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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:54 pm 
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So out of the 4 people I PM today, 2 said yes, and 1 may not be visiting the forum anymore. If I incorrectly quoted anyone please correct me now.

For Super PakPak:
artoh wrote:
Hi,
I'd be happy if it got included in a multicart.
I might even have the original source so I could modify something if needed :)

and for Solar Wars:
ccovell wrote:
Yes, if you want to include it, please go ahead.

I know Solar Wars is CNROM with 4 pages, and thus will need those 2 traces to CHR ram, I hope that's not to much of a problem.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:38 am 
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Super PakPak and Solar Wars continue the multiplayer theme implied by the title. I'd probably have to put them on a separate "Multiplayer" page.

Function: Pass
Denine sent me a working copy.

Super PakPak: Patch possible
I need to have an unused area in each game's fixed bank so that Reset presses go back to the main menu. I couldn't find an obvious unused area in the fixed bank, so I'll have to move some of the game's init code to bank 2.

Solar Wars: Patch possible
This CNROM game also lacks space in PRG ROM for reset code, but fortunately, it doesn't appear to use CHR bank switching for tile animation or raster effects. I plan to hack it to UNROM so that it doesn't need the extra RAM by patching writes to $C2C0-$C2C3 to instead decompress 8K of CHR data.

SFX Editor rewrite: Patch possible
The official version of this uses MMC1. I'd need to make a compile-time option to cut out all save-related code.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:07 am 
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While tracing through init code of Solar Wars to see what could be relocated, I found a bunch of bad practices: writing to $2004 to clear OAM, use of $0D as black (which confuses some TVs), lack of compression of nametables, etc. There's also some apparently unused code related to the NerdTracker II playback code at $8006, but I have no idea what it's supposed to be doing. Is there any source code for this so that I can skim it for other bad practices and rearrange it to free up fixed bank space? I seem to remember source being released a long time ago, but I don't know if it was the 1.5 version containing all the bug fixes, and it was incomplete due to drama related to NT2 and the sorry state of APU documentation at the time.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:11 am 
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Silence? Then I guess I'll have to mapper-hack Solar Wars the hard way, based on the binary rather than the source. Here's what I plan to get done before the end of this weekend:
  1. [done] Donate plasma
  2. [done] Patch SRAM save code out of SFX Editor
  3. [done] Get flu shot
  4. [done: $00C0-$017F] Find unused RAM areas in Solar Wars to use as scratch space for decompressor
  5. [done] Do laundry
  6. [done] Expand my robotfindskitten implementation to 47 NKIs
  7. [done: exitpoint=FFE0] Inform the builder that a ROM already has a reset patch (and thus needs no unused area)
  8. [done] Get Super PakPak running in Action 53
  9. [done] Relocate the init code of Solar Wars to the expanded PRG ROM
  10. [done] Add CHR decompression to Solar Wars
  11. [done; get it here] Upload a build of Solar Wars (UNROM version) for you all to test
  12. [done] Get the sound effect editor running as a Super PakPak subgame
  13. [done] Combine Life with PCB Editor and Theremin
  14. [done] Get Solar Wars running in Action 53
  15. Test every game on hardware
  16. Upload a build of Double Action 53 for you all to test


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:32 am 
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Front page saves the day:
NESdev.com wrote:
Solar Wars A freeware Scorched Earth type of game. Code, graphics, and design by Chris Covell, music by Memblers, and sound code by Bananmos. Here is the source code.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:59 pm 
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In Diary.TXT in the zipfile, ccovell wrote:
Because the music is entirely his work, and the code isn't mine, I won't be including his music data.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:36 pm 
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tepples wrote:
While tracing through init code of Solar Wars to see what could be relocated, I found a bunch of bad practices...


I was young. I needed the money. :-(

_________________
http://www.chrismcovell.com


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:12 pm 
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So long as it works on hardware it's fine, especially for something that old. I hope my UNROM hack works on hardware; if you can give me feedback on anything that breaks, I'd appreciate it. A true overhaul would require Memblers to port his music to the subset of FamiTracker supported by Shiru's FamiTone.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:54 pm 
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tepples wrote:
A true overhaul would require Memblers to port his music to the subset of FamiTracker supported by Shiru's FamiTone.


I'm not sure what that would gain. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :P

With my experience of putting Solar Wars on Garage Cart, I can say that yeah $0D color is a problem (there is a revision of Garage Cart for it, I think that snuck into my menu palette as well). Also I believe there is still a bug that very rarely will crash the game, just a black screen on the start of a round. And when I put it in Garage Cart, I also had to base it on the binary, I believe at the time Chris didn't have access his copy of the revised source. It was easy to patch though, as I'm sure you've seen with your UNROM version.

Also regarding NT2, I think the only problematic version was the very first release (when NT2 used the PC speaker for sound). Bananmos built his own ROM emulator for development, so later versions were well tested.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:32 pm 
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All 16 games are in, and the ROM is full.

17-22: Multiplayer
Double Action Blaster Guys
RHDE: Furniture Fight
robotfindskitten (2 player version)
Sliding Blaster
Solar Wars
Super PakPak

23-32
1007 Bolts
2048
Auge
Chase
Function
Love Story
MilioNESy
PCB Artist
Sir Ababol
Sgt. Helmet - Training Day

Toys
Conway's Life
Sound Effect Editor (4 channel version)
Theremin

There is a rare bug in my UNROM hack of Solar Wars where it appears to fail to generate terrain. I can't reproduce it reliably enough to be able to tell if it was in the original. I had to replace robotfindskitten with my own version when some bug was corrupting the space character's tile in VRAM. And MilioNESy can occasionally fail to return to the menu on a soft reset. RHDE has some scoring that I'd like to fix later and needs a tutorial. But oh well; there's always the remix competition.

Before beta 1 I want to have these done:
  • 64x56 pixel, 4-color screenshots of all games (some are missing currently)
  • Short descriptions of all games (some are missing currently)
  • Basic testing of your own game and others to try to get them to misbehave


Attachments:
a53_vol2_alpha3.nes.zip [240.85 KiB]
Downloaded 115 times
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:07 pm 
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Sliding Blaster needs its description changed to reflect the new default controls:

+ Aim
A: Boost
B: Fire


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Thank you Tepples for all the multi-cart perpetration work you've done. Here's my notes from testing on NTSC with powerpak.

Menu:
- The 1007 bolts description should say that start button starts the game, because the game requires it but doesn't itself inform the player.
- The Sliding Blaster description should also note that player 2 enters by pressing a+b.

Double Action Blaster Guys:
- If you start a Both->Fight game, then any single player game will fail to start due to something still thinking it's in fighting mode.
- The final level sometimes crashes. I think maybe what happens is killing the re-spawned (is re-spawning a bug?) head causes a crash.

Sliding Blaster:
- Once you go into level edit, you can not start a normal game until reset.

Solar Wars:
- Title screen glitch scrolls up on certain PPU alignments. Only cosmetic.

Function:
- If emulators are correct, whatever raster trick it's doing fails on PAL systems.

MilioNESy:
- Soft reset fails every time for me.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:03 am 
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Fixed the issues regarding DABG's fight mode and Sliding Blaster's edit mode. I also fixed the issue where powerups would stay enabled if they were turned on for multiplayer, though it won't remove any powerups already on the screen. Consider that an easter egg?
I'll try and figure out DABG's final level crash issue if I can find some time, or see if I can tweak anything that makes it stop happening (I think it's too many bombs, since normally it isn't stuffing that many objects into the enemy table).
Edit: Respawning is intended behavior, since it just uses the same behavior as normal levels. Also, now bombs have half as high a chance of being dropped when there are two bosses. Hopefully that helps?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:07 pm 
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I found why soft reset doesn't work on MilioNESy.
MilioNESy's init writes $03 to the multicart register $80, but the register selection is left set on Mode ($80) and not Outer bank ($81). So the reset stub ends up writing $ff to Mode which fails to change the Outer bank back to the menu.

Edit: The mapper writes are at $FBBC and $FBC1, and I believe it's intended to be horizontal mirrored BNROM.


Last edited by JRoatch on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:42 pm 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Nova: Somehow you must have uploaded last year's DABG again. I think that's why I made my RHDE and robotfindskitten makefiles automatically generate date stamps for the zipfiles.

43110: Thanks for finding that. So here's my to do list before beta; you can help!
  1. Wait for Nova to reupload DABG
  2. With a hex editor, find unused byte ranges at the end of DABG and Sliding Blaster
  3. Run MilioNESy's init code in a debugger, watching for instructions that write to $5000-$5FFF and $8000-$FFFF, so that my patcher can BIT them out
  4. Take 64x56 pixel, 4-color screenshots of the five activities that lack an up-to-date screenshot

Activities that need a new screenshot:
  • robotfindskitten (existing screenshot is of the version that was replaced for having corrupt graphics when run in the multicart)
  • Solar Wars
  • Super PakPak
  • Conway's Life
  • Sound Effect Editor (existing screenshot is of Nova's quick and dirty version)


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