Scumm mock-up update: keyboard and message/dialogues handling

I haven’t had much time today to work on it, but I added processing of keyboard keys as short-cuts for activating verbs and for navigating the inventory:

QWE ; These keys activate verbs according to a fairly simple pattern
ASD
ZXC

, for going back in the inventory
. for going forward

For the time being I decided that feedback messages should not be drawn on the location graphics, but “under the dashboard”, just like it happens with multi-answer dialogues in Monkey Island 2.
When feedback messages are to be presented, the dashboard leaves place to such messages. Examples below:

SCUMM mock-up feedback message when picking up the sign

SCUMM mock-up: feedback message when picking up the sign

SCUMM mock-up: feedback message when pushing the sign

SCUMM mock-up: feedback message when pushing the sign

Here are current download links for testing:

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SCUMM mock-up update: functional inventory, messaging and interactive areas

Tonight I’ve finished quite a few components of my SCUMM mock-up.

SCUMM mock-up progressing

SCUMM mock-up progressing

First of all, I rewrote the whole IRQ handling code for stability and in order to decouple ISR code from background processing. I like the results a lot, especially as the stability is PAL/NTSC independent.

The inventory API is nearly complete, the only missing bit is removing an item. It’s a simple enough thing and I will code it when I need it. The up/down arrows work very nicely and I added a bunch of items in order to experiment with them too. On a real machine the available items at start-up are randomized so don’t be surprised if the ones you get are not the same as in the above picture.

The messaging API is practically finished for what I need at the moment, but  I will extend it when I get to the point where items can be used with other items or areas of the screen.

The interactive area API is complete. I might extend it in future for particular needs as well. You can hover the pointer on the sign to get some feedback and click on it in order to pick it up (when the pick up verb is selected).

Download links:

Bear in mind I know nothing about the original SCUMM code and complexity. I am just trying to recreate the point-and-click feeling on a Commodore 64 during my spare time: nothing more nothing less.

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SCUMM mock-up update: now can pick up objects

I added interaction with the foreground for picking up objects into my SCUMM mock-up, now at version 0.4.

SCUMM mock-up

SCUMM mock-up

Download links:

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Last two DC2N4-LC devices available

We’re almost to the point DC2N4-LC is sold out so I thought to revise the paragraph I wrote about its use cases, based on the feedback I got from SLC.

Who is DC2N4-LC suitable for?

Well, it’s suitable for users across the whole spectrum. I’ve taken away most of what I could so that this is a minimal backup system that comes at a decent price, despite being built by hand. On one end of the spectrum, those who only have a few tapes to backup and are on a budget, would ideally go for a DC2N4-LC. On the other end of the spectrum, collectors with a vast amount of tapes to backup, would definitely go for a DC2N4-LC as it streamlines the process greatly, allowing users to name, organize, and test files at the instant they are produced: In this way there is no need to come back on a tape at a later time, thus saving a huge amount of time in presence of a vast collection.

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Low-cost USB C2N emulator stress testing complete too

I’ve had a chance over the break to stress test my USB C2N emulator by playing back a TAP v2 version of Turrican and sampling the results with DC2N5-LC. Not only DC2N5-LC intercepted all file names, in fact, once the resulting DMP file was tested in TAPClean it was 99% recognized and all check byte tests passed too:)

Finally I managed to build a Linux client application that I will test at some point too.

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Low-cost USB C2N emulator testing complete

I managed to close the testing activity for my new C2N emulator after work today. It consists in playing the TAP file of “The Great Gianna Sisters” with the USB C2N emulator into DC2N5 while the latter is sampling the signal generated by the former.
The results are extremely satisfying for me: the DMP file is 99% recognized in TAPClean and all 7 check byte tests pass.

Here’s a couple of views of the signal interpreted by TAPStudio:

Output of the USB C2N emulator sampled by means of DC2N5-LC

Output of the USB C2N emulator sampled by means of DC2N5-LC

Output of the USB C2N emulator sampled by means of DC2N5-LC

Output of the USB C2N emulator sampled by means of DC2N5-LC

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Low-cost USB C2N emulator under testing

“Please make a device that connects to a PC through USB in order to emulate a C2N”.

I’ve received a number of such requests over the last few months, therefore I decided to make one. I haven’t thought of a name yet, but that’s something I will tackle at a later time.

The device itself is very simple and provides a low cost interface to the USB bus and Commodore’s tape port. All signals are handled on both interfaces, including the motor on/off signal of the tape port, for maximum compatibility.
The core of the firmware takes from the playback code that’s part of my DC2N devices, where the PC client application that facilitates the data transfer is a new piece of software. At the moment only Windows binaries of the PC client exist and are under testing.

TAP (version 0, 1, and 2) files are supported natively, where PRG files will be converted on-the-fly by the PC client using my PRG2TAP code-base.

Stay tuned as I will post more info about the device itself soon:)

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