Games on EEPROM

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aferenbach
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Games on EEPROM

Postby aferenbach » Mon May 08, 2006 3:17 pm

Hello All

I saw that there were a few games available as ROM images and that set me thinking, wouldn't it be great if there were more games available like that?

So I looked into it and lovingly produced the following games as ROM images (one game per 16k rom image)

Chuckie Egg
Planetoid
Rocket Raid
Monsters
Thrust
Zalaga
Felix meets the evil weevils
PacMan (Acornsoft)

Would anyone be interested in the ROM images? or alternatively I am happy to burn the games into EPROM for a modest fee. These would be ideal for someone who had a BBC B with a sideways rom board with a good few empty spaces.

Anyone interested give me a shout. Failing that, anyone interested and i will go into detail how you can produce these images for any game or file of your choosing!

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Postby CMcDougall » Tue May 09, 2006 10:15 am

You forgot to do Dare Devil Dennis, Hunchback & Super Pool!. I made these with a program off a BeeBug disc, very handy, but mine uses the *rfs (rom file system), which is a 3x faster than tape! Had another1, that was faster than lightning to load!, but cant mind its name :roll:
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aferenbach
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Games on Eprom

Postby aferenbach » Tue May 09, 2006 11:21 am

These Rom images also use RFS and like you say - they load a lot faster than tape.

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games on rom

Postby naz2000007 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:41 pm

hi,

can u burn games like wizadore which use streamed data?

what about games on disc?

So whats the method?

cheers
naz

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aferenbach
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A "How to" guide to making BBC Micro Games on ROM

Postby aferenbach » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:48 pm

Not sure about wizadore, I have only ever converted disc games, if it comes on a disc then there is a chance.

Okay, lets go though things step by step.

you will first need...
a) RFSHEAD - a lovely basic program by Robert Sprowson for the BBC which allows you to make 8 or 16k RFS images (get it from www.sprow.co.uk).
b) BeebEm fitted and running on your trusty PC, or alternatively a completely operational BBC Master 128 or BBC B with sideways RAM. You need this to do your image making and also to test the image before you write the eprom proper.
c) The Disc image or genuine Disc of the game you wish to convert. And a disc with RFSHEAD on it.
d) An EPROM programmer for afterwards to actually commit the games to EPROM (or I can program EPROMS for you).

Before we begin there are a few caveats...
The MAXIMUM size for any single file is 16K - that is your limitation. If you happen to have a couple of separate files which are both under that size then you can do two 16k ROMS and if you fit them both to a BBC at the same time they will happily work together.

So first things first, find out which files are absolutely essential for the game to function - can you skip a few steps like *RUN on the final file? if so then that can save you some room and allow you to limbo under the 16k limit. For example, in the case of Thrust then you can *RUN the final file and it just squeezes onto one ROM.

Next, check the file sizes, do a *INFO *.* and check out the file sizes. Any bigger than 4000 and the party's over, but one byte below and you are safe.

If all the files when added together are less than &4000(note the hexadecimal) then you can simply create a complete rom image of the whole disc which is so much neater.

Pen yourself a wee list of the files that you want to put onto the ROM then fire up RFSHEAD. Select your size (which should be &4000) and then you get to write the copyright and help file for your ROM - which can be accessed later with *HELP RFS, so perhaps some instructions on loading would be nice, or even a guide to the Keys for the game if you are doing a trimmed down version of the game. Make sure to keep all the filenames exactly the same or things get very messy. Also do not lock the files or your ROM will not work for you - it is for some obscure sort of copy-protection.

When you finish then the file OUTPUT is your finished ROM image!

Next thing to do is give that fella a test run, so on my Trusty Master 128, or under emulation then you do....

*SRLOAD OUTPUT 8000 4 [4 is the number of the sideways ram bank, so you may change that]

Do a CTRL-BREAK and then type *HELP - you should see RFS ID:{some characters}

Then type *HELP RFS and you should see whatever you put for the help text

Now for the proof of the pudding
Type *ROM
Type *CAT
and the files should be listed
then do your appropriate loading command - CHAIN or RUN or whatever, you can't do run like *THRUST, it must be *RUN THRUST or the command is rejected.

Your game should suddenly start loading in a pseudo-tape style way, but at a far greater speed, but slower than disc.

If that all looks good then commit your glorious creation to EPROM and pop that puppy into your BBC machine and take a bow! Also if you don't happen to own an EPROM programmer I am more than glad to write EPROMs of any games you happen to commit to Rom image - get in contact for details.

Phew! I hope that someone out there finds that useful, and I worked all this out just so i could pop Chuckie Egg onto ROM for a friend's birthday.

Andrew

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Fitting the Game ROMs to a machine!

Postby aferenbach » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:05 pm

Hi All

Almost forgot to mention, I discovered that you CAN make a 32k EPROM containing TWO 16k RFS images and if fitted in a 32K ROM socket on a BBC Master 128 they are both recognised. Therefore you could fit two 32k roms and one 16k rom (making 5 games in total) to a Master 128 - just so you know.

Andrew

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Slight error in making games on EPROM

Postby aferenbach » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:35 pm

Hi there

since posting my how-to guide I have discovered that this will work on the BBC Master but there is no guarantee that it will work correctly with BBC B's as supposedly there is a bug in the RFS.

There is a way around it though, according to John Kortink in his guide to his TOOLROM which is RFS based.

if you type...
!&C8=&70 (or, if you wish, '!200=112')

This circumvents a bug in RFS. There is a different RFS image builder which has this fix inbuilt but I never quite got it to work perfectly.

Admittedly I have only tested these RFS games on my Master and now I have moved onto using a lovely basic program which makes the games into *commands and loads instantaneously. Check out the thread about "compressed RFS images" to get the story on them!

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby 1980s_john » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:20 am

Hi,

I came across this thread as I am looking for a few games to put on EPROM, are these available for download anywhere please?

Regards,
John

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby tricky » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:56 am

I did post a ROM version of my Frogger game http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10684&p=151769&hilit=frogger#p151769, but it is a bit rude and just starts playing if the ROM is in the machine and you can't quit, so cartridge only I guess unless you really like Frogger :lol:
Sorry, I can't find the post now on my phone.

nama
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby nama » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:59 am

Hi Tricky,
Couldn't seem to find the ROM version. Any chance you could point me in the right direction.

Thanks

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:41 am

Here are 3 rom images of games I have in my collection, Arkanoid, Frak and KillerGorilla
O I see thet are not RFS images as you run them with *ARKANOID * FRAK and *KILLER
Attachments
KillerGorilla-rom.zip
(10.66 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
Frak-rom.zip
(8.43 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
Arkanoid-rom.zip
(7.39 KiB) Downloaded 2 times

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vanekp
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:13 am

Here is Frak as a RFS rom image.
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FrakRFS.zip
(14 KiB) Downloaded 3 times

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:43 am

Killer Gorilla as RFS rom.
Attachments
KillerGorillaRFS.zip
(8.53 KiB) Downloaded 4 times

nama
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby nama » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:13 am

Hi venekp,
Thanks for sharing those, however I had actually found those ones in my intestive web search. What I was really hoping to find was Frogger...and Planetoid, Rocket Raid, Monsters, Thrust, Felix meets the evil weevils and PacMan...basically all the ones mentioned by aferenbach in the first post of this thread. I did find a copy of Zalaga, but it crashes when running from my BBC B+, and aferenbach was kind enough to email me Chuckie Egg, which works great!

Thanks again for your help

Phil

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby tricky » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:51 am

nama wrote:Hi Tricky,
Couldn't seem to find the ROM version. Any chance you could point me in the right direction.
Thanks

Sorry for the delay, I've been a little poorly this week.
As I said, this ROM is a little rude as it just starts in response to any OS call/query, this was for PowerUP! last year.
Keys are: [Z], [X], [/] and [:] on the beeb, but : is usually mapped to ' on an emulator.
Try it out in an emulator in master mode by *SRLOAD FROGGER 8000 4 and then CTRL-BREAK.
It should work fine on all beebs except a model A, including Master and Compact.
Attachments
Frogger_KBD_ROM.zip
ROM keyboard only - can't quit
(11.91 KiB) Downloaded 1 time

nama
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby nama » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:50 am

Much thanks!

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:49 am

Zalaga uses a lot of non standard 6502 op codes so will only run on a bbc with a standard 6502 processor.
Here is Superior Frogger and Acornsoft Snapper.
Peter.
Attachments
SuperiorFroggerRFS.zip
(6.53 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
SnapperRFS.zip
(7.15 KiB) Downloaded 5 times

nama
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby nama » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:30 am

That's great...thanks.
Even with doing some research, I'm still not sure how RAMFS works, and exactly what it is???

Phil

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:30 am

I think you mean the ROM Filing System (ROMFS or RFS). Although it can also use sideways RAM as well as sideways ROM.

The ROM Filing System is built in as part of the OS ROM. It treats suitablely programmed sideways ROM (or RAM) as a read only storage system. It "loads" data from a suitable sideways ROM (or RAM) in a similar manner to loading from cassette tape, but faster than tape. The files it loads, go into main RAM. For programs that use the normal tape loader, and which are 16k bytes in size or less, conversion from tape to ROM is not normally too difficult.

Of course, a lot of games either don't use the normal tape loader system, or they use a protection system...

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

nama
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby nama » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:13 pm

Thanks for the reply Mark,
That clears up some questions, but brings up some more...

You said that it's built into the OS ROM, so does this mean I don't need to install anything to load/launce code from RFS ROMs?

Also, I'm still not sure what advantage this has over a ROM that contains 'pure' program code, and can be instantly launched by *XXXX ?
Does it have to do easy porting from cassettes? Or is it something else?

Cheers

Phil

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby CMcDougall » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:22 pm

built into OS1.20 means that it has the code to run RFS without extra's needed, just like CFS (Cassette FS) too.

you need a a program to turn the tape/code/game into a RFS image to load into sideways ram or burn to EPROM.
the other program that does *GAME is different, it does not use RFS, so is lightning speed to load...

I put the progs I used BITD up on the forum somewhere, made by BeeBug mag.... will check if find linky..

EDIT: found : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8246&p=108734&hilit=beebug+rfs#p108734
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:24 pm

nama wrote:You said that it's built into the OS ROM, so does this mean I don't need to install anything to load/launce code from RFS ROMs?
Yes. A basic machine can load from ROM. Including a standard Beeb and an Electron with just a Plus 1 expansion.

nama wrote:Also, I'm still not sure what advantage this has over a ROM that contains 'pure' program code, and can be instantly launched by *XXXX ?
Does it have to do easy porting from cassettes? Or is it something else?
As I understand it, yes, it's the easy porting from cassette tape, the ability to load BASIC programs and the ability to easily store multiple files in the same ROM.

Can a 'pure' machine code ROM do the same. Well, of course anything is possible... but for further details on this, you best ask one of the more experienced assembly language programmers...

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby crj » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:54 am

There is a half-way house between ROMFS and a dedicated loader/launcher for a specific game.

Back in the day, I got bored with how long Music 5000 Ample was taking to load its modules from floppy. I built RomFS images of them for the Master 128's sideways RAM, but was sorely disappointed by how slow that was. A sideways ROM service for each byte? Really?

So I wrote myself a dedicated filesystem. As I recall, it was far from fully-featured, but it was fit for purpose. I should dig out the assembler and image builder utility some time...

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:46 pm

Here are some more games in RFS format.
I also came across this forum link http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1095&start=30 about compressed roms but the program link does not work anymore.

Thrust will not fit into a rom its more than 16Kb, Zalaga unless your runnig it on a real bbc will not work because of the undocumented op-codes.
Peter.
Attachments
SnapperVer1RFS.zip
(6.41 KiB) Downloaded 3 times
RocketRaidRFS.zip
(7.75 KiB) Downloaded 3 times
MonstersRFS.zip
(6.99 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
FelixMeetsTheEvilWeevilsRFS.zip
(8.86 KiB) Downloaded 3 times
ChuckkieEggRFS.zip
(8.84 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
Last edited by vanekp on Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby davidb » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:27 pm

1024MAK wrote:
nama wrote:Also, I'm still not sure what advantage this has over a ROM that contains 'pure' program code, and can be instantly launched by *XXXX ?
Does it have to do easy porting from cassettes? Or is it something else?
As I understand it, yes, it's the easy porting from cassette tape, the ability to load BASIC programs and the ability to easily store multiple files in the same ROM.

As far as I can tell ROMFS was designed to be compatible with the cassette filing system, reusing more-or-less the same data format for blocks of data, making it convenient to just transfer cassettes to ROM without any extra effort. Unfortunately, a direct transfer means that ROMs like these don't really take advantage of the features you would expect, like near-instant loading. To do that, you would either design the code to run from ROM or add a loader program to copy the code into RAM.

Things get complicated when the original game is loaded in parts and some of those parts contain data for the game, resulting in a total data size that exceeds the amount of memory the game uses when loaded. Especially if they also move data around in memory, or if they ask the player to define the keyboard controls. If you want to consolidate all this in a single program then it becomes a puzzle to put the pieces together in their final form so that everything will work as if the game has just loaded from cassette. If you have the ROM space it's just easier to load the game as it was originally written.

I wrote a tool called UEF2ROM to convert Electron UEF files to ROMs. It's not a very user-friendly tool to run, and I'm saying that as its main user! It was initially written to perform direct cassette-to-ROMFS conversions but it became clear that a lot of games wouldn't fit in two 16K ROMs, so I added support for compression. This also has the nice side-effect that each compressed file is loaded in its entirety when it is encountered, though there are also some disadvantages (the decompression routine takes up space for each ROM, it loads files unconditionally). Overall, it's not as quick as a proper ROM but it lets you retain some of the nice things that cassette-based games have, like title screens.

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:04 pm

I could not get uef2rom to work on Python 2.7.13, I get :-
C:\Python27>uef2rom.py frakv11_b.uef frak.rom
2 bytes of workspace used.
'ophis' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

I did find another rom utility and the roms load a lot faster with it, you can find it here :- http://mdfs.net/Software/BBC/SROM/
called BuildRFS (Build fast ROMFS ROM)
Attached is Frak which I tried to test it out, N.B. use "*ROM <cr> CH."frak"<cr> to run it.

Peter.
Attachments
FrakRFS.zip
(13.99 KiB) Downloaded 2 times

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby davidb » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:46 pm

As I said, it's not user friendly. :lol:

You need to install Ophis so that the tool can assemble the ROM images. I'll add something to the README.txt file.

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Re: Games on EEPROM

Postby vanekp » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:15 am

I ran it on BeebEm it worked fine for me :)

Peter.


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