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Sprint 1 ported to the Atari 800XL


norbert_kehrer
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I also noticed the track are changed after each lap, As far as i can remember that is supposed to only happen in attract mode and not in actual gameplay, yes i did watch an play a sprint arcade machine back late 70,s i think it was.

 

 

Hi,

 

thanks for the comments on the track change frequency.

 

Your memories are correct. In the Sprint 1 arcade machine certain features can be configured via DIP switches. With one switch the way the tracks are changed can be influenced. If the switch is on, the track changes after each second lap. This is the default mode, I think. If this switch is off (this is also the setting I actually used in the Atari 800 XL conversion), the track changes after each lap.

 

Norbert

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  • 2 weeks later...

why would this be PAL only, it started as USA game... I better download it and try to run it....

There are no "USA" games in arcade machines. Yes it was designed and built there, but as long as you adapt the mains power you can plug the thing in anywhere around the globe and it will work.

Atari home computers come in NTSC/PAL/SECAM systems though and Norbert is from Germany and hence his machine is PAL and hence he would code it to work on that machine.

 

But it seems to be fixed now :)

 

I haven't had time to try it on actual hardware sadly (my A8 bit stuff is stored away at the moment).

Norbert, does the game support joystick input only ? It would be cool to support trackball in native mode. Not so much to use an actual track-ball, but it would be possible to make a one axis optical steering wheel which would make the game a lot more authentic :)

 

I'm not sure if it's possible to connect Atari's own Driving controller to the A8 ? The Driving controller is essentially a "half-trackball".

 

 

post-18775-1223419424.jpg

Edited by Level42
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Yes, the driving controller can be hooked up to an Atari 8-bit computer. It is like half a trackball or mouse. The rotation is transmitted as just one axis of movement. (three values)

 

Since it works like a mouse axis, it probably needs to be polled more than once each frame to maintain rotation consistency.

 

 

Indy500 on the 2600 is an awesome game because of these controllers. If it used a joystick it would have sucked.

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Hi,

 

thanks for the postings on Atari's driving controllers. They would be great for the Sprint game.

 

Unfortunately, I do not have this kind of controllers to be able test it with my Atari 800XL. It would help, if it was available in an emulator somehow. I could not see this controller type in Altirra, though. Am I missing something here, or does some other emulator support the driving controllers (maybe by using the mouse on the PC)?

 

Thanks.

 

Norbert

 

 

 

There are no "USA" games in arcade machines. Yes it was designed and built there, but as long as you adapt the mains power you can plug the thing in anywhere around the globe and it will work.

Atari home computers come in NTSC/PAL/SECAM systems though and Norbert is from Germany and hence his machine is PAL and hence he would code it to work on that machine.

 

But it seems to be fixed now :)

 

I haven't had time to try it on actual hardware sadly (my A8 bit stuff is stored away at the moment).

Norbert, does the game support joystick input only ? It would be cool to support trackball in native mode. Not so much to use an actual track-ball, but it would be possible to make a one axis optical steering wheel which would make the game a lot more authentic :)

 

I'm not sure if it's possible to connect Atari's own Driving controller to the A8 ? The Driving controller is essentially a "half-trackball".

 

 

post-18775-1223419424.jpg

 

 

Yes, the driving controller can be hooked up to an Atari 8-bit computer. It is like half a trackball or mouse. The rotation is transmitted as just one axis of movement. (three values)

 

Since it works like a mouse axis, it probably needs to be polled more than once each frame to maintain rotation consistency.

 

 

Indy500 on the 2600 is an awesome game because of these controllers. If it used a joystick it would have sucked.

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Unfortunately, I do not have this kind of controllers to be able test it with my Atari 800XL.

 

I have a handful of these, I'd be happy to donate one to the cause...

 

I've been a hardware hoarder for a long time, if I can put something in the hands of someone who'd do something useful with it to create something new, I'd be proud.

 

PM me, Norbert...

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stupid question - what is the difference between the paddles and the driving controllers?

 

Paddles are an analog device, a potentiometer with clockwise and counterclockwise stops. Delivers a variable resistance over a finite amount of rotation.

 

The driving controller is digital and can be spun freely. It outputs "Gray code" indicating which direction it's moving in. I believe 16 steps make a complete revolution. A driving controller is very much like a one-axis trackball and would be ideal for Sprint, or say, Tempest.

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Paddle reading is almost fully automated on the computer, initation is normally in VBlank after reading the previous values.

 

Driving controllers actually use a 2-bit gray code. It's sort of like reading a single mouse axis. The code repeats 4 times per revolution so giving 16 positions representing 360 degrees.

Since there's a lot less precision than a mouse though, you could probably get away with only reading the code once per frame.

But you still need to incorporate some programming to determine what change of angle has occurred.

 

Possibly the original game uses similar methodology? Though the controller reading might be automated. The gray code might use more bits. The rotation might be represented by more steps around 360 degrees.

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  • 2 years later...

So.......I finally actually found and bought an Atari Driving controller. Norbert, was any work done on adding it ?

 

IMHO since Sprint arcade game was controlled by exactly the same type of controller (in arcade terms this is called a "spinner") it would make Sprint 1 PERFECT on the A8 :)

There might be differences in number of slots, but the software handling of the controller is already in the original arcade game of course but might need some alteration because of the number of slots ? No idea really.

I guess you had to write some conversion to add joystick control....or did Sprint already provide for joystick control as an alternative ?

(Don't laugh, Centipede arcade also has joystick support built-in (at least party AFAIK).

Edited by Level42
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