I don't actually own SuperCPU, but I tried to mimic the effect with Multi-MHz VICE and surprisingly, the game doesn't play any faster! See this post if you are interested as to why.
On a non-technical level, I noticed that controls seem reversed at times. As far as I can tell, the arcade game is really like that... a form of 'fake' difficulty. If you've ever played the 'infinity' level, where the board wraps back around on itself -- but 'upside down' (think Mobius strip) -- then you know what I mean about intentionally confusing controller!
If the game ever just stops playing (but the screen still appears fine), then an internal error probably occurred. On the real arcade game, a special watch-dog timer would reset the entire game if this ever happened, but the watch-dog isn't emulated in this port.
Once the game is running, if you press CAPS LOCK (ASCII/DIN) you will get a statistics display (how many games played, average game time, total up time, and various operator-selected settings). There is no way to change the operator-settings in this version. Release CAPS LOCK to return to normal game play.
Also in the statistics display is a message like "PRESS FIRE AND ZAP FOR SERVICE MODE". Well do not do it! This runs a special diagnostic program that is not emulated and WILL crash the C128. The diagnostic program will also run at start-up if CAPS LOCK is pressed, which is why I said to be sure it is NOT pressed before loading the program. (Obviously this should be fixed for the next release.)
Reduced raster glitches with Super CPU (but not perfect...)
Better Mouse emulation
Mouse-Recalibration function (press 'M')
Time, Duration, and Frequency correction of sound (frequency is now NTSC/PAL specific)
Reminder... if you don't have SuperCPU for your C128, then this will be very boring/annoying to play unless you use an emulator (like VICE) with "Maximum Speed" set to something like 300% to 400%. Warning: The game is "playable" with an emulator at 350%, but it lacks the true "feel" of the original game (or a SuperCPU).
Technical details/discussion is available here. But if you have any general comments about game play (the original arcade or this port) then please post here. Thank you and enjoy!
Thanks for all of your enthusiasm! This is just a "proof of concept" for me, and hopefully a starting point for somebody else to make an 80-column version, a C64 version, or Plus/4 version. Eventually (Beta-version) I would like to use Sprites for enemies and Characters for text (instead of bitmap-drawing those types). That change should make the game more "playable" in terms of better speed and more colors... but don't hold your breath! I've been thinking about Tempest for years and only recently had the time to make this (Alpha) version... it could be a year or more before I release a Beta version.
I'll try to squeeze it into the agenda for this Sunday's FCUG meeting.
I would be interested to hear any results, but you should test it on a real SuperCPU before you show it off. I have no idea how well (if at all) the SuperCPU code will work! All I can say is that with my emulated SuperCPU the game runs very fast.... So fast that keyboard or joystick control is marginally playable (not really "acceptable") which means a mouse is needed for "acceptable" game play. I would love to hear how true (or false) this perception is with a real SuperCPU!
(Going off-topic...) That reminds me, I need to buy a pair of CBM paddles. I want to make paddles an option for Tempest. I made a pair of paddles from parts at RadioShack years ago, but I can't find the pair in my garage today...
I wonder if a driving wheel would act like a paddle or a mouse? And I would like to figure out how the Atari Trackball works in Analog mode...
Last Edit: Apr 12, 2018 5:49:06 GMT by hydrophilic: Added warning about SuperCPU and speculation about paddles, driving wheel, and trackball
I would be interested to hear any results, but you should test it on a real SuperCPU...
I brought over the C128DCR with internally-installed SuperMMU adapter and the SuperCPU 128 to the FCUG meeting on Sunday. No boot-up with the SCPU 128 attached! Without the SCPU 128, the machine booted correctly.
We opened up the C128DCR, pressed down on the chips on the SuperMMU adapter, made sure the wires were tight on the chip, and even cleaned the contacts on the 16 MB SIMM and on the SCPU 128. Well, it booted a few times but not reliably. We then tested the SCPU 128 on a SX-64 (it should have booted into SuperCPU 64 mode). No screen on the monitor nor turbo light on the SCPU! We then tried the SCPU on the club's flat C128. Again no screen on the monitor nor turbo light on the SCPU!
Conclusion - all 3 computers were not putting out the necessary 4.95 volts minimum for the SCPU... or... the SCPU is failing! I'll have to dig out the other SCPU 128 that is in storage, and hopefully, that one will run on the C128DCR. Thus, the full test of Tempest will have to wait until then.