Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

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junosix
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Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

Had a bit of trouble getting to sleep this morning as I've got a cold so I disassembled the ST Format coverdisk classic Droid and replaced the soundchip XBIOS calls with STE/Falcon DMA sound samples. I'm terrible at the game but it makes it a bit nicer to play with sampled sound, if I've missed any sounds out let me know.
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Last edited by junosix on Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Droid - quick-and-dirty DMA sound hack!

Post by nativ »

Cool Fix!

Hopefully the cold won't last all over the holidays! ;)
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Re: Droid - quick-and-dirty DMA sound hack!

Post by junosix »

Thanks :) My plan is to get feeling ill out of the way before Christmas properly kicks in.

I'm from the South West too, by the way. Near Plymouth!
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Re: Droid - quick-and-dirty DMA sound hack!

Post by nativ »

junosix wrote:Thanks :) My plan is to get feeling ill out of the way before Christmas properly kicks in.

I'm from the South West too, by the way. Near Plymouth!

In Dorset near Dorchester!

I also used to have a Juno 6 :D now I have a 106 8)
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Re: Droid - quick-and-dirty DMA sound hack!

Post by junosix »

Cool! What a synth, I sold mine but kept the name ;) I'll check your Soundcloud pages out a little later on when I've got some time.
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Re: Droid - quick-and-dirty DMA sound hack!

Post by junosix »

Quick gameplay video showing the new sounds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A8DutIm ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by Official Ninja »

The gameplay video looks awesome!

I tried to play in my Mste but the game graphics looked corrupt.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

Official Ninja wrote:The gameplay video looks awesome!

I tried to play in my Mste but the game graphics looked corrupt.
Thanks :)

Hmm - was the whole screen kind of jumping up and down, and the large numbers at the bottom appearing at the top from time to time? I had that for a while until I used a smaller sample for the collision sound and that seemed to cure it (in Hatari). I put the samples at the end of the data section and maybe that's changed the address boundary of the reserved area for the graphics? Can't remember if the Mega STE needs different consideration as to where screen addresses are. Have you tried it without cache or putting it on 8MHz?

Haven't tried this on my real STE yet, has anyone else tried it on a plain-vanilla STE?
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by Official Ninja »

junosix wrote:
Official Ninja wrote:The gameplay video looks awesome!

I tried to play in my Mste but the game graphics looked corrupt.
Thanks :)

Hmm - was the whole screen kind of jumping up and down, and the large numbers at the bottom appearing at the top from time to time? I had that for a while until I used a smaller sample for the collision sound and that seemed to cure it (in Hatari). I put the samples at the end of the data section and maybe that's changed the address boundary of the reserved area for the graphics? Can't remember if the Mega STE needs different consideration as to where screen addresses are. Have you tried it without cache or putting it on 8MHz?

Haven't tried this on my real STE yet, has anyone else tried it on a plain-vanilla STE?
Ok, found out you have to boot clean from floppy. I copied the files to disk and booted my MSTE holding ALT and the game ran fine.

Excellent work. Thank you!

I also took out my standard 4mb STE and played the game on that from floppy. Worked great. :D
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Re: Droid - quick-and-dirty DMA sound hack!

Post by rian_ata »

Didn't know the game, but after seeing the Youtube clip I'll give it a try. Of course your version with better sound :-)
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by nativ »

from the video, it manages to convince me it always sounded like that :D good job!
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

Official Ninja wrote:Ok, found out you have to boot clean from floppy. I copied the files to disk and booted my MSTE holding ALT and the game ran fine.

Excellent work. Thank you!

I also took out my standard 4mb STE and played the game on that from floppy. Worked great. :D
Phew! :)

The version I uploaded will probably not work on the Falcon, as far as I know the Falcon doesn't have the ability to play DMA samples at 6258Hz. (They're actually 12517Hz samples but I found that if I set them as 6258Hz but to play in stereo it plays them at the right speed and kind of adds a thickness to the sound as every byte gets played through L and R alternately). I'll need to add a check to see if it's being played on a Falcon then adjust the DMA sound registers accordingly.

Thanks for the feedback! They were just meant as placeholder sounds but I think that everything other than the door unlock sound is actually perfect. I've got a few more plans with this game, some more ambitious than others. I'll post some more updates when I've experimented a bit more.

Have fun with it, I'm putting some serious hours into playing this now and it's a really solid game.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by Official Ninja »

junosix wrote: Have fun with it, I'm putting some serious hours into playing this now and it's a really solid game.
Me too. It is really good. A lot of fun.

Any idea what F10 does? I pressed F10 and there was some disk activity.

Any plans to make this hard drive installable?
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

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Official Ninja wrote:Any idea what F10 does? I pressed F10 and there was some disk activity.

Any plans to make this hard drive installable?
Well spotted! Taking a look, there are three keys which are polled ingame: P, for pause. F10, which creates a file, writes something to it, then closes it. And E, which I think might be a panic button for when your sprite's vertical position is misaligned (I've noticed that sometimes if you get to the bottom of the screen sometimes you can walk on the gap that should kill you, and I've also had the sprite hovering about 8 pixels in mid-air meaning I've been unable to walk on any platforms!). Currently tracing through to find out exactly what gets written to disk when F10 is pressed. Maybe saves hiscores or something? I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Not sure what the hard disk issue could be with your Mega STE, I'm testing it in Hatari running off the C drive and it seems alright. Haven't really got the skills yet to try to puzzle that one out. I would like to make it play nicely with GEM so that you can quit from the title screen and it restores everything and puts you back on the desktop. Shouldn't be too tricky.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by Official Ninja »

junosix wrote:
Official Ninja wrote:Any idea what F10 does? I pressed F10 and there was some disk activity.

Any plans to make this hard drive installable?
Well spotted! Taking a look, there are three keys which are polled ingame: P, for pause. F10, which creates a file, writes something to it, then closes it. And E, which I think might be a panic button for when your sprite's vertical position is misaligned (I've noticed that sometimes if you get to the bottom of the screen sometimes you can walk on the gap that should kill you, and I've also had the sprite hovering about 8 pixels in mid-air meaning I've been unable to walk on any platforms!). Currently tracing through to find out exactly what gets written to disk when F10 is pressed. Maybe saves hiscores or something? I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Not sure what the hard disk issue could be with your Mega STE, I'm testing it in Hatari running off the C drive and it seems alright. Haven't really got the skills yet to try to puzzle that one out. I would like to make it play nicely with GEM so that you can quit from the title screen and it restores everything and puts you back on the desktop. Shouldn't be too tricky.
Cool. I looked at the disk and saw no new files, so it would be cool to figure that out!

I don't think the MSTE has any particular problem other than HDDRIVER being in memory. Lots of games don't like that.
I tried setting it to 8Mhz and it fixes the 1st intro screen but the game still has corrupt graphics.

Anyway, I look forward to any more work you do to the game, I've been playing it daily and really enjoy it with the new sounds.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

Official Ninja - I've been playing around with Droid tonight getting some work done on adding a gradient background, and took another look at the routine which happens after F10 is pressed. It creates a file called vivscr.neo (which already exists, but if you delete it, it creates a new one). It's 32kB which is the right size for a NEOChrome file but opening it up doesn't show any graphic data, even though looking at the file with a hex editor shows it's got stuff in. I'm guessing it must just be a debug thing he made to try to grab the screen. There's also another routine which writes to disk elsewhere in the code, but its start address is dead and never seems to get called!
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by Zamuel_a »

Will you try to add any STE capabilities to it since you already dissambled the game and changed some things in it? Maybe use blitter and hardware scroller.

I haven't played the game, but from looking at the youtube video it looks like it's only scrolling in the Y direction. This would be very easy to do on the STE and would make it possible to run the game in full 320x200 resolution instead of the rather small screen it's using now.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

Since that video in addition to the STE sound I've also added a Timer B interrupt for a gradient background with the STE palette. I was thinking of expanding the screen actually, and perhaps overlaying the score with the blitter, though to be honest I think that would be a bit too much for me to take on, at the moment I'm not all that familiar with the code. But you're right, the game only ever scrolls up and down and I get the feeling each screen is made up and stored in memory in its entirety, so it should be too difficult to open it up.

I asked a question about Timer B as it happens in the coding forum, you're probably familiar enough with that to be able to answer it?
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by Zamuel_a »

the game only ever scrolls up and down and I get the feeling each screen is made up and stored in memory in its entirety, so it should be too difficult to open it up.
This makes it rather easy to add hardware scrolling since you don't have to bother about the horizontal STE scroll registers, just change the screen address 160 bytes to move one line up or down and that's it. If they store the entire screen in memory, then it should be real easy to do it, but I don't think that makes sense on an ST game. It's easier to redraw the entire screen and don't have to bother about sprite restore or anything.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

I'll have a little hack later on and see how it's been done!
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by bullis1 »

Nice work with the sounds. I never gave the game much play in the past as I recall it being a bit janky when sounds were playing. This is rather nice though and I'll be pleased to see if you manage to make any other tweaks.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by bullis1 »

Did you ever make any other additions to this? I played it again a short while ago.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by NGF »

Great work! Always liked this game since I got it on a coverdisk. Now it's awesome, thank you.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by junosix »

Thanks NGF, it's nice to be able to contribute something like this.
bullis1 wrote:Did you ever make any other additions to this? I played it again a short while ago.
I didn't get all that far with it but I've still got it all on a hard disk. Forgot about it for a while! Would love to have another delve into it at some point, probably won't be until the summer until I get a chance to have a proper look at it again though.
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Re: Droid - new STE DMA sampled sound patch

Post by MrMaddog »

Real nice, the DMA sounds are much better and different than the original, though they still give you an impression of being a unstoppable cyborg which is why the game reminds me of Killing Game Show. Shame I couldn't get far into the gfame without cheats since I can't find a certain key...

EDIT: Forgot this was from a couple years ago, but now I got around to trying out the DMA version... ;)
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