The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Anything QL Software or Programming Related.
User avatar
Peter
QL Wafer Drive
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby Peter » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:52 am

Great job Tobias! Indirectly you also answer my question about the usefulness of highcolor hardware for the BBQL. Not so much, because developing for MODE 8 is fun and challenge. ;)


User avatar
tofro
Font of All Knowledge
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:53 pm
Location: SW Germany

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby tofro » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:10 pm

Peter,

Yes, it is fun and a challenge to make something work on a platform that it was not originally intended to do.
That doesn't mean you couldn't find a challenge in, for example, make an Aurora mode work :)

"Highcolor hardware" - maybe not. If you stay roughly within the 68000 performance spectrum, high-color simply means too much memory to move around. But a system like Aurora that can handle 256 colors would be a "nice-to-have" thing and still enough "retro" to be a challenge.

A system that would support hardware-supported block moves (so, effectively, DMA) or even only configurable screen base addresses could mean a software challenge on its own - because you simply wouldn't be so limited in what you can do like you are with the BBQL.

Tobias


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
User avatar
Peter
QL Wafer Drive
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby Peter » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:31 pm

tofro wrote:"Highcolor hardware" - maybe not. If you stay roughly within the 68000 performance spectrum, high-color simply means too much memory to move around.

Sorry I didn't write precisely. With highcolor hardware for the BBQL, I meant a plug-in card that also replaces the 68008.
Even the unchanged Q68 with highcolour works nicely with "The Pawn". An with some changes/addons, rivaling the Q40 in terms of raw memory move speed is realistic.

But overall you are right, sophisticated hardware might just take away the fun & challenge of games programing for the BBQL.


User avatar
tofro
Font of All Knowledge
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:53 pm
Location: SW Germany

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby tofro » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:25 pm

Quite some of the challenge is developing software that runs on all the existing QDOS platforms and makes use of their specific extensions/peculiarities - With the MS interpreter, I currently find myself sitting in front of 7 different QDOS computers spread around my house trying to make sure that the software runs (or at least seems to...) on each and every platform. Even the small differences between an SGC QL running SMSQ/E and a "plain Minerva Machine" with a GC can prove to be a challenge.

Just a small example of the peculiarities: On the Q68 in 512x384x16, the condensed font mode needs a CHAR_XINC of 4. On the QL, in MODE 8, one pixel is actually two pixel coordinates - CHAR_XINC must be 8.
If you want to have your software easily accessible for BBQL users, TV mode should be supported, software should support (and at least respect) the extended environment (PE), but not rely on it, and so forth...

At the moment, I am about to find out that my interlaced mode graphics routines seem to be working perfectly fine on plain QDOS, but randomly (but rarely) crash on SMSQ/E. Oh dear....

Tobias


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
User avatar
Peter
QL Wafer Drive
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby Peter » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:06 pm

The latter is really not the kind of challenge one is looking for... I hope ur hardware is stable at least. On my own QLs I'm not even sure of that.

What I like about your project is that you don't just go for the smallest common denominator, but squeeze the best out of every platform. Absolutely great job.


User avatar
tofro
Font of All Knowledge
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:53 pm
Location: SW Germany

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby tofro » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:18 pm

Evening!

With regards to multi-platform, I have some good news and some bad news:

Bad news: The games won't run on a plain QL with memory expansion. That platform is too slow. It takes about 5 minutes for the first text to appear, then another ~3 minutes to parse the commands. The 68008 is simply too slow to interpret MC68000 machine code...

Good news: I got the graphics running on the SGC now with SMSQ/E:

IMG_0962.JPG

(Yes, believe it or not, this is a QL with SGC in MODE 8)

No flickering, no more random crashes.

The very same version now runs properly on QPC2 and (very probably) all other GD2 platforms:

jinxter_qpc.png


(That also means it will run on all non-QL resolutions of the Q68. QL interlaced mode 8 will only work on SGC, maybe GC QLs. The Q68 can't read the keyboard when interrupts are disabled, but this is unfortunately a must for the interlaced video)

Qx0 I have not tested yet (but no reason why it shouldn't run), QXL looks quite OK.

Tobias


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
User avatar
NormanDunbar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1133
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:04 am
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Contact:

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby NormanDunbar » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:11 pm

Looking good Tobias, well done.


Cheers,
Norm.


Why do they put lightning conductors on churches?
Author of Arduino Software Internals - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arduino-Softwa ... 1484257898, https://www.apress.com/gb/book/9781484257890
User avatar
Peter
QL Wafer Drive
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby Peter » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:00 pm

tofro wrote:The Q68 can't read the keyboard when interrupts are disabled, but this is unfortunately a must for the interlaced video)

The Q68 can. SMSQ/E doesn't, but it would probably be possible to change that.
However, the Q68 does not normally update the screen with 50 Hz...


User avatar
tofro
Font of All Knowledge
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:53 pm
Location: SW Germany

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby tofro » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:59 pm

No worries, Peter - The Q68 has better ways to cope with the pictures than the clumsy old QL ;)


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
User avatar
QLvsJAGUAR
Gold Card
Posts: 346
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
Contact:

Re: The Pawn is back. And it's not alone!

Postby QLvsJAGUAR » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:52 am

tofro wrote:Evening!

With regards to multi-platform, I have some good news and some bad news:

Morning ;)
I'm very impressed by this project! Great work so far, Tobias. Looking forward for a public release, the QL needs new software (even it's a kind of a re-release of 1980s programs).

QL forever!

Have a nice Sunday,
Urs


QL forever!
http://www.sinclairql.net/ - Go and get THE DISTRIBUTION & QL/E!
https://www.youtube.com/QLvsJAGUAR
Sinclair, QL, ATARI, JAGUAR, NUON, APPLE, NeXT, MiST & much more...
Videos, pictures & information[/i]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests