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Revontuli

Dragon's Cache - Vs. Puzzle Drop Game [WIP] - First Beta Released!

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Quick fix now that I'm back from a break:

 

DragonsCache_8_3_2020.bas.a78

DragonsCache_8_3_2020.bas.bin

 

Found some inaccuracies when tallying wins/losses/draws in various 2-player modes - bug fixing at this point can be tricky, where a fix in one place introduces bugs in another.  If anyone wants to try 2-player modes, even just as a stress test on their own, that could be handy information for me!

 

It's really a crapshoot if the highscores work in BupSystem.  The completed ROM worked, then broke, then worked again.  One time I literally added a redundant, extra "myTempB = 0" and the attract mode glitch went from broken to fixed.  I add code that has nothing to do with the high score code and it still seems to affect how BupSystem treats the high score behavior - even if the code itself does nothing.  This could signify nothing or something very, very, sinister - Again, I'm hoping the ROM works on the physical Atari 7800 without such problems.

 

Even just playing the game on an emulator to see if I missed any game specific stuff (like the match winner/loser tallies) is invaluable.  I'm planning to get this ready for cartridge *very* soon, so any fixes afterwards will be much trickier to implement :)

 

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Yes, it's really strange. In both new versions, it hangs again when once in the highscore-screen and the player can not return to the menue without making a reset. The game itself always seems to works in "Bup System" in all posted versions, it's just that highscore problem.

 

33 minutes ago, Revontuli said:

One time I literally added a redundant, extra "myTempB = 0" and the attract mode glitch went from broken to fixed.  I add code that has nothing to do with the high score code and it still seems to affect how BupSystem treats the high score behavior - even if the code itself does nothing.

Maybe it could make sense, to give the programer of "Bup System" the info, what exactly you changed in the code and consequences this then had in the emulator. Because you wrote, one time it worked in the emu, then you changed something and stopped working. It could probably help him, to better isolate the problem with this saving of the score in his emulator? I really like "Dragon's Cache" and because i don't have the a real A7800, i usually open the game-rom in "Bup System". Would be great if this problem could be identified and wiped out.

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5 hours ago, Revontuli said:

I removed a "clearscreen" that might have been superfluous - these seem to work on BupSystem, at least on my machine:

Under console hardware, the '8_3_2020a' build has issue(s).

 

It cycles through the title screen and high score entry after initial system power on.

 

However, played the default 4 gems, "Score" game.  Once 'Game Over' was met, it does not advance to high score entry, and the game does not respond to controller button presses or select/reset button presses with an AtariVox/SaveKey present or without it present (Nothing plugged into the Player 2 port).

 

The '8_3_2020' build works perfect under the console hardware with or without an AtariVox/SaveKey present.

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14 hours ago, Revontuli said:

I removed a "clearscreen" that might have been superfluous - these seem to work on BupSystem, at least on my machine:

 

 

Hm, i have this highscore problem also with this release, when i use "Bup System". Strange that it works for you. How can that be?

 

Are you really sure? When you start the game in the emu and wait until it goes to the highscore-screen by itself, then in this screen, you can see all the colors in the font and you can also go back to the title-menue by pressing a button?

 

This don't work here on my PC with version 0.9.6.3 of "Bup System". Here the font in the highscore-screen is black/white then, which is always the first sign, that something is wrong. And ideed, then the game hangs and to play again, i must make a reset. In version 6_7_2020 of the game, i can see all the colors of the font in the highscore-screen and with a button-press then, i can go back to the title-menue to play the next round of the game. A difficult problem to identify, really. I played so many games in Bup System, but this here is the only one that makes such kind of problems in this emulator. Annoyingly, it's also a really good game. *lol*  :)

 

 

 

"Revontuli", one suggestion. When looking at the thread so far, the fact that the game saves the highscore seems to have caused different problems so far. And then there is also the fact, that these saved highscore is gone anyway, when the player ended the game and started it again on the next day. Maybe it could make sense, to release two versions of the game in the future (if this would not cause to much additional work for you?)

 

One version for the real console WITH the highscore-screen, because there this seems to work like it should and a second version for emulators like "Bup System" or "Pro System" and so on, in which this highscore-screen is never shown and the score is not written in. I think, not having this screen is not such a big loss, because like it wrote before, the highscores are not really saved anyway and gone everytime, the user loads the game again. The player can see his score, when a game has ended and he can write it down for himself then by hand, to know which is his real highscore. The player must do this anyway, because the scores are not really saved.

 

What you think about it?

Edited by AW127
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DragonsCache_8_4_2020.bas.a78

DragonsCache_8_4_2020.bas.bin

 

OK - This build should be exactly the same as the 8_3_2020 build, but I want to have this be current version to work off of as I move forward.  Out of curiosity, I gave this a try and it also seems to work on BupSystem on my machine (although the graphics pause a beat longer as it moves to the high score screen after a game) - even though the last one didn't :P  It might be different from machine to machine, as well.  That said, the physical 7800 is top priority right now, and I can't directly test on one at the moment, so I'm trying to be careful/paranoid.

 

If this version is broken on the physical 7800, then something strange (but not impossible) is going on...

 

The bug testing is very much appreciated - thank you!

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10 minutes ago, Revontuli said:

If this version is broken on the physical 7800, then something strange (but not impossible) is going on...

 

The bug testing is very much appreciated - thank you!

Under console hardware...

 

Played fine first 4 Gems, 'Score' game.  Saved high score and cycling through screens without issue.

 

Played a second 4 Gems, 'Score' game.  After "Game Over", it became unresponsive to joystick button presses and Select/Reset button presses.

 

Every subsequent try after that continued to be unresponsive after "Game Over" with or without an AtariVox/SaveKey attached, despite power cycling the console off/on.

 

Prior to starting a game though, it cycles between the title and high score screen without issue.

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31 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Under console hardware...

 

Played fine first 4 Gems, 'Score' game.  Saved high score and cycling through screens without issue.

 

Played a second 4 Gems, 'Score' game.  After "Game Over", it became unresponsive to joystick button presses and Select/Reset button presses.

 

Every subsequent try after that continued to be unresponsive after "Game Over" with or without an AtariVox/SaveKey attached, despite power cycling the console off/on.

 

Prior to starting a game though, it cycles between the title and high score screen without issue.

Does the 8_3_2020 build work through multiple games?  The 8_3 and 8_4 builds should be exactly the same (although I'll try and do a diff on the source code to make sure...)

 

EDIT: Another build to try:

DragonsCache_8_4_2020a.bas.a78

DragonsCache_8_4_2020a.bas.bin

Edited by Revontuli

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2 hours ago, Revontuli said:

Does the 8_3_2020 build work through multiple games? 

Under console hardware, the 8_3_2020 build worked fine through multiple games with and without an AtariVox/SaveKey attached.   However, the 8_3_2020a did not even make it to posting the first time around.

 

2 hours ago, Revontuli said:

The latest, this build 8_4_2020a, under console hardware works perfect again, even through multiple games with and without an AtariVox/SaveKey attached.

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1 minute ago, Trebor said:

The latest, this build 8_4_2020a, under console hardware works perfect again, even through multiple games with and without an AtariVox attached.

Good to hear!  I'll send this over to Al to test on his end.  With some of the behaviors that have been cropping up, I want to test on as many 7800s as possible.

 

4 hours ago, AW127 said:

Hm, i have this highscore problem also with this release, when i use "Bup System". Strange that it works for you. How can that be?

It could be how the starting memory is "zeroed" - bugs and glitches like this can be a pain to track down, because it could be an issue with the game, the emulator, or even the operating system of the PC one is using to run the emulator.  There's a lot of moving targets.  I've found that the ROM sometimes works on BupSystem and sometimes not, the bug is not always reproducible.  You're in a state where doing the same action produces different outcomes - If you wonder why programmers get grouchy, it's because of bugs like this.

4 hours ago, AW127 said:

Maybe it could make sense, to release two versions of the game in the future (if this would not cause to much additional work for you?)

I can release a more emulator-friendly version, without the high score, but currently the cartridge version is on a bit of a deadline (as physical copies need to be printed/burned/built) so that's taking a much higher priority at the moment.  I did not get any odd behaviors from the MAME-based emulation, so I'm wondering if BupSystem is finding something MAME isn't, but currently the physical 7800 needs to be as stable as possible.  For emulators I can always post another ROM with a fix - that's not really an option with a run of physical cartridges!

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