The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Developer's Forum, for discussion of bugs, code, and other developmental aspects of DOSBox.

The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby Ryune » 2008-3-14 @ 02:29

I just learned about DOSBOX a few weeks ago and I am really impressed with how well the Tandy 1000 mode works. I have a special reason why.
Way back in 1991 I wrote a simple shareware game that ran in ordinary 4 color CGA. I used MS Basic Compiler and QuickBASIC 4.5

Since I owned a Tandy 1000 and not a system with EGA, I used Joe Albrecht's GRAFIX routines to add Tandy 16 color modes the the game. The 16 color graphics were a big improvement and were 320x200 resolution. I also used the 3-voice sound and white noise features a little.

Even tho the game didn't make any money, it did get me some attention as a niche product, since few shareware games ever supported Tandy 16 color. Offhand the only other shareware/freeware games I recall are Ninja (160x200 res), Round 42 (160x100 res), and the never-completed Tandy Trek.

Of course by 1992, VGA or better was taking over, and Tandy graphics were soon phased out. Since Tandy graphics were so similar to EGA, there was no interest in the emulation scene to make a Tandy 1K emulator. Even in 1999 when Tand-Em came along, it did not support games like mine that needed to load the GRAFIX driver. Other than my old Tandy gathering dust in the corner, there was no way to even display the graphics I spent so much time drawing. (The sprites for animation took all my spare time for weeks back then. Ah, the folly of youth.)

So I was really amazed to load up DOSBOX 0.72, try the game and see it run PERFECTLY! The quarter screen window makes the graphics sharper and smoother than they ever looked before. The LCD monitors of today are a big factor there. The speed is just fine also. I had given up on ever seeing those graphics again, and here they are in front of me. I will be forever grateful to the creators of DB.

I can't help but wonder, why did they bother to get the Tandy support so flawless? Were they just nostalgic for those days of 1988-1992?
Ryune
Newbie
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 2008-1-25 @ 07:11

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby wd » 2008-3-14 @ 07:26

I can't help but wonder, why did they bother to get the Tandy support so flawless?

Well people keep nagging about non-working games, and the older the
games the more insisting the nagging ;) But it's surely not perfect,
yet most graphics modes seem pretty fine for both the tandy and pcjr part.


Oh and feel free to post links to your program/put them here if they're not
excessively large (hehe) if you want :)
wd
DOSBox Author
 
Posts: 10818
Joined: 2003-12-03 @ 21:23

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby Ryune » 2008-3-14 @ 16:55

Ok, here is a link where my game and other Tandy 1000 stuff can be found:

http://www.oldskool.org/guides/tvdog/games.html

And since most people come here to complain ;-)
I forgot to mention that in full-screen mode the colors sometimes get messed up, but I really don't care about that. At a res of 320x200 the graphics don't look good full-screen anyway, so I don't use it. This is true for most of the games from back then, not to mention that widescreens nowadays have to stretch the ratio. I like classic games but only in a window.
Ryune
Newbie
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 2008-1-25 @ 07:11

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby DosFreak » 2008-3-14 @ 18:12

Make sure you are using anything except surface in your DosBox.conf. Video Drivers/Other programs can mess with the color palette.
User avatar
DosFreak
l33t++
 
Posts: 10428
Joined: 2002-6-30 @ 16:35
Location: Your Head

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby Ryune » 2008-3-20 @ 04:13

Here's a little advertisement I did using the video capture feature in DOSBOX.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRyxhgriXo&fmt=18


With added music and several clips edited together. BTW, The music is a MIDI of The Infernal Dance from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite". Somehoe it seemed fitting.
Ryune
Newbie
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 2008-1-25 @ 07:11

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby DOSGuy » 2018-8-05 @ 22:05

Sorry to revive a very old thread. I tried to email you (Ryune) at the address listed on your website, but it was returned undeliverable. I think there might be enough public interest to justify posting this here instead of contacting the OP privately. I hope you subscribed to the thread!

@Ryune: I've been using your website as a Tandy resource for a few years and I had already downloaded all of the games on the page you linked to. Which one was yours? Darwin's Arena?

Round 42 wasn't actually a Tandy game, and there was no 160x100 mode. The PCjr introduced BIOS Modes 8 (160x200x16), 9 (320x200x16), and A (640x200x4), and the Tandy 1000 was designed as a PCjr clone. Round 42 uses CGA Mode 3 (80x25x16 text mode), then does some unofficial tomfoolery to reduce the character height from 8 pixels to 2 so that it can squeeze 100 rows onto the screen, and uses characters 221 and/or 222 (a vertical stripe on the left or right side) and uses the background and foreground color to treat each character as two pixels, creating the appearance of a 160x100x16 graphics mode on standard CGA. Round 42 works on a Tandy 1000 due to backwards compatibility with CGA.

You mentioned that Ninja uses 160x200 mode, which is of great interest to me because there are no Mode 8 games on my website. All Tandy games that I have ever come across use Mode 9. (I'm not actually sure why anyone would have wanted Mode 8 when Mode 9 was available.) Sadly, when I run the copy of Ninja from your site in either PCjr or Tandy mode in DOSBox, it runs in CGA Mode 4 (320x200x4). Even if I first load Grafix 2.5 (not included in the download), the game is still Mode 4. The limited documentation makes no mention of Tandy support. Are you sure it supports Tandy graphics?

Speaking of Grafix, I've just been speaking to Joseph Albrecht, and he confirmed that Grafix is now freeware and open source. I'm adding it to a new developer tools section on my website, and I'm using it to make a Tandy version of Chopper Commando 2.

Finally, thank you for introducing me to Grafix, which I became aware of when I saw it in darwins2.zip.
"Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article." Get free DOS, OS/2 and Windows games at RGB Classic Games
User avatar
DOSGuy
Newbie
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 2007-10-02 @ 09:52

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby doscodger » 2019-5-03 @ 02:40

Well better to reply 8 months late than not at all I guess!
Ninja uses the 16 color mode on PCjr or Tandy mode, but only if you run the .bat file included with the game. This batch file runs a small utility before the game, which identifies the machine as PCjr or Tandy. THis enables the 16 colors. Otherwise, yes just running the game .exe will result in 4 colors.

By the way, version 0.74-2 causes a sound bug in the Darwins Arena game. There is now a 5 second high pitch squeal after every sound comes to an end. This did not happen in 0.74. I'm going to look around the forum to see if this has been eported already.
doscodger
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 2019-5-03 @ 02:32

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby DOSGuy » 2019-5-03 @ 02:51

Cool. There are no batch files in the copy of ninja2.zip at http://www.oldskool.org/guides/tvdog/games.html. If you can provide a link to a copy that has the batch file, I'll try it out!
"Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article." Get free DOS, OS/2 and Windows games at RGB Classic Games
User avatar
DOSGuy
Newbie
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 2007-10-02 @ 09:52

Re: The Tandy 1000 emulation seems perfect!

Postby doscodger » 2019-5-03 @ 21:25

I am surprised. All these years I thought the version in TVdog's archive was the same as the one I have, but it isn't. A quick look at "old game" sites didn't turn it up. I have a Zip file of the full version that I can email to you or post somewhere. Looks like just 3 extra files, ninja16.exe, id.exe and the batch file. I'm attaching a list of all the files.
Attachments
ninja files.jpg
doscodger
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 2019-5-03 @ 02:32


Return to DOSBox Development

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests