MSX <-> ZX Spectrum

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By Shiru

Expert (115)

Shiru's picture

15-03-2007, 23:38

Huey, to be exact, AlCo actually didn't nor pt3 tracker neither pt3 player. Originally pt3 was written by other peoples, which dropped this project, and AlCo continue it (and improve it greatly). pt3 player was written by original authors, and later modifed by many peoples, but on MSX more known pt2/3 players by Sergey Bulba, which was totally rewritten.

In BQ we use standart pt3 player and my sfx player, they work together without problems, although code of music/sfx players are independent (sfx player also will work with any another music player). Note that sfx player in AYFX editor 0.4 is outdated, in BQ-MSX used newer version, which will be available as well as game source code; I plan to update my sfx editor later.

Speaking about pt3 player with sfx functionality - in which case such combined player will be useful? I think, only in case with 'minigames', which size is limited to some KB's (because combined player must be slightly shorten than sfx+music players). But pt3 player itself take about 2KB, and music also take 1-16KB, so it useless in 1-4KB games. In bigger games some additional bytes for sfx player are not big problem (easiest way to get it is to cut down music player by removing some unused effects code).

Back to BQ news. Music was selected and was placed in game. Game was tested, some bugs was found and fixed. English readme was written. I can't tell when game will be released exactly, because only AlCo decide it, but I expect this in a some days.

By Huey

Prophet (2681)

Huey's picture

16-03-2007, 08:59


In BQ we use standart pt3 player and my sfx player, they work together without problems, although code of music/sfx players are independent (sfx player also will work with any another music player). Note that sfx player in AYFX editor 0.4 is outdated, in BQ-MSX used newer version, which will be available as well as game source code; I plan to update my sfx editor later.

Shiru! That is great news. PSG music is very underrated in the MSX scene (due to all the other soundchips). Thanks for planning to share the source. This could be helpfull for other projects. Thanks

Speaking about pt3 player with sfx functionality - in which case such combined player will be useful? I think, only in case with 'minigames', which size is limited to some KB's (because combined player must be slightly shorten than sfx+music players). But pt3 player itself take about 2KB, and music also take 1-16KB, so it useless in 1-4KB games. In bigger games some additional bytes for sfx player are not big problem (easiest way to get it is to cut down music player by removing some unused effects code).

It will be very usefull. Most of the MSXdev games use the .pt3 replayer. 1-4KB games are very uncommon in the MSX scene. 32kB and 48kB games are more common at the moment for MSX1 developers.
Our plan is to use the replayer for a bigger game (256-512 kb MegaROM). But as you said. We will probably remove some effects code or adjust to play music from ROM.

I'm eager to see the final QB.....

By Manuel

Ascended (18395)

Manuel's picture

16-03-2007, 18:57

Yeah me too! And I hope to see more software from our new Russian MSX friends Smile

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

16-03-2007, 19:09

This is indeed excellent news Smile I'm really looking forward to try your replayer. Can you give a very short description on how it works, e.g. can you have 3 channel music and when sfx is played, take one of the three music channels for sfx temporarily. Good to know if I should plan for 2 or 3 channel music.

By Shiru

Expert (115)

Shiru's picture

18-03-2007, 05:27

It's a little bit offtopic for this thread, but OK, let's speak about sfx players.

Generally, channel management algorithm for sfx player depends on a specific project. In first version of sfx player I assumed that sfx player will be used without music in background. In that version was used simple channel pool: new sfx uses channel, which has longest use before. If sfx playing is over, this channel accept longest time value, so empty channels uses first, and if there no more empty channels, new sfx replaces less important, which already in playing.

When we started to develop BQ, we decided to use Turbo Sound music (TS, 2xAY). So sfx player was modified, first by me with AlCo suggestions, then by AlCo himself many times. So I can't tell about all details of algorithm we used (I must ask AlCo about it, and take latest code). But general idea is to take channel which has lowest volume when new sfx must be played (play sfx instead of music in that channel). And if sfx volume is lesser than music volume in that channel, sfx is stopping. To play sfx instead of music in selected channel we first used overwriting of AY registers by calling sfx player after music player, and I'm not sure, maybe we now use registers array in memory and write to AY registers one time per frame.

This algorithm works good enough for TS music (because only 3 channels of 6 affects by sfx), but for one AY it maybe not very acceptable, because it can cut off significant part of music when many sfx played at once. However, this type of algo used in BQ-MSX, and works well in my opinion.

As you mentioned, in some games can be used 2-channel music instead of 3, and one channel used for sfx exclusively. It means that only one sfx can be played at once, and old sfx stops by new one. Positive part of this method is absence of cutting off music parts, negative part is difficulties of 2-ch music composing and absence of sfx polyphony.

Better solution, which was used, for example, in some games for NES, is to make 3-channel music, which has 2 main channels, and third channel used for less significant part of music arrangement (with lowest volume).This third channel must be used for sfx how I describe above - if sfx volume lesser than music volume, that sfx stops. In addition, priority system for sfx can be added, where less important sfx'es uses only third channel, and for most important sfx'es any channel can be used.

And now back to Ball Quest MSX news again. I don't know why, but AlCo changed his mind, and (already) sent this game to MRC Mega Challenge Compo (afaik, snout already accepted it). So, I don't know, when game will be available for public. I also wonder, why MCC does not have web page, and will be entries available before compo deadline, or not..

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

18-03-2007, 08:36

Better solution, which was used, for example, in some games for NES, is to make 3-channel music, which has 2 main channels, and third channel used for less significant part of music arrangement (with lowest volume).This third channel must be used for sfx how I describe above - if sfx volume lesser than music volume, that sfx stops. In addition, priority system for sfx can be added, where less important sfx'es uses only third channel, and for most important sfx'es any channel can be used.
This sounds very good. So you think there could be a pt3/sfx player available soon that works with this algorithm? I like the sfx priority too. I think thats needed if only one channel is used for sfx.
I think that a player like this would be really appreciated, especially for the (hopefully) upcoming msxdev compo, but also for other game development projects.

And now back to Ball Quest MSX news again. I don't know why, but AlCo changed his mind, and (already) sent this game to MRC Mega Challenge Compo
Great news Smile I also hope MRC dedicates a page for the entries, ideally with screenshots and description and perhaps even downloads.

By Huey

Prophet (2681)

Huey's picture

18-03-2007, 09:57

Thanks for your explanation. Sounds great. I hope we can see some sources for it soon.

This really could be a major step for us all if there would be a good pt3+sfx routine freely available.

By Manuel

Ascended (18395)

Manuel's picture

18-03-2007, 10:02

Normally in MRC compos, they write a newspost for every submitted entry in which you can also download the software. But these days snout is quite offlinish, because of family circumstances, so it may take a while.

By Shiru

Expert (115)

Shiru's picture

18-03-2007, 22:54

I got latest version of source code of sfx player from AlCo (btw, he now prepares source code of BQ to release), and I plan to adapt player code for sjasm and make simple usage demonstration (sfx+pt3 on MSX) in close future.

By Shiru

Expert (115)

Shiru's picture

29-03-2007, 00:47

I created a new thread about sfx+pt3 player: http://ru.msx.org/forumtopicl7190.html

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