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New to Flash Masta - save slot ?
#1
Hi finally it was available and now I only have to wait 4-6 Weeks until it arrives in Germany.

As I read in the forum there is just one save slot - how do you handle playing the games?
Will there be an update in the future? (anyway to help?)
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#2
Hey QUARK!

You're right that there is currently only 1 save slot. One thing that hasn't been mentioned much is that the single save slot is twice as large as the largest known savegame. This means that there is actually room for more slots. There's just not an implemented method of using it yet.

We've also designed a new scheme to basically make a backup of the save-slot and restore it when switching games. This would effectively work as multiple slots.

We are working on it. Actually, at the moment, the effort is to create a more modern compiler toolchain that works easily. This will be a great boon for the development community and for the re-design of the menu code required to do the savegame switching.

If you're good with low-level code (especially x86 assembly), then it might be worth having a more in-depth conversation about this.
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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#3
Hi thanks :-) only reason I have a flash card (when it arrives) is to play translated games.

Is the save slot only used when I actively save or are games using the slot also when I do not save (I am afraid I kill existing saves).
Is there an expected time when the improvements are made?

I am product owner of a big data platform Big Grin I let people work for me not program myself Sad so no on this end I will not be very helpful
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#4
I'd also be very interested in a solution to this. This is the only thing I'd really need. It's good to hear that there is extra room in your save slot. Otherwise I'd assume there's plenty of room left in the first flash slot to store & restore multiple saves. The menu is quite tiny.

I know plenty of x86 assembly, but not sure how this would be helpful since there's no x86 anywhere on the WonderSwan? :-)

Is there any roadmap / ETA for this? The last menu update is from 2016 (!), so it doesn't seem like there is active development on it? If you told me you'll implement any kind of on-device save swapping in the next 6 months or so I think I'd simply hold off playing my WS till then. 15 game flash slots is plenty for me, but it's all a bit useless if I have to tether to a PC every time I want to play a different game and not overwrite my save.

Thanks!
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#5
(02-16-2022, 12:31 AM)SirRockALot Wrote: I'd also be very interested in a solution to this. This is the only thing I'd really need. It's good to hear that there is extra room in your save slot. Otherwise I'd assume there's plenty of room left in the first flash slot to store & restore multiple saves. The menu is quite tiny.

I know plenty of x86 assembly, but not sure how this would be helpful since there's no x86 anywhere on the WonderSwan? :-)

Is there any roadmap / ETA for this? The last menu update is from 2016 (!), so it doesn't seem like there is active development on it? If you told me you'll implement any kind of on-device save swapping in the next 6 months or so I think I'd simply hold off playing my WS till then. 15 game flash slots is plenty for me, but it's all a bit useless if I have to tether to a PC every time I want to play a different game and not overwrite my save.

Thanks!

Actually, the WonderSwan CPU is is 80186/x86 compatible.

Here's the current situation.  We have re-started developement on this a couple times.  One problem with WonderSwan programming is the lack of good development environment.  I was running up against this last time I created the structure for this new menu system.

Now, the main guy helping me work on this has decided to solve the development problem by first fixing up a working and open development platform that will create .wsc binaries.  

This will greatly help the WonderSwan community in general, as it should result in a "devkit" that will work on any modern platform.  At least, that's the direction it seems to be pointing, at the moment.

So, once that's working, the plan is to port the menu system (or maybe start from scratch again) to the new devkit.

I have also thought about doing an interim menu update that would just use the "extra" MRAM/FRAM space to create a backup of the previous savegame.  This way you would sorta have 2 savegame slots to work with.  However, this also suffers from the same devkit lacking problem.

You're right about the first ROM slot having room enough for all the savegames.  This is the plan.  The structure has been worked out here, and it should be fine to store everything in the flash memory.  Anyway, it's mostly an implementation problem, at the moment.
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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#6
That's fascinating, I would have never assumed it's an 8086 clone! Maybe I need to get my copy of Michael Abrash's Black Book from the attic, all those ancient optimization techniques might be useful again :-)

I can totally understand wanting a decent development environment and workflow first. My productivity plummets greatly when there is no single-action build/upload/run/test cycle and tools are unreliable. It's also really great that you'd make this environment available for everybody to use. Is it known what the team behind Fire Lancer used?
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#7
I'm pretty sure that Alex (aka Trap0xF/Trap15) uses the old Digital Mars MSDOS compiler.

IIRC, there are a couple old MSDOS compilers that will work. Watcom may be the other. I think you can use that to create a MSDOS .com executable and then convert it to work on the WS.

For people that are wanting to write in ASM, I think you can do it with NASM like http://sebastianmihai.com/swan-driving.html
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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#8
Thanks, really interesting. So you basically got the choice of going assembly or running an older, period specific compiler in DOSBox etc. I think gcc only targets >=386. Makes me want to check out the WonderWitch software, as far as I know that's Win32 and comes with a C compiler.
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#9
Well, hopefully, WS support gets built into some open-source and portable compiler soon.
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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#10
Fingers crossed, maybe we get some awesome homebrew games out of it. In any case, great to hear this per-slot save system is still being worked on, would be amazing.
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