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Where are the cool demos?

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I'm looking for demos written in assembler with graphics and/or sound that push the TI to its limits. There must be tons of examples from the last 30 years, but it's a big job to browse through the whtech.com archive. Is there a collection of demos somewhere that I'm not aware of, or can anyone point me to some remarkable examples? Thanks.

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There are probably a few, but we're only starting to push the TI in the last few years, IMO. ;)

 

Sometimes99er used to have a site with his demos (is it down now?), I always thought they were very cool little graphics demos. :) There are no "megademos" like other scenes have, though.

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Very nice demos was done by Guillaume Tello using his MLC.

We need a challenge here to see new demos !

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Yep, I did about a hundred very small demos. Used to check with MESS, Classic99 and Win994a. At some point I discovered that a good chunk of them didnt work with Classic99, I wanted to locate and fix the problem, but never got around to it. So they didnt reappear.

 

Good TI demos ? Music players by Tursi, H.E.R.O. by rocky007 and Time Pilot by retroclouds.

 

:)

Edited by sometimes99er

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The 99/4A never really had a demo scene or software that pushed the computer or VDP. Texas Instruments seems to have set the precedence for the 99/4A with one-color "blocky" graphics for apps and games, where other 9918A-based systems (Colecovision, MSX1, etc.) took advantage of the VDP and squeezed it hard.

 

The 99/4A seemed to be attractive to those who were less interested in gaming. Even the Geneve seems to mostly use the 9938 VDP and extra VRAM for multiple pages of 80-column text (yawn). I don't have a Geneve, but I have looked for some videos/screenshots of games like you might find on the MSX2, but I could never find anything.

 

Back when this sub-forum was getting started we had pretty good success with some game contests. The goals were usually to try and write a game in as few lines of code as you could, or using BASIC/XB only, etc. It was a lot of fun and quite a few people participated, but there was little in the way of pushing the machine (but pushing BASIC or XB maybe). I tried to start an "effects" type of contest, but it was very lop-sided with sometimes99er being the main (only) contributor.

 

"Machine pushing" software usually means you are going to be writing in assembly. While we have a lot of good assembly programmers here, I think many people also shy away from picking up and learning assembly so we don't have a community big enough to produce lots of stuff (compared to other classic systems anyway). The few get burned out and there is no one waiting in the wings to fill in the gaps during the downtime. It definitely goes in waves though, and right now there is a lot of activity that is very inspiring.

 

I'd love to see some MSX1 or Amiga style demos, and I'd love to work on some. I should be producing F18A demos too, but time is slipping away lately. Also, at least for me, I usually need a reason to write some code. Just sitting down and messing around does not seem to motivate me any more. I think the most fun I had in a while was back when Owen needed a sound player and graphics scrolling for his games. Writing those subroutines was "fun". When someone asks for help, or for examples, people come out of the woodwork. But without a need, there seems to be less produced for the sake of "just doing it".

 

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....when Owen needed a sound player and graphics scrolling for his games...

 

And man, did you EVER come up with some awesome stuff!!!! =)

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Yep, I did about a hundred very small demos. Used to check with MESS, Classic99 and Win994a. At some point I discovered that a good chunk of them didn’t work with Classic99, I wanted to locate and fix the problem, but never got around to it. So they didn’t reappear. I did plan to maybe throw some of them together, expand or explore, or even make playable demos/games, and probably with topic threads here on AtariAge. Right now I just picked out some of them and apparently they all work fine with current version of Classic99. Good TI demos ? Music players by Tursi, H.E.R.O. by rocky007 and Time Pilot by retroclouds.

 

Thanks for the demos, there are some real gems among them, and Tursi's mod player is *awesome*. I never thought you could produce music of this quality on the TI. Just a shame that version 2.05 of the mod2psg2 tracker was never released.

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Version 2.05 didn't add any new features to the tracker, it just resulted in a slightly smaller output file. I know myself and a few other people HAVE the tracker, and I've actually already released my player for it, but I don't know if we're allowed to release the tracker itself.

 

I've been working on a tool that compresses pure VGM recordings and plays them back, which has the nice advantage of working with pretty much any source. Since my MOD converter outputs VGM, and there are large archives of VGM music (check out the Sega Master System and Game Gear tunes at http://www.smspower.org/Music/VGMs -- those are the two with compatible sound chips). My goal is to also update the MOD converter to handle more formats (for instance, NES tunes, since I already have those worked out as well), so that more sources are available for pulling in music.

 

I have the two demos on my Youtube temporarily uploaded here for anyone who wants to try them on their hardware: http://harmlesslion.com/temp/VGMPLAYER.zip

 

(EA#5 - VGMPLAY1R and VGMPLAY2R - both raw files and DSK image in there. I might have posted that here already somewhere...)

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The 99/4A seemed to be attractive to those who were less interested in gaming. Even the Geneve seems to mostly use the 9938 VDP and extra VRAM for multiple pages of 80-column text (yawn).

 

And for pictures like this one (from my Fractals program on the Geneve). Well, I admit, the Mandelbrot set is a bit "eighties", from today's point of view (and I got the Geneve in 1990).

 

Yes, much more would have been possible.

 

post-35000-0-51830200-1367597910_thumb.png

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Take any other popular machine of the day, and you could load machine code and execute. Buy the barebone and a game on cassette, and you could get full-fledged super action. No extras needed.


You couldn't go there with the bare TI-99/4A. If you had the extra money (relatively a lot) or was not into games, then this machine might be one for you to stick with.

I think a lot of talented people quickly realized the above and moved onto other computers.

Of course the TI announcement on October 28, 1983, to withdraw from the home computer market didn't help.

:|

Edited by sometimes99er

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Version 2.05 didn't add any new features to the tracker, it just resulted in a slightly smaller output file. I know myself and a few other people HAVE the tracker, and I've actually already released my player for it, but I don't know if we're allowed to release the tracker itself.

 

Tursi, I would like to use your player for the opening screen of my game, if that's alright. I would really like a copy of the tracker v. 2.05 if only for the slightly smaller output file. I don't see why the author should object to that since the development seems to have stopped years ago. Do you think that could be arranged? Thanks, Rasmus.

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Hey hey hey, what is this? I remember this program. I'm sorry I haven't released it, but please don't put it up as download here without asking me. It's okay now, I give it to all people who ask anyway. It's pretty much obsolete since a long time, as there are enough other solutions for music on TI (and Master System).

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Hey hey hey, what is this? I remember this program. I'm sorry I haven't released it, but please don't put it up as download here without asking me. It's okay now, I give it to all people who ask anyway. It's pretty much obsolete since a long time, as there are enough other solutions for music on TI (and Master System).

 

Sorry for pushing Tursi into posting your beta version, but I think it's such a great program, and I just had to have the latest version. :) If there are any bugs in the beta version I haven't found them, and I have used it for at least 3 games now...

 

I'm not aware of other programs that could replace it, so please let me know what you would recommend.

 

Thanks,

Rasmus

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From what I remember:

TFM/VGM Music Maker by Shiru. I was surprised today it seems a bit hard to find it. There seems to be no official download right now... It does have additional channels for Mega Drive/Genesis, but you can leave them out, and there's C code for playback.

 

There's XPMCK. It isn't a tracker... I remember the examples were impressive. A quick look says there's z80 playback code.

 

Then there is the DefleMask tracker, which seems to be in active development and very popular. I think playback is supposed to be done with the VGM format.

For VGM and in-game playback there is now PSGLib by sverx (you can find it on the smspower forum), and it includes support for sound effects. And there's a new solution by Tursi, too.

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Sorry about that Martin. I'd come to believe that you'd disappeared from the face of the internet!

 

That said.. could we release the documentation on the PSGMOD format that we shared? I still have that locked away in my archives. :)

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Hehe.. all right. What if we change it to "No warranty or support offered. Enjoy!" ?

 

;)

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It sounds great, but I actually wouldn't mind giving support if it's really necessary... though of course it's unlikely. ;)

I would like to put a few lines together in private, nothing complicated. Like a hello and website links :)

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I don't think there's any need for me to be involved in that - I offered only because I didn't know if you still had the text file handy. :) Whatever you are happy with, IMO! :)

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Tursi, did you base your music player on a documented format or did you hack/reverse engineer an existing player written for another platform? If the former, can you provide a link to these docs. I am just curious to know what it would entail to produce decent music without re-inventing the wheel. I am not inferring that I have the skill or acumen to produce such a player but I am willing to study what other people did just for the fun of the journey and not the final destination, if you know what I mean. Thanks.

Edited by Davvel

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I created the format it's using. It's essentially RLE plus a few format-specific hacks to improve compression.

 

There's a document in the archive that describes the format, I figured someone might try to write a better player. ;) The existing one is not as efficient as it could be, being a hand-port from C.

 

Rasmus: this being an interesting thread to have been necro'd, I think it's funny you came in asking about the cool demos, and today you are the author of many of them. ;)

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