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glurk

Star Raiders 1.1

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Here's something I've been working on, a rather extensive hack of Star Raiders, including color, graphic, font, text, and sound mods.  I still have more that I want to do, but I wanted to post the work so far, hoping for ideas from others.

 

Some will call this "blasphemy" and others will like it, I'm sure.   Most of this stuff is just quibbles I had with the original.  I tried to make the fonts consistent, add more color, etc, etc.  It's still Star Raiders and plays the same.  I fixed all the bugs listed in Lorenz Wiest's epic disassembly, and included phareron's FASTDIV code, some of the stuff from Wilmunder's Star Raiders II, and honestly did so many little changes, I have forgotten all of them.  And ultimately it will go on a 16K cart, so I can put it in my Atari Star Raiders cart shell.

 

I'd like to hear ideas / suggestions from others, and maybe add them too.  There's still a good bit of room available, because some of it will be compressed into "ROM" at some later point.  As far as I can tell, it's bug free, but please comment if you find anything.  I put a lot of work into this, even though much of it is just very subtle changes.

 

Star Raiders 1.1.xex

Edited by glurk
mispelled title!
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Something I didn't like in the original cart - was the green screen when you have shields enabled.  That it would look far better if you had the text window at the bottom of the screen change from blue to green - to show that shields are enabled via that method.

Allowing you to have a grand view.  The darkness of deep space is suppose to be black and not green.

I like to have the feeling that you are in deep space doing your space battles - and with the room lights turned off - this would look even more immersive.  Though to see your keyboard so as to hit the right keys during gameplay - you'll need a small light near your keyboard.

 

I'm all for making small changes so that it looks far better that it's original version.

 

Harvey

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I think he's on a PAL system, which does show greenish.  And the program COULD detect that, and change the palette, but I still consider it WIP so that would have to come later.  I believe I actually tried ALL of the possible colors for the shield, and the original looked the best.

 

I think I like it better with the color for the shield also.  And it would be possible, but tricky, to change that.

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Great work!

 

Love the font changes.

 

Less convinced by the Attack Computer changes and the orange(NTSC)/pink(PAL) asteroids- but it's your baby 😉

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I was going for 'brown' on the asteroids, and that was as close as I could get!  I'd like to fix the NTSC/PAL thing, if anyone knows a formula/algorithm to convert color values in code.  Because I'm still working on it, and I don't want to enter two color values for every one change.

 

I LIKE the attack computer.  The "shape" is from Wilmunder's Star Raiders II, and the crosshair is just a crosshair, because I thought it was dumb to show a TIE fighter when you could be shooting at a different ship.  Makes more sense to me.

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Blasphemy ah ah.

 

Good job, if someone doesn't like it, he can still use original version (or the one with faster explosions by Phaeron).

 

PAL/NTSC detection would be nice.

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3 hours ago, glurk said:

Some will call this "blasphemy" and others will like it, I'm sure.

Do or do not, no need to justify this ;)

 

But I would suggest just calling is Star Raiders (Glurk Hack) rather than 1.1

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Yup as rightly said there's no offence in hacking the game, and I agree with Wrathchild about using Glurk in the name to show its a hack and by who.

 

As for the hack itself, I mostly like it, there's no bad things, I'm just so used to the normal version so some colours look odd to me but it will grow on me.

 

So congrats on this and all the other hacks, nice to see a bit of variation in the old stuff..

 

Well done..

 

Paul..

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Philsan- This DOES include Phaeron's FASTDIV code.  And if I can find code (or a table, I'd rather have an algorithm) for the PAL/NTSC colors, I'll try to add it.

 

I didn't think about the name too much, it just came out...  People can call it whatever they want!  This was mostly done for myself, because it's fun, and I like it better.  And I'd like to do more, but I'm not sure what else.  Hopefully, all that I've done are considered improvements, I didn't want to change any of the gameplay aspects at all.  I'm totally open to suggestions.

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8 minutes ago, glurk said:

And if I can find code (or a table, I'd rather have an algorithm) for the PAL/NTSC colors, I'll try to add it.

Wasn't here a way to do this conversion by adding or subtracting $10 to/from the color values of 14 or 15 out of the 16 hues the Atari has?

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It would be better I think to identify where the colours are set, e.g. LDA imm or table values, and then have a piece of code run at the start before passing control to the original code which either:

a) modifies theses - but if this is in ROM then that is not possible and so

b) provide both pal and ntsc versions or the routine and use a pal/ntsc flag to determine which is used, e.g. when setting vectors such as VDSLST.

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It definitely does have color values hard-coded in there.  The original was crammed into 8K...  So yeah, even doing a separate PAL version would be the easiest.  But I'm still kinda working on it, and colors may change, so it's not a priority at all.  And I do want to get it in 16K cart format, just to put it into a real Star Raiders cartridge, which I just think would be a cool thing to do.

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3 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

????? it's blueish not green, maybe adjust your stuff...

 

PAL = green, NTSC = blue, Secam = ???

 

 

 

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Yes, I know your version has Phaeron routines, you wrote it in your first post.

I meant that people have the choice to use original version, original version with Phaeron's routines, your version with more changes besides Phaeron's routines.

 

Regarding PAL-NTSC colors, I attach what I have in my programming folder.

 

Palette Color Conversion - NTSC-PAL.pdf

 

482482997_PalettePAL-NTSC.thumb.png.0fb71dd4180b6b606f93acc632506767.png

 

 

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5 hours ago, glurk said:

I think he's on a PAL system, which does show greenish.

Confirmed.  Grew up in PAL territory, now live in NTSC-land, and find the difference in shield colouring a little bit at odds with my memory 😁

 

That aside, I personally like having the screen change colour to indicate that the shields are on.  It's an easier tell than having text or a radio button or similar simply because it's so pervasive.  And since the shields are really only meant for use in combat, it's a good reminder to turn them off when you don't need them.

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5 hours ago, glurk said:

 

I LIKE the attack computer.

Well obviously- it's your baby and it's how you like it 😀

Tastes will always differ, no right or wrong to it.

 

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9 hours ago, glurk said:

a rather extensive hack of Star Raiders

(just saw you already included fastdiv code...)

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10 hours ago, glurk said:

I'd like to hear ideas / suggestions from others, and maybe add them too.  There's still a good bit of room available, because some of it will be compressed into "ROM" at some later point.  As far as I can tell, it's bug free, but please comment if you find anything.  I put a lot of work into this, even though much of it is just very subtle changes.

 

Thank you so much for the hard work!

 

Would you be willing to share the modified source code so that we can compare it to the Lorenz Wiest's disassembly and the original source code published by Kay Savetz?

 

(I think Curt might have released it in the open as well).

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Heh, I don't really have source code.  I'm just using Omnivore (which is fantastic) and command line tools, with the sources you named - the first two - as reference.  If I had to go through and change, document, compile, and test every change, I'd take me 4 times as long.

 

I have scattered notes, and I know what changes I've made, and that's about it.  Sometimes I've just entered the opcodes by hand...  It's really patched together, the Neubauer ROM used almost every single byte, so the code jumps around a lot.  It's byte changes here and there...

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7 hours ago, CharlieChaplin said:

 

PAL = green, NTSC = blue, Secam = ???

 

 

 

AFAIK, SECAM has the same colour hues as PAL. The only difference is that there are no 16 luminances GTIA mode 9. Just the standard 8 like in ANTIC modes.

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I like the new enhancements, any chance of releasing a version with your hacks but without the speed hack?

Maybe it's because I'm so used to the original version, but the additional speed really throws the whole thing out of whack for me.

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31 minutes ago, griff3125 said:

I like the new enhancements, any chance of releasing a version with your hacks but without the speed hack?

Or a simple text menu before running allowing each change to be toggled on / off ?

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Sorry, can't do it.  I'd have to start all over.  And even the font alone can't fit in the original 8K version.  Even the original author didn't like his slow math routines.  I consider Phaeron's FASTDIV code necessary, I can hardly play the original now.  My version was made primarily for me, honestly.  I really do hope others like it too.  It is what it is.

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