Extensible Loader


#21

Not any specific layout in mind (mockup looks good to me), but I would like it to have at least the (reduced) screenshot and the title of the game visible. I just noticed with the Jonne’s latest Game Disk, that having 100 games, with no clue about the content of the game, is, well, tiresome :slight_smile:

Btw. I have implemented BMP-RLE decoding in PokittoLib (search for “RLE”). If that is used in the loader PDL, the screenshots in the PEX file can be RLE-compressed.


#22

For an initial release I’d prefer something simpler/minimalistic, because of the amount of work already involved. Once its usable we can add bells and whistles.

I’ll keep it in mind. While I’m not worried about file size, this should reduce IO.

EDIT: Anybody care to make a clock for the Pokitto? I’d like to remove the time setting/display from the loader, but we’d need to have some other way of setting the time.


#23

Here is a couple of ideas…

Amiga style, ‘mode1 - 4 colours’
mockup

iPod Classic style, full colour, probably very slow
loader_mockup_01

Something based on the current loader, only loading the icon/info for the selected file
although only 3 files at a time doesn’t look so good.
loader_mockup_02


#24

You mean a clock as a separate application (bin)? That would be a nice C/C++ exercise for someone!


#25

Maybe remove the SD from the unselected files so more of them can fit at once?

Yup, exactly.


#26

image
Yes, game covers!


#27

loader_mockup_03


#28

Hmmm… :thinking:


#29

Just another idea…

mockup

  • Mode 1, 20x20 1-bit icons (by mistake, should’ve been 24x24 :P).
  • Using 2 dimensions makes it easier to find/select a game than a list
  • 4-color Palette stored in EEPROM, can be edited by the user in a settings “app.”
  • Screenshot is 110x88 full color, drawn directly to LCD.
  • Text in the desktop is the 8-char file name, without the extension
  • Text in the window is full name and author name.

#30

iteration on @spinal design combining ipod with pokitto desing, using rects to make the draw mode simpler
image
the graphic could be none,32,64,96 in 565 spirtes to since we dont know what the games color mode is
it then upscales it to 96
since bin, python and roms are devided the . extention is removed, also all the other files are not shown (save files and the likes)


#31

I like that design, reminds me of the HP Prime:
image

However the 8 char filename is going to drive a lot of games into a short MS-DOS era-like naming.

Another question: can it have a mini game while loading a game?
Like the pong included in some Atari games. Maybe a couple of random minigames


#32

I’m not sure it would be worth the effort. It only takes a few seconds for games to load.


#33

It will be the same speed as the current loader? it is pretty slow in my opinion


#34

the reflashing part is always going to be “slow” and scanning the sd card depends on the card size and how much is on it, a mini game wont help much making it even slower


#35

They’re already in that era. :stuck_out_tongue:
We’ll see, maybe printing long names won’t take up too much space. Too early to tell.

Theoretically, once a game is selected, the UI can be unloaded and a minigame swapped in as a loading screen. The processor might be too busy with the flashing for minigames to have a high FPS though.

Hard to tell at this point, I’m still poking at things to see how they behave. I think it can be made faster, but it’s just a theory.

The advantage of a modular loader is that we don’t need to settle with one-size-fits-all. If someone prefers to have a minigame that takes a little bit longer to load, they can do that without making things slower for others.


#36

I vote #Amiga style…for some reason.

but not because I’m a fan…honest :+1::joy:

#Amigaftw :wink:


#37

It reminds me more on macintosh system 1.0 then workbench


#38

@FManga & @eried - the loader can be made faster. I was mostly concerned about reliability, so there is plenty of room for improvement.

Also, the SD cards are formatted FAT32. So long file names can be used


#39

@Fmanga : the first thing to look at would be the buffer size and the amount of flash sectors written at one time


#40

I thought the only reason long names weren’t used was the patent.

That’s what I was thinking about. Increasing the buffer size to 512 should make it faster, but it crashed for some reason when I tried. I’m not too worried about speed right now though, so I just set it back to the default and figured I’d give it a better look later.