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Intellivision font is different in emulators


dalves
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Hi, I'm very new to Intellivision programming so please forgive me if my questions are stupid. I've been using IntyBASIC SDK and have used some of the sample programs to kind of feel my way around some basic programming. My first project was to recreate the "Mattel Electronics" title screen, which I did a decent job of. However I did notice that the font was a little different than the original font when I ran it in JZIntv emulator. The font looks exactly the same as the old games when I run it in MESS. I wasn't sure if this had to do with the emulator itself or perhaps the exec or grom files?

 

I know I will have other programming questions along the way and wanted to be sure this was the correct forum to post in.

 

Thanks...

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If you use the original EXEC and GROM with jzIntv, it will look just like the original Intellivision.

 

At one time, I had played with providing a "miniexec"/"minigrom" that used a different font, and provided just enough code to display a title screen and make some homebrews work. I don't recommend using those for anything serious. I don't know if you're using those files or not. I no longer distribute those with jzIntv, though.

 

I'd recommend getting the "stable dev build" from http://spatula-city.org/~im14u2c/intv/for new development, and using the stock EXEC/GROM. I assume you have those if you're also using MESS/MAME. (MESS was swallowed back up into MAME, wasn't it?)

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Thanks for letting me know. I checked and I do currently have the miniexec and minigrom. I'll download the latest stable version and use that.

 

MESS was combined with MAME recently. I still run older versions of each. I like having my arcade roms and console roms separate. :)

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Hopefully one last follow up question. I downloaded the stable dev build and extracted the files to the "bin" folder of the main IntyBasic SDK folder. I putthe EXEC and GROM files I used with my other emulators into the ROMS folder and ran my Title Screen rom from the SDK window. I got an error saying that miniexec couldn't be found. I renamed the EXEC and GROM files to miniexec and minigrom and everything ran fine. The fonts looks just like the old console. I was just wondering if renaming them to mini was the right way to do it?

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You'll have to look at the batch file that dZ-Jay made. I haven't really looked at what's in the SDK.

 

Alternately, if you rename the exec.bin and grom.bin to miniexec.bin and minigrom.bin and put them where the script is looking, that will work too. jzIntv doesn't care what the files are named. The SDK's script needs to be modified, though.

 

Since this seems to be an IntyBASIC SDK specific issue (not jzIntv or IntyBASIC), you might rename the thread to get the SDK folks' attention.

Edited by intvnut
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If you use the original EXEC and GROM with jzIntv, it will look just like the original Intellivision.

 

At one time, I had played with providing a "miniexec"/"minigrom" that used a different font, and provided just enough code to display a title screen and make some homebrews work. I don't recommend using those for anything serious. I don't know if you're using those files or not. I no longer distribute those with jzIntv, though.

 

I'd recommend getting the "stable dev build" from http://spatula-city.org/~im14u2c/intv/for new development, and using the stock EXEC/GROM. I assume you have those if you're also using MESS/MAME. (MESS was swallowed back up into MAME, wasn't it?)

 

I don't believe this is entirely accurate. You've gone out of your way to make sure that the "miniexec/minigrom" ROMs worked perfectly adequate. We tested them to ensure they were fit for purpose for "anything serious," and the intention was to distribute them with the SDK-1600 and P-Machinery (and our own game ROMs) for serious programming.

 

In fact, they are what's included in the Christmas Carol ROM Edition package and the IntyBASIC SDK for precisely this reason.

 

The intention was to avoid infringing Intellivision Productions, Inc.'s copyrights so blatantly by including proprietary ROMs with any public or commercial distribution. I find it a bit hypocritical to offer the "mini" versions with a distribution, only to turn around and say, "but go ahead and replace them with the real thing, here's how to get it."

 

If your thoughts on this have changed, that's one thing. If Intellivision Productions, Inc. gave you distribution rights or explicitly supported or condoned your distribution of the original ROMs, then that's another thing -- and that would be great indeed. However, I know not of any of this, so the SDK will not include the original ROMs.

 

This is not an "IntyBASIC SDK specific issue," this is by design. If someone wants to modify their own local copies, by all means they can do so. I, on the other hand, don't think it's necessary to encourage this, since the "mini" versions are perfectly adequate for development, which is what the SDK is explicitly for.

 

-dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay
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It's true, they'll work fine for new game development and for running most homebrews, as long as they avoid the EXEC, and that includes all IntyBASIC development. (They won't run all, IIRC. At least one (SG&R?) called the EXEC's multiply routine, but I can't remember if I patched one into miniexec to compensate.)

 

The font doesn't match, so if you want the original Intellivision font, you need the original GROM. Most of the time, it doesn't matter, but occasionally it does if you rely on the shapes of specific characters. If you want to run any of the original games, you need both the original GROM and the original EXEC.

 

The minigrom/miniexec are great for providing a self-contained package w/out any Intellivision Productions IP. That is a valid use case.

 

 

To be clear, the only thing I said was an IntyBASIC SDK specific issue is that an IntyBASIC SDK script (intyrun) specifically requests miniexec/minigrom, and so there isn't an option to use the regular EXEC/GROM without modifying that script.

 

Or is that not where the "intyrun" script comes from? Please see the screen shot in #6 above. It says it was created by you, so you're a better expert at what it is or isn't doing than I am.

Edited by intvnut
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It's true, they'll work fine for new game development and for running most homebrews, as long as they avoid the EXEC, and that includes all IntyBASIC development. (They won't run all, IIRC. At least one (SG&R?) called the EXEC's multiply routine, but I can't remember if I patched one into miniexec to compensate.)

 

That's true, but IntyBASIC development (you know, the raison d'être of the SDK) does not use the EXEC -- as far as I know.

 

The font doesn't match, so if you want the original Intellivision font, you need the original GROM. Most of the time, it doesn't matter, but occasionally it does if you rely on the shapes of specific characters. If you want to run any of the original games, you need both the original GROM and the original EXEC.

 

Yes, the font doesn't match. I still content that for development this is perfectly fine. Running the original games is not the intention of the SDK. If someone wants to download jzIntv to run the original games, then they'll have to use their own copies of the ROMs, as it's always been said.

 

I still contend that there is value in weening programmers from depending on the EXEC.

 

The minigrom/miniexec are great for providing a self-contained package w/out any Intellivision Productions IP. That is a valid use case.

 

Indeed, I'd say this is the most likely case for home-brews.

 

To be clear, the only thing I said was an IntyBASIC SDK specific issue is that an IntyBASIC SDK script (intyrun) specifically requests miniexec/minigrom, and so there isn't an option to use the regular EXEC/GROM without modifying that script.

 

I took issue with your point that the "mini" binaries are some vestige of an old idea, obsolete, and that they are not recommended for "anything serious." This turns their inclusion into the IntyBASIC SDK from a valid technological, philosophical, and legal position; into a capricious, thoughtless, or otherwise uninformed one.

 

Perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but there you go.

 

Or is that not where the "intyrun" script comes from? Please see the screen shot in #6 above. It says it was created by you, so you're a better expert at what it is or isn't doing than I am.

 

You are correct that the script invokes those specific ROM filenames. I thought it would confuse everybody unwarrantedly if I were to give them the same names as the original ones. Then you'll be hard pressed to know which is which. ;)

 

It is trivial to rename the command line in the script if anybody wants to do so. In any case, I'll come up with a more elegant and configurable solution for the next version of the SDK (which will come at some point, I promise!).

 

-dZ.

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  • 3 years later...
On 8/8/2016 at 2:53 AM, intvnut said:

The minigrom/miniexec are great for providing a self-contained package w/out any Intellivision Productions IP. That is a valid use case.

 

Bumping this ancient thread...

 

This is what I'm looking to do (for an emulator that we want to be self-contained in terms of Intellivision support).

 

So looking to see if that use case has been solved (and solved in an IP friendly way - PD/Apache/MIT/BSD/commercial license/etc), and if not, we'd take a look at doing that ourselves.

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