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About [email protected]

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  • Birthday 10/21/1977

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  1. After a longer delay than usual, here is demo alpha version 7. As usual, there are a full range of ROM images and manuals attached or available on the web site, and GitHub has the work in progress and outstanding bugs. The main change is: You can now catch wild Grizzards in the Demo. Other Changes since 6(a): Bug fix: "Caught" Grizzards no longer re-appear on map Bug fix: Scanline counts around catching a new Grizzard Enhancement: Verbal announcement when catching a new Grizzard Enhancement: Made Vorpal Bunnies more powerful also, for the full game, Bug fix: Lost mine is now possible to navigate (not easy, but possible!) Enhancement: Stella (and most multi-carts) should now correctly recognize bank switching for full game Bug fix: When the joystick was held left or right, province doors would teleport you to somewhat random screeens Enhancement: Increased level of difficulty of Grues added some more quest content in Southern Fields, Lost Mine, and Port Lion areas. Grizzards.NoSave.7.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.7.PAL.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.7.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.Demo.7.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.Demo.7.PAL.pdf Grizzards.Demo.7.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.7.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.7.PAL.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.7.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Demo.7.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.Demo.7.PAL.a26 Grizzards.Demo.7.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Manual.txt
  2. Cripes. I'm working on enabling that in the Demo code, but it's not ready yet. Aside from “don't do that,” here are some other binaries that have that completely disabled. Fortunately, if you got that in the regular Demo, your game was successfully saved right before, so you should be able to resume with no problem. Sorry about that oversight. Grizzards.Demo.6a.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Demo.6a.PAL.a26 Grizzards.Demo.6a.SECAM.a26
  3. Thanks for the info: Pressing Up or Down on the Depot screen does indeed reliably throw ERROR 00F49D right now. It seems that I didn't completely disable trying to switch Grizzards in the NoSave code …! Here are fixed binaries that should disable the up/down actions on that screen for the NoSave build. Grizzards.NoSave.6a.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.6a.PAL.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.6a.NTSC.a26
  4. And we're up to Demo Alpha 6. As always, any feedback is highly desirable, and dailies continue to be posted to the web site most every day. Whoever has been kindly uploading these files to the PlusCart library, I've included a PlusCart-formatted mini-manual that will probably be more useful for that purpose (Grizzards.Manual.txt here). For everyone else, the PDF manuals here or on the web site are the way to go. If you actually print them out, check the web site for the “signature” formatted ones that you can fold and staple into a booklet easily. An upcoming change will be adding the ability to catch several Grizzards within the Demo area. There had been several bugs surrounding this code which seem to have been cleared up, but I want to test a little more before “turning on” a relatively major feature. Note that this will not be possible in the NoSave demo, because your Grizzards collection only exists on the SaveKey when they are not your companion (and there's literally no RAM at all that could be used to fake it). Known, outstanding bugs are posted on GitHub, as are planned enhancements. Changes from Demo Alpha 5: almost all are bug fixes: The PDF manuals for the Demo (and NoSave) are now formatted for folded 8½"×11" paper (NTSC) or A4 paper (PAL & SECAM) to make them more conveniently printable. The full game manual is refined to 7" × 5" for now and has been prepared for prepress. (There will still be additional art and text editing to the manual yet to come, however, including a much nicer map.) Doors between provinces (i.e. between memory banks) would sometimes misfire and either crash the game with ERROR 04F0F8 or so, or land you in room 0 of whichever memory bank you were leaving instead. (Not in demo) Scan line counts were off by ± 1 line in some situations when changing between screens. For example, when moving through a door there were 261 scan lines for 1 frame. These 1-frame errors were too fast to detect by eye, but setting up some breakIfs in Stella helped comb them out. All of these that I've been able to find have been eliminated in NTSC mode, and most of them in PAL/SECAM mode except a nasty one when the cursor is on the bottom row of monsters. This includes errors when starting a new game, when pressing RESET while playing, when returning to the player's turn after monsters moves in combat, when returning from Stats to Combat screen, when entering the Level Up screen, &c. The draft label has been designed, although it's basically identical to the graphic for the manual cover. Reading aloud the Grue blockade came out as UFO sounds on the AtariVox (not in demo) New Grizzards came with the wrong Moves known (not yet in demo) When catching a new Grizzard, you now get an “announcement” screen to tell you which one it is. Starting a new game did not completely start from scratch if you began a new game after a Game Over under some circumstances. One obvious indicator was the absence of the NPC in Treble Village who says he's running away (if you'd spoken to him on the previous game). The “end of demo” speech was read aloud when you completed the same quest in the full game. “Cave Bat” was read aloud as just “monster” on the AtariVox The entrance to the tunnel complex had a crazy “screenquake” when you had not opened the tunnels yet (not in demo) The “Level up” screen would falsely display “LEVEL UP … MAX HP” whether or not you had actually done so — but the AtariVox speech was correct. Refined the pronunciation of “blob,” “bite,” and “blind” and added some other words to the dictionary as needed. Moves Known were all wrong after switching Grizzards at Depot (not yet in the demo) ERROR 04F0F2 when screwing around in the first room, when using the Grizzard Depot. Enhancement: The colors of Moves have been changed: Black is still “not known,” but now “RUN AWAY” is red and other moves are turquoise (the reverse of previous builds). Enhancement: When the targeting cursor first appears on the monsters (because it's your turn and you have an “offensive” move selected), if Monster #1 has been killed, the first still-living monster will be targeted by default. When moving between Provinces, the ProvinceFlags (game progress) is swapped to the SaveKey. (not in Demo) An enhancement was made to simplify the most common “if flag set” conditional for NPC interactions to conserve ROM space and code complexity. When a monster is killed, the AtariVox announcement will no longer tell you about status effects that were imparted at the same time, e.g. “The monster is killed and defend is lowered.” Rooms' floor colors were displayed incorrectly in rooms where the Ball is being used as a wall. A crash when speaking to the NPC in the Spiral Woods area was corrected (but probably would not have happened in the demo). Grizzards.NoSave.6.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.6.PAL.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.6.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Demo.6.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Demo.6.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.Demo.6.PAL.a26 Grizzards.Manual.txt Grizzards.NoSave.6.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.6.PAL.pdf Grizzards.Demo.6.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.6.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.Demo.6.PAL.pdf Grizzards.Demo.6.NTSC.pdf
  5. Usually, to me, that would mean: make a copy and work off the copy, keep these master disks somewhere safe.
  6. Another Demo alpha release. Still have plenty holding back from calling it a Beta, but there's some progress. Daily builds continue to be posted on the web site as well. As ever, I appreciate any feedback, particularly bug reports. Bug fix: Loading a saved game after dying tried to restart you in the room where you died. Bug fix: Attempting to enter the Lost Mine caused a total hang (crash) Bug fix: Door to the Lost Mine wandered the screen (full game only) Enhancement: More challenging monsters on the Western Road Enhancement: Changed Depot color for better contrast Enhancement: Increased attack power of Vorpal Bunnies Enhancement: Increased likelihood of Learning a Move Bug fix: Scan line counts when starting a new game (during blank screen before game starts) Enhancement: Final theme music Enhancement: Full game SaveKey memory slots registered with AtariAge. Demo still uses Scratchpad space. Bug fix: AtariAge text (full game) Enhancement: Doors between provinces (memory banks) now work (full game only) Enhancement: Added frames to monster and NPC animations on Map Enhancement: Level Up audio should mention if you level up multiple stats at once Enhancement: Improved waves on Aquax title screen's water line Enhancement: Title screen first scan line is regular Enhancement: Monsters can have random spawn locations Bug fix: Scan line count going in to Combat Intro Screen (red screen with “COMBAT” text) Enhancement: “alarm” system internally uses half-seconds now. Bug fix: Line counts on Grizzard Depot and Stats screens (PAL/SECAM only) Bug fix: Scan line count when walking through door (one frame in between screens) Enhancement: Monsters spawn with a “puff of smoke” animation Known, outstanding bugs are posted on GitHub, as are planned enhancements. I've found several cases in which there are intermittent scanline errors “between” screens (during transitions) which may explain the dropouts that ZPH noticed, and am going through every possible transition frame-by-frame to search for them, which is naturally taking quite a bit of time. Grizzards.NoSave.5.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.5.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.5.PAL.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.5.PAL.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.5.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.5.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Demo.5.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.Demo.5.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.Demo.5.PAL.pdf Grizzards.Demo.5.PAL.a26 Grizzards.Demo.5.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.Demo.5.NTSC.a26
  7. While I haven't really researched this yet — it occurs to me that you can press the Game Select switch (or C button on a Genesis controller) to bring up the Stats display and effectively pause the game as well, as a work-around.
  8. Is it correct in saying that you don't ship to Florida, USA? Or is there something awry with the checkout process?
  9. Yeah, I think the "waves" need a bit of work. That was the intention, though, you're right. That was an easy fix, thankfully. Today's daily build should have that corrected now. That's unfortunate, it must not be detecting the 7800 system. I wonder if the PlusCart maybe does not restore the zero page memory that we check after leaving its menu? I seem to understand that there's specific code in the Harmony to restore those "magic numbers". I'll open a ticket but I don't know that I'll be able to correct that particular issue. (Among other things I have neither a 7800 nor a PlusCart … although excuses to get both are plentiful …) I saw this too (with certain screens, the exits were doing a "rubber band" effect), I believe that today's dailies should have corrected it. (direct link: NoSave/NTSC for today) Noted … I guess it's aligning a little differently when the target cursor is present/absent. Is that perhaps the enemies fighting back that you're seeing? e.g. “Wicked Slime 1 [uses move] splish splash [on] Aquax” or the like? Thanks for the detailed feedback! It's extremely helpful. I've added these things to my “to do list” on GitHub.
  10. Thanks. I kinda expect it to be 00FAE8, which is where it first goes to look for save games as you enter the Select Slot screen, but I'm a little hoping it's something else.
  11. Are you getting the red sad face screen? If so, what's the hex address at which it fails? Also, do you know which model of '2600 and AtariVox you have? (I see you mentioned it's the NTSC build.)
  12. Unfortunately that means I'm back to Square One trying to guess what might be causing the cut-outs. I'll see what else I can find … Thanks for trying it out, though!
  13. TL;DR: New build, including No-Save variants. Still need help with Dropout test. For users without a SaveKey (nor AtariVox), there is now a “no-save” version of the demo. Caveats: There is no way to continue once you power off; starting a new game loses your progress; and this is only the demo, there will never be a full version of the game that works without some kind of memory device. (Also, there seem to be some emulation issues with Javatari that garbled the text displays a bit, so I'd recommend against using it if you can help it.) With those caveats, here are today's daily builds, which I'm calling Alpha +4. The Beta build is still forthcoming. In particular, see my previous post if you can try testing the “dropout” binary on your home rig. I'd like to find/resolve that issue that crippled @ZeroPage Homebrew's playthrough before labeling anything as a “beta.” Changes since Alpha +3: (a few of these were in the ZPH build) There is now a “no save” version of the demo (per user feedback from @vitoco on Twitch and @Bob Humid above) The “crash” (“white sad face”) screen now displays the word “ERROR” and the (24 bit, bank + offset) address of the error rather than showing the contents of RAM. (per local user feedback) The “no SaveKey” (“red sad face”) screen now displays “MEMORY DEVICE NEEDED” and the address at which it was noticed missing rather than showing the contents of RAM. (per user feedback from @vitoco on Twitch) There is now a brief “victory” screen after defeating enemies (per local user feedback) There is now a brief “combat” announcement screen when entering combat (per local user feedback) (Full game only: A crash when speaking to a certain NPC was fixed.) Final version of the manual cover graphic is now in place, cleaning up shadows and details from the previous versions. When monsters or your Grizzard are healed, the spoken announcement should be more understandable. (per feedback from @ZeroPage Homebrew) When monsters or your Grizzard are killed, rather than echoing the number of hit points lost, the text and voice will now say that they were killed. (per feedback from @ZeroPage Homebrew) You may now earn a small number of points when an NPC interaction results in game progress (per feedback from ZPH) You can no longer “sneak past” monsters by crawling along the edge of the wall, i.e. the “Darcy Sneak” method. (per user feedback from ZPH) (Full game only: scan line errors when trying to switch Grizzards when there were no other Grizzards on your team.) A glitch sometimes observed when leaving a room seems to have been cured. A new “compression” reduced the memory footprint of monster names from 12 bytes to 9 bytes each. (6 bits per character) Scan line errors when returning from combat to the map screen (after leveling up) were eliminated The title screens are now colorized. The demo title screen with Aquax shows colors representing a waterfront scene. Scan line errors in the transition to/from the Grizzard Stats screen were cleaned up. The manual was adjusted to refer to the MegaDrive in all regions, and uses the name Genesis/MegaDrive in the NTSC version. You can no longer “sneak past” monsters using the “invincibility frames” after leaving a combat. (per feedback from ZPH) There is about a 1s pause between when a full-screen text (signpost or NPC) is displayed and when you can press Fire to leave it (as we noticed at least one message was “missed” on ZPH because of hitting Fire too soon) New title screen animation for your “starter” Grizzard (Aquax in the demo) matching their appearance in the manual Bug fix: sometimes no monster was selected on entering the Combat screen. This didn't happen often, but on ZPH we noticed one point at which Darcy was able to target himself with an attack due to that bug. Scan line count error cured: when transitioning from the “story” attract animation (the Grizzard attacking random monsters) to the Select Slot screen. “Pause” mode was broken due to a bug in console detection for some builds. (It toggled “pause” on and off rapidly, making it a “slow-mo” function.) This was corrected. Signpost/NPC text was packed into 6 bits per character, saving about 25% of the size, allowing for a few more signposts or NPCs. Using Game Select (or C on a Genesis/MegaDrive controller) you can now access your stats from the Map screen as well as Depot and Combat screens. The move “Fire Start” (used by, eg. the R.O.U.S.) was accidentally raising their enemy's attack stat rather than their own. You can start or resume the game with the joystick and Fire button only. The final background music for the demo area is in place. The final map for the Demo area and the rest of the first 1⁄3 of the game should now be in place. (For the full game only: created an Un-Erase utility that can be used to immediately restore an erased game if nobody has re-used the slot. This does not work for the Demo.) The manual now explains that you can finish the one quest present in the demo. The manual now mentions a little about some of the monsters (per user feedback from ZPH) The manual now shows a quick reference graphic for the combat mode controls (per user feedback) Several “quirky” behaviors regarding doors were cleaned up. Doors now place the player under them, you can't get caught in a door-and-back-again loop, and doors ignore the “invulnerability” cooldown timer. Work In Progress: When you level up more than one stat at the same time, the voice announcement should read all of them out loud, but there are still bugs causing it to skip some (or all) of the details of the announcement. I'll continue to post dailies on the web site, and only periodically update the forums, but as always, any feedback is welcome! Grizzards.NoSave.4.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.4.PAL.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.4.PAL.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.4.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.NoSave.4.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.Demo.4.SECAM.pdf Grizzards.Demo.4.SECAM.a26 Grizzards.Demo.4.PAL.pdf Grizzards.Demo.4.PAL.a26 Grizzards.Demo.4.NTSC.pdf Grizzards.Demo.4.NTSC.a26 Grizzards.NoSave.4.SECAM.pdf
  14. SO … Back Story: Today on @ZeroPage Homebrew we saw some disastrous drop-outs in parts of the game, which according to Stella are rock-solid 262 scanlines and totally steady on our main TV. I wouldn't be shocked to find that there are some places in the game that are off the scan line count, but the combat system where it kept happening doesn't seem to be one of them. I'm waiting for the YouTube posted version so I can post-mortem and nail down exactly what the last frame or so is before the frame grabber died, but in the mean time … I have a theory that perhaps the brief all-black frames that occur from time to time might be throwing the frame grabber for a loop. In particular, it was reliably choking just before the outcome of a combat action, which has at least one full-black frame right before it. Seeking Help from anyone out there: I've built a little 4K ROM that uses the same subroutines as the actual game demo to produce variable lengths of all-black frames. By default, pressing FIRE will draw one black frame, but joystick right can be used to increase the gap (up to a full second of black). Just for comparison, joystick up produces all-green screens in the same way. The frames produced are all 262 scan lines per Stella and are not VBlanked, just blank COLUBK=0 screens. If you can test this … I'd like to know if you can cause your TV or rig to roll, blank out, or freak out in some way when you press FIRE on this ROM for a few frames … and, if so, if pressing up instead will keep it from freaking out. Any feedback is helpful! Thanks all. dropout.a26 PS. We've tested on 3 different TV brands and no issues with the combat system. A couple of other places — starting a new game, and toggling to/from the Stats screen — proved to have bad scanline counts that are being addressed, but anybody who's able to trigger a dropout with this test ROM, it would be extremely helpful.
  15. I don't think there's a way to get a memory card connected to one of those, unless someone has a mod for that … if there were, I'd be all for it. I could probably get the demo to run without a SaveKey, obviously with no ability to save, but the full game won't work at all as it's built.
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