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CAMiLEON: Emulation and BBC Domesday
CAMiLEON: Emulation and BBC Domesday
The BBC Domesday project was created to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the 1086 Domesday book, but is now in danger of being lost through technological obsolescence.
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Emulation roundup

Posted by Michael Drake on 11:05, 19/4/2013 | , , ,
The popular open-source RiscPC emulator RPCEmu has had an update. Version 0.8.10 is available now. The changes since the last release include various bug fixes and extensive under-the-bonnet refactoring in preparation for future improvements.

More work has been done on RISC OS Open Limited's IOMD RISC OS ROM for RiscPC class hardware and emulators such as RPCEmu. The IOMD ROM is now mostly complete. In related news, benchmarking has shown that RISC OS 5 runs faster under emulation than 26-bit versions of the OS.

As for Archimedes emulation, the open-source Archimedes emulator ArcEm was updated to version 1.50 at the end of last year. (Yes, we're a bit late with that.) An extensive change log details what's changed since the previous release. The main improvement between this release and the earlier ArcEm 1.50-alpha was to fix operation on the Raspberry Pi.
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Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 18:30, 20/10/2012 | , , , , , , , ,
Here's a quick round up of some of the recent activities in the RISC OS world.

London Show reminder

Next weekend, Saturday the 27th of October, is the date for this years London show. The show is to be held at the usual location of the St Giles Hotel in Feltham, London, and will be open from 11AM to 5PM. Tickets cost 5 on the door.

Although the theatre presentation schedule isn't yet available, the exhibitor's list is. Apart from all the usual subjects you should also keep an eye out for ROOL's first official, stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi.

ROOL updates

As mentioned above, the first stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi is expected to be unveiled at this years London show. The port has come on a long way since it was first shown at last years show, and is now pretty much on par with the other platforms with regards to features and usability. The distribution is to be available in the form of an SD card complete with ROM image, !Boot sequence, and a selection of pre-installed software, based around the work Chris Hall and others have placed into the Pi alpha distro.

Other news from ROOL in recent months includes:

  • The release of SDFS, an SD card filing system for all the modern machines (BeagleBoard/ARMini, PandaBoard, Raspberry Pi)
  • The release of several 32bit compatible NIC drivers for the RiscPC/A7000 (previously the IOMD port of RISC OS 5 had no drivers available, except under emulation)
  • Work on step one of the multi-stage filing system improvements bounty has begun
  • There have also been several performance improvements over the past few months - faster remapping of memory and shorter drive mount times, resulting in significantly shorter boot times for modern machines, faster font plotting, and last but not least a SmartReflex driver to allow the BeagleBoard-xM/ARMini to run at its full speed of 1GHz instead of 800MHz.

GCC 4.1.2 release 2 released

Hot on the heels of release 1 of GCC 4.1.2, the RISC OS GCCSDK team have released release 2, with a focus on fixing the bugs that were found in the initial release.

Emulation news

  • Aemulor Pro now freely available for ARMv7 machines
    A new version of Aemulor Pro, compatible with all the modern ARMv7 machines (BeagleBoard, ARMini, PandaBoard, etc.) is now available to download free of charge from the Spellings website at http://buyit.spellings.net/. A Raspberry Pi compatible version is expected to appear in due course.
  • ArcEm 1.50 alpha available
    The ArcEm team are back with a new website and a new alpha release. Compared to the previous 1.00 release there have been many significant improvements. In particular the RISC OS version is now ARMv6/ARMv7 compatible, and fast enough to play most Arc games at full speed on an Iyonix. Members of R-Comp's ARMini/BeagleBoard/PandaLand support schemes also have access to a more polished version of the emulator, and several games to play on it, under the moniker !AcornMode.
  • Atari emulator Hatari ported to RISC OS
    In recent weeks Franck Martinaux has released a RISC OS port of version 1.6.2 of the Atari ST emulator Hatari. The emulator is reported to run at full speed on BB-xM, and is available from Franck's website at http://www.norisc-nofun.co.uk/software.html.

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Bob and Trev: Resurrection: Just in time

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:15, 17/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
498 bytes free memoryPreviously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Game over, man

The competition is nearly at an end, which can only mean one thing - tomorrow's article will be the conclusion, and will (hopefully!) feature a copy of the game to download.
...and here it is.

Continue reading "Bob and Trev: Resurrection: Just in time" | 19 comments in the forums

Monster AI

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 16/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Next time I'll be talking about monster AI. I'm not going to be creating an Einstein, but I will be able to talk about a few of the basic features I'm hoping to implement.
But before I talk about monster AI, I might as well take the time out to talk about the time system that the game will use. Also, I don't have much other material for this article.
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Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 15/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Next time I will be tackling combat. Having never written a roguelike combat system before, it will be an interesting exercise in deciding how mechanics such as strength and armour class will work, and attempting to get the numbers right first-time to reduce the amount of balancing required.
Forsight, there.

Combat is an important aspect of all roguelikes. But having never looked at a roguelike combat engine in detail before, I don't really know much about how they work. Monsters have strength, dexterity, and armour class attributes, but how do those translate into how hard the monster hits with a weapon?

Note that a lot of the values and equations presented in this article aren't set in stone yet, and will require tweaking during play-testing. But hopefully I'll be able to shed some light on the different aspects of combat, and the thought processes involved in creating a balanced combat system.

Continue reading "Combat" | 7 comments in the forums

Visibility and pathfinding

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 14/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Yeah, looks like I forgot to write anything to lead onto this article.

Anyhoo, this article will be discussing visibility and pathfinding. Both are important aspects of many roguelikes, and both have some important implementation issues to try and overcome. Line-of-sight algorithms are a popular topic on rgrd - right now I can see two threads talking about LOS algorithms, and know of at least one other that talks about them.

Continue reading "Visibility and pathfinding" | Comment in the forums

The level generator

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 13/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
The current dungeon level.
For simplicity, I won't be having a scrolling map. This means that the largest level possible would be 40 by 25 tiles; in reality I'll only be using 40x22, as 3 rows will be required for displaying the players' status and game messages. And since the dungeon is fairly simple in design, I'll only need at most 1 byte per tile - so a full map of the current dungeon level will require 880 bytes of memory.
Until now, I haven't really gone into any detail about what the dungeon structure will be like. Since you don't find many BBC users in Gnomish mines, I realised quite early on that the traditional underground dungeon setting wouldn't work very well for this game. So instead I turned the game world on its head - you'll start at the bottom of a skyscraper and work your way up. In particular, if I have the time I'll make the first and last levels unique - the first level will be an underground parking lot, and the last level will be the rooftop, where you will find your nemesis (Don't ask me who he is - I haven't decided yet!) These unique levels will require only simple generators, but how will the office levels inbetween be generated?

Continue reading "The level generator" | 3 comments in the forums

Static game data

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 12/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Initially, I was considering using DATA keywords to store the static data. BASIC II supports RESTORE by-line-number, so by storing data for each item on a seperate line I could have fast access to it without requiring the entire DATA segment to be read or extracted and stored elsewhere.
Unfortunately some simple maths shows that DATA statements would take too much space. To store a one-digit number, two bytes would be required - one for the number, and one for the comma seperating it from the next field. A raw CSV export of the spreadsheet I was designing everything in came to 14K (A bit of an unfair test, but indicitative of how many items I'm hoping to include in the game). So, I set about designing a better solution...
This is a discussion about that 'better solution', a program which I've dubbed 'dungen', and by the time you read this will hopefully be complete. As input it will take a TSV file, and as output it will produce a data file for use by the game. Dungen will be written in BASIC, so anyone able to run the game should be able to rebuild the data for it.

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How to fit a roguelike in 32k

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Bob and Trev: Resurrection

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RISC OS - the week in comments; episode 2

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RISC OS - the week in comments

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That's just sick and wrong

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Wakefield 2006 show report

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