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Ben_Larson

Table Tennis (Adventurevision)

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First of all Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to everyone. :) Been some time since I posted anything on Atariage.  I guess you might say I've been 'retired' from the homebrew scene for a while and doing other things in life... that is until recently.

 

Earlier this year I started digging into Dan Boris' old technical documentation on the Entex Adventurevision.  As you may know, there isn't a whole lot of resources available online to get started programming on this system since it's pretty obscure, so even after reading his (invaluable) documentation I wasn't sure I'd be able to really do much at all.  I downloaded an assembler, started tinkering, and after a few failed starts, I did eventually manage to figure some things out and get some basic graphics showing up on-screen.

 

After proving that I could at least do that much, I decided to keep going and get a simple game together as a slightly more ambitious project.  As far as I know there's only ever been one other homebrew for this system, and that was the 2013 MEGA demoscene demo.  So this may be the first homebrew game...? (could be wrong here).

 

As you may have guessed from the title, it's a clone of a certain quinessential 70s arcade game which shall remain nameless :).  It's mostly done - just needs some sound effects and a title screen I think. There's a 2 player mode and also a 1 player vs-the-computer mode that has 3 difficulty settings.  Hard mode is pretty tough to beat, but not impossible.

 

One twist I implemented is a 'high stakes' mode where the points at stake increase as the length of the rally increases, up to 9 points.  The current rally value is shown at the top of the screen when playing in this mode.  Playing in this mode generally prevents games from going on too long, and can also make for some interesting come-from-behind-victories if the losing player gets lucky and wins a big rally.

 

I have not yet tested this on the actual hardware, but I think it should work.  I do actually own a hardware unit (that's a whole other story as to how that came to be), so I plan to attempt some testing here in the near future (I need an EPROM burner and some rom chips first).

 

The best way (possibly only way?) to play the game emulated is to download MESSUI here: https://messui.1emulation.com/

 

Any feedback is welcome.

 

Also when I finish this, I plan to release some tutorial materials to assist others who may want to try their hand at programming the system since there's very little available online - seems only fair after all the programming help I've gotten in years past from other homebrew developers.

 

Take care everyone. :)

 

tabletennis.bin

tabletennis1.pngtabletennis2.pngtabletennis3.png

Edited by Ben_Larson
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Never heard of the Adventurevision before now, but reading about it it's a very interesting piece of hardware from an engineering perspective. Great work on the game, I'm looking forward to seeing some tutorials.

 

Do you have a link to the technical documentation that you referenced in your post? Sounds like it would be some mighty fine toilet reading.

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2 hours ago, BDW said:

Never heard of the Adventurevision before now, but reading about it it's a very interesting piece of hardware from an engineering perspective. Great work on the game, I'm looking forward to seeing some tutorials.

 

Do you have a link to the technical documentation that you referenced in your post? Sounds like it would be some mighty fine toilet reading.

Yep, it's right here: https://atarihq.com/danb/files/AdvTechSpecs.pdf

 

I think he figured out everything in this document from reverse engineering the system himself and partially disassembling the BIOS, which I can only imagine must have required a ton of perseverance.

 

Speaking of the BIOS, it has a number of routines, but the only one I actually used is the one that handles copying the video memory data to the LED register in realtime (BIOS address: 0x36).

 

There's other routines for things like clearing the video memory and copying graphics data into video memory, but I didn't actually use any of those (so far anyway).

Edited by Ben_Larson

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12 hours ago, chewy said:

so this is not for VCS?

  Hide contents

 

 

Nope. This is actually my first foray into making a homebrew for some other hardware. :)

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I've never seen an Adventurevision in the flesh, but I'm familiar with them thanks to emulation.

Congratulations and continued success on your project!

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well by golly if somene did my a vcs game in this style of system- it would be really good.  yeah vcs doesnt have enough monohrome games.  the appleIIe green monochrome version of coleco donkey kong is the best example.  any others im missing?

Edited by chewy

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Happy New Year everyone.  Here's a new version with a title screen which took way too long to do, partially because I had to reorganize half the dang code in order to support another page of sprite data. :)

 

Next up is to figure out how to do sound effects.

 

I'm also working on a technical writeup and a simple 'hello world' program source file that will go along with said writeup for anyone who's interested.

 

tabletennis4.png

tabletennis.bin

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Slightly updated version with a few sound effects added.

 

Also, here are some tutorial materials as promised:

 

http://www.blarworld.net/adventurevision_hello_world.html

 

It's a detailed writeup for an interactive 'hello world' demo I made.  It also goes over some of the general info about the system.  The github repository containing the 'hello world' code itself is linked at the bottom.

 

I hope all 2 of you out there who enjoy programming both obsolete AND hopelessly obscure video game systems enjoy it! ;)

tabletennis.bin

Edited by Ben_Larson
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I released a game earlier last year called Break Vaders. I know how hard it is to address scrolling from left to right on AV so good work there!

 

 

128400601_10224403979426383_8459396567701308483_n.thumb.jpg.55d543f57daba9d8f5b678357ee31ddc.jpg321287244_Screen1.thumb.png.c4e3f0dca07fa8ce4a0102672c7fcc43.png

Awesome Ben! And now there are 6 games! 

 

Edited by ziggystar
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On 1/8/2021 at 3:06 PM, Ben_Larson said:

Slightly updated version with a few sound effects added.

 

Also, here are some tutorial materials as promised:

 

http://www.blarworld.net/adventurevision_hello_world.html

 

It's a detailed writeup for an interactive 'hello world' demo I made.  It also goes over some of the general info about the system.  The github repository containing the 'hello world' code itself is linked at the bottom.

 

I hope all 2 of you out there who enjoy programming both obsolete AND hopelessly obscure video game systems enjoy it! ;)

tabletennis.bin 4 kB · 5 downloads

  1. An 'exclusive or' drawing mode would be useful for 'CopySprite' - then instead of redrawing the entire screen each time, you could simply erase the parts that have changed by writing to the old sprite location with the 'XOR' mode turned on.

 

I ended up writing a routine just as you suggest here!

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On 1/20/2021 at 1:29 PM, ziggystar said:

I released a game earlier last year called Break Vaders. I know how hard it is to address scrolling from left to right on AV so good work there!

 

 

128400601_10224403979426383_8459396567701308483_n.thumb.jpg.55d543f57daba9d8f5b678357ee31ddc.jpg321287244_Screen1.thumb.png.c4e3f0dca07fa8ce4a0102672c7fcc43.png

Awesome Ben! And now there are 6 games! 

 

Woah, nice... I had no idea.  This is awesome.  So I guess mine's the second homebrew game and we've collectively increased the system library by 50%? ;)

 

As an aside: what was your process for making the cartridges? Did you use new old stock/used 2532 EPROMs or did you try to use something else and make an adapter?

 

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If someone wants to lend me a "cartridge", I'll see what I can do about making a simple reprogrammable cart or multicart... or is this totally not required? (not sure exactly how it works).

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Used old stock 2532s. Getting harder to come by! Can’t fit anything else (adapter etc) into the case unless we make some really modern adapter. There are only about 20-30 people who would buy such an item. 

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Does anyone have a spare Adventurevision cartridge available for sale? Loose, and doesn't matter what game.

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On 1/1/2021 at 2:59 PM, Ben_Larson said:

Happy New Year everyone.  Here's a new version with a title screen which took way too long to do, partially because I had to reorganize half the dang code in order to support another page of sprite data. :)

 

The title screen looks beautiful, and was worth it.

 

Speaking of space, are you getting to the point now where you'd need to come up with a bank switching scheme for Adventure Vision?  ;-)

 

(only 1/2 joking!)

 

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On 9/15/2021 at 11:24 AM, bhall408 said:

The title screen looks beautiful, and was worth it.

 

Speaking of space, are you getting to the point now where you'd need to come up with a bank switching scheme for Adventure Vision?  ;-)

 

(only 1/2 joking!)

 

 

Thanks, I made that title screen with the aid of MS Paint and some free font I downloaded. ;)

 

A bankswitching scheme would definitely be useful since the system only supports 4K max.

 

I'm currently working on some other projects but when I get back around to the Adventurevision it's something I might start looking into (unless someone else wants to :) )...

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