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Old 16 January 2018, 23:47   #1
Caldor
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CD32 games on Amiga 1200

Hi

I have been trying to improve my way of loading and playing CD32 games on my Amiga 1200. I have an ACA1221 expansion card, and it seems better to boot with a 3.1 rom than a 3.0 rom, so I use MapRom to load a 3.1 rom. My Amiga 1200 currently has a 3.0 rom built in.

I have gotten it to work, but I would like to try to improve two things. Saving and CD speed... although the CD speed might be good.

To clarify I am loading ISO images from the hard disks using SimCD32. This works quite well I think. Only problem seems to be that you cannot play CD audio since iso images does not support it. Another problem for me is that when I run Simon the Sorcerer CD32 version, I do get the speech, but its a bit laggy. Not by much, but during the intro its very obvious that the speech is lagging behind the animation. The animations also seem to be lagging... I guess the reason could be that I just dont have a fast enough Amiga, but I suspect it might be because I have not optimized how I emulate the CD drive? For now I use the default one that comes with the SimCD32 disk. Its not a big issue though.

I have also tried the Install Kit... seems save games are even more of an issue with it, but otherwise it works as well as SimCD32 except you can launch it from Workbench.

The second problem is save games. I have gotten save games to work, but for some reason only when I boot from a disk. I have a whole boot loader setup using a Amiga Boot Selector 2.7 made by Michael Gibbs, and one of the options is CD32 where it then loads a second menu based on a Cat Computer Club menu that can boot different CD32 games. But whenever I boot from my hard disk I just cannot get saves to work. I just cannot figure out why. I can use what should be the same setup on my SimCD32 boot disk, and I can even make it point to the saves folder on my hard disk, but I have to boot from the disk. Even booting from my hd and asking it to boot everything from the disk is not enough. I am using a Gotek drive with FlashFloppy btw.

Anyone else have had similar problems and maybe found solutions or got some tips? I have tried several different assigns. ENVARC seems to be how to make it happen. It seems to mainly need some folder with a SYS folder and a nv.location file with the path to the saves folder. But from a hard disk I cannot get it to work.

Links to other CD32 threads to sum them up a bit:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=65163&page=8
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=85628
Pretty sure I had found a 3rd one, but not currently I guess.

I know there are several different ways of mounting / making CD drives, not sure if it might help using a different tool for it and then maybe use the filesystem from SimCD32?
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Old 17 January 2018, 00:19   #2
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Put the nv.location file in the root of your hard drive, and the contents should point to the path you want to use.to be fair, you don't need SimCD32 to load CD32 games via ISO, all you need to do is be able to mount the ISOs (using xfs or similar), and things should work just fine.

As for the CD audio, I am afraid there's nothing you can do.
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Old 17 January 2018, 01:09   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Put the nv.location file in the root of your hard drive, and the contents should point to the path you want to use.to be fair, you don't need SimCD32 to load CD32 games via ISO, all you need to do is be able to mount the ISOs (using xfs or similar), and things should work just fine.

As for the CD audio, I am afraid there's nothing you can do.
Putting nv.location in the root? Like directly in DH0: or something like that?

I think SimCD32 is good due to supposedly having an accurate CD32 file system. It does not support something which the CD32 does not support either. Oh yes:

"Note that this uses CDFileSystem_40.8. Which is a version of CDFileSystem
* which does NOT use any 2.0 packets. This is better for emulation as the
* ROM CD32 CDFileSystem does NOT use any 2.0 packets."
These are its settings:
CD0:
Device = cd.device
Unit = 0
Activate = 1
FileSystem = L:CDFileSystem_40.8
Flags = 0
Surfaces = 1
SectorsPerTrack = 1
SectorSize = 2048
Mask = 0x7ffffffe
MaxTransfer = 0x100000
Reserved = 0
Interleave = 0
LowCyl = 0
HighCyl = 0
Buffers = 5
BufMemType = 0
StackSize = 1000
Priority = 10
GlobVec = -1
DosType = 0x43443031

I figured increasing maxtransfer might help, so I set it to 0x500000 I think it was. Maybe changing buffers, stack sizes etc. might also help.

But I think I might have found a way to improve how well Simon CD32 plays. I ensured my ACA1221 runs at 28Mhz instead of just 17Mhz... that did not seem to do much on its own though. The CD32 does not have more than 17Mhz anyway afaik. But I also gave my disks extra buffers.

I used "addbuffer df0: 50", "addbuffer games: 2000" and "addbuffer cd0: 50"

I first tried giving cd0: 2000 buffer, but it just seemed to make it use a lot of time to load all the speech on each new scene. Like 10 seconds or something where it would just pause the animations and everything. So I set it down to 50. I was also not using cd2xspeed on command. I think its on by default though, but either the cd2xspeed on command or lowering the buffer helped.

Seems like the only place that has some lag with the speech is now the very first part of the intro where Simon talks just before casing his first spell on the top hat.
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Old 17 January 2018, 01:24   #4
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I made a Simon CD32 boot disk it might help you.

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=85628
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Old 17 January 2018, 01:59   #5
Caldor
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Originally Posted by gazj82 View Post
I made a Simon CD32 boot disk it might help you.

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=85628
I have made a working boot disk, with which saves do work and the games seem to run pretty well. My goal is to not be reliant on a boot disk though and get it all to boot from my hard disk. I have a boot menu system where I end up launching the same things as the disk does... but it just wont work. I even tried launching where all it did was made df0 the sys: and assign everything to the new sys, but still it would not work.

Seems pretty strange.
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Old 17 January 2018, 11:37   #6
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isn't it prefs/env-archive/sys/nv_location and it's just a text file telling it where to save? and you need the nonvolatile.library.

but install kit works? and saves work with this.

You can copy SimCD32 to your hard drive and do the relevant assigns etc make sure you assign Libs and probably Devs etc.
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Old 17 January 2018, 17:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldor View Post
I think SimCD32 is good due to supposedly having an accurate CD32 file system.
There is no "CD32 file system". CD32 discs are standard ISO9660 discs.
Yes, you need a CD filesystem, but it can be any. That was my point. I use AsimCDFS and mount my ISO with XFS (on my CD32)

Quote:
I figured increasing maxtransfer might help, so I set it to 0x500000 I think it was. Maybe changing buffers, stack sizes etc. might also help.
If you change maxtransfer values you need to copy the files all over again. Also I have no idea why you use that number, I don't think that's correct or that it improves things in any way. There is a bug in the scsi.device related to it. http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=45491

This is why we use 0x1FE00 and you should stick to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro1234 View Post
isn't it prefs/env-archive/sys/nv_location and it's just a text file telling it where to save? and you need the nonvolatile.library.
You are absolutely right. My bad.
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Old 17 January 2018, 20:03   #8
Caldor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro1234 View Post
isn't it prefs/env-archive/sys/nv_location and it's just a text file telling it where to save? and you need the nonvolatile.library.

but install kit works? and saves work with this.

You can copy SimCD32 to your hard drive and do the relevant assigns etc make sure you assign Libs and probably Devs etc.
Yes, and I have copied SimCD32 to my hard drive, done the relevant assigns etc... but it just wont work from my hard drive. I have different places where I have placed the nv.location file in a SYS folder that can be assigned to ENVARC. Nothing has helped so far. I tried making a special folder for the SimCD32 boot, so that it all assigns to the folders in this folder and SYS: is assigned to the SimCD32 folder. I also tried keeping the regular ENVARC that comes at the boot, and just leaving the nv.location in the prefs/env-archive/sys folder. I have checked the envarc using the CLI and I could find the nv.location where it should be, but booting from it did not help.

Install kit did seem to get saves working, but my issue with install kit is it seems to need me to first run WB before I can use it? Also last time I tried it, saves did not work... pretty sure they did work the first time I used it.
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Old 17 January 2018, 20:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
There is no "CD32 file system". CD32 discs are standard ISO9660 discs.
Yes, you need a CD filesystem, but it can be any. That was my point. I use AsimCDFS and mount my ISO with XFS (on my CD32)


If you change maxtransfer values you need to copy the files all over again. Also I have no idea why you use that number, I don't think that's correct or that it improves things in any way. There is a bug in the scsi.device related to it. http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=45491

This is why we use 0x1FE00 and you should stick to it.


You are absolutely right. My bad.
You seem to missing my point completely. I am not referring to the ISO or the hard disk it is on. This is about the CD.Device driver type used to assign the ISO file to a drive. So its a virtual file system based on an emulated CD drive. I already linked the text from the file used. Its part of SimCD32 and it gives you the same type of CD access as the CD32 uses, without giving you more or less access to the drive. I could of course try setting the max transfer to 0x1FE00 since it would then match the max transfer of the partition I store the ISO files on.
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Old 17 January 2018, 20:39   #10
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Your point is that your thing isn't working, my point is that I am trying to help you by having you use something else, which you don't seem to want.

I did get confused about where you were setting maxtransfer so I apologize. I still don't understand why you decided that adding up numbers there would make it better, seems random.
My confusion comes from the fact that Maxtransfer shouldn't even be an option in a file-based mountfile. Your mount file looks like an IDE hard drive mount entry which seems wrong. You say it came with SimCD32, and it points to a cd.device, it makes it feel it was meant to be used with a real CD-ROM drive and not with an ISO.

Are you using SimCD32Env as recommended in the docs?

All the docs mention you should boot it off floppy so perhaps that's why it's acting up if you don't.

Last edited by Akira; 17 January 2018 at 20:49.
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Old 17 January 2018, 23:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Your point is that your thing isn't working, my point is that I am trying to help you by having you use something else, which you don't seem to want.

I did get confused about where you were setting maxtransfer so I apologize. I still don't understand why you decided that adding up numbers there would make it better, seems random.
My confusion comes from the fact that Maxtransfer shouldn't even be an option in a file-based mountfile. Your mount file looks like an IDE hard drive mount entry which seems wrong. You say it came with SimCD32, and it points to a cd.device, it makes it feel it was meant to be used with a real CD-ROM drive and not with an ISO.

Are you using SimCD32Env as recommended in the docs?

All the docs mention you should boot it off floppy so perhaps that's why it's acting up if you don't.
Yes, that is my suspicion, that some part of it, somehow relies on it all being booted from DF0:

Problem is how to test it. I cannot get my external disk drive to run it, since I cannot get it to work without Rom 3.1 for some reason. Pretty sure it ought to be possible with 3.0 alone though, so that might be part of the problem.

I have started out using all of it as recommended. But the exact boot that works from the disk just does not seem to work on my HD. I am not sure changing where to find the save file during boot helps... maybe that is what I ought to test next. Boot from disk, but assign something else to ENVARC to see if I can get it to use some other path than the one set in booth, which seems to be the SYS root prefs folder. I could try to see if I can use my second HD and move its files around, to make it boot from... something else. Well, I could just setup an extra bootable partition I guess and use it to test with an exact copy of the disk and see what happens.
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Old 17 January 2018, 23:42   #12
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You can fake 3.1 on 3.0 with Setversion from the squirrel CD32 emulator or patchlibrary from Aminet
SetVersion expansion.library 40
SetVersion exec.library 40
SetVersion utility.library 40
SetVersion graphics.library 40
SetVersion layers.library 40
SetVersion keymap.library 40
SetVersion intuition.library 40
SetVersion dos.library 40

maybe just edit the text file nv_location to e.g dh0:saves etc

If you want to run SimCD32 from HD your have to debug were the bug is S- Copy your SimCD32 to HD and boot with no Startup-Sequence then assign Every! folder S/Devs/Blah Blah to the SimCD32 folder.

Last edited by Retro1234; 17 January 2018 at 23:51.
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Old 18 January 2018, 00:14   #13
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Well... I did stupid. I used the wrong HDTool to change partitions, which causes some kind of corruption which makes the whole thing unusable. Annoying, been a while since I took a backup. I think I did this once before as well.

But I got backups and such, so I should be able to get this up and running again tomorrow, or at least this weekend.

Here is the boot disk I have made. It should work, but if you want to try it you should first have a look at it from WinUAE or something, and change its boot files a bit as right now it tries to use several things from a "CaldorsHD", like roms and a scsi.device library. Otherwise I think it should be ready. The relevant files are startup-sequence, asciicat I think its called, a file in the root which is the setup of the menu system I use, and SimonCD32 which is the boot sequence used if you select Simon The Sorcerer on the boot menu. You can use mouse and joystick to control the menu... but not your keyboard for some reason.

http://dionysus.dk/files/SIMCD32(Caldor).ADF
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Old 18 January 2018, 00:16   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro1234 View Post
You can fake 3.1 on 3.0 with Setversion from the squirrel CD32 emulator or patchlibrary from Aminet
SetVersion expansion.library 40
SetVersion exec.library 40
SetVersion utility.library 40
SetVersion graphics.library 40
SetVersion layers.library 40
SetVersion keymap.library 40
SetVersion intuition.library 40
SetVersion dos.library 40

maybe just edit the text file nv_location to e.g dh0:saves etc

If you want to run SimCD32 from HD your have to debug were the bug is S- Copy your SimCD32 to HD and boot with no Startup-Sequence then assign Every! folder S/Devs/Blah Blah to the SimCD32 folder.
The disc I just linked has a AssignS file in its S folder, it should assign everything to SYS, so the idea with this script is for SYS to be assigned and then run it to assign all the SYS folders it has to it. It use a lot of IF ENDIF to check whether these folders exists first.

But thanks, that might be a quicker solution for now, while I dont have a bootable hard disk... well I probably do have one, but I dont feel like using it, so I think I will try to just fix the ADF file here first, and maybe do some tests with WinUAE for now.
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Old 20 January 2018, 15:24   #15
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I finally got it working I recreated the Amiga SD based hard disk and after setting it up and using it in my Amiga I could save games. It seems the problem must have been one of the system files. Maybe some device or library. Another problem replaced it though, now there are sprite errors in the game. I am guessing it is either corruption of the iso file or due to maybe using a different 3.1 ROM. I will experiment some more.

I think I will also try to get the built in 3.0 rom to work so I wont have to use maprom and to see how well it would work.
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