Deathstar

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English Invader
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Deathstar

Post by English Invader » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:46 pm

Just discovered this fantastic unofficial port of Sinistar.

"Arcade perfect" doesn't even begin to do this game justice. It doesn't have the speech of the arcade game but all the gameplay is there and the keyboard mapping is perfect; Caps Lock and Ctrl for rotation, Return and Right Shift for fire and bombs respectively. So intuitive you wouldn't even want to play this game with a joystick.

The Beeb gets a lot of stick for not having the game library of systems like the Spectrum and the C64 but a game like this is worth a thousand mediocre film/TV licences. Not many systems got a port of Sinistar.

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Pernod
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Re: Deathstar

Post by Pernod » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:59 pm

English Invader wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:46 pm
It doesn't have the speech of the arcade game but all the gameplay is there ...
It does have speech, if you have the Acorn Speech upgrade fitted.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

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davidb
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Re: Deathstar

Post by davidb » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:03 pm

Even the Electron version includes the sound calls for speech. :)

Edit: The BT Merlin M2105 would probably emit speech if this game was played on it.

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Pernod
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Re: Deathstar

Post by Pernod » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:28 pm

davidb wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:03 pm
Edit: The BT Merlin M2105 would probably emit speech if this game was played on it.
Good point, must try that sometime.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

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scruss
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Re: Deathstar

Post by scruss » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:01 am

English Invader wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:46 pm
… Caps Lock and Ctrl for rotation
The original - which I played far too much of as a smaller oik - had a 49-way joystick. I'd hate to play it with asteroids-style controls.

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richardtoohey
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Re: Deathstar

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:31 am

There was never a BBC version (I don't think?) but if you liked Sinistar you might like Time Pilot:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Pilot

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Arcadian
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Re: Deathstar

Post by Arcadian » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:19 am

richardtoohey wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:31 am
There was never a BBC version (I don't think?) but if you liked Sinistar you might like Time Pilot
There was in fact, Space Pilot by the same author, Peter Johnson, written not long before DeathStar and using the same engine (or at least, very similar!).

Good fun but a little easy - as you can see from this video by Michael S Repton:


https://youtu.be/PEpMfa7Qp4A
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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1024MAK
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Re: Deathstar

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:07 am

scruss wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:01 am
The original - which I played far too much of as a smaller oik - had a 49-way joystick. I'd hate to play it with asteroids-style controls.
:shock: Wow, that 49-way joystick must have been a feat of engineering. Was it a custom analogue stick or a complex digital position type?

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Re: Deathstar

Post by English Invader » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:09 am

Pernod wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:59 pm
It does have speech, if you have the Acorn Speech upgrade fitted.
Just found an eBay listing for the ROM chips and the manuals. £40 just about brought it into impulse territory for me so I pulled the trigger and made it happen. The money goes to the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ACORN-BBC-Mi ... 2749.l2649

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tricky
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Re: Deathstar

Post by tricky » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:32 pm

Look for the computer concepts speech system thread for text to speech and even singing on the beeb with the 5220.
It doesn't need the ROM (they can fail after this long).
If you have sideways RAM, you can also try my Astro Blaster and for a laugh, play the Starwars speech right out of the arcade game.

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Re: Deathstar

Post by English Invader » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:06 pm

tricky wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:32 pm
Look for the computer concepts speech system thread for text to speech and even singing on the beeb with the 5220.
It doesn't need the ROM (they can fail after this long).
If you have sideways RAM, you can also try my Astro Blaster and for a laugh, play the Starwars speech right out of the arcade game.
I just tried Citadel and that game has in-game speech thanks to a program that Superior Software developed. It seems like there are different ways to skin this particular cat.

I did wonder why the Beeb needed special chips for speech. The VIC-20 has a homebrew port of Berzerk with in-game speech and all you need for that is a 32k expansion.

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scruss
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Re: Deathstar

Post by scruss » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:42 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:07 am
:shock: Wow, that 49-way joystick must have been a feat of engineering. Was it a custom analogue stick or a complex digital position type?
Digital, as far as I can tell. It encoded on a 7×7 matrix. Similar ones are still used on certain arcade machines, plus older games like Gauntlet. They need a bit of protocol work to decode, and new ones are about 5× the price of a standard 4 microswitch arcade joystick

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Re: Deathstar

Post by RobC » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:00 pm

English Invader wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:06 pm
I did wonder why the Beeb needed special chips for speech. The VIC-20 has a homebrew port of Berzerk with in-game speech and all you need for that is a 32k expansion.
It doesn't - the Beeb can do sampled sound/speech without the speech upgrade. See here for an example from BITD.

However, sampled sounds/speech tend to need a lot of memory which is where the speech upgrade comes in. The upgrade uses Texas Instruments speech chips that implement linear predictive coding which greatly reduces the amount of memory needed for speech

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Re: Deathstar

Post by melchett » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:19 pm

Arcadian wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:19 am
There was in fact, Space Pilot by the same author, Peter Johnson, written not long before DeathStar and using the same engine (or at least, very similar!).

Good fun but a little easy...
I used played the original Time Pilot on a school trip on an actual arcade cabinet and finding this afterwards a few years later was magical. Did David Lovekin also have a hand in this? Peter Johnson did some great conversions, only realise now I have access to e.g. MAME how good they were.

Did I hear correctly that Peter passed away a few years ago?

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Rich Talbot-Watkins
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Re: Deathstar

Post by Rich Talbot-Watkins » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:00 pm

melchett wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:19 pm
Did I hear correctly that Peter passed away a few years ago?
Thankfully no! His latest venture seems to be Soluble Apps, and he's active on Facebook too.

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melchett
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Re: Deathstar

Post by melchett » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:35 pm

Rich Talbot-Watkins wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:00 pm
Thankfully no! His latest venture seems to be Soluble Apps, and he's active on Facebook too.
Glad to be corrected - thanks Rich :D Talented and prolific chap.

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Re: Deathstar

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:31 pm

Arcadian wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:19 am
There was in fact, Space Pilot by the same author, Peter Johnson, written not long before DeathStar and using the same engine (or at least, very similar!).
:oops: I think I might have just had my first senior moment and I'm not that old!

There was a little voice in the back of my mind telling me I was typing nonsense when saying that there was no BBC version.

I've even played the blinking game and probably have at least one physical copy of it! :shock: ](*,)

Peter J was an amazing & prolific BBC coder. =D>

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