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-   -   CD32 Demoscene Disc? (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=30304)

ant512 07 June 2007 16:59

CD32 Demoscene Disc?
 
Just got a second-hand CD32, and have got hold of the various CD-100/200/etc game discs. I'd also quite like to get hold of a CD full of megademos that'd run on the CD32, but as far as I can see no-one's ever put one together.

Does such a thing exist?

DamienD 07 June 2007 18:36

Hello ant512,

Rochabian actually made an awesome games / demo compilation called "CD32 Games & Demos Compilation" quite some time ago but stopped distributing it due a WHDLoad *issue*... See project.EAB - post #3 ;)

I'm not sure if he's ever going to remake this using WHDLoadCD32 though as himself / Whitesnake are planning on making a new Amiga CD32-Expanded Compilation. See project.EAB - post #3 :great

ant512 07 June 2007 19:30

Shame it got discontinued, as I've got a genuine WHDLoad key I could have dropped onto the disc. The expanded compilation sounds interesting, but I'm not planning on buying any expansions for the CD32 so I won't be able to run it. Bah. Guess I'll have to put something together myself!

ant512 08 June 2007 01:26

Here's a very quickly put together demo disc:

http://ant.simianzombie.com/DemoTest.zip

At the moment it's only got three demos on:

- Sanity - Arte
- Andromeda - Mindriot
- Sanity - World of Commodore

I've only tested it with WinUAE in Parallels so far, so I'm not certain how it will behave on the real hardware, but it will:

- Boot in an emulated CD32
- Load a joypad-driven menu system (that I cobbled together quickly in AmiBlitz)
- Allow you to choose one of the demos
- Return to the menu system once the demo ends (ie. if you've got a keyboard attached and hit F10)

Things it doesn't do yet/things I need to check:

- Is there some way of using the joypad to exit from WHDLoadCD32?
- Sound is a bit strange on my Mac; might just be down to the emulation
- Shows the standard Workbench title bar when switching from demo back to the menu system - need to work out some way of stopping this (using WB1.3 to create a prefs file with all colours set to black would probably do it)

Putting this together was quite astonishingly frustrating. If you want to test something with WHDLoadCD32, you have to:

- Load your usual WinUAE environment
- Put together a bootable file structure (startup-sequence, setpatch, diskfont.library, etc)
- Add the WHDLoad slave you want to test
- Load up ISOCD from the developer CD
- Create an ISO of the file structure
- Mount the ISO as a disk (for me, this entailed writing the ISO to the PC drive, then dragging it to the Mac desktop, then mounting it in Parallels)
- Load up a CD32 config in WinUAE
- Reset
- Wait for WinUAE to boot the disk
- Repeat until you get the file system correct
- Repeat for every WHDLoad slave you want to test.

It's taken me an hour and ten minutes to put together a disk that boots properly with a set of demos that work correctly with WHDLoadCD32, and that's *after* I'd already got all of the installs prepared and the menu system written.

Anyhoo, probably not worth wasting a CD on this yet, as there's so few demos in the ISO, but if anyone wants to test this in WinUAE and let me know if they encounter any problems I'd appreciate it.

I got around the problem of returning to the menu system after WHDLoad quits by using shell scripts. Instead of running WHDLoadCD32, the menu system writes out a script (called "launch-script") to RAM that looks like this:

Code:

cd SYS:Demos/Arte
C:WHDLoadCD32 Arte.slave
execute S:launcher-startup

This will:

- Change directory to the correct demo folder
- Run the demo
- Wait until the demo has finished (as the shell is single-threaded)
- Run a second script

The second script (called "launcher-startup") runs the menu system again, and then calls the first script:

Code:

SYS:Launcher/Launcher
Execute RAM:launch-script

This means that a demo always launches after the menu exits, and the menu always launches after a demo exits. It also means that the menu system exits before the demo starts, so it doesn't take up valuable RAM.

The menu system is controlled by a file in the S: directory called "launcher.config". It is structured like this:

- First line is the name of an option
- Second line is the directory to change to before running the option command
- Third line is the DOS command to run for this option
- Fourth line is blank

Repeat for as many options as you need (until you run out of screen space, that is, as it doesn't scroll). Full AmiBlitz sourcecode is included in the Launcher directory.

Oh, also: If anyone's interested in this, are there any requests for demos to include? Note that they should be around 1.5MB *max* or they won't work on the CD32.

ppill 08 June 2007 08:40

Looking good :great

If you want to get rid of the title bar why not try these:
Fullbench
KillTitle

ant512 08 June 2007 10:33

Aha, they might do the job. I'm going to give the system-configuration file a go first, as that'll completely hide the intermediate OS screen if it works.

Jimbo 08 June 2007 10:44

This looks good. Would you mind me adding the finished product on my FTP server?

Cheers

ant512 08 June 2007 11:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jimbo
This looks good. Would you mind me adding the finished product on my FTP server?

Cheers

Not at all. I'll get those other things across to you at some point, too. :D

I'm hoping that people find the system simple enough that they can grab the files from the CD and make their own CD32 compilation discs. Unlike the other systems I've seen, this menu system doesn't require you to take screenshots and write a blurb for every program, so it should be much easier to put new discs together.

ant512 09 June 2007 00:20

I've put together another version:

http://ant.simianzombie.com/DemoTest2.zip

New demos:

- 242 - Virtual Dreams
- Extension - Pygmy Projects

I've also added a "Music" section that uses the (very limited) AmiBlitz MED/mod replayer routines, and fixed the visible Workbench title problem (an all-black system-configuration file from WB1.3 did the trick).

Finally, I've changed the menu system around quite a bit. The config file is now much more versatile and provides the following improvements:

- Menu title is set in config file instead of being hard-coded into the exe
- "rootdir" option makes moving files around (eg. whilst debugging) easier
- All options now have a prefix (eg. "dir=") that informs the launcher what the line is supposed to do
- Options can be spread over multiple "pages" (accessed with the left/right joypad controls)
- Holding up or down on the joystick now automatically moves through the options

Now all I need is some demo recommendations (hint hint).

ant512 09 June 2007 14:35

I'll keep these lists updated as I test more demos.

Non-working demos:

- Fallen (requires 68030)
- Interference (won't run)
- Smoke Bomb (needs more RAM)
- Grid2 (needs 12MB RAM)
- Little Nell/TBL (needs 16MB RAM)
- Magic/Nah-kolor (needs 030/15MB fast RAM)
- Perfect Circle/TBL (needs 060)
- Big Time Sensuality (needs more RAM)
- Neo2 (refuses to load)
- Jesus On Es (crashes, slowdown, graphical corruption)
- Mobile Destination/Spaceballs (runs at one frame every few seconds)
- Sound Vision/Reflect (runs at one frame every few seconds)

Non-working games:

- Last Ninja 2 (WHDLoad - seems to be a problem with my installed version)
- Last Ninja 3 (WHDLoad - requires mouse or second joypad in trainer)
- Lost Vikings (WHDLoad - needs write access)
- Lotus 3 (WHDLoad - takes forever to load, requires keyboard)
- Zeewolf (WHDLoad - won't load)
- Zeewolf 2 (WHDLoad - won't load)

Working demos:

- 242/Virtual Dreams
- 9 Fingers/Spaceballs
- Arte/Sanity
- Extension/Pygmy Projects
- Mindriot/Andromeda
- Seeing Is Believing/Anarchy
- State of the Art/Spaceballs
- Vivid/IRIS
- World of Commodore/Sanity

Working games:

- Guardian (files)
- IK+ (WHDLoad)
- Lotus 1 (WHDLoad)
- Lotus 2 (WHDLoad)
- SpeedBall 2 (JST)
- Trick or Treat (files, PD)
- Space Taxi 3 (files, PD)
- Gravity Power (files, PD)

ant512 10 June 2007 22:07

Quick update on current progress. I've tested a few more demos, most of which don't work, and added them to the demo lists. I'm also working on adding a few features to the menu system:

- Alphabetic item sorting on a per-page basis;
- Optional item numbering;
- Two different item alignment styles (left-aligned or centred);
- User-definable palette (in config file);

I've also discovered that the Blitz "Val()" command crashes the CD32.

EDIT: Even stranger, Blitz's power function has rounding errors. WTF? I've written replacements for both the power and Val() functions.

ant512 11 June 2007 01:04

A new test release:

http://ant.simianzombie.com/cd32/DemoTest4.zip (7.6MB)

This one has all of the demos from the current working list and all of the menu improvements listed in the previous post.

EDIT: Oh, a couple of other things have changed that I forgot to mention:

- Disc now uses CDSpeed from the Aminet to use the CD drive's double-speed capability;
- Added AllocMemReverse to the startup sequence as per the suggestion of the WHDLoadCD32 docs.

ant512 12 June 2007 12:08

Thought I might add a list of games to the disc, too. However, so far 80% of the games I've tried refuse to run with WHDLoadCD32, which makes me think that it's going to be a fruitless exercise. I might have more luck with some of my favourite PD games.

EDIT: Increasing the stack to 8K seems to have improved things!

Rochabian 12 June 2007 19:14

Good Luck ant512
Nice Job!! :great

ant512 12 June 2007 20:53

Another test release:

http://ant.simianzombie.com/cd32/DemoTest5.zip (12MB)

This one has all of the games and demos currently listed as working (though I think that IK+ isn't set up properly in the menu system). Changes to the CD setup:

- Stack now set to 8K (makes more games work)
- All WHDLoad data files moved into sub-directories, and the loader scripts now use the "Data=" parameter (as per the WHDLoadCD32 docs)

I tried using AddBuffers to make CD access quicker. It worked, but it also seemed to break a few games. Took it out again.

BippyM 12 June 2007 20:55

Don't you just love new Amiga/CD32 projects :)

Good work Ant :)

ant512 13 June 2007 01:18

Tested the latest ISO on my real CD32. I've found that the orange colour I chose for the background this time makes it really difficult to read the menu text on a TV, so I'll remember that next time. I've also found that:

- Lotus 1 and 2 don't work - maybe because I burnt the CD at full speed?
- The CD32 drive is really slow. Really really slow. Man, that's a slow CD drive they put in there. Did I mention it was slow?
- The menu system loads really quickly, which is great - the problem I had with the existing compilations is that the menu takes forever to appear, and then the games take even longer to load. I don't care about the menu, I just want to play the games.

I wonder if I can use a trick that DreamCast pirates employed (fill the inner part of the disc with a large junk file, pushing the real data out to the faster rim) in order to improve loading times? It'll mean getting much less data on the disc, but hey - CDs are cheap.

Rochabian 13 June 2007 11:02

From my personal Xperience :
After burnin' a hundred of CD's for my CD32

The cheaper the CD-R are, the better they are read by the CD32 ;)

rave 13 June 2007 15:49

Well I think a BIG W00T need's to go to ant512, I have been after something like this for my CD32 since I got it!
Is there any chance that you might do a demo only disc?
Although I am more than happy with the current demos/games one you have constructed, pure genius I say. :)
Also is there any chance that ANarchy's 3D demo II might be included?
Keep up the sterling work. ;)

Rochabian 13 June 2007 20:12

Error 404 with your last URL for DemoTest5.zip :sad
Keep up the good work :great
Surely be http://ant.simianzombie.com/cd32/DemoTest5.zip ;)


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