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elfprince13
Retired


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 3500

Posted: 27 Oct 2008 01:56:16 am    Post subject:

I <3 summation Very Happy fun idea!
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tr1p1ea


Elite


Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 870

Posted: 27 Oct 2008 08:00:18 am    Post subject:

Of course i would use it!
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Art_of_camelot


Member


Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 152

Posted: 29 Oct 2008 12:39:40 pm    Post subject:

Is there a downside to using combo items? If not, why wouldnt' you use it?
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DigiTan
Unregistered HyperCam 2


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 4468

Posted: 29 Oct 2008 09:58:33 pm    Post subject:

Nope! No downside, side effects, or nasty surprises. All you gotta do is grab 'em because they're gonna be pretty darn rare. :biggrin:
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Delnar_Ersike
Lazy H4xx0r


Active Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2006
Posts: 578

Posted: 30 Oct 2008 10:20:08 am    Post subject:

Well, if they're pretty rare, I think I will never use them. It's just that whenever I get something extremely rare or powerful in the game, I always reserve it for the final big moment, which sadly never comes for me. So basically I end almost every game with an overstuffed inventory. :biggrin:
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DigiTan
Unregistered HyperCam 2


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 4468

Posted: 30 Oct 2008 10:51:49 pm    Post subject:

Well, if you're ever between boss battles, feel free to try one out. "Negate" was personally my favorite in RW1. :biggrin:



On a related note, here's a concept pic for the new item list layout. Much like the Shop Interface, this format will go into effect without even pausing the action.


Last edited by Guest on 30 Oct 2008 11:20:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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elfprince13
Retired


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 3500

Posted: 05 Nov 2008 12:42:04 pm    Post subject:

dude Very Happy that's awesome, although I'm not sure I'd want to be rummaging in my backpack while fighting of flying cranes
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DigiTan
Unregistered HyperCam 2


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 4468

Posted: 07 Dec 2008 04:00:05 pm    Post subject:

NEW POLL! Automatic re-archive?

This week, I'm making the File Select menu for the 83+ version. The overall format is standard to most RPGs. You get 3 "slots" to store your progress to. The menu gives you a little cursory information about each file so you can tell them apart. And unused slots simply say "NEW" in their description.


Last year's concept for the file select screen.

First, let me say this poll only pertains the saved games that are archived at the time RW2 is run. Not ones found in RAM.


The Problem?
Since each slot is really an AppVar file, I need to accommodate gamers who have put their saved data in the archive. I want to do this the simplest and most effective way possible without turning this into a drawn-out GUI project. But I'm open to letting the gamer check-box their preference in some kind of options menu. If that's what it takes.

The flash archive can only survive so many writes per page before it's permanently worn. While this problem is rare, it could be a big issue for older calcs that have been flashed over and over again over the years. Here are a few pros and cons I see from this perspective...

- "Never. It should be up to the user to decide using TI-OS."
Pros: Simplicity of code, reliability, least Flash-intensive option
Cons: Confusing to new 83+ users, time-consuming for all

- "Off by default. Leave it open to experienced users."
Pros: Flexibility, user is in control, less flash-intensive than most options
Cons: Complexity, points out the problem rather than address it

- "On by default. Let the user disable this later if it's a problem."
Pros: Flexibility, user is in control
Cons: Complexity, more flash-intensive until user notices

- "Always. Do it without user intervention"
Pros: Simplicity of code, ease of use, seamless file retrieval
Cons: Most Flash-intensive option of all


Last edited by Guest on 07 Dec 2008 04:11:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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GloryMXE7
Puzzleman 3000


Active Member


Joined: 02 Nov 2008
Posts: 604

Posted: 07 Dec 2008 04:43:13 pm    Post subject:

well considering the pros and cons id say it should be either on or off by default or when the player first plays they should choose weather it should be on or off they should be told the pros and cons as well and then they can change it when ever they want

but what do I know Very Happy
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bananaman
Indestructible


Calc Guru


Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Posts: 1124

Posted: 07 Dec 2008 05:07:55 pm    Post subject:

I've never heard of a calculator's flash memory becoming destroyed by too many writes. I say automatically re-archive it. If the user is really concerned about his flash he can have the appvar unarchived before he runs robotwar and if I read you right, you wouldn't archive it anyways.

Make life simple on yourself for programming.
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luby
I want to go back to Philmont!!


Calc Guru


Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 1477

Posted: 08 Dec 2008 08:05:05 am    Post subject:

How about giving the user an option of archiving the save file right from the save/load screen? It would make everyone happy.
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DigiTan
Unregistered HyperCam 2


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 4468

Posted: 08 Dec 2008 11:46:02 pm    Post subject:

Yeah. If it becomes an option, there will be a "config" option for the individual game files. Maybe a simple exit message like "your game was put back in the archive" wouldn't hurt either.
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Art_of_camelot


Member


Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 152

Posted: 09 Dec 2008 05:39:47 pm    Post subject:

I said leave it on by default and let the user change it if need be. Now that I'm thinking about it though perhaps you should just have 2 options.
Put a check box in for auto archive. If it is checked, that save file will always be archived after you quit. If it is not checked, the save file stays wherever the user had it. Default should be off. Hopefully that made sense, I'm a kind of tired atm so I'm not sure I explained it clearly.
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Mapar007


Advanced Member


Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 365

Posted: 10 Dec 2008 07:09:19 am    Post subject:

I say "off by default". The number of garbage collects you save is so huge! I now have a GC about once a week, before I started programming and becoming a calc freak (read: when I still had MirageOS writeback option enabled), I had to do so every other day! The user must still have the option to turn it on, if he doesn't care about GC's. I hate GC's because there is a stupid bug with it if you have hidden files in your archive...

Last edited by Guest on 10 Dec 2008 07:11:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Delnar_Ersike
Lazy H4xx0r


Active Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2006
Posts: 578

Posted: 10 Dec 2008 02:46:28 pm    Post subject:

I voted on by default, as even though autosaving can become very handy (especially in later levels), the user should have a choice. Plus, put a warning somewhere in the program about the function. If a given player doesn't understand the warning, it means the player barely had to garbage collect in the past (since if he/she had to do a lot of garbage collects, at least he/she will at least know how annoying they can be).

But to be more specific: what's the big deal with garbage collects? Sure they take some time and *possibly* shorten the calc's life, exactly how, why, and how much do the garbage shorten the Flash memory's life? Also, what is there a precise definition of when a garbage collect takes place (ie. after a specific amount of writes, a specific number of written bytes, etc.).

Also, couldn't you circumvent the entire Flash writing issue by writing the AppVar to the RAM and only copying it the archive (note: copying, not moving, as it would make more sense to keep a backup copy of the AppVar in the archive when the other is in the RAM)?
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Iambian


Advanced Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 423

Posted: 10 Dec 2008 05:32:08 pm    Post subject:

Delnar_Ersike wrote:
...
But to be more specific: what's the big deal with garbage collects? Sure they take some time and *possibly* shorten the calc's life, exactly how, why, and how much do the garbage shorten the Flash memory's life? Also, what is there a precise definition of when a garbage collect takes place (ie. after a specific amount of writes, a specific number of written bytes, etc.).
...
[post="130146"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

A quick answer (someone else could provide a better one) : A garbage collect occurs when there is not enough contiguous memory in any single remaining FlashROM sector to store a variable that is to be archived. A garbage collect then proceeds to write all undeleted material to a temporary swap sector (since "deleted" material is simply marked for deletion), clears the sector from which the variables came from, and then writes the variables back to the empty sector in the hopes that (enough) memory was freed. The said wear and tear on the FlashROM is on that temporary swap sector, which is used and erased for every other sector on the calculator that is used to hold user variables. I do recall reading that the OS will sometimes change this temporary swap sector to reduce wear and tear on that one sector from excessive garbage collects.

If the garbage collect failed to free up enough memory on any single sector of FlashROM, you'll get that ERR:ARCHIVE FULL message. Keep in mind that no variable can cross sector boundaries (each sector used in this way is 64K).

To stay on topic, I think the option to autoarchive should depend on the calculator model and how much FlashROM is free. If "enough" of it is free on the particular calculator, then go ahead and automatically archive save files. When memory begins to run low, begin to present the option to the player as to whether or not the save file should be archived. As an extra convenience, perhaps provide an option to restore a "deleted" save file by looking through the FlashROM for any save files that have been marked for deletion but not yet trashed through a garbage collect. (I know that's asking a lot)


Last edited by Guest on 10 Dec 2008 05:38:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DigiTan
Unregistered HyperCam 2


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 4468

Posted: 18 Dec 2008 11:48:56 pm    Post subject:

Very good inputs so far. I want to keep this poll going until I finish the executable here. So far, the 2 options screen categories have a definite lead, so I can't throw customization out of the picture.

In the likelihood we do with an auto-archive/no-auto option, each saved game can be configured for that individually. IE: If you transfer your saved stuff to another calc, or even trade it on the web, it will retain whatever the previous setting where. There are other options planned, and even though I kept the number to as few as possible, they're [s]all[/s] mostly based of previous polls from this sub-forum.

To throw a couple details out there, the "system" will allow 3 saved games slots in traditional RPG fashion. The game will display them using any 5-character name you choose. From there you have a few different options on what you can actually do with that file...

Play! - Loads the game of course. Your character LEVEL, TIME in "hh:mm:ss" format, and maybe the name if your current area/city or some icon to represent it.

Options! - Player Preferences...
* Dynamic Camera [high/low/off] (Do enemies draw camera attention?)
* ShakeFX [high/low/off] (Does the screen shake when things get hit or blow up?)
* Look-Ahead [high/low/off] (Not discussed yet)
* Auto-Rearchive [on/off] (pending)
* Lock [on/off] (I'll explain next)

Copy! - Allows you to overwrite of the 3 savegame slots. You can optionally Lock your own game to prevent this. To unlock, you just turn it off in settings. It's not a password system, just something to prevent accidents.

Paste! - Used in conjunction with copy.

Delete! - Can also be prevented by locking.

Undo! - Reverses past deletes or copy-pastes. So keep it simple, its history clears when you exit the main menu.

Anyway, all this is still in progress, but due to many time constraints (and trouble installing the sprite code) this has been delayed so far. Hopefully within a week or two, I'll release the executable of this menu so you guys can test it out rate it on a good/bad scale. To speed up production, this will likely be the last executable released until the game is complete. Hopefully this will flush out any bugs in the 82->83+ port so far.


Last edited by Guest on 19 Dec 2008 09:18:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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darkstone knight


Advanced Member


Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 438

Posted: 19 Dec 2008 04:27:34 am    Post subject:

off topic: 9,999 views Neutral

on topic: amazing work Smile
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Galandros


Active Member


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 565

Posted: 19 Dec 2008 06:28:50 am    Post subject:

Such an advanced options. This game is getting really great.

At this rate this could be compared to some GBA pocket games. (if not already, I only saw screen shots so far and read most posts)

Keep going DigiTan but the more important is having fun and don't push too much yourself with those freakin' awesome options.
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Art_of_camelot


Member


Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 152

Posted: 20 Dec 2008 02:36:41 pm    Post subject:

This looks like a really great setup for the options screen. Nothing else to say, it looks great!
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