Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

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iss
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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by iss » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:19 pm

Yep, you are right - that's the normal human expectation when using joystick push=up/pull=down.
Maybe the logic in Oricutron is swapped - if I define:

Code: Select all

kbjoy1_up = 'KP8'
kbjoy1_down = 'KP2'
then by pressing key pad '8' and expect cursor to go up - it goes down.
But as I said it's easy to swap the values in oricutron.cfg, and the game should be OK with real joystick!
(Hm, joystick... I just got new idea :idea: , will see...)

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Symoon
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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Symoon » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:07 pm

Great news!
No time at all for Oric these days but will try it ASAP.

About Joystick - seems you guys are saying opposite things. That's the usual debate between "airplane" commands (pull = up) or "2D" commands (pull = down). Not sure how they're called actually, but hope you'll understand what I mean ;)

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by ibisum » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:14 pm

Been playing all afternoon.. but I'm stuck. Can't get through the service corridor, dunno who I'm supposed to give coffee to, and the guard is a good one .. well, enough for today maybe more tomorrow. GREAT game Chema!

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Dbug » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:24 pm

ibisum wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:14 pm
Been playing all afternoon.. but I'm stuck. Can't get through the service corridor, dunno who I'm supposed to give coffee to, and the guard is a good one .. well, enough for today maybe more tomorrow. GREAT game Chema!
Try again tomorrow if a clean/fresh head, if you are still stuck, I guess we could use the private messaging feature to give some hints :)

There are no totally illogical things in the game, but you need to think a number of moves in advance, think about combining items, reading texts is very important as well, they often provide hints :)

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Chema » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:29 pm

+1, Dbug... :mrgreen:

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by fandenivoldsk » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:28 pm

Wow this game is just amazing! Really nice work, and I love the TV-series so this is just perfect!

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Chema » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:28 am

Creating my own physical edition :)

If you want to create your own physical edition, this is what you have to do. At least some advice you might find useful.

1.- Download the files, either in English or Spanish. You need the label for your disk size, the cover and the ready-to-print documentation.
2.- Select a box. I am using a CD case, which is not the most convenient thing (it does not close well with a floppy inside). Find out the size you want for the cover and documentation. In my case it is around 124 mm.
3.- Open the pdf with the cover. The size of the picture is 150 mm (width) x 140 mm (height) so it does not fit on an A4 paper. If you print it directly it will probably reduce the size too much, as the option to "shrink to fit to page" (or something similar) is selected by default.
4.- Calculate the scaling factor you need. In my case something such as 124/150=82,7% and scale the doc in the print options of your PDF reader accordingly.
5.- Print, cut (using the cutting marks as reference) and check that is the size you want. The cover has two sides, for the top and bottom of the case. (mmmm maybe I should have created something for the spine aswell...)
6.- Do the same for the documentation. I assume you want it to be the same size, so again print using the same scale and using both sides of the paper.
It will print with a page order which is prepared to create a booklet by folding and stapling. Simply put all the sheets together, cut, and fold in half.
7.- Print the label at 100% size, cut and glue it to your floppy :)

Something like this:
b7physicalA.png
b7physicalB.png

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by ibisum » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:57 am

Would be great to have an SD-card label, for us Cumulus users! :)

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Chema » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:25 am

ibisum wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:57 am
Would be great to have an SD-card label, for us Cumulus users! :)
I have no idea how to produce such a tiny label :)

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Chema » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:24 pm

I had quite a surprise this evening. I was preparing my physical edition of the game with the last version and I decided to use a high-density disk covering the squared hole. I have several double density disks, so I always used them, but I wanted a black disk with no label, and so I took one of my many HD floppies.

I used writedsk2 and tried it. I was shocked. The game loaded really really quickly.... I bet that as quickly as with the Cumulus more or less. The disk icon flashed in colors as it does in the emulator, instead of being stuck at each color for almost one second. The usual mechanical noise is different too. Not a 'crack' at each sector, but one and then some continuous transfers... Everything just as I expected it to be when we introduced the interleaving. I used a DefineDisk 2 40 17 5 in FloppyBuilder, so 2 sides, 40 tracks, 17 sectors per track, interleave of 5.

Just in case it was some weird lateral effect of the new routines, I also recorded the game on a double density floppy and the slow loading that I many times experienced happened again. I did not make any measurements, but I bet the speed is doubled.

I am going to Google around a bit just to see if this is something normal or what.

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by iss » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:42 am

Very interesting case! In my opinion the magic here is the interleave, but NOT the one you specified as parameter (i.e. interleave 5)! From source of writedsk2 it's obvious that parameter 'geometry' is not used at all. And here comes the interesting part: writedsk2 first tries to write the sectors and if the operation fails then it formats the track and repeat the writing. My conclusion is - your HD disk was luckily pre-formatted with very good interleave :). Additionally, when writedsk2 formats a disk it uses interleave 1, which is not the best and the result is slow floppy. Does this make sense?

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Chema » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:52 am

Mmmm... I am not sure. First the disk was formatted in HD DOS format. I clearly saw writedsk2 plotting a F from time to time, which means that it failed trying to write a sector so it formatted the track and retried. This may happen with non formatted disks whenever a track starts in the writing process.

Second, I am quite sure that writedsk2 writes the sectors in the order in which they are stored in the dsk image, which is with the interleave of 5. Fabrice Frances himself said so (and the code seems to do so too).

And third, the speed is very similar to that obtained with Cumulus (not emulators). As soon as I can I will try to get loading times, but the difference with all the DD floppies I used (several different floppies, some of them tested with other software) is clear.

I was wondering if there was something in the FDD electronics, but as the floppy had the hole covered with tape, it should have dealt with it as if it really were a DD floppy.

There is also a possibility that all the DD floppies I tested are damaged, but timing was quite consistent in all the cases.

All this is beyond me, but I did not even format the disk. I simply found one which was black, put it in my win98 laptop and used writedsk2 to store the image. The speed difference was so high that I rebooted and tested, because I was shocked. I even wrote yet another DD floppy with the same dsk just in case, and it was also slow as always.

I will also try another HD floppy, just to see if this is repeatable, because if it makes sense, the reason in beyond me!

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by iss » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:00 pm

Chema wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:52 am
I am quite sure that writedsk2 writes the sectors in the order in which they are stored in the dsk image, which is with the interleave of 5.
Agreed, sectors are written in order as stored in the image file! But FloppyBuilder (all versions) doesn't use interleave param to re-order sectors when builds image. It simply stores the param in the header and writedsk2 doesn't use it too.
Actually this is easy to be confirmed - just generate 2 images with different interleave passed to FloppyBuilder and compare them ;).

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by Chema » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:11 pm

Are you sure? I think that when I made the tests with different geometries the resulting dsk had the sectors in different orders. I am quite sure of that to be honest.

Surely Dbug can tell...

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Re: Development of Blake's 7 (was OASIS development)

Post by iss » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:45 pm

Ups, the SVN version of FloppyBuilder has code which deals with sector order (I have to update my OSDK :oops: ).

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