Playball III - Enhanced HD version

by sd_snatcher on 05-02-2010, 20:20
Topic: Software
Languages:

Playball III by Sony/Klon had a lot of qualities that could have made it a good game by design, graphics, music, creative voice simulation using the YM2413, and an innovative center-view that allowed the game to be played from the perspective of the pitcher instead of the traditional batter perspective. It also featured imperfect players, from time to time someone will let the ball slip between their fingers.

Unfortunately the game also had flaws that plagued its gameplay. It was glitchy, and more significantly, unoptimized code made the game slow. To say the least, Klon seemed to lack experience with MSX programming. This is where sd_snatcher kicks in. Today, he released an enhanced HD version of Playball III. Its improvements are plenty.

  • Hard disk installable
  • Turbo fixed, the game can be played at decent speed
  • Turbo is enabled by default for MSX computers that support it
  • Enhancements, bugfixes and speed optimizations, read the included documentation for details
  • Problems caused by corrupted files from bad dumps were fixed

This HD version is very CPU intensive, the minimal hardware requirements are an MSX2+ with a 7MHz Z80, an MSX turbo R is recommended.

Relevant link: FRS' HD Games

Comments (33)

By hap

Paragon (2020)

hap's picture

05-02-2010, 20:21

Note: The MSX2 center-view mode will freeze after the 1st match. This happens because the file VCT_BOD.BIN is corrupted beyond repair. The MSX2+ version uses another file and works fine. For more details, read the included README.TXT file.

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

guantxip's picture

05-02-2010, 20:55

In CF ATA-IDE screen in black. (No appears titlescreen).

In SD card of LPE v.2 game hangs after select team. (a1St 512 ram) Red light of Pause is turn on.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

06-02-2010, 14:51

In CF ATA-IDE screen in black. (No appears titlescreen).

In SD card of LPE v.2 game hangs after select team. (a1St 512 ram) Red light of Pause is turn on.

Weird. It was tested on a LPE-MMC-v6, on sharksym's SDMMC and Sunrise IDE and it worked quite well.

Could you please give some more details about the problem? Something like versions of the software used, steps you did to install and run it, etc.

By SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

SaebaMSX's picture

06-02-2010, 15:35

I've just tested it with IDE+CF from both SDs in a MSX turboR A1GT. No FAT16 driver loaded. After executing MENU.COM the screen goes black and does nothing in both z80 and R800. The PAUSE Key is not blocked so it still pauses the computer.

It won't work from both MSX slots.

From MMC Reader by Yeongman Seo (with Ramones driver) the game starts but after pressing OK in "STARTING MEMBER SELECT" menu the screen becomes black and same situation as with IDE+CF.

Other games modified by you were always working. I hope this info helps!

[EDIT] FAT16 driver was released too for testing in MMC Reader with same results. And it was just copied from the LZH (unpacked in PC with WinRAR) to the card and the PLAYB3.BAT was executed (tried with CHGCPU.COM too + MENU.COM)

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

06-02-2010, 17:28

@SaebaMSX and guantxip

Ok, I'll need all the details you can collect to try to reproduce the problem here:
1) MSX-DOS version used
2) BIOS versions of the disk-interfaces used
3) Detailed hardware configuration (Machine maker/model, amount of RAM, any mods, any other hardware connected to it)

By SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

SaebaMSX's picture

06-02-2010, 18:12

1) MSX-DOS version used

2.31 (the same in the interface (MMC) as in the GT machine)

2) BIOS versions of the disk-interfaces used

Yeongman Seo card + Ramones Driver (I think there is only one version)
I will check the DOS2 Kernel & BIOS inside IDE+CF but it should be the latest one from Sunrise website.

I will tell you later which DOS2 files version are used in both too (I need to leave right now)

3) Detailed hardware configuration (Machine maker/model, amount of RAM, any mods, any other hardware connected to it)

MSX Panasonic A1GT / 512KB unmodified. No other HW connected to it. I could test with CIEL slotexpander if needed or with +RAM but I think it should be not needed.

Regards!

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

06-02-2010, 21:53

I need a very detailed report to be able to find the problem... This is an example of the kind of report that may help me to solve your problem:

1) Install
- On my Mac, copied the PLAYB3.LZH file to the SD card, inside the folder GAMES/MSX2HD/PLAYB3
- Booted the MSX
- Current drive: A:
- executed command: CD GAMES\MSX2HD\PLAYB3
- Decompressed the file with the command: PMEXT PLAYB3HD.LZH A:
- executed command: DEL PLAYB3HD.LZH

2) Run
- Boot the MSX
- Default drive: A:
- CD \GAMES\MSX2HD\PLAYB3
- executed command: PLAYB3.BAT
- Game did run fine

3) Hardware details:
- Panasonic FS-A1ST, 512KB RAM
- Interface: LPE-MMC-V6, BIOS "SDMMC Driver V0.1 by Kralizec"
- SD Card: Sandisk Ultra-II 2GB (1 partition=FAT16)
- Output of the VER command:
- MSX-DOS Kernel v2.31
- MSX-DOS2.SYS v2.31
- COMMAND2.COM v2.41

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

07-02-2010, 14:46

After quite some guessing and testing I found the problem. The game was hardcoded to the drive A:. As both my LPE-MMC-V6 and Sunrise IDE tests were done using the drive A: the problem went undetected until now.

I fixed it and issued a new release (07/feb/2010). Please re-download the game and try it again. It now runs on any drive letter.

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

guantxip's picture

07-02-2010, 15:12

Now in CF and SD hangs after member select (screen black).

Cf tested in F: and SD tested in A:

LPE v2 :

kernel 2.31
msxdos2.sys 2.30
command2.com 2.31

CF ATA-IDE :

msx-dos kernel version 2.30
msxdos.sys version 4.01
command2.com version 4.01

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

07-02-2010, 17:55

@guantxip

I really can't imagine what's wrong. The game was extensively tested on both the SD-MMC-V6 and the IDE. You'll have to provide a really detailed report like the example I did. Please copy that example and change the information on each field for your information. Maybe if you post a video of the download, installation and execution on youtube it could help too.

By msd

Paragon (1372)

msd's picture

07-02-2010, 18:03

msxdos.sys version 4.01
command2.com version 4.01

Never heard of those versions.

By SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

SaebaMSX's picture

07-02-2010, 18:39

@sd_snatcher:
LPE-v2 (Yeongman Seo HW) and LPE-v6 use diferent drivers by Ramones (everything there is different, even the HW). But something is weird when using both A1ST and A1GT (and different interfaces) have the same behaviour. I won't be able to try it again until next weekend, sorry about it.
The files were copied to a CF (32MB Kingston) directly unpacked from LZH with WinRAR by using two different PC (WinXP). Next time I could test it from my MAC or from a Debian distro if needed. Anyway, trying to unpack with PMEXT had the same behaviour so I don't think that the files got corrupted. No other HW was plugged and both slot1 and slot2 were used. As last, the SD card is a 1GB Kingstone one.

It is true, from CF it was loaded from F drive so after your bug was fixed it worked until the point it was not working in the SD interface.

I will try IDE+RS232 next weekend and if everything is useless to get it working I will try to use a MegaSCSI if I am able to find it. But I hope other users could test it too under similar configurations see if it is something with our environments, a files corruption or an annoying bug not easy to detect.

@msd:
The problem could be the DOS2 files version but as it does the same in both cards this should not be the problem. Or at least I don't expect so! I'm gonna test that too (or command2.com 2.30/2.31 against 2.41?). Tongue

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

08-02-2010, 00:36

I researched deeply and discovered the cause of the problem. It happens only on MSX-DOS2.3x, because it's BDOS is placed in a much lower address than the other versions... The game uses the RAM up to D54Bh. With some work I believe this could be lowered to D510h. But this would not be enough. This is the BDOS position of the MSX-DOS2 versions available:

2.20 = D606h
2.3x = D506h
2.41 = D706h

This means that a lot of patching would be necessary to allow it to run on MSX-DOS v2.3x, and the kind of that would be very prone to undesired collateral effects. This game itself is prone to collateral effects and I battled with a lot of them to get it to this point. If there wasn't the DOS2.41 I would begin this new battle, but with a new DOS version freely available, the best solution seems to be to place this as a requirement.

So, to be able to run the game, either the DOS2.20 or 2.41 is a requirement. The DOS 2.3x just don't leave enough free RAM for the game to run.

I'll include this observations on the README file.

By msd

Paragon (1372)

msd's picture

08-02-2010, 20:12

A loader can be made which loads msxdos2.sys ver 2.20 before starting the game. However I don't even know what the real difference is between sys 2.20 and 2.31, besides the extra ram it uses.

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

08-02-2010, 21:07

Hi!

I can´t play the game in Turbo R St with LPE and SD Kingston.

When load playball3.bat the screen is in grey colour, if loading Menu.com when select team for play the screen turn black and haven´t some response from computer.

Sorry fro spanglish Tongue

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

guantxip's picture

08-02-2010, 22:43

hey mesiasmsx, welcome to the club. I Thought I was the only user with bad luck.

I'm glad with these HD versions. It's a great work. Other game of Sony with beautyful graphics that needs a little of speed is Memebership Golf. Will it be next? Big smile

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

09-02-2010, 13:22

Thanks guantxip Tongue

I hope writte here, need practice more english to keep

The HD versions is wonderful and great work, i´m very happy for this. Playball 3 like much, in the past i haved this game original, but i sell Crying .

Me like that some games were modified. Dragon Quest Saga are nice RPG´s . I hope in the future are changing the password mode for european players. Write the hiragana passwords in a paper is a torture Evil .

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

09-02-2010, 20:02

Just bought a new sd-card of 2GB ,formatted on cf-base via sd-cf adapter and working/playing playbal3

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

10-02-2010, 15:13

You are a lucky man LOL! . I have LPE from Leonardo Padial with SD Kingston 2GB and not work playball 3. Other game how Psycho World HD works perfectly. I dont understand whats is the problem, only hope we would play this game.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

10-02-2010, 20:47

guantxip and mesiasmsx,

I exhausted all my blind guesses. I do want to help you, but I'll only be able to do so if you help me to obtain enough information to solve the problem. I ask you both to think ways that to make this viable.

By ant0niutti

Master (159)

ant0niutti's picture

10-02-2010, 21:28

Works fine for me.
TR GT + LPE-MMC + SD Sandisk 2Gb (FAT 16) + MSX DOS 2.41
F1XV + ASCII External mapper 256Kb + Sharksym's SD interface (Erik version) + SD Kingston 512Mb (FAT 12) + MSX DOS 2.41

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

guantxip's picture

11-02-2010, 09:18

I'll waiting this weekend the arrive of SaebaMsx, my brother, and we'll try again with other solutions.

In openMsx works perfectly adding command.com and msxdos.sys from another game. In emulator appears stadium after the critic moment of member selection.

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

11-02-2010, 12:24

Hi SD_Snatcher! (Thanks a lot for your work)

Thi is my config.

Turbo R A1ST whit 512Kb SRAM
LPE SD-MMC with driver 0.1 By Kralizec
SD Kingston 2GB FAT16 0.12 By OKEI
MSX-DOS version 2.30

The problem; Load playball3.bat and screen turn black and computer is blocked.
Load menu.com ; The game appear, but when stay in menu "STARTING MENBER SELECT" and press OK the screen turn black and the computer is blocked.

Thanks.

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

11-02-2010, 13:28

I have news; i download version 2.40 from COMMAND2 and game works if load Menu.com . If load play3.bat when select team appear screen full with graphics corrupt and computer reset.

I wait version 2.41 Wink Thanks.

http://www.mccw.hetlab.tk/93/dos240/en.html

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

guantxip's picture

12-02-2010, 10:58

Yes with command2 v.2.41 works in LPE!!!!

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

guantxip's picture

12-02-2010, 13:02

In Cf-ATA IDE too. LOL!

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

12-02-2010, 13:55

Sd_Snatcher, i don´t know programing.

Can you tell us or explain why occurs it with different version from Dos?

Thanks!

By ant0niutti

Master (159)

ant0niutti's picture

12-02-2010, 14:31

@mesiasmsx:
He wrote on his last February 07 message...

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

12-02-2010, 22:25

Sorry Tongue

Thanks.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

13-02-2010, 03:53

I released a new version 13/feb/2010, which no checks the amount of free RAM before running and issue an error message accordingly.

Also check MRC news about my new tool, RUNDOS1, to solve the problems of those who still want to run the game over the MSX-DOS v2.3x.

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3134)

mesiasmsx's picture

13-02-2010, 12:32

Thanks a lot Sd_Snatcher Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3031)

sd_snatcher's picture

13-02-2010, 13:33

which no checks

Damn typos, always in the worst part... Smile

It should be "which now checks".