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33 minutes ago, DracIsBack said:

 

So this was my plan when I got out of the hospital. Then I was to plug in my sd card into my Cuttle Cart 2 and the sd Card holder (is that’s what it’s called?) came loose and I haven’t been able to re attach correctly. If I can get it working or if anyone has any tips, let me know!

 

This seems to happen to all of them, sooner or later. -^Cro§Bow^- has managed to fix a couple of these.

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Hi everyone, another new build is now available with the following changes:

  • Vaus animations are now complete - the vaus can transition between normal, laser and enlarged (whatever combination). This system is also now taking care of the intro and explosion animations
  • Music!!! we now have an start tune (title screen for now) and the level start tune play as needed
  • Couple of minor changes around capsules and the system generally

Want to provide a special thanks to @Synthpopalooza and @RevEng for their support and patience with the pokey music system - because it's all assembly I've had to ask a few questions 🤔🤔🤔

 

Synthpopalooza is doing some great work with the music - can't wait for the next lot of tunes and sfx to arrive! The game is slowly coming to life - very happy!

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mksmith,

 

Fantastic!  The game is shaping up beautifully, and love to read about the collaboration among our most excellent and helpful devs.  

 

One thing I noticed with the sound is some popping/static noise being heard.  I recall early Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest builds had a similar issue.  I think the problem lies with the POKEY volume cannot be set to 'zero' when a bar or section of the melody is about to change key/note.  The POKEY volume can go as low as 'one' during the transition and effectively to the listener it sounds perfect.

 

If the above doesn't make sense, my apologies.  Hopefully, someone may be able to shed more light on the matter and either correct or clarify what I am trying to relate.

 

Regardless, keep up the awesome work!  I'm really enjoying watching this develop.  

 

-Trebor

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@Trebor thanks - yes it's shaping up nicely. Really pleased so far and the guys have been terrific help 😊

 

I'll pass that info onto @Synthpopalooza - yes I believe I understand what your suggesting here - thank you 👍

 

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Hi guys,

congratulations for this amazing project! I really appreciate your efforts!

 

I would like to share a consideration regarding the vertical resolution of the playing field since it directly affects the gameplay. If it is technically possible, I would like to suggest increasing the vertical resolution of the playing field of a zone / 8 pixels (using a zone that is currently reserved for the score text) and then to move the bricks upwards of a zone / 8 pixels ( total increase: + 16 pixels ).

And, as already suggested by Synthpopalooza, you could use the 320A mode for the score text (mockup below).

 

Thanks for your kind attention.

 

Marco

 

 

1454396267_Arkanoidvs.thumb.PNG.ed9da2a1ece82f3c8a1eeb74a1d2cf0f.PNG

 

 

1145571666_7800Arkanoidvs.thumb.PNG.cc37ebe8e46df94c233c4b58328c9dfb.PNG

 

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@Defender_2600 Thanks! Definitely coming along nicely ATM!

 

Thanks for your review of the layout - it's something to consider.  Firstly I do find the font to be overly large but just doing the top rows does still leave other messages such as the level/ready and game over then being inconsistent in size which would annoy me. The playfield is a juggling act getting all 32 levels with enough space - we have not only cut down the width from 13 to 11 but the height from 18 to 16 bricks.  Most levels aren't affected but it does compact everything.  We are also locked into the 8 pixel zoneheight which doesn't allow us really to reduce the brick heights either - even getting those to 7 would give us another 16 pixels just there.  I will see if @RevEng would have any thoughts as to what this might do to the DL layout he created for the bricks.

 

All things to consider!

 

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1 hour ago, mksmith said:

@Defender_2600 Thanks! Definitely coming along nicely ATM!

 

Thanks for your review of the layout - it's something to consider.  Firstly I do find the font to be overly large but just doing the top rows does still leave other messages such as the level/ready and game over then being inconsistent in size which would annoy me. The playfield is a juggling act getting all 32 levels with enough space - we have not only cut down the width from 13 to 11 but the height from 18 to 16 bricks.  Most levels aren't affected but it does compact everything.  We are also locked into the 8 pixel zoneheight which doesn't allow us really to reduce the brick heights either - even getting those to 7 would give us another 16 pixels just there.  I will see if @RevEng would have any thoughts as to what this might do to the DL layout he created for the bricks.

 

All things to consider!

 

 

Thank you very much, mksmith and RevEng!

And in the meantime, you can already use my new arcade font in 160A mode. 
;) 

 

7800 new arcade font 160A mode.bmp

 

 

1875977602_7800newarcadefont160Amode.thumb.PNG.064aabfa156d0b9ece9a92ec1204685c.PNG

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@Defender_2600 Hey - that's brilliant mate! We were just taking to take a look at that! You ok for us to use?

 

I also updated the font to a small 4 pixel one - the one you suggested was mostly 4 pixels with no spacing in the text so I worked up one with 3 pixels + 1 for the spacing.  Still considering what to do at the top of the screen but we do now have the hiscore! I do like the arcade look better than the conversions on the side so we'll see!

Edited by mksmith
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1 hour ago, Defender_2600 said:

 

Absolutely! Thank you! ;-)

Awesome - will add that into the next build! Got quite a few enhancements/changes in the next one 😎

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3 hours ago, Synthpopalooza said:

Ok.  Can someone with a POKEY and real hardware test this?  It's the "have you played Atari today" theme.  It works in Prosystem but barfs on A7800 and I think it might be an emulation issue.

atariage-jingle.A78 16.13 kB · 2 downloads

 

If POKEY is moved to $0450 instead of $4000, it can be tested under the MCPDev cart.

 

Off the bat, A7800 is much closer to being hardware precise and accurate than ProSystem.  The ProSystem emulator is notorious for misleading devs due to it's over generousness timings and other inaccuracies with both video and audio issues.

 

The POKEY emulation under A7800 is very mature and refined under A7800 thanks to it's MAME/MESS heritage over the past ~20 years.

 

Nonetheless, real hardware is what matters most.  If the file can be modified as mentioned, I can test it. 😀

 

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Part of the issue is the way distortion $C in POKEY is laid out.  It's a saw wave, and every three frequency steps the waveform changes.  The frequency values I had been using are from my POKEY note table, which I mapped out using actual Atari 1200XL hardware.  However, it seems the table of frequency values being used by A7800 are different somehow.

 

The table I used here was distortion 12b.

pokey notes.xls

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2 hours ago, Synthpopalooza said:

Here is the code.

 

I noticed the same issues when I use distortion 12 in other tunes as well.

atariage-jingle.asm 24.33 kB · 1 download

Unfortunately, my hand at asm is no good.  Hopefully, someone else may be able to look at the source, modify and compile for POKEY @$0450.

 

1 hour ago, Synthpopalooza said:

Part of the issue is the way distortion $C in POKEY is laid out.  It's a saw wave, and every three frequency steps the waveform changes.  The frequency values I had been using are from my POKEY note table, which I mapped out using actual Atari 1200XL hardware.  However, it seems the table of frequency values being used by A7800 are different somehow.

 

The frequency values are not laid out in a note table for MAME/A7800.  Rather, they are calculated from measurements, formulas, and specifications of the chip. The foundation is Ron Fries POKEY chip emulator circa late 90's with a complete rewrite, fixes, and enhancements throughout the years by Brad Oliver, Eric Smith, Juergen Buchmueller, and Perry McFarlane.  Quoting the documentation: "verified sound output with many, many Atari 800 games, including the SUPPRESS_INAUDIBLE optimizations."

 

I'm not stating your data is incorrect.  Just I have no way of comparing the two, as the approaches are completely different.  Ultimately, the hardware results will tell the tale.  Noteworthy, is the documentation states that the emulator emulates an 'ideal' POKEY chip.  Are the subtle differences between some POKEY chips that have been discovered (or not) yet?

 

I noticed A7800 and BupSystem sound very similar, while ProSystem has a very distinct difference.   I can hear why ProSystem translation is preferred, though this doesn't sound too shabby either:

 

 

For the record, I really admire your work, Synthpopalooza.  Anything I can do to assist, I am happy to help.

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This thread here seems to have a good explanation of the $Cx distortion in POKEY:

 

 

I'm not entirely convinced that the A7800 emulation is correct on this, but as you said, a test on real hardware will determine this.  Sorry if I broke the emulator ... lol

 

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1 hour ago, Synthpopalooza said:

And as for the differing tuning on the A7800 output ... it does sound nice in places but purely accidental.  :)

Tuning output is indeed different for the aforementioned distortion sample.

 

I captured the output a few times under both MAME/A7800 and an A1 serial console:

 

atariage-jingle (20190708) MAME 0_211.wav

 

atariage-jingle (20190708) Real HW.wav

 

No apologies necessary as the emulator is still intact, but evidently needs to be tweaked for this particular aspect of POKEY output. 😉

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So, this means it is an issue with the emulator.  :)  it plays properly on real HW.  Although I did notice a slight error on my part ... here is an updated binary.  Seems I was not putting in $0e for the note rests.

 

I am also putting in a version I did using distortion 2 instead of 12b.  This time it barfs on both Prosystem and a7800.  Real HW test please. :)

 

 

atariage-jingle2.A78 atariage-jingle2.asm atariage-jingle2.bin atariage-jingle.A78 atariage-jingle.asm atariage-jingle.bin

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Still going to need a conversion (4000-->450), for the latest.   

Really appreciate these test cases though - finding them mutually beneficial.

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