Resurrecting Nuance

Discussion in 'NUON-Dome General Discussion' started by toxie, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. toxie

    toxie Member

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    Hi!
    Let me quickly introduce myself before i start with my actual topic: I fell in love with Tempest back in the Jaguar days, and am still a fan til today (along with all other Llamasoft spinoffs that were released over the years, i even did my own variant in 96k some years ago: http://ainc.de/Games.htm (Tsunami 2010)). I also collect old consoles and games, but still miss one of the preferred NUON players to ever have enjoyed T3K.

    So, back a decade ago, i fooled around with Nuance, the emulator, and now wanted to check back on the status of emulation. To my surprise, there are NO new emulators whatsoever. But, also to my surprise, the source code of Nuance was released on http://www.dragonshadow.com/

    So i thought: why not give it a try and make it somehow compile again: Out of the box it did not work, as it missed some old libs, but thanks to the net, i could find versions that are close enough. And after some more time, i could make it compile and also work on my setup!

    So here it is: https://sourceforge.net/projects/nuance-nuon-emulator/

    (EDIT: current build is here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/nuance-nuon-emulator/files/Nuance_060.zip/download )

    And in the meantime i also made some more cleanups and fixes and optimizations, which lead to some bugs being fixed with (at least) Ballistic, T3K and Merlin Racing, so these are now running much smoother, display correctly (i think) and with mostly undistorted sound.

    Unfortunately, (at least) Merlin Racing, T3K, Space Invaders XL still crash or hang during actual gameplay, and i don't know if i can actually make these work at some point, given that i don't have the experience of the awesome passed away original author. So i'm just standing on the shoulders of a giant here. But nevertheless, if this helps to get things going again with NUON emulation, then i'm glad to have helped.

    There are still some things i want to do, especially with regards to optimizations and some fishy code, so there will at least be some more updates to the code until i need to pass this to somebody else.

    Now some request: Does somebody know if Merlin Racing or T3K gamplay ever did work with some version of Nuance, with some special cfg setting combination maybe? Cause i thought i played T3K back in the days with it, although it was at <5 fps for sure.

    Oh, and one more thing: Does somebody know if someone else also already started with tweaking the released source, so that we could combine our efforts? I couldn't find any indication myself though.

    p.s.: as for my original goal: in T3K one can visit the vector test to prevent a hang from directly happening on level select.. If one then also selects a level > 1, then one can play for a while and finish levels, on my old/mid-range laptop almost fluid even! :)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  2. griff3125

    griff3125 Member

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    Wow, thanks so much for putting the work in nuance, it's the one system that truly needs to be emulated properly, especially with all the systems dying off and the controllers being mostly beyond reach.
    I wish I could help you, but it's Greek to me. But your interest and time in the emulator is much appreciated, best of luck!
     
  3. toxie

    toxie Member

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    I will announce a new release version here as soon as i think that i fixed (and did not broke anything new ;)) enough.. I still have the hope to find some more fishy code and hopefully get rid of the hangs.. :/
     
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  4. toxie

    toxie Member

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    Update: Still some issues with sporadic hangs and some invalid memory accesses (especially in Merlin Racing), but enough that i finally could start a game of T3K from level 1 and play for quite a while! (although still involves a bit of 'luck' to be able to select level 1, or a rather fast desktop PC [​IMG])

    Doom, Next Tetris and Ballistic so far worked fantastic. :)
     
  5. toxie

    toxie Member

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  6. griff3125

    griff3125 Member

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    That looks fantastic, can't wait to try it out. What are your system specs? Also, thanks, your contributions to this are really appreciated!
     
  7. Stephen

    Stephen You can change this now in User CP.

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    Super cool to see this.
     
  8. toxie

    toxie Member

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    by now i also tested the available homebrew more, and most also work better now, except for the Yaroze sampler which is somehow "stuck"
     
  9. griff3125

    griff3125 Member

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    I know it's still in testing, but any chance we could see an alpha soon?
     
  10. toxie

    toxie Member

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    I'm still trying to get that damn random hang in T3K sorted out, and i gain more and more insight and fix some potential issues on the way, but it still refuses to work reliably. After that i want to package up a new release.
     
  11. griff3125

    griff3125 Member

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    Thanks for the update, it sounds like it's come quite a ways, if you need a 3rd party tester at any point, feel free to holler.
     
  12. toxie

    toxie Member

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    Thanks! But so far there are only basically 3 things left that drive me insane, and one of them i think i can fix (what i mentioned above). After that i think someone else has to pick up the work as fixing these is beyond me. :/
     
  13. toxie

    toxie Member

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    Small update: Still on it, not yet abandonded ;)
     
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  14. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    You're getting some followers from Reddit /r/emulation. So, stay safe and keep going.
     
  15. toxie

    toxie Member

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    Yup, doing so already. ;)

    I found some more fishy things in the meantime, but none helped with that damn T3K-getting-randomly-stuck-on-level-select thing.
     
  16. toxie

    toxie Member

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    As i pretty much hit a brick wall with these weird hangs/crashes on Merlin Racing and Tempest 3000, here the current status/release: :)

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/nuance-nuon-emulator/files/Nuance_060.zip/download

    Please read the Demo/GameCompatibility.txt (especially for the workarounds for Tempest 3000 to make it work a bit more reliably) and the readme.txt for the keyboard mappings.

    And of course, this is all done in honour of the original author of Nuance, Mike Perry!
    I mainly continued all of this to not let this great piece of technology of him bitrot even more.
     
  17. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    You should share them on /r/emulation. They will get a kick out of this.
     
  18. Stephen

    Stephen You can change this now in User CP.

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    I tried this new version tonight. Only file I have on my PC is my shitty Breakout demo and it would not work. It seems if I repeatedly clicked the Display Status and MPE Status buttons it would "kick" the display window into updating, but I could not get any controller response. I reverted to my previous version 0.51 of Nuance and it worked, but the video was all screwed up (wrong colours).

    I will try to make time to diagnose some more this weekend. Work has been kicking my backside lately, and it's also my mom's b-day this weekend so I can't guarantee anything.
     
  19. toxie

    toxie Member

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    Do you have a link for me with the demo so that i could try myself?
     

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