What could be changed in the code to make the game better?

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What could be changed in the code to make the game better?

Postby Joe » 01 Mar 2006, 10:07

Hi there i was wondering with all this information being collected what could changed in m.u.l.es code, i wouldnt mind seeing the ai players useing diffrent
species with thier charistics, also how about the ai buying selling on the 12th round or even the ai selling land or even ai Collusion



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Postby xot » 02 Mar 2006, 07:43

I'd like to see that too, but the fact of the matter is, as Atari MULE stands now the code is incredibly dense. There just isn't any room to add much of anything. It would probably be easier to re-create MULE from scratch than retrofit the original. Something that might be fun (and posible) would be to try to fix the 12th round collusion bug that was fixed for the C64 release.
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Postby Kroah » 03 Mar 2006, 03:03

Yeah, Xot is right. Almost all of the Atari memory is used...

We can always change the data driven code to tweak:
- the rating of the lands and goods of tha AI
- the prices of the goods
- the probabilities of the round events
- ...

But no big code change could be made. And it's so interlaced with gfx, it could be hard to add something complex.

As Xot mentions it, it will be a lot easier and fun to make a faithful remake of the game with the basic rules and some advanced ones. :)

If someone has some time :wink:

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Postby Joe » 03 Mar 2006, 12:53

I would have thought if it the code was changed specific for Atari800WinPlus the ram wouldnt be an issue?
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Postby xot » 05 Mar 2006, 07:43

I did consider that and it might be possible to put the code into extra banks of memory, but the thing is, with Atari800Win and most other emulators you would have to emulate an XL/XE to get memory bank switching which means you also have to lose two controller ports. Next you'd have to do some initial patching in MULE to get it to work at all on the newer OS. To get bank switching on an Atari 800, or to get your two controllers back, you'd have to patch the OS. Once you start patching OSes for work arounds you're talking about a complex project with low compatibility.

A better solution might be to swap sections of code in and out of memory from the disk. There is plenty of room on the disk for more code. On a real machine this would be annoyingly frequent and very slow, but in an emulator it could be quite fast. Sunmark made a cartridge version of MULE. Using their bank switching tricks and one of their programmable carts you could probably pack a lot of new content into the game and play it on a real machine without any slow down. Either way, being able to play the upgraded version on a real machine would be an important goal for me.
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New feature to improve M.U.L.E.

Postby Scrith » 27 Jun 2006, 03:19

This is either easy or impossible:

How about changing the number of rounds from 12 to 24/36/48/64 ?

This is probably easy (somewhere there is the number 12...probably in more than one spot, since the auctions are different and the return ship comes), or really hard (records keep track of previous rounds, and there is no more memory for more records).
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Re: New feature to improve M.U.L.E.

Postby Kroah » 28 Jun 2006, 01:16

Scrith wrote:This is either easy or impossible:

How about changing the number of rounds from 12 to 24/36/48/64 ?


The address used for the number of rounds is: $B36F
It's equal to 6 or 12 according to the level of difficulty.

Changing it could have some consequences on the gameplay (of course) and on some events because the program uses some tables limited in size for a maximum of 12 rounds.

For example, the memory offset of the reward to catch the wampus is equal to (currentRound/2) / 2 * 2 (it's a word), and there's only 4 datas in memory:

$8D3B roundsWampusBonus:.WORD 100, 200, 300, 400

and if the round becomes >12, the result is unexpected (get data from unknown memory, beyond the value 400).

Some datas could be modified without much problems (prices for example).

If you have some nice ideas, feel free to propose them, we could look if we can do it. :)

Cheers,
Pascal
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Accessing disk...

Postby doctorclu » 26 Sep 2006, 19:38

"A better solution might be to swap sections of code in and out of memory from the disk. There is plenty of room on the disk for more code. On a real machine this would be annoyingly frequent and very slow, but in an emulator it could be quite fast. Sunmark made a cartridge version of MULE. Using their bank switching tricks and one of their programmable carts you could probably pack a lot of new content into the game and play it on a real machine without any slow down. Either way, being able to play the upgraded version on a real machine would be an important goal for me."

In my opinion, both increased memory and disk access are not a problem with current real world Atari users that are serious. Most have MyIde (Hard drive interface) which is just FAST (playing movies fast), and most also have 64K+ of memory. So however you want to go about this really.

I think many 8-bit users are ready for that full blown, 128K disk access version of MULE. ;)
"Whatever blows your hair back"- Bubsy Bobcat
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Postby xot » 26 Sep 2006, 22:03

Interesting. I guess I'm just not that serious then, 'cause I don't know anybody in the real world with anything other than basic Atari hardware from back in the eighties. Although I was aware or extended memory and hard drive solutions for the Atari, I'd never even heard of MyIDE until today. I guess modern peripherals are a lot more prevelant than I realised. I do all my Atari stuff with emulators these days, I'm not sure many of my old floppies will even spin anymore. :cry:
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Re: Accessing disk...

Postby Kroah » 27 Sep 2006, 22:55

doctorclu wrote:In my opinion, both increased memory and disk access are not a problem with current real world Atari users that are serious. Most have MyIde (Hard drive interface) which is just FAST (playing movies fast), and most also have 64K+ of memory. So however you want to go about this really.

I think many 8-bit users are ready for that full blown, 128K disk access version of MULE. ;)


Hu, what a good dream, the possibility to enhance a game like this. If only i had more time to program this... :cry:
I hope some people will hear you and the dream will come true. If someone needs help to do this, i'm here !
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