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Thread: A bit of fun

  1. #1
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North

    A bit of fun

    As a bit of background, I got a DS recently. Good fun, bought a load of games for it but it got me thinking about Arm programming. Only one thing for it :



    So far - it's pretty slow. No objects, no interaction (other than movement) and nothing even remotely in the way of plot or conversations. All the rendering is in pure C++ with a fair bit of floating point which causes quite a bit of slowdown.

    Very much a work in progress - if anyone has a DS and the means to play around with homebrew then feel free to drop me a PM. I'm not going to promise that this will develop to much quickly but it's fun to browse the UW2 levels from a hand-held device.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    Awesome. I love the idea; though I don't have a DS.

    What would you do about the interface though? Could it work on a DS?

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Well, so far the arrow keys on the left allow you to look and move around. The X and B buttons allow you to move up and down and Y/A allow you to jump left and right by one square. The two rear trigger buttons do nothing... yet.

    It's all just development stuff at the moment as I'm extremely green as far as this platform goes and I'm still undecided between manual rastering vs the inbuilt 3d stuff.

    As far as the user interface is concerned, it could be done. The bottom screen has a touch screen interface and the bottom and top screens can be swapped as desired. You could keep the inventory / options on the bottom screen normally but allow this to be swapped with the 3d view on a key press when you wanted to pick up an item (or for talking / combat). Not sure if that would be confusing - but I might mock something up to try it anyway.

  4. #4
    Very cool :)

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Right - I've done a couple of updates / speed improvements but it's still pretty slow at the moment. I suspect there aren't many here which run homebrew DS software but there are then get the software from uw2ds.nds

    That is only the executable - I'm not including any original UW2 data since that's still under copyright. For it to work the executable needs to be able to find the texture file and level file.

    On real hardware with a flash card, create the directory "\uw2\data" and drop the two files "lev.ark" and "t64.tr" into it from an installed uw2's data directory. I've only tried it with a R4 SD adapter but there were no problems.

    If you want to have a play with an emulator then you will need to jump through a few hoops first - it's a bit of a pain to do and I'll leave instructions if people are interested.

    Basic controls:

    Arrows: Movement and rotation
    X / B: Raise / Lower height
    Y / A: Look up and down
    Left shoulder button: Swap top and bottom screens (not useful yet - but will be useful when using the stylus in future)
    Right shoulder button: Change level. It will go though a sequence of ten levels or so before starting back at the first. Most times you'll start a level staring a brick (or blackrock) wall - just turn around

    Any problems - I'm very interested to hear about. All responsibility for smoke coming out of your DS or the wifi link microwaving your cat is at your own risk.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Location: France

    This... This... This is really awesome someone finally tries a port !

    You probably know these sites but I suggest you to head over GBAdev.org or DCemu if you're searching for help of the homebrew community.

    I'm going to try it now. I'll give you feedbacks...

    You're making my day better man ! Keep up the good work !

  7. #7
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    If you can even come within a stones throw of a half complete build, I will be your best friend forever and name my first born Albert Bee in your honor.

    Keep up the great work.

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Thanks for the encouragement, but I'm not going to call it a remake just yet since that's pretty much the kiss of death for any project around here.

    I'm actually going to concentrate on some of the more 'mundane' stuff first such as object management, user interface and conversations / interactions before worrying about graphics or sound.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Are you using the original game data files or are you redoing the media?
    If you reuse the original data it would be nice if you could share any knowledge from reverse engineering the game, as I'm working on something similar:
    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthrea...=122228&page=2

  10. #10
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Definitely using the original game files, and of course I'll share anything new I find. In fact, as part of this I plan to update my editor to .net (from an old and cronky version of Borland C++ Builder) as it is useful when inspecting / decyphering levels.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Just curious, is your editor available for download somewhere?

  12. #12
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Sure - UW2 Map Editor. It's worth mentioning that it only works with UW2 files and not to UW1 or system shock. It's also not perfect and there are a number of attributes that still need to be displayed (particularly for mobile objects).

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    I don't have a DS, but this is a really neat sounding hobby project. Any more progress?

    This is the kind of thing that reminds why programming is fun

  14. #14
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Not just yet. Pretty all of my programming energy has been drained by work since Christmas although I have made progress on updating the editor to .net. I'm going to release that first before putting more effort into the port.

    The project's definitely not dead and with any luck I should be able to put more effort into it before too long.

  15. #15
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Funny, I am trying much the same thing as well.

    Years ago I created a rendering engine for underworld 2 (uw2rev.sourceforge.net) but it was dormant for years. Some time ago I thought about porting it to the DS. I did not start with the rendering this time (mainly because translating experimental DX7 code to even more experimental OpenGLes code is not fun).

    My progress:
    lev.ark: I can read the file but I guess my understanding of the tiles and items/ critters is not as good as yours. Automapping and map notes are readable
    cnv.ark: The conversation virtual machine works. I am currently implementing the import functions.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Does the DS support OpenGL ES?

    I've also been working on a portable (works on Win32, Win64, Linux, Solaris, and *BSD) UW1/2 + Shock engine lately, which is done in OpenGL:
    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122228
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/abysmal/

    What's currently done is level rendering for UW1/2/Shock, partly object rendering for UW, partly object picking, collision detection, audio (midi music, voice sounds) and various file importers.

    So if you're also working on something then we might want to collaborate. At least we could share any new knowledge about the file formats.

  17. #17
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Well I am not sure if the DS actually supports OpenGL ES or if there is such a thing as a fixed specification of OpenGL ES. Looking at devKitPro - the homebrew DS environment I used - there were some OpenGL functions. But as Al_B said before, float arithmetic is incredibly slow on the DS. From what I saw, fixed point is the way to go on the DS.

    Anyway, I am all for pooling resources and information. What I have written so far is based mainly on uw_formats.txt from the uwadv project on sourceforge with a few odds and ends thrown in for good measure.

    As soon as I get to terms with the sourceforge svn system, I can upload my updated specs and the tools I have written so far. I am not making any promises on deadlines, mind you :-)

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    As far as I see devKitPro uses GCC as compiler. This should make it fairly easy to port existing libraries and applications to the DS.

    I've also updated a few bits in the uw_formats.txt from uwadv, so we should probably keep this central somewhere.

    edit: I just saw that the DS has only 4 MB RAM. This could make programming on it a bit tricky.

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    Quote Originally Posted by Nab View Post
    Years ago I created a rendering engine for underworld 2 (uw2rev.sourceforge.net) but it was dormant for years.
    Looks as though the mirror is still up for that: http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/d...e/u/uw/uw2rev/

  20. #20
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    It's excellent to see that there's so much activity in this forum - let's try and keep up the momentum and get some stuff published.

    Quote Originally Posted by eddy View Post
    I've also updated a few bits in the uw_formats.txt from uwadv, so we should probably keep this central somewhere.
    How about keeping it in your abysmal project on SourceForge? At least that way it can be updated quickly when necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by eddy View Post
    edit: I just saw that the DS has only 4 MB RAM. This could make programming on it a bit tricky.
    It should still be perfectly possible - but it would need most files to be held in the filesystem and not loaded into RAM.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Yeah, I've now put my modified uw-formats.txt and ss-specs.txt (from TSSHP) in the abysmal SVN.

    http://abysmal.svn.sourceforge.net/v...c/ss-specs.txt
    http://abysmal.svn.sourceforge.net/v...uw-formats.txt

    Please feel free to update the files and send the changes back to me

  22. #22
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Brilliant - well done.

    At the risk of duplicating work I'm going to continue with updating the editor to C# and I'll send on the source to you so it could act as a reference if nothing else.

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by twisty View Post
    Looks as though the mirror is still up for that [...]
    The project is still there as well on sourceforge. I dont think they delete stuff, ever.

    Is there any way I could send an attachment? I merged my notes with eddys uw-formats but now can't mail or attach them.

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