Action 52 : The programming errors

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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Action 52 : The programming errors

Post by log in » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:16 am

I just watched the AVGN episode of action 52 and i was wondering if somebody here ever looked at the games programming errors?

Looking for action 52 on the forum gave a couple of topics about the sound.
And i must say that the sound is pretty good.(intro)

But the games have some programming errors like : jumping/control problems,dying in mid air,etc.etc.

Might be ''FUN'' to look at .
im a newbie,lets see how far i can get

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Post by tokumaru » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:27 am

I really doubt that such programming errors could be fixed just by tweaking a few values here and there. Flawed code is flawed, and probably needs a good amount of rewriting to be adequately fixed.

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Post by tepples » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:23 am

I wonder if there's anyone who represented Active Enterprises who can be contacted for permission to make Action 52 any better.

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Post by log in » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:45 am

I did not mean that it would be "fun"to fix them.
But it might be fun to play the games and look for errors at the same time.

And think/gues what programming errors are made.
The great number of space shooters might mean lack of programming skills ?

In other words : profiling the programmer.
im a newbie,lets see how far i can get

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Post by viren » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:48 am

The entire cartridge is a programming error :roll:

Anyway, I remember Alfredo crashing in some emulators and I doubt it did that on the real hardware. I'm curious about that but stuffed if I'm going to actually disasm it...

Also another interesting thing would be the code re-use. It's clear that all the shooters use the same engine, and all the platformers use the same engine, but I suspect the shooter and platformer engines likely share the same H.P. Lovecratfian codebase.

Writing to IO port 0x666 and.. *mumbles to himself*

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Post by Dwedit » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:55 am

Did you read NintendoAge's interview with one of the Action 52 developers yet? They were given a very short development time window, much like ET for the 2600.
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Post by viren » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:04 am

[quote="Dwedit"]Did you read NintendoAge's interview with one of the Action 52 developers yet? They were given a very short development time window, much like ET for the 2600.[/quote]

Right. No beef to the programmers. It's a shame about the mismanagement though.

I forget the name of it but one of the games had an Indiana Jones looking dude and it played a bit like Prince Of Persia. You could do long jumps and grab up onto ledges. It ALMOST played like a real game except for the overt Action 52 stuff going on like horrible level design and random shit spawning from the roof.

If they just spent all the time and resources fleshing that out to a real game rather than stringing out 52 abortions it probably would have sold well :/

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Post by Bregalad » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:11 am

viren wrote:The entire cartridge is a programming error :roll:
I agree 100%
Anyway, I remember Alfredo crashing in some emulators and I doubt it did that on the real hardware. I'm curious about that but stuffed if I'm going to actually disasm it...
I think AVGN uses exclusively the real hardware, and I'm pretty sure a few of the 52 games doesn't even boot.
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Post by IvanDSM » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:34 pm

I already disasmed Action 52. It's 26,2 or something MBs of code. If you guys want, i may publish it on Ivan Tech sometime soon. And now that i think, did the intro use DPCM or the PCM 7-bit hideous channel?

EDIT: 29, MB actually.
I can't think of something cool to put here.

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Post by tepples » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:56 pm

I seem to remember tracing through the intro years ago, and it used a DPCM codec identical to that used by DMC but decoded through timed writes to $4011 for a higher bitrate. Didn't Blades of Steel do the same, which is why so many samples pause the game?

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Post by 3gengames » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:24 pm

I thought each game was 32KB big. Hacking the menu to work would probably be a fun little project if you have absolutely nothing productive to do with your day. :P Maybe even some of the games. But honestly even if they worked they're still terrible.

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Post by tepples » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:04 pm

The game could probably be hacked to some sort of GNROM-on-steroids mapper, but the PRG ROM is three times the size of the biggest PRG ROM that the PowerPak supports. The games would need to somehow share much of their code. How much of the code is unique to each game and how much is copypasta?

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Post by Dwedit » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:07 pm

Not just copypasta, edited copypasta. Edited in some places, not edited in others. How else do you account for some games having Score and Life Bars, and other games (which still have HP) not having life bars?
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Post by Drag » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:04 am

We'd might as well just make our own Action 52 at that rate. :P

A lot of the games seem to be very similar to The Games Factory and Klik N Play. That is, a basic game framework that supports a couple of different movement types (such as 8-directional, gravity-based, etc), but with the same system for actors and music, which is common to all games.

hah, we'd probably be able to store the finished product in less space than the original, too. :P

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Post by tepples » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:24 am

Drag wrote:We'd might as well just make our own Action 52 at that rate. :P
Yeah, but then we'd have to figure out how to fit 53 games into the 512 KiB of a PowerPak. My clone of Missile Command is already within less than half a kB of filling the PRG ROM of an NROM-128.
A lot of the games seem to be very similar to The Games Factory and Klik N Play. That is, a basic game framework that supports a couple of different movement types
Then probably the best thing I can do for a fan sequel to Action 52 would be to get back to work on President, which would open the door to a bunch of "games" that are essentially level packs for a very SMB1-like engine.

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