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Old 27 December 2010, 09:58   #81
meynaf
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Hmm, doesn't sound good, I really like going solo...

Yes, I know, I just did it solo to circumvent my party slection problems in that dungeon from hell
If solo is really your way, you can play most of it solo, then recruit for the parts you can't pass like that. But you already knew this

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True, but you could also just write down all your ideas (or type them ) and work on one or two dungeons at a time incorporating suitable ideas from your list.
In fact this is exactly what i did, apart that i incorporate ideas in several dungeons instead of just one.

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Is that really needed for manual screenmode selection? Anyway, for DM it's not truly needed because of screen promotion, it's more useful for your image viewer.
Manual mode selection ? I just hate these screenmode selectors...

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Sounds good, I'll check it out
Yes, and please tell me about it when you do that.

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EDIT:
I think I'm going to start your nightmare dungeon over. You can start solo, and clear the way to the food and water area, while trying to kill the least amount of monsters you can manage. Then just go back to the hall of champions, get more characters, and start training them there. Simple

Saves you the pain of recruiting a full party from the start, and it gives you a food and water advantage. It also means you start out stronger, because of the EXP from the hall of champions monsters... and you get better initial gear
Strange way of playing, but, hey, why not.
Just please use the latest version.
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Old 27 December 2010, 19:38   #82
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If solo is really your way, you can play most of it solo, then recruit for the parts you can't pass like that. But you already knew this
Sure, but it's better to get a full party as soon as possible.
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Manual mode selection ? I just hate these screenmode selectors...
Not like that, this is not a good way for a viewer. I simply mean a way to specify the screenmode in the command line.
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Yes, and please tell me about it when you do that.
Well, not right now, and I'll have to want to play again.
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Strange way of playing, but, hey, why not.
Strange or not, I'm doing it this way because of the advantages it offers.
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Old 03 January 2011, 10:03   #83
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Sure, but it's better to get a full party as soon as possible.
You can do that at start

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Not like that, this is not a good way for a viewer. I simply mean a way to specify the screenmode in the command line.
Please be more specific. What kind of arguments are missing ? There is already a way to specify a screen mode in the viewer.

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Strange or not, I'm doing it this way because of the advantages it offers.
We certainly already discussed that
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Old 03 January 2011, 18:04   #84
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You can do that at start
Yes, you can, but it's hugely frustrating, and it offers no benefits.
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Please be more specific. What kind of arguments are missing ?
The name of the screenmode, for example Pal, or DblNtsc.
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There is already a way to specify a screen mode in the viewer.
Yes, you can specify the resolution. But you can't specify a screenmode name, or more precise, a monitor name (like in a screenmode requester, but they're unhandy for viewers) .
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We certainly already discussed that
You mean solo play? Well, yes, but in this case the soloing is only a startup method. You see, going solo in the beginning and later getting a full party is probably easier (much easier) than getting and playing a full party from the start.
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Old 06 January 2011, 10:35   #85
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Yes, you can, but it's hugely frustrating, and it offers no benefits.
Well, do it like you want. I'll always choose all my champions, then take them in a rush. This is how it's meant to be played. Now of course you can do otherwise ; this dungeon is designed to make the player develop new strategies.

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The name of the screenmode, for example Pal, or DblNtsc.

Yes, you can specify the resolution. But you can't specify a screenmode name, or more precise, a monitor name (like in a screenmode requester, but they're unhandy for viewers) .
I'm not sure this will solve anything.

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You mean solo play? Well, yes, but in this case the soloing is only a startup method. You see, going solo in the beginning and later getting a full party is probably easier (much easier) than getting and playing a full party from the start.
It will be quite difficult to clean up the hall of champions with a single character. You did it once, but it certainly wasn't easy and things have slightly changed in recent versions.
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Old 11 January 2011, 19:01   #86
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Well, do it like you want. I'll always choose all my champions, then take them in a rush. This is how it's meant to be played.
Sure, but I find it too frustrating
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Now of course you can do otherwise ; this dungeon is designed to make the player develop new strategies.
My thoughts exactly Also, you don't really have to solo far; just get rid of enough monsters in the hall of champions to make character selection easier, especially the skeletons are really annoying and easily dispatched if done right.
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I'm not sure this will solve anything.
Perhaps not, perhaps so. At least if all software allowed this, one wouldn't need screen promotion software (Workbench's built in system works, but isn't perfect).
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It will be quite difficult to clean up the hall of champions with a single character. You did it once, but it certainly wasn't easy
Actually, the basic technique is very easy because of how the dungeon is set up. It just requires precision to execute without getting poisoned and hit often, because you really don't want to have to rest because of this (food and water problem ). Try it yourself just for the heck of it, and see that it's not that difficult.
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and things have slightly changed in recent versions.
I'm getting curious
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Old 13 January 2011, 11:00   #87
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My thoughts exactly Also, you don't really have to solo far; just get rid of enough monsters in the hall of champions to make character selection easier, especially the skeletons are really annoying and easily dispatched if done right.
The original purpose was to make the player flee, then come back for a bloody - and very enjoyable - revenge.

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Actually, the basic technique is very easy because of how the dungeon is set up. It just requires precision to execute without getting poisoned and hit often, because you really don't want to have to rest because of this (food and water problem ). Try it yourself just for the heck of it, and see that it's not that difficult.
I know, i've tried this long ago. But now, as i said, things may have changed a little in this area

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I'm getting curious
Yeah, just try it. Shouldn't be long before you find out that it's no longer that easy...
There are two "new" things in the area you've certainly explored, one to make your life more difficult, and another to make it easier...
I can't say more, just try it and you'll see.
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Old 13 January 2011, 16:13   #88
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The original purpose was to make the player flee, then come back for a bloody - and very enjoyable - revenge.
Well, I picked one character (I just resurrected Halk) and did the same thing as the first time...
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I know, i've tried this long ago. But now, as i said, things may have changed a little in this area
... only to find my original method didn't work anymore, but...
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Yeah, just try it. Shouldn't be long before you find out that it's no longer that easy...
... I still found a way around it

It's really quite easy: Get one character (mine is always Halk, obviously ), run to the safe area to get some equipment and food, and then just run to the next safe area. From there you can easily take out the wasps one by one with just punches, and you can get mana from using warcry on the mummy in that area.

Also, getting poisoned isn't a problem anymore, because you've got enough food and water now, simply because you're not clearing the Hall of Champions from the start.

So I'm still going solo in the beginning, no sweat
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There are two "new" things in the area you've certainly explored, one to make your life more difficult, and another to make it easier...
I can't say more, just try it and you'll see.
I've tried, but I've only seen the addition that makes things harder so far, although I'm betting there are fewer monsters in the beginning.

Right now, Halk is:

Journeyman Fighter (from resurrection)
Journeyman Ninja
Novice Priest
Apprentice Wizzard

Current position in the game is the Dragon level. All I have to do is kill it, and my troubles are mostly over

Last edited by Thorham; 13 January 2011 at 16:25.
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Old 13 January 2011, 17:04   #89
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Well, I picked one character (I just resurrected Halk) and did the same thing as the first time...
... only to find my original method didn't work anymore, but...
... I still found a way around it

It's really quite easy: Get one character (mine is always Halk, obviously ), run to the safe area to get some equipment and food, and then just run to the next safe area. From there you can easily take out the wasps one by one with just punches, and you can get mana from using warcry on the mummy in that area.

Also, getting poisoned isn't a problem anymore, because you've got enough food and water now, simply because you're not clearing the Hall of Champions from the start.

So I'm still going solo in the beginning, no sweat
No sweat, but it might take several tries to go from one "safe" area to the other...

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I've tried, but I've only seen the addition that makes things harder so far, although I'm betting there are fewer monsters in the beginning.
There is a new resting area (well, not exactly new, but that you can access much earlier).

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Right now, Halk is:

Journeyman Fighter (from resurrection)
Journeyman Ninja
Novice Priest
Apprentice Wizzard

Current position in the game is the Dragon level. All I have to do is kill it, and my troubles are mostly over
Slaying the beast isn't necessary to get outta here. Perhaps it can be a good idea to explore the area a little bit more...

I'm really curious to see how far you can get, so please keep me informed of your advances
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Old 13 January 2011, 18:57   #90
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No sweat, but it might take several tries to go from one "safe" area to the other...
Yes, but it's already going to take several tries, and you only have to go from 'safe area 1' to 'safe area 2'. Once thats done, it's smooth sailing down to the dragon.
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There is a new resting area (well, not exactly new, but that you can access much earlier).
I'll find it later when I don't need it anymore
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Slaying the beast isn't necessary to get outta here. Perhaps it can be a good idea to explore the area a little bit more...
Perhaps, but killing him gets you a little further into the dungeon quickly, which is useful. Plus, he's a cool early target
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I'm really curious to see how far you can get, so please keep me informed of your advances
I will.

About the screen mode selection thing: Forget it, using that mode promotion program is handy anyway, and works like a charm with your DM port. I'm currently playing it in a custom 94 Hrtz mode.

Edit: Is it possible that playing in 94 Hrtz has an effect on the games internal timings? Something seems different, but I can't put my finger on it... If it does, perhaps a 60 Hrtz mode will be better, but will the game work properly in 320x200?

Last edited by Thorham; 13 January 2011 at 20:04.
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Old 14 January 2011, 12:05   #91
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Yes, but it's already going to take several tries, and you only have to go from 'safe area 1' to 'safe area 2'. Once thats done, it's smooth sailing down to the dragon.
Last time i played, it took me only one try to get there

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I'll find it later when I don't need it anymore
Probably

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Perhaps, but killing him gets you a little further into the dungeon quickly, which is useful. Plus, he's a cool early target
Of course, if you need a pack of food he's excellent

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I will.
Thanks.

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About the screen mode selection thing: Forget it, using that mode promotion program is handy anyway, and works like a charm with your DM port. I'm currently playing it in a custom 94 Hrtz mode.
Ok.

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Edit: Is it possible that playing in 94 Hrtz has an effect on the games internal timings? Something seems different, but I can't put my finger on it... If it does, perhaps a 60 Hrtz mode will be better, but will the game work properly in 320x200?
The game really is 320x200 (even Amiga versions, and even DM2). It expects its vblank to be 50hz, so it all depends on how your screen mode promotion works.
If you are faster than 50hz, worse thing that can happen is that you get a faster game (which may, at the end, be a good thing after all).
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Old 14 January 2011, 19:55   #92
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Last time i played, it took me only one try to get there
Of course, you made that dungeon. If you've only played the early part a few times, then it will be harder. Also, there is a hint of panic (as per design, right?), and this doesn't help when trying to quickly navigate that area.
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Of course, if you need a pack of food he's excellent
True, but he also has to be killed to progress further into the dungeon, and if I'm not mistaken it's beneficial to do this as early as possible (not easy).
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Thanks.
No problem, after all, this dungeon is fun.
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The game really is 320x200 (even Amiga versions, and even DM2). It expects its vblank to be 50hz, so it all depends on how your screen mode promotion works.
It simply opens a screen of the required dimensions (manual input), but of a different mode. Mine is a modified DblNtsc monitor (great in interlace: 94 Hrtz interlace, far less flicker on an SVGA CRT than DblPal No flicker).
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If you are faster than 50hz, worse thing that can happen is that you get a faster game (which may, at the end, be a good thing after all).
No, that doesn't happen, and would actually not be nice when facing the dragons (when you play like me: running around them to be able to hit him from the back all the time). In fact, could it be possible that the games runs slightly slower because of the increased chipmem bandwidth?
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Old 17 January 2011, 10:58   #93
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Of course, you made that dungeon. If you've only played the early part a few times, then it will be harder. Also, there is a hint of panic (as per design, right?), and this doesn't help when trying to quickly navigate that area.
You just need to plan things in advance.

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True, but he also has to be killed to progress further into the dungeon, and if I'm not mistaken it's beneficial to do this as early as possible (not easy).
Well, i could say otherwise, but i do not want to emit spoilers

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No problem, after all, this dungeon is fun.
This is all that counts

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It simply opens a screen of the required dimensions (manual input), but of a different mode. Mine is a modified DblNtsc monitor (great in interlace: 94 Hrtz interlace, far less flicker on an SVGA CRT than DblPal No flicker).
Well, just do what suits you the best

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No, that doesn't happen, and would actually not be nice when facing the dragons (when you play like me: running around them to be able to hit him from the back all the time). In fact, could it be possible that the games runs slightly slower because of the increased chipmem bandwidth?
Errh, maybe you mean the increased chipmem bandwidth that's used by the chipset, that is, the decreased chipmem bandwidth that remains free for the cpu ?
If your mode is a 28mhz mode, then it's perfectly possible that it can run slower.
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Old 19 January 2011, 18:14   #94
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You just need to plan things in advance.
Certainly, but that's not easy when you're new to this dungeon
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Well, i could say otherwise, but i do not want to emit spoilers
Good I actually have somewhat of a problem with this, too. Always thinking 'Am I writing too much?'...
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Errh, maybe you mean the increased chipmem bandwidth that's used by the chipset, that is, the decreased chipmem bandwidth that remains free for the cpu ?
Eh, yes, I mean increased bandwidth usage
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If your mode is a 28mhz mode, then it's perfectly possible that it can run slower.
It's actually a 29 Khz mode (in 94 Hrtz I get max: 672x562 interlaced). Could it be because of the way you emulate the Atari ST screen (how does that work again?)? It's probably not easy to make it completely native, is it (or perhaps not worth it)?

Last but not least, I've got a question in the good old coding thread for you (off-topic here).
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Old 20 January 2011, 11:15   #95
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Certainly, but that's not easy when you're new to this dungeon
You can do whatever you want when you're still Theron (hint, hint).

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Good I actually have somewhat of a problem with this, too. Always thinking 'Am I writing too much?'...
Some parts may be difficult to guess. For these, a hint scroll in the game is better suited, but, of course, i need to know what's difficult for other players.

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Eh, yes, I mean increased bandwidth usage

It's actually a 29 Khz mode (in 94 Hrtz I get max: 672x562 interlaced). Could it be because of the way you emulate the Atari ST screen (how does that work again?)? It's probably not easy to make it completely native, is it (or perhaps not worth it)?
Atari ST screen emulation is done in a quite lousy manner, by cpu in the vertical blank interrupt server. Takes 35% of 030's power (ST screen is in fastmem, but you still have to write to chipmem, which is problematic for 28Mhz pixel speed). Now it's no longer done when loading the game, to make loading faster.

I'm considering using normal screen format, but all gfx routines will have to be rewritten. Somewhat problematic is the fact they don't know the gfx's height (not needed on the ST), so with regular bitplanes this info is missing (it's present in DM Amiga, but this code isn't of regular hunk format and a pain to disassemble).

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Last but not least, I've got a question in the good old coding thread for you (off-topic here).
Off-topic ? Not so much, and it's better for me to stay here. That old thread is a little bit, say, bloated (large messages, do you remember ?).

So here it comes.

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Hi meynaf, got a couple of questions for ya

1) I've been looking through your system frame, and I have to ask why you don't use LVO includes? Isn't something like:
Code:
    jsr     _LVOOpenLibrary(a6)
a lot more readable than:
Code:
    jsr     -552(a6)
or am I missing something?
You'll notice that it's not exactly what i'm writing.
Rather :
Code:
 jsr -$228(a6)      ; OpenLibrary
And it's more readable this way.

Of course, my DM uses my system frame

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2) I've recently switched from AsmOne to Phxass+FrexxEd (finally power editing! That editor sure is overkill ), and I want to keep using AsmOne for debugging. Anything to watch out for that AsmOne screws up that Phxass doesn't?
Phxass produces better code than AsmOne and has full 020+ support. AsmOne wouldn't assemble my DM code anyway.

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3) A good while ago you told me you use MEmacs as your editor. What I want to know is why? Surely there are better (freeware) editors out there you can use? Or do you just like it spartan
Better editors ? Perhaps, but much larger then.
MEmacs' macro system rocks. Or maybe I'm just used to it

I'm using this editor to edit my dungeons, too
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Old 20 January 2011, 19:12   #96
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You can do whatever you want when you're still Theron (hint, hint).
Okay, I certainly won't use him then
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Some parts may be difficult to guess. For these, a hint scroll in the game is better suited, but, of course, i need to know what's difficult for other players.
Yes, it would be nice if more people actually tried this dungeon from hell.
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Atari ST screen emulation is done in a quite lousy manner, by cpu in the vertical blank interrupt server. Takes 35% of 030's power (ST screen is in fastmem, but you still have to write to chipmem, which is problematic for 28Mhz pixel speed). Now it's no longer done when loading the game, to make loading faster.
It could be interesting to add the option to update only at half the number of frames so that users can select this as needed. Also, those double scan modes aren't that bad in 16 color mode, which is used by DM, right?
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I'm considering using normal screen format, but all gfx routines will have to be rewritten. Somewhat problematic is the fact they don't know the gfx's height (not needed on the ST), so with regular bitplanes this info is missing (it's present in DM Amiga, but this code isn't of regular hunk format and a pain to disassemble).
Hmm, isn't this info in the code somewhere? I mean, it has to be somewhere, right? Anyway, how optimized is that ST gfx engine? Could I take a look at it?
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Off-topic ? Not so much, and it's better for me to stay here. That old thread is a little bit, say, bloated (large messages, do you remember ?).
Yes, I remember, but it's about coding, so... And this is a bit off-topic here
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You'll notice that it's not exactly what i'm writing.
Rather :
Code:
 jsr -$228(a6)      ; OpenLibrary
And it's more readable this way.
Hmm, in the version I have, there are many jsr -xyz(a6) lines with no comments. Furthermore, the point is that the jsr itself isn't more readable, see here (FrexxEd shot): scrshot.zip
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Phxass produces better code than AsmOne and has full 020+ support. AsmOne wouldn't assemble my DM code anyway.
Okay, nice I'll see if I can use Phxass properly without breaking Asmone/Asmpro compatibility for debugging (debugger+mem viewer+command line is great).
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Better editors ? Perhaps, but much larger then.
MEmacs' macro system rocks. Or maybe I'm just used to it
Yes, certainly bigger and better I think you should try some others. CygnusEd has a good macro system (all functions can be used in a macro) and is fast, but it's not the best programmers editor. As for FrexxEd, it has the script language FPL, which is 99% C, which is fantastic. I've made quite a few alterations to it with this script system, and it's macros are just FPL scripts (and editable in the editor itself), and thus far more powerful than anything available, but it's not as fast as CygnusEd.

There's of course a plethora of mediocre editors out here, so I sugest you try these two first (FrexxEd is open source now, I have the key file if you want it)... if you feel up to it
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I'm using this editor to edit my dungeons, too
Ha ha, you can do that with any editor In fact, with FrexxEd's script language you could do a whole editor for it (might become a little slow... maybe).
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Old 24 January 2011, 09:42   #97
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Okay, I certainly won't use him then
Misunderstanding here ?
I mean, Theron is the ghost you are when you haven't got any character yet.

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Yes, it would be nice if more people actually tried this dungeon from hell.
Sure. And the other dungeons, too.

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It could be interesting to add the option to update only at half the number of frames so that users can select this as needed. Also, those double scan modes aren't that bad in 16 color mode, which is used by DM, right?
Actually it's 32 colors. Atari version used interrupt and cpu, Amiga version use copper, but my version uses 32 colors like DM2.

Or course i could update half frame... something to be thought of...

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Hmm, isn't this info in the code somewhere? I mean, it has to be somewhere, right? Anyway, how optimized is that ST gfx engine? Could I take a look at it?
Yes you can take a look at it. I will make an extract for you, containing the main routines. While most of the code is stupid compiled C code (for the parts i didn't rewrite yet ), the gfx routines are optimised, bad-ass asm routines.

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Hmm, in the version I have, there are many jsr -xyz(a6) lines with no comments. Furthermore, the point is that the jsr itself isn't more readable, see here (FrexxEd shot): Attachment 27643
Sorry. My code is independent of includes apart mine, and is likely to always remain so. Code using the lib performs no direct calls anyway.

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Yes, certainly bigger and better I think you should try some others. CygnusEd has a good macro system (all functions can be used in a macro) and is fast, but it's not the best programmers editor. As for FrexxEd, it has the script language FPL, which is 99% C, which is fantastic. I've made quite a few alterations to it with this script system, and it's macros are just FPL scripts (and editable in the editor itself), and thus far more powerful than anything available, but it's not as fast as CygnusEd.

There's of course a plethora of mediocre editors out here, so I sugest you try these two first (FrexxEd is open source now, I have the key file if you want it)... if you feel up to it
I may try... one day...

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Ha ha, you can do that with any editor In fact, with FrexxEd's script language you could do a whole editor for it (might become a little slow... maybe).
The dungeon format is just too complex for that. There are many things you need to adjust/compute, many bit fields, and so on.
Phxass only computes a few things and despite its speed, the process isn't too fast for big dungeons.
Note that if you want to know more about it, the dungeon format is documented at the dmweb site.
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Old 27 January 2011, 10:11   #98
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Ok, look in the zone. There is small program which just shows walls. Two graphics routines are there :

- the decrunch routine, coming from Amiga Dm, but giving separate bitplanes which i convert to interleaved afterwards (vertical size is then no longer needed)

- the main blit routine, adapted from St version to Amiga format - works, but needs a lot of clean-up
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Old 27 January 2011, 19:19   #99
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Misunderstanding here ?
I mean, Theron is the ghost you are when you haven't got any character yet.
Heh heh, thought you meant that guy from Therons quest, because you said you can do anything you want with him. You can't do much as the ghost
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Or course i could update half frame... something to be thought of...
Certainly. You could get the screen's update frequency, and update at the appropriate rate based on that.
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Sorry. My code is independent of includes apart mine, and is likely to always remain so. Code using the lib performs no direct calls anyway.
Doesn't mean you can't use the LVO includes. They're standard as far as I know
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I may try... one day...
More advanced editors are a must in my opinion, even if it's just for a good undo feature and changeable tab sizes.
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Ok, look in the zone. There is small program which just shows walls. Two graphics routines are there :

- the decrunch routine, coming from Amiga Dm, but giving separate bitplanes which i convert to interleaved afterwards (vertical size is then no longer needed)

- the main blit routine, adapted from St version to Amiga format - works, but needs a lot of clean-up
Thank you

Last edited by Thorham; 27 January 2011 at 19:31.
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Old 30 January 2011, 09:16   #100
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Heh heh, thought you meant that guy from Therons quest, because you said you can do anything you want with him. You can't do much as the ghost
But the ghost can explore and won't get attacked.

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Certainly. You could get the screen's update frequency, and update at the appropriate rate based on that.
As the screen's update is on the VBlank, it's already updated at this frequency...

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Doesn't mean you can't use the LVO includes. They're standard as far as I know
They sure are. But i don't like using them, matter of taste

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More advanced editors are a must in my opinion, even if it's just for a good undo feature and changeable tab sizes.
And most of them aren't just 50 kb

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Thank you
Good luck with the code, mate.
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