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TIME PILOT - final release


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So this game is programmed for PAL Atari's?

My understanding is that it works on both NTSC and PAL, but it uses overscan which is clipped on NTSC screens. So it's playable on NTSC but the stats at top and bottom can't be seen.

Edited by Gunstar
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I would clarify that to say it depends on the monitor used on your NTSC Atari. I use an LCD TV for my XEGS (which I realize is a heresy for some of you) and I can see the stats on the top and bottom of the screen. On the high score screen, the bottom is slightly cut off but the high score is still viewable.


I am very happy that the developers spent the time to make sure Time Pilot would run correctly on an NTSC Atari. Someday, maybe I will have the space and correct monitor to make a PAL Atari work correctly in the US. In the meantime, I am grateful that European developers have not ignored us.


Bob C

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Does the PAL version depend less on overscan than the NTSC version does? I mean it is not given that PAL TV's are more generous in the displayed area, in particular not older sets connected through RF, if anyone still uses it.


For example Delta on the C64 uses a lot of border sprites, which are barely visible on many TV's and monitors that don't let you adjust screen height, so it is not the first time in computer games history that part of the screen may fall outside of the comfortably displayable area.

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On both systems it's a safe bet that on a CRT you'll lose about 80 scanlines - so we say 40 for a Progressive display.

That equates to showing 223 on NTSC which is 17 less than the Atari's 240, so losing the top and bottom row of text in a 30 row display.

On PAL it equates to showing 272 which is still 32 more than Atari generates, so providing the black border which is about 2 characters height on top/bottom.


I have seen TVs that truncate a PAL display but generally it's a rarity and usually means it's badly adjusted and the aspect ratio of normal TV will be too tall and skinny.


Looking at the DList in the game, it starts right at the top of the possible display area but only uses 226 scanlines so the likelihood is that more overscan would be lost at the top (score) than the bottom (stats).


The problem with Atari is that you can't easily provide an offset adjustment - for the Display List it's trivial to just put blank lines to shift the display downward but that means the PM graphics would be shown in the wrong relative position. Fairly major programming changes would be needed to allow shifting them as well.

Edited by Rybags
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Ok, what am I doing wrong? I put the time pilot xex on an sd card and loaded it up with my sdrive nuxx. The program loads for quite awhile then ends in a black screen. No response from any button and no sio activity. Press reset and screen turns blue with a locked cursor. I've tried it both on my 1088xel and my u1mb upgraded 800xl. Was going to try and load with respeqt but accidentally dropped my 1088 and ripped the mini usb off the spark fun board. I'm sure i'm doing something stupid... bosconian xex works fine though.

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Ppl who say 5200 please know the difference between 800xl and 5200? Would be like asking for 600xl or 400 port pls ;)

That is not as strange as it seems to be. Take Atariblast for instance. This runs from cart even on 16K 400. I am not telling that this would be possible with any game, but I try to explain why it is not so strange people think a 5200 port must be possible...

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5200 has the slight advantage in that the cart window is 32K instead of 16 which can help with that pesky task of catering for bank switching.


Source code available - so at the least it should be easy to work out just how much read/write storage is required.

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The original post says they ran out of RAM so they couldn't implement helicopter missiles as softsprites. How much of the 64K is used for game code (and how much of that could be in ROM instead) is an important matter to determine how much RAM is required for dynamic content.

Edited by carlsson
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Hmmm, the unpacked (?) length of Time Pilot is approx. 28kbytes, so it should fit on a 32k cart. easily.

Packed the A8 file with Exomizer and got somewhat more than 17,000 bytes, so it does not seem to fit on a 16k cart in packed form...


Besides, Time Pilot is a great conversion!


Half of the Atarians are very happy with it, e.g. the PAL-folks, the silent-movie folks (me!), the 3x-SIO-folks, the harddisk-folks, the Rapidus-folks. But the other half are not happy, e.g. the U1MB-folks (1MB XRAM, SDX, SIDE, etc. not required!), the Evie-soundboard-folks (not used nor supported!), the VBXE-folks (not used nor supported), the sep.-Antic-folks (does not require XRAM nor sep. Antic!). ;-) ;-) ;-)


Hopefully you can make the NTSC-folks happy soon...

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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...Tested here on A800 + Incognito on NTSC (LCD pro-monitor + DVDO iScan Video Processor).


Loads ultra-fast from Incognito Loader WITH or WITHOUT SDX active.... loads WITH or WITHOUT accelerated SIO support, from NUXX drive. Displays correctly ENTIRE frame (from top to bottom, from left-to-right, nothing is left out, can see everything it generates). Sprites look huge on my 19" VP-950b LCD monitor.


Not sure which version I actually have but can't find a single fault (or a need for a "corrected" NTSC). There does not seem anything to correct.


ONLY suggestion that I would add is to check execution framework requirements during loading, so user knows if machine / host config. IS or NOT supported. When I boot on an clearly wrong config. (Incognito with OS/B and 48Kbytes) boot process obviously crashes, but it would be nice to trap it, and notify user. Nothing critical at all, but it would be a nice / convenient feature.


GREAT WORK, and NICE from-the-scratch version (!!!)

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