Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

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trixster
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Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by trixster » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:46 pm

I was reading this thread about zarch on the speccy with interest:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5961&hilit=zarch+bbc

and wondered if anyone had had a serious thought about porting Zarch to the beeb? Now there are so many 2nd processor beebs / masters around thanks to the RPi, plus exciting stuff like the VideoNula, has anyone considered such a project? One for keiranhj? :wink:
A3020 | A3000 | A420/1 | BBC B + 128K RAM/ROM + 20K Shadow + Pi0 + VideoNuLA
Master Turbo + DC + BeebSID | Atom | A4000 060 | A3000 060 | A1200 060 | A500
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RobC
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by RobC » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:54 pm

I thought about it for a while as I think you could do something reasonable with the Pi co-pro but came to the conclusion that it's a bit beyond me!

I'd have given it a go if I could have found code for a C version but I only ever found one in Blitz Basic and I have no experience in that.

However, I have got the Spectrum version of Virus working on the Beeb through my Spectrum emulator :D

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tricky
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by tricky » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:00 pm

I think Gil had plans and maybe a demo for solid ground Zarch on the Speccy, but my memory seems to have missed a few refresh cycles!

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Kecske Bak
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by Kecske Bak » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:07 pm

tricky wrote:I think Gil had plans and maybe a demo for solid ground Zarch on the Speccy, but my memory seems to have missed a few refresh cycles!
Was it Gil who wrote Repton 3 for the ZX Spectrum or did he just write Repton 1 and 2?

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tricky
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by tricky » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:23 pm

Just 1 and 2, I think the beeb author did 3 themselves, but I think 1 & 2 may have been held back until 3 was ready.

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Pernod
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by Pernod » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:15 pm

tricky wrote:Just 1 and 2, I think the beeb author did 3 themselves, but I think 1 & 2 may have been held back until 3 was ready.
It wasn't Matthew, just had a chat with him. Doesn't know who did either.
- Nigel

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

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by lurkio » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:55 pm

trixster wrote:wondered if anyone had had a serious thought about porting Zarch to the beeb?
Already been done -- see Zander/Lurch:
:wink:

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by Kecske Bak » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:50 am

tricky wrote:Just 1 and 2, I think the beeb author did 3 themselves, but I think 1 & 2 may have been held back until 3 was ready.
Thanks Tricky - always been interested in the Spectrum and Amstrad Repton 3s. I remember seeing the unreleased Amstrad version used the CPC equivalent of MODE 1 and that really fascinated me.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by danielj » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:30 am

tricky wrote:I think Gil had plans and maybe a demo for solid ground Zarch on the Speccy, but my memory seems to have missed a few refresh cycles!
Virus was released on the speccy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY8rBCplNWY

d.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by Rocketeer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:51 am

Strangely enough I was thinking about this over Christmas and made a few preliminary notes about how it might look/work...

Split screen, mode 2 at the top, mode 1 at the bottom. Modified screen to give resolution of 256 x 192, two frame buffers of 12k each.

000 < display panel/height/fuel indicators >
024 < main play area >
191 < screen end >

The main rendering would happen on the second processor with data passed over to the host processor through the Tube. An intelligent erase of the hidden screen and update of the display panel/map would be done by the host processor.

Machine required to run: B/B+ with 16k SWR, BBC Master and 6502 second processor. Wire frame landscape for 3Mhz, filled for top speed Pi based machine.

Now I reckon, with a few tricks, there would need to be around 6k per frame passed to the host. Not having programmed the second processor before my question is how fast could this transfer could take place? Could it be as fast as 6/100 of a second? If it were we'd be looking at a quite reasonable 10fps for both versions when machine overheads are taken into account.

I'd have a crack at a proof of concept myself but I'm part way through a conversion I've been wanting to do for many years which I will reveal at a later date.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by guardian1128 » Wed May 30, 2018 10:29 am

RobC wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:54 pm
I thought about it for a while as I think you could do something reasonable with the Pi co-pro but came to the conclusion that it's a bit beyond me!

I'd have given it a go if I could have found code for a C version but I only ever found one in Blitz Basic and I have no experience in that.

However, I have got the Spectrum version of Virus working on the Beeb through my Spectrum emulator :D
What Spectrum emulator are you using? wasn't aware there was any out there until I saw this on ebay which i'm seriously considering getting for my Beeb: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acorn-BBC-Mi ... 1438.l2649

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by RobC » Wed May 30, 2018 11:14 am

guardian1128 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:29 am
What Spectrum emulator are you using? wasn't aware there was any out there until I saw this on ebay which i'm seriously considering getting for my Beeb: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acorn-BBC-Mi ... 1438.l2649
That's the one - I wrote it and designed the VideoNuLA board. The eBay listing is mine too - if you want a VideoNuLA, they are cheaper if you contact me through StarDot :D

Details here and here.

You need a VideoNuLA and Pi co-pro to run the Spectrum emulator but I've written emulators for the ZX81, Jupiter Ace and PDP-11 that only need the Pi co-pro.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by guardian1128 » Wed May 30, 2018 11:39 am

The pi co-pro is something I would love to get hold of seeing as a gen 6502 co-pro are still too expensive on ebay and most don't come with the Rom chips to run it.
Just need a comprehensive guide on what parts to buy to make it work in the machine and the relevant software, what I've seen on YouTube so far hasn't been overly helpful to be able to put one together myself unless others can build and sell them ready to play etc. :D

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marcusjambler
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by marcusjambler » Wed May 30, 2018 12:17 pm

Just need a comprehensive guide on what parts to buy to make it work in the machine and the relevant software

Its this project :

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11325

Marcus :D

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danielj
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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by danielj » Wed May 30, 2018 2:08 pm

guardian1128 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 11:39 am
The pi co-pro is something I would love to get hold of seeing as a gen 6502 co-pro are still too expensive on ebay and most don't come with the Rom chips to run it.
Just to note, that you don't need any special ROMs to run a standard 6502 coprocessor.

The pi is the way forward though, many more options with it.

d.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by RobC » Wed May 30, 2018 2:14 pm

danielj wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:08 pm
Just to note, that you don't need any special ROMs to run a standard 6502 coprocessor.
Don't you need DNFS or a DFS with the Tube code in it if you haven't got one already fitted?

If you want a Pi co-pro, I'm happy to help. The easiest thing to do is to buy the level shifter and SD card from Kjell. You then just add the Pi Zero and cable - I can make one up for you if you want.

Also, just for clarity, VideoNuLA works with or without a co-pro but the Spectrum emulator needs the Pi co-pro.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by danielj » Wed May 30, 2018 2:39 pm

RobC wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:14 pm
Don't you need DNFS or a DFS with the Tube code in it if you haven't got one already fitted?
That's very true! The heat is playing with my brain. That said, I'd assume (possibly unfairly) that the majority of people would have a dfs of some description installed.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by guardian1128 » Thu May 31, 2018 1:39 pm

RobC wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:14 pm
danielj wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:08 pm
Just to note, that you don't need any special ROMs to run a standard 6502 coprocessor.
Don't you need DNFS or a DFS with the Tube code in it if you haven't got one already fitted?

If you want a Pi co-pro, I'm happy to help. The easiest thing to do is to buy the level shifter and SD card from Kjell. You then just add the Pi Zero and cable - I can make one up for you if you want.

How much would it cost to have you make up one that's ready to plug and play?

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by RobC » Thu May 31, 2018 3:45 pm

guardian1128 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 1:39 pm
How much would it cost to have you make up one that's ready to plug and play?
Happy to do it for cost - I think the level shifter and sd card come to around £24, the Pi zero is a fiver and the header and cable are a few quid (assuming this is for a model B/B+ rather than a Master). So, comes to about £35 including UK postage. Let me know which ROMs you've got installed as I can burn you an EPROM if needed.

If you want a VideoNuLA as well, I could do it all in for £85.

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Re: Time for Zarch .... on the beeb?!

Post by guardian1128 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:56 pm

Excellent, better shift around a few finances next month after paying off a few bills ( debts :cry: ) then ask you to knock one up for me, I WILL get that BBC sorted one way or another, lol, :D :D

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