the moment I will leave that idea. Also the shift command is rather easily fixed in the game code and a fix would run on both type of interpreters.

 

So maybe an idea is to 'fix' the shift errors in the games and have a load_store_quirk version for the different interpreters (VIP, Elf, Studio II and maybe the Elf2K).

 

Cheers, Marcel.

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Hi Marcel,

 

The best is trying to "fix" the games that have "quirks" and to tell apart an original game or a fixed one, we should put a "fix"

notification in the identification like this: Blitz (fix)(David Winter)(199x).ch8

 

If the "load_store_quirk" can't be fixed in the games, then make a new Chip-8 interpreter with the notification: Chip-8 (VIP)(load_store_fix).bin

so this way we will know that this interpreter fixes the "load_store_quirk" problem. And i completely agree with you, Chip-8 interpreters are

deviating from each others over time....sigh.

 

Oh and putting in each games that needs the "load_store_quirk" interpreter in the (how-to-play) text manual will also be very helpful before

too many persons ask why (specific game) doesn't work.

 

And if anyone wants to know how many different interpreters already exists, go here (and go crazy):

https://gist.github.com/tobiasvl/a0e43bdcd64d9ef6be35f5c67fcff0dd

 

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Hi Sly DC & others,

 

Some findings and fixes attached. Not all of these were done by me but for some reason I already had some fixed code. Some others I corrected, all shortly described in matching txt files. The only load_store_quirk program (that I know of) that I don't have a fix for is the stars demo. 

 

I also found some games with wrong type or in the wrong folder:

 

The following code is Super-chip8:

Super Square (tann)(2014).ch8 (is in the chip8 folder)

Traffic (by Christian Kosman)(2018).sc8 (is in the chip8 folder)

Hires Blinky (by Michael Wales)(2015).ch8 (is in the high res folder but is not a high res game)

 

The following code is hybrid not chip8X:

Bingo [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Blackjack [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Message Center [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Pinball [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Video Display Draw [TCNJ S.572.2].c8x
Video Display Drawing Game [Joseph Weisbecker] (hybrid).c8x
 

Chip8X is the colour / sound version whereas hybrid is Chip8 and 1802 code combined.

 

Last the following games gave some problem or I don't really 'get them', if anyone has more info please comment:

 

Death Star vs Yoda (by TodPunk)(2018).ch8
- Hitting the Y causes a crash

 

Deep8 (by John Earnest)(2014).ch8
- I have seen this working once; but most times there is no possibility to 'do' anything before the ship is blown up.

 

Mysterious (by Guillaume Desquesnes)(2019).ch8
- F key starts something but I just see rubish on the screen on subsequent key presses

 

Snafu (Shendo)(2010).ch8
- looks like nothing moves the snake

 

Snake (by Daniel Jianoran)(2018).ch8
- Looks like chip 8 code is using RAM 0-0x200 where the VIP interpreter is located and as such crashes the game

 

SNEK (by glitchland)(2020).ch8
- looks like nothing moves the snake

 

Sokoban1 (by Daniel Jianoran)(2018).ch8
- Looks like chip 8 code is using RAM 0-0x200 where the VIP interpreter is located.

 

Space Intercept (fix)(Joseph Weisbecker)(1978).ch8
- Does anyone know what was fixed, I thought the original game was 'ok'?

 

Super Block (by Joshua Barretto)(2019).ch8
- key 5 and 6 do something but I don't really get it

 

Tank! (by RectusSA)(2018).ch8
- Key E fires but screen doesn't get cleared after shot?

 

Tick-Tack-Toe (fix)(by Joseph Weisbecker)(1977)

- Does anyone know what was fixed, I thought the original game was 'ok'?

 

Warshaws Revenge (by Ethan Pini)(2019).ch8
- Some graphics look strange? Not sure how the game works either

 

X-Ray (Rand Miller)(1980).ch8
- looks like it gets into an endless loop after a few key presses

 

Boot-128 (hybrid).c8x
- No clue what this does

 

I also had problems with some of the demos but haven't listed the errors (as yet).

 

Cheers, Marcel.

Animal Race (fix)[Brian Astle].ch8 Animal Race (fix)[Brian Astle].txt Astro Dodge (fix)[Revival Studios, 2008].ch8 Astro Dodge (fix)[Revival Studios, 2008].txt Blinky (fix)[Hans Christian Egeberg, 1991].ch8 Blinky (fix)[Hans Christian Egeberg, 1991].txt BMP Viewer - Andnxor (fix)(by And!Xor Team)(2017).ch8 BMP Viewer - Andnxor (fix)(by And!Xor Team)(2017).txt BMP Viewer - Hello (C8 example) (fix)[Hap, 2005].ch8 BMP Viewer - Hello (C8 example) (fix)[Hap, 2005].txt Connect 4 (fix)[David Winter].ch8 Connect 4 (fix)[David Winter].txt Hidden (fix)[David Winter, 1996].ch8 Hidden (fix)[David Winter, 1996].txt LabVIEW Splash Screen (fix)(by Richard James Lewis)(2019).ch8 LabVIEW Splash Screen (fix)(by Richard James Lewis)(2019).txt Lainchain (fix)(by Ashton Harding)(2018).ch8 Lainchain (fix)(by Ashton Harding)(2018).txt Lombat Lombat Asoy! (fix)(by Razka173 Team)(2018).ch8 Lombat Lombat Asoy! (fix)(by Razka173 Team)(2018).txt Loose Cannon (fix)(demo).ch8 Loose Cannon (fix)(demo).txt SierpChaos (fix)(by Marco Varesio)(2015).ch8 SierpChaos (fix)(by Marco Varesio)(2015).txt Tic-Tac-Toe (fix)[David Winter].ch8 Tic-Tac-Toe (fix)[David Winter].txt

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Hi Marcel!

 

Looks like you were pretty occupied. :) First, thank you so much for all the "fixed" programs and with text which

described what was the problem in the program. I'll add these info with the proper manual program (if exists).

 

I have made the corrections:

 

The following code is Super-chip8:

Super Square (tann)(2014).ch8 (is in the chip8 folder)

Traffic (by Christian Kosman)(2018).sc8 (is in the chip8 folder)

Hires Blinky (by Michael Wales)(2015).ch8 (is in the high res folder but is not a high res game)

 

## Those are in the proper folder except for "Hires Blinky" as i have find out it is exactly the same version

as the one made by Hans Christian Egeberg. So have to delete this one. ##

 

The following code is hybrid not chip8X:

Bingo [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Blackjack [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Message Center [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Pinball [Andrew Modla] (hybrid).c8x
Video Display Draw [TCNJ S.572.2].c8x
Video Display Drawing Game [Joseph Weisbecker] (hybrid).c8x

 

## All in their respective folder now and change their extension also: ".hc8" (for Hybrid Chip8) and

".c8h" are for Hires Chip-8 (64x64) and put those in the "various" tab. ##

 

Last the following games gave some problem or I don't really 'get them', if anyone has more info please comment:

 

## There is two i can't explain for now (the two already "fix") and the rest, i have made manuals on how to play

them as clearly as possible. ##

 

So here's the manuals for 12 of the games listed above, have fun all! :)

 

P.S.: The Snake.png is what is supposed to look like from the emulator of the same author. Tried it in Emma02, was able to

play with it but it crashes after pressing a few buttons. :(

imageproxy.php?img=&key=f4dcc336a70d5c68

Tank! by RectusSA.png

SNAKE.PNG

boot-128.txt Death Star vs Yoda.txt Deep8.txt Mysterious.txt snafu.txt snake - Daniel Jianoran.txt Snek.txt Sokoban1 - Daniel Jianoran.txt Super Block.txt Tank!.txt Warshaws Revenge.txt X-Ray.txt

Edited by slydc

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Hi Sly DC,

 

Are you sure the Highres Blinky is the same as the original? I did see a 00FF code in there somewhere which is code for switching to high res in super-chip8....

 

Thanks for the game explanations, that helped for a few:

Death Star vs Yoda - I added a fix so it doesn't crash in the end

Mysterious - I added a fix to display numbers correct on the VIP

X-Ray - found some typos when I compared the first 512 bytes with the manual, now it runs better. There might be more typos.

Also note X-Ray is a hybrid! it includes 1802 code and as such probably won't run on Chip8 emulators.

 

These 3 fixes are attached....

 

Others:

Deep8, snafu, super block - all indeed run 'ok' with your manual... super block is a bit slow on the VIP and the ''player' looks slightly different then on the chip8 emulator online. Might also be due to speed, not sure.

 

Snake and Sokoban1 are as far as I can figure out not complying to chip8 code. They store data over 0-0x200 which crashes the VIP. When I try to correct that and also correct a shift error they still don't run properly. I also think Snek and Tank! have bugs or don't comply to chip8 code. Warhaws Revenge might be 'ok', but still not sure what the end game is.... 

 

I will not include the games which don't run.

 

Anyway, thanks a mill for all the work you must have put in to try and collect all this :).

 

Cheers, Marcel. 

 

X-Ray (fix)(Rand Miller)(1980).txt X-Ray (fix)(Rand Miller)(1980).ch8 Mysterious (fix)(by Guillaume Desquesnes)(2019).txt Mysterious (fix)(by Guillaume Desquesnes)(2019).ch8 Death Star vs Yoda (fix)(by TodPunk)(2018).txt Death Star vs Yoda (fix)(by TodPunk)(2018).ch8

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Hi Marcel!

 

Yes i am very sure that Highres Blinky is the same as the original as i have compared both programs with a hex compare program like this:

 

BLINKY.thumb.PNG.e04c1179ce576ca48878b1aa9edfa8f7.PNG

 

No problem for the explanations of some games, glad i can help. ;)

 

I also updated the Chip-8 excel sheet with these new fixes and problems, thanks very much! :D

 

For the four games (Snake, Sokoban1, Snek and Tank!), i have compared them with 4 emulator (including yours of course!)

 

* Snake: In Octo and Emma 02 it doesn't work but with Fish 'N Chip it works and with Kiwi8 it works only if the Load/Store & Shift Quirks are enabled.

 

* Sokoban1: Same results as for the Snake game.

 

* Snek: in Octo, it doesn't move and in Emma 02 & Kiwi8, it "bugs". But it works with Fish 'N Chip.

 

* Tank!: This one works with all four emulators but is very slow with Fish N Chip and Kiwi8. I tried it with Emma 02

and works like a charm once you configured the hex keypad like this:

 

1-2-3-4        1-2-3-C

Q-W-E-R       4-5-6-D

A-S-D-F        7-8-9-E

Z-X-C-V        A-0-B-F

 

And with the PNG manual sheet, i played a few rounds without any problems. :)

 

As for the other three games, i'll put them in a folder called "not-properly-working".

 

The "Chip-8 Database" took at least 5 years to gather all the programs and info and there's still a lot more to be done.

Hopefully, all programs will be in a "rom" format with their proper manual, screenshots and hex list to all to enjoy (gamers,

programmers, etc) for many years to come. :)

 

 

Edited by slydc

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Hi

 

Maybe slightly off topic but when I looked at Sly DCs Chip8 archive and the links he provided in previous posts, I got interested (again) in super-chip. Way back I had seen different super and mega chip descriptions but I had dismissed them for the 1802 machines, mainly due to higher resolutions. Now I noticed super-chip uses the same resolution as the chip10 which is running on a HW modified VIP. So I thought hmm, couldn't we run super-chip on that same modified VIP?

 

and....? Yes!

 

screendump.1.png.ed7973593b7d70fa0b4b4da1d0505b37.png

 

Super-chip Blinky running on a very early version of my new 1802 super-chip interpreter :).

 

So far this is the only game I got running, I did have to make the shift_quirk fixes which were done in the chip8 version but than it does run. I might be able to fix those in this interpreter as I have made some more 'space' available. It will also need a VIP with 8K due to the larger interpreter size and 1K video memory which would otherwise leave less than 2K for games. 

 

I have the down scroll working but it is way too slow for any game play, left and right scroll is not implemented and just scrolling 4 pixels is going to be impossible on the 1802 due to speed. 8 pixels would be possible but also as slow as the down scroll. So we'll have some speed problems.... but it was fun to see Super Blinky come to live on the VIP.

 

When I have this running, I also intend to see if I can port it to the Studio IV. The IV has the same resolution so it should be doable.

 

To be continued....

 

Cheers, Marcel.

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Hi folks!

 

Sorry if me and Marcel has been going a bit "off-topic" with the Chip-8 stuffs and all, but Chip-8 is related to the RCA Studio II/III since the

COSMAC VIP is almost the same hardware as the Studio II, the big difference between the two is the tape interface and ram. The Studio II

can be easily be modified into a VIP with ram upgrade and others little mods. And with Flip's multicart, we can even add Chip-8 games to play

them (but not all) on a Studio II without modding it, so this expands the game library to more than 200 games  as there is about 200 more

Chip-8 games not typed from various newsletters/magazines.

 

I have finally made mini-manuals, especially which buttons does what, for each Chip-8 games (existing in a ROM-type format) which is 163

as of today (Sept.19, 2020). I'm not sure if every mini-manual is exact as i've mostly copy-pasted descriptions of the games when they had one.

There is only two games that the manuals aren't finished: Chesmac (no manual right now) and Space Explorer.

 

So if anyone wants to check all 163 Chip-8 games works or not with Flip's multicart, be my guess as i'm trying to concentrate that each games

as been correctly identified (title, author, year) and have their manual and later on screenshots.

 

The Chip-8 Database will be updated during this week-end. Have fun! :)

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Hi Marcel,

 

Super Chip8 on the VIP ??  I knew it was possible as the specs for the CDP1861 (also CDP1862 & CDP1864) can go up to 128x64 but needs

more RAM (1k more i think?). With Eproms now, why bother to upload a game or program into RAM when you just need to add a port to install

ROM carts so this will leave the RAM for higher resolution, colors (also this one needs 1k extra RAM), and variables as the rest of the game/program

can be stored into ROM (or Flip's multicart).

 

Maybe ROMS (Eproms) can be inserted by the VIP expansion port ? (haven't checked that out yet). Anyway, i am amazed that you have succeeded

to adapt the Super Chip-8 to the VIP, even if it's only one game but the first step is done! Can't wait to see the development for the VIP S-Chip, so

hats off to you Marcel! ;)

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Hi Sly DC,

 

Correct, 1K RAM is needed for video RAM in the 128x64 resolution, whereas the lower res only needs 256 bytes of video RAM.

Some of the chip8 games do need to be running in RAM, that was one of the issues I had when porting to the Studio II....

 

Two S-CHIP games tested 'ok' now on the VIP, most still have some strange graphics here and there. Possible caused by my code or incompatibilities like the shift and load quirks from chip8.... will continue tomorrow :).

 

Cheers, Marcel.

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4 hours ago, slydc said:

Hi folks!

 

Sorry if me and Marcel has been going a bit "off-topic" with the Chip-8 stuffs and all, but Chip-8 is related to the RCA Studio II/III since the

COSMAC VIP is almost the same hardware as the Studio II, the big difference between the two is the tape interface and ram. The Studio II

can be easily be modified into a VIP with ram upgrade and others little mods. And with Flip's multicart, we can even add Chip-8 games to play

them (but not all) on a Studio II without modding it, so this expands the game library to more than 200 games  as there is about 200 more

Chip-8 games not typed from various newsletters/magazines.

 

I have finally made mini-manuals, especially which buttons does what, for each Chip-8 games (existing in a ROM-type format) which is 163

as of today (Sept.19, 2020). I'm not sure if every mini-manual is exact as i've mostly copy-pasted descriptions of the games when they had one.

There is only two games that the manuals aren't finished: Chesmac (no manual right now) and Space Explorer.

 

So if anyone wants to check all 163 Chip-8 games works or not with Flip's multicart, be my guess as i'm trying to concentrate that each games

as been correctly identified (title, author, year) and have their manual and later on screenshots.

 

The Chip-8 Database will be updated during this week-end. Have fun! :)

I am mostly a lurker and follow along with the discussions.  But the comment about the Studio II being almost the same as a VIP got my attention.  Has anyone documented the mods needed to turn a Studio II into a VIP?  I have a broken one in addition to my good one with the flash cart.  I'd be interested in getting the broken one working and converted into a VIP.

 

Thanks

David

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