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Old 30 April 2020, 01:06   #1
earok
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The fake CD32 Classic

9th March 2020: Phase 1 posted.

156 CD32 related games (a mixture of native CD32 versions and WHDLoad installs - including some difficult to install games like Simon the Sorcerer talkie version and Microcosm), on an HDD image for play on a CD32+TF-328 or similar - SX1, SX32 etc should work.

Games list and notes:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

Install notes:
- You'll need an 8GB Compact Flash card.
- The image was made with Win32DiskImager. It might be possible to restore the image with a different application, but that isn't guaranteed, so I'd recommend using Win32diskImager to restore the image if possible
https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
- The image does NOT contain kickstart roms, which are required for a fairly high number of games on the image. They can be installed by mounting the CF card in WinUAE, and inserting your copies of kick34005.a500 and kick40068.a1200 to devs/kickstarts.
- Once that's all done, simply put your Compact Flash card into your TF-328's CF slot, and you should be able to boot it up.


Download:
https://mega.nz/file/F6whzabC#3NeZx_...-3oMLbNOMIEgHs






----------

I couldn't get to sleep last night, so I had a go at something I had been intending to do for awhile - set up my CD32 TF328 configuration as a kind of fake "classic" console.



Essentially, this is the setup:

- The compact flash card has the games and a launcher utility that boots on launch.
- The launcher utility looks at the "games" directory, and assumes each directory underneath that as a game.
- When it launches a game, it expects either:

* A WHDLoad slave saved to: games/gamename/gamename.slave
* An executable script for non-WHDLoad games named games/gamename/runme


I could maybe look at imaging the card, and uploading that image so anyone with a similar setup could turn their own CD32s (or potentially Raspberry Pis etc) into such a system.


What I've got on the card at the moment is 100 games that were flagged as CD32 games from whdownload.com. Though there's some issues with those (eg, the download package labelled as the Classic Lotus Trilogy is actually just the first game, not the other two).

So if there was any kind of public release, I figure there would need to be a fair bit of quality control (so each game on it was in the best possible state, worked without keyboard and mouse etc, CD32 games with CD music should be substituted for versions with tracker music), also it'd be nice to have a nicer menu maybe. Though I don't have a hell of a lot of time to sink into it.

Anyway, so that's what I've done. If you're interested in giving a hand at all to work towards a public release, let me know, and I'll see if I can upload the work in progress somehow.

Last edited by earok; 09 May 2020 at 01:57.
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Old 30 April 2020, 08:49   #2
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looks like RUGCD cd32load project, with a TF card and whdload. Good but exhausting because each game has small issues to fix, and you spend your life tuning the compilation and it's never 100% perfect.

That list of slaves being joypad enhanced is pretty good: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...oCo/edit#gid=0

don't hesitate to use it (and to complete it if something is missing
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Old 30 April 2020, 09:08   #3
earok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
looks like RUGCD cd32load project, with a TF card and whdload. Good but exhausting because each game has small issues to fix, and you spend your life tuning the compilation and it's never 100% perfect.

That list of slaves being joypad enhanced is pretty good: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...oCo/edit#gid=0

don't hesitate to use it (and to complete it if something is missing
Great, I'll check it out the first pass is more or less just aimed at actual CD32 releases (though, where joypad issues aren't a problem, I've reverted to AGA or OCS versions in order to get tracker music).


Second pass may be based on your list - Desert Strike, Aladdin, Putty Squad and Lion King were all games I wanted to include sooner or later, and it makes a lot of sense to add games that are CD32 pad friendly.


Yeah, there's a lot of time involved, fortunately there's no disk burning! And no issues around the CD getting full etc since there's 4GB to play with, also since it's aimed solely at TF328+ users, memory isn't an issue. Main pain point is needing to take my TF328 out of the CD32 any time I want to test it! I'm hoping I'll get help with testing and curation if there's much interest.


I've started looking into automatic backups of NVRAM games (eg, could be useful with Simon the Sorcerer, which takes up about 85% of the storage capacity by itself). I figure I could do this by restoring a backup when a game is launched, while at the same time leaving a file to let the launcher know to back up the current save file when the CD32 is rebooted.
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Old 30 April 2020, 09:46   #4
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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

These are my notes so far, I've got over 100 games on the current build but I haven't yet tested and added them all to the spreadsheet.
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Old 30 April 2020, 10:14   #5
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This looks cool, but not sure if I would want to invest time in this after all the effort I put in a comparable X-Bench setup on my CD32.
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Old 30 April 2020, 10:38   #6
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This looks cool, but not sure if I would want to invest time in this after all the effort I put in a comparable X-Bench setup on my CD32.
I don't suppose you've got a copy of the disk image uploaded somewhere..? might save me some time with sourcing everything
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Old 30 April 2020, 10:53   #7
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Quote:
I've started looking into automatic backups of NVRAM games (eg, could be useful with Simon the Sorcerer, which takes up about 85% of the storage capacity by itself). I figure I could do this by restoring a backup when a game is launched, while at the same time leaving a file to let the launcher know to back up the current save file when the CD32 is rebooted.
I'm pretty sure a hack can be done to use disk nonvolatile.library instead of ROM nonvolatile.library (like patching OpenLibrary). In which case the saves would save to disk, even on a CD32, like any non-CD32 amiga with nonvolatile lib installed on disk.

I'm also pretty sure that if it doesn't work by just copying nonvolatile.library in LIBS: I'm able to do a patch for you.
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earok View Post
I've started looking into automatic backups of NVRAM games (eg, could be useful with Simon the Sorcerer, which takes up about 85% of the storage capacity by itself). I figure I could do this by restoring a backup when a game is launched, while at the same time leaving a file to let the launcher know to back up the current save file when the CD32 is rebooted.
You forgot to set nv location in env?
Did you find some easy way to run Simon, or you're mounting iso?

That menu looks so slick! Keep it that way.
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:06   #9
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I completely forgot about setting NVRAM location. I assume that if the appropriate assigns are set, it ignores actual NVRAM and saves to disc, even if NVRAM is present?

I'm also assuming that WHDLoad doesn't generally support NVRAM saving? I haven't tested it extensively, but that did seem to be the case with D-Generation.

Cheers @Cobe, it is a bit rough though, I'm more than happy to let you tweak it to your heart's content . Haven't attempted Simon just yet, I was hoping that it would "just work" from HDD but maybe that's not the case!
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:21   #10
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whdload emulates nvram by saving to disk. It wasn't designed to work on a CD32 (and CD32 NVM is a joke anyway)

D/Generation saves its data in "nvram" file since latest slave from 2 years ago. Time flies.
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:21   #11
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This thread give a list (incomplete) of CD32 games that have CDDA track
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=26552
Surely those games should be replaced with WHDLoad AGA version to have music, but still need CD32 pad support
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:32   #12
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be careful: this list is "optimistic". And besides sometimes it's not worth replacing by AGA version.

For instance Oscar CD32 has CD tracks, but Oscar AGA doesn't have any music in levels... And has less levels... so CD32 version is better
Exactly same configuration for Zool CD32.

And for the others, what's better? having music or more levels? Note that quality titles like Fire & Ice leave the choice (on chip / cd)

Chaos Engine CD32 has a better intro but no chip music. But in-game, the music is the same (but some ambient effects are on CD, a first!). And whdload version is better because it uses fastmem & bomb uses blue button instead of fire long press.


definitely needs case-by-case analysis.
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:38   #13
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Does an ISO mounting tool, if it exists for CD32, could use CDDA tracks ?
Perhaps it's not possible because it will use too much CPU ?
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earok View Post
I completely forgot about setting NVRAM location. I assume that if the appropriate assigns are set, it ignores actual NVRAM and saves to disc, even if NVRAM is present?

I'm also assuming that WHDLoad doesn't generally support NVRAM saving? I haven't tested it extensively, but that did seem to be the case with D-Generation.

Cheers @Cobe, it is a bit rough though, I'm more than happy to let you tweak it to your heart's content . Haven't attempted Simon just yet, I was hoping that it would "just work" from HDD but maybe that's not the case!
http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=...&postcount=125
I have it set up on my tf328 too. As I remember, just creat file named nv_location in envarc:sys, type in your desired path to folder you want nvram saves to be and if I didn't forget anything simple as that it should work.
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Old 30 April 2020, 11:53   #15
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@Cobe Ahh.. you're right, there is indeed a D-Generation save file with the name nvram.


One of the worries I had about WHDLoad is, as I understand it, it generally doesn't save until you quit (which, essentially is never going to happen on a console unless the player knows to do it). Though I don't think I needed to quit for D-Generation to save.. is there a way to force saves immediately rather than caching until the user quits?


@jotd Those are all excellent points please feel free to make recommendations (or instructions) for me in the spreadsheet about which version I should use.


One thing I was thinking, and this is probably not a good idea, is this:

- If we can pick one really good song from each CD soundtrack for each game (whatever we think is best), AND
- If we can hack the game or somehow patch the system to route all CD player requests to a specific track (I did something similar for Ultimate Body Blows in the past to have multiple CD audio games on one disk)
- Then at least in theory we could produce a companion "music disk", so we could at least have some music related to that game playing.
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Old 30 April 2020, 12:06   #16
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@Cobe

I'm having some trouble with the NVRAM thing, and what I've realised is this - If I have "NVRAM" enabled in WinUAE (advanced chipset), then it ignores the preference file, but if I have it disabled, it works as expected (Super Skidmarks saves to the right place)

This is just in WinUAE of course, so it's possible that the real behavior is different, but are you sure there's nothing else that would need to be done to disable the "real" NVRAM in favour of the env-arc location?
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Old 30 April 2020, 12:21   #17
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I'm pretty sure I tested that in winuae few years ago and that it worked.
I "ran to the hills" when lockdowns started so I'm without my cd32, I cant check if I have something more set...

http://amigadev.elowar.com/read/ADCD.../node04DB.html
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Old 30 April 2020, 13:12   #18
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I don't suppose you've got a copy of the disk image uploaded somewhere..? might save me some time with sourcing everything
I hope to come back to you about this. May be not before the weekend.
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Old 30 April 2020, 15:46   #19
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Quote:
One of the worries I had about WHDLoad is, as I understand it, it generally doesn't save until you quit (which, essentially is never going to happen on a console unless the player knows to do it). Though I don't think I needed to quit for D-Generation to save.. is there a way to force saves immediately rather than caching until the user quits?
yes. It's being annoying people for a while now. It's NoWriteCache option: http://www.whdload.de/docs/en/opt.html#NoWriteCache

I think it can be set globally in s:whdload.prefs. Easy to check.

If the writes are big enough and there aren't many of them, the OS flashes shouldn't be too annoying.
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Old 30 April 2020, 16:45   #20
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@Cobe

I'm having some trouble with the NVRAM thing, and what I've realised is this - If I have "NVRAM" enabled in WinUAE (advanced chipset), then it ignores the preference file, but if I have it disabled, it works as expected (Super Skidmarks saves to the right place)

This is just in WinUAE of course, so it's possible that the real behavior is different, but are you sure there's nothing else that would need to be done to disable the "real" NVRAM in favour of the env-arc location?

I tested it in winuae again and it works for me. Check the attachment. Maybe it depends from game to game, I tested it with Lumberjack.
Attached Files
File Type: 7z BareSysNV.7z (275 Bytes, 14 views)
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