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 10 Why no statesaves and quit options? (Read 541 times)
CJ
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Why no statesaves and quit options?
12.01.09 at 03:06:44
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Quite simply the answer is...

I can't be bothered to add them.. if a game desperatly needs them (or it's requested for a valid reason) I can go back and add it in a fairly short time... but otherwise these things are taking 10-20 minutes each to patch, the extra time for the state management/quit takes that to around 30-60 minutes.

In short, I'd rather:

  • Patch another game in the time I have
  • Sleep
  • Be with my family for that time


Hope you all understand!

CJ
« Last Edit: 12.01.09 at 05:09:08 by CJ »  

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Christos
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #1 - 12.01.09 at 08:31:03
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I agree, if it takes too much time. It's not like our ataris are pc's that take 4-5 minutes to get to the desktop and not all games need savestates etc. Still, I like the quit option.
  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #2 - 12.01.09 at 10:06:01
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Well, I dunno if the WHDLoad chaps had quit available from the first version, but they have been around for much longer!

It's down to how much bothered is the patcher at the moment of doing a game.

Of course, like CJ says, we're not deaf, so make a request and we'll consider it Smiley
  
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MR BENN
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #3 - 12.01.09 at 16:26:27
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That certainly answers a question i have been meaning to ask and personally prefer the extra options, but then im not patching them am I !
Just pleased to be getting the patches Smiley

Fancy allowing your family to get in the way.....tut tut  Smiley
« Last Edit: 12.01.09 at 16:45:01 by MR BENN »  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #4 - 18.01.09 at 13:43:48
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Just to add that the quit to desktop feature certainly seems to add a professional feel to the patches (not that i am implying that the patches are not in any way professional,l im sure you know what i mean)....thought id better cover my ass Smiley
« Last Edit: 18.01.09 at 13:44:37 by MR BENN »  
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CJ
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #5 - 18.01.09 at 13:51:53
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Yeah I know what you mean by that.

Like I said, only so many hours in the day and maybe we can revisit some of these in the future but for now lets push on and get everything fixed up so the Amiga lads can stop laughing at us Smiley
  

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Klapauzius
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #6 - 27.01.09 at 14:45:38
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CJ wrote on 18.01.09 at 13:51:53:
Yeah I know what you mean by that.

Like I said, only so many hours in the day and maybe we can revisit some of these in the future but for now lets push on and get everything fixed up so the Amiga lads can stop laughing at us Smiley


I guess they already have stopped, once they had noticed that we have state save/restore, which they don't.  Cheesy
« Last Edit: 27.01.09 at 14:46:16 by Klapauzius »  
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CJ
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #7 - 28.01.09 at 03:43:04
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Nah they'l just claim our "simplistic hardware" makes it "easier" to implement Smiley
  

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ggn
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #8 - 28.01.09 at 18:16:24
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We were just crazy enough and went ahead with it - the only way things progress Smiley
  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #9 - 09.02.09 at 22:04:02
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CJ wrote on 28.01.09 at 03:43:04:
Nah they'l just claim our "simplistic hardware" makes it "easier" to implement Smiley


At the risk of sounding biased (well, who I'm fooling anyway, I AM biased Tongue), things like that are indeed not exactly trivial to do on Amiga due to the superiority of the machine. Smiley Basically, you have to save the state of write only custom registers which is pretty much impossible without extra hardware or an MMU. You may start flaming now Grin
  
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Christos
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #10 - 10.02.09 at 00:12:31
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Or in other words. Amiga lacks an mmu therefore it's superior.
Tongue
  
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CJ
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #11 - 10.02.09 at 03:27:22
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Sting, you do realise of course that the MFP is made up of mostly write-only-registers....

Of course you do... so... where's your amiga save states? Wink
  

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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #12 - 10.02.09 at 10:52:50
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Christos wrote on 10.02.09 at 00:12:31:
Or in other words. Amiga lacks an mmu therefore it's superior.
Tongue


Show me any 68000 Atari with a real(!) MMU. Smiley Classic own goal. Cheesy (*starts to laugh hysterically* Cheesy)


CJ wrote on 10.02.09 at 03:27:22:
Sting, you do realise of course that the MFP is made up of mostly write-only-registers....

Of course you do... so... where's your amiga save states? Wink


Well, that's one custom chip you have to take care of. So I suppose the way you do it is to patch every write operation to that very chip in the game and save these values so you can restore them later? That's how I'd do it at least without any MMU and stuff. 
On Amiga things look a bit different as you have shitloads of custom registers and since they are all used extensively that approach would be way too time consuming (not to forget it would slow down the game/demo code quite a bit). Anyway, I do agree that save states are a very cool thing and at least that's one of the few things where the inferior Atari hardware wins. Cheesy
  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #13 - 10.02.09 at 18:07:18
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StingRay_ wrote on 10.02.09 at 10:52:50:
On Amiga things look a bit different as you have shitloads of custom registers and since they are all used extensively that approach would be way too time consuming (not to forget it would slow down the game/demo code quite a bit). Anyway, I do agree that save states are a very cool thing and at least that's one of the few things where the inferior Atari hardware wins. Cheesy


I was just wondering why WHDLoad games do have an quit option then?  Undecided
Quit is very similar to restoring a saved state - or is this implemented differently on the Amiga?
  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #14 - 11.02.09 at 13:43:55
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Klapauzius wrote on 10.02.09 at 18:07:18:
I was just wondering why WHDLoad games do have an quit option then? Undecided
Quit is very similar to restoring a saved state - or is this implemented differently on the Amiga


Well, quit is rather easy to do as all you have to do is restoring the system (i.e. memory, interrupts/dma, copperlists etc. pp). This is all no problem as the OS provides the necessary routines to f.e. restore the system copperlist and the interrupt registers are read/write registers, i.e. you can easily restore them without much hassle. Basically any decent demo startup/restore code with some added extras (memory save/restore f.e.) could be used for that job.

However, save states require much more than that. ALL the custom registers need to be saved (so they can be restored when loading the save state) otherwise you'll end up with a screwed game! And this is where the headache starts! You can not easily grab, say, the contents of the color registers (they are write only!). So f.e. game sets color register 0 ($dff180) to $f00. You have NO way (without any MMU) to know that $dff180 contains this value without intercepting the write to $dff180. Now, just imagine a simple AGA Faderoutine which writes to the color registers and performs bank switching etc, you can probably imagine how much it would slow down the game when you need to intercept each write operation. As another example, you can also not know which address $dff080 (copperlist) points to (which was the reason why you could easily stop cartridges such as Action Replay from freezing your demo/game, you'd just fool it by setting a copperlist that would initialise all imortant hardware registers and then switch to the main copperlist, the cartridge would not know about the writes to the custom registers in the first copperlist and you can easily imagine the result). So, the only sane solution for reliable save states on Amiga is using an MMU, everything else is just not going to work properly. And even with an MMU it's not exactly easy to do! Smiley
« Last Edit: 11.02.09 at 14:04:39 by StingRay_ »  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #15 - 11.02.09 at 19:05:07
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StingRay_ wrote on 11.02.09 at 13:43:55:
You can not easily grab, say, the contents of the color registers (they are write only!)


So how do you guys do a general fade out from the desktop colours? Does the OS provide a call to get the current palette? Is it set every VBL?
  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #16 - 11.02.09 at 20:02:47
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ggn wrote on 11.02.09 at 19:05:07:
So how do you guys do a general fade out from the desktop colours? Does the OS provide a call to get the current palette? Is it set every VBL?


Easy, we usually don't. Smiley I can count the Amiga stuff that bothers to fade out the current workbench/cli palette on the fingers of one hand. But yes, the OS (graphics.library) stores the pointer to the current system palette in a structure. But it's usually like this: turn off multitasking (i.e. kill the system), bang in your new copperlist and don't care about the system until you need to restore it. Smiley
  
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #17 - 12.02.09 at 09:56:07
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StingRay_ wrote on 11.02.09 at 13:43:55:
As another example, you can also not know which address $dff080 (copperlist) points to (which was the reason why you could easily stop cartridges such as Action Replay from freezing your demo/game, you'd just fool it by setting a copperlist that would initialise all imortant hardware registers and then switch to the main copperlist, the cartridge would not know about the writes to the custom registers in the first copperlist and you can easily imagine the result).


This reminds me of the Turbo Freezer hardware for the Atari 8-bit series. The Atari 8-bit chips also has write only hardware registers. To restore the state the freezer had shadow memory for all the hardware registers (2KB I believe). Thus every write to a register was also written in the freezers internal memory. Thus when restoring a state, it could write the last values written to the hardware registers from its internal memory.

Didn't use the Action Replay a similar method or does the expansion bus of the Amiga lack the signals to detect writes by the copper instead of the 68000?

Robert
  

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CJ
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Re: Why no statesaves and quit options?
Reply #18 - 12.02.09 at 10:10:37
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I remember a software freezer that could do this on the A8, no hardware required - and it was pretty good as well worked with most things.

Can't remember what it was called tho! (stupid write-only human brain!)
  

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