Games with problems

feedback, questions and discussion relating to the Complete BBC Games Archive (beta site now open!)
roganjosh
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Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:18 am

I'm opening this thread by request of Lee. As I work my way through the list doing conversions I've been spotting a few problems I've PMd Lee with. This thread allows me to report them so they can be fixed openly.

So, starting with 767 Advanced Flight Simulator. The program hangs at the external cockpit picture.

I think it was CHAIN/*RUN problems rather than anything in the meat of the code. However it was a few weeks ago so I could be misremembering.

My working, modified, ssd is here:
767AFS.ssd
(200 KiB) Downloaded 15 times

Alan

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Re: Games with problems

Post by CMcDougall » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:33 pm

is it originally from tape?

If so :
*T.
PAGE=&E00
CH.""

from tape that is with DFS fitted...
ImageImageImage

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Re: Games with problems

Post by leenew » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:45 pm

Hi Col,
It is important that all of these games that have problems are highlighted.
The reason is that they have been tested before and worked fine.... but now they don't. So they all need investigating
Cheers!

Lee.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by CMcDougall » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:24 pm

so are they from Tape? presume so.....

if they all worked before, why not use the originals, not mBrown stuff that seems to be coming out in the wash recently.

just tried the first d/l link on BeebEm414 & get this, all seems ok as it moving about :
Attachments
747sc.png
ok
ImageImageImage

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:57 pm

Hi All,

The copy of 767 that I had was from a Disc hack posted on Every Game Going which still had the Page=&E00 Chain"767" in the loader file.
I added my usual downloader program to the end of the game and tested it on both BeebEm and Bem and it seemed to work.
I believe Lee also tested on real hardware and a datacentre.

It would be nice to have the original uef, but it looks like the files were a direct copy of the tape, so this may be all we have to work with.

Just to be clear, is my copy failing under BBC B settings or Master 128?
All my games have been copied to work on a BBC B and I have not tried them in 128 mode.

PS Some of my games employ a routine that pokes &0E to location &18 to set the page so I am not sure if that affects the game running if used on none BBC B machines.
I may be barking up the wrong tree, but if that is the cause, then surely other games that use this routine should fail as well.
I can remember from memory that ON ERROR RUN routines before downloading games could affect them and some were changed to ON ERROR OFF.
Also some of those *FX15,0 commands needed to be in the right place. These were sometimes added to the downloader to prevent a crash if the keyboard was pressed during loading and cleared the buffer before performing the OLD RUN routine.

I would imagine that some or all of the above mentioned may have contributed to the problem, but the game does seem to work on my setup as I created it.
I will be glad to change it if that is what is needed.
Again, I need to know under what circumstances the game fails to load.

regards,
Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:29 pm

Michael Brown wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:57 pm

Just to be clear, is my copy failing under BBC B settings or Master 128?
All my games have been copied to work on a BBC B and I have not tried them in 128 mode.
I'm only reporting problems doing a PLAY on the web site and running the provided download within BeebEm 4.14 configured as a Model B. The Master isn't directly relevant to this thread.

Alan

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:56 am

Hi,

I was just wondering if it was possible that variables set up in my !BOOT menu interfer with the games in such a way that they work fine via the menu but not from a different !BOOT loader such as the one used on the website.

Also, I can see that some changes to your copy were made REMing out the ON ERROR and *FX200,3 in the loader and removing the quotes from the *RUN 767 and the inclusion of a END statement on a new line after it.
Is it possible that any or all of these simple commands could interfer with running the game?

I could not see any problem my end with what was there before, so something must be causing the issue.

regards,
Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:06 am

Hi.
Michael Brown wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:56 am

I was just wondering if it was possible that variables set up in my !BOOT menu interfer with the games in such a way that they work fine via the menu but not from a different !BOOT loader such as the one used on the website.

Also, I can see that some changes to your copy were made REMing out the ON ERROR and *FX200,3 in the loader and removing the quotes from the *RUN 767 and the inclusion of a END statement on a new line after it.
Is it possible that any or all of these simple commands could interfer with running the game?

I could not see any problem my end with what was there before, so something must be causing the issue.
I'll just preface this by saying that the ssd file I supplied was an early conversion for a Master 128 (unlike the Dracula Island crack I provided which is clean model B stuff). It was given as a courtesy to Lee, who requested it in the hope that it might provide some clues as to what might be wrong with the bbcmicro version. It is by no means a suggested replacement for bbcmicro - I wouldn't be so bold.

I'm going through the programs titles in ASCII alphanumeric order so 767 AFS was one of the first I looked at. I was therefore inexperienced with Master conversions at that point. Things had improved exponentially a few titles later (I intend revisiting the numeric titles [and a couple of the 'A's] at some stage in case they need a tidy - 767 is a case in point with the FX issue).

Some of the things you mentioned, like removal of quotes, were irrelevant thumb-twiddling tinkering. In subsequent Master-compatible titles I replace FX calls with osbyte ones if the Master extended vector area has been trashed and can't otherwise be easily massaged by code relocation. So, in short, I suspect that the red herrings are likely to be the quotes, the END and the FX call. I've also never had a problem with the !BOOT files. The ON ERROR issue has caused some memories to stir so I'd currently put my money on that. I was interested to hear that you'd had problems with ON ERROR in the past. I'm now nearing the end of the 'E' titles and I can't remember any other ON ERROR causing problems (which may reflect that they've been previously fixed - maybe by you) so that's likely a good sign that there aren't going to be too many problems with them from now on.


As for Dracula Island I didn't look at the failing bbcmicro code so I don't know what the problem there might be. I just posted a crack of the tape image Lee provided (which incidentally ended up working fine on a Master too as the protection code was the only thing preventing it).

HTH

Alan

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:51 pm

Hi Alan,

I too think it may be the ON ERROR routine that caused the issue.
I did change some of these BITD to ON ERROR OFF but only the ones that stopped the game from working.
Not sure why this one was left in, may have been missed.
It has been changed now though.

Feel free to find any more as you go that cause problems and I will amend them, but hopefully, this was a one off.

regards,
Mick.

PS As for Dracula, due to finding an issue, we now have a version that saves to disc.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:07 pm

Michael Brown wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:51 pm

PS As for Dracula, due to finding an issue, we now have a version that saves to disc.
Thanks. Good stuff. The original tape set PAGE to E00 so I left it at that. If shifting it up in memory has meant that disc saves now work then so much the better.

Alan

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Re: Games with problems

Post by pau1ie » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:55 pm

roganjosh wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:06 am
I'm going through the programs titles in ASCII alphanumeric order so 767 AFS was one of the first I looked at. I was therefore inexperienced with Master conversions at that point.
I am interested in what you are doing - Do you have notes on which programs are Master compatible? I would like to note this on bbcmicro. As you see most programs haven't been tested on a master. If you can supply me a list of which programs work and don't I would love to update the website with this information.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:40 am

pau1ie wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:55 pm
I am interested in what you are doing - Do you have notes on which programs are Master compatible? I would like to note this on bbcmicro. As you see most programs haven't been tested on a master. If you can supply me a list of which programs work and don't I would love to update the website with this information.
I started doing so at the request of Lee in the mid Cs. I've a list of those ones that I've converted, a short one of games that still need conversion that I need to return to and a list of the set of games I'm working through. For the earlier ones I can write a program to do MD5SUMs of the ssd files and manually re-examine those with differences in order to categorise them.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:10 am

I'm not sure what your policy is on bbcmicro.co.uk for handling saved games via PLAY. I've reported one such problem recently in a PM before this topic was set up. A new case in point is "Five Spheres of Goliath". If you type QUIT you have the option to save the game. This bombs-out because the file 'sphdata' is locked. Of course the same problem happens on the downloadable ssd (which is a better candidate for a fix).

I may as well, while I'm here, report an irritation with "Fantasia Diamond". That one continues to display "Please wait" during loading when it's just waiting for a key press. Perhaps that wasn't a problem when loading from tape as you'd see when the loading had finished. Of course it's pretty standard not to issue 'press a key' prompts in lots of software, however those don't tend to say 'please wait' at the same time. Anyway, it's easily fixed in the BASIC loader should you wish.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by lurkio » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:38 am

roganjosh wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:10 am
I'm not sure what your policy is on bbcmicro.co.uk for handling saved games via PLAY. I've reported one such problem recently in a PM before this topic was set up. A new case in point is "Five Spheres of Goliath". If you type QUIT you have the option to save the game. This bombs-out because the file 'sphdata' is locked. Of course the same problem happens on the downloadable ssd (which is a better candidate for a fix).
There are several games where the save file needs to be unlocked and indeed has been unlocked on bbcmicro.co.uk -- Raven Wood is a case in point. I think Gateway To Karos is another. Five Spheres Of Goliath is one we must have missed. Thanks for letting us know.

:idea:

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Re: Games with problems

Post by leenew » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:43 pm

I have unlocked the sphdata file and re-uploaded the game. It should be OK now.
Fantasia Diamond is another matter.
Does anyone have the original tape?
It appears there is an Electron Version and a BBC version of the game on the tape.
My guess is we are using the Electron version.
Also, after typing QUIT and getting the QUIT (Y/N) prompt, why do only the W and the T keys respond??!

Lee.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:53 am

Hi,
The STH uef image loads in MODE6 and maybe a dual BBC/Electron game.
The STH Disc hack loads in MODE7 and this may have been changed to avoid screen corruption as the game spills over &6000 in order to be downloaded to &F00.
I have been able to poke text to &7E60 in MODE7 to display "PRESS ANY KEY TO START" upon loading, but this won't work in MODE6. I have sent a copy to Lee, but the game has that W and T key thing when you quit.
I have tried looking through the code to change it to Y and N but no luck.
Can anyone else find it?
I know it is changing the game, but so is adding the above text and the game waits in its original format which is very odd as pointed out above.

Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:17 pm

Michael Brown wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:53 am
but the game has that W and T key thing when you quit.
I have tried looking through the code to change it to Y and N but no luck.
Can anyone else find it?

Mick.
The game looks to use:

Code: Select all

.loop  lda $ec
       bpl loop
       cmp #$a1
       beq  xxx
       cmp #$a3
       bne loop
The A1 and A3 are where W & T are coming from. They presumably need to be C4 (Y) and D5 (N) in whichever order.

Alan

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Re: Games with problems

Post by billcarr2005 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:54 pm

I've added "PRESS ANY KEY" to the main file too
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Disc097-FantasiaDiamondSTT.zip
(13.54 KiB) Downloaded 9 times

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:44 pm

Thanks Bill for sorting the Y and N
Also, I have been able to make a disc version staying in MODE6.

Just sending the finished disc to Lee for checking.

Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by leenew » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:53 pm

Great, thanks. 🙂
It still begs the question why it was like that in the first place?
Never having owned an Elk, would those values equate to Y and N in any way?
If not, are we sure we are using the original tape?

Lee

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Re: Games with problems

Post by roganjosh » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:58 pm

Michael Brown wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:44 pm
Thanks Bill for sorting the Y and N

For that misattribution let me suggest another title. Flint's Gold.
I wouldn't mention it, given that the program works for tape. However, you did alter Vampire Island so it'd load/save to disc. I got Flint's Gold working with discs on the Master by shifting it up in memory and removing the Osbyte 8C. It's something you might consider. Of course the tape-related text would need to be altered.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:34 am

Hi all,
With ref to Fantasia Diamond...

Found some old instructions in a word document.

First they say Electron side A and BBC side B.

The uef on STH says BE for both, unless this is just the Electron side of the tape that just happens to run on a BBC. The STH disc hack is in mode 7, but has the W and T keys which may mean it is just the Electron version with the mode changed in the loader?
Need to know if W and T work on a real Electron or the uef uses Y and N.
Also need to know if there is a seperate BBC and Electron version.
BTW by changing the keys to Y and N, now after Quitting you get "I cannot go north" if you press N for no. Surely if N was intended then this game cannot of been play tested by Hewson very much as this is bad. You can type "no" and it will just say "what?" and you can continue.
Nowhere in the full instructions does it explain quiting other than QUIT start a new game.

Secondly... To load FANTASIA DIAMOND, type CHAIN"" and start the tape from the beginning. When loading is complete, the machine will wait for you to press a key before starting the adventure.

That explains the wait. But it would have been nice to have something in the loader in the first place.

Now for the important bit... it also says On the Electron version, in order to start a new game it is necessary to reload a small part of the game from the tape. This part is located immediately after the main game. At the end of a game (when you die) or when you QUIT, the computer will prompt you to start the tape to read this part.

Now, nowhere in either version is their any extra code loaded or any prompt to load it.

So is the uef tape at STH original?
If it is the Electron only game then where is the extra code?
If it is the BBC version (using mode6) then why use W and T when Y and N is prompted?

I would say we need the original tape to check for sure.
As it stands Bill has made a mode 7 version with a "press a key" prompt and Y/N keys.
I have sent Lee a mode 6 version of the same version.

But what is the correct version?

One way around this would be to create a machine check routine and change to Mode 7 if on a BBC and stick to mode 6 if on the electron, but it may run in mode 6 on a BBC anyway.
Won't know for sure until a actual tape turns up.

Just when you thought it was sorted!

Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by leenew » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:38 am

Hi Mick,
I think we have a hacked version.
I absolutely cannot believe that a game got through play testing that asks a Y/N question and then does not respond to either Y or N!
I agree we need a fresh look at an original tape.

Lee.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:37 am

Hi Lee,
Looking at what Dave E has written about having the original tape but it having protection like Hacker, then it may very well be possible that the game we have is hacked.

Given the expertise of forum members, it should be possible to transfer that tape to disc and make a playable version from it.

Hopefully, we will get to the bottom of this asap.
Thinking about it, the version of the game game I have is simply the STH uef version copied over the old files I had from BITD, so the version I had must have been from the same hack that we think the game is if the original is protected as I could not then, and cannot now, get round that sort of protection, but I always knew people who could, but by the mid nineties when I originally created the text adventure discs, I was pretty much on my own just using up old files stored on various floppies, so I had no idea what source anything was from.

This also now begs the question, if the game in the STH archive is hacked, then are there any more hacked uef files there? I really hope and think this is an isolated case!

Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by leenew » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:31 am

Maybe Dave E could make a WAV recording of the tape for us to look at?

The problem is - I always thought a UEF was THE ORIGINAL TAPE end of story - but it turns out you can make a UEF from any old program, original, or hack, or anything. This knocked my confidence in believing all the UEFs we had were 100% original.......

Lee.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Arcadian » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:04 am

I remember now, the Fantasia Diamond UEF was created from a copied tape, before I owned the original.

At the time I would have assumed it was a tape-tape of the original, but it sounds like whoever recorded the cassette may have done a DISC HACK > TAPE transfer ...

Anyway, don't worry - this really should be an 'isolated' case as Mick puts it; I wouldn't have knowingly uploaded a hacked game into the STH UEF archives. Most if not all of the other UEF images I created would have been created from original cassettes.

Edit: bear in mind, when I began creating UEF files it was to complement the release of ElectrEm, the first ever Acorn Electron emulator. At the time there was barely any Electron software on the web (other than the handful of Electron disc images I'd previously made available) so initially, the emphasis was on making as much software available as possible for people to enjoy under emulation - the "authenticity" aspect was secondary.

As time went on, I did remove some UEF files out of the various archives (which I'd been sent during the early days) when it became apparent they had been created from non-original cassettes. But Fantasia was evidently one that got missed.
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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:38 am

Hi all,
Thanks for the info Arcadian.

I can tell you that loading the STH uef into ElectrEm does use the Y and N keys when you quit, so it is the Electron version of the game. It still defaults to "I cannot go north" when you press N, just like Bill's key change hack to work correctly on the BBC. So the original game probably performed like this. Bad programming and testing.
Now since the instructions I got from an old Electron site were for the Electron, would this hacked version now have the additonal file mentioned saved within the FD file.
It may not be anything to do with it but if you *LOAD FD 1F00, then around &60B8 there are statements like START TAPE REWIND FOR VERIFICATION FAILED stored there. Not sure if this is part of the gameplay or would have been what the game asked you to do upon starting again.
Again really need the original tape to find out the answers.
Hopefully, there will be a BBC version on the other side as per tape inlay instructions.
At least we can use Bill's version, but is Mode7 correct or Mode6. I would like to have a version that is as close to the original as possible.

I really can't understand why a small company like Hewson would go to all the trouble of protecting a game of this standard. I can understand Uridium, but this?

Mick.

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Arcadian » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:34 am

Hi Mick, I no longer have the original cassette but I believe Dave E (should he be reading) does, so perhaps you could ask him if he'd be willing to create WAVs for Col or Peter Van Ek to look into converting to CSW > UEF. Then we'd need to find a hacker to convert each version to SSD!
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Re: Games with problems

Post by leenew » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:21 pm

Agreed. We're really need a wav of the original tape [-o<

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Re: Games with problems

Post by Michael Brown » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:29 am

Hi,

Converting to disc may cause issues.
If the game is loaded at &F00 then it won't be possible under normal DFS conditions to reload part of the game. This may be what whoever hacked it to disc did to it to make it work from disc, then saved a tape copy. Just guessing!
If the hacked version we now have works correctly as per original tape minus the REWIND TAPE message, then I would be happy with the hacked version in the correct mode, unless someone with much greater skill than me can sort something, but I would imagine it would have to end up like the hacked version anyway due to DFS parameters.
Obviously, we need the original tape for preservation and to check which mode both versions use.

Mick.

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