Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lots of progress!

What does a vacation involving a laptop and a lack of internet result in? Major progress on Dexter! :)

The first thing I did was add support for left/right audio when used in conjunction with .ldimg files (which is what Thayer's Quest needs to function properly). This actually turned out to be a decent amount of work since it had not been implemented at all, and I had to implement it in such a way so that both .ldimg code and legacy VLDP code could share it. So I got that working and I am very pleased with the results.

Then in order to test it, I had to fix a bunch of problems in Daphne's Thayer's Quest driver that I broke when I did things like rip out SDL. Since Thayer's Quest uses a keyboard, I had to design a completely new (and abstract) way to pass keyboard events to a game driver. I'm happy to say that Thayer's Quest is running nicely once again (minus the speech synth which I still need to hook up)

I then decided to tackle something that's been bugging me for a long time and that is to clean up the IVideoObject interface. This interface has been around for a while in my personal code but I've never released it to the public (because it is only in WIP code). But I've done enough work on it that it was growing to monstrous proportions and so I spent quite a bit of time splitting it up into smaller interfaces. This will be very beneficial when it comes time to port the dexter viewer to something like beagleboard or raspberry pi so it was a good investment.

Lastly, I did more work on the VP931 interpreter and am pleased with how it is coming along. I am going to write a plethora of unit tests to make sure it is behaving exactly like the original VP931 behaved (using MAME/firefox as a reference so hopefully MAME is mostly correct) even though I do not have documentation on what the status codes mean. This is the best way I can think of to add support for those status codes without documentation. It will take some time but should be quite stable in the end.
The one thing MAME can't provide me with is details on what the interface does during disc spin-up time and non-instant seek time. If anyone with a real Firefox machine could somehow sniff this for me, it would be pretty awesome and the clock is actually ticking since these players are almost all universally dead.

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