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Word Guess - Wordle Port WIP


CardboardBox

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Not only the playfield colors are affected, but also the position of the letter sprites. Both are completely independently defined, so the timing is off twice!

 

I looked into the code and there is nothing special. So what could cause these major differences?

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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It's just that the built-in emulator in the Flashback is very inaccurate.

 

Here, Nukey Shay converted a lot of games to work with the portable, describing the many issues of that device:

e.g.:

 

post 175:

Quote

Special handling to specific roms - yep
Non-persistent color switch (7800-similar)
Frequent port read (SWCHA/SWCHB) - avoid
VBLANK - remove for production version
Mirrored RIOT addresses - not supported
On cart ram - use $FF to fill
Illegal opcode use - not supported
Early HMOVE - not supported
+1 cycle by branch over page - Nope

post 223:

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Found that the portable is really sensitive to the timing of PF stores...those appear to take effect earlier than they should when rewriting mid-scanline.

post 232:

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...on an actual console, you can "race the beam" and alter stuff you already know have been displayed - like late CTRLPF writes that happen after the relevant pixels have been sent, and so would then take effect on the next scanline. Not always the case with AFP. CTRLPF in particular...it'll apply changes to stuff that the "beam" has already passed.

post 326:

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There's a slight problem with the color of the tops of chutes...they are recolored a little too soon on the portable. If even a single cycle is added there, they hit too late! Can't fix it either way with that issue...

post 327:

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I'm giving up on this problem...the portable's playfield issues are just too weird. So I used the player sprites to color the center of the chutes instead.

post 341:

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Not possible (?) That is the best result I could get for the portable. Delaying or rushing the background color update by even 1 cycle makes it worse (same problem I had with Pressure Cooker).

post 375:

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The portable is kinda fun to work against, it's like playing twenty questions with a drunk uncle.

 

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Thanks!

 

He describes playfield timing problems. Especially mid-scanline color changes are quite rare in other games. But sprite positioning happens in almost every game, so any bad timing there should be very obvious for many, many games.

 

Maybe the code here triggers some "special handling" code in the emulator?

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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12 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Maybe the code here triggers some "special handling" code in the emulator?

Anything is possible, but Nukey also mentioned misaligned gfx in a few games in that thread.

 

Never got a portable (or any other flashback console), as prices for those things here are way too high for my tastes (100+ EUR)

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2 hours ago, ComputerSpaceFan said:

Here you go. The R and the A are valid in this one.

 

 

IMG_20220217_073446.jpg

Player 0 graphics (C, R, A) are also misplaced horizontally. So RESP0 and/or HMP0/HMOVE are also not working properly. They're placed correctly in the score though.

 

I think the playfield colors line up exactly with transitions between PF1 and PF2. And they're not a multiple of 3 pixels so they can't be determined entirely by CPU timing. This makes me think each part of playfield (PF0, PF1, PF2) can only be a single color. Then maybe it could be fixed by swapping background and playfield, assuming changes to the background color work as expected.

 

Edit: this quote seems to indicate the background color does NOT work as expected ?

Quote

Delaying or rushing the background color update by even 1 cycle makes it worse

 

Edited by CardboardBox
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On 2/17/2022 at 9:22 AM, ComputerSpaceFan said:

No worries if it's not fixable. It's definitely playable, I just need to right-shift my way of thinking when I play it on the portable.

 

I'm guessing from Nukey Shay's comments this won't actually fix the issue, but it's worth a try. This just uses the background color instead of the playfield color, in hopes that mid-line background color changes might be supported better by the Flashback Portable. If this doesn't fix it then it might just be impossible.

word_guess_bg_test.bin

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Added version 0.3.

 

Changes:

- Added Hard Mode which can be controlled via the left difficulty switch. Right difficulty switch now controls how all guesses are initialized, instead of splitting first guess and subsequent guesses on left/right difficulty switches.

- When a guess is invalid because of a previous guess (either due to hard mode or a duplicate guess), the previous guess is highlighted along with the invalid guess.

- On the final guess, the music stops and the colors reveal slower for dramatic effect.

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On 2/18/2022 at 6:23 PM, CardboardBox said:

 

I'm guessing from Nukey Shay's comments this won't actually fix the issue, but it's worth a try. This just uses the background color instead of the playfield color, in hopes that mid-line background color changes might be supported better by the Flashback Portable. If this doesn't fix it then it might just be impossible.

word_guess_bg_test.bin 32 kB · 5 downloads

 

download.gif

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Added a new version.

 

- Changed list of 2048 words that can be picked as a solution. I replaced a lot of obscure words with more common ones.

- Modified the logo and added a version number on the title screen

- Made the music loop longer.

- Merged in the fix for the Flashback Portable

 

I've completed all the items on my todo list so I'm calling this version 1.0.  I'm still open to suggestions if anyone has them.

Edited by CardboardBox
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34 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

You could add the SaveKey to store stats like the Wordle website does.

Good idea, I'll see if I can squeeze in SaveKey support.

 

I hadn't seen that Wordle tracks your current streak, I never paid attention to those stats. That makes me want to remove the current scoring mechanism and just give 1 point per word to make it the same as Wordle's streak. Then saving your high score on the SaveKey would be equivalent to Wordle's max streak.

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2 hours ago, ComputerSpaceFan said:

Is there some reason the following words give me a red "unacceptable" error?

REACT

TEENS

These are real words.

Actually, I figured it out but I'm still confused. It rejected REACT and TEENS because those contained already-invalid letters. Meaning I had used them in different places before so the game knows they aren't right.

But in real Wordle I can do this and I often do as a way to narrow down unknown letters.

If the final word is BRICK and I tried BOLTS it will say B is good. Can't I also play JOLTS? With this new rule no I can't and that's different from Wordle.

Is this on purpose?

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20 minutes ago, ComputerSpaceFan said:

Actually, I figured it out but I'm still confused. It rejected REACT and TEENS because those contained already-invalid letters.

That's hard mode. Wordle has that option as well. I believe he has the left difficulty switch control whether or not hard mode is active. 

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8 hours ago, ComputerSpaceFan said:

You're right.

Note to us Portable players: you need to turn Left Difficulty ON in order to turn Hard Mode OFF. I just tried it.

Oh I think I might have gotten the difficulty switch backwards.

 

Right/B is supposed to be the easier difficulty and Left/A is supposed to be the harder one, right? I'll fix that in the next build.

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9 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Looks like you got left difficulty reversed.

 

Any news about the SaveKey support?

Left difficulty should be fixed in the new version (1.1).

 

SaveKey support is also added, though I don't have an address allocated so it's using an address allocated as scratch space for now, so other games might interfere with it. I ended up having to change the dictionary to be delta encoded to make room.

 

Also the scoring system is replaced with just tracking your streak like Wordle does.

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My bad, used the 1.0 version.

 

A few more stats would be nice. E.g. number of wins with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 tries.

 

I found a bug: The game "forgets" the current winning streak when you exit and later reenter the ROM.

 

 

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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7 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

My bad, used the 1.0 version.

 

A few more stats would be nice. E.g. number of wins with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 tries.

 

I found a bug: The game "forgets" the winning streak when you exited the ROM.

 

 

Not your bad, the 1.1 version hadn't been posted yet :)

 

Not saving the current streak is by design, but the design might be bad. I didn't want you to be able to turn off the Atari once you get to the 6th guess to avoid losing your streak. I guess I could make it so it saves if you haven't made a guess yet. Or save the entire game state. Or just let cheaters cheat. ?

 

I could make room for number of wins with 1-6 tries if I removed the "PRESS FIRE!" message when the SaveKey is plugged in.

 

Also maybe I should allow your streak to go over 99 (currently it just changes to ?? at 100). Though I might not be able to display the max streak on the gameplay screen if I did.

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22 minutes ago, CardboardBox said:

Not your bad, the 1.1 version hadn't been posted yet :)

:) 

Quote

Not saving the current streak is by design, but the design might be bad. I didn't want you to be able to turn off the Atari once you get to the 6th guess to avoid losing your streak. I guess I could make it so it saves if you haven't made a guess yet. Or save the entire game state. Or just let cheaters cheat. ?

I think this would work: If the current game has been won, then keep it. If it is in progress, reset it.

 

A game at the first line would have to be not considered as in progress. Or you need a break after a game is done. Actually I would prefer the former.

Quote

I could make room for number of wins with 1-6 tries if I removed the "PRESS FIRE!" message when the SaveKey is plugged in.

Fine by me. Stats can be pretty motivating, thus increasing the replay value.

Quote

Also maybe I should allow your streak to go over 99 (currently it just changes to ?? at 100). Though I might not be able to display the max streak on the gameplay screen if I did.

I hadn't looked at the code there yet. Pretty clever use of missiles and ball. :thumbsup:

 

How about displaying them two values alternatively? Current streak always, the longest streak alternating only when a game is over.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing Word Guess on tomorrow's stream LIVE on Twitch, hope you can join us!


Games:

 (WATCH AT 1080P60 FOR BEST QUALITY)

 

 

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