Commander Keen 4 & 5: Composite CGA Editions

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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby bjt » 2016-5-23 @ 19:44

My LCD monitor/TV doesn't look nearly as nice as Keropi's CRT but this is awesome nonetheless!

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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby keropi » 2016-5-23 @ 20:02

^ there might be a way soon-ish to make a PAL 1084S-P1 ntsc compatible - changing the PAL decoder to the NTSC counterpart and adding/replacing some passive components. It's been under investigation from a more knowledgeable person, if it is a success I'll make a detailed post about the conversion. :)
This would allow us to have a single monitor for TTL rgb, ntsc compatible composite/svhs inputs and a nice 15khz analog rgb monitor :D
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby bjt » 2016-5-23 @ 20:15

That would be cool. I have a Tandy badged CM8833 (SCART only), hopefully it's similar enough to make the same mod.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby VileRancour » 2016-5-24 @ 06:41

@NY00123: to complement your PKCF post, I'll do a blog entry with some more details on the code... might help source/binary modders, I guess. Note that I didn't repack CKPATCH, only removed the existing UPX compression (I believe that UPX should have a 8088-friendly depacker option, but I haven't tested that yet).

@bjt: interesting -- that's a hXc setup indeed :D Is your CGA card a 'new-style' one, by the way? Might explain the extra saturation, although I guess that could just be the camera.

@keropi:
keropi wrote:on a V20/10mhz the game is very playable

Nice to know! Was wondering about the minimum CPU requirements for acceptable performance (the 'typical' system that ran this game would've been a high-end 286/low-end 386SX, but those systems are unlikely to have CGA cards, let alone true IBM ones for correct colors).
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby bjt » 2016-5-24 @ 07:56

VileRancour wrote:Is your CGA card a 'new-style' one, by the way? Might explain the extra saturation, although I guess that could just be the camera


Yep, new style CGA. I have a V20 in my 5160 but it's too slow for this game really.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby SquallStrife » 2016-5-24 @ 09:52

Fun fact, the game might run on an 8088, but the self-extractors crash (K4C1-ASP.EXE and K4C2-ASP.EXE). lol
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby elianda » 2016-5-24 @ 10:25

Does this composite version works as well with the video out from EGA cards?
(like this one http://www.retronn.de/imports/hwgal/hw_genoa_ega.html)
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby SquallStrife » 2016-5-24 @ 10:32

I capped* some gameplay footage, including toggling between RGBI and Composite.

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


* Shot my PVM monitor with my phone camera!
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby bjt » 2016-5-24 @ 12:26

elianda wrote:Does this composite version works as well with the video out from EGA cards?
(like this one http://www.retronn.de/imports/hwgal/hw_genoa_ega.html)


No, unless you connect a board to the feature connector to create an NTSC composite signal.
Could be a nice project for someone.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby carlostex » 2016-5-24 @ 13:59

VileRancour wrote:
@keropi:
keropi wrote:on a V20/10mhz the game is very playable

Nice to know! Was wondering about the minimum CPU requirements for acceptable performance (the 'typical' system that ran this game would've been a high-end 286/low-end 386SX, but those systems are unlikely to have CGA cards, let alone true IBM ones for correct colors).


I wish i could try it on my 12MHz V20 but i don't have a real IBM CGA card.

Anyway VileR this is awesome. Thank you sir!
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby keropi » 2016-5-24 @ 14:29

^ you really need to invest in one if you are serious about xt+cga stuff Carlos , there is no alternative sadly

SquallStrife 's video inspired me to make a quick video too, quality is not that great but you get to see how it performs with a 10mhz V20 :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAOIdin3I4U
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby Scali » 2016-5-24 @ 14:40

I hope to do some captures of CGA clones with composite over the weekend. An ATi Small Wonder and a Paradise PVC4.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby NY00123 » 2016-5-24 @ 18:38

VileRancour wrote:@NY00123: to complement your PKCF post, I'll do a blog entry with some more details on the code... might help source/binary modders, I guess. Note that I didn't repack CKPATCH, only removed the existing UPX compression (I believe that UPX should have a 8088-friendly depacker option, but I haven't tested that yet).


Good to see you intend to write these details. Here is the PCKF topic for reference: http://www.pckf.com/viewtopic.php?t=3656

Regarding UPX, I've mistakenly assumed that you've used such an option of UPX. My copy of UPX appears to have an --8086 option, but since it's not exactly "8088", I don't know for sure if it'll be useful.


To the ones who wonder, I'll quick add that in addition to CKPatch, ModId (the Windows EXE currently available from https://github.com/owenmpierce/modId) was used for importing the graphics. While the patch takes advantage of CGA mode 6 (640x200x2colors), rather than mode 4 (320x200x4 colors) as usual, the graphics' layouts are more-or-less the same.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby SquallStrife » 2016-5-24 @ 23:35

keropi wrote:^ you really need to invest in one if you are serious about xt+cga stuff Carlos , there is no alternative sadly

SquallStrife 's video inspired me to make a quick video too, quality is not that great but you get to see how it performs with a 10mhz V20 :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAOIdin3I4U


Quite the difference!

From what I understand, the EGA/VGA version should run a lot better, as the CGA version is quite CPU intensive.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby VileRancour » 2016-5-25 @ 06:51

SquallStrife wrote:I capped* some gameplay footage, including toggling between RGBI and Composite.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVqXdndLIgw

Heh, kind of surprising - the PVM preserves the 'stripy' appearance of the RGB picture even in composite mode, which probably means that its luma decoding bandwidth covers higher frequencies than usual. Guess I didn't consider such high-end equipment!
Curiously the game looks quite a bit faster than in Trixter's video... that *is* a stock 5150, though?

bjt wrote:
elianda wrote:Does this composite version works as well with the video out from EGA cards?
(like this one http://www.retronn.de/imports/hwgal/hw_genoa_ega.html)

No, unless you connect a board to the feature connector to create an NTSC composite signal.

and potentially get 65,536 composite colors from EGA's 640x200x16 mode... hmm. :D

keropi wrote:SquallStrife 's video inspired me to make a quick video too, quality is not that great but you get to see how it performs with a 10mhz V20 :)

Hey, that actually looks like optimal speed, or close enough anyway. Cool. :)

NY00123 wrote:Regarding UPX, I've mistakenly assumed that you've used such an option of UPX. My copy of UPX appears to have an --8086 option, but since it's not exactly "8088", I don't know for sure if it'll be useful.

Just standard terminology (the 8088 will run any 8086 code), so yeah, that's the option to use.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby Jo22 » 2016-5-25 @ 07:30

Awesome work! Congratulations on a job well done.
I've tested this patch on my "CGA" card and I'm glad to say it works. :-D
Scrolling is fine so far, just the colours are a bit funny, not to say funky.
But maybe that's either because of my setup or Billy hasn't seen a doctor in a while. :-)


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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby Scali » 2016-5-25 @ 08:25

VileRancour wrote:
NY00123 wrote:Regarding UPX, I've mistakenly assumed that you've used such an option of UPX. My copy of UPX appears to have an --8086 option, but since it's not exactly "8088", I don't know for sure if it'll be useful.

Just standard terminology (the 8088 will run any 8086 code), so yeah, that's the option to use.


Yes, to elaborate on that: The 8088 is basically an '8086SX' in the same sense as the 80386SX.
It is the same CPU, on a smaller bus. So for applications there is no difference between an 8088 and 8086. The 8086 can just be a bit faster because it has a 16-bit bus, where the 8088 has an 8-bit bus.
So in programming parlance people generally refer to the '8086 instructionset', rather than 8088. But they are both the same.
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby VileRancour » 2016-5-25 @ 18:16

Jo22 wrote:Awesome work! Congratulations on a job well done.
I've tested this patch on my "CGA" card and I'm glad to say it works. :-D
Scrolling is fine so far, just the colours are a bit funny, not to say funky.

Yep, that's about what I expected a non-IBM card to do. I'm actually curious to know just what this card is -- could be an interesting data point for future experiments (hue is about 50° off), plus that text mode font could be a nice addition to my oldskool PC font pack thing...
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby SquallStrife » 2016-5-26 @ 00:02

VileRancour wrote:
SquallStrife wrote:I capped* some gameplay footage, including toggling between RGBI and Composite.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVqXdndLIgw

Heh, kind of surprising - the PVM preserves the 'stripy' appearance of the RGB picture even in composite mode, which probably means that its luma decoding bandwidth covers higher frequencies than usual. Guess I didn't consider such high-end equipment!
Curiously the game looks quite a bit faster than in Trixter's video... that *is* a stock 5150, though?


Stock except for the Lo-tech 1MB RAM board!
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Re: Commander Keen 4 - Composite CGA Edition

Postby Jo22 » 2016-5-26 @ 10:30

VileRancour wrote:
Jo22 wrote:Awesome work! Congratulations on a job well done.
I've tested this patch on my "CGA" card and I'm glad to say it works. :-D
Scrolling is fine so far, just the colours are a bit funny, not to say funky.

Yep, that's about what I expected a non-IBM card to do. I'm actually curious to know just what this card is -- could be an interesting data point for future experiments (hue is about 50° off), plus that text mode font could be a nice addition to my oldskool PC font pack thing...


Whew! I'm glad you're not angry about my pictures.
I've been a huge Keen4 fan and just had to test this awesome patch myself on the hardware I have!
The pictures were taken from a cheap LCD monitor, which claims to be multi standard (PAL/NTSC/SECAM).
I wished I still had my Commodore 1702 monitor, so I could have provided you with higher quality pictures.
Or any other old school monitor with a comb filter..

My setup:
386DX-40 with turbo brake enabled, caches disabled.
Epson Model Q205A ("CGA" card with mono/colour switch)
Philips 15PF4121

Here's a picture of my CGA wanna-be and a dump from that crystal memory.
I hope they're useful. I've tried to capture the resistors as best as I could.
Attachments
epson_cga.zip
Epson Model Q205A control program/font
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Q205A.jpg
Epson Model Q205A graphics card
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