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Old 17 September 2017, 20:25   #1
DamienD
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Track Heroes - some mods won't play when 2MB Chip RAM

Heya guys,

Thought I'd try this out today: Tracker Heroes

...so setup a standard WB 3.1 .HDF with 2MB Chip & 4MB Fast.

Installed the game plus all extra song packs found on the official webpage.

Can run / play the game; tried "Easy" and the first mod. No problems

Tried "Easy" again but this time the second mod. Displays the following:



Here's screenshot of my available RAM before starting the game:



As I use WinUAE I tried setting 4MB Chip (which no Amiga in the real world has); when loading the second mod there's no error but the game crashes...

I guess I might have to create a bare-bones .HDF without WB...

Anyone have any advise on the matter?
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Old 17 September 2017, 20:58   #2
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...even with a bare-bone .HDF (no Workbench etc) I still get this when trying to load the second track in "Easy" mode:



I guess the author of this game is trying to load any mods into "Chip RAM" only

Ok, the above makes sense when running on a CD32 console but will probably crash if you were to load the second track in "Easy" mode...
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Old 17 September 2017, 20:59   #3
Galahad/FLT
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Just change the bigger mods for smaller ones and see what happens.
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Old 17 September 2017, 21:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
Just change the bigger mods for smaller ones and see what happens.
Yeah, just looked at the sizes of every mod...

"mod.oops!" is definitely the biggest i.e. 830053kb.

The next biggest is "mod.viking gtarist ghost" i.e. 527842kb and this works fine.

I'm now going to try compressing "mod.oops!" with Crunch-Mania; that should hopefully solve the issue
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Old 17 September 2017, 21:36   #5
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Doing the above makes things worse:



I give up...

Anyway, the point of the thread really is, why include a mod file in the original package that's too large to run on an Amiga?

Maybe I should contact author and ask him to replace this mod...
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Old 17 September 2017, 22:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
Doing the above makes things worse:



I give up...

Anyway, the point of the thread really is, why include a mod file in the original package that's too large to run on an Amiga?

Maybe I should contact author and ask him to replace this mod...
Of course it will make things worse, whilst initially it will take up less room, the file still has to be depacked, the final size of the file will still need the same memory, but now you've added decrunch buffers, and the stack size has probably had to increase massively because of the size of the file.

So, just as a test, stick in a smaller module to make sure it works, or use Snoopdos to see what extra files its loading that are not required which can reduce memory consumption.

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Old 17 September 2017, 23:58   #7
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That's some good quality control they've got there.
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Old 18 September 2017, 00:55   #8
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...tell me about it; clearly tested thoroughly before release

It is only that one "mod.oops!" that's too large / causes issues though.

If they loaded the mods into Fast RAM then problem solved.
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Old 18 September 2017, 15:57   #9
Akira
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
If they loaded the mods into Fast RAM then problem solved.
But you really cannot do that completely.
You can store pattern data in Fast RAM, but all samples need to go on Chip RAM. This is what we do with PT-1210. Having Fast RAM really helps out even if it's a few KB.
The program logic itself should reside in Fast RAM if available, too, but then again, the graphics will have to take space in Chip RAM.
There's also system stuff that might not relocate to Fast and takes space in Chip RAM.

What I mean is, it's not as easy as it sounds.

With that said, a module that doesn't work included in the original package sounds weird. I will give this a try later on my A600!
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Old 18 September 2017, 16:24   #10
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But you really cannot do that completely.
You can store pattern data in Fast RAM, but all samples need to go on Chip RAM. This is what we do with PT-1210.
You can load protracker mods into fastram. You need only a small amount of chipram to play it. But the player needs to support it. E.g. HippoPlayer has a fastram player what uses only 1024 bytes of chipram. Maybe someone can explain how does it work (in detail)? My guess is that the chipram used is a buffer filled from fastram.
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Old 18 September 2017, 16:29   #11
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You can load protracker mods into fastram. You need only a small amount of chipram to play it. But the player needs to support it. E.g. HippoPlayer has a fastram player what uses only 1024 bytes of chipram. Maybe someone can explain how does it work (in detail)? My guess is that the chipram used is a buffer filled from fastram.
Yeah I guess you could do something like that, but wouldn't copying RAM from one to the other be a bit of a toll on the processor? This game runs even on 68k machines and it's doing more things at the time than just playing music.


I think Eagleplayer does this too, by the way. But both are system-friendly apps that only play music and not much else.
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Old 18 September 2017, 19:26   #12
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I don`t know the game and I don`t know if it would work with it. Also I don`t know how much CPU time it would suck. Assumption, not much. CPU usage while playing a mod from fastram with HippoPlayer on my A1200 040 is <1%.
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Old 19 September 2017, 15:08   #13
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Originally Posted by Akira View Post
With that said, a module that doesn't work included in the original package sounds weird. I will give this a try later on my A600!
...so, considering I know this is one of your favourite games Akira, have you managed to test the 2nd "Easy" mod and what was the outcome?
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Old 19 September 2017, 15:31   #14
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I couldn't do it yesterday so I tried it just now. I installed the ECS version with everything on, and I got the same error: 125KB more needed to play that tune! Then I went and launched the game directly on its own when the Amiga boots, now it required 117KB, but still won't play.

That's so weird, that we only found out now. Also how weird the differences in required RAM are.

Anyway, you are not tripping I wonder what this module is that it is so big anyway, I will play it and see.
[edit] I see, it's 800+ KB. I guess the rest of the game takes up a lot of Chip RAM, I cannot see how much RAM is available at game runtime so it's impossible to tell what's up here, but surely tehre could be some stuff being put in Fast RAM if available I guess.

Last edited by Akira; 19 September 2017 at 15:50.
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