David Haywood Profile picture
MAME development veteran, responsible for the emulation of more arcade and console platforms than I have the capacity to remember. Plug and Play work recently.
6 May
@0x15e @Darren__O @yesterzine a fair amount of the Defender difficulty comes from the control scheme however, as you don't have left/right inputs, only 'thurst' and 'turn around' Adding l/r joystick inputs on an original cab that aren't used except in a hypothetical 'easy' would make it more confusing.
@0x15e @Darren__O @yesterzine (of course in console compilations containing the game there are code hacks / cheats to do exactly that)
@0x15e @Darren__O @yesterzine Control schemes and difficulty are another complex subject btw. some would say the Ikari 8-way joystick hack is easier (shoot in the direction you're moving, not rotary) The problem is it makes some sections impossible as enemies aren't always in front of you.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
@yesterzine Then consider just giving the player more (but not infinite) health. The player will play the first half of the game not worrying much about enemy attacks, not learning the patterns. They'll then hit a brick wall later when that matters, but they didn't learn it early on.
@yesterzine It's actually a pretty in-depth subject anyway, one that I'm sure will make for some great research papers. Maybe a sign on the box that tells you the developer has implemented such things, so buyers can decide, vote with their wallets, but mandating them in a can of worms.
@yesterzine Arcade games are a bit like this if you use infinite credits btw. Take a beat 'em up, if you play it knowing you're limiting your credits, you use the first stages to learn how the enemies attack, group etc. As a result, you know how to deal with later stages and enjoy them.
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
@System11b Indeed, I'd consider it a platformer, because gravity plays a key role, but that brings us to The New Zealand Story, which Taito explicitly declare 'for Maze game fans' in the attract mode.
@System11b I wonder if a Maze needs defined walls. Electric Yo Yo is in there a a 'Maze' game though, and from what I can see, while the levels have patterns, there are no walls. I'd say that wasn't a maze game. Outside of that, where does 'Maze' end and 'Level' begin.
@System11b If we go to computers. Sultan's Maze on the CPC is clearly a maze. Are Doom and Wolf3d mazes? Most modern FPS games are not, because there's no element of having to explore to find the way forward, but some of those early FPS games do have that.
Read 4 tweets
23 Mar
@SoftlistG I did play Wardner on a stream, but I think it's one I ended up not exporting because of Twitch / Streamlabs issues. I don't hate it, it just fits in a very specific genre of slow paced, slightly stiff platformers, and is maybe not what you expect from Toaplan
@SoftlistG But yeah, that's one issue with a 'worst' list. You could fill it with Kyle Hodgetts games or 'stealth' gambling frontend games and be done, but that's not too interesting to watch, as expectations were 0 to start with. The other is arcades had location testing as a filter.
@SoftlistG Not that location testing stopped all bad games, some got through on hype waves, unexplained phenomena, eg. Guardians of the Hood (and quite a few other Atari titles of that period)
Read 4 tweets
12 Mar
Ixion is a Sega prototype I added to MAME many, many years ago. I was checking it recently and noticed at some point the sprite/fg priority had been flipped, leaving the game near unplayable. I also noticed the fg colour hookup I'd used was the wrong one.
Fixing the FG colour hookup causes the score to be rendered in white, and the Ixion letters to light correctly when you pick them up. There are still unused bits in the PROM however, it is unknown if they have meaning.
This is actually a very interesting game, probably one of the most 'Namco-like' things Sega ever developed, and it's a shame it didn't see wider distribution. It uses a stick / spinner type input (maybe a twisty stick?) and is a lot of fun.
Read 4 tweets
26 Feb
Sean dumped the TV Board Games 6-in-1 with CandyLand. The die was an Elan EP3A19A, and while still 6502 based, and likely using the same page based video as the EU3A05, some system registers seem to be different so it'll take some extra work to get it booting.
This is starting to look more like something now
and you can now choose a game. the emulation still needs work.
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
TeamEurope dumped 4 more e-kara cartridges
one of the dumped cartridges, the SC-05 works with multiple units in addition to the e-kara, including Popira, Taiko de Popira, and Jumping Popira
It's a TV Pop cartridge, but again not sure of the full title
Read 6 tweets
23 Feb
Sean dumped one of the other NES based ones, noteworthy mostly for having instruction text copy+pasted from a DS version on the box, which talks about upper and lower screens (which obviously doesn't apply here)
this was also a regular FlashROM, as are most of the MSI units, the only exception seems to have been the Midway 3-in-1, which was just 2 globs without even anywhere easy to connect (hence why that one didn't get dumped yet) Maybe there are multiple versions of that though.
the lives counter in Dig Dug 2 also uses what looks like a corrupt tile. I have no idea why, this isn't an emulation bug, it's like this in videos I can find.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
So last time I upgraded to the latest Win 10 I experience an issue where if the machine had been on for more than about 20 minutes, git connections would start dropping out, meaning I couldn't make any substantial pulls or pushes. Reverting to the previous Win 10 worked.
I've waited many months now, tried updating again, same thing happens, after about 20 mins, the only way I can do any git operations without the connection being dropped is to reboot from cold.
doesn't seem to matter which USB port my wireless adapter is in, it does the same, even unplugging it / plugging it back in doesn't help.
Read 5 tweets
7 Dec 20
I guess as we head towards the end of the year I just tend to get a bit nostalgic,start to wonder what my favourite memories of contributing to MAME really have been. Was it some of the earlier stuff - improving NMK sprite decryption (Macross etc.) or Sega C2 learning Genesis hw
Maybe some of the stuff slightly after that, such as getting Sega System 32 / Multi 32 up and running in MAME, and discovering things that the Modeler emulator hadn't implemented such as the RGB controls used in Alien3
but then I think about all these absolutely terrible bootlegs, all the Korean 'garbage' and for whatever reason figuring those out, and understanding where they fit in seems to hold strong positive memories.
Read 19 tweets
30 Nov 20
While the 2020 writeup contains a lot of pictures of things we have emulated, it should also be noted that a lot of things have been dumped over the course of the year that still show nothing at all, and haven't been covered at all outside of a mention in the release whatsnew.
Sometimes this is because we don't yet emulate the required level of tech (some of the NESVT stuff) other times it's because there's likely additional Internal ROM data that needs extracting (some of the mini arcade type things)
Other times it's that I'm not really familiar with the CPU architecture, or the MAME emulation cores might not be up to scratch (LeapFrog IQuest / Turbo Extreme etc. use a 8051 based SoC and require better working serial)
Read 11 tweets
26 Nov 20
'Easy Karaoke' takes an age to boot / shut down, redraws screen rather slowly, feels very low powered, but modern.
looks like it's an ARM based device based on the markings on one of the square chips? Also I guess that's a Flash ROM on the back.
The cartridge connector is 6 pins, not even sure how you open one up, must be clipped closed but I can't unclip them. Probably an SPI ROM inside, as 6 pins isn't enough for a regular ROM.
Read 4 tweets
24 Nov 20
Team Europe dumped the Code Lyoko handheld provided by "KaruzoHikari" This 25-in-1 handheld uses the Senca 'Family Sport' game as a base, but customizes the frontend and 5 of the games with a Code Lyoko theme ImageImageImage
Code Lyoko #2 ImageImageImage
Code Lyoko #3 ImageImageImage
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov 20
new in box apparently....
annoyingly I bought this so I could record a few bits from the unit to help with the emulation (it's already dumped) and maybe see if there's any way to run custom code on it as I think there's internal ROM (although it's a pads, not sub-board' case, so will be tricky)
I'll have to see if I can find a suitable backplate for the battery compartment in remains of another unit, although the shells for most other units are long gone at this point.
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov 20
We're approaching mid November now, which means only 2 more MAME releases left in 2020. It hasn't really felt like almost a year, but I guess the whole pandemic has moved me from 'high functioning' (even if I hate that term) to 'barely functioning'
My patterns haven't changed much as I'm not that much of a social person (it usually just exhausts me) but not being able to 'reset' with friends once a month has just lead to a cloud of depressed feelings, no motivation to get out of bed, and even simple tasks being overwhelming
In fact just about the only thing I've managed to do this year is scrape together to contribute a few things to MAME before feeling like I've hit my limits. This is also why I hate the term 'high functioning' because it you look at that alone, it appears that everything is normal
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep 20
I've been making some improvements to MAME's VT emulation. ImageImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep 20
this thing really is tiny
Overall a poor form factor for the games included tho. While some have double sized fonts to make them easier to read, others don't, and the display is clearly half the resolution of the NES/VT so pixels are simply being dropped making a lot of things very difficult to make out.
Also it's oddly quiet, most games have sfx only, no music.
Read 7 tweets
15 Sep 20
The 153/152-in-1 units are also full of unused games, including 'Deal or No Deal' ImageImageImage
There's also a 'PacMan' but it isn't playable, it just loops saying 'Ready...' and 'P T' so I guess it is incomplete. ImageImageImage
There's a version of 'Bravery Birds' hidden in there too, the 160 has this game, but the smoothly rotating Angry Bird style bird was replaced with a badly animated bear head. ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
15 Sep 20
The 160-in-1 of these low-resolution handhelds actually contains a list of 180 games, all present in ROM, just 20 haven't been selected for the menu. Most are in the other units, some are reskins of included, some I guess weren't chosen for legal reasons. pastebin.com/P7wSSXt8
If I hack the menu index I can launch the unlisted games. This OTM Pick Fruit doesn't seem to be in the other currently dumped units. ImageImageImageImage
3 Rabbits is in the higher resolution version, with Bugs Bunny rip-offs, but here if you force it back into the menu it has more fox-like characters, suggesting maybe it was undergoing a reskin before being dropped entirely. ImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
13 Sep 20
I was sent some code to allow the 6502 based units to boot. The code as it stands is unlikely to be included tho, it breaks almost every MAME and C++ coding standard you could imagine to the point I'm not sure anything can be salvaged from it.
The inspirations for some of these games is kinda obvious.
continuing with the 'obvious influences'
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep 20
One thing for sure, there was no shortage of Sudoku TV games, the two crazes coincided with each other. Let's see if this one is actually interesting, and if there's anything dumpable inside. ImageImageImageImage
Camera battery needs recharging.. initial impressions, it's an Elan at best - more colourful than a NES, but rough palette fades that could make it a VT. It also has that possible 'single glob' feel to it that makes me worry I'm going to open it and find nothing dumpable.
This is what it looks like. Box shots seem accurate. Can't find any kind of test mode with obvious button inputs. ImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets