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rensoup

Unicorns season: Prince of Persia for the A8!

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3 hours ago, Eyvind Bernhardsen said:

I've also tested the image on my XEL (which has the XEL-CF3 adapter) now,

Apologies if I've missed it up-thread, but what is the system of your XEL and what "image" are you testing? Do you mean an ATR loaded via the CF-3 interface, a .CAR file loaded from something like a SIDE3 or AVG Cart, or an ATR loaded via an external SIO device?

 

This game as written will never load via an ATR from the CF-3 interface, I don't think. The loader used is incompatible with PBI based loaders.

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First of all: New bugfix release is out! (FROM THE FIRST POST)

 

Jun 2021 Bugfix Release.

 

While the game worked fine in emulation, it had a few issues with more exotic real HW configs, this version should improve stability for many of those.

 

-fixed DLI misfiring at boot time

-fixed tune not stopping when aborting cutscene

-disabled break key IRQ

-added red screen of death for DLI misfiring (instead of black screen)

-added blueish screen of death for file not found (may help diagnosing Fujinet)

-fixed Atarimax not booting from bank0

-better skipping of attract cutscene when pressing esc

-slightly more robust boot sequence

-added debug progress mode for -cart- loading (press button at boot time)

-optimized dancer anim which allows the disk version to load without retries.
 

 

There are still issues as I suppose, but they should be a lot more rare.

 

If the game crashes while loading with the cart version, you can enable a debug option that shows loading progress using PMGs:

 

384315603_poploadingdebug.png.8f7d118570910b25411e19b4c282b648.png

 

The princess' dress turns green when the main executable has finished loading and is being decompressed.

 

Edited by rensoup
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On 6/17/2021 at 11:33 PM, xxl said:

xBIOS will use this automatically. You just need to copy the files to disk in this format using BiboDOS or TopDOS.

hmm I'm using DIR2ATR and it doesn't seem to support those. I tried with a variety of tools makeatr atrutil,... there's only one that allows creating Topdos 1.5 disks and copy files to it but it doesn't let you specify how to boot it.

 

so what's the procedure ?

 

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23 hours ago, Wilheim said:

@rensoup, I looked into your loading code and I see you're using unrolled code to make the dancer with sprites. Am I right?

 

If that's the case, you could improve the loading by cutting the routine, for example, in four parts, and running each part, let's say, every 16 scanlines using a DLI. I think it would help to improve the loading process. Doing that way, maybe it could read the disk on faster speeds!

nope as it should load at real SIO 1x now so it won't get any faster... (except perhaps with the special DOS that XXL mentioned)

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15 hours ago, xxl said:

The programmer can configure his project so that it will be loaded into RAM Disk (without the presence of DOS and without the need to install RAM Disk - it can occupy any predefined banks, in the example it was DOS to show the RAM content) and xBIOS will communicate with the RAM Disk - example:

Not sure I understand how this works exactly... 

 

What would be cool is if it was possible to tag some files when using XBIOS, if the files are tagged and haven't been loaded yet, they load into RAMDisk, if they're already in RAM, just stream it from there.

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11 hours ago, michomis said:

Level 4. Right after opening exit door and trying to pass jaws on next chamber.

Atari 130xe maxflash with latest release.

By the way, is there any code to jump to next level? I cannot set starting level on begining as well.

20210618_152759.jpg

😲

There is a code to activate the cheat mode but I've forgotten, I might remember it once the game is done🤥

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All three of the new .CAR versions load and run on my NTSC 1200XL+U1MB via SIDE3 cart. The DD ATR loads and runs on my NTSC 1088XEL, NTSC 576NUC+, and PAL 1088XEL, all via FujiNet devices. 👍

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39 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

All three of the new .CAR versions load and run on my NTSC 1200XL+U1MB via SIDE3 cart. The DD ATR loads and runs on my NTSC 1088XEL, NTSC 576NUC+, and PAL 1088XEL, all via FujiNet devices. 👍

200.webp?cid=ecf05e47kjg0c6xnp72m3phale9

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3 hours ago, rensoup said:

so what's the procedure ?

It would be nice if the Top / Bibo DOS option was added to DIR2ATR, unfortunately I was not able to interest the author.

 

ok. example for TopDOS: you will need a blank DD ATR. Run TopDOS and connect empty DD ATR to D1.
For TopDOS this is the default format so we don't have to do anything when formatting:
I [RETURN]
D1 [RETURN]
connect to D2 ATR with your game and make a Copy:
C [RETURN]
D2: *. *, D1: [RETURN]
now make it bootable - download http://xxl.atari.pl/download/xBOOT_Initializer.xex drag & drop to emulator [RETURN] this will write "xBoot" boot sectors

DONE
from now on you have DD ATR with a directory size of 128 (16 files per sector)
TopDos is 1985 ... it's a pity that it is not possible to create such images with PC tools.

 

 

---

image.thumb.png.17efcd12c31c5f6fe543248deef79bd5.png

 

vs

 

image.thumb.png.d0690c493ed586aad5de6408e24638a6.png

 

 

better... immediately :D

 

---

 

however, you have to prepare yourself for a lamentation from the "best" DOS users, their toy tool will not work ;-)

Edited by xxl
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6 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

This game as written will never load via an ATR from the CF-3 interface, I don't think. The loader used is incompatible with PBI based loaders.


Oh well. I can’t use a cartridge on my XEL because of the case, so it sounds like I just won’t be playing Prince of Persia :(

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8 hours ago, rensoup said:

First of all: New bugfix release is out! (FROM THE FIRST POST)

 

Jun 2021 Bugfix Release.

 

While the game worked fine in emulation, it had a few issues with more exotic real HW configs, this version should improve stability for many of those.

 

-fixed DLI misfiring at boot time

-fixed tune not stopping when aborting cutscene

-disabled break key IRQ

-added red screen of death for DLI misfiring (instead of black screen)

-added blueish screen of death for file not found (may help diagnosing Fujinet)

-fixed Atarimax not booting from bank0

-better skipping of attract cutscene when pressing esc

-slightly more robust boot sequence

-added debug progress mode for -cart- loading (press button at boot time)

-optimized dancer anim which allows the disk version to load without retries.
 

 

There are still issues as I suppose, but they should be a lot more rare.

 

If the game crashes while loading with the cart version, you can enable a debug option that shows loading progress using PMGs:

 

384315603_poploadingdebug.png.8f7d118570910b25411e19b4c282b648.png

 

The princess' dress turns green when the main executable has finished loading and is being decompressed.

 

Ok, I tested SIC! and Atarimax versions. The both versions works perfectly for me on the both cartridges (on SIC!, and on my Atarimax compatible cartridge). Tested on 65XE with 1MB SIMMexp on original Atari OS and QMEG OS. In such form it is possible to run the game from Atarimax compatible cartridge with one chip 4Mbit only too (starting from bank 0). It works perfect.

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6 hours ago, xxl said:

It would be nice if the Top / Bibo DOS option was added to DIR2ATR, unfortunately I was not able to interest the author.

 

ok. example for TopDOS: you will need a blank DD ATR. Run TopDOS and connect empty DD ATR to D1.
For TopDOS this is the default format so we don't have to do anything when formatting:
I [RETURN]
D1 [RETURN]
connect to D2 ATR with your game and make a Copy:
C [RETURN]
D2: *. *, D1: [RETURN]
now make it bootable - download http://xxl.atari.pl/download/xBOOT_Initializer.xex drag & drop to emulator [RETURN] this will write "xBoot" boot sectors

DONE
from now on you have DD ATR with a directory size of 128 (16 files per sector)
TopDos is 1985 ... it's a pity that it is not possible to create such images with PC tools.

 

 

 

Well,

BiboDOS and Turbo-DOS (by Reitershan) do only support 128 DIR entries in 360k (DSDD, 40 tracks) mode, not in 180k mode. So, if you allow 128 DIR entries for 180k you are in fact incompatible to Bibo- and Turbo DOS. Top DOS was never popular here in Germany (and I think it was not popular in whole Europe). Guess there are still more DOS 3 or DOS XE users in Europe than TopDOS users.

 

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1 hour ago, CharlieChaplin said:

BiboDOS and Turbo-DOS (by Reitershan) do only support 128 DIR entries in 360k (DSDD, 40 tracks) mode, not in 180k mode.

Supports in read mode - you can have DD (180 KB with 128 directory in Bibo read only) -hahaha

 

but enough jokes - using the entire sector, not half as it is "accepted", is not limited to two DOSs or to two sizes 180 and 360 or even to subdirectories with a different number of entries - also above 128 - this is not a discussion on a PoP thread .

 

of course, all these formats are handled by xBios by default.

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5 hours ago, Eyvind Bernhardsen said:

Oh well. I can’t use a cartridge on my XEL because of the case, so it sounds like I just won’t be playing Prince of Persia :(

I put a cartridge port on my XEL for just such a situation. 

 

Do you have no way to load files from an external device? Now that I’ve pulled the XEGS jumper off my U1MB, loading via FujiNet device works. I haven’t tested it yet, but I expect loading from RespeQt on my PC should work now too.

BDE88182-339F-4E6B-9FE4-01F3C77F1337.jpeg

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13 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

The XEL needs about 2-3 minutes for the system to warm up so the color is correct (a stock vintage system needs upwards of 10 minutes). 

 

C3450B09-3825-4338-A903-FC4B37EC1C93.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, Level42 said:

 

C3450B09-3825-4338-A903-FC4B37EC1C93.jpeg

You PAL people may not know that. 😛 NTSC systems - and CRT displays - need to warm up to steady-state operating temperature before you adjust the color. Didn’t realize this was a mystery. 

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7 minutes ago, Level42 said:

Aha ! That explains it...😁

You also need to re-calibrate your color pot if you swap the GTIA from an A8/5200 or the TIA in a 2600 or 7800. The TIA/GTIA family have some manufacturing variability from chip to chip (may vary a time bit by lot number or chip fab). But if you swap chips you’ll immediately see some color shift. 

 

Similarly, if you use CRTs regularly and then start using modern flat screen displays - or vice versa - you need to calibrate the calibrate the color pot again. The color gamuts for modern LCD/LED displays are not the same compared to a CRT. You’ll see this in any Lucasfilm game intro screen (greenish on a modern display, reddish/brown on a CRT), or Joust (the landing platforms will tend towards green if the computer or console is calibrated for a CRT).

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1 hour ago, DrVenkman said:

You also need to re-calibrate your color pot if you swap the GTIA from an A8/5200 or the TIA in a 2600 or 7800. The TIA/GTIA family have some manufacturing variability from chip to chip (may vary a time bit by lot number or chip fab). But if you swap chips you’ll immediately see some color shift. 

 

Similarly, if you use CRTs regularly and then start using modern flat screen displays - or vice versa - you need to calibrate the calibrate the color pot again. The color gamuts for modern LCD/LED displays are not the same compared to a CRT. You’ll see this in any Lucasfilm game intro screen (greenish on a modern display, reddish/brown on a CRT), or Joust (the landing platforms will tend towards green if the computer or console is calibrated for a CRT).

Hence Never The Same Colour = NTSC.

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7 minutes ago, Stephen said:

Hence Never The Same Colour = NTSC.

Actually that was only true for NTSC signals that were transmitted through the air back in the 60s/70s/80s. 
 

I personally like NTSC for the Atari 2600 (more colors, 60Hz., my B&O CRT accepts true NTSC (!)) and A8 machines (correct colors for the old games, 60Hz., my B&O accepts any hybrid signal (!).


Yeah I know about the color pot...it's not different in PAL countries. Modern LCD/LED displays should display the same colors as CRT because CRT colors are infinite and correct. I guess top of line OLED screens can do this...but the cheaper and alther LCD/LED TVs.....meh.... anyway, that's not a problem I'll ever encounter :)
 

Anyway, need to stay on topic....let's download the latest version of PoP..... the least thing I can do in return to the developers is test :)

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2 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

I put a cartridge port on my XEL for just such a situation. 

 

Do you have no way to load files from an external device? Now that I’ve pulled the XEGS jumper off my U1MB, loading via FujiNet device works. I haven’t tested it yet, but I expect loading from RespeQt on my PC should work now too.

BDE88182-339F-4E6B-9FE4-01F3C77F1337.jpeg

Thanks. I have the same case, just with the original top. Swapping cartridges in it isn’t ideal anyway because it lives in a shelf with limited access height. 

 

There’s no computer nearby to connect it to. I do have an SIO2SD that’s normally hooked up to my xegs, but I’m not going to swap it over every time just to play one game.

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Thanks for the bugfix releases (19/6). :D

 

So far I tested the following 19/6 bugfix version on my 65EX (320K) A8:

 

ON SIDE3 - SIC and Megacart versions - both work (boots to dancer, mouse, title screen, intro animation/slides, credits, demo, options screen. Game played for 10mins with no issues)

 

SDrive max - DD version works with one oddity once (boots to dancer, mouse, title screen, intro animation/slides, credits but then a black screen and nothing. Joystick trigger did nothing. Rebooted A8, remounted the Dd ATR which loaded and 2nd time round it worked and went to demo, etc etc and allowed me to start the game. Game played for 5mins with no issues)

 

Not tested any others as yet. 

 

thanks

 

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15 hours ago, xxl said:

It would be nice if the Top / Bibo DOS option was added to DIR2ATR, unfortunately I was not able to interest the author.

 

ok. example for TopDOS: you will need a blank DD ATR. Run TopDOS and connect empty DD ATR to D1.
For TopDOS this is the default format so we don't have to do anything when formatting:

Damn that sucks...

 

One of the tools I tried lets you create blank Topdos files (atrutil?) and add files to it but doesn't let you install a boot loader...

 

I've got another suggestion for XBIOS:

 

It seems that all that's needed for loading a file is the start sector ?

 

You could when using xBIOS_OPEN_FILE return the start sector (AXY, or at some fixed address) then have another xBIOS_OPEN_FILE_WITH_START_SECTOR which would take the start sector as parameter and not need to reread the directory structure again!

 

That way, the user could decide to cache some files' start sector (the most used ones) and not others ?

 

Speedup for all types of disks!

 

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7 hours ago, Probabilitydragon said:

Just to make sure - the game runs on 128kB machines, right? Or is some of the version compatible with my 64kB A8?

That's right, it's 128KB only (sticking to the original specs)

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