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 Post subject: Retro BBC micro Elite
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:14 am 
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Hello,

some of you may have heard of the expanded version of BBC disc Elite called Elite-A by Angus Duggan.
Below is a link to a further expanded version, Elite-B, that should run on most BBC micro Emulators like BeebEm and jsbeeb.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/okkrodqkry6yq ... 2.zip?dl=0
updated to v.3
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ugkk3xaw74eg5 ... 3.zip?dl=0
updated to v.4
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqov1w8wqustp ... 4.zip?dl=0

for scholarly study ...

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Last edited by Dr Beeb on Sun May 07, 2017 10:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Thanks Dr Beeb :D

Gonna check that one out at some point...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:36 am 
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What does the "B" version have over Elite-A which I have in my bbc emulator?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:53 pm 
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There is a readme .txt file in the download which describes most of the differences. Some aspects are mid-way between Elite-A and the BBC disc version, but plenty of new features too. I think the biggest conceptual difference is the legal system. The only way to get clean is to pay fines.

The Elite-A version had an 'Encylopedia' available when docked. In Elite-B it is called 'Guide to Elite', both a pun and who knows what an Encylopedia is these days? The Guide discusses the legal system in more detail, shows all the new ships/stations, and has navigation charts you can scroll and check the navigation consequences of going to other galactic charts. The destination scheme follows Ian Bell's trading .c
http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Galactic_Hyperdrive.

The combat ai is more challenging over the previous two but the option to hyperspace to same system (until you have no fuel) gives you a fighting chance. The difficulty (number of pirate ships) is set by the (usual) Government type, but your ship+lasers strength, and the amount of cargo you are carrying now have an influence too. So newbies stand a chance of survival, and professionals gunning for Elite know how to stack the deck.

I'm working on a v.3 mainly dealing with the docking ai and ship twiddling/balance.

Edit - Done. Docking ai expanded capability and download includes longer README
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ugkk3xaw74eg5 ... 3.zip?dl=0

Any bugs let me know, does it work under a 1770 controller/different emulators?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:13 am 
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some vids

i) Slow and steady career start avoiding conflict, Lave to Zaonce to Isinor in 7 minutes (89 Mbytes)
https://app.box.com/s/1wy3a2xwi4uey4nxom3b

ii) Live fast, buy Salamander, go to Riedquat and die young (65 Mbytes)
https://app.box.com/s/5bw3n9m6j1p33yt37p20

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:14 am 
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A version 4 posted at
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqov1w8wqustp ... 4.zip?dl=0

Includes the Cougar, a suitably rare ship, and improved visibility for the Python.
I.F.F. system can distinguish between police and bounty hunters, also between thargons and debris.
I.F.F. Price reduced but no longer available at Tech.level 1.

Some tweaks to ship balance, and more bounty hunters as criminal record grows with pirates showing less interest in you.
Upon entering space station range police and bounty hunters will break off their pursuit if all fines can be paid in full.

A 'C' clear indicator appears when no ships detected on scanner.
Keyboard key 'B' same as function key 1 - buy cargo or rear view.
Removed Delta14B controller code.
Shield unit diverts more to both main shields if TAB pressed.

Mining lasers are more readily available, military lasers less so.
Mining more profitable as several, not one, kg's worth of precious metals may be present in splinter.
Scooped cargo barrels containing precious metals can have several kg's worth, but 1 ton of cargo space is also required for the barrel's alloy constituents.

Cabin temperature thermal management introduced, more noticeable for small, fast, ships. Sun-skimming at large stars more difficult/impossible. Similarly, a long hyperspace countdown should not be initiated if cabin temperature too warm.

Mission 'T' re-offered in odd-numbered galaxies if a certain equipment item is destroyed, or was forfeited when ship sold.
Escape pod insurance policy has a maximum replacement limit of a fully armed Cobra Mk III.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:04 pm 
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A discussion on Elite-B's Suns and whether suitable for Oolite - Oolite default Suns.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:12 pm 
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First of all: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. This is an incredible bit of work. Updating original Elite is no easy task and your work is greatly appreciated. BTW the download for v4 is being flagged as Firefox as malware and so refuses to save it. You should try re-upping it.

I have a modded PSP that can play close to anything and is just perfect for a great Elite experience (once controls are all properly configured). At the moment I'm playing Elite 128 for the C64, which has a few nice additions, but lacks the depth of Elite-A/B (like the shipyard). In original Elite there's zero point doing anything that will net you illegal status as you'll never be able to land at any system ever again so I _really_ appreciate the modern legal system you've implemented.

Technical Question: Is ELITE-B intended to be run on a MASTER 128? I understand that ELITE-A uses colour wireframe graphics when running on MASTER 128, but I cannot get ELITE-A/B to work on BeebEm on Windows / PSP in MASTER 128 mode. The title logo loads and the machine hangs with the raster split flickering more than normal.

As I go through trying to play the game on PSP, here I'll provide some suggestions / problems etc
  • Please provide single-key shortcuts for all commands that use key-combos such as CTRL+F6. My emulator, PSP BEEB, cannot map key combinations to the PSP buttons, so these shortcuts are practically impossible to access
  • On the galactic and local system charts, please allow the flight controls "<SX>" to move the cursor, as otherwise I have to map another 4 buttons just for the arrow keys (in my case, L+D-pad). The Commodore 64 already works in this way. Though be careful that if the flight controls are flipped so that dive is up and climb is down, you want to normalise those so that up/down/left/right is always logical on the chart screens
  • Please consider making more of the game "joystick" friendly. The help guide for example requires typing in numbers and the on-screen keyboard on PSP BEEB sucks badly. In addition to the usual numbered shortcuts, having the list navigable by joystick / arrow keys / flight controls would be much appreciated
  • In addition to the above, an "Options" screen of some sort would help to make the paused key-toggles more accessible to those playing without a keyboard
  • Is there a way to get C64-like "snap" rotation? That is, I am used to the ship immediately stopping when rolling instead of slowly re-centering its rotation speed. The way it is means I have to constantly press the opposite direction at the end of a turn just to reset the roll vector and this isn't great on a PSP
I'll be provided more as I delve into the game :)

Kind regards,
Kroc.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:27 pm 
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Wow, I never expected this to make it onto a PSP. :shock:
Quote:
the download for v4 is being flagged as Firefox as malware and so refuses to save it
I don't have that problem with Safari or FireFox on a Mac, have you been able to download v.4 some other way, or stuck on v.3 ?
Quote:
I understand that ELITE-A uses colour wireframe graphics when running on MASTER 128, but I cannot get ELITE-A/B to work on BeebEm on Windows / PSP in MASTER 128 mode. The title logo loads and the machine hangs with the raster split flickering more than normal.
I haven't seen ELITE-A work on a MASTER 128, I know ELITE-A has a 2nd processor option but I don't know if that gives colour wire-frame graphics or only speeds it up.
The original Elite had a MASTER 128/enhanced Tube version which did have the coloured wire-frame graphics. If someone knows how to get ELITE-A to work on a MASTER 128 and it has coloured wire-frames then I could figure out what to do about Elite-B. (As a complete aside, Elite-B does have green and pink wire-frame graphics sometimes, have you encountered that 'arcade mode' yet? :wink: ).

Just to check, you can can get Elite-A/B to work on BeebEm for Windows in BBC Model B mode, but not MASTER 128 mode?
Quote:
Please provide single-key shortcuts for all commands that use key-combos such as CTRL+F6.
Most of the ctrl+ key combos are already duplicated? To get to the Guide you can use '?' and to get from the Guide back to the Trading pages you can use 'T'. Here's the list from v.4
Code:
Keys when Docked                Keys in Flight

f0      V  Launch from Station  f0  V   Forward View
f1      B  Buy Cargo            f1  B   Rear View
f2         Sell Cargo           f2      Left View
f3         Equip Ship           f3      Right View
f4         Galactic Chart       f4      Galactic Chart
f5         Short Range Chart    f5      Short Range Chart
f6         Data on Planet       f6      Data on Planet
f7         Market Prices        f7      Market Prices
f8         Status Page          f8      Status Page
f9      I  Inventory            f9  I   Inventory

                                Space   Speed up
?          Help Guide           ?       Slow down
                                X       Climb
ctrl-f2 S  Sell Equipment       S       Dive				
                                <       Roll left
                                >       Roll right
@       A  Disc Access          A       Fire Laser
                                E       Activate E.C.M.
ctrl-f6 T  Leave Guide          T       Target Missile
ctrl-f0 M  Extended Stay        M       Launch Missile
ctrl-f4 U  Unpaid Fines         U       Unarm Missile
ctrl-f5 J  Local News           J       In-system Jump
                                H       Hyperspace
                           ctrl-H       Galactic Hyperspace
                                Tab     Implode Shield unit
                                Esc     Escape pod
ctrl-f1 C  Special Contract     C       Docking on
ctrl-f3 N  Buy New Ship         N       Docking off
                                P       Compass to Planet
                                L       Compass to Sun
                                K       Next Compass target

Arrow keys on chart move cursor to Hyperspace target
O       Home cursor on chart    O       Home cursor on chart
D       Distance to system      D       Distance to system
W       Contract destination    W       Contract destination
F       Find system 

Copy      Freeze Game. While frozen can toggle the following
S         Sound on
Q         Sound off
A         Keyboard auto-recentering
Caps-Lock Keyboard damping
Y         Reverse joystick Y channel
J         Reverse both joystick channels
K         Keyboard or Joystick control
X         Extra startup message display
F         Flashing console bars
Esc       Start new game
Delete    Unfreeze Game	
Your comment raises the point about the Galactic Hyperspace, ctrl-H. Do you have access to that on the PSP? Assuming not, then moving that to 'G' is probably an important thing to do.
Quote:
On the galactic and local system charts, please allow the flight controls "<SX>" to move the cursor, as otherwise I have to map another 4 buttons just for the arrow keys (in my case, L+D-pad). The Commodore 64 already works in this way. Though be careful that if the flight controls are flipped so that dive is up and climb is down, you want to normalise those so that up/down/left/right is always logical on the chart screens
I am bit confused, I usually only play using a keyboard but on BeebEm I just hit the mouse button as the fire button to start a game, and now the mouse pad does up,down,left,right, for both the flight controls "<SX>" and the charts' cursor arrow keys at the same time (and then cursor locked but can still fly the ship when a hyperspace countdown starts), but that is not what you see with a joystick? When docked, the mouse-pad now moves the chart cursors and BeebEm has locked out/mapped the arrow keys to the mouse pad in this configuration. And 'S' can still sell equipment. What happens when you use the joystick on charts when docked or in the Guide?
Quote:

The help guide for example requires typing in numbers and the on-screen keyboard on PSP BEEB sucks badly. In addition to the usual numbered shortcuts, having the list navigable by joystick / arrow keys / flight controls would be much appreciated
In v.4 I surreptitiously duplicated some of the numbered options in the Guide back to 'obvious' function keys but that probably doesn't help joystick users much. There are very few free bytes left in the code to highlight an option before its chosen, I will see what can be done.
Quote:

an "Options" screen of some sort would help to make the paused key-toggles more accessible to those playing without a keyboard
I agree, certainly an obscure set of keys (for the history detectives I suspect that code from Ian Bell's previous game, FreeFall).
For the BBC Model B version there isn't enough space to introduce a menu screen for them in the flight or docked code. One option is some sort of config screen before the game starts but is then not revisited. Something to think about.
Quote:

Is there a way to get C64-like "snap" rotation? That is, I am used to the ship immediately stopping when rolling instead of slowly re-centering its rotation speed. The way it is means I have to constantly press the opposite direction at the end of a turn just to reset the roll vector and this isn't great on a PSP
For keyboard operation yes, I usually give an 'opposite' tap to re-center. But for 'mouse pad' joystick I just have to move back to the center? Is that not happening with your joystick?

Glad you liked it, and maybe easier to play in the future.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:40 pm 
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Very, very busy with an ill baby and wife, so I'll reply to these as I can get to them and provide a properly formed reply:
Quote:
Wow, I never expected this to make it onto a PSP. :shock:
It's the best portable game-emulation machine currently available (cheap/best controls/easy to hack) and capable of emulating anything up to and including the PS1. The BBC emulator however runs at 40fps instead of 50fps and hasn't been updated in years.
Quote:
Quote:
the download for v4 is being flagged as Firefox as malware and so refuses to save it
I don't have that problem with Safari or FireFox on a Mac, have you been able to download v.4 some other way, or stuck on v.3 ?
I am using Firefox Developer Edition, which includes features not yet available in the release, but here's proof that the v.4 download is being flagged as malware:

Image


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 7:43 pm 
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I downloaded the v.4 from
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqov1w8wqustp ... 4.zip?dl=0
and sent the .zip and also the unzipped readme and the .dsd through
https://www.virustotal.com/en/
Nothing exciting, except none of the scanners can recognize what dsd files are.

I have also discovered that v.4 works on jsBeeb too
https://bbc.godbolt.org/
You need to use its discs menu to load your local copy of v4, otherwise jsBeeb will use its default Classic original.

You could also run from your local copy of the jsBeeb emulator, say downloaded from github
https://github.com/mattgodbolt/jsbeeb
into a directory you created called myjsbeeb then can local host,

$ cd myjsbeeb
$ python -m http.server
Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000 ...

Then in your browser visit http://localhost:8000/ and off you go!

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Quote:
Any bugs let me know
It crashes when I go into 'Guide to Elite' (Ctrl-F6) and then to 'Bulletins' (Ctrl-F5).
(I use BeebEm3 on OSX.)

Edit to add: When using emulated Watford 1770 controller and ROM, it crashes less horribly: it goes back to the 'Load new Commander? (Y/N)' screen with the spinning cobra.


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 7:11 pm 
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thanks hoqlinq,

the Guide code doesn't have the Bulletin code (no room due to all the ship stats loaded), only the Docked code has it. So I need to patch the hole you fell through.

The 1770 issue is probably related to some code on page &D, the same page as the NMI routines (eg disc controller). I reduced the usage of page &D for Elite-B (compared to what I found in Elite-A) in the hope of getting the Watford 1770 controller to work but did not succeed. The 8271 controller works anyway and I think is faster for the game transitions. I don't know if the Acorn 1770 controller would work. Looking at http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11700 I am wondering if issue is &0D97 onwards is in use. Something to investigate.

Did you find the 'Easter-egg' commander on Side 2 of the disc? :o

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