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High Score Competition (July: Midnight/Midnite Mason)


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I found Micro Pinball II on the XB2.7 cart, and it definitely has a different feel from the original. It seems that the randomness of the ball movements has been toned down, leading to some very predictable paths, particularly during the initial launch. I am more partial to the original game which I assume is what we are basing this competition on.

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Micro Pinball II seems to have some particular features, as you can already see in the screenshot.


* There is one more bumper (green).

* Three yellow objects on the right, each one worth 1000 points

* There is a highscore list (after Game over)

* I'm not sure whether there is already a Free Ball in MP1


I did not know that there is a MP1, so it was always MP2 that I played. I'll have to fix that in the MESS software list where I added "Micro Pinball" although it is MP2 (assuming there was no MP1).


You can find MP2 on WHTech as micropb.zip or db_micro_pinball_2.rpk


Edited by mizapf
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Sorry I do not understand in the movie, what you say, Omega. What is the problem here ?

OK, to the "flickery" flippers with the PS/2-keyboard I have realized.

But what about the flippers on the TI-keyboard ? Are they too late/latency/jitter ?

They look reacting normally...




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Oh, is this a question about the PS/2 adapter? My internet here is very poor - watching YouTube usually means downloading the video with a youtube ripping tool, waiting 20-30 minutes to get it, then watching it offline. So I rarely bother. If you want to ask me a question, better to use text. ;)


When I developed the adapter I had no trouble playing games with it, it should track the keys properly. If it didn't, the key repeat on the console wouldn't work right (I know because that was the first problem I had to solve ;) ). I don't have one of the adapters here to try it with the pinball game but Classic99 runs the same code and doesn't have any trouble.


When you use the TI keyboard, that's a direct connection, so there's no difference with or without the PS/2 adapter, except that Alpha Lock must ALWAYS be up with the PS/2 adapter connected. :)

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(huh... interesting problem... that's the first clear incompatibility I've seen.) Short of hitting Control-Alt-Delete to reset the keyboard controller in case something got messed up, my only theory is that the game is scanning more quickly than is normal. It was always a possibility and the 16MHz clock was right on the edge for some apps I tested (which is why I released it demanding a /20/ MHz clock -- what's the clock on your board rated at? 20MHz is overclocking the AVR, so I wonder if someone decided you only needed 16?) A too-fast scan can result in the PS/2 controller not changing its outputs quickly enough, and giving incorrect key-presses to the TI.


I dug into the run code.... it is a little weird in that the keyboard loop is tight. The first 'scan' in the attract mode looks like this:



   B314  1D12  sbo  >0012                
   B316  1E13  sbz  >0013                
   B318  1D14  sbo  >0014                
   B31A  1F05  tb   >0005 


The first three lines set the keyboard column (or row, I always forget which is which) and then the TB reads back a single key. Then there's another like this:



   B33C  1D12  sbo  >0012                
   B33E  1E13  sbz  >0013                
   B340  1D14  sbo  >0014                
   B342  1F07  tb   >0007


and so on... this supports the overrun theory... I've never tested against code like that. (Or, honestly, seen it ;) ). Can you confirm you have a 20MHz clock on your adapter? (just for curiousity's sake - at this point there's not much I can do. Maybe when I get home :) ).

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Now I don't feel so bad, this game has been giving me trouble with my USB keyboard as well.


I had trouble with the zero key for launching the ball... then after fixing that, it's the one piece of software that doesn't see the '1' key... While I was trying to get the zero fixed, I had flickery behavior as well, if I held down the equals for the right flipper... As it is right now, the left flipper doesn't work unless I use the 'n' key to operate both flippers at once...

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Yeah, it's tight. After the last SBZ/SBO, you only have a couple of microseconds to get the right data on the lines before the TB samples.


I've never looked at the schematics for the old RAVE XT keyboard, but I wonder if it handles it. At one point I was considering using dual-port RAM for the key state, to deal with such conditions, but they proved to be very rare (this being the first I've seen). :)

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Well, in case you guys were wondering.....



From the game tracker thread:



Pre-NES top 10:
1. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 511
2. Micro Pinball (TI-99/4A) - 480
3. Astroblast (Atari 2600) - 345
4. Henhouse (TI-99/4A) - 335
5. Klax (Atari 2600) - 235
6. Rampage (Atari 7800) - 185
7. Meteor Shower (Atari 7800) - 126
8. Parsec (TI-99/4A) - 120
9. Frogger (Arcade) - 77
10. 3-D Bomberman (Sharp X1) - 76
Top 10 systems:
1. Atari 2600 (1125)
2. TI-99/4A (1099)
3. WonderSwan (1094)
4. Game Boy Color (705)
5. NES/Famicom (688)
6. Arcade (657)
7. Atari Jaguar (596)
8. Atari 7800 (311)
9. NEC PC-9801 (283)
10. PC (DOS) (184)
... the TI-99/4A comes very close to taking both the pre-NES and system charts, where Kaboom and the VCS have reigned for ages. In fact, the Atari 2600 has had some remarkable (and unrecognized) streaks this year on the Top 10 systems chart, including ten consecutive weeks at #1 earlier this year.
26 more minutes of play time and the TI would have toppled the mighty 2600 for most-played system this week. :)
Edited by Opry99er
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This game is driving me nuts. I am playing as I would play a real pinball machine. Stopping and holding the ball, picking my shots,etc. I can't break 50k! Being a consistant "free play" pinball player in my youth this really gets to me. I'll keep trying though.


BTW - Note to Omega - This game will not play right when trying on my main TI system with my RAVE keyboard - the left flipper goes intermittent frequently while playing.

  • Haha 1
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