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peteym5

Secretum Labyrinth Dark Castle teaser video

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The music is fine the way it is, playing without any issues. I chosen the songs that match up with the theme and the game's medieval fantasy setting. I avoided anything hard rock, heavy metal, or anything sound too modern. I am looking into doing more Role Playing Games with this programming with different setting that will have different music and graphics.

 

I have posted and sent out PMs looking for assistance with the RMT music conversion, but never got any response. Since KJMANN left the Atari scene, I had to figure out RMT and how to convert MOD and MIDI files all on my own. Video 61 did offer a few original short songs, but I already made my selections. Plus I have problems converting the MP3 files to Midi to RMT.

 

Hi Pete,

 

Why didn't you send me a PM? I am a professional musician and I could have helped you out here. No offense, but the music is absolutely not fine the way it is. It is not meant as bashing as BlueMoon calls it. It is meant to help you improving your game. The music lacks decent sound and harmony and worst of all the timing between the room transitions is still not fixed. There is still a noticeable timing-gap when you move from one room to another; you would expect this when you play a game written in BASIC where the music is also played by a basic routine. You would definitely expect (and definitely not accept) this from a professionally produced game.

 

If your music player plays in a VBI and runs independant from your main-code you can prevent this behavior. Even in BASIC it is possible to have a VBI based music player which would not show any gap.

 

So make sure you run the music from VBI. And don't touch the VBI!

 

I absolutely can not understand that you called this music Top Notch.

 

Greetz

Marius

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Hi Pete,

...

I absolutely can not understand that you called this music Top Notch.

But, but... it was BlueMoon_001 that called the music top notch... is not like they are.. the same person..

 

They just have the same tastes, write the same way and dislike people that "nitpick". Perfectly normal if you ask me.

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Hi Pete,

 

Why didn't you send me a PM? I am a professional musician and I could have helped you out here. No offense, but the music is absolutely not fine the way it is. It is not meant as bashing as BlueMoon calls it. It is meant to help you improving your game. The music lacks decent sound and harmony and worst of all the timing between the room transitions is still not fixed. There is still a noticeable timing-gap when you move from one room to another; you would expect this when you play a game written in BASIC where the music is also played by a basic routine. You would definitely expect (and definitely not accept) this from a professionally produced game.

 

If your music player plays in a VBI and runs independant from your main-code you can prevent this behavior. Even in BASIC it is possible to have a VBI based music player which would not show any gap.

 

So make sure you run the music from VBI. And don't touch the VBI!

 

I absolutely can not understand that you called this music Top Notch.

 

Greetz

Marius

 

Which dated video are you hearing these "gaps" in? It is possible that when recording the video with the emulator or converting it to play on YouTube, could be an issue. The VBI controls everything in motion during the game, and calling RMT play is a part of it. Disabling the VBI during the screen transition is a normal on the Atari 8-bit. Have the CPU dedicated for setting up the next screen as fast as possible. Anyone playing the game will be paying attention to what is going on inside the game, trying to figure out how to get stuff, defeat monsters, exploring the dungeons, avoid getting killed, etc. I pay more attention to see if something is not displayed or functioning correctly. There is a longer gap during song transitions when something needs to be decompressed, but that only occurs when entering and exiting some castles.

 

 

I may do some more work on the multicolored Antic 4 fonts and re positioning some items on screen to touch up how the game looks, but that is all I have planned between now and when the cartridge is released.

Edited by peteym5

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Which dated video are you hearing these "gaps" in? It is possible that when recording the video with the emulator or converting it to play on YouTube, could be an issue. The VBI controls everything in motion during the game, and calling RMT play is a part of it. Disabling the VBI during the screen transition is a normal on the Atari 8-bit. Have the CPU dedicated for setting up the next screen as fast as possible. Anyone playing the game will be paying attention to what is going on inside the game, trying to figure out how to get stuff, defeat monsters, exploring the dungeons, avoid getting killed, etc. I pay more attention to see if something is not displayed or functioning correctly. There is a longer gap during song transitions when something needs to be decompressed, but that only occurs when entering and exiting some castles.

 

 

I may do some more work on the multicolored Antic 4 fonts and re positioning some items on screen to touch up how the game looks, but that is all I have planned between now and when the cartridge is released.

 

@Peteym5 I was talking about the first video in this thread. But the fact that VBI is switched off, is indeed the reason of the gaps. The music is stopped too then. Can't you -in stead of using VBI- then use DLI for the music player? Or even a hard coded VCOUNT trigger in your main loop can work. The music routine needs to be called on a steady frequency, instead of sometimes not. Except for your games I know no other good quality games where the music has noticeable gaps.

 

It is possible that it does not bother you. But at least it bothers me, and probably more people.

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Disabling the VBI during screen transitions is not normal practice. Disabling ANTIC DMA is a reasonable strategy, however, and DMA activation and deactivation can be synced to the vertical blank quite easily by polling VCOUNT.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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DLI will not function if the DMA and NMI is disabled. Polling the VCOUNT will only increase the delay between the screen transition. I still say it is very minor and almost have to slow the playback down to really hear or measure anything. Everyone who will buy the cartridge will be playing the game. Probably pay little attention if the sound is disabled for 1/500th second during a screen transition. Non of my beta testers never said anything because they are looking to see if the game crashes or has some visible glitch with the graphics.

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But you don't need DLIs to function if the aim is to shut off the screen during a transition and keep the player running in the VBL. You said you disable the VBI, however, and that would fully explain the music lag between rooms, which does exist and is noticeable at normal playback speed to anyone with working ears. If your beta testers are completely oblivious to such things, then perhaps a beta testing team comprising more than just BlueMoon_001 would be a good idea. ;)

 

Anyway: got better things to do. The apparent shilling was my prime concern here.

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DLI will not function if the DMA and NMI is disabled. Polling the VCOUNT will only increase the delay between the screen transition. I still say it is very minor and almost have to slow the playback down to really hear or measure anything. Everyone who will buy the cartridge will be playing the game. Probably pay little attention if the sound is disabled for 1/500th second during a screen transition. Non of my beta testers never said anything because they are looking to see if the game crashes or has some visible glitch with the graphics.

It's not 1/500th of a second - it's 1/60th of a second. It is VERY noticeable to some of us. Not nitpicking - trying to provide objective feedback.

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Non of my beta testers never said anything because they are looking to see if the game crashes or has some visible glitch with the graphics.

 

This means two things. 1 that you need better betatesters. And 2. Do you know the experiment with the doctors who looked all at an CT Scan but missed the gorilla? https://www.cbsnews.com/news/can-you-spot-the-gorilla-in-this-ct-scan-most-radiologists-couldnt/

 

I am probably just the same, I am entirely focussed on everything I hear. That is my nature as a musician. I do a lots of things by ear (Thank Atari they added keyclick in both their 8bit and ST/TT/Falcon line computers). ...

 

It is your game. So it is up to you.

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The beta testers are looking for more prominent problems, If you have any questions, you may post on the Atari.IO thread. They prefer to stay with that forum because they believe are better moderated.

 

I have tried a few different things, like changing when RMT_Silence is called. Today I tried adding call RMT_Play right before the first VBI starts after the room drawing is done, it did sound slightly different. I did not have a whole lot of time to play around with it because I am now doing some Windows PC programming work on 3D games. Going to do some of that while I wait for everything is caught up. I have been on and off for a few years trying to do a 3D Role Playing Game maker and with all the work with Secretum Labyrinth, I would like to bring over to a modern 3D action adventure game. Possibly a MMORPG or single player quests.

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It is risky to mess with and alter programming that is long time proven to be working fine. I tried changing the VBI and DLI set up for Secretum Labyrinth a few times to try to get some different things to happen like not having the screen blink while touching a scroll, and get artifacts in the player/missile area, so I had to go back to the way it was. The PMBASE area is sometimes used as a temporary buffer for decompressed data, and copied to desired locations. I did set up something that waits until the last DLI to disable the NMI and DMA registers when flagged so the player/missile graphics don't do that weird thing during a screen transition.

 

To remove have an alternate VBI running just for music and remove that gap under 1/60th second could take some time to set up flags and programming, and risk it crashing. There are probably simpler ways to fix it, like not calling RMT_Silence so tones don't get immediately silenced or call RMT_Play to re-establish the tones after the some processes are complete. The RMT_Play happens at the end of a normal VBI after game processes.

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@Peteym5 I understand. Like I said it is up to you. To me, and I hope and think I am not the only one, the ingame music is a crucial part of the experience. I also know people who turn of the music and only want FX's. In most games I love the music. So perhaps that is why I care more than others, or even you. It is up to you what you improve or not. I was just giving feedback. I still don't understand why this music issue only seems to happen in your game and not in other games.

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I can appreciate the logic behind 'leaving well alone', but that assumes all is well in the first place. There are no doubt millions of lines of program code in the world which work perfectly well, even if they are not written in the most efficient or easily maintainable manner. Revising the code might risk breakage. But that's a different situation to code which has obvious functionality issues; basically an inherent flaw which is always going to draw attention to itself, and which is being propagated wherever the same code is reused in other projects. There's nothing wrong with throwing your hands up and saying 'I have no idea how to fix this, and I worry it will be worse if I mess with it' if you're open to external help, but the paradox here is that material with the same flaws is repeatedly posted on the forums for the purpose of eliciting feedback, and when the flaws are commented upon, the author denies they exist in one breath and then in the next breath seems to admit they exist and are beyond his powers to fix. At the same time, we are supposed to believe that advanced 'trade-secret' coding techniques are being used elsewhere in the game.

 

As for the length of the music pause: this is likely a good deal longer than a single frame, depending on how long it takes to draw the next room.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Can always send Video61 an email. He is the one who is going to making and selling the cartridge. The better the game looks and sounds, the more money it makes. I do not think PeteyM5 is going to let anyone beta test it for free without making them sign that contract.

Edited by BlueMoon_001

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Let's keep everything positive and not talk about trying to get free copy of this game.

 

All I can say I experimented with changing VBI timing, flags, and when RMT silence got called. Just there is some bank switching going on during the screen transition that requires the VBI to be halted during the screen drawing process. So there would had been some issues with RMT. I am trying something different, and you may see it in the next YouTube video. I decided when I make one, wait 2 or 3 months now, because not much changes with the game in a month.

 

As I stated before we may be doing more Adventure Role Playing Fantasy type games for the Atari 8-bit in the future. I am just shifting more focus on the smaller 16K cartridge games because these big games take over 4 times as long to put together and not selling any faster.

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@peteym5 as far as I can see is it not about getting a free copy. I think it is about offering FREE HELP and advice. You do not have to follow the advice but you ask for feedback and although there were some issues in the past I honestly try to give feedback that can help you improving your product. For Free.

 

To be honest... I wished you would appreciate the feedback a little more in stead of qualifying it as bashing or nitpicking or non-important etc.

 

As written before. It is your game and it is up to you what you improve or not.

 

Please take in mind that when people have the feeling they can contribute to something and their help (even if you hear things you initially disliked) is gratefully received, things will stay positive and the overall appreciation for your games and forum contributions will grow.

 

People in the a8 scene should be friends IMHO. Even a critical friend is a friend! I am happy most people here on AA are friendly, good and honest people.

 

We had some cool PM conversations in the past. I know from those conversations you can be so helpful, friendly and willing to (receive) help. I don't want to fight, I want to help. Ok?

Edited by ProWizard
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Let's keep everything positive and not talk about trying to get free copy of this game.

Wow. What an obnoxious and self-aggrandising response.

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Wow. What an obnoxious and self-aggrandising response.

I keep being asked to let more people beta test, but when I ask to continue the conversation in private, I state they need to contact Video61, provide identification, and sign a non-disclosure. I never hear from them again, that tells me they may not be trustworthy. I have been trying to get one guy from here signed over, even lives one State away from Video61.

 

Actually anyone can beta test a version of Secretum Labyrinth at any time, "King's" Gold" that uses the same version of RMT. Different songs are being with each game. Some updates were done over the years to demonstrate some new abilities of these Adventure RPGs. Like altering the screens based on Quest, combining several songs into one RMT file, and more spread out pixels for the floor pattern. The room drawing logic and data encryption is an earlier version that helps deter from any doing anything with it. It does not take up any more time to draw a new screen.

 

I am not sure if Fandal had the latest version on his website, I just sent him an email. It may be there within a day or two. It is the version that alters the screens for different quests. I have to check with Atari Mania as well.

Edited by peteym5

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I keep being asked to let more people beta test, but when I ask to continue the conversation in private, I state they need to contact Video61, provide identification, and sign a non-disclosure. I never hear from them again, that tells me they may not be trustworthy.

My guess is that if that's true, the people in question are just thinking 'f*** this' when faced with that much palaver after offering to help you. In my experience, interactions with other members of the community are almost invariably conducted purely on the basis of trust. Over time, one learns to identify those of good character and reputation, and they comprise the vast majority of the community. These are the same individuals who are usually the first to offer genuine help, and I imagine that when doubt is immediately cast on their integrity, they realise their time would be better invested elsewhere.

 

I have no doubt that there are a few bad apples out there (indeed I know this for sure), but those genuine individuals of known good character who offer help do not deserve to be presumed dishonest, IMO. And regardless of whether money and intellectual property is at stake, I don't think the stakes are high enough in the 8-bit Atari world to warrant all the paranoia, techno-babble and corporate jargon. There have been many projects operated by private individuals on this forum with considerable up-front costs (pre-orders, etc) which would doubtless have been ruined by such a hostile attitude. As ye sow, etc.

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I have trusted and let people beta tested my stuff in the past without having them sign anything. I even tried the beta demo thing in the past and considering doing it again. A beta demo is the game, but does not include the data for all the levels and enemies, so it will only play one level and go back to the title screen. Has the level number variable removed also to deter anyone from hacking it back into the full version. Secretum Labyrinth King's Gold started as a beta demo, but is actually a playable game. The map is smaller and has limited enemy types.

 

It is just I had been burned before. KJMANN and Video61 had been burned also, People had taking the copies of the programs we sent them and distributed them. Video61 does not want to do floppy games after he released one, and a week later, someone tried to sell him back bootleg copies. So he is now saying "No Floppy for you!" after that happened. Two years ago, someone going by "Bobby75" posted the Atari 5200 version of Venture on the 5200 section and I had to make a request to take it down.

Edited by peteym5

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I still find it hilarious that in this day and age, anyone thinks a cart is harder to copy than a floppy disk. I find it sad that people think the A8 community is full of pirates. It's not 1982 any more. I've never sold, copied, been asked for, nor been offered anything currently being sold / homebrew in my entire 17.5 years on this forum. Pretty sure this goes for everyone here, at least the regulars.

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Two years ago, someone going by "Bobby75" posted the Atari 5200 version of Venture on the 5200 section and I had to make a request to take it down.

Here's the thread:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/266538-venture-5200/

 

Account responsible was banned after one post. I have to wonder how you (and Video61) apparently ended up entrusting your work to such unscrupulous people. I also think that using a particular distribution media as an anti-piracy device and proclaiming said media to be resistant to duplication is probably an effective way of ensuring that someone attempts to crack it. If I uploaded something here (even for free) with copy-protection which I asserted was unbreakable, and even if breaking said copy protection resulted in no material gain whatsoever for the assailant, I would expect the copy protection to be overcome within twenty-four hours or so, just for the sake of it. :)

Edited by flashjazzcat
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I'm amazed that anyone is still making new games for the 8-bit with the intention of selling them, when there are so many amazing new productions being given away for free by the creators. Just to name a few examples of such: Yoomp!, Stunt Car Racer, AtariBlast, Laura, Pang, Crownland, and GunFright. And that was a short list only reflecting a mere fraction of the free games that have been released in recent history. However these do represent a new standard in game quality, truly pushing the edge on what the Atari can do, and greatly surpassing a lot of the mediocre stuff that was sold back in the 80's and 90's.

 

Personally for me to buy a game in this era, it would have to be exceptional, and it would have to be something that can be copied to my choice of media, because I don't use carts any more.

 

Good luck with your venture, and I wish you much success.

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