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PETSCII Robots 128


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In David's last PETSCII Robots video where he introduced the Atari version, he included a slide showing some 8 bit platforms that "need" a port. But he excluded C=128!

He described the process that led to the Atari port so I contacted him about a C=128 version. It's underway!

He announced it on a C=128 forum on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Commodore128/posts/1581343692207798/ if you care to go read it.

I'm kind of giddy working on this, even though I don't have a real C=128 as I've mentioned previously. Hopefully whatever comes out of vice will work on real hardware.

Edited by Scott Robison
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Wow, congrats.  I wish I'd thought of that first, I'd be psyched to work on something like this (although I don't have much experience working on the C128).  I kind of want to ask David for the source code anyway, mostly just because I love looking at other people's code and seeing how they do things and learning from it, and I'm sure the PETSCII Robots code is interesting.

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5 hours ago, Scott Robison said:

In David's last PETSCII Robots video where he introduced the Atari version, he included a slide showing some 8 bit platforms that "need" a port. But he excluded C=128!

He described the process that led to the Atari port so I contacted him about a C=128 version. It's underway!

He announced it on a C=128 forum on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Commodore128/posts/1581343692207798/ if you care to go read it.

I'm kind of giddy working on this, even though I don't have a real C=128 as I've mentioned previously. Hopefully whatever comes out of vice will work on real hardware.

I’ve got a real 128, although I don’t pull it out often. When you get ready for Beta testing, let me know. 

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1 hour ago, TomXP411 said:

I’ve got a real 128, although I don’t pull it out often. When you get ready for Beta testing, let me know. 

I have a C128 too actually.  It's from when I was a kid and I have no idea if it still works (it hasn't been powered on since the mid 2000's I think), but I could finally dig it out and see if it still works if you want another beta tester!

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The problem with any Commodore 128 version is that aside from more CPU time for more sprites, and possibly running twice as fast/smooth, it won't be substantially different from/better than the Commodore 64 version.  The 128 features the same resolution modes, master palette, and sprite rules as the 64, and even SIDs are identical as far as assembly software is concerned.

What I would really like to see is if anyone on this has some model of C256 Foenix, and is ready and willing to port the game to that hardware.

Oh, and the announcement is on a private Facebook group.  For reasons that I will strive to keep as a "noodle incident" for as long as possible, I wish to go on record as stating that I despise Facebook and leave it at that.

Is there any (legal and ethical) way to read a copy of the substance of that announcement on this forum?

Edited by Kalvan
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34 minutes ago, Kalvan said:

The problem with any Commodore 128 version is that aside from more CPU time for more sprites, and possibly running twice as fast/smooth, it won't be substantially different from/better than the Commodore 64 version.  The 128 features the same resolution modes, master palette, and sprite rules as the 64, and even SIDs are identical as far as assembly software is concerned.

You're forgetting the 80 column display, the 128 KB RAM, and the much faster burst mode media access that is available with certain drives.

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46 minutes ago, Kalvan said:

The problem with any Commodore 128 version is that aside from more CPU time for more sprites, and possibly running twice as fast/smooth, it won't be substantially different from/better than the Commodore 64 version.

Well, unless you count the second screen. The 80 column video display really adds some possibilities, I would think. 

… and now I need to get my 128 out of the closet and clean the keyboard (that’s the one thing keeping me from using it regularly.)

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My initial idea was to create the 80 column version, as that was the most distinguishing think. I wasn't interested initially in a deep rewrite, just something that leveraged VDC instead of VIC which would make it stand out a little. He was never opposed to the idea, he just didn't think there would be enough to distinguish it from the C=64 version. Only after we started talking did he *really* warm up to the idea and start designing features he'd like to see in it. I still want to do a VDC specific version (and I think in the last few hours I've figured out how to do it without rewriting all the VIC specific code), but the better version he outlined is really going to be the best possible version for a Commodore 8-bit, I think. C=64 is a great version, but it is very constrained by its 64 KB. Adding an extra 64 KB, along with the other features he describes, really is going to elevate it to another level.

I've worked as a game dev before (Acclaim, Access, and Kodiak) but I've never been the idea guy. I'm the guy that helps people realize their dream, so I'm really glad that David is excited about the idea.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/7/2021 at 2:10 PM, Kalvan said:

The problem with any Commodore 128 version is that aside from more CPU time for more sprites, and possibly running twice as fast/smooth[, a bigger standard disk and more RAM], it won't be substantially different from/better than the Commodore 64 version.  The 128 features the same resolution modes, master palette, and sprite rules as the 64, and even SIDs are identical as far as assembly software is concerned. ...

FIFY.

More RAM means ability to use VIC-II features that the C64 version doesn't necessarily have the space to use.

Indeed, if the install base had developed, we would have seen commercial C128 games taking advantage of that.

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On 9/7/2021 at 2:44 PM, Scott Robison said:

I think this is legal and ethical. Someone tell me if it isn't.

image.thumb.png.f4177cae38abd8dd9898e7b6c088ee99.png

 

It's certainly ethical, given that you are one of the "we" in the comment ...

... and as far as legal, FB / twitter / etc. never seem to raise the question about screencaps, even when it gets politically divisive, so that's nothing to worry about.

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I'm late to the game, but...

Awesome! 😁

Having a C128 Edition is fantastic, thanks @Scott Robison! I liked the C128, even  though I didn't use it much, the Amiga 500 pulled my attention away from it as soon as it was released.

I love seeing all the ports,  it allows the game to cover such a wide range of the retro computing world, and that's a good think in my opinion.

Edited by Strider
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I’m not gonna lie... after buying PETSCII robots twice (CBM + Apple) I was disappointed to see the original author crying over spilt milk because he spent too much $$ on diskette stickers and only sold 87% of projections.  Wah...

Then came the humble brag of *robots being 5% complete on IntelliVision making it “the first to blah blah blah”.

Meanwhile, we were suffering over here with no info about Commander.

But you’ve saved the franchise.  Doom face, dual screen, MMU and other add-ons to boot.  Really impressive and I’ll sign up to buy a copy and support what is surely an excellent piece of work.  That 8-bit fellah owes you.

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But I will say this: I think David has been clear that while Commander X16 is his idea of a dream computer, he's not the one doing the great bulk of the work. He's a bit at the mercy of variables beyond his control for X16 (while having spent five figures out of pocket to help push those variables along; that's not me sharing confidential information to be clear, that's what he wrote in the August info thread / poll). In contrast, he does control most of the variables for PETSCII Robots, so more news flows from that as he is more in control of that (realizing that even then, some people who commit to do a port fall through, and he does overestimate the appeal of the game in some quarters, such as Apple II).

He's taken a bit of a gamble with all of the ports that he sells, and it's not fun to lose money on a venture. Hopefully with time he'll inch up the 87% or whatever to 100% and hit break even (or better) for what is undeniably a niche product in the year 2021.

BUT COMMODORE 128 HAS A COOL GAME AND I WAS PART OF IT, SO YAY! 🙂

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On 11/8/2021 at 2:26 PM, EMwhite said:

I’m not gonna lie... after buying PETSCII robots twice (CBM + Apple) I was disappointed to see the original author crying over spilt milk because he spent too much $$ on diskette stickers and only sold 87% of projections.  Wah...

Then came the humble brag of *robots being 5% complete on IntelliVision making it “the first to blah blah blah”.

Meanwhile, we were suffering over here with no info about Commander.

Wow. Someone is channeling his inner Richard, over here. 

Maybe relax a bit. Read a book. Watch a movie. The Commander will be here when it gets here...

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@Scott Robison After watching the 8BG's latest video on PETSCII Robots makes me really want the 128 version now! Again, excellent work sir! Love the features, look, and dual display option.

Honestly, I want the X16, Amiga 500, and C128 versions now. 😆

Just in case the random browser missed the video:

 

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No need for crow, unless you really like it!

When I first started working on this, my thought was to keep it true to the PET / C64 version legacy. It would have been a really pale imitation of what it turned out to be. David got excited about doing more and I was along for the ride! It turned out even better than I thought it would when I first pitched the idea.

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