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Forums > CSDb Entries > Release id #179681 : Spaceware Shuttle Designer
2019-07-18 21:45
hedning

Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 2356
Release id #179681 : Spaceware Shuttle Designer

User Comment
Submitted by Knight Rider [PM] on 18 July 2019
Charset bug is not a bug. The ROM charset is copied and then overwritten with READ/DATA/POKE. The ? 0-9 etc are used to generate the chars. The ? is used as part of the INPUT.

SYNTAX error is due to FLOAD on a C64 that does not have stock KERNAL (line 8738 doesn't exist in any program)

After the calculation, you are asked Press RETURN to stop or enter 0000 to go to the Menu.. So the STOP at line 5000, leading to a BREAK in line 5000 is exactly what the user requested. It's not a bug.

User Comment
Submitted by Goat [PM] on 18 July 2019
Thanks for your answer. :-)

The charset bug always appears on all my hardware setups.
The SYNTAX ERROR only appears on one of my C64s, this seems to be due to FLOAD.
Additionally, after the calculation part there is always a "Break in 5000".

I'm no hater and no downvoter, I haven't even voted on this release! I just wondered if these bugs haven't been spotted earlier...

User Comment
Submitted by Knight Rider [PM] on 18 July 2019
The Educational Simulation is not a GAME, sure but it is still worth preserving; even if written in BASIC. I believe it was originally coded on the APPLE IIe and converted to the C64.

The original is slow, and pretty buggy.

In the end I recoded the BASIC CHARROM copy routine as ASM and it is alot faster than before. I didn't want to bugfix (ie rewrite the whole simulation), so there are many 'features' left. These include:

. The custom charset is populated with READ and DATA commands. I did not recode this in ASM <<< IT IS SLOW
. The program from time to time has a STOP statement in it. In the menu, I changed this to a RESET (but not everywhere)
‚Äč. Strange chars on 'graphics' screens due to custom CHARSET .... especially noticeable in the ? after "press RETURN to continue"
. Sometimes the screen text is overwritten (eg in the missions), however the text underneath is not cleared.
. You can get divide by zero errors by entering values less than 1 in the missions

The EXCESS versions have been tested on VICE, real hardware, Ultimate64 & The C64 mini and have passed our quality controls as working on stock C64 kernal (plus AR6 enhanced machines). Real 1541, emulated 1541 and SD2IEC devices are tested and supported.

The loader FLOAD has sometimes prooved to be problematic with non standard KERNAL routines (Dolphin/Speed DOS etc). However we don't consider this as stock hardware and don't consider any lack of functionality as an issue here.

Haters are always going to hate, and anonymous down-voters are welcome to eat more laxatives.

User Comment
Submitted by Goat [PM] on 18 July 2019
There are also charset issues on all pages with graphics. For example on subject "1 rockets" on the fourth page (which is page 12 if you just press RETURN from the beginning on). Entering numbers looks strange then.

User Comment
Submitted by Goat [PM] on 18 July 2019
At first, this is not a game. Otherwise GB64.com would also have listed it. Additionally this is BASIC.

And it crashes.

Pushing RETURN until the menu "SUBJECT SELECTION" appears, selecting number 7 and pushing Return results in a "?Syntax Error in 8738".
2019-07-19 00:37
sailor

Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 69
This is a bit more FLOAD related than the game but here goes.. I got a bit curious on the following..

Quote:
SYNTAX error is due to FLOAD on a C64 that does not have stock KERNAL

Quote:
The loader FLOAD has sometimes prooved to be problematic with non standard KERNAL routines (Dolphin/Speed DOS etc)


I can understand that a non-stock kernals can act up, but I'd assume FLOAD uses standard kernal calls to init loader. (Which leans more to a/the game not co-operating with modified kernals.)

I tried a few scenarios with this game, Dolphin is ID;d as 1541 and uses FLOAD-1541 routines thus not depending on standard kernal or drive DOS routines. SpeedDOS is not ID;d and reverts to kernal.

However, both work (as expected).

I believe implementing a loader should be seamless to a game, regardless of FLOAD-1541 or kernal. A syntax error sounds more to me like zeropages wasted during load and breaking basic pointers.

Are there detailed examples when these errors occur and "sometimes not working"-scenarios. Would be interesting to see. If nothing else, atleast some ideas for improvements might come up :) ...
2019-07-19 10:11
Knight Rider

Registered: Mar 2005
Posts: 62
I would like to DEBUG this too, however I have not been able to recreate this either.
2019-07-19 11:18
hedning

Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 2356
Question is: Should this release be regarded as broken? Does it work as intended? Like the original? I have no clue.
2019-07-19 11:52
Knight Rider

Registered: Mar 2005
Posts: 62
Quoting hedning
Question is: Should this release be regarded as broken? Does it work as intended? Like the original? I have no clue.


it works as intended.
2019-07-19 20:15
Goat

Registered: Oct 2007
Posts: 26
I also tested it on my favorite emulator CCS64 (current version 3.9.2) now. Just the simple standard startup setup without any cartridge...

You can press RETURN several times, until it produces the "?Syntax Error in 8738".
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