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What type of Game maker would you like for your Atari ?

What type of Game maker would you like for your Atari ?  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like Game maker to be more user friendly or coder friendly ?

    • User friendly
      39
    • Coder friendly
      14
  2. 2. What game genres would you most like it to support ?

    • Platform games (Manic Miner like)
      38
    • Beat'em up (Double Dragon like)
      13
    • Shoot'em up (Zybex or Commando like)
      26
    • 3d Isometric (Head over Heels like)
      17
  3. 3. How important would scrolling be?

    • Not at all.
      6
    • It could be useful option.
      35
    • Won't play a game without it!
      8
  4. 4. Would you like to use it on PC or to have native 8-bit Atari version ?

    • PC version would be easier to work with.
      36
    • Atari version would rock!
      22


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The site is down, but I remembered a lot of what was on it, and found it archived. Posting here, because it's on my mind. Sorry Popmilo. I won't derail your gamemaker thread anymore.

 

If somebody wants to emulate the Williams sounds, that code above is going to generate them, only needing a downsample to 4 bits for POKEY.

 

Funny, the Williams guys didn't care about the ultrahigh frequencies. The speaker filters it out, leaving just the good stuff. :)

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Oh feel free. That off the cuff "two Ataris" comment, might have some merit. It's not like most of us don't have a coupla machines and a spare game port, right? One running the Williams style sound while another one runs a game might be totally cool. Or, sound events could be added to real games. Like say, the 8 bit Defender? lol

 

I just got a nice little Propeller board setup with 8 bit DACS. I think I'm going to go find the Williams sound board ROM and have a play. That code above contains a few reference parameters we all can recognize, so we can know it's right. What I don't know is if the Williams board downsampled, or just stuffed the 800Khz sample right straight into the DAC. I think it did, and they just didn't care, or it made something easy. But I don't know.

 

What I do know is the author ran that C code with some of the Williams sound parameters he found and when he downsampled it to 44.1, he got the correct sounds in a wave file.

 

I freaking love those sounds, BTW. And that's true of the whole classic era, save for the Apple 2, which had the least interesting sounds generally. One bit is enough to have fun, but not while slugging things around on the screen. But that aside, most of the other machines all had some distinct sounds all defined by their hardware approach. It's as vivid and cool to me as the graphics are.

Edit:

Over the weekend I returned to playing with the disassembly, and decided to understand how the sound works. Sound is created by a second CPU on what is called the Williams sound board; you can find schematics online. This board is used in the Williams games for Defender, Stargate, Robotron, Joust, Bubbles, Blaster, Sinistar (with added speech components). The board uses a Motorola 6808 (or 6802) CPU, has 128 bytes of RAM (addressed 0-127), 2K of ROM at addresses 0xF000-0xFFFF (more ROM in later games), and a simple 256 level D/A converter that runs the speaker output, written to by writing to address $400. The CPU runs at 894750 cycles per second, so sound is produced at this many samples per second.

 

 

 

So they just blasted right into the DAC at full speed. Nice!

 

https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ProdDS/43502.pdf (that's the CPU, and it's a lot like a 6502. Two 8 bit accumulators, one 16 bit index register, similar instructions)

 

I've attached a text file with a disassembly I found somewhere I can't recall off hand.

 

 

(Ok, Pop. I promise. Shuts up now. Great work so far, BTW. Don't take my Bb comments personally. I didn't see what you were going for.)

 

Attach didn't take, it's in my blog. Can't seem to make a post. I'll dump it in the classic gaming forum.

Edited by potatohead
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(Ok, Pop. I promise. Shuts up now. Great work so far, BTW. Don't take my Bb comments personally. I didn't see what you were going for.)

Ok, Ok, I'll let you off the hook this time ;)

 

After all I love those sounds too. We'll see about making Pokey directly programmable in some easy way (like Pico8 does with SFX).

 

Till then plan is to allow loading rmt songs with sfx from file so what ever RMT can do will be possible.

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Will this just be a tracker file, played on event?

RMT is simple to use. Load module address, call init music routine and then each frame one or more calls to play routine.

Similar to sfx, choose note, volume and instrument (defined in RMT module) and call play sfx routine.

 

Plan is to make these calls as commands in scripting language so simple "PLAYSFX volume, note, instrument" and "PLAYMUSIC n" can be executed from code.

In user friendly mode, they will be tied to events in main game engine (start game, contact with enemy, destroying object etc.).

 

ps. Talking about music, this looks awesome and I wonder how it would look like for Pokey sounds ?

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POKEY visualization example:

Hey, thanks for that !

Didn't know it existed. Must be a nice tool that can do that.

 

Funny how obvious differences between Sid and Pokey sound waves are in visual form.

All pokey sounds look like trapezoids, and Sid waves are triangles, squares or noise.

Cool!

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Any sort of game maker program should also have a scripting option for more advanced users. The commercial PC program, Game Maker is an excellent example of this.

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Any sort of game maker program should also have a scripting option for more advanced users. The commercial PC program, Game Maker is an excellent example of this.

Don't worry it will :)

 

My inspiration is mostly PICO 8 project. You can find manual here: http://www.lexaloffle.com/pico-8.php?page=manual

Some of the more important details are these:

 

- There will be three special functions:

init() - Called once on program startup

update() - Called once per 'main cycle'

draw() - Called after each update (maybe slower if it makes sense, kind of frame skipping you can find in some emulators)

 

Scripting language should have IF THEN ELSE, FOR, Variables, Arrays (lists) and IO routines (input, graphics and sound commands).

 

Stuff like that demo with rotating sprites is basicaly done with for loops, couple if-then conditions, arrays of x,y coordinates, read joystick routine and draw_sprite command.

Plan is to make first usable pc-gui->A8 binary in next couple months. I just hope it will be cold winter and I'll get stuck in house more ;)

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a strategy sport sim would be a nice option

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a strategy sport sim would be a nice

Will be possible with scripting language and speed shouldn't be a problem in that case. Not so sure if gtia pixelated graphics can be a good match for a sport sim...

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