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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:21 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Quality is why I iterate.
  • Restored Karate Kick
  • Updated Super Tilt Bro., Lala the Magical (1.1), Spacey McRacey
  • Removed debugging "feature" at title screen to hold Up to corrupt graphics
  • exitpatch: Fixed marking exitmethod=none banks as already patched
  • a53build: Allow insertion of ROMs as unreachable data banks


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:43 pm 
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Posts: 54
Just found an A53 exclusive bug in Waddles - if you start waddles, reset, then reopen the game you may not be able to beat it! Trying to figure out what to do about it.

I had a feature in the original rom where if you reset, your collected gems would stay collected. I store this data in $400-$4ff, including a special byte I set to a known value at startup. If that special byte is set, I don't clear $400-$4ff while clearing ram. This works great in isolation, but it seems like the menu software writes to some (but not all!) of these bytes. This results in extremely high gem counts on reset - also making the game unwinnable.

I guess I see a couple options:
1) If there's $100 or so bytes the menu doesn't use, move the gem data there, and call it a day.
2) Kill that feature entirely for the multicart, and add a 3rd start menu option that allows returning to the title. (If you reset, you're just done.)

I haven't spent much time with the A53 sources, but I suspect I might be able to get away with using $700 or so. But then, I'm not sure how fragile that will be. It seems like killing the feature is the safer option.

I'll try to fix this in some form in the next week or two. I'd welcome any thoughts other folks have.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:13 am 
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@cppchriscpp I responded in the game thread.
------

Here's My long report of testing this build on Power Pak. I posted the important bugs that I believe needs attention in each of their respective threads. The rest of this post are kind of cosmetic stuff that I quickly jotted down.

I was did not reach the end of Wo xiang niao niao, Haunted: Halloween '85 Demo, or Zombie Calavera. So I might be missing some things in those games.

# Twin Dragons
There's some sort of PPU glitch (color line stripe, accidental scroll) at the end rescue scene.
The second to last fire ball in Level 2-2 initially spawns at the bottom of the screen, but it fixes itself when it lands in the lava.

# Filthy Kitchen
There was 3 momentary glitches that I couldn't reproduce, so unfortunately this report is not going to be much help here.
At one time some garbage was written in the score area. At another time the fly swatter went crazy for a bit. and I think the fly swatter hit the boss by warping around from the left side.

# Lala the Magical
I find it odd that releasing (instead of pressing) the A button advances the dialog.

# Cheril the Goddess
likewise with the dialog.
Twice I encountered a moment where a column of 2 metatiles loaded visually and physically incorrect. It's easy enough to just step back to reload it again.

# Wo xiang niao niao
I find it frustrating that the jumping fish still occasionally hurts Lin Lin even though she stomps them.

# Sinking Feeling
Some bizarre visual stuff happened when I think I got 2 achievements simultaneously. I'm not sure as it just happened once.

# Karate Kick
Background occasionally starts orange instead of black.

# The Paths of Bridewell
I understand that the sources to this was lost, so I don't expect anything about this game to change, but here's a list of oddities anyway.
Game briefly shows the OAM from the Action 52 menu with the Bridewell tileset before loading the title screen.
The title screen arrow blinks in time to the music (doesn't on emulator).
There's some sort of frequent miss set scroll for occasional video frames. I suspect (but did not verify) the music/sound engine load has something to do with it.
It's quite odd that the point to check tile effects (like water or ice) is a offseted point in front of billy instead of his center.
Billy can walk horizontally into a solid block as long at there's two ice tiles above him.
Billy can creep along a wall to the right to avoid the fast charging baddies.

# Spacey McRacey
Player 2 wins in the case of a tie between player 1 and 2.

# Waddles the Duck
The action 53 TV screen appears for a frame before the game starts loading graphics.
The game slows downs at two particular portals (I forgot to write down which ones)

# Haunted: Halloween '85
The camera starts way off to the left at a particular check point showing the tile columns getting loaded on the right of the screen, but the game does this in the retail version as well.

------
Just for kicks I tried the "slow button" on the NES advantage controller. "slow" works by turbo pressing the Start button. The actual effectiveness of this varies for each of the games.

- Karate Kick, Sinking Feeling: Works perfectly with no audio distortions.
- Button Logger: I designed this specifically for the "slow button".
- Nebs 'n Debs, Cheril the Goddess, Flappy Jack: Works decently with audible annoyance.
- Jupiter Scope 2: Works without audible or visual changes, but unfortunately drops input.
- Twin Dragons, Filthy Kitchen: Works but with some dropped input making it sometimes difficult to do things.
- Rock Paper Scissors +: Auto advances the "press start" notice.
- Super Tilt Bro: Oddly enough, only your character walks slow.
- Lala the Magical: Game remains stuck in pause if you try pressing any buttons.
- Musical Controller: I guess that's an interesting musical effect?
- Wo xiang niao niao, Brick Breaker, The Paths of Bridewell, Zombie Calavera (Prologue): Does not pause, thus "slow" does nothing.
- Waddles the Duck: The pause menu eats all your jumps and pressing down while in "slow" will reset the level.
- Haunted: Halloween '85: Sound becomes garbage and eats your inputs.
- Spacey McRacey: Enforced minimum pause time makes the "slow button" awful.
- 240p Test Suite: "slow" causes unusable repeated flashes of menu and test loading.

I also tried "The Game Handler" which, among being finicky with it's directions, it allows me to press left and right at the same time. Most games just have some button priority where left overrides right and sometimes vice versa. The exceptions being:

- action 53 menu, Jupiter Scope 2, 240p Test Suite: Left + right is canceled into neutral.
- Nebs 'n Debs: Retains momentum while moon walking to the right.
- Flappy Jack: Walks in place
- Rock Paper Scissors +, Super Tilt Bro: Stops all input until Left + right stops happening.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:07 pm 
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JRoatch wrote:
# Spacey McRacey
Player 2 wins in the case of a tie between player 1 and 2.


I'm impressed, that's some quality testing that I never expected anyone to bother with :) You're absolutely right, later players always win in a tie:
I figured ties are extremely unlikely in actual play, so didn't care to build-in a tiebreaker.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to do the in-depth testing of all the games!

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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:50 am 
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Posts: 356
Thanks for testing.

JRoatch wrote:
Twice I encountered a moment where a column of 2 metatiles loaded visually and physically incorrect. It's easy enough to just step back to reload it again.


Oh, that glitch again. I thought I had sorted it out (in fact, I thought I had sorted it out with each new version, as It got reported every single time and I changed the scrolling engine every time, tested, couldn't reproduce, and thought it was solved - but no). I really don't know what's wrong. It seems stray data left on the nametables when you change to other level which doesn't get overwritten. I'll keep working on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:16 am 
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I've updated Karate Kick a tiny bit, hopefully helping with some of its issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:26 pm 
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JRoatch wrote:
[...]
# Twin Dragons
There's some sort of PPU glitch (color line stripe, accidental scroll) at the end rescue scene.
The second to last fire ball in Level 2-2 initially spawns at the bottom of the screen, but it fixes itself when it lands in the lava.
[...]


Wow, thanks for all those tests !
Which version did you try ?
I just saw that version 0.073 was available on the forums, but the "official" entry version is 0.074 (downloadable here), and IIRC, the PPU glitch was in v0.073.
I just updated my messages on the forums by the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:34 am 
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JRoatch wrote:
# Filthy Kitchen
There was 3 momentary glitches that I couldn't reproduce, so unfortunately this report is not going to be much help here.
At one time some garbage was written in the score area. At another time the fly swatter went crazy for a bit. and I think the fly swatter hit the boss by warping around from the left side.


Have not seen the garbage in the score area, but that sounds strange.

Fly swatter goes crazy has a fix for it.

Fly swatter going left and hitting the boss.... I think I'm okay with. Honestly seems like a neat trick.

Even though the code freeze happened March 31, we can still submit new versions, but only for bug fixes?


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Sorry everyone that I didn't respond until now, busy week and all that.

glutock wrote:
Which version did you try ?

I checked with a binary comparison and found we're using 0.074, but I found that there's inexplicably 1 bit of difference. In version "page 7" of a53games.nes, byte 0x06c031 is 0xad whereas in Twin-Dragons-20170131-0.074.nes byte 0x00c031 is 0x8d.

dustmop wrote:
Even though the code freeze happened March 31, we can still submit new versions, but only for bug fixes?

Yes, we have been accepting bug fixes.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:03 pm 
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Posts: 19252
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
JRoatch wrote:
I checked with a binary comparison and found we're using 0.074, but I found that there's inexplicably 1 bit of difference. In version "page 7" of a53games.nes, byte 0x06c031 is 0xad whereas in Twin-Dragons-20170131-0.074.nes byte 0x00c031 is 0x8d.

Easily explicable.
In this post, tepples wrote:
I've attached the current builder config file; feel free to suggest diffs to the descriptions.

From roms.cfg:
Code:
title=Twin Dragons
author=Antoine GOHIN
year=2016
screenshot=../tilesets/screenshots/Twin-Dragons-20170131-0.png
rom=../Category 1/Twin Dragons/Twin-Dragons-20170131-0.074.nes
patch1=C021=AD
prgbank=1
prgunused0=FE00-FFF9
prgunused1=FF60-FFF9
description:
1st place
NESdev Compo 2016

Cater Killar has kidnapped
your twin. Choose Dinky
or Minky and go find your
twin, crushing the various
dangers in different worlds.

+ Move
A: Jump
Down+A: Jump down
B: Shoot
Up+B: Shoot with powerup
.

From the filename in rom=, we see the use of 0.074. The patch1=C021=AD disables setting the outer bank. A standalone game using the Action 53 mapper needs to set the outer bank, but it shouldn't when included in a multicart.

The reset handler is at $C000, and it includes mapper initialization code starting at $C01A that disassembles as follows:
Code:
A53_ADDR = $5000
  A53_PRGBANK = $01
  A53_MODE = $80
    A53_512KBIT = $10
    A53_FIXC000 = $0C
    A53_VMIRR = $03
  A53_OUTERBANK = $81
A53_DATA = $8000

LC01A:
  ; Set up Action 53 mapper to behave as UNROM
  lda #A53_OUTERBANK
  sta A53_ADDR
  lda #$FF
  sta A53_DATA  ; The patch changes this STA to LDA
  lda #A53_MODE
  sta A53_ADDR
  lda #A53_512KBIT|A53_FIXC000|A53_VMIRR
  sta A53_DATA
  lda #A53_PRGBANK
  sta A53_ADDR


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:19 pm 
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ahh, sorry about that.
I guess today ended up being a day where I did everything the stupid hard way with stupid stuff like hex-editing via cut and pasting bitmaps, and where I didn't even bother to look at the blatantly obvious info already available.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:08 pm 
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JRoatch wrote:
For Button Logger, Is there a way to concisely explain what the B button does?

I believe I figured out how this may be done. This is my suggested change to the description of Button Logger
Code:
description:
Displays a waterfall plot
of the buttons pressed
on the connected NES or
Super NES controller.

Controller 1
  A: Start/stop
  A+B: Wait for controller 2
  B: Set plot to stop at top
      where it waits like A+B
  Select: Exit

Controller 2
  Light up buttons
.

I'll trust that the user will find that the Zapper button also works, and I think that explanation of Start is not necessary as A is the recommended pause button.

Midnight repost: B button grammar


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:05 pm 
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If you want to burn PRG space, somebody should yell "ACTION FIFTY-THREE!" in a Crazy Taxi-style voice.


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:10 pm 
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While searching for a post to quote in another thread, I found this post:
Is it possible to add this one to the Category 2 (the non-contest category)? =) It was heavily updated when this contest just started.

Maybe this could be included? I dunno.

I also have this wishlist (from when I previously looked for space fillers) of things I would like to have on Action 53 eventually, but probably never will due to licensing and/or contact issues.
- Alter Ego
- Inversion
- STING


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 Post subject: Re: Action 53 volume 3
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:16 pm 
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I don't think Shiru will object to the inclusion of Alter Ego.

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