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Thread: QUAKE2DS prerelease 1

                  
   
  1. #1

    NDS QUAKE2DS prerelease 1

    I said I'd never actually work on this game, but here I am releasing it!
    So here it is, Quake II for Nintendo DS: http://quake.drunkencoders.com

    To play the game you require a homebrew-enabled DS, and some kind of way of playing homebrew on your DS.
    You also require a slot-2 card that has a minimum of 16 megabytes of RAM on it. When playing, you do not however need to place the data files and the program on your slot-2 card - if you also have a slot-1 card then you will have better load times if you play the game with both cards in use. You will still need to the slot-2 card inserted to make use of the RAM, though.

    To install:
    - make a directory named baseq2 in the root of your card
    - copy the pak files from the baseq2 directory of your CD or Q2 install into this baseq2 directory
    - download the config file from the web site and place it in the directory
    - from the game archive file take the quake2.nds file, dldi patch it and place it in the root of your flash card
    - plug in your slot-2 RAM card into your DS
    - turn on your DS.

    To reiterate - you'll get better performance if the game and it's data files are on something like and R4 in slot-1 than if you put your data files on your slot-2 RAM card. Unless your slot-1 card is a GnM...

    Overclocking memory:
    The performance of the game heavily depends on the speed of your RAM. Slot-2 RAM is very slow, but you can overclock it to make it up to 40% faster if you have the right type of flash card. When the game starts, try changing the speed option from slowest to slower or slow and see if the game starts ok. If it does then you're in luck :-)
    Don't forget to try memtestARM to see more reliably if you card can be overclocked.

    Lurchy gameplay:
    If you experience delays when the game plays a sound for the first time, you should reformat your flash card with the largest block size that you can; I recommend 64k. This is because seeking within 250 megs of pak files is much faster when the block size is larger. Doing this will also improve your load times. Do it!

    About the game:
    - every level is playable in single-player mode
    - there is no multiplayer
    - nearly all graphical effects are done by the DS hardware
    - there's auto and manual saving
    - there's no mod or TC support (not my fault, I'm afraid)
    - there's an on-screen keyboard as well as eight touch buttons (so you can bind functions to them)

    The bad stuff:
    - again, no multiplayer
    - some levels are poorly coded and the performance will hit the floor (in particular security.bsp)
    - GUI Z sorting is broken
    - no sprite rendering
    - some textures are misaligned
    - cinematic rendering is disabled
    - bits of the world will often pop in/out cos the DS GPU is SO overworked by this game! Some boss models have more polys than the DS can render in a frame...

    Reasons I'm releasing this early is cos a) I'm too busy to work on this properly b) my computers all have faulty PSUs! c) most of my flash card readers have disintegrated!

    Finally, if you enjoy the game and want the bugs sorted please drop some pennies on THIS LINK

    Thanks for playing
    Simon




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    Last edited by simonjhall; February 10th, 2008 at 15:05.

  2. #2
    DCEmu Old Pro bah's Avatar
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    I'm mostly a PSP user for homebrew, but when I see something like this......

    Huge amount of respect for what it must have taken to get this thing running man.

  3. #3
    DCEmu Newbie Nold's Avatar
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    Realy awsome work!

    I never even thought that it could run so fast ever on a DS...
    Even if i can't overclock my RAM T_T

    sick just sick! keep it up!

  4. #4

    Talking Awsome!

    I just downloaded it and it works great! I made a video of it on YouTube. Check it out here:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ianqSOCKTok

    Keep up the good work!

  5. #5
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    Didn't work for me. Using Supercard lite with commercial quake2 .pak files and supplied .cfg file

    Output:
    Init ARM7...done
    ARM7 is initialised
    vram initialised
    texture system initialised
    profiling has been enabled
    Added packfile //baseq2/pak0.pak
    (3307 files)
    Added packfile //baseq2/pak1.pak
    (279 files)
    Added packfile //baseq2/pak2.pak
    (2 files)
    execing default.cfg
    execing config.cfg
    basedir is write protected
    Console initialized
    Changing console font
    about to die:
    Couldn't load pics/colormap.pcx
    DS video shutting down
    ...done
    Sys_Error:Couldn't load pics/colormap.pcx
    link register is 0202a398

    On 'slowest' memory setting. I tried running the memtestARM and no problems with RAM extension.

  6. #6

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    Howdy. Thanks for the kind comments
    @jhhoward, I've seen this before (I've had it with my SC) and it's a dldi problem, where the driver corrupts data as it's reading it out. On my Supercard, what I did was extract all the pak files into the baseq2 directory (but maintaining the directory structure), then deleting the pak files.
    This may impact on load times, but it should hopefully make the game work ok.

    Alternatively, you could try the demo pak files which are much smaller, and are less likely to have this problem.

  7. #7
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    OK I unpacked all the .PAK files and the game runs nicely. It's particularly impressive, I thought Quake I was about the limit of the DS!

    I noticed that some polys appeared flat shaded for a few seconds before the texture gets applied. Are all the textures being streamed into VRAM? I also noticed the screen flicker a little when walking around sometimes. This is usually when the write to texture VRAM hasn't finished in the VBLANK.

    Overall, kudos! Any plans for multiplayer support?

  8. #8

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    Wow that is a relief! Glad it works for you.
    In answer to your questions,
    1) when a surface is white for a moment, yes you're right - that is when the textures are getting streamed into VRAM.
    I want to remove the thing where if you shoot a monster of that type for the first time it'll flicker white as the 'hurt' texture loads. It should really show the previous texture until the new one is loaded. However, doing that will probably break multiplayer support.

    2) the flickering is (as you say) due to me uploading the texture during the time that the GPU is using it. Making this work without flickering is really, really hard. Maybe version 2

    3) multiplayer will be in version 2. I tell you now, the framerate when in running the multiplayer maps is, in the words of one of my testers "stellar" - 30fps, easy!

  9. #9
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    Fixing the flickering during the texture upload should be possible. I'm unfamiliar with the homebrew API but if you make sure that you only upload on the VBLANK interrupt, and stop uploading when you run out of scanlines this should be possible.

  10. #10
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    Great work Simon. It's amazing how you've managed to get it running at all on the lil'DS.

    You mention overclocking the expansion memory. I have the 3in1, can it be done safely on that cart? And what settings? I got the tool that you suggested.

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