ZXDS 0.8.1 beta 1

edited February 2009 in Emulators
Hi!

The new version is out. The major feature is of course the RZX playback, but support for ZIP archives and POK files is quite nice, too.

Note that I didn't have much time to test many RZXs, but most of what I have tried worked fine, even some seriously broken ones. Anyone is welcome to try it out and report any problems back here.

May this all cheer you up a bit.

Enjoy!

Patrik
Post edited by Patrik Rak on
«1

Comments

  • edited November 2008
    Thanks Patrik! This is very much appreciated indeed!
  • edited November 2008
    sweet, i will be downlaoding this as soon as poss.
  • edited November 2008
    This is great! Tried JSW and Sabre Wulf RZXs and they play back fine.

    However, the Knight Lore RZX that I tried doesn't play back properly, it just stays on the menu screen and beeps. This RZX plays back fine in Spectaculator and SPIN.
  • edited November 2008
    Daren wrote: »
    However, the Knight Lore RZX that I tried doesn't play back properly.

    Great, I'll look into that. Keep it coming.

    Patrik
  • edited November 2008
    Thank you patrik , been waiting desperately for an update to the best ds speccy emulator lol.

    The emulator is excellent all ready but is it possible to add games download like the amstrad 464 emulator does?

    cheers, paul
  • edited November 2008
    paul3100 wrote: »
    The emulator is excellent all ready but is it possible to add games download like the amstrad 464 emulator does?

    Shh, keep quiet. It's a secret feature I have been planning all time long. No need to ruin the surprise now... :)

    Patrik
  • edited November 2008
    Patrik Rak wrote: »
    Shh, keep quiet. It's a secret feature I have been planning all time long. No need to ruin the surprise now... :)

    Patrik

    oops sorry! lol nice if you do though, Don't get me wrong the emulator is GOLD and does everything i would expect/want from a speccy emulator and more but always nice to see little extras :-)

    cheers, paul
  • edited November 2008
    aowen wrote: »
    If it will be possible to use ZXDS on the DSi via the built-on SD card slot then I'll be getting one. I have an idea for a Speccy game that will only be playable on portable devices.

    Very curious... what kind of game would only be playable on portable devices...?
  • edited November 2008
    bobs wrote: »
    Very curious... what kind of game would only be playable on portable devices...?

    Hotel Dusk, Brain Training, Planet Puzzle League... noticed anything? My guess only, though.

    Patrik
  • edited November 2008
    aowen wrote: »
    My idea would work on ZX emulators running on any handheld device. It would not work on any other ZX emulators, or real hardware.

    Nope, still confused! Perhaps something to do with the size of the screen?
  • edited November 2008
    I bet when he says "the smoothest horizontal scrolling ever seen on a Spectrum", he's actually talking about sliding it across the table. Hmm... Tapper DS Edition? Daley Thompson's Shove Ha'penny Challenge? Advanced Curling Simulator?
  • edited November 2008
    Patrik Rak wrote: »
    Hotel Dusk, Brain Training, Planet Puzzle League... noticed anything? My guess only, though.

    All these games are played sideways. I bet it's the orientation of the screen what aowen is after. Obviously, smoothly scrolling the display "horizontally" can be done much faster in such case...

    Patrik
  • edited November 2008
    Daren wrote: »
    However, the Knight Lore RZX that I tried doesn't play back properly, it just stays on the menu screen and beeps. This RZX plays back fine in Spectaculator and SPIN.

    Grmph, to detect the retriggered interrupt I have in the end used the value 4 recommended by the RZX specs rather than something like the interrupt duration divided by four. While the former makes sense in case of a real retriggered interrupt, Spin seems to generate these short frames every other frame all the time (at least the 0.5 version did). I did notice that before, but never with values out of the recommended range. The mentioned RZX however contains values as high as 9. Shame on me, obviously, I should have checked that Spin anomaly better.

    With the value increased appropriately the RZX plays fine until completion. I'll include that in the next release, however, what about running these RZXs through a tool which would filter out these short frames to make them conform to the specs?

    Patrik
  • edited November 2008
    aowen wrote: »
    I haven't played any of those as I don't own a DS but you are correct, I'm talking about turning the Speccy display on its side. Smooth horizontal scrolling is a doddle when it's really vertical scrolling.

    I've also done some checking and even though the Speccy screen is a tad small, I have found away around that problem.

    Edit: I do appear to have rotated the screen the wrong way though. Oops.

    What a neat idea! Look forward to seeing it - although you could always just turn your TV on it's end... ;-)
  • edited November 2008
    aowen wrote: »
    I haven't played any of those as I don't own a DS but you are correct, I'm talking about turning the Speccy display on its side.

    Certainly my laptop's video hardware has the ability to rotate the display in 90 degree increments, so I don't see why this needs a portable device. Equally an option could be added to emulators, probably before the game itself is out!
  • edited November 2008
    bobs wrote: »
    although you could always just turn your TV on it's end... ;-)

    I've always did that when I had my Dreamcast and Ikaruga :D It was a small 14", of course :wink:
  • edited December 2008
    Daren wrote: »
    However, the Knight Lore RZX that I tried doesn't play back properly, it just stays on the menu screen and beeps. This RZX plays back fine in Spectaculator and SPIN.
    Patrik Rak wrote: »
    Grmph, to detect the retriggered interrupt I have in the end used the value 4 recommended by the RZX specs rather than something like the interrupt duration divided by four.
    ...
    With the value increased appropriately the RZX plays fine until completion.

    OK, as the next regular release might take some time, I made an extra release which fixes this. If anyone finds any other RZXs which don't work (and don't write any reason nor IO mismatch errors to the log), please report them here.

    Thanks,

    Patrik
  • edited December 2008
    aowen wrote: »
    I've done a quick disassembly of the original and it rotates clockwise
    (you can tell from the way the font is stored). However, given the desired alignment on portable machines, it makes more sense for my version to rotate widershins (counterclockwise)
    . Thus avoiding emulators having to support rotating the screen, or having any data or code in common with the original.
    Although that doesn't take into account comfort for left-handed players but you could always provide a screen flip option in the game... anyone with mod status fancy moving posts related to this game to their own thread?
  • edited December 2008
    Forgot to say, thank you for the new release, Patrik.
  • edited December 2008
    Patrik, can you give a little more detail on how to use .POK files?

    In my ZXDS\data folder I have Kight Lore.tap and Knight Lore.pok. The .pok file contains the following information:

    [Infinite Lives]
    POKE 53567,0
    [Infinite Days]
    POKE 50208,126
    [POKE #3]
    [POKE #4]
    [POKE #5]


    When I press the POKE button on the touch screen I just get a black screen, when I expected to be given a choice of the above pokes to activate.

    Also, I have a small request. When I choose LOAD I get a full list of files in my data directory. All my games are in TZX format but I also have .POK and .CFG files for every game and these are also listed but cannot be loaded. Could you filter the list so that when LOAD is chosen it only displays files with extensions that are likely to be games (e.g. TZX, TAP, Z80, SNA)?
  • edited December 2008
    WhizzBang wrote: »
    Patrik, can you give a little more detail on how to use .POK files?

    It has to follow the .pok file format. Your example would become something like this (the amount of spaces may be important for some emulators):
    NInfinite Lives
    Z  8 53567   0   0
    NInfinite Days
    M  8 50208 126   0
    M  8 ...
    M  8 ...
    Z  8 ...
    Y
    

    BTW, where did you get your poke files from?
    Could you filter the list so that when LOAD is chosen it only displays files with extensions that are likely to be games (e.g. TZX, TAP, Z80, SNA)?

    File name filtering is certainly on my todo list. Trivial to do, just didn't get around to it yet.

    Patrik
  • edited December 2008
    Patrik Rak wrote: »
    BTW, where did you get your poke files from?

    I created them using GP2xpectrum. I have about 50 of them set up for games and I have chosen pokes that generally make the game easier for training purposes without ruining the game (e.g. invulnerability generally ruins a game, but games like Knight Lore and Head Over Heels are still challenging with infinite lives poke). I shall see if I can convert them all using that page you linked to.

    I am also creating key configs for all my games and I am thinking of starting a thread on this board for people to share their ZXDS configs on. I am sticking to the following standards:

    1) Always use Kempston if available. If not then use standard keys.
    2) Always use B for jump and A for fire when applicable (which is most of the time)
    3) Always set L to be Save Snapshot and R to be Load Snapshot
    4) Always set Select to Pause
    5) Always set Start to whatever key needs to be pressed to start a game

    and rules 4), 3) and 5) can be ignored (in that order) if more than 8 binded keys are required (very rare, usually only need 6 keys at most). Being consistent with this makes the emulation feel better, I find.

    If you think you might have any need for them (you mentioned earlier the possibility of downloading games directly), I would be happy to send you my key configs and pokes when finished. I am using TZX files rather than snapshot so I would not need to supply you with any game files. When I load the game I set it to Kempston using the stylus, and then press Start and I am then into the game.


    Edit: I just wanted to add that I have switched to ZXDS because my GP2x does not boot up any more and not because I was unhappy with GP2xpectrum. GP2xpectrum is a great emulator and has been where I have done most of my Spectrum gaming for the last 2 years and I am very grateful to Metal Brain (and Rlyeh before him) for all their work.
  • edited December 2008
    WhizzBang wrote: »
    I created them using GP2xpectrum. I have about 50 of them set up for games and I have chosen pokes that generally make the game easier for training purposes without ruining the game (e.g. invulnerability generally ruins a game, but games like Knight Lore and Head Over Heels are still challenging with infinite lives poke). I shall see if I can convert them all using that page you linked to.

    If you can run perl scripts somewhere, it should be trivial to convert them all with a simple script. Let me know if I shall put one together...
    I am also creating key configs for all my games and I am thinking of starting a thread on this board for people to share their ZXDS configs on. If you think you might have any need for them, I would be happy to send you my key configs and pokes when finished.

    Some people already offered the same thing, I'll think how to integrate it with the rest. I guess the .pok files could be made part of the WoS, but I am not sure about the key configs, it seems too ZXDS specific (even if some other handhelds might make some use of it as well).

    Patrik
  • edited December 2008
    Awesome emulator Patrik, congratulations.

    I'd like to know if it's possible to configure the time until the bottom screen turns off, just curiosity.
  • edited December 2008
    Awesome emulator Patrik, congratulations.

    I'd like to know if it's possible to configure the time until the bottom screen turns off, just curiosity.

    Take a look at the config file on your card. There is a line that says: backlight_timeout = 60
  • edited December 2008
    WhizzBang wrote: »
    Take a look at the config file on your card. There is a line that says: backlight_timeout = 60

    Great! thank you :-)
  • edited December 2008
    Did anybody get it to work with a Supercard SD (slot-2)?
    I've been running ZXDS from the very early releases on my M3 sd perfect ( I also have a G6 real but it's mainly used for DS games ), but recently I forgot it at my sister's house in Italy while I was on vacation there and now all I have left is a SC sd.
    I tried every possoble combination, but I couldn't get the latest build ( beta 2 ) to load or save anything off the cart.
    The emulator itself runs ( I dldi patched it with the appropiate file ), I even created a .ds.gba version and appended a loader (ndsmall) the renamed it .nds again ( otherwise my SC would boot in GBA mode ) and still the enulator runs, but can't see and browse the content ov the cart.
    I formatted my sd in FAT ( not FAT32 ) as this is what the Supercard requires me to do.
    Could that be a problem with ZXDS ?
    It took me an hour to copy over all my Speccy stuff, if I could I would avoid to reformat my sd card.
    Anybody got it to work on a slot 2 Supercard SD ?
  • edited December 2008
    I think this was already answered before, but here it goes: Is there any chance a future version of ZXDS will allow diagonal movement? Or maybe it already does it but I didn't get used to the controls. I never played with the DS until I got the emulator working. :)
  • edited December 2008
    Arm73 wrote: »
    Did anybody get it to work with a Supercard SD (slot-2)? Could that be a problem with ZXDS ?

    I think I have read somewhere on the net that someone did. Make sure you get the newest DLDI driver from here (there are several, so try all). Also, if your card supports DLDI autopatch, you may want to use this tool to make sure it doesn't replace your driver with its own version. I don't know if you need to use the .ds.gba version or not, as long as the emulator runs it shouldn't matter as far as DLDI is concerned (except perhaps with that driver which depends on the firmware state).

    The nice thing about DLDI is that ZXDS doesn't do anything at all regarding the card, it just uses the standard calls like fopen() and opendir() and it all just works. So I doubt it could be related to ZXDS itself.
    zxbruno wrote: »
    I think this was already answered before, but here it goes: Is there any chance a future version of ZXDS will allow diagonal movement? Or maybe it already does it but I didn't get used to the controls. I never played with the DS until I got the emulator working. :)

    What do you mean by allowing diagonal movement? As in if you can press up and left on the D-pad at the same time? AFAIK, that should be already possible.

    Patrik
  • edited December 2008
    Do you have another SD card you can try?

    I got it working on my SC SD. (I used to run it that way all the time!)

    But not on all SD cards - basically I have an SD card that works fine for most things (commercial games all ran and saved fine!), but not for some homebrew on the supercard. I never got ZXDS to work on that one.

    Switching to a new SD card fixed my problems - (But they were even by the same manufacturer so I have no idea why).

    You do not need to use the .ds.gba version - the .nds version runs perfectly fine.
    Autopatching from the SC SD also worked perfectly for me - so don't fiddle with that either!


    EDIT!:

    Just tried this out - You definitely shouldn't need to fiddle with anything. I am certain that your problems are caused by either a firmware issue or a slight incompatibility with the SD card itself.

    I just unzipped the directories into the root of an SD card formatted Fat16 and slotted it into my SC SD.

    I then used a Super Key (the little one!) to Passme and boot the supercard in DS mode (I haven't done this for ages!) and ran ZXDS from it's directory.

    The SC (using firmare version 1.85 - the latest AFAIK) autopatched in the correct dldi driver and everything just worked. Saving to slots, loading snapshots and tap files - all tested and working perfectly.

    definitely worth trying another SD card if you have one.
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