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After playing around with the current available TutorVision games, I decided to create something of my own that would be an appropriate addition to the TutorVision library.  All the code is finished and just needs to be tested now.  As of this evening, I have the documentation ready and a sketch of overlay images.

 

So what is it?  You'll have to see for yourself when I demo it on a Twitch livestream.  I'm planning to go live at 10:00 EDT tomorrow night, July 10.

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Yes, digital.  I don't have original hardware myself to test it on.

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I've been able to play the three original Tutorvision titles on my Tutor Pro system which doesn't have the WBEXEC in it by putting that extra info into the cart ROM image.  I think @Lathe26 wrote up how to do that in another thread:

 

Do you think this technique would work on your new ROM image?

 

BTW, do we have a feel for how many of us have Tutor Pros and how many of them have which combinations of chips (i.e. EXEC, GROM, STIC, RAM, GRAM)? 

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I'm not using REX at all, and I stayed away from the $2xxx address range, in case anybody wants to try running it on an LTO Flash with real hardware.  Because ECS was out of the question, I cannibalized every possible address range normally set aside for ECS.  The ROM currently takes up 38K.

 

There is some quick auto-detection to check the amount of GRAM and which GROM.  I've got a little room left in case there's anything else I should be checking for, about ½K.

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4 hours ago, Intymike said:

I have to watch the recording. I love to sleep at 4 am. ;)

Sorry about the time.  It's my anniversary weekend, so I decided to wait until late this evening.

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1 hour ago, Zendocon said:

Puts it to full use.

Wow! Looking forward to see the demo.

Don't know if I will be able to catch the livestream, but if not I will check out the recorded video.

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5 minutes ago, Zendocon said:

Sorry about the time.  It's my anniversary weekend, so I decided to wait until late this evening.

 

Everything's fine. It will be the first I look up when I get up tomorrow morning! :)

 

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Thanks to @Intelligentleman for the input during the live stream.  Time to reveal the project.  It's Little Man Computer, now for your TutorVision!  It works in jzIntv, both on my PIDE and on the Windows port.  I'll spend some time tomorrow fixing a couple minor bugs, and then I'll post it on Monday.

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This was so fun! Thanks again for sharing this with us.

 

My connection crapped out and I had to abandon ship.

 

Fascinating discussion and presentation.

 

And happy anniversary!

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No worries.  We were about done at that point anyhow.  Thanks again for your input.

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6 hours ago, Zendocon said:

Thanks to @Intelligentleman for the input during the live stream.  Time to reveal the project.  It's Little Man Computer, now for your TutorVision!  It works in jzIntv, both on my PIDE and on the Windows port.  I'll spend some time tomorrow fixing a couple minor bugs, and then I'll post it on Monday.

Interesting.  What about turning that into a game similar to TIS-100?  That would be awesome.

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For those not familiar with the TIS-100 game, here is a good walkthrough.


It may be neat to implement a game with a similar structure, since the set of instructions are very similar to LMC. :)

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Something like TIS-100 would be a good successor, after people have become familiar with LMC programming.  I had a couple other ideas for games that involve programming, like PMARS / Core War.

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Posted (edited)

Fantastic project! Just watched the recap.

This would have been a great Tutorvision application, and perfectly aligned with the intent of the platform. Maybe even a killer app? 🙂

Graphics and music click really well. I imagine those would have helped make the application more appealing to children. Great use of the extra GRAM by the way.

Very good use of controllers and overlays. Those look intimidating at first, but I can picture kids completing exercises, and controls becoming gradually more familiar.  

Also, the application uses JLP flash save/loads, wow. You ARE using everything at your disposal, aren't you? 🙂

It's a shame the ECS can't be used, otherwise the only thing missing would be 6-channel music.

 

Again, great job! Technically very impressive.

 

Question: have you considered bank switching for extra space, given you are already using the JLP? I ask that based on your comments about needing to optimize for space.

If you addressed that during the video, I may have missed it, sorry.

 

I didn't know the Little Man Computer model, and wish I had seen it earlier in my life.

 

I can see the parallel with TIS-100, which is a game I actually played.

I am a fan of Zachtronics games, but to be honest I prefer their "disguised programming" games such as Spacechem and Infinifactory.

Edited by cmadruga
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43 minutes ago, cmadruga said:

Question: have you considered bank switching for extra space, given you are already using the JLP? I ask that based on your comments about needing to optimize for space.

If you addressed that during the video, I may have missed it, sorry.

I might have briefly mentioned it.  I did consider bankswitching near the end of the project, but the only thing I could safely bankswitch is the music.  It's residing at $a000-bfff, and Moonlight Sonata alone takes up over 3K.  If I do add bankswitching, I might embellish Gymnopedie and Pavane.

 

Just as I was about to bankswitch for the last bit of space I needed, I realized I could cannibalize the beginning $4000 address range normally reserved for ECS RAM.  I used $4100-47ff, and it turned out to be just enough.

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Here it is.  Included are:

  • The ROM image in .bin+.cfg format
  • An overlay image in .jpg format
  • A full instruction manual/tutorial in .pdf format
  • A readme file with instructions to launch it in jzIntv

Although this represents my best work to date, I had planned to release it for free, and therefore this isn't intended to be a final "finished product".  I will provide updates where necessary, including tweaking the Little Man graphics and animation scripts.  Anybody who wants to contribute through more rigorous testing, creating a box image, or so on, should feel free to let me know.

 

Enjoy.

lmc.zip

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Here is a minor update.  These are the changes from last week's release:

  • Expanded autodetection for STIC1A and extra Tutorvision RAM.
  • I fixed a minor cosmetic bug where the contents of the Output tape do not appear when you clear only the Output tape from the Reset Menu.
  • The project name is now cleared along with everything else when you clear Everything from the Reset Menu.
  • Minor changes to the documentation to reflect the recent changes.

In addition, I expanded the one block to start at $4040 instead of $4100, since it's safe to do so.  Again, this is not meant to be a final release.  If I come across anything that needs to be changed, I will continue to provide updates.

lmc.zip

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August 2021 update.  I included two new Addendum files with the documentation, one of which contains a half dozen Beginner-level programming exercises to solve on your own.  The other is an illustrated keyboard map based on my PIDEjL hackfile for jzIntv.

 

There are also several bugfixes, mostly either cosmetic or concerning the behavior of various menu items in the Reset Menu.  It's all listed at the bottom of the readme.txt file.  I also forgot to mention that with the July 2021 update, I added "ecs_compat=0" to the metadata for LTO Flash.

lmc.zip

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OK this is pretty awesome.  Never knew about this till now.  What a cool but sad to hear unsuccessful venture.  Still glad it got preserved at least partially if i followed the thread right.  

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It's funny, because I remember INTV hyped up the Tutorvision in 1987 catalogs.  That was just before they offered leftover ECS units for sale.  It was obviously in development for a couple years, and just ready to be test-marketed when the project died.

 

The modifications to the original Intellivision hardware indicates a sort of compromise from an attempt to resurrect the Mattel Electronics Intellivision-III, which would have been the INTV Intellivision-IV.

 

Yes, I'm glad the few units that have turned up have been preserved, and that jzIntv emulates it.  I can only hope more of the games turn up at some point.

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