Recent Posts

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21
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by barbudreadmon on April 06, 2021, 02:35:30 PM »
Keeping older versions has a cost: it's clutter in the code base, is it not?

Indeed, and i wouldn't be happy if FBNeo ended up weighing several hundreds MBs because of this.
I'm not against keeping older romset versions, but i wouldn't make it systematic if it's not a user request. I believe there are better projects than FBNeo for game preservation.
22
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Gab75 on April 06, 2021, 01:43:06 PM »
... Keeping older versions has a cost: it's clutter in the code base, is it not? ...

You centered one of the main issues: the database gets slower with every added game, so getting rid of old buggy versions and replacing with new versions certainly helps (often with homebrew games, the new versions are only bug fixes and they're always better than the older versions).
23
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Stifu on April 06, 2021, 12:44:29 PM »
Haze, it sounds like those people were mad that their time and efforts spent exploiting game glitches were wasted, making them miss an older inferior version of the game. Do we really want to cater to such people when no money is involved? Keeping older versions has a cost: it's clutter in the code base, is it not? We might even run out of ROM names for arcade games as they are short filenames (but I guess it's not a hard limit and it could be ignored). Anyway, I don't think it's worth it, but then again, I'm not an FBN contributor.
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FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Haze on April 06, 2021, 09:35:01 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Haze! :)
Maybe the best choice is proceed as follows:
- if the new version is only a bug fixes, the new version will replace the old version;
- if the new version has changes in levels/gameplay or it adds new options/features, both will be kept.

If it costs you nothing to keep an older version preserved, I'd suggest keeping all the older versions.

Not all bugfixes are 'positive' some end up introducing other issues, sometimes old playthoughs of a game depend on a bug, and end up looking 'impossible' later.

I'll share a little story...

A few years back I was working on a mobile game, it had a score / time attack mode with replays, it would upload players scores and their runs to a server, so that they could be viewed by anybody else.

We got the occasional report of the game crashing mid-run, unfortunately as crashing was fatal, we didn't get the run files for any game that crashed, so the bug sat there for about a year unfixed, we weren't even sure if it was just a hardware bug on some devices.

Eventually we manged to get a solid reproduction.  There was some bad code in our game that would trash the state of other objects in memory in a predictable way.  If it happened to corrupt the wrong data (pointers to certain things) the game would crash.  If it instead happened to corrupt other things (number of enemies left to spawn etc.) the game would continue, seemingly as normal.

We fixed the bug.

Most of the top 20 high score replays that had been uploaded to the servers and shared stopped working.

Those high score replays just happened to be triggering the bug in a way that was changing the behavior of the game (causing less enemies to spawn) thus allowing the players to complete the game more quickly and obtain higher bonus points.  The top replays were all relying on a bug in our game code corrupting the game state.

As the replays no longer worked, and the top scores were technically not valid, we ended up deleting them.  This caused massive fallout with the player community, accusations of us censoring scores, deleting scores of players for no reason in order to try and make 'our friends' appear higher up etc.  Even accusations that we hadn't fixed a bug in our code, but introduced one and were trying to hide that by deleting the replays.

Unfortunately with these closed platforms you can't offer old versions of your software easily. There was no way to restore those replays, that depended on a buggy version of the game, to working state, they were literally 'impossible scores' on the fixed version of the game.  People wanted the old version, and the old scores back, that didn't happen, the community abandoned the game.

With an emulator, and a database of versions, you can easily offer all released versions, and let the user pick.

So yeah, if something can be archived, I'd highly recommend archiving it, because you just never know, even obvious bug fixes, for game-crashing bugs, can sometimes have unexpected side-effects if people were relying on those bugs.
25
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Gab75 on April 05, 2021, 02:54:59 PM »
If you're documenting these 'new releases' that MAME doesn't seem interested in, can you try to keep the older releases of them as clones (so if a 1.2 comes out, make the 1.1 a clone) it could be useful in the future.

Thanks for the tip, Haze! :)
Maybe the best choice is proceed as follows:
- if the new version is only a bug fixes, the new version will replace the old version;
- if the new version has changes in levels/gameplay or it adds new options/features, both will be kept.
26
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Gab75 on April 05, 2021, 02:49:08 PM »
Gab75,
I love playing something unique and new between working on code :)
Thank you and best regards,
- dink

You're welcome... it's a pleasure! :)
27
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Haze on April 05, 2021, 01:00:20 PM »
If you're documenting these 'new releases' that MAME doesn't seem interested in, can you try to keep the older releases of them as clones (so if a 1.2 comes out, make the 1.1 a clone) it could be useful in the future.

For arcade sets this has always been done (clones = older revisions) but for this modern development the culture seems to be to try and erase the clones entirely, which is worrysome - tracking the development is something people will want to study some years from now.
28
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by dink on April 05, 2021, 12:56:36 PM »
Gab75,
I love playing something unique and new between working on code :)
Thank you and best regards,
- dink
29
FBN Development / Re: Game Consoles (Gab75 adds and more...)
« Last post by Gab75 on April 05, 2021, 10:36:41 AM »
This Easter Monday it's the turn of MSX:
Attack 4 Women Volleyball (1986)
Cocoa the Time Machine (2020)
La Reliquia/The Relic (2020)

PS: I also updated the support to "L'Abbaye des Morts" (from v1.1 to v1.2)
30
FBN Development / Re: FB Neo Previews & Titles screenshots (fullset) + icons
« Last post by Gab75 on April 05, 2021, 10:28:31 AM »
Hi Neville,
thanks a lot for the support provided so far... :)
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