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StudioVision - An RCA Studio II emulator for the Intellivision

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Lee Romanow's homebrews (Climber etc) however seem to be made in PML so those would run on the StudioVision, I believe. With the exception of the diagnostics program by Flip, it seems Paul Robson is one of the very few to ever have made application software for the Studio 2 in pure 1802 machine code. Almost everyone else went through PML.

True enough, although it looks as though I need to understand how Lee does his randomising, because as things stand the game is rather easy.

 

post-46336-0-77343000-1486657772_thumb.gif

 

Again, this is most likely to be something that is not currently modelled in StudioVision rather than a problem with Lee's code.

 

So for any aspiring developer, you have two choices: machine code for maximum speed on real console, or interpreted language to be emulator friendly. :)

Or get a better emulator developer? ;)

 

 

decle

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Hi everyone,

Week 6 and all things come to an end. I've added a final couple of bonus ROMs, the RCA Demonstration Cartridge and the Programming Cartridge to the top of thread, along with the source code of StudioVision - Unplugged.

The Demonstration Cartridge was only dumped a couple of weeks ago following one turning up on EBay at the turn of the year. It shows short snippets of the Studio II built in games. I think it is interesting that the animation is smoother with significantly less flicker than real game play.

The Programming Cartridge is one of two, third party ways of using the RCA Studio II as a small general purpose computer. It is the only StudioVision ROM that is written in RCA 1802 machine code rather than PML. As a consequence, it was a pain to get working (it uses a clever, non-standard VBLANK interrupt service routine that had to be integrated) and, as has already been discussed, it runs significantly slower than the real thing.

To do any programming you will need the manual and have access to an RCA 1802 datasheet, oh and Paul Robson's technical pages are helpful too. As that means no-one is actually going to try to program anything, I've put in a nice rendition of the Fugue from BWV565 by Bach as a distraction. :)

The Programming Cartridge is a machine code monitor that enables the manipulation of memory and execution of RCA1802 native machine code programs. Because the Studio II clears its memory on reset, the Programming Cartridge sets up the B0 key as an alternative soft reset button. This is checked within the VBLANK ISR to ensure that you can always break into a running program without causing your program to be cleared from memory. Neat.

Unfortunately, StudioVision does not completely sandbox Studio II code, and therefore, it is possible for badly written RCA code to cause the Intellivision to crash. Happily this is not a problem for the games released by RCA. However, there is a bug in the example program supplied on page 9b of the Programming Cartridge manual which will cause a crash. The opcode for the PHI RC instruction at address $8da should be $bc, not $ac. As listed, the program overwrites itself with junk after a while, which then causes the CP1610 to go off into the weeds. Self modifying code, it's evil, and not just when it is accidental.

Well I think that is about it. I have enjoyed putting StudioVision together a great deal, I want to thank the large number of people whose contributions have made it possible, your work is very much appreciated. I hope people think StudioVision is a fitting tribute to the RCA Studio II. Happy Birthday old fella, trust me life after 40 is not that bad!


decle, signing off for now.

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Great work. Decle! This should add a great new dimension to the Intellivision home-brew canon. :)

 

-dZ.

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(copied from main Intellivision forum)

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. Your questions are really good.

 

The Studio II has a 64x32 bitmapped display. It takes 32 Intellivision GRAM cards to model it. So whilst the Intellivision's screen is large enough to double the resolution, unfortunately a standard Intellivision does not have enough GRAM to map the 128 cards required.

 

Disc control is something I considered. These kind of projects are always a bit of a compromise between authenticity and ease of use. In this case the decision was made for me because I don't have a means of testing on a real Intellivision. Given that the Studio II only has keypads, I was not sure how well a disc would work with the games. Of course, if you are using an emulator it is always possible to map the keys to any controls you fancy.

 

 

Cheers

 

decle

again an awesome job on this. would you mind if i made a post about this in the retropie.org.uk forum? i cant link to here though due to the roms but i have mentioned how to search google to find this thread. i made the post with about 6 of the gifs but i havent posted it yet because i want your permission first. if not i completely understand.

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again an awesome job on this. would you mind if i made a post about this in the retropie.org.uk forum? i cant link to here though due to the roms but i have mentioned how to search google to find this thread. i made the post with about 6 of the gifs but i havent posted it yet because i want your permission first. if not i completely understand.

 

Fine with me, thanks for the feedback and for doing this ;-)

 

 

decle

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A console emulator running on the Intellivision. Who would have thought it possible?

 

Well, apparently, decle did. :grin:

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What would be real nice is a RCA Studio Encyclopedia release. Bank switch all the games using Joe's board, include a History of the Studio II booklet like was included with the Ultimate Pong. I know a couple of people that would write the booklet. Maybe include a couple of new games if a few of us learn the interpreter.

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What would be real nice is a RCA Studio Encyclopedia release. Bank switch all the games using Joe's board, include a History of the Studio II booklet like was included with the Ultimate Pong. I know a couple of people that would write the booklet. Maybe include a couple of new games if a few of us learn the interpreter.

 

That is a good idea. Perhaps a 50th anniversary edition.

 

In the mean time, I have one or two other non-emulator, non-game things I'm thinking about ;)

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I wanted one of these for christmas one year and was upset when I discovered that the box I thought was the Studio 2 was in was a High School Varsity Jacket, but Now I'm glad I did not get it because a few years later I got an Intellivision.

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sv.gif svbaseball.gif svbingo.gif svbiorhythm.gif

 

svblackjack.gif svconcentrationmatch.gif svfunwithnumbers.gif svgrandpack.gif

 

svgunfighter.gif svmathfun.gif svpinball.gif svschoolhouse1.gif

 

svspacewar.gif svspeedway.gif svstarwars.gif svtennis.gif

 

 

removed the "for use with rca studio home programmer" and the cartridge number.

 

 

Edited by Gernot
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some might prefere a virtual Box front instead of an icon

 

sv00unplugged.jpg sv01baseball.jpg sv02speedway.jpg sv03tennis.jpg sv04bingo.jpg sv05blackjack.jpg sv06biorhythm.jpg sv07tvschoolhouse1.jpg

 

sv08mathfun.jpg sv09funwithnumbers.jpg sv10gunfighter.jpg sv11spacewar.jpg sv12concentrationmatch.jpg sv14pinball.jpg sv15starwars.jpg sv16grandpack.jpg

 

sv17demonstration.jpg sv18programming.jpg

Edited by Gernot
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There changed a lot to the virtual box front images, and i started to create totally useless manuals

Honestly i started out before i noticed the originals in the studio 2 related thread, it seems the "owners manual isn't linked? here it is:

Service manual includes program instructions: https://ia801306.us.archive.org/11/items/bitsavers_rcacosmacRnual_634878/RCA_Studio_II_Service_Manual.pdf

Owners manual includes program instructions: https://archive.org/stream/studio-ii-owners-manual/Owners_Manual#page/n0/mode/2up

 

I started with the manuals from scratch based on your brief instructions, decle.

Later i decided to refere to the manuals, but the result is a special StudioVision manual.

The updated box fronts can be taken from the PDF, the image is stored in full size (recently only one is finished, needs critics).

 

edit: a first revision and a second manual.

 

SV100 Unplugged.pdf

 

SV400 SpaceWar.pdf

 

example pages

post-41280-0-63306500-1513539905_thumb.jpg
post-41280-0-32834900-1513539993_thumb.jpg

A idiot safe manual!

Edited by Gernot
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There changed a lot to the virtual box front images, and i started to create totally useless manuals

 

Hi Gernot,

 

Great job! Thanks for taking the time to put together these StudioVision icons, box fronts and instructions.

 

I am always surprised and very humbled when people like what I have done, so for someone to be inspired in some way and produce something creative off the back of StudioVision is amazing.

 

Thank you, and keep up the good work.

 

 

Cheers

 

decle

 

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As soon as the manuals are complete i will start a own thread for them.

I completed today the "Quiz Booklets" for "TV Schoolhouse I" which was a lot of work, but i guess it was worth the effort.

The single pages of the quiz booklet wil use up to 100MB in a PDF, the one i created is 1.5MB.

 

It's a "printer friendly" manual kept in b&w since the yellow and orange color isn't important at all and will use up all your yellow ink (This change i made to all manuals i completed, they are kept in b&w except for the "cover").

 

To print out the "quiz booklets" could become handy for those who like to play "TV Schoolhouse I" for two player.

For fun added a single new quiz "Name the Portrait", in my version of the "quiz booklet" which is a appendix to the manual are some portraits splattered of which you have to guess the names of the portraited person.

 

Yes the quizzes are simple and use always the same scheme, nonetheless it's somehow cool to solve them especially because 10 or 20 seconds aren't much time and

parts of what is asked is a riddle to me (non metrical measurements).

 

Instead of 73MB single pages or 83MB as PDF, 1.3MB of text and graphics with an index linked to the pages.

SV500 TVSchoolHouse1.pdf

post-41280-0-05262800-1513807887_thumb.jpg post-41280-0-66604500-1513807583_thumb.jpg

 

like i said the box fronts and icons have changed to, instead of the "all green" for the MPT-02 games i made some new images, perhaps i wil still change one or two because of copyrights.

post-41280-0-13812700-1513810203.jpg

 

I don't know what the rest guesses but i like those rotten old games, they are primitive and certainly they missed the state of art of '77.

Nonetheless i have fun playing them, maybe it's the struggle with the keyboard or whatever, but they have charm.

 

For sure i'm aware there is a "real" studio II emulator, however the stuff suits well to the intellivision and i can't wait to play them on the console.

They have even more charm on an Intellivision.

 

Nostalgic? for sure!

It reminds me of my childhood and i remember well that after my father builded a pong himself he baught once a simple "pong / hockey console" for us.

If i'm not wrong i noticed the "studio II" once, or one of his clones, at least i remember that i liked to have one while my father thought it was similar to the odyssee

and instead of programmed cartridges he stated back then "it just switches a couple of contacts, it's a sort of fooling".

He was wrong! He was often wrong, but i can grant you he never was wrong.

I had to wait until i earned my own money and that was when i baught the intellivision.

5 years, i baught my inty in '82, can be a big difference, the difference from aged 11 to aged 16.

Well and not long after i had to buy me a own TV, he couldn't stand i occupied his TV permanently.

 

You can't bring this back, the laughter my mother had when she saw for the first time the "running man", no innovation in gaming not even a "mind controlled game"

can match this. Computers have become very common, especially older ppl can't imagine what evolution it was and what difference it is.

In every phone is a little computer, my mother usually quits when she had to imagine such, we all just use it without being aware what's behind.

 

Very sad i didn't own his homebrew pong anymore, it had self made slider controls.

Also he builded once a lightgun game and a lightgun of an old pellet gun, a simple moving dot on the screen, but well.

Unfortunately my father never had sense for old electronics, thus he trashed all when we moved to another town (if i didn't "trashed" it already, i wasn't careful as child).

Together with his calculator that only could add and subtract, which was my first "electronic toy" i was simply fascinated by the nixie tubes or adding until it overflowed,

it would be a little museum. "Calculator", for pops it was a fun project, he was faster with the slider as most with a calculator.

 

Don't take the "pioneer" stuff to serious, i was once co-dev, or to say it proper i was mainly responsible for the artwork in the game until the crew changed and i was punched out.

the "Pioneer Space Pilots Guild" is in fact a script form a friend of mine who scripted a lot of missions for the game, it simply offers cheaper services for your spacecraft for a monthly fee. I just found this approval by the guild a cool thing to label on the box.

 

Perhaps, or i thought about, we could make a competition who's best in "Space War" and the winner(s) (while every one's a winner) will officially become members of the "Guild".

i guess i could easy redraw/vectorize the badge and make a couple of stickers of it to hand out to the winners.

But maybe i have to draw a new one, not because the badge isn't my artwork, but because it displays a "Frontier First Encounters" spaceship.

They should have changed this anyway a long time ago since none of my "FE2/FFE" spaceships or conversions are to find in "Pioneer" anymore.

On the other hand i shouldn't take this to serious, "Geraldine" (which is a pioneer veteran like me) presents still my "Imperial Courier" as my artwork.

While she's aware that it's based on FE2 but she thinks that it's quite different to the original, or to tell it right the most beautiful and sleekest ship, still even better as E4.

 

note to myself: create a new badge!

 

 

Who is "C"?

A 0 Marie Curie
B 1 Archimedes of Syracuse
C 2 Abraham Lincoln
D 3 Omar Khayyam
E 4 Pierre Bézier
F 5 René Descartes
G 6 Valentina Tereshkova
H 7 Ferdinand Magellan
8 Thomas Jefferson
9 Robert E. Lee

Press the number for the correct answer to score ;)

Edited by Gernot
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This is one of the greatest things I've ever seen. I love the Intellivision but the Studio II was my families first cartridge-based system. Wow...

 

FYI, the ROMs ran great on the LTO Flash! but I could not get them to work on the Cuttle Cart 3. They did work great on the CC3 after converted to BIN files. I had to edit the CC3 gamelist.txt by hand since adding the ROMs in the editor GUI screwed up the file. Dunno why.

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FYI, the ROMs ran great on the LTO Flash! but I could not get them to work on the Cuttle Cart 3. They did work great on the CC3 after converted to BIN files. I had to edit the CC3 gamelist.txt by hand since adding the ROMs in the editor GUI screwed up the file. Dunno why.

 

That's due to the fact that there's actually two different .ROM formats, one for the Intellicart and one for the CC3. (I kid you not.)

 

They differ only in the first byte, though. Intellicart files start with 0xA8, and CC3 files start with 0x41. It has to do with the UART used on each. On the Intellicart, Chad implemented autobaud in software, and just counted cycles between transitions on an alternating signal (hence 0xA8, which starts with 010101, if you include the start bit. On the CC3, the included UART has hardware autobaud that looks for the letter A (upper or lowercase). The idea there apparently was to support modem software, and the AT command set. Since all commands start with A...

 

Both the Intellicart and CC3 support you sending the .ROM file as-is down the wire, and both rely on that first byte to signal the baud rate. Thus, the shift in format from Intellicart to CC3.

 

jzIntv supports both formats, as do the tools I provide. You can generate a CC3 .ROM file with the -c flag in as1600, or use the --cc3 flag on either bin2rom or rom_merge.

 

All it does is change the 0xA8 to 0x41.

 

Now, if memory serves, there were certain places the CC3 tools (either the serial downloader or Chad's GUI) that actually expected the 0xA8, and then handled switching it to 0x41 as needed. Also, I don't remember what the on-disk format needed for the SD card.

 

All in all, a bit of a mess. :-)

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Well, I just spent a LOT of time trying to figure out an issue with these ROMs and converting them between formats and working with the CC3. Turns out that I cannot get them to play on my Sears Super Video Arcade correctly in any format on the CC3. Very bizzaro to me. They will load but the intro, the music, and the surrounding graphics are fried. The games will play though. Also, I cannot get them to work as CC3 roms (as described above) on any system. I am able to get them to function on a CC3 on any of my Intellivisions (other than the Sears Super Video Arcade) by importing them into the CC3 editor GUI from BIN files after using ROM2BIN from the JZINTV suite.

 

Hey, I just tried these ROMs in JZINTV with the Sears BIOS and what do you know? it exhibits some of the same behavior I am seeing on a real Sears Super Video Arcade. Whew... I'm not crazy after all.

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Turns out that I cannot get them to play on my Sears Super Video Arcade correctly in any format on the CC3. Very bizzaro to me. They will load but the intro, the music, and the surrounding graphics are fried. The games will play though. Also, I cannot get them to work as CC3 roms (as described above) on any system.

 

Hey, I just tried these ROMs in JZINTV with the Sears BIOS and what do you know? it exhibits some of the same behavior I am seeing on a real Sears Super Video Arcade. Whew... I'm not crazy after all.

 

Apologies for the problems you have been experiencing.

 

I think the garbled title graphics and sound are caused by some sloppy initialisation on my part. It looks as though it affects the Sears, Intellivision II and Jzintv if you run with --jlp. Could you try this version of StudioVision Unplugged and let me know if it works better using an LTO Flash on these machines please?

 

svUnplugged.rom

 

Theoretically this version should also fix the CC3 .rom problem (it is built with the -c flag that Joe suggests and I can see the leading 0x41 byte). StudioVision makes use of a weird RAM location that cannot be mimiced by the Intellicart, and therefore, making the .rom incompatible with it is not changing anything.

 

Unfortunately, I cannot test either of these fixed on the real hardware :)

 

Thanks for your help, bug reports and enthusiasm

 

 

decle

Edited by decle

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Hey, I just tried these ROMs in JZINTV with the Sears BIOS and what do you know? it exhibits some of the same behavior I am seeing on a real Sears Super Video Arcade. Whew... I'm not crazy after all.

 

no wonder ;)

ha, i guess i have to try it in mess at home...

 

interesting, i even use searsexec to run jzintv, just because i liked that you won't see the mattel title and that i noticed the browser installation on archiv.org uses sears also (probably just to suppress the mattel brand because they only present two of joe's games, which imo should be extended, we have a lot of hombrews to select from and some advertising especially for the intybasic won't harm)

 

since i noticed this:

post-41280-0-50303000-1516039834.gif

i left it to see if any other game will even show the devs name instead of "mattel electronics".

 

but problems never appeared with "studiovision", ok i didn't use no -c flag or such.

 

Q: does sears have a special grom to?

 

 

@decle results with my PAL Inty i will post next weekend.

 

have phun (meanwhile)

Edited by Gernot
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So the Sears exec just doesn't block out the "Mattel Electronics presents" text on the titlescreen. It puts some alternate text from the cartridge in its place. Looks like the Design & Development department new about it. Grid Shock also has some text in that rom location.

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thx for the info, so i haven't hunt for another one (i wouldn't have anyway).

 

 

to the studiovision

 

 

@decle

 

the revisited studiovision "unplugged" runs now fine on my PAL inty, no further issues.

 

i would have made a short clip, but time is to tight, maybe next weekend.

 

post-41280-0-45469800-1516646104_thumb.jpg

 

(in front is my "only" collectible, i really had once the intention to leave it unopenend, but well gernot can't have a can of beer unopened, "i'm thirsty goddammit").

 

"BAD ATTITUDE"

 

it's a swiss beer, brewed iin the italian speaking part of switzerland (ticino).

Edited by Gernot

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