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Risky Rick in Dangerous Traps (June 25th)

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Doesn't seem to me like the heavy handed DRM results in a very stable game considering how few ColecoVisions in 2019 would exist in a pristine state. I have to imagine this is the kind of thing that would hurt cart sales. I certainly won't buy one under those circumstances, especially since I'd have to hook my original CV back up just for there to even be a chance of it working... and it probably wouldn't.

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So what you guys are saying is that there is a DRM on the game that screwed the playing of the game depending of our consoles ?

there was no recall and not even a rom fix release  even when the whole carts lot been sold  ? mmm doubtfull... feeling screwed are you ?

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8 minutes ago, harlock76 said:

So what you guys are saying is that there is a DRM on the game that screwed the playing of the game depending of our consoles ?

there was no recall and not even a rom fix release  even when the whole carts lot been sold  ? mmm doubtfull... feeling screwed are you ?

 

Yes that seems to be the case. It was 100 percent denied but Kevtris and friends have done the leg work to prove it has DRM and that is the reason it doesn't work as it should. Kevin's site even has a fix listed to get around it.

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1 minute ago, Shawn said:

 

Yes that seems to be the case. It was 100 percent denied but Kevtris and friends have done the leg work to prove it has DRM and that is the reason it doesn't work as it should. Kevin's site even has a fix listed to get around it.

Well this kind of situation shouldn't  arrive leaving the colecovision community like that. anyone can program a cart with a eprom programmer and getting it wrong but denying things and not doing a recall or a romfix release is not the way to do things i mean the colecovision community is not big we know programmers and sellers and personnally i would not feel confident to buy again from ossmeone who doesn't fix his things... this said error could arrive but denying things and not fixing should not

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25 minutes ago, harlock76 said:

 this said error could arrive but denying things and not fixing should not

^Agreed ^

Pretty much all publishers here have done recall of some of their games in the past (including us, CollectorVision) 
Shit happen, but you still (must) offer replacement when these things happen



 

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It's a great game. I think they made a mistake with this copy protection. I wouldn't want to discourage them from making more games. perhaps just a  'my bad' and let it go.

 

 

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2 hours ago, digress said:

It's a great game. I think they made a mistake with this copy protection. I wouldn't want to discourage them from making more games. perhaps just a  'my bad' and let it go.

 

 

The way they ''managed'' things with this release i would not trust them anymore it's only my own opinion but this said it's not too late to arrage their mess

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there has been a few blow ups around here with homebrew development that really could have been fixed by allowing people to just correct themselves.

 

Artrag had his game stolen deep zone, copied and reproduced for sale so there are 2 sides to the story for sure.

 

there was a counterfeiter making copies of Ghosts N Zombies and selling on ebay as well some others.

 

So i understand why someone would want to make it hard to do that sort of thing.

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3 hours ago, digress said:

there has been a few blow ups around here with homebrew development that really could have been fixed by allowing people to just correct themselves.

  

Artrag had his game stolen deep zone, copied and reproduced for sale so there are 2 sides to the story for sure.

 

there was a counterfeiter making copies of Ghosts N Zombies and selling on ebay as well some others.

 

So i understand why someone would want to make it hard to do that sort of thing.

i'm not against that but if you do DRM your stuff make it right and make sure it does not affect your game

 

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I'm just getting caught up on all this and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.  Let me make sure I'm clear on a few things....

 

1. No one is being forced to buy the game and if they know there is a chance that the game may not work on their console if they have modded it, they just shouldn't buy it, correct?

 

2. Did the publisher offer refunds if it turns out it doesn't work on someone's console?

 

3. I thought when the game initially came out there was a VERY SMALL amount of people who couldn't play the game.  I thought less then 5 or 10 people had issues?  Is that correct?

 

4. My copies worked perfectly fine on all of my ColecoVisions, modded or not, and it also worked on my prototype Phoenix units.  

 

How big of an issue is this REALLY and is the community making this out to be a bigger deal than it really is?  Personally, the last thing I would want to do is discourage anyone from making games for our 35+ year old console that has been dead and forgotten about for multiple decades, and the only people who are responsible for keeping that console alive are the people taking the time out of their lives to make games for it.

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3 hours ago, TPR said:

I'm just getting caught up on all this and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.  Let me make sure I'm clear on a few things....

 

1. No one is being forced to buy the game and if they know there is a chance that the game may not work on their console if they have modded it, they just shouldn't buy it, correct?

 

2. Did the publisher offer refunds if it turns out it doesn't work on someone's console? 

  

3. I thought when the game initially came out there was a VERY SMALL amount of people who couldn't play the game.  I thought less then 5 or 10 people had issues?  Is that correct?

 

4. My copies worked perfectly fine on all of my ColecoVisions, modded or not, and it also worked on my prototype Phoenix units.   

 

How big of an issue is this REALLY and is the community making this out to be a bigger deal than it really is?  Personally, the last thing I would want to do is discourage anyone from making games for our 35+ year old console that has been dead and forgotten about for multiple decades, and the only people who are responsible for keeping that console alive are the people taking the time out of their lives to make games for it.

1- no

2-no

3- dont know

how big of an issue is this REALLY and is the community making this out to be a bigger deal than it really is? it is because people invest in this and also because the publisher lied about  the DRM ... what would you do if your Phoennix prototypes would not work release them  anyway ?

 

 

 

Edited by harlock76

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Just now, harlock76 said:

how big of an issue is this REALLY and is the community making this out to be a bigger deal than it really is? it is because people invest in this and also because the publisher lied about  the DRM ... what would you do if your Phoennix prototypes would not work release them ?

But the game works on 100% of non-modded ColecoVision consoles, right?  And will work on some (maybe even most) modded ColecoVision consoles, right?*  And it also will work on the Phoenix console, right?

 

* I personally have a vanilla ColecoVision, and F18a ColecoVision, and RGB ColecoVision, and an A/V ColecoVision and it worked on all of them.

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fine for you but think about the pple that teh games doesnt not work and they dont do electronics and cant fix this ...will they trust the comunity publishers ?

that kind of thing should have been fixed

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On 8/2/2019 at 1:58 PM, Swami said:

I was having the grounding issue on one of my av modded systems, which was causing the game to go into demo mode. After I fixed this, I kept getting a yellowish-black screen with a hum. I got the same on an unmodified stock system, for which I’ve tried to fix the “grounding problem” a couple times. However, the grounding issue would cause demo mode, not the blank screen and, since reset does not help, I’m pretty sure now it is the boot check for the 8 ascii characters causing the crash on boot of which kevtris spoke.   I have a third system that was av modded that it does work with, so, one out of three. 

According to Kevtris' document there is a small possibility of an unmodified system getting rejected by the game. It looks like Swami had one of these systems that the game failed to run.

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2 hours ago, harlock76 said:

fine for you but think about the pple that teh games doesnt not work and they dont do electronics and cant fix this ...will they trust the comunity publishers ?

that kind of thing should have been fixed

I would like to know just how many people were affected. 10? 20? 2? 

 

That would certainly play an important role into how serious of an issue this really is. 

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3 hours ago, TPR said:

But the game works on 100% of non-modded ColecoVision consoles, right? 

 

No it doesn't. And the DRM was denied existing in the program and then lied about being the cause of the problem. Kevin Horton proved the DRM existed, the DRM was the cause of the failures and it that it had nothing to do with the console being stock or modified. He also provided code to fix the problem for those who can fix it themselves.  It's a shady mess. The 1's and 0's can't lie.

 

EDIT: So if your lies only effect a few people it's ok? Not in my world.

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My two cents... (I'm from the team)

 

First, I would like to answer to TPR, because questions to understand and not accusations:

1- Yes. It was wrote in bold on the preorder page and the instruction manual into the warranty section.

2- Yes. One guy asked a refund and was done, but not for that reason. Others didn't asked or accepted the refund solution.

3- Yes. And one of them asked to hack the game, despite the fact that he own a working system too...

 

Yes, the game properly works on 100% unmoded or not defective systems... But not only that: The game ROM properly work without any hack on MiSTer and other good Colecovision FPGA implementation like Phoenix. Understand that no hack is required if the hardware or the emulators are OK. So please, don't speak about DRM here, but accuraty problem that could be resolved by improving them instead of blaming us. By the way, we do not provide ROM as we are working on the MSX version.

 

Next, about the Kevtris blog... It had been kind to try to contact us first (we have an email on our website... not him) to ask the good questions as if it is a problem to do piraty, because we are civilized peoples. It is funny to think that a bunch of bytes to perform some basic memory checks was considered as DRM.... We was clear through ArcadeVision answers about the compatibility from the began and helped some peoples to fix their systems when possible on our free time.

 

Finally, when a minority here though they spoke for a majority, I would like to thanks all the players, enjoying and supporting us around the world.

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Just in case anyone finds it funny, to beat him up on spelling, the post came from France.

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Sounds fair to me
So people had the option for a refund

So, if someone have only a modded system, he won't be able to play your games?   I'm just curious 

 

18 minutes ago, Ritchy said:

3- Yes. And one of them asked to hack the game, despite the fact that he own a working system too...

Really??  Wow!  :roll: 

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1 hour ago, Ritchy said:

My two cents... (I'm from the team)

 

First, I would like to answer to TPR, because questions to understand and not accusations:

1- Yes. It was wrote in bold on the preorder page and the instruction manual into the warranty section.

2- Yes. One guy asked a refund and was done, but not for that reason. Others didn't asked or accepted the refund solution.

3- Yes. And one of them asked to hack the game, despite the fact that he own a working system too...

 

Yes, the game properly works on 100% unmoded or not defective systems... But not only that: The game ROM properly work without any hack on MiSTer and other good Colecovision FPGA implementation like Phoenix. Understand that no hack is required if the hardware or the emulators are OK. So please, don't speak about DRM here, but accuraty problem that could be resolved by improving them instead of blaming us. By the way, we do not provide ROM as we are working on the MSX version.

 

Next, about the Kevtris blog... It had been kind to try to contact us first (we have an email on our website... not him) to ask the good questions as if it is a problem to do piraty, because we are civilized peoples. It is funny to think that a bunch of bytes to perform some basic memory checks was considered as DRM.... We was clear through ArcadeVision answers about the compatibility from the began and helped some peoples to fix their systems when possible on our free time.

 

Finally, when a minority here though they spoke for a majority, I would like to thanks all the players, enjoying and supporting us around the world.

I only did the RE work because it piqued my interest.  As for a "memory check", if this is the case, why is this memory check not in the demo version of the game, but only in the full version?  It is run first on the full version only.   A memory check would a piece of code that writes i.e. 55 AA 55 AA then AA 55 AA 55 into RAM then reads it back to make sure the RAM is working properly.   Your test is checking adjacent memory locations against themselves first, which is only good for detecting if the RAM contains 00 00 00 or FF FF FF (or some other static pattern), which are common emulator startup RAM patterns.  This is literally not a test of RAM- no writes are ever performed.

 

The second check is testing memory for 8 consecutive ASCII characters in RAM;  this only has one function and that's to detect any text left over in the RAM when the game runs, such as file names left in by a flash cart.   Again, nothing is ever written to, so it cannot be a RAM test by definition.

 

I do not condone piracy in the slightest, especially of homebrew games.  But, this whole thing was too good of a puzzle for me to pass up so I had to investigate what was going on and get to the bottom of it.    As for the game working on "unmodified or non defective systems", this is not the case.  The second memory test can fail on legitimate, nonmodified, non defective systems.   There's a chance that someone's got an unlucky RAM chip in the system which just happens to return data in the 0x20-0x7b range for 8 consecutive bytes.   There's 1K of RAM in the system, and it's checking 8 consecutive bytes.  There's about a 1 in 2 chance that a particular RAM location has a value in that range (for a proper random distribution, the RAM pattern probably won't be truly random but it could be in favor of outside the range or in favor of in the range, depending on the chip).

 

There's a  1/1024 chance that the RAM will have 8 consecutive bytes in a row in the ASCII range.  Think of it as 8 coin flips in a row- each is a 1/2 chance, so if you flip 3 coins, there's a 1/8 chance of it coming up all heads.  For 5 coins it's 1/32 chance, and so on.  The whole 1K range is tested, so this means 1017 tests are being performed. (1024-7 = 1017). The 1017 tests done does not mean there are 1017 chances to come up snake eyes; it's significantly fewer, because the same bytes are being tested 8 times.   I am no statistician, but I think it'd be around 128 actual chances in the 1K of RAM.  This means you have a 1 in 8 chance of failure if the RAM data is evenly distributed.  Since it isn't, the odds are going to be a bit less than that, maybe 1 in 50 to 1 in 100.   Beware that this isn't absolute-  every power on of the system, the RAM contents will be slightly different, so it can be possible that the game will crash on one system every time; another system never; and yet another system only sometimes.

 

As for the 'modified systems not supported' part, this was just a red herring.  People with the VRAM mod were having problems specifically.   It was *not* the mod's fault- it was pin 13 no longer getting grounded on the cartridge.  This is normally not connected on most cartridges, and was designed for a metal shield that sits over the ROM chips in the cart (similar to an atari 2600 cartridge), but apparently Coleco didn't have to implement it;  the 2600 has a similar "shield ground" pin too.

 

My theory on what happened is people with the RAM mod didn't reinstall the metal shielding, which left pin 13 floating on the cartridge slot, since it's only grounded through the shield and nowhere else.  No other cartridges use pin 13, so there was no issue until this game came out.  It's using pin 13 to detect if the system is 'modified' or not, but in actuality the cartridge copiers don't connect it.  So this makes a fairly sure fire way of detecting a copier from a system.  The only sticky wicket is removal of the shield.   Of course if you just ground pin 13, it works fine, as people discovered.  Mods or not.

 

I was actually going to buy a cartridge of the game just so I could open it up and see for myself, but unfortunately it was not available to purchase on the website or on ebay so I didn't get a chance.

 

I didn't write that blog post to drum up drama or anything, it was to document what I found and I found and to educate people on how protections like this are discovered, how they are reverse engineered, and to describe how they work in detail. I figured others would like to read up on it.  To be clear: the ROM was never, ever available on that page or elsewhere on my website and never will be.

 

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I guess it's a good thing that I always put the shield back in whenever I do a 5v ram upgrade for a customer. :P

Edited by Ruggers Customs

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I'd like to know if there's another explanation than the ascii character check for why, after the grounding problem which sends the game to demo is eliminated, several colecovisions have an issue with black screen and humming sound instead. Two of my three CVs do it, so it seems like the ascii issue could be fairly common or there is something else that makes only this game not load properly on these two systems - one pristine stock and the other AV modded.

 

What is odd is when it does the dark screen freeze, the screen is the same brownish black of the first "ArcadeVision" screen when the game boots up, making me think the game is starting but then crashing. Had this issue with improper bootup on MSX.

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