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atari2600land

the official Channel F thread!

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Some work done today.

 

Idiot moment this time was when I thought sound wasn't outputting, till I realised I had muted Mess specifically a few weeks back because Wife finds the noise grating after the first hour or two.

 

Updates in this one include:

 

"Encasing" the graphics with borders of colour.

Adding delay when the colours appear so they don't wipe straight away

Sound blip when the colours come up.

 

Next is to create sequencing so it becomes a game, and a game over and reset.

After that, I guess score and other modes is next. 

simon02.bin

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Thanks! I've worked on it a bit more, got a title screen, I'm now tracking score though its only represented by beeps at game over and not a display yet, and fixed the "yellow" border (I had inverted for the box and forgot I didn't need to invert for the bars, so worked out where I went wrong). 

 

I used BP (branch if positive) for the first time today and it seems to be working as intended so a bit proud again!

 

I'm trying to work out the best way of storing and retrieving the sequence of colours now, I've got a couple of ideas which might work, but I need to optimise code as well to make it efficient. 

 

I've been thinking of game modes, think I'll do one where it displays the entire sequence, and another where it only displays the next one. I've also wondered about a 'rolling' sequence so that after you get to a certain point, it removes the first in the sequence and then adds a new one to the end. I might keep the current version as a game mode as a kid friendly call and response game. 

 

At some point I need to decide if I need to switch controls off the console or not. I think for emulation using 1-4 is fine, but in a mad world where someone might play the finished article on a console it might need to be on controller. 

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If you're not going for extra RAM you could use a pseudo random number generator (or a predefined table). You could store a color per nibble to make room for two colors in a byte. 

 

How do you envision the hand controls to work?

There's only F8 of Nations that uses the console buttons for game play which is pretty neat IMHO. 

I considered allowing use of console buttons in the updated Pac-Man but it would steal some of the speed increase so I haven't decided yet. 

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1 hour ago, e5frog said:

If you're not going for extra RAM you could use a pseudo random number generator (or a predefined table). You could store a color per nibble to make room for two colors in a byte. 

 

How do you envision the hand controls to work?

There's only F8 of Nations that uses the console buttons for game play which is pretty neat IMHO. 

I considered allowing use of console buttons in the updated Pac-Man but it would steal some of the speed increase so I haven't decided yet. 

I've been researching some of the things shown in other games like 2048 and pac man, 2048 has a fairly neat looking code for a predefined table, it's something I'm considering as the current system is easily abusable. 

 

I was kind of hoping to try and squeeze a full 4 colours per byte, and then use another one to track which byte to look up. I imagine it's not very efficient the way I'm planning so far, but I'll see how I go, I'm already very happy I actually understand all the code I've written! Next project definitely going to work on moving graphics 😛

 

My original intention was to use twist left and twist right, pull up and push down. I felt the normal directional controls would result in too much chance of a missfire while the 4 special controls gives a more "bop it" feel to it (bop it being the hasbro electronic toy version of Simon with twisting and pulling etc). 

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Like the idea of twist pull/push, it's easy to slip in the other directions, they're a bit slower to handle though. 

 

If you need the room you can code colors as such:  %BORGBORG in binary, you'd use SR 4 to move the upper nibble and then AND %00000001 / %00000010 etc to check for each color. If you need even more space you can for example get 16 colors in one byte, two bits representing a number from 0 to 3 ( %00, %01, %10, %11) where you'd mask and shift two bits at the time. 
It will of course be more work but it will require less room. 

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6 hours ago, e5frog said:

Like the idea of twist pull/push, it's easy to slip in the other directions, they're a bit slower to handle though. 

 

If you need the room you can code colors as such:  %BORGBORG in binary, you'd use SR 4 to move the upper nibble and then AND %00000001 / %00000010 etc to check for each color. If you need even more space you can for example get 16 colors in one byte, two bits representing a number from 0 to 3 ( %00, %01, %10, %11) where you'd mask and shift two bits at the time. 
It will of course be more work but it will require less room. 

Thanks for the advice! It was too hot to think about today, but I was thinking of the 2 bit per colour idea, my thinking is I don't need "speed" on my side for this game, as long as the player controls registers, it doesn't matter how poorly I code the lookup. As it doesn't involve any moving graphics (next project!) I don't need vigorous speed on behalf of the player either to enter commands. If I don't take a crack at it tonight when the temperature cools down, I'll see if I get some time tomorrow in my lunch break to have a go at it.

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I took a crack at this today, but didn't get too far, not too defeated yet but realised Mess has a debugger (or at least, some versions of it). I managed to get this up, but I feel like I'm being daft - it tracks which line its reading, Accumulator, etc, but what about the stored values in the registers?

 

Actually, I just googled this, and found e5frog arguing the case for a revision to be brought back as the registers at some point was removed... e5frog has that been readded in latest versions now or is there a "sweet" version of Mess/Mame to use the debugger for Channel F?

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All this talk about twisting the controller gave me an idea for my game. Right now, Craig is carrying around a green key. I want to use it so he opens another treasure chest with it. So I want the player to open the chest with the key by pushing the controller in and then twisting it, like the player himself is using a key. But which way should I have it twisted? Which way would one twist a key to unlock something? Or does it depend on the individual lock?

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1 hour ago, atari2600land said:

All this talk about twisting the controller gave me an idea for my game. Right now, Craig is carrying around a green key. I want to use it so he opens another treasure chest with it. So I want the player to open the chest with the key by pushing the controller in and then twisting it, like the player himself is using a key. But which way should I have it twisted? Which way would one twist a key to unlock something? Or does it depend on the individual lock?

There seems to be some weight towards the "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosy" logic for keys as well - that is, for locking it would be clockwise to the right, and to unlock it would be anti-clockwise to the left. What made this a preference I don't know, but it might be a right handed thing.

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4 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

e5frog has that been readded in latest versions now or is there a "sweet" version of Mess/Mame to use the debugger for Channel F?

Don't think it has been changed, you might just as well run an older version with the option still there. I like the MESSUI versions more than MAME.

 

In the new version you can open the register memory display with a couple of keypresses, which is quite handy, but if you're used to getting the list in the main view it's quite annoying that they removed it - it would have been less effort to just leave it as it was before (but still adding the new view) .

 

Feel free to chime in on my request, any help is thankful. 

 

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1 minute ago, e5frog said:

Don't think it has been changed, you might just as well run an older version with the option still there. I like the MESSUI versions more than MAME.

 

In the new version you can open the register memory display with a couple of keypresses, which is quite handy, but if you're used to getting the list in the main view it's quite annoying that they removed it - it would have been less effort to just leave it as it was before (but still adding the new view) .

 

Feel free to chime in on my request, any help is thankful. 

 

I'll register up sometime in the near future and weigh in on it, it would be helpful if it was simple and it seems a shame (from the screenshots I spotted you added) to go backwards.

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People might have seen this:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fairchild-Channel-F-VES-Videocart-19-CIB-Complete-Test-Work-ULTRA-RARE-Checkers-/255073296112?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

 

I think prices were very reasonable until the last day. Some boxed rares went for what I'd consider reasonable prices, however this... Is just continuing madness. I swear there must be more copies of checkers in non gamers hands than gamers at this point. I'd be happy for a loose copy, and hoped one day it might pop up at a reasonable price. 

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3 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

People might have seen this:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fairchild-Channel-F-VES-Videocart-19-CIB-Complete-Test-Work-ULTRA-RARE-Checkers-/255073296112?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

 

I think prices were very reasonable until the last day. Some boxed rares went for what I'd consider reasonable prices, however this... Is just continuing madness. I swear there must be more copies of checkers in non gamers hands than gamers at this point. I'd be happy for a loose copy, and hoped one day it might pop up at a reasonable price. 

That’s for sure.  Games like this are no longer available for the casual collector. It has become a business in itself to buy/grade/sell anything with any sort of rarity.  It really sucks. 

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Seems it could be time to introduce reproductions. If selling at least 10 or so it might get down to a reasonable price. 

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Hello!

 

I recently was reunited with some Channel F carts that I got at a thrift store long long ago and most of them don't have their end labels. I found a site with some semi-decent scans but they're not quite print ready and probably not quite high enough resolution to make semi-decent reproductions from them.

 

I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask around here and see if anyone had any available. (If I had less on my plate I'd recreate them in Illustrator, but I can predict I won't have time for that for quite a while!)

 

Thanks,

 Chris.

 

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On 8/11/2021 at 5:07 PM, e5frog said:

Which ones, I have some loose original labels available for postage. 

Lets see...

 

2 / 4 / 10 / 12 / 16 / 17

 

Certainly happy to pay the costs of getting them. If they're originals then that would be great.

 

Another thing I noticed is that my copy of 16 has a double-label and the label underneath seems to be for the 1st demo cart. Was that a common thing to happen? (This seems to be the only one I have with a double label).

 

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4 hours ago, qrysdonnell said:

Lets see...

 

2 / 4 / 10 / 12 / 16 / 17

 

Certainly happy to pay the costs of getting them. If they're originals then that would be great.

 

Another thing I noticed is that my copy of 16 has a double-label and the label underneath seems to be for the 1st demo cart. Was that a common thing to happen? (This seems to be the only one I have with a double label).

 

I'll check, making replicas is another way to go. 

It's not uncommon to have Democart as the bottom of a double label. Nice thing is that if you can remove the upper label they are usually in fantastic shape. 
I've got #1, #8, #12 as bottom labels on some of my carts, I've had three Democart-lower-labeled over the years, which have been sold to collectors - even though it doesn't function as one it's a fun thing to have. It would be no problems making a working board for one.


 

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I'll start a thread about Channel F badges. But I thought I should write here as well. 

I am reproducing and about to order the badge shown in the group before (I think) and was sold to a member on eBay a while ago IIRC. 
Size is going to be 1.25 inch in diameter (32mm).

Just wanted to ask if anyone wants one, it's going to cost $4 plus postage from Sweden. Even if I order 100 pcs or 5 it's the same price. 
Grab as many as you like. 

It's easiest for me if you write to me in a message, but feel free to comment below. 

Preview:
Image3.thumb.png.5c32c1cd4ce30a0e29bcc9fe52488364.png

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While we're on the topic of miscellaneous Channel F stuff, I'm looking to part with the following:

 

Videocart-2 end label (with the "F" logo)

 

Videocart-4 instructions

 

VES instructions that came with the system

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