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AdvMESS For Dummies - a basic guide

  • @spud11 Maybe linked to having previously set-up the Channel F using the advmess.rc file. I did set up the separate file as described. Don't want to break the Channel F so happy it's working a bit.

    I'm finding I can't SHIFT+BREAK at the minute, but just having the BBC 32K window is big progress for me, thanks.

  • I'm finding as soon as I press "." it's swapping resolutions up until a crash point. Makes loading games impossible. I'd better read the rest of the above first, but if it's not explained, any thoughts?

  • @OneSwitch Lots of remapping is the answer...

  • Thanks so much for doing all of this. I found that auto-start didn't work for me though. I've had to do this...

    bbcbp128[home_pi_retropie_roms_bbcmicro_lottery]/script_play delay(750); simulate_key(key_c,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_h,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_a,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_i,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_n,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_space,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_lalt,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_2,75); delay(75); simulate_key(key_m,100); delay(75); simulate_key(key_e,75); delay(100); simulate_key(key_n,75); delay(100); simulate_key(key_u,75); delay(100); simulate_key(key_2,75); delay(100); simulate_key(key_enter,75); delay(100); 

    Where I'm using the BBC Master emulator (bbcp128), and needed to CHAIN"MENU" [return] to get the game running. I found that the " " part wasn't working for me. Hope this helps a bit further.

  • Tab works fine for me in the Mess BBC emulation, so don't know why your's doesn't work. Weird.

  • @OneSwitch It looks like you didn't need to "type" the scroll lock or the capslock keys in your script. Would that be right?

  • @spud11 - Yes that's right. I'm not sure why the slight differences. I'm also finding (after some tweaking) that every game seems to store its own unique joystick settings. Which is very handy, albeit laborious.

    Love the auto-boot script. Thanks for that.

    Wondering now.... Is it possible to have two separate BBC Micro areas. One for 32K Model B and one for BBC Master 128K, as they both have lots of incompatibility issues I find, between one another.

    Cheers again for all this.

  • The Master can be made more compatible using older Model B os, I do this on a real master using a switchable multi-os. I found os 1.20 to be the most compatible. Whether this can be done in emulation, I don't yet know.

    One thing I can't seem to get working is saving per-game settings like you all seem to be doing, my settings aren't saved when I exit.
    I would like to get a specific video mode working, higher horizontal res + multiplier x2 - which gives a picture far closer to the real thing.

  • @OneSwitch No worries - my contribution to the betterment of humanity!

    I just had a look at my emulators.cfg for BBC Micro which is:

    beebem = "/usr/local/bin/beebem %ROM%"
    default = "advmess"
    beebem2 = "%ROM%"
    advmess = "/opt/retropie/emulators/advmame/bin/advmess bbcbp128 -floppy %ROM%"
    b-em = "/opt/retropie/emulators/b-em/b-em %ROM%" -m10
    beebem3 = "/opt/retropie/emulators/beebem2/beebem2 %ROM%"

    I have a feeling if you wanted to replicate the 32K Model B as well as the 128, you'd just need to add another configuration manually to this file. When you start a game, you'd need to bring up the blue menu to pick the new 32K configuration for that particular game.

    As that can be a bit of a pain (ie destroys immersion), what I often do with my systems is create a new configs folder and a new roms folder - one for the BBC 128 and another for the BBC 32K. I then combine the 2 romlists into a new combined Attract Mode romlist. That way I don't need to bring up the blue menu when I start a game - the game automatically has the right configuration.

    I would also create a new emulator in the Attract Mode emulators folder which would look something like this:

    # Generated by Attract-Mode v2.2.1
    executable           /opt/retropie/supplementary/runcommand/
    args                 0 _SYS_ bbcmicro32k "[romfilename]"
    rompath              /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/bbcmicro32k
    romext               .ssd;.SSD
    system               BBC Micro
    artwork    flyer           /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/bbcmicro/flyer
    artwork    marquee         /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/bbcmicro/marquee
    artwork    snap            /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/bbcmicro/snap
    artwork    wheel           /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/bbcmicro/wheel

  • Champion. I'll try that ASAP. So nice to have the Beeb running.

  • If you are only playing games on the BBC emulator, then is there any real reason to run a Master 128 ?
    It didn't really offer anything over the standard 32k Model B, for the majority of games, aside from Elite Enhanced.

    For what the Beeb could really do, and it's a shame it took until the last few years to show this, then this is a fabulous collection of freeware games by Retro Software.

    Some are almost arcade-perfect.

  • @John_RM_70 Brilliant list. Thanks for that.

  • Thought this might be useful for those wanting other BBC variants, such as Model A, Model B, 64k, etc..

    This is the BBC variant, followed by the mess system name.

    BBC Master 128k - bbcbp128
    BBC Model A - bbca
    BBC Model B - bbcm
    BBC Model B+ 128k - bbcbp
    BBC Model B+ 64K - bbcb

    These are the roms (exact names), followed by the crc, needed for advmess.

    basic2.rom - crc:79434781
    bpos2.rom - crc:9f356396
    ch103.rom - crc:98367cf4
    ddfs-1.53.rom - crc:e1be4ee4
    ddfs223.rom - crc:7891f9b7
    dfs09.rom - crc:3ce609cf
    dfs144.rom - crc:9fb8d13f
    dnfs.rom - crc:8ccd2157
    mos+3.50.rom - crc:141027b9
    os12.rom - crc:3c14fc70
    zdfs-0.90.rom - crc:ea579d4d

  • @John_RM_70 It's apparent to me and probably to others here that you have a deep and abiding interest in the BBC Micro. Could you let us know your thoughts please on each of these models? I'd rather like to have just one model installed, if possible, using advmess. I selected bbcbp128, but copy of Elite I have doesn't seem to work (yet I know I had it working at one stage - perhaps when I was using the 32K model). (I have to try out some of the other commands instead of CHAIN "LOAD" in the meantime).

    Does the bbcbp128 have 100% compatibility with games made for the other models or do you think it's necessary to install more than one model to get proper coverage of games?

  • @spud11 said in AdvMESS For Dummies - a basic guide:


    It's 4am here, so I will give you a better answer later today - I stupidly did a source update on one of my Pi emulators, and now it's still going.
    My honest opinion is that the Master 128k isn't needed for games since 99.9% of them are for the Model B, while a tiny few take advantage of the Master 128k.
    On real hardware, I found the only way to make the Master 128 more compatible is to use a multi-os hardware switcher, to switch from os 1.2 upto os 3.50. with 1.2 being the most compatible - something to do with a missing character set in the later roms.
    I have a Model B 32k with a Turbo MMC SDcard, and this is the most compatible out of all the Beebs.
    I am going to switch to the BBC Model B, for the advmess emulator, since I am already finding many games not working with the bbcbp128.

  • @spud11 said in AdvMESS For Dummies - a basic guide:

    Does the bbcbp128 have 100% compatibility with games made for the other models

    Definitely not. I defaulted to bbcbp128 and a small number of games wouldn't work until I went to bbcb. (Which I thought was the "standard" model, but it now seems that's bbcm, so I'm going to try that on a couple of troublesome ones.)

  • Hmm, it doesn't want to work with bbcm at all. Replaced every entry in EMULATORS.CFG and BBCMICRO.RC, but crashed every time.

  • I can boot from bbcm, but it's still trying to be a Master 128 because I get a

    "This is not a language"

    Which is a Master error, since the Model B will always look for a language from the highest rom downwards. This can be fixed on a Master with "*CONFIGURE LANG 12", but you need to then do a shift-break - and I don't know what the break key is.

    More testing to do.

    bbcb - works. Boots to BBC Computer 32k, Acorn DFS.
    But, nothing boots. Not a single game. *cat lists disk contents, but *!boot just takes me back to a command prompt with a few characters. Beginning to think this is a lost cause, and this Mess emulation is just too old. Need a more upto date Mess.

  • @John_RM_70 Huh. Yet bbcb works perfectly for me, shows up as 32K and all games load fine with the CHAIN command. Weird business.

    (Not as weird as the bug I just got trying to run Castle Quest, though. All the keys work fine, and appear to map to the joystick as normal, but you can't jump left. Jumping right, no problem. Left, no dice. All other games mapping the same keys to the same joystick, absolutely fine, jump in any direction you like. It's just this one.)

  • @SpudsMcToole Could you share your ?
    Mine conforms to the Mess required sizes and correct crc's, yet I can only get games to work with the
    Even more weird, I can't get a single game to work from here ->
    I just get "Bad program", when I use *!BOOT - on all the games I have downloaded.
    Yet, they all work on my real Master 128, and on Beebem on my PC.
    I can't even save any configs from inside Mess, especially since I want a custom resolution and multiplier - which helps with the scaling on a CRT.

    This is the most bizarre, weird, and damn frustrating emulator I have ever used.

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