The Cartridge-Only philosophising

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By giuseve

Paladin (735)

giuseve's picture

16-12-2015, 19:41

@ kai
mail sent

Regards

By giuseve

Paladin (735)

giuseve's picture

20-12-2015, 16:51

@ kai
I sent you an email asking for a DV version of Life On Mars using the mailing feature of MSX.ORG on the user profile.
Didi you receice it?

REgards

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1306)

Kai Magazine's picture

02-01-2016, 14:54

Hello, after recieving several messages from msx.org users who contacted me weeks ago via the personal contact form, I see I did not recieve any of the messages sent to me using that method, so I disabled that option in my profile.

By now, I answered ALL messages I recieved.
If anyone has not recieved an answer from me by now, please contact me at: kennethalbero@hotmail.com

Thanks!

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1306)

Kai Magazine's picture

05-01-2016, 04:22

All right! GAME OVER!
Life on Mars is officially complete!
Here is a video of the first 15 minutes of gameplay (in English) on a turbo-r + moonsound:

https://youtu.be/3fyZ_8hdQnI

It now supports:
Fm and/or music module + PSG sound effects
Fm and/or music module + SCC (or scc+) sampled PCM sound effects (now compatible with slot expanders)
Moonsound or other OPL4 compatible + OPL4 sampled sound effects
You can hear the difference of each configuration by watching this videos:

FM musics + PSG sound effects:
https://youtu.be/Ri6CcWN8aKE

FM musics + SCC PCM sampled sound effects:
https://youtu.be/H4UlxbVi5ZA

Moonsound musics and sound effects:
https://youtu.be/gN-iZbkQBWI

MEGAFLASHROM SCC+ USERS:
Please note: megaflashrom scc+ users will not hear SCC sampled effects, the internal SCC cannot be used due to an incompatibility so PSG sound will be used. Anyway you can insert an original konami scc/scc+ cartridge on another cartridge slot to enjoy the scc pcm samples.
If your MSX has internal FM sound, you can install the game on slot 1 and a konami scc cartridge on slot 2.
If your MSX does not have internal FM sound, you must choose between FM music and PSG sound, or SCC sampled effects and NO MUSIC, unless you have 3 slots on your MSX, or an slot expander.
Anyway, the Spanish hardware development group called “Calamar Soft” is currently developing a multi chip sound cartridge including several sound chips in one single cartridge. This could be a solution on a near future for those who do not have more than 2 slots and no internal FM.
As I said, the game works flashed in the Msgaflashrom, but with PSG sound effects. The game must be manually flashed from DOS by using the following command, otherwise it will not boot:
Opfxsd LOMengli.ROM /U

The /U disables all subslots, this is the reason the megaflash’s scc is not compatible, but the game will not boot unless you use the /U option.
If anyone finds a way to make it boot without the /U option, the scc should work, but I did not find any (oviously).

EMULATOR USERS:
If your PC is powerful enough, you should use Turbo-R configuration + Moonsound in order to enjoy the game at its maximum capacity.
Reduce maximum auto frame skip to 0 (zero) on openmsx because it tends to skip some frames now and then, making the gameplay a bit messy (at least on my computers…)
Also be aware that all emulators have a delay of a few milliseconds, usually unnoticeable, but since this game requires very precise timing to do certain jumps and snapshots, I find it more difficult to play on an emulator than on a real MSX due to this very small delay.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
Tomorrow we will send all the digital versions to all the people who has already paid (now it is 3:04 AM here and I am not up to the task) and 1 or 2 days later we will begin shipping all the cartridges. Since there are quite a lot, and those have to be flashed and checked, it takes long to complete all the orders, so it will take us 2 or 3 days.
In the meantime, if the digital users find any bug, they can report it to me: kennethalbero@hotmail.com.
I am aware of 3 very minor graphical bugs that can occur if certain conditions are met, but those do not affect the playability on any level. I could not fix those bugs due to lack of RAM so I had to compromise... I’d rather use the ram to add dedicated support to 2 different CPU and 5 different sound chips, and other many features. I hope you agree and/or understand.

One last thing:
Regarding the videos, this have been recorded on openMSX, and since the game works at a different framerate than the video, this creates an annoying ghost effect and courtain effect, making smooth scrolls (in the intro), or smooth movements (like the ship moving from right to left on the first scenne of the intro, or the character's or bullets movement.
The actual game is not that annoying. On turbo-R will always work completelly smooth. On msx2 will often skip frames, but the movement is constant and less annoying than in the video.
Another last thing :p
Since the ROM is heavily compressed, the MSX cpu has to de-compress all the loaded data on real time. This is a relatively fast job for the R800, but load times on z80 will be longer, so do not worry, this is normal.

The last last thing oO
Do not neglect the Bomb Tournament mini game, this was the original game we intended to do, based on an old japanese mini game called Bombkura, but we complicated ourselves with a story mode which took 4 months instead of 4 weeks... But the original idea, bomb tournament, is lots of fun for 2 or 3 simultaneous players, and it runs at 60FPS on turbo-R (as a matter of fact the Life on Mars game could have run at 60FPS as well, but the game would be unplayable, so I had to slow it down from 60 to 30 fps in order to become playable! yes! there are a copule of lines in the main engine constantly slowing down the game on r800, on pruppose!)
So, get yourself a copule of friends and at least 1 joystick (2 players can use the keyboard, the third requieres a joystick) and give it a go, you will not regret it! It has many hours and days of re-playability value, so make sure to give it a go with 3 players!

By Manuel

Ascended (15970)

Manuel's picture

05-01-2016, 08:54

Great news!

A hint: if you record with openMSX using the -triplesize option, YouTube will render a 60fps video. Perhaps that fixes most of the framerate issues you mentioned.

Perhaps Guillian can help you with the /U stuff and why it's necessary.

By giuseve

Paladin (735)

giuseve's picture

05-01-2016, 10:11

Really great guys, wonderful job!

@guillian. Please, tell us we can use MFRSCCSD512 to flash the game and to use SCC in any way.
@calamar. A definitive Music cart for my msx on the 2nd slot and MFRSCCSD on the first, stopping to use slot expanders. Where to find more news and update?

By Guillian

Prophet (3259)

Guillian's picture

05-01-2016, 11:25

When a ROM needs to use /U option it usually means that it can't work from a subslot (i.e.: when you insert the original cartridge in a slot expander). This problem is usually related to a wrong handling of slots/subslots.

In this case, since it is a DSK to ROM, perhaps the problem is related to an incompatibility with Nextor. Try holding R or F (depending in which slot is the MFR SD) while booting to disable Nextor.

Anyway, using /U when loading a ROM does not disable the SCC.
I.e.: You can load LILO ROM (that is a DSK converted to ROM) using /U option and you will get SCC sound.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1306)

Kai Magazine's picture

05-01-2016, 14:13

Manuel wrote:

Great news!

A hint: if you record with openMSX using the -triplesize option, YouTube will render a 60fps video. Perhaps that fixes most of the framerate issues you mentioned.

Perhaps Guillian can help you with the /U stuff and why it's necessary.

Thanks! I did not know it was possible to record 60fps videos!
I will try Smile

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1306)

Kai Magazine's picture

05-01-2016, 14:22

Guillian wrote:

When a ROM needs to use /U option it usually means that it can't work from a subslot (i.e.: when you insert the original cartridge in a slot expander). This problem is usually related to a wrong handling of slots/subslots.

In this case, since it is a DSK to ROM, perhaps the problem is related to an incompatibility with Nextor. Try holding R or F (depending in which slot is the MFR SD) while booting to disable Nextor.

Anyway, using /U when loading a ROM does not disable the SCC.
I.e.: You can load LILO ROM (that is a DSK converted to ROM) using /U option and you will get SCC sound.

Thank you Guillian, holding the R key during boot solved the boot problem, and the rom no longer requieres the /U option, but the SCC is still not detected, so you are right, that was not the real problem...
I am not sure right now, but I belive Lilo.rom created with ASC8 mapper did not work with SCC, but it did work with konami5 mapper.
Since Artrag had to use ASC8 mapper to inbclude his extra routine and data in the rom, Life on Mars uses ASC8 mapper.
Could this be the problem?
I am asking instead of trying because it would take an entire day to Artrag to do all the necessary modifications in his work environment to convert everything to konamiSCC, and it is not worth it for just a test, if there are no real chances of success... So, does the fact that the rom is created on ASC8 or konamiSCC have anything to do with the SCC detection of the megaflashrom's SCC?

By Guillian

Prophet (3259)

Guillian's picture

05-01-2016, 16:35

Yes, the ROM must use Konami SCC mapper. The SCC is not available in other mapper types, since that would cause memory conflicts.

Also, in order to get SCC sound, the player must correctly handle slot/subslots. If that is not the case, you will need to use /U option again to disable subslots.

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