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Remakes of old video games -- The TI-99/4A and PARSEC

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You know, an ADAPTION of Parsec would be cool using the extra capabilities of the F18A. How about....

PARSEC - 3D

It could have a view from the cockpit window, possibly even a small monitor for those nasty little buggers that

smash into one from behind. I can only imagine what going through the refueling tunnel would look like.

 

Just an idea.....

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Perhaps I should mention this here: A Parsec remake coming soon to a Windows Phone 8 near you. Once the WP8 version is out there will be an Android version too. The game is finished and right now I'm waiting for permission from TI to publish since the graphics are copyrighted. Many sounds had to be redone because they did not play well on phone speaker. Speech synthesis is there but not the original lady. Instead it's my Cylon friend doing the talking. I'll have a game play video out soon.

 

Anyway, here are some screenshots:

 

post-28399-0-41469800-1393435051_thumb.png

 

post-28399-0-85939700-1393435077_thumb.png

 

post-28399-0-43673600-1393435098_thumb.png

 

post-28399-0-46312700-1393435223_thumb.png

 

post-28399-0-41572000-1393435229_thumb.png

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Just one thing - please take the time to create a decent controller system as most old games played via touch screen controls are absolutely unplayable,

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Interesting. Did you implement this using an emulator, or is this done from scratch?

Done from scratch, enemy movements simulated as close to the original as possible.

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That is a nice clean layout for an app. All I ask is when you port the Android version, have it be able to support slide-out keyboards.

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OX.: I've put a lot of time into optimizing the touch controller. There's also the option to use tilt control (accelerator) but I personally prefer the touch D-pad variant. I think it works pretty well and the game is overall easier to play than on the original hardware with joysticks. Of course, hit detection is also better so that might explain part of it, but still...

 

JonnyBritish: Thanks, appreciate that! You can count on hearing from me as soon it's ready for release :)

 

S1500: I'll see what I can do about that. If it doesn't complicate porting too much I'm sure I can add keyboard as a controller option.

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Please make the Android version available from some source other than Google Play (Amazon appstore, for example). My cheapo tablet is not recognized by Google.

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Perfection? Well, I also loved this game as a child, and I might be walking into a mine field here, but technically, since the color of the scrolled area is all yellow they should not have used bitmap mode. They could have done this much more efficiently using normal graphics mode, and the scrolling could have been pixel smooth and full screen.

In text mode, would it have had enough characters available though? 192 chars for the scrolling background (6x32), 16 for player+opponents (4 chars for ship, 4 for burner, 4 for enemy, 4 for enemy missile), 8 for stars, 52 for fonts, 10 for numbers, 1 for laser... That's 279 and I'm not counting the fuel gauge yet. Skip one font and you might just, just be able to make it.

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The sprites don't need to share the same character set as the ASCII characters - that's just a limitation of TI XB due to lack of VDP space.

 

For example in TurboForth you have 256 re-definable characters and another 256 for sprites. So yeah, I'm sure it would have been possible. But is it any less work to scroll in character mode than bitmap mode? I think it's about the same. You're reading VDP, doing a shift and masking a bit on or off in an adjacent byte. I think the work is the same.

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I am pretty certain I am going to take advantage of separate pattern tables for Arkanoid. I have a lot of sprite definitions that have the potential to take up all 256 characters. Between levels I can unload certain patterns, but it would be best to have all patterns available during a level.

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In text mode, would it have had enough characters available though? 192 chars for the scrolling background (6x32), 16 for player+opponents (4 chars for ship, 4 for burner, 4 for enemy, 4 for enemy missile), 8 for stars, 52 for fonts, 10 for numbers, 1 for laser... That's 279 and I'm not counting the fuel gauge yet. Skip one font and you might just, just be able to make it.

 

I'm not saying you could make the exact same game in normal graphics mode, but if you would be willing to settle for slightly less detailed graphics you could obtain smoothness, speed, and a bigger scrolling area instead.

 

When you say you need 192 characters for the scrolling you're not taking into account that many of the scrolling characters are actually identical (e.g. spaces). Switching to normal graphics mode would free up 12K VDP RAM. This could be used for storing 4 different pattern tables buffers where the characters are scrolled at different offsets (0, 2, 4, 6 pixels). If you designed your graphics in a clever way you could avoid uploading any character patterns to the VDP during game play. Take a look at TI Scramble and Light-year demo (if you haven't done so already) to see some of these techniques in action.

 

The thing I find really impressive about Parsec is that it's running on an unexpanded console. This must have be quite challenging.

 

;-) Post number 1000! ;-)

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You're probably right, but back when they made Parsec, they didn't even think about multiple character sets to handle the scrolling. They just thought "I wonder if I can make a true bitmap scroll fast enough with scratchpad?".

 

Remember these were the early days, things that are obvious today were untried back then. The fact that Parsec has interrupt driven speech was actually considered impossible then, until they did it. :)

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This thread, which Ω started 18 month ago, is about challenging Parsec's role as the gold standard of TI/99-4A games.

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Meh, I never thought it was. ;) I am just explaining that they were trying things for the first time.

 

Challenge away.

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I've seen video game remakes over the years, some for pretty obscure games, some for even more obscure computer systems. In all that time, I have never seen a remake of Parsec! I know the TI was not the most popular or well known machine, but it was not scraping the bottom of the barrel either. Could it be that no one wants to screw with perfection?

 

This thread, which Ω started 18 month ago, is about challenging Parsec's role as the gold standard of TI/99-4A games.

 

Isn't it about remaking Parsec on another system ?

 

Anyway, seems as if parsec did release his remake

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/parsec/9wzdncrd29t6

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