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 10 D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger) (Read 2643 times)
CJ
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D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
16.01.09 at 23:32:34
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Folks,

We're patching stuff quickly now... so fast that the games are piling up for testing - so we're looking to take on one, or maybe two additional beta-testers.

We have to be quite picky though as we've been "burnt" in the past by people who will only test "what they like" instead of everything, or only get to the title screen and call it "good" only for us to find a crash bug at a later point.

If you think your up to the challenge of testing the latest patches thoroughly for us then apply below and state why you think you should join the testing team!

Multiple Atari Systems help (ST/MSTE/F30), but are not required.
« Last Edit: 16.01.09 at 23:33:25 by CJ »  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #1 - 17.01.09 at 19:13:46
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Sorry for being a bad tester in the past Sad I know that I didn't test as thoroughly as I could have done...  Shocked

Hopefully you will find someone more dedicated who will be willing to even play the most worse game all through.
« Last Edit: 17.01.09 at 19:18:13 by simonsunnyboy »  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #2 - 17.01.09 at 22:08:27
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Look, everyone has his/her gaming preferences. Even us.

And can get quite tedious testing everything in detail. It's more like a job rather than pleasure the way I see it. Sometimes stuff fail, and these need to be reported accurately so we can fix them.

It's a tough "job", so if you think you fit the bill, then apply Smiley
  
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CJ
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #3 - 18.01.09 at 13:37:32
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The two people who applied via PM failed the "able to follow basic instructions" test.

Sorry guys Smiley

  

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karlm
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #4 - 29.01.09 at 05:24:05
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All right, all right.  I will finish rebuilding my Falcon and then lend a hand. Smiley  I've still got another that I'm enduring that shw sent me ... (game that is)
« Last Edit: 29.01.09 at 05:24:48 by karlm »  
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #5 - 29.01.09 at 06:42:59
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karlm wrote on 29.01.09 at 05:24:05:
I've still got another that I'm enduring that shw sent me ... (game that is) 


you can ignore that for now...

as someone has provided me with a save game!

Shw
« Last Edit: 29.01.09 at 14:07:18 by Shw »  
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #6 - 29.01.09 at 17:38:02
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hi,

I am afraid I do not deserve to join your testing team as I had not much time for my STE during January. I admire how many games you patched in such short time.

I promise I will fire the STE up and install January releases to SatanDisk during a weekend.

I see there are some games for two players which I need. My friends who are 8bit atarians want to play together every time we have some party.

BTW is there any queue of games you want to patch?
« Last Edit: 29.01.09 at 17:42:17 by krupkaj »  
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #7 - 12.02.09 at 00:56:18
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Heyo,

I hope I'm not intruding here, but can some of the testing be conducted through Steem or Hatari?

I'm just thinking that, ...to expand on the amount of potential testing that occurs, ...and also that a proportion of the patched games will eventually end up at some point on Steem or Hatari?

Smiley
  
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #8 - 12.02.09 at 18:13:22
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Aly,

As all 3 of us do our hacking in STEem engine mostly, we are pretty darn sure that when we have something ready, it works in it. Then it usually goes to real machines (as much as we can get our paws on), for testing. If something doesn't work, then it's debugging time. After that phase, the game is sent to the other d-bug members and testers. Before we release anything, everything must check out with all testing machines. That's why quick and efficient testing is crucial for us.
  
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CJ
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #9 - 12.02.09 at 20:57:08
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I can pretty much guarantee everything works in Steem as thats what I use for 100% of all my fixes as a base. I don't even try them on my falcon until they work in Steem.

Steem + Pasti also allows us to test with various drivers (ICDTools, HDDriver, etc).

Hatari, I'm not too bothered about - it seems to be heading down a "simulation" rather than an "emulation" route (I really hope it doesnt end up like Aranym) - If something doesnt work in Hatari its a good guess its the emulator at fault and not the patch!

As for testing, we do have a fairly large range of systems at our disposal to test on now, but I think what we need is "gameplay testing" - because it's not practical (even with trainers) for us to play things all the way to the end.  There have sometimes been weeks where we dump 3-5 titles into the test pool each day. Assuming all the titles in test actually pass, we have enough releases for one-per-day until the middle of March!

We think we have ULS at the stage now where we consider it "black box" (ie, if something doesnt work, it's NOT a problem with ULS) but as ggn pointed out we need a fairly quick turnaround on reports.
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #10 - 12.02.09 at 21:33:33
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Brilliant.  Thanks for the reply.  Smiley

Really I just wondered.  As anyone else reading (on the outside) would probably have similar questions, where they have a particular model or setup and may like to test.

So for the record, we're talking about testing on an actual ST.
  
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CJ
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #11 - 13.02.09 at 04:14:56
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For gameplay testing, yes an ST will probably be ok. The only exception to this rule would be for titles like Terminator II, where each level is radically different and would need to also be confirmed working on the Falcon.
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #12 - 17.02.09 at 07:59:20
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CJ wrote on 12.02.09 at 20:57:08:
Hatari, I'm not too bothered about - it seems to be heading down a "simulation" rather than an "emulation" route (I really hope it doesnt end up like Aranym) - If something doesnt work in Hatari its a good guess its the emulator at fault and not the patch!


Hatari is the only emulator of the big three (STeem, SainT & Hatari) that "simulates" the hardware scroll technique that my screen in the Nostalgic-O-Demo uses. The other two just give a distorted picture. And that while the technique used is described in the scroll text. (It uses a technique that makes the shifter skip a scan line instead opening left/right borders. So a black line is displayed and shifter continues on the next line without skipping screen data.)
So Hatari gets for this reason a  Smiley Smiley

B.T.W. The hardware scroll of the game "No Buddies Land" is not correctly emulated in any of those emulators. So they use still another hard scroll technique. But since they don't use overscan the game is still playable although the vertical scroll is 8 lines at the time.

But no emulator beats playing on a real machine Cheesy

Robert
  

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CJ
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #13 - 17.02.09 at 08:57:40
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Yes, but I bet it detects the code and works due to a codepath rather than accurate emulation.

that == FAIL!!!
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #14 - 17.02.09 at 13:14:01
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Hi Robert,

Ah it's you.... I didn't know you were the guy who wrote the screen in the Nostalia Demo.... I mailed you years ago re: ripping the music from your screen for UMD 8730 Smiley

Shw aka Grazey
« Last Edit: 17.02.09 at 13:38:11 by Shw »  
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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #15 - 18.02.09 at 09:09:12
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CJ wrote on 17.02.09 at 08:57:40:
Yes, but I bet it detects the code and works due to a codepath rather than accurate emulation.

that == FAIL!!!


I quickly looked at Hatari's C code (Why do they still code in pure C while with C++ you can produce better structured and maintainable object-oriented code? And nowadays C++ is available on nearly every platform so you don't really need C to be more portable.)

Anyway, there are functions for writes to the shifter's frequency and resolution registers. Depending on the screen location (cycle) where the write occurred and the previous state, it sets options in a bit field with line states (left border removal, right border removal, empty line/0 byte line, mid res overscan and several more.). This bit field is stored for each line which is used by the screen renderer to render the screen correctly.

Interesting read. I didn't knew there were so much options with border trickery. From the source I understand you can also make the screen smaller with 106 bytes? Which demo does that?

Robert

« Last Edit: 18.02.09 at 09:53:00 by robert2098 »  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #16 - 18.02.09 at 09:19:07
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Shw wrote on 17.02.09 at 13:14:01:
Hi Robert,

Ah it's you.... I didn't know you were the guy who wrote the screen in the Nostalia Demo.... I mailed you years ago re: ripping the music from your screen for UMD 8730 Smiley

Shw aka Grazey


Hi,

Yes, I still remember that. You probably only wanted this piece of music because UMD had to be the biggest music demo  Tongue
I booted UMD up again and I was surprised to find a picture of me there  Cool Funny to see that again.

Robert
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #17 - 18.02.09 at 13:05:34
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robert2098 wrote on 18.02.09 at 09:09:12:
From the source I understand you can also make the screen smaller with 106 bytes? Which demo does that?


Stupid me  Roll Eyes It is of course used in hardware scrollers to get the right offset. Not to make the screen smaller.
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #18 - 18.02.09 at 18:54:54
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Hatari is written in C because being based on the old Winston C code, noone dared to rewrite the whole thing sofar.
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #19 - 18.02.09 at 20:49:20
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Then thats a huge improvement, and I stand corrected.

However, until it gets a debugger as good as or better than The Boiler Room, and actually gets a user interface that doesnt make you feel like killing yourself, myself (and I suspect most others) will be sticking with steem!
  

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Re: D-Bug Needs You! (Points Finger)
Reply #20 - 19.02.09 at 10:11:18
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CJ wrote on 18.02.09 at 20:49:20:
However, until it gets a debugger as good as or better than The Boiler Room, and actually gets a user interface that doesnt make you feel like killing yourself, myself (and I suspect most others) will be sticking with steem!


I agree, the user interface is so so. I really hate the file selector. And without the zoom option, the UI is almost too small to be readable on my 1600*1200 screen.

And indeed, without a debugger, it is useless for your needs. On a real ST I used Bugaboo which I considered very good, but in an emulated environment, the debugger is much more stable because it doesn't interfere with the running program. Debugging is so much easier nowadays. Smiley

Robert
  

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