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Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

Discussion in 'Saturn Dev' started by vbt, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    It's not possible on Pseudo Saturn, and I don't plan to add such feature on Pseudo Saturn Kai.

    Details : my vision for Pseudo Saturn is to make it more than "a hack that loads CD-R copies of original games". So far I added backup memory cartridge feature to it (*) and next release will allow usage of cheat codes. Theses two features can be used on both CD-R and original CDs.
    I did my best to remove usage of menus regarding backup memory cartridge feature (so far Pseudo Saturn Kai was prompting if it should be enabled or not, but next release will decide that automatically), but this is not possible to do that for cheat codes since user may want to choose which cheat to enable.

    Additionally, why aren't you using a modchip your Saturn ? This can load both original and CD-R games silently as on a stock Saturn hence may be more suitable to your needs.

    (*) This is available for Gamer's Cartridge only. I don't plan to add this for flash ROM based solutions such as Action Replay cartridges.
     
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  2. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.272 (RC1) will finish to be uploaded in about 48 minutes :)
    Before putting everything in the wild, it would be cool if some volunteers could test it on their Saturns : if interested, please contact me by PM.

    When contacting, please inform me about which hardware you plan to use for testing.
    Examples :
    - Action Replay (or similar) cartridge
    - Rhea/Phoebe ODE
    - Modded Saturn
    - Official memory cartridge and/or Saturn Floppy Disk

    If you have the hardware but no time for testing, then please don't contact me and patiently wait for Pseudo Saturn Kai to be publicly released.
     
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  3. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

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  4. vbt

    vbt Staff Member

    hey I was ready for testing too! you forgot to mention what was new :

    2018/12/23 (Pseudo Saturn Kai, V6.272) :
    - Finished credits page for Pseudo Saturn Kai, Save Data Manager and DZ2SGM.
    - Added simple support for 3D pad analog arrow : so far 3D pad was supported,
    but only status of digital arrow was considered.
    Note : debug menus directly embedded in ROM for Virtual Memory Cartridge and
    cheat codes (example : BSOD screen, etc) are kept as-is so only
    digital arrow is supported there.
    Same limitation applies to standalone firmware flasher too.
    - Added retry access to CD-ROM (up to 5 times) when current access failed.

    2018/12/06 (Pseudo Saturn Kai, V6.262) :
    - In ODE settings menu, fixed update condition regarding settings not requiring
    to reload disc image list.
    - In Save Data Manager, added the ability to return to main menu from flasher.
    - In flasher utilities, added warning message when trying to flash firmware
    other than Pseudo Saturn Kai full version on SST39SF040 chips used on
    USB dev cart or Gamer's Cartridge.

    2018/12/03 (Pseudo Saturn Kai, V6.261) :
    - Fixed Japanese character display in menus.
    This was a regression from V6.257, caused by addition of font cache in menu.
    - Fixed display of strings larger than display area during "condensed" menu.

    2018/11/28 (Pseudo Saturn Kai, V6.260) :
    - In ODE image selection menu, added images list ascending/descending settings.
    - In ODE image selection menu, added text justify (left or center) settings.
    - In ODE image selection menu, added setting for changing color theme.
    - In ODE settings menu, added option to enable compatibility reporter.

    2018/11/26 (Pseudo Saturn Kai, V6.257) :
    - Added cache support for font used in menu items.
    Tested on real HW, and it seems to improve a little display performances
    when "condensed" menu is used.
    - In Dezaemon 2 SGM3, changed entry selection menu to "condensed" type.
    - In Dezaemon 2 SGM3, changed initial zoom factor in screenshots gallery
    from "all" to "1:1".

    2018/10/02 (Pseudo Saturn Kai, V6.252) :
    - Added "condensed" (no border, and using proportional font) menu type.
    It is currently used in ODE image selection menu as well as in game and cheat
    code selection menus.
    - In ODE image settings menu, added a setting to toggle between "monospace"
    and "proportional" image selection menu type.
    - In ODE image selection menu, fixed sorting of multi-CD (with same release
    date) when sorting by release date or folder ID.
    - In ODE image selection menu, added update of setting to internal backup
    memory when toggling sort settings with Y button.
     
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  5. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    I didn't forgot to mention what's new : I was just lacking of time to summarize informations from Pseudo Saturn Kai behemoth changelog :)
    (In fact, I still need to announce the release on my blog, but I'm too sleepy to do it now)

    Please find below a digest changelog. This is just a summary, so people interested in all the changelog can find in in Pseudo Saturn Kai readme.


    Added automatic game loader
    So far in Pseudo Saturn Kai 6.074, user had to choose which game loader to choose before starting a game, but this is now done automatically on Pseudo Saturn Kai side.
    There's no magic around this feature : it just uses a list of games not compatible with CWX loader, and decides accordingly :)


    Added cheat codes feature
    That's a big addition for this release. Its development spans around June 2017 to Spring 2018.
    The main features for cheat codes are :
    → Built-in : don't need to manually enter the cheat codes
    → User friendly : just push X button when booting a game, and then select the cheat(s) to enable.


    Added disc images menu for Rhea/Phoebe ODEs
    Back in 2015, I added a stub of alternate rmenu to Pseudo Saturn Kai, but didn't had the technical information regarding Rhea/Phoebe API so the feature was disabled in its unfinished state.
    And this summer, an enthusiast friend helped a lot to get this technical information, so that I could finally finish this feature :]
    Development of this feature was an occasion to bring usage of proportional font in image selection menu, thus showing more information on a single screen. Base of menu module was developed around 2010 without any consideration for proportional font, so development of this side feature was a nightmare, but I don't regret for having done it now it is finished :)

    Here is what it looks like : [​IMG]


    Added Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager 3
    Dezaemon 2 is a shooting game maker application for Saturn. And Save Game Manager is a collection of user games for Dezaemon 2.
    By the past, there were two volumes released by Madroms : SGM1 in 2007 and SGM2 in 2008.
    And 10 years after that, SGM3 is released and contains some new user games as well as all the games from SGM1 and SGM3 : one SGM to rule them all :D

    Special thanks to Dezaemon DB for gathering a community around Dezaemon 2, and dumping the user games :)


    Added a stylish logo for Pseudo Saturn Kai
    That's maybe a detail, but that was really missing from a long time !
    Special thanks to Alien^PDX for the logo, and CyberWarriorX for putting me in touch with him :)

    Here is what it looks like : [​IMG]


    Added in-game connectivity for USB dev cart
    This uses cheat codes routine, hence requires at least a valid master code to be set.
    It can do USB connectivity while doing transfer with PC, but that's a bit slow (because of unoptimized C running from cartridge ROM), and consequently may cause glitches on some games.
    As a countermeasure, there is another mode who does only USB connectivity (hence no cheat codes) but does it fast since the code for it is written directly in assembly and running in RAM.
    That may be cool for game hacking, or looking for new cheat codes ... but I still need to add a proper cheat codes finder feature on SatLink before looking for cheat codes on my favorite games :)

    Here is a video about this feature :
    (Radiant Silvergun was one of the very first games to work correctly with Pseudo Saturn Kai cheat codes :) )

    I stopped USB dev cart support, so this feature is disabled and software on PC side won't be released.


    Added Virtual Memory Cartridge support via USB dev cart
    This is similar to "Virtual Memory Cartridge" used in Gamer's Cartridge, but access save data files on PC via USB dev cart instead of SD card.
    That's convenient for save data hacking, or testing several saves, but for normal use then using SD card is (in my opinion) a better choice.
    As a consequence, full firmware can now be installed on USB dev cart. But cartridges not using SST39SF040 flash chips are not supported (because there's not enough room in flash ROM) and in that case only lite firmware can be installed.

    A video about this feature is available here :

    I stopped USB dev cart support, so this feature is disabled and software on PC side won't be released.


    Fixed support for 3D pad
    In previous version, using 3D pad would sometimes cause an emergency exit to multiplayer screen when touching analog buttons. This is now fixed, and additionally supports input from analog buttons.
    Pseudo Saturn Kai is not a 3D game, so the interest of using analog buttons is a bit questionable, but at least it is supported now :)


    And the most voluminous change is ... :
    Fixed many bugs everywhere, added other bugs here and there
    Everything should work now. Trust me, I'm an engineer :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
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  6. Madroms

    Madroms New Member

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  7. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Hi Madroms, long time no see on Segaxtreme forums :)

    There's no problem to mirror DZ2SGM3 archive on satakore.com, as long as :
    - Archive contents are not altered
    - There's a link to my homepage and to Dezaemon DB's too
    (That's basically to prevent SMG3 from being re-appropriated and/or repacked in a commercial project)

    Thank you very much for your work on SGM1 and SGM2 ! The tradition of releasing SGMs on Christmas helped a lot in making this huge release becoming a reality :)
     
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  8. seal1

    seal1 New Member

    keep up the great work ...:)
    I still got nothing done or even started ...:(
     
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  9. Madroms

    Madroms New Member

    Yes, no problem. It is to add the link on the post I made on the homepage, so with all the necessary links to your pages and Dezaemon community.
     
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  10. vbt

    vbt Staff Member

    what's your target ? you still want to do a MOD player ?
     
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  11. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Hurry up, or I will finish your projects before you ^^

    OK, so everything is all right then. BTW, thank you for putting links to my homepage and Dezaemon DB before I told theses were needed :)
     
  12. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Just to announce that I updated Pseudo Saturn Kai and Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager to stable versions on my homepage :)

    After the public release at the beginning of this week (v6.272), I had some troubles with 1MB/4MB expansion RAM not working on a beta tester's cartridge, and couldn't clearly find what's wrong with this. As debugging cartridge expansion RAM things takes time (and that I want to take a break during summer vacations), I temporarily removed things related to expansion RAM so that it shouldn't cause problems now :D
    I tested this latest firmware on my good old Action Replay and a game requiring expansion RAM (KOF 96), and do confirm everything is working fine now.

    Cartridge RAM self test feature will be added back in a future revision, but current one (v6.274) shall remain the latest stable version for a while. So if possible please update to v6.274 if you are using the "didn't lasted long v6.272". Sorry for the double effort and happy playing :)


    @Madroms : I caught the occasion to make Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager menu showing directly on startup (so far it was required to manually enter it from Save Data Manager main menu), so please mirror this version rather than the one released at the beginning of the week.


    To make things clear with version numbers :
    v6.272 : initial public release with cheat codes feature, etc.
    v6.273 : tried to fix expansion RAM initialization, but still had problems reported about it.
    v6.274 : removed things related to expansion RAM. ← should be a stable release for a while
     
  13. @cafe-alpha Thanks for all your hard work! This is amazing <3
     
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  14. mfncl

    mfncl New Member

    Just getting into Saturn and picked up a grey Japanese model 1 and a ready flashed Pseudo Saturn. Updated to the latest 2018-12 FW, and have to say really nice work on the loader, the GUI and UI/UX is awesome.
    All games I've tried are working, except for Panzer Dragoon Saga.

    Sorry for bumping an old post, but wanted to see if any further work was planned on getting the small number of games working with the CWX loader that includes PDS? Same issue as a couple of pages back, have a grey model 1 JPN Saturn that has the compatibility issues with the JHL loader (side note: I assume the JHL loader is no longer maintained, thus the efforts to get the games working with CWX).
    If not, I guess a mod chip would be the next best option (beyond buying a new console, which I don't really want to do since I just got this one :)).
    Out of interest, what are the other 4 games that won't work with CWX loader (patched or otherwise)?
     
  15. mfncl

    mfncl New Member

    I decided to return my grey Saturn in favor of a white model 2.. it's a lot easier for me to swap my Saturn out than it is for you to look into the model 1 compatibility issues, so definitely better this way.
    Doesn't look like there are all that many users out there running into these compatibility issues so I'm sure there are a lot of other PSK priorities that are more worth your time :)
     
  16. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    You're welcome ! Have fun and happy playing :)


    Thank you ! Improving UI and UX wasn't an easy job. As it is finished now I'm glad of the result, but really won't re-do that once more :D

    I don't plan to plan improve JHL loader for Japanese grey Saturns in a near future : it's not that I don't want to do it, but it's more complex than CWX loader and concerns few games on few Saturn models too. As you indicated, there are other things that takes priority in development.


    Hrm ... I don't remember exactly :D I think Skeleton Warriors isn't working with CWX loader too.
    Problematic games are listed in "Games Requiring Patching" section of Pseudo Saturn Kai readme , but this is the list of games requiring patching, which is larger than the list of games not working with CWX loader even if patched.
     
  17. drspod

    drspod New Member

    Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question as I'm new to this forum.

    Is there a way to region patch the pskai_alternate_flasher.iso so that it can be booted using a regular disk-swap trick without having a functioning region-free cartridge (ie. ARP) installed?

    The reason I ask is that I may have bricked my ARP with a failed flash, and I am wondering why I cannot just load up the flasher again and rewrite the firmware. I am assuming that the reason I cannot use a disk-swap trick to load the flasher currently is that it relies on the working cartridge to remove the region restriction. If I could create a flasher ISO with PAL region then I could load it with a regular disk-swap.

    Thanks very much for any help or advice that anyone is able to give.

    Update: I managed to rescue the bricked AR with a new AR successfully flashed with PSKai. As far as I can tell, the flasher ISO has no region restriction so I'm not sure why I could not boot it again after failing the first time, as it shouldn't need a working region-free cartridge to boot it.

    I was able to boot the flasher using PSKai and then just swap the cartridges to flash the bricked cartridge. I have read that this risks damage to either the cartridge or the Saturn, but I did not experience any such issue, so that is at least one anecdotal data point that it can be done!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  18. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Sorry for the delay ! I do confirm that Pseudo Saturn Kai flasher utility isn't limited to a specific region.
    And, sometimes a bricked cartridge may prevent from loading the flasher utility so that it is necessary to insert the cartridge loosely to make Saturn BIOS ignoring it, and then adjusting its position in its slot when flasher utility is running.

    Cartridge and/or Saturn may be bricked after an hotswap : this doesn't happens every time but I can't guarantee it won't be harmful a day or another. Personally, I damaged one Saturn because of that (I accidentally removed a cartridge while it was powered on), and because of that it is no longer able to flash any cartridge.
    For this reason I don't promote the hotswap method everywhere and prefer the "insert loosely, then adjust in the slot" way of de-bricking cartridge instead.

    This is the right place to ask or discuss about Pseudo Saturn Kai :)
     
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  19. the Goat

    the Goat New Member

    I'm trying to use the Rhea ODE menu feature on Pseudo Saturn Kai release 20181227 installed on an action replay. But the Pseudo Saturn UI just locks up instead of showing the ODE menu. I have a genuine Rhea ODE and it is updated to the latest firmware (3.9.0). The SD card has three games on it. All three of the games work with the Rhea ODE just fine.

    What am I doing wrong?
     
  20. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    If Rmenu works fine, this may be a bug or something related to ODE being unsupported in Pseudo Saturn Kai.
    First, do you confirm that Pseudo Saturn Kai is set up correctly for Rhea/Phoebe ? This requires "Optical Disc" in setting menu to be set to "Rhea/Phoebe".

    And as indicated in PM, please send me the following files so that I can figure what is going wrong :
    - Rhea.ini
    - RMENU.ISO file from folder 01
     

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