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New score/lives kernel


SpiceWare

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3 members have voted

  1. 1. Does the new score routine display OK on your TV?

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Omegamatrix posted this preliminary kernel that simulates seven-segment displays to support two 6-digit displays and two 1-digit displays. It does this by drawing figure 8s using player 0, player 1, missile 0 and missile 1.

blogentry-3056-0-79254500-1337908450_thumb.png

 

Once this is drawn on screen, the playfield is colored black and set to have priority over the other objects. Playfield pixels are turned on to hide (and thus "turn off") individual segments. Since the digits cannot be colored, I added a couple of colored playfield stripes to help reinforce which player's score is which. At the moment player 1's information is shown on both sides to test the routines.

blogentry-3056-0-38744600-1337908565_thumb.png

 

I've also added a digit-test routine that's turned on by switching the Left Difficulty to A. It'll show 0-9, a-f, then repeat the test on the other side..

blogentry-3056-0-59520900-1337908585_thumb.png blogentry-3056-0-74079800-1337908592_thumb.png

 

 

There is an issue though, the new score display takes up more room than before. Instead of shrinking the gaming area I've decided to encroach into overscan. It looks just fine on both of my systems (modded VCS hooked up to a C= 1084S and a 7800 hooked up to an old 13" CRT TV), but it's possible the scores could be cropped on other displays. For those with a Harmony, please report back whether or not it works on your display.

ROMs

spacerocks20120524_NTSC.bin

spacerocks20120524_PAL.bin

 

Source

spacerocks20120524.zip

 

Edit: new build with shorter colored lines in the score display

spacerocks20120525_NTSC.bin

spacerocks20120525_PAL.bin

blogentry-3056-0-96797800-1337958029_thumb.png

8 Comments


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Works great, D.

Tested on 32" w/Heavy Sixer RF connection,

And on 14" w/Heavy Sixer RF connection (about 1/4 inch at top blank & 1/8 inch at bottom blank). This 14" is unadjusted with overscan the way it was bought in 2004.

With the colored lines going across the bottom you can see where you are not using the "comb" area on the left, the ship & rocks wrap before the left edge, but go all the way to the right edge.

7 digits make me say, "huh, how?" 14 digits make me say, "WOW!"

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Thanks!

 

Yeah, I noticed that about the colored lines as well. I've added a new build that shortens the colored lines by 1 PF pixel. The HMOVE bars are equivalent to 2 PF pixels, but the score lines would be unbalanced if I turned off 2 PF pixels.

 

I've received Nathan's tests for the large asteroids. We might end up dropping the left/right shifting of the large asteroids based on this test. If we do, that means the HMOVE bars will go away and I'll restore the lines to the full width.

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Works for me on a modded 4-switch over composite to a 10-year old 20" Magnavox CRT. I expect digital TVs to be where problems occur, but I don't have one handy.

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I think it'll be less of an issue for digital TVs. The reason Atari games only used 192 scanlines back in the day was due to overscan.

Overscan is extra image area around the four edges of a video image that may not be seen reliably by the viewer. It exists because television sets in the 1930s through 1970s were highly variable in how the video image was framed within the cathode ray tube (CRT).

 

Newer digital TVs don't have this problem, so they show more of the picture than the old TVs did. Specifically they're designed to show 480 scanlines, or 240 from a progressive source like the Atari. The image I'm generating is around 203 scanlines.

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192 is a conservative figure. The original IBM PC CGA mode (which was based on TV timing) was 320x200.

 

IMVHO I'd skip the asteroid shifts if it allows the full width.

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Nathan's sent me most of the asteroid graphics and we've decided to drop the shifting. The non-shifted asteroids look better than I was expecting, and it'll save 2K of ROM by not having all the shift data.

 

I'll probably be adding line-by-line color changes to the kernel when I rewrite it to remove the HMOVEs.

large-rock-8x2-shade-test.gif

 

The new ship with 32 rotation positions is quite nice too!

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I think it'll be less of an issue for digital TVs. The reason Atari games only used 192 scanlines back in the day was due to overscan.

Quote

 

Overscan is extra image area around the four edges of a video image that may not be seen reliably by the viewer. It exists because television sets in the 1930s through 1970s were highly variable in how the video image was framed within the cathode ray tube (CRT).

 

Newer digital TVs don't have this problem, so they show more of the picture than the old TVs did. Specifically they're designed to show 480 scanlines, or 240 from a progressive source like the Atari. The image I'm generating is around 203 scanlines.

 

Thanks for the correction! That statement started to smell wrong as soon as I posted it.

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