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Draconian (2600)

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I hope to be as half as talented as the people working on this game!

I'd be happy to have 1%. Mind blown every time I play this. I'm running the ROM on my 7800 and have to keep reminding myself I am playing a 2600 game, not 7800.

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This is one in a line of modern creations that just blows your mind. Imagine if this had been available back in the day. Rock star, for sure.

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This is one in a line of modern creations that just blows your mind. Imagine if this had been available back in the day. Rock star, for sure.

While DPC already existed, ARM didn't for another 20 years or so.

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What about IPC & TDP? Let alone power consumption. You have to consider efficiency.

 

But perhaps a theoretical 70MHz 65C816 would work if you used some assembly routines..

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Would not a 70Mhz 65c816 have been just as good? icon_razz.gif

Even if it would have existed, I doubt the resulting price would have allowed many sales (if any).

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Even if it would have existed, I doubt the resulting price would have allowed many sales (if any).

Yeah those ARMs the Harmony/Melody uses are still ancient by modern terms when you compare even to the SOAC the PI uses. It's almost more like a microcontroller CPU than a serious processor.

 

I wonder if Draconian or any homebrew come close to maxing the CPU to 70Mhz during any portion of the video frame. Isn't most of the physics and engine handled during vblank period when it's not pushing registers to the TIA or CPU?

 

So much more computing resorces are afforded to the little carts compared to many arcade hardware bitd. Had Atari 2600 not tanked in 1984 post crash, and more advanced 3rd generation hardware like NES never existed, where would things like Pitfall II DCP have gone to? It wuld have been cool if Activision reused the chip in another game, or seen other vintage DIP style coprocessors in game carts, and possibly even have extended form factor if need be to cram the extra hardware.

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  • Station open/core logic revised. Later levels (but not kids) will launch E-Type missiles when the core finishes opening.
  • Updated Γ (gamma) Levels
  • core animation faster (60 fps instead of 30)
  • If you were holding down FIRE at the end of your game, the next game would start right away. You must now release FIRE.
For Harmony or Stella (requires Stella 5.0.0 or newer)

draconian_20170730.bin

 

Please reference Rules of the Game for what's been implemented and what's to come.

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At the end of the game I never get to see my final score or sector. Goes right back to the title page. This in Win32 Stella 5.0.1.

Edited by Keatah

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So much more computing resorces are afforded to the little carts compared to many arcade hardware bitd.

 

I'm surprised no one has ever put an LCD on a flashcart in place of a label. And as you loaded a new game, the artwork would appear. And it would have an internal battery. And a jellyswitch, so whenever you shook it or even just picked it up, it'd light up and display the currently selected game for 20 seconds or something.

 

And with a touch-screen you could swipe and scroll the games. And then you cud play them. That's going too far..

 

 

---

 

But back in the day we kids always discussed the possibility of building supercarts with super processors that would bring the arcade home for real.

Edited by Keatah

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At the end of the game I never get to see my final score or sector. Goes right back to the title page. This in Win32 Stella 5.0.1.

Considering how much remains to be implemented (ie: everything not green), the scores fairly meaningless at the moment. Once most of that list is done I'll be adding an attract mode, which will display the last score as it demos the game.

Though I have been thinking about not having an attract mode and just showing that info on the menu screen. The space saved would be used for better sounding samples.

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Though I have been thinking about not having an attract mode and just showing that info on the menu screen. The space saved would be used for better sounding samples.

I could do without the attract mode in favour of better samples.

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I prefer better samples over attract mode. I bet a lot of people do.

 

If you need an attract mode for demo & marketing purposes, then I smell two different versions. Maybe sacrifice higher levels or quadrants to squeeze in the attract mode for a demo/display cart.

 

And then have the release version with good samples, all levels and quadrants, and no attract mode.

Edited by Keatah

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At the end of the game I never get to see my final score or sector. Goes right back to the title page. This in Win32 Stella 5.0.1.

Behavior is identical on the Harmony cart. Also whew-hoo, new updated ROM to try out! :grin:

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Haha, this game rocks! It just keeps getting better and better.

 

It probably should have been obvious, but it occurred to me that this long period of playtesting is the perfect chance to get better at the game, in turn making the cartridge release more appealing (to me, anyway). Well, it's working.

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Been super duper busy with my new job and finally got an opportunity to play some games and work on my boxes this weekend. I tried the new 7/30/17 demo and it's amazing! :lust:

 

I noticed all the Gamma stages are alphabet letters. Albert, Nathan, not sure who the "D" is... In addition to the inclusion of e-missiles, the game just feels more hardcore now. I'm not sure if it's improved enemy AI or what, but the action seems more frantic even on standard mode. Congrats Spiceware, this is shaping up to be one of the best homebrew arcade ports yet. It doesn't even feel like a VCS game at all, plays more like one of PMP's 7800 ports or something... :cool:

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Thanks all!

 

 

Due to the use of samples I won't have space for my usual Credits Easter Eggs, so I'm using the Γ sector for the credits. One of the "D" sectors is for Don, who's working on something that'll be seen at PRGE.

 

 

Last week was a bit hectic for work so I didn't spend much time on Draconian, though I did get some playtesting done which resulted in some updates to Rules of the Game.

 

 

Good news - it looks like Chris was able to fix the issue with Draconian not working on some 7800s (this would show up if you flashed the game direct, same as done for stand-alone cartridges using the Melody, as opposed to running it from the Harmony's menu). Bad news - it changed the CDF driver enough that it won't work in the current build of Stella, so I'll need to make an update for it.

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Bad news - it changed the CDF driver enough that it won't work in the current build of Stella, so I'll need to make an update for it.

Stella needs to be able to emulate the ARM coprocessor and Melody hardware itself to be 100% future compatible with new bankswitch schemes. Otherwise every time someone writes a new arm driver the emu gets broken again.

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How do other emulators handle modern hardware extensions?

 

This looks like a massive task. There may be hardware revisions which act slightly differently. Or there may be different (Melody, Concerto, Aria...) or future all new hardware. I doubt this is manageable for a small development team (only Stephen for most of the time) to get those emulated correctly on hardware level.

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Stella needs to be able to emulate the ARM coprocessor and Melody hardware itself to be 100% future compatible with new bankswitch schemes. Otherwise every time someone writes a new arm driver the emu gets broken again.

 

This has already been discussed in some detail, but I don't think you fully get it.

 

Each time that CDF (or whatever else) is changed, it's the same thing as creating a new bankswitch scheme. So Stella isn't 'broken', it just hasn't been updated yet with the new scheme. Once the changes are made, a new release is done, and voila, everything is right in the world again.

 

Also, emulating the ARM processor wrt actual bankswitching would be extremely slow. And you'd lose all debugger support in Stella for that scheme. And it would be huge amount of work. All for something that probably only takes an hour or two of work here and there. I mean really, how often does a new bankswitch scheme appear, and how often are old ones modified? It's not worth the considerable effort and associated disadvantages of emulating the entire thing. And besides, as Thomas says, what if new Harmony/Melody hardware is released. Then we still need to do a new release of Stella.

 

What you're asking for is complete and total forward-compatibility, and it's just not going to happen. We don't have the time to do it, and conceptually, it's not a reasonable request.

 

I've had similar requests in the past to create code so that a virtual controller could be added to Stella. That is, instead of having joysticks, paddles, etc, there should be a way for the end-user to use Stella to create their own controller. In effect, that I write code that allows a controller to be created that doesn't exist right now (ie, trying to program for the future). I declined the request, but said that I could add any controller scheme that anyone wanted. And guess how many new controllers have been requested in the past 15 years; one. Yes, just one (the Genesis controller). Writing that code took me an hour. Writing code that allowed a user to write that code (which is essentially what they were asking) would have taken much longer. All for the sake of one controller.

 

Anyway, end rant.

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