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Sprybug

Robot Zed Music Preview Showcase!

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Hey everyone.  Time for a big update on Robot Zed!

 

All the levels have been made, all the enemies have been programmed and most of the power ups have been implemented.

I'm still working on the boss battles.  Then after that, I need to go back and do a lot of debugging work.

Around that point I'm going to need some beta testers, but not quite yet!

The past 3 or 4 months, I've been writing and programming all the music for each level.

All the songs are original.  Some of the songs, were songs I wrote over 20 years ago and decided to put them to use in the game.

To work on the Atari, I had to slim them down significantly, but I think I made them work for the most part.

 

There are 9 songs & levels in total.

Press the joystick up or down to advance to cycle to the next level soundtrack.

The title of each level will show on the screen so you know which one you are listening to.

Enjoy! :)

 

 

Zed_Music.bas.bin

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On 11/4/2020 at 10:05 AM, Sprybug said:

There are 9 songs & levels in total.

Press the joystick up or down to advance to cycle to the next level soundtrack.

The title of each level will show on the screen so you know which one you are listening to.

Enjoy! :)

Great selection of music @Sprybug, they loop really well and are really catchy! Can't wait to play the levels they go along to. 🙂

 

- James

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Really great music! I loaded it up in Stella and had it running to my headphones for a bit at work today.

Edited by slacker

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I really like the music you put into this, and I'm exited for the full release of Robot Zed on cartridge and ROM. this along with your other games (Princess Rescue and Zippy the Porcupine) have impressed me and do a good job at showing what the 2600 is capable of. I imagine that the ROM size will most likely be 128K, because of all of the content being put into it. keep up the good work :)

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On 3/23/2021 at 11:52 PM, kisrael said:

Great stuff! What kind of tools did you use for this?

I developed my own system.  I did try to make a program to help aid me in generating the code on the PC, but I had a difficult time with the libraries I was using making the sound work correctly, so I did it the old fashioned way.  I made a more rom space friendly optimized data format for the music/sound data by taking the standard way of doing it, which was Channel0:volume,instrument,frequency,Channel1:volume,instrument,frequency,length and made changes to the soundtrack playing routine to do some "decompressing" by changing the format a little bit.  I still use the above format, however if the instrument and frequency do not change, but the volume does, then all I do is add 16 to the volume number and omit the instrument and frequency for each channel.  The routine sees that the value of the volume is above 15, subtracts the value by 16 for the correct volume number, leaves the instrument and frequency alone and then reads the next byte in the data statement for channel 1's data and then does the same thing there.  It's saved me over 1K of space on a couple of the songs!  So for example instead of:

 

Data Song

 8,4,10,4,12,20,3

 6,4,10,3,12,20,3

 4,4,10,4,12,22,6

 ....

 

You can do

Data Song

8,4,10,4,12,20,3

22,21,3

20,4,12,22,6

...

 

etc,etc.

 

I also have a few pieces of paper I printed out with music keyboard keys on them and I have written in what each note pertains to by instrument and frequency for quick reference.  Also on these sheets, I wrote down the length value for each timed note.  I made 3 different charts for 60 FPS (1 drawscreen per game cycle), 30 FPS (2 drawscreens PGS = Zippy and Zed), and 20 FPS (3 drawscreens PGS = Princess Rescue). The original songs I wrote on my music keyboard and then used my cross reference sheets to translate it into data to type in.  I had some old songs that I had written in ModPlug Tracker many years ago that I used for the game as well, and that was easier to convert because I could visually see what was going on and then do the converting manually.  Yes, it did take quite some time to figure it all out and type it in.

 

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Wow! That's detailed!
 

So for the non-ModPlug Tracker songs, you're doing it all by hand? Like you either know how the song goes or you have it in like MP3 or whatever, and you figure out the frequencies you want and code them in?

 

As you can see by the tools listed in my .sig I'm very interested tools to make Atari music (or at least I was, they were two of my big summer projects). But you brought a lot of finesse to the sounds you were using! (Reminds me of the work Oliver Gets did for https://alienbill.com/loaded4bear/ - he's a musician and not a coder - and I don't think he had a lot of atari experience playing it -  but he was able to pick up from very primitive tutorials https://alienbill.com/2600/basic/music/ and make some great songs.)

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On 3/29/2021 at 8:23 AM, kisrael said:

Wow! That's detailed!
 

So for the non-ModPlug Tracker songs, you're doing it all by hand? Like you either know how the song goes or you have it in like MP3 or whatever, and you figure out the frequencies you want and code them in?

 

As you can see by the tools listed in my .sig I'm very interested tools to make Atari music (or at least I was, they were two of my big summer projects). But you brought a lot of finesse to the sounds you were using! (Reminds me of the work Oliver Gets did for https://alienbill.com/loaded4bear/ - he's a musician and not a coder - and I don't think he had a lot of atari experience playing it -  but he was able to pick up from very primitive tutorials https://alienbill.com/2600/basic/music/ and make some great songs.)

These were songs I wrote 20+ years ago using ModPlug Tracker.  Still have the files.  When in a tracking program, you know how the sequence is all laid out, and you can visually see the timing, notes, effects, tracks, etc.  Makes it easy to see it and then just be able to take that and covert it to what you do in the program data because it's sequential as well.  Of course though, you're just limited to two tracks (and notes) on the Atari, so a lot of adjustments need to be made.  I know I even transposed a few of the songs in a different key because of missing notes.

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