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Author Topic: Converting old Ocean games (Read 396 times)

Offline geco

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Converting old Ocean games
« on: 2020.February.14. 08:53:18 »
Both games are looking good, Why did you stopped to develop games for z80 computers?
If i may ask the sources, i would convert them to EP, the graphics can be stolen from the released game :)

Online gflorez

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #1 on: 2020.February.14. 12:04:22 »
Great! we will see two (almost) original game releases on the horizon this year...

If they where programmed on an Ep.... we can say they are originals, can't we?

Offline elmer

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #2 on: 2020.February.16. 21:43:11 »
Both games are looking good, Why did you stopped to develop games for z80 computers?

Thank you! :)

While both games received good reviews at the time, it is definitely Renegade and my 3rd Amstrad title, Gryzor, that players still seem to have fond memories for all these decades later on.

I stopped developing for the Amstrad because the ST and Amiga were becoming popular (and cheap) enough that my company wanted me to switch over to those ... and I was quite happy to get to develop for the more-powerful machines.


If i may ask the sources, i would convert them to EP, the graphics can be stolen from the released game :)

Yes, extracting the graphics from the existing game would be the way to go. I did that myself recently for one of my old Amiga/ST games.

However, I really can't see giving out old source just to have a game ported over as-is to the Enterprise without any significant changes.

If someone actually cared enough about the game, and about the Enterprise computer to go ahead and make some changes to improve it, either in terms of the game itself, or to take advantage of the Enterprise's unique capabilities, then that is more interesting.


For Short Circuit, that would probably be changing the game itself so that it gave the player more hints about what they need to do (because the game is almost impossible for anyone but the original developers to actually beat). The scrolling printout on the screen should probably be made faster, and the message that you can only carry 3 items needs to be a *lot* faster, because it is totally frustrating the way that it is.

Those changes, and whatever-else the developer who was porting it wanted to add, would provide an improved game on the Enterprise, and so be worth doing.


For Renegade, the obvious thing to add is the horizontal scrolling that had to be dropped on the Amstrad because the machine couldn't do it in hardware, and it was too slow to do it in software. With an Enterprise 128 you have twice the memory of the Amstrad 464 that the game was targeted for, and plenty of memory available to do double-buffered hardware scrolling.

Again, this would make an important visual improvement to the Enterprise version, and so make it worth doing, and also show the power of the Enterprise's hardware.


For Gryzor ... that it the one that I'd be the most intrigued to see on the Enterprise, because it would be possible to both add scrolling to the game, and probably also to add the extra stages from the NES version of the game. However, that is a project that I would want to do myself. I don't have an Enterprise anymore for testing, but I'd develop the game in ep128emu anyway, just to retain sane assembly times.


Anyway ... I'm new here, and you don't know me, but similarly I also don't know you, and I don't know about your programming capabilities and interests.

May I ask what games and/or other Enterprise programming you have done?

Online Zozosoft

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #3 on: 2020.February.16. 22:19:51 »
May I ask what games and/or other Enterprise programming you have done?
I recommend look arround here for a Geco's programs :-)

And some example youtube links:
Bricky Prise original game
Panic Man original game
International Karate Plus (IK+) Reloaded conversion
Chase H.Q. conversion
Operation Alexandra conversion
Adiós A La Casta: Episode 1 conversion
Adiós A La Casta: Episode 2 conversion
Treasure Cave original game
El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtémoc conversion
R-Type (2018 CPC remake) conversion
Nigel Mansell's Grand Prix conversion
Inside Outing conversion
Green Beret conversion

SID Player
SIDBasic
MOD Player
« Last Edit: 2020.February.16. 22:25:17 by Zozosoft »

Online gflorez

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #4 on: 2020.February.16. 23:30:14 »
I would add that Geco's conversions have been consented by the authors, being he extremely careful to not change the gameplay, graphics or music, only adding some Enterprise exclusive characteristics like for example, scrolls, colourful horizons or more speed.

In this case it would be great a collaboration between you, Elmer, and Geco. You, as the author, know the lacks of the games and how to improve them, and Geco, has a great experience on game conversions and on the two computer architectures.

Please, give him an opportunity....
« Last Edit: 2020.February.17. 01:52:08 by gflorez »

Offline geco

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #5 on: 2020.February.17. 09:11:55 »
Hello Elmer

My capabilities are not so good as yours, but i always try to add some EP extra to my conversions,  and i would be happy to make EP versions from the 3 mentioned games, we could work together, i make the EP version based on your hints, and send you the result to check, if something should be changed or not.
I have 2 EP's but EP128emu is so good, that i use it for everythng.

Small correction SIDBasic is done by Istvánv and me, but mine part was much less in the final version, MOD Player is a conversion of MOD Player of Stefan Drissen on SAM coupé, changes: buffering part has been modified (became smaller, and bit faszer),the player plays digi in interrupt. and looking has been changed.

Offline elmer

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #6 on: 2020.March.15. 04:00:56 »
Sorry for the long silence, it's been a really busy month for me.

My capabilities are not so good as yours, but i always try to add some EP extra to my conversions,  and i would be happy to make EP versions from the 3 mentioned games, we could work together, i make the EP version based on your hints, and send you the result to check, if something should be changed or not.

I've taken a look at the excellent work that you've done, and I'd be happy to work with you on this. :)

Honestly, I don't think that you'll really have much, if any, need of my input at all, you seem perfectly capable of doing a great job on the conversion by yourself.

Let's move the conversation to PM, and I'll send you some source code.

The only thing is that I'd like to do the Gryzor conversion myself (if I can find the source to it), since I have a particular fondness for that game.

I've ordered an Enterprise 64 from eBay to replace the old machine that I gave away many, many years ago, and hopefully I'll be able to use that to do some testing, if I can find a way to download code to it, and if there's a way to increase its memory to 128KB (or more).

Offline geco

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #7 on: 2020.March.15. 08:37:54 »
Welcome back ☺
I think you can give good ideas to make those good programs even better to use ep capabilities. 😊 and if i can not solve any of ideas i would like to ask your help.
Sure , if you does not find the source of Gryzor, i can try to create it from the binary if you wish ☺
Until you do not have an sd card reader (it can be ordered from forum member Szörg, you can find his contact in the forum in sd card topic, or i can search it for you when i turn on my computer, and do not use phone) you can create tape files by epte or tapir and load them.
As i remember memory expansion can be ordered from Pear and Gotek.

Online gflorez

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #8 on: 2020.March.15. 10:13:05 »
Great news!

But a 64KB Enterprise is not the best model to start with. First it has EXOS 2.0, slightly incompatible with the definitive 2.1 version all stock 128KB models have. All modified EXOS Roms by Zozo are based on it.

Second, some hardware problems where fixed on the later 64KB models, but definitively on the 128KB model.
 
But almost all these issues can be fixed if you are handy and do not fear to open the EP.
« Last Edit: 2020.March.15. 11:17:49 by gflorez »

Online Zozosoft

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #9 on: 2020.March.15. 19:53:12 »
Let's move the conversation to PM, and I'll send you some source code.
Great news! I believe you and Geco will make awesome Enterprise versions!

Offline elmer

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #10 on: 2020.March.17. 02:19:52 »
Sure , if you does not find the source of Gryzor, i can try to create it from the binary if you wish ☺

I believe that an old colleague still has a copy of the final printout that I made, and he's going to send it to me.

If I can scan that listing in, then it would be tremendously helpful ... I really want to see all of the old comments in the source code.


Until you do not have an sd card reader (it can be ordered from forum member Szörg, you can find his contact in the forum in sd card topic, or i can search it for you when i turn on my computer, and do not use phone) you can create tape files by epte or tapir and load them.

Thanks, I'll contact him!


As i remember memory expansion can be ordered from Pear and Gotek.

Thanks again! I've found Pear on here, I'll see if he still has any.

If I can get a 512KB memory expansion board, then that would be an absolute dream-come-true.


But a 64KB Enterprise is not the best model to start with. First it has EXOS 2.0, slightly incompatible with the definitive 2.1 version all stock 128KB models have. All modified EXOS Roms by Zozo are based on it.

Second, some hardware problems where fixed on the later 64KB models, but definitively on the 128KB model.
 
But almost all these issues can be fixed if you are handy and do not fear to open the EP.

My soldering skills are very rusty, and my eyes aren't what they once were, but I can certainly *try* to perform any upgrades that are needed.

Honestly, I will do almost all of the work in EP128EMU, the real hardware is mostly needed for testing a few hardware-specific routines, especially if I write a new sound-driver for the conversion.

The price of an EP128 these days seems far too high for my comfort, so I jumped on one of the Egyptian EP64 imports that have recently turned up on eBay.

The serial number is 71370, so I'm hoping that any of the hardware problems were fixed in a machine that was manufactured that late.

The machine even has Arabic characters on the keyboard as well as the English characters, which made it an interesting variant to see for sale.

Anyway, I'm afraid that I won't even be able to see the output from the computer (and verify the EXOS version) until I make an RGB-to-BNC cable, because I don't have a PAL TV.

Online gflorez

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #11 on: 2020.March.18. 10:01:37 »
The machine even has Arabic characters on the keyboard as well as the English characters, which made it an interesting variant to see for sale.

Anyway, I'm afraid that I won't even be able to see the output from the computer (and verify the EXOS version) until I make an RGB-to-BNC cable, because I don't have a PAL TV.

Yes, the emulator is the best tool to develop, with all its options to debug, find strings, trace, disassembly, etc.

You can know more about the Egyptian Enterprise units here.

If you name the maker and model of your monitor we can aid you to make the video cable. If it has BNC connectors it is a professional one, sometimes they need Sync on Green or other strange ways to input the Sync signal.

Online Zozosoft

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #12 on: 2020.March.18. 12:32:52 »
Honestly, I will do almost all of the work in EP128EMU, the real hardware is mostly needed for testing a few hardware-specific routines, especially if I write a new sound-driver for the conversion.
From a developer view: most important difference at EP64/EP128 not just the memory size. At EP64 all memory are video memory, where the CPU accesses are delayed by the Nick chip. The extra 64K in EP128 or any other memory expansion runs at full speed. Like the Amiga Chip RAM and Fast RAM :-)

Another problem the different system memory map at EXOS 2.0 and 2.1+ versions. But if you programming on the right way, allocate memory from EXOS, don't using direct system memory addresses, then the program will run on any Enterprise configuration.
This is also true for using extra memory segments, many-many old program using directly the F8-FB segments, which are the internal 64K expansion of EP128. These programs still not running on EP64 even you have a external memory expansion. But if you programming on the right way, then no problem about where the expansion addressed.
Unfortunatelly there in Hungary where the most of Enterprise sold, only the 128K version exist. Then the most of programmers don't care about the EP64, games won't run on EP64, even if it is only 48K Spectrum conversion :roll:
About at the last 15 years, when international Enterprise community started, making the new programs are maximal possible compatibility, and lot of old programs are also fixed. (Still possible if the programs need more than 64K, or a full speed RAM, but can run on EP64 with any expansion.)
When Geco write for their releases "program are EXOS compatible" this is means these.

From a "gamer" view, if you want to enjoy all existing Enterprise programs need a EXOS 2.1+ and 64K expansion at F8-FB segments. Practicaly this is a EP128 :-)

But for a developing EP64 are ok, and optionaly any memory expansion if needed more or faster RAM.

In a ep128emu the memory timings emulated correctly.

Ps: what do you think, move your thread to a separate thread? Just suggest one right name for it :-)

Offline elmer

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #13 on: 2020.March.19. 06:39:41 »
Ps: what do you think, move your thread to a separate thread? Just suggest one right name for it :-)

Absolutely, while a few of my earlier messages might be considered to be a legitimate part of this topic, we've gone far, far off the original thread by now.

If a moderator can split off most of the recent messages into a new thread, perhaps into the "Progamming" section, then that would seem like a great idea!

How about "Converting old Ocean games"?

Online Zozosoft

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Re:Converting old Ocean games
« Reply #14 on: 2020.March.19. 08:14:51 »
If a moderator can split off most of the recent messages into a new thread, perhaps into the "Progamming" section, then that would seem like a great idea!

How about "Converting old Ocean games"?
Done :ds_icon_cheesygrin: