iPad Spectaculator - ZX Spectrum Emulator for iOS (un-official thread)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Sciencematthew, May 28, 2011.

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Which ZX Spectrum Emulator do you prefer on iOS

  1. Spectaculator

    24 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. ZX Spectrum Elite Collection

    9 vote(s)
    27.3%
  3. iSpeecy(web app)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. ZX Nostaliga 1-5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
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    A lot of people don't keep old apps for one. I do but I know plenty of folks here that don't even have their own computers. Heck for many that was the reason to get an iPad.

    For me, I'm a potential purchaser. So I actually came in here wondering if it still worked with the latest version. I take it that it works fine for newbies because there are no past versions to revert to.

    Just to be sure, if I get the paid version I can side load games? I'd love to play Rygar and Solomon's Key.
     
  2. MidianGTX

    MidianGTX Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2009
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    Is the retina update just an iPhone thing then? Every game I've played has always displayed absolutely perfectly on iPad 3/4 and the update shows no difference at all.

    Yes, you can. You might need to work out how to write your own config files to set the controls up, but it's pretty simple when you know how, or you could ask somebody here to help.
     
  3. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
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    #163 nightc1, Apr 29, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
    Cool. Thanks for the reply. I read through the thread and the config files don't look to terribly bad. I guess that will make getting specific games working more meaningful and important than just loading a ton of games and maybe not playing them that much.

    I tried the free version last night. Controls seem pretty solid overall.
     
  4. yellowknife

    yellowknife Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
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    #164 yellowknife, Apr 30, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
    Suggestion to the author: Use screen shots instead of box art for main game select menu. Use box art inside game specific menu.

    Reason? No point showing box art twice and screen shots are very useful in:
    a) remembering a game and
    b) figuring out if it looks interesting

    Edit: I know having box art in main game select menu has an aesthetic appeal of sorts, but in this case I would still prefer a screen shot in game specific menu than a repeat of box art.

    On a brighter note, I also just wanted to say that overall I love your app. Great iCade implementation, clean interface and love the way each game is precondigured to work with joystick controls without having to fiddle around.
     
  5. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
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    Noticed this was $1.99 again.. and after putting some time in with the free version decided to get grab this for the emu collection. I'm looking forward to trying to get other games working, but the default set looks pretty solid.
     
  6. PrinceGaz

    PrinceGaz Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    The icons on the game selection menu are far too small to show a useful in-game screenshot. If they were increased in size, the game-selection menu would be almost unusable. I've got over 370 games/other programs in that menu (I've added a few extra games of my own), so even with the direct alphabetic selection down the side, searching through that particular letter of the alphabet would be a pain with a full-sized screenshot for every game on the list.

    I do agree that there should be in-game screenshot preview available, perhaps by swiping from the game-selection menu. Each game could have a "Screenshot.png" file added to the current "Icon.png" and "Artwork.png" files. A 256x192 (no border) file, or 320x256 (with border) PNG file could be overlayed on the menu by swiping across the game in the menu, and the screenshot dismissed by tapping on it. Tapping on the game would choose it as normal. That's how I would do it, but there are plenty of other good ways it could be implemented.
     
  7. PrinceGaz

    PrinceGaz Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    The problem with the iPhone/iPod touch was that the app was not requesting native retina-display resolution support. That meant that the Spectrum screen was upscaled from the original 256x192 (no borders) or slightly larger with borders, to the non-retina resolution of those devices: 320x480 or 480x320 depending on how you hold it.

    On retina display iPhone and iPod touch devices what happened next was that iOS automatically doubled-up that resolution to fill the screen. That resulted in a blurry result because it was upscaling twice, with an intermediate resolution not much higher than the Spectrum screen.

    The lowest resolution iPad is 1024x768 or 768x1024, and the retina-display version is 2048x1536 or 1536x2048. An intermediate resolution of 768x1024 in portrait mode is several times the Spectrum screen resolution, and already higher than a retina iPhone (which is 640x960 or 640x1136). As such iPad's were already being upscaled to an intermediate resolution without retina-support which was so high that there was minimal blurring.

    That's not to say the update makes no difference, only that the improvement is so tiny that you'd probably need a magnifying glass to closely examine every pixel on the retina-display iPad 3/4 to see the difference it has made. Instead of scaling first to 1024x768 then doubling it to 2048x1536, it is now scaling directly from the Spectrum screen resolution to 2048x1536.
     
  8. niknice

    niknice Active Member

    #168 niknice, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
    Hi guys, has anybody had any luck adding games to this on IOS 7. The games add fine but when I go to launch them the app just freezes at the "before you start OK" prompt. I'm on Mac using iExplorer. I've added hundreds in the past no props but I restored my phone when I updated to IOS7 so all my added games (nearly 400 are gone). Gutted.

    Edit - On a side note arcade games can still be added to Gridlee with no problems.
     
  9. FuZion

    FuZion Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2011
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    I've just tried it out & played Chase HQ without troubles (He was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder in case you wondered).

    I've not had chance to look at much else, but all my games are there where I left them under iOS 6 & nothing appears broken so far for me.
     
  10. Gwarmaxx

    Gwarmaxx Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2010
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    all other emus (specially the banned ones) work perfectly on iOS7, so guess also this one does... check again better, pal
     
  11. niknice

    niknice Active Member

    #171 niknice, Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
    Thanks for the replies. Have you guys tried to add any new games after updating and then launched them?
     
  12. PrinceGaz

    PrinceGaz Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    New v5.3.0 out with a few additional in-app purchases.

    I see there are a few additional options which can be used in each game's Config.plist file. If you take a look at the file

    Spectaculator.app\Shop\com.spectaculator.Spectaculator.odin.1.zip

    and examine "ConfigHelp.txt" inside it, it reads

    Spectaculator Game Config Help
    ------------------------------

    model
    -----
    0 = 16k
    1 = 48k
    2 = 128k
    3 = +2
    4 = +2A
    5 = +3
    6 = Pentagon
    7 = Scorpion

    joystickType
    ------------
    0 = Disabled
    1 = Kempston
    2 = Fuller
    3 = Cursor
    4 = Sinclair1 (6-0)
    5 = Sinclair2 (1-5)
    6 = ComCom/Spectrum Keyboard
    7 = 8-Way Keyboard Joystick

    rotateThumbPad
    --------------
    0 = None
    1 = CW45
    2 = CCW45

    axesLock
    --------
    0 = None
    1 = Left/Right
    2 = Up/Down
    3 = Left/Right/Up
    4 = Left/Right/Down
    5 = Diagonals
    6 = Left/Right/Up/Down

    Game Center
    -----------
    scoreType:
    0 = None
    1 = Digits (sequence of 0-9s [not ASCII])
    2 = Integer (sequence of bytes, little endian)
    3 = ASCII (sequence of ASCII characters: '0' - '9'
    4 = Flynn(!) Flynn's adventure in Bombland only
    5 = BCD (sequence of BCD coded bytes [2 digits/byte])
    6 = Reverse Digits (like 1 but little-endian as it were)

    scoreLength:
    Number of digits (scoreType=1)
    Number of bytes (scoreType=2 and 5)
    Number of ASCII chars (scoreType=3)

    Level loader
    ------------
    - Level to load is in A register
    - Block (TZX block number) array is zero-based (i.e. first block
    when A == 0). If there is no level '0', a dummy entry is needed.

    =========================

    The things that stood out to me were

    joystickType 7

    this is new and is an 8-key joystick using keys Q,W,E,A,S,D,Z,X,C (S is the Red button), a common configuration used in wargames where precise diagonal movement is required. Unfortunately you cannot change the keys used with this setting; I quite fancied using keys 1-8 for The Lords of Midnight's eight view directions and tried combining this setting with a keyJoyMappings entry but it had no effect. Has anyone bought Lords of Midnight in-app purchase? If so, is it keyboard only or can you use the 8-way joystick with it?

    rotateThumbPad 2

    rotateThumbPad isn't new but I was only aware of 0 (no rotation) and 1 (rotate 45 degs) which was handy for isometric view games, especially in combination with axesLock 5. That was all well and good but if the game expected rotation 45 degs the opposite direction, you had to change the keyJoy mappings from Up/Down/Left/Right/Red to Left/Right/Down/Up/Red, effectively shifting it 90 degs the other way first. Using setting 2 rotates the thumb-pad 45 degs the opposite direction to setting 1, so you can used the normal joystick or keyboard control entry for the game.

    axesLock 6

    axesLock 5 did diagonals only, now there is axesLock 6 which prevents diagonal input. Just as axesLock 5 is ideal for many isometric view games, axesLock 6 should be ideal for many overhead view games which accept only 4-way input.

    model 0-7

    Good to have confirmation of exactly what some of those higher numbered unofficial models actually are. I was unaware that you could specify model 0 for a 16K Spectrum.

    ----

    And before anyone asks, yes you can still add your own games :p
     
  13. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Probably my favourite app ! Plus its icade compatible, LOVE IT !!!

    Funny all these years later (30) and here i am playing Speccy games on my iphone !
     
  14. yellowknife

    yellowknife Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
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    One of my favourite apps too. So nicely thought out by developer.
     
  15. Rob1969in

    Rob1969in Member

    Jan 28, 2014
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    #175 Rob1969in, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    Hello all,I have read through this thread and I have installed ifunbox 14 and the p list editor but I still can't seem to be able to drag tzx files over to the games folder on Spectaculator on my iphone 4s ios 7.0.4, it just refuses to come across, could someone please kindly tell me what I am doing wrong ?

    Many Thanks.

    Edit have just tried doing it with iexplorer and still I can not move the new folder in to the games folder, the game I am trying to add is Striker by Cult games ,a game I loved in the old days, can anyone help me please?
     
  16. dancj

    dancj Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2011
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    Are you sur you're dragging to the right games folder? IIRC there are two - and one of them you can't write to unless you're jail broken.
     
  17. Rob1969in

    Rob1969in Member

    Jan 28, 2014
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    #177 Rob1969in, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
    Oh I didn't realize there are two, I will try again .

    Thank you

    I can only find one folder for game pack, is that where it's supposed to be dragged too? it still isn't letting me.
     
  18. dancj

    dancj Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2011
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    Got it. From this page: http://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/importing-zx-spectrum-games-onto-ipadiphone/

    "I have it working on IOS6. Grab some free games within the app, then with iExplorer go to Spectaculator/Library/PrivateDocuments/Purchased Games and drop your .tzx or .tap folders there. Cheers."
     
  19. Rob1969in

    Rob1969in Member

    Jan 28, 2014
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    #179 Rob1969in, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
    Many Thanks I will try that

    Well that didn't work either , I give up! I will just play on my PC I think, this is stressing me out too much, thanks for your help, it just won't work for me ,the folder is in the libary etc on ieplorer but does not come on the index in spectaculator.

    Thanks Again but I am a lost cause.
     
  20. PrinceGaz

    PrinceGaz Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    What did you drag into the Spectaculator/Library/PrivateDocuments/Purchased Games folder? You must drag a folder named something like 'Gamename.tzx' which itself has a file called the identical 'Gamename.tzx' inside it. Any difference in the folder and the file name and it will fail to work. I don't know if a "Config.plist" is also required in that folder as I've never tried not having one (and it is a pretty important part of configuring the emulator for any particular title), but the emulator uses that "Config.plist" file to determine the Display Name for the game (specified in the 'gameTitle' entry).
     

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