Atarimax Product Discussion Forums

Red Max
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Author:  Wrathchild [ Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:11 am ]
Post subject:  Red Max

I've been playing with some 64k games to make images from.
This was a good candidate but there is plenty of room left on the cart
and so I may end up making a menu for it with another game,
e.g. Grand Prix Sim or something similar.

Here's the image to flash a cart from for people to try out.
Hopefully no bugs - but I've never beaten this myself - always
die on the "re-an crew" level. :(


Author:  Wrathchild [ Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  More Code-Masters games added


I was able to squeeze another 2 titles into the 1Mb cart space
so now we have BMX Simulator, Grand Prix Simulator & Red Max.
Also added a menu with their logo (pinched from the NES
'Micro Machines' intro).

However I see that Red Max itself locks up in NTSC mode under
emulation, so I guess that's true of real h/w too? If so I could
replace that with another Code Masters title... favourites?
Can anyone confirm if the other two games run OK?


Author:  TjLaZer [ Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:16 am ]
Post subject: 

First one works great on my NTSC 600XL (64k) and 800XL. Haven't tried the 2nd version though.

Author:  Wrathchild [ Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks! the mult-game cart uses the same data.
However, it maybe worthwhile checking the actual
timings used in these games as they may not be
as fair to the NTSC user, e.g. for the first race of
BMS Sim., the max time is 50 seconds, so are the
timers actually counting 1 second correctly?

If not then I can probably add some code so that,
post loading, these can be patched before launching
the game.


[EDIT] this is true, the 50 seconds take ~42 under NTSC

Author:  TjLaZer [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:48 am ]
Post subject: 

DOOD! That menu ROCKS!!! How the heck did you do that???

Upon testing in an emulator Red Max does not work in NTSC...


I tested it on a real NTSC 800XL and it performs just like the emulator. Red Max crashes with garbage on screen, other 2 work fine! Can you fix it?

Author:  Wrathchild [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wow, the chances of this happening were about 1 in the number of NTSC scanlines :D

A DLI was occuring during the initialization code that had a second DLI occuring during it, causing the game to follow a disasterous path. In PAL, this first DLI occurs in a 'safe' area and so didn't affect things. For both systems (NTSC/PAL), putting in a delay (wait for vblank) before jumping to the RedMax entry point appears to have fixed the problem by making the NTSC version also have the DLI occur in a safe zone. I've updated the earlier post with the corrected programs.

As for the menu - I tend to take a painful path of capturing what I want in Paint Shop Pro and then converting this to a Degas PI1 file using XnView. Then I use an Atari ST emulator (STew/WinSTon) to run some utils I had written to take a PI1 image and remap colours to make a DAT file (i.e. a plain Gr.15 dump such as Atari Artist would have saved). Then another program can extract the data statements for blocks of a given width and height that can then be included in your assembler source. One day I'll bite the bullet and write a program to do this directly from a loaded image file in a PC. I know from G2F you can save the raw Atari data and I've seen some clever assembler (e.g. MADS) macros that people like tebe have written to perform this data extraction dynamically at assemble time. I'd like to have a go at converting those to CA65 macros some day.

I'll have to look at the timing fixes another time but enjoy for now :)


Author:  TjLaZer [ Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:56 am ]
Post subject: 

Works now! Very cool man. Hey can you make a menu for World Karate Champ? I uploaded a 130XE and 800XL version, would be cool to have a custom menu for that.

Keep up the great work on the Menu's! Wish I could do that....

Author:  roye [ Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:11 am ]
Post subject:  Great Menu!

I was able to squeeze another 2 titles into the 1Mb cart space

Is three titles the max for this menu? 8) Just wondering if this menu loader would load more in the 8mb flash cartridge.

Thanks I like the loader.. :D :D

Author:  Wrathchild [ Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Glad you like it, the original style was used when I was
putting 2 or 3 cassette games onto disk around the time
I was at university so when I had my 1052PC cable made
a few years back I was able to retrieve the code from
disk and play around with some menus for cart games.
(Just checked, it was back in 2005 - but I'm finally
getting around to wrapping this one up ;) ... opic=62992 )

A similar loader was used on the Mysterious Adventures cart
posted here too, obviously more titles means less space for the
logo as I've not implemented a file list which scrolls or pages.

Where titles already have a 1 part loader image then they're
fine to use on the existing FlashCart menu builders. My carts
tend to be hand-organized, e.g. dedicated loader and the game
parts generally run-length encoded to conserve some space.
I tend therefore to go for the titles that fall outside of the norm
in that they often need a workaround of somekind as they don't
run under the existing menu builders.

I'm part way through making Winter Olympiad 88 work
from an 8MB cart, now that would be something!

@TjLaZer - what do you mean by a menu for WKC? Why
would it need a menu, surely the game just boots and you
play it. I've just searched and seen that you made an image
back in 2003 so I'll check that out, maybe you just want
a single cart that includes all backdrop scenes but runs in 48K?

Author:  Wrathchild [ Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Great Menu!

roye wrote:
Is three titles the max for this menu?

Generally I'd say yes for the bigger games, though with
better compression you could probably even squeeze one
or two more in. This cart has ~140K of game data which
simple RLE encoding got down to ~110K, leaving me
the spare bank for the menu code + graphics.


Author:  TjLaZer [ Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

I made one that has 2 versions so there is a menu, one for the 130XE and one for the 800XL (one has multiple screens, the other does not)

Author:  Wrathchild [ Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:40 am ]
Post subject: 

I saw that, so I bit the bullet and made the 48K only version anyway :twisted:.
See the new thread for the download.

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