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phaeron

Altirra 3.20 released

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I'm just setting up Altirra 3.20 now, but I'm having a controller issue. I'm trying to use my Xbox 360 controller on my PC, but I apparently have no idea how to set it up. I select Input Mappings, check both "Keyboard -> 5200 Controller (absolute; port 1)" and "Xbox 360 Controller -> 5200 Controller (relative; port 1)". This is all at defaults.

 

I highlighted the Xbox 360 Controller and hit "Edit..." and there's a list of mappings, but I'm confused. Here's what's listed:

 

Right -> Left stick horiz. (Relative 5)

Down -> Left stick vert. (Relative 5)

Left -> D-pad left (Relative 4 >>6)

Right -> D-pad right (Relative 4 >>6)

Up -> D-pad up (Relative 4 >>6)

Down -> D-pad down (Relative 4 >>6)

Button 1 -> A button

Button 2 -> B button

Start -> Start button

Pause -> Y button

Reset -> Back button

 

Why are there two listings for Right and Down? I'd like to configure my left thumbstick for up/down/left/right. Right now it lists the D-pad. But if I change those then what about the top listings for Right and Down (currently set to Left stick horiz./vert.)?

 

I tried mapping the left/right/up/down to the left thumbstick left/right/up/down, but testing Space Invaders, I only move to to the far right.

 

What am I missing here?

 

Edited by fiudr

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Okay, I think I've got the mappings figured out. The 360 controller is working fine, but I have a few issues:

 

- In Galaxian, I always automatically to the far right when the game first starts, and I have to jiggle the left stick left and right a few times to get control of it. Then it's fine. Haven't noticed this on other games yet.

 

- I get some weird "garbage" on the right side of the screen for some games, like Galaxian and Frogger to name a couple examples. This doesn't appear on all games.

 

- Gorf and Super Breakout seem unplayable due to moving too fast. Is there a solution to this?

 

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12 hours ago, www.atarimania.com said:

I brought this up three or four years ago so time to try again ;)

 

Not sure how doable it is but any plans to add support for the PowerPad from Chalk Board, Inc.?

I think it should be possible, based on what's in the programming guide. It's a bit more involved, though, more like communicating with an XEP80 than a regular controller or tablet. Can't tell you when but at least I don't see any blockers.

3 hours ago, fiudr said:

Right -> Left stick horiz. (Relative 5)

Left -> D-pad left (Relative 4 >>6)

Right -> D-pad right (Relative 4 >>6)

 

Why are there two listings for Right and Down? I'd like to configure my left thumbstick for up/down/left/right. Right now it lists the D-pad. But if I change those then what about the top listings for Right and Down (currently set to Left stick horiz./vert.)?

 

 

I tried mapping the left/right/up/down to the left thumbstick left/right/up/down, but testing Space Invaders, I only move to to the far right.

 

What am I missing here?

The 5200 controller's analog stick is double mapped to both the 360 D-pad and analog stick so you can use either. The analog stick axes go both ways (positive and negative), so binding its horizontal axis to Right does both right and left. The D-pad buttons are just on/off and separate, so they need to be bound to Right and Left separately.

 

Additionally, the Relative mode means that pushing in that direction gradually moves the 5200 stick in that direction. You can see this with the built-in Controller Test cartridge that runs in 5200 mode when you don't have a cartridge inserted. Switching to the Absolute mode changes the behavior so that left/right means 5200 stick left/right, no matter where it was before.

 

Check your modified input maps against the Controller Test to verify that the 5200 stick is doing what you want, since this can be hard to see during a game. If you already have a game cartridge inserted, select File > Detach Cartridge to remove it and revert to the Controller Test.

 

2 hours ago, fiudr said:

- In Galaxian, I always automatically to the far right when the game first starts, and I have to jiggle the left stick left and right a few times to get control of it. Then it's fine. Haven't noticed this on other games yet.

The 5200 has a reputation for poor control due to the non-centering design of its controller, but some of the problems were also caused by the calibration routines within the games themselves. Some games determine the center position by the min/max position they see in the stick, and so they can require a bit of wiggling at the start. The emulator's sticks also typically have less noise in their reported position, which makes this problem more apparent. For games that have this issue, you want to swing the stick edge-to-edge at least once at the beginning.

 

Missile Command is another funny one in this regard, as it identifies the center position while announcing the level bonus -- so if your stick is not centered at that time you may be in trouble for the next round.

 

2 hours ago, fiudr said:

- I get some weird "garbage" on the right side of the screen for some games, like Galaxian and Frogger to name a couple examples. This doesn't appear on all games.

This is an artifact of the GTIA chip in the 5200. It's on the far right border, which is not visible on many TVs. Adjust the overscan in Video > Overscan to Normal, or Widescreen if you're on a recent version, to hide it.

 

2 hours ago, fiudr said:

- Gorf and Super Breakout seem unplayable due to moving too fast. Is there a solution to this?

For relative mode, adjust the sliders in the mappings to slow down the relative movement speed. The first slider is the base speed and the second slider is the acceleration for longer movements. For these games, you can probably just use a high base speed with low acceleration. Acceleration is useful for games like Missile Command where you need both fine positioning for short movements and long distance movement.

 

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Wow, huge thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated!

 

Fixed the overscan issue.

 

For the sliders, where can I find those? Under "Input Setup" there's 6 different sliders. I don't want to throw all those settings off though. Is there somewhere else you mean?

 

I can't adjust the sliders just for certain games, can I?

 

Edited by fiudr

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20 minutes ago, fiudr said:

For the sliders, where can I find those? Under "Input Setup" there's 6 different sliders. I don't want to throw all those settings off though. Is there somewhere else you mean?

 

I can't adjust the sliders just for certain games, can I?

It's on the input mapping itself, under Input > Input Maps > (input map). Double-click the individual binding for left/right/up/down and it'll have speed/acceleration sliders for the mapping.

 

You can't instance the Input Setup settings per game, no. They're meant to be tuned for the gamepad you're using, particularly the dead zones. The Input Maps can be duplicated and modified, so you can reconfigure the Xbox 360 controller mappings differently for different games.

 

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Okay, so this is exactly how the input is configured currently. The xbox 360 controller was not working correctly with the default settings as I posted in my post earlier, but under these settings, everything seems to work - keyboard is used for the keypad, and the controller for the gaming.

 

Keyboard -> 5200 Controller (absolute; port 1) Unchecked

Keyboard -> 5200 Controller (relative; port 1) Unchecked

Xbox 360 Controller -> 5200 Controller (relative; port 1) Checked

 

5200 controller (port 1)

 

Analog stick horiz. -> Left stick horiz.
Analog stick vert. -> Left stick vert.
Left -> D-pad left
Right -> D-pad right
Up -> D-pad up
Down -> D-pad down
Button 1 -> A button
Button 2 -> B button
Start -> Start button
Pause -> Back button
Reset -> Right thumb button
0 Key -> Key: 0
1 Key -> Key: 1
2 Key -> Key: 2
3 Key -> Key: 3
4 Key -> Key: 4
5 Key -> Key: 5
6 Key -> Key: 6
7 Key -> Key: 7
8 Key -> Key: 8
9 Key -> Key: 9
* Key -> Key: -
# Key -> Key: =

 

Is there any reason this setup could be an issue or not be optimal for the controls? Because it wasn't working for me, I just deleted each entry in the "edit input maps" menu and manually added each setting (including the keyboard keys for the keypad buttons), but left everything at "default" (no specific settings for relative/absolute).

 

- I tried setting the two analog stick settings back to (Relative 5) and the 4 d-pad settings back to (Relative 4 >>6). But those settings seem unplayable for me. Tried it with Ms Pac Man, and it's impossible to play, as there's too long a delay when trying to change directions. When set to default, I can immediately turn in other directions.

 

 

 

 

Edited by fiudr

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I was able to get Gorf playing really well with a custom profile set to relative with speed 5, acceleration 0. But for all the other games I've tested, the games only seem playable to me set to default, not relative or absolute. Relative just has too much response lag for most of these quick-paced games.

 

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18 hours ago, fiudr said:

I was able to get Gorf playing really well with a custom profile set to relative with speed 5, acceleration 0. But for all the other games I've tested, the games only seem playable to me set to default, not relative or absolute. Relative just has too much response lag for most of these quick-paced games.

Yes, quick twitch games or directional games want fast movement and auto-centering. However, I'm confused about default vs. absolute because those should be the same for both digital and analog bindings.

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Yes, I think default and absolute seem to be the same. It's "relative" I find doesn't fit well for the games I've tried.

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 11:45 PM, phaeron said:

Now for what I've actually been working on for a while...

This is amazing.

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Would it be possile to have a menu that list all characters so that you can insert them in the editor like Word?

Sometimes it is necessary to press 4 keys to insert an Atari character; moreover many people have laptops with reduced keyboards.

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44 minutes ago, Philsan said:

Would it be possile to have a menu that list all characters so that you can insert them in the editor like Word?

Sometimes it is necessary to press 4 keys to insert an Atari character; moreover many people have laptops with reduced keyboards.

Not characters, that's an OS-level concept. The emulator side deals with physical keys and scancodes.

 

There is an on-screen keyboard, which you can get to by double-clicking on the left and choosing On-Screen Keyboard, or swiping up with touch. It's perhaps not as convenient as what you're looking for but will work in a pinch.

 

You can also customize the keyboard layout to remap all keys to accessible combos. How reduced of a keyboard are we talking about here? Past a certain point there just aren't enough keys on the host keyboard.

 

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5 hours ago, Fabrizio Caruso said:

Is there an option to import/export BASIC files including reversed characters? or a standard tool?

Use the H: device and save to H1:-H4:, which preserves the raw data. You'll need to use an ATASCII-capable editor. There is no support for exporting reverse video to another format because modern document formats generally don't support reverse video as a formatting attribute.

 

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20 hours ago, phaeron said:

Not characters, that's an OS-level concept. The emulator side deals with physical keys and scancodes.

 

There is an on-screen keyboard, which you can get to by double-clicking on the left and choosing On-Screen Keyboard, or swiping up with touch. It's perhaps not as convenient as what you're looking for but will work in a pinch.

 

You can also customize the keyboard layout to remap all keys to accessible combos. How reduced of a keyboard are we talking about here? Past a certain point there just aren't enough keys on the host keyboard.

 

Thank you very much for your kind reply (as usual).

The problem is that my notebooks (Mac with bootcamp) don't have home and end keys (my desktop PC keyboard has them).

Didn't know that Altirra has an on-screen keyboard. Perhaps there should be a menu item too (unless there is and I don't see it ah ah).

Thanks to on-screen keyboard I am now able to insert the CLEAR character with my notebooks.

 

Graphics characters on the on-screen keyboard would be nice but I think it's not possible.

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Hello Phaeron,

It has been long time to post any public messages on this forum. Now, I am using Window 10 and I recently downloaded the latest Altirra as possible. So, it say, "NoKernal ROM". I get it and I did patched up ROM files on Window 7 HDD. Still the same problem "NoKernal ROM". So what is the problem ?? First time to see this weird problem.

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Have you been to the Configure system menu and then Firmware and scanned in the folder with all your firmware?

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It should not make a difference where the rom folder is as long as its been scanned in via the firmware manager. The trouble is I don't as yet use Win 10 (Win 7 x64 here) and I've heard of all sorts of issues with permissions etc on 10, whether they are true I have no idea. To be honest I'd try moving it and rescanning it, as long as the roms are valid it should pick them up.

 

I just had a think about this and there's definitely an issue here as Altirra's standard working is that if it finds no roms it uses the built in Altirra OS, Avery did this so the emulator was instantly usable even without roms so it sounds like something has been corrupted. I'd normally suggest saving any ini or registry profiles and starting again by using the reset in tools but you may want to await Avery or someone other than me who is more knowledgeable for extra help.

Edited by Mclaneinc

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1 hour ago, Mclaneinc said:

The trouble is I don't as yet use Win 10 (Win 7 x64 here) and I've heard of all sorts of issues with permissions etc on 10, whether they are true I have no idea

They’re not, really. I’ve been using Win10-64 here for 3+ years without any real problems. The only “permission” necessary is the very first time you ever run Altirra or another “unsigned” executable is to confirm to the system that yes, you do intend to run this unrecognized pieces of software. I understand Avery’s reason to not bother with code-signing but that’s the way Windows works now for security purposes and it’s not going to change. But once you give that permission, it never asks again. Of course, every time Avery releases a new beta, you have to grant permission again. 

 

But that’s it. 

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Thank DrV, you hear so much on the Internet and by rule I question all of it unless I can find 100% proof myself....Sadly we live in a world where the word truth isn't worth the paper its on in most cases...Quite sad really..

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I have gotten into permissions knots years ago for reasons I cannot recall, but I guarantee it happened. Certainly it won't have been Altirra's fault, but I had to run the emulator as admin on one installation otherwise it couldn't see ROM files and VHDs, etc. Probably the folder and its contents had inherited the wrong permissions when copied from a prior installation. I can't even recall the OS in use, but it was probably Win10. No problems for some years, however.

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In this case there's more to it as its not even using the built in Altirra OS as it should if it can't see roms. Personally I'd restart from scratch as its on a new OS just to blend it in as it were.

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