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Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - December 25th 2019

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19 minutes ago, Ikrananka said:

Apart from Road Fighter, Magical Tree and Sky Jaguar 😝 But I'm assuming this isn't down to the cart port emulation as the problems also exist when trying to load these games from an SD card.

Haha I was waiting for this comment after I read the other

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13 hours ago, Tursi said:

Reading back, it looks like you /are/ talking about reading from SD. ;) So yes, SD only supports normal 32k carts and Megacarts up to 512k. A 512k megacart is unable to access the last 32k, because that RAM is reserved for the SGM (even if the SGM is not in use). There's not much out there that needs it all - I was able to patch Wizard of Wor by moving the last few pages to unused ones.

 

I'm not sure if paging would work well.. SD cards are fast but the access time to start streaming is substantial. I /can/ tell you that no amount of paging will make Dragon's Lair work, when I was first designing the hardware for that I evaluated SD and Compact Flash as well, and there was no CPU time available for the setup. (Maybe with a co-processor though...)

 

To clarify other questions above - Running from the cartridge port emulates the port hardware, so the Phoenix doesn't care about the cartridge size or even the banking scheme in use - if it did then the Opcode carts wouldn't work, and they do. ;)

 

Thanks for the response. I've never had a desire to own a TI99 but full respects for your achievement.  Although as you gathered my question was relevant to the rom running from SD card, of course find a way to port your DL to the Colecovision / Phoenix and you have an insta-sale here, the cart would be perfect.

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17 hours ago, Ikrananka said:

Apart from Road Fighter, Magical Tree and Sky Jaguar 😝 But I'm assuming this isn't down to the cart port emulation as the problems also exist when trying to load these games from an SD card.

Some of these issues get thrown at me - and I've only seen the Sky Jaguar issue. It wasn't immediately obvious. The problem with these bugs is that they require us to first reverse engineer the game software to determine why they don't work, since we can't get the source code. After a certain amount of investment I have to stop until more information is available.

 

Since it works on real hardware, what we have to look for in these cases is something that is done in an unusual manner, to see if that unusual setting or sequence also works on the clone. It's the same thing as with writing and debugging an emulator. (Unfortunately, in this case my emulator has no issues! ;) )

 

You're welcome to extend my analysis... ;) Maybe I missed something or got something outright wrong!


skyjaguar.txt

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18 hours ago, zaphro72 said:

Haha I was waiting for this comment after I read the other

Yes, you can't be wrong on the internet. ;)

 

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11 hours ago, Loafer said:

Thanks for the response. I've never had a desire to own a TI99 but full respects for your achievement.  Although as you gathered my question was relevant to the rom running from SD card, of course find a way to port your DL to the Colecovision / Phoenix and you have an insta-sale here, the cart would be perfect.

I dunno, didn't Opcode once say he was slightly interested in doing such a port, giving him eternal rights? ;) I remember offering up my image converter for that...

 

It'd be nice though. I had promised to see whether my hardware works, but my real life is just insanely dense, and I haven't even got any hardware set up right now for any retro system. 😕

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tursi said:

Some of these issues get thrown at me - and I've only seen the Sky Jaguar issue. It wasn't immediately obvious. The problem with these bugs is that they require us to first reverse engineer the game software to determine why they don't work, since we can't get the source code.

I booted the Sky Jaguar up via Ultimate SD, since it's right there since I didn't want to go the hassle pulling it off that card on to the Phoenix SD card.  I see that the 2nd color table is messed up on first boot.  I press the reset button(on the Phoenix) once, then the tile loaded properly.  I played it for awhile and died since I was too tired to play properly.  Then I reset, then the 2nd color table didn't load properly.  I reboot it several times, different results.  On my final reset, it loaded the graphics properly.

I went to play Sub-roc Supergame, since it's also on SD card and was curious how it was. I don't remember what the keypad number is for 1 and was too lazy to read the manual.  When I reset that game, the Phoenix screen showed up and then Sub-roc booted properly.  So... the Phoenix screen never showed up with Sky Jaguar...  So....  I think the TMS9918A got too much command at once(Stack overflow?), which is why Sky Jaguar doesn't load properly, and it's load the graphic incorrectly differently upon start up and reset. 

I know I had that car fall down right after it start the game in the canyon in Spunky's Supercar!. So I increase the delay until it stop falling since it reads the VRAM for it TileID.  I guess the phoenix screen need some time for the TMS9918A to finish it tasks.

So that's my assessment.
 

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phoenix has all 32 sprites enabled by default. Did you try disabling that so it's regular 4 perline?

 

not sure if sgm can be disabled as well. just something to try.

Edited by digress

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2 hours ago, Kiwi said:

I booted the Sky Jaguar up via Ultimate SD, since it's right there since I didn't want to go the hassle pulling it off that card on to the Phoenix SD card.  I see that the 2nd color table is messed up on first boot.  I press the reset button(on the Phoenix) once, then the tile loaded properly.  I played it for awhile and died since I was too tired to play properly.  Then I reset, then the 2nd color table didn't load properly.  I reboot it several times, different results.  On my final reset, it loaded the graphics properly.

I went to play Sub-roc Supergame, since it's also on SD card and was curious how it was. I don't remember what the keypad number is for 1 and was too lazy to read the manual.  When I reset that game, the Phoenix screen showed up and then Sub-roc booted properly.  So... the Phoenix screen never showed up with Sky Jaguar...  So....  I think the TMS9918A got too much command at once(Stack overflow?), which is why Sky Jaguar doesn't load properly, and it's load the graphic incorrectly differently upon start up and reset. 

I know I had that car fall down right after it start the game in the canyon in Spunky's Supercar!. So I increase the delay until it stop falling since it reads the VRAM for it TileID.  I guess the phoenix screen need some time for the TMS9918A to finish it tasks.

So that's my assessment.
 

Thanks for looking at that, Kiwi. It's interesting that Sky Jaguar sometimes worked on /reset/, that was something that I did not try.

 

I can discount some of your theory though. The Phoenix screen only shows up for titles that do not skip the BIOS screen - that is, on a standard ColecoVision they would show the "COLECOVISION PRESENTS" screen and sit there for however many seconds. SkyJaguar skips that. It's also impossible to overrun the VDP on the Phoenix, because the F18A can handle all reads and writes at bus speed, and does not need dedicated CPU access slots.

 

But, the "sometimes works on reset" does imply a race condition somewhere. Let me add that to my analysis notes.

 

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(Pixelboy, feel free to kick us out of your thread, I just noticed we're hijacking ;) )

 

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2 hours ago, Tursi said:

(Pixelboy, feel free to kick us out of your thread, I just noticed we're hijacking ;) )

 

It's fine, it's an old thread.  :)

 

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I think we've found the issue with Sky Jaguar and maybe the others too. Probably be a few days before a new release of the Coleco core. If it actually works for people I'll share what we found (no point getting hopes up, just saying it in case anyone is still working on it ;) ).

 

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29 minutes ago, Tursi said:

I think we've found the issue with Sky Jaguar and maybe the others too. Probably be a few days before a new release of the Coleco core. If it actually works for people I'll share what we found (no point getting hopes up, just saying it in case anyone is still working on it ;) ).

 

Tursi, that is absolutely fantastic news.  If you'd like me to do a test before full release just let me know.

 

Thanks for your hard work on this.

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2 hours ago, SHaMROCK 73 said:

I see there was a fix for Wizards of War for Phoenix, and fix for Ghostbusters using Ultimate SD available?

For WoW,  probably want to ping Brian in the Phoenix thread, I don't know the distribution status of that, whether he went with patch or what.  I don't know what the other issue was.

 

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19 minutes ago, Tursi said:

For WoW,  probably want to ping Brian in the Phoenix thread, I don't know the distribution status of that, whether he went with patch or what.  I don't know what the other issue was.

 

Thank you.  WoW works fine for me on the Ultimate SD.  Ghostbusters does not.  I was hoping there was a patch for that game...

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8 hours ago, SHaMROCK 73 said:

Thank you.  WoW works fine for me on the Ultimate SD.  Ghostbusters does not.  I was hoping there was a patch for that game...

As far as I know there is not a fix for Ghostbusters on Ultimate SD but it works on the Phoenix off SD just fine somebody said.

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On 12/25/2019 at 7:19 AM, Pixelboy said:

Season's Greetings, ColecoVisionados! :D

 

I'd like to start this news bulletin by wishing everyone very Happy Holidays! Now with this is out of the way, let's get down to business! ;) 

 


STATUS OF CHRISTMAS RELEASES

 

As I recently indicated in another forum thread, I didn't get much of a chance lately to glue boxes for the new lineup of Team Pixelboy titles. I also received the cartridge electronics rather recently, and I've only begun to assemble the carts. All this to say that nothing is ready to ship as of today, aside from copies of The Cure, but I'm working on it. I should have most copies of Ghost, Prisoner of War and 1942 ready by January 2nd.

 

Some last-minute problems were encountered with Arcomage, Jewel Panic, R-Type and Bomber King. Arcomage is officially fixed, and the electronics just need to be programmed and soldered together. Jewel Panic and R-Type have some minor problems and Mystery Man already supplied some fixed ROMs which are currently being tested, so that shouldn't take too long to sort out. Bomber King has a big question mark on it, as it seems to have some serious problems when running on real hardware, but it may be as simple as the sample cartridge PCB itself being defective. Some further tests need to be done on that one.

 

So anyway, I'm nowhere near ready to ship anything, but I'll get as much work done during the Holiday break as I can. A big "sorry!" to those who were expecting to receive some good news from Team Pixelboy today.

 


PIXELBOY SANTA IS AT IT AGAIN!

 

But it's not all bad news. You will find below some new (and free) Team Pixelboy ROMs to download. 'Nuff said. :) 

 

Also, I have two brand new complete-in-box copies of Stray Cat to sell. If you want to buy a copy, just send me an e-mail. Any unsold copies after January 5th 2020 will go to eBay.

 

I don't have much else to say today, but stay tuned for the next Team Pixelboy News Bulletin, to be posted on January 1st 2020, in which I'll have some juicy news for all you ColecoVision (and perhaps even non-ColecoVision) fans!

 


This concludes this Team Pixelboy News Bulletin. We now return you to your regular forum activities. ;)
 

children_of_the_night_cv_sgm.rom 128 kB · 591 downloads c-so_colecovision.rom 31.61 kB · 550 downloads flicky_colecovision.rom 32 kB · 517 downloads ghostbusters_cv_sgm.rom 64 kB · 551 downloads king_and_balloon_cv_sgm.rom 32 kB · 510 downloads secret_of_the_moai_cv_sgm.rom 128 kB · 521 downloads wizard_of_wor_cv_sgm.rom 512 kB · 532 downloads zombie_incident_cv_sgm.rom 128 kB · 518 downloads

Awesome bunch of games thanks and a big shout out to Willy at Arcade USA for letting me know about it.

Edited by Crazy56

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On 12/26/2019 at 8:13 AM, Pixelboy said:

By the way, has anyone tried the Ghostbusters ROM on their AtariMax SD cartridge? I have a nagging suspicion (or should I say a nagging memory) that the ROM doesn't work with the SD cart, for a weird technical reason. It does work under emulation though.

 

I have tried is with original hardware and the Ultimate SD and I can confirm it does not work...

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