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Thread: MagiDuck, a DOS / CGA text mode game project

  1. #181
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    I meant pklite, and what you're seeing is definitely not normal:



    I would find another source for pklite 1.2x and download it. Here is one such source: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/xtfiles.rar
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    Offering a bounty for:
    - Documentation and original distribution disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Corona PPC-400, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  2. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I would find another source for pklite 1.2x and download it. Here is one such source: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/xtfiles.rar
    Thanks! Seems like plenty of other interesting stuff to look through there as well

    Comparing PKLITE from that archive with COMPACK yielded these results in DosBox at 100 cycles:
    Game startup time with PKLITE: 11.8s
    Game startup time with COMPACK: 8.5s

    I'll try other compressors later, but seems this version of PKLITE is out of the question at least.


    In other news, some bugs were found in the Beta 2 so I just fixed the download today with these changes:

    - Secret level unlocked - popup windows no longer crash when arrow keys are touched.
    - Boss death state can no longer be broken by going to the bottom of the level.
    - Slight improvement in POW-mode camera handling.

    - Also changed tile compression to support color 15. Apparently using 11 for highlights caused some eyestrain. Maybe I was spared due to partial color blindness and a TFT.

    Download still at the same URL: http://www.indiedb.com/games/magiduc...agiduck-beta-2

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangis View Post
    Comparing PKLITE from that archive with COMPACK yielded these results in DosBox at 100 cycles:
    Game startup time with PKLITE: 11.8s
    Game startup time with COMPACK: 8.5s
    DOSBox can't be used for accurate benchmarking. Each instruction takes 1 cycle. On real hardware, some instructions take more time than others. So while in DOSBox the code with the least instructions always wins, on real hardware, it's often the case that the fastest code is not the shortest code.
    At least, not in terms of number of instructions. On 8088 the total code size is very important, for example.

    Anyway, as you could see, the benchmarks we did for 8088 MPH pointed out that pklite is one of the fastest solutions around. I highly doubt that COMPACK is more than 3 seconds faster on real hardware.

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangis View Post
    Thanks! Seems like plenty of other interesting stuff to look through there as well
    That was the intention! That archive is nearly a decade old but is full of interesting and useful stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scali View Post
    I highly doubt that COMPACK is more than 3 seconds faster on real hardware.
    I will investigate! Mangis, can you make your binary of COMPACK available, or let me know where I can grab what you grabbed?
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Documentation and original distribution disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Corona PPC-400, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  5. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I will investigate! Mangis, can you make your binary of COMPACK available, or let me know where I can grab what you grabbed?
    http://www.dcee.net/Files/Archiver/cpk45.exe

    Is where I downloaded my version. The exe will self-decompress the actual files (compack.exe being one of them) in the same folder cpk45.exe is in.

    Interesting too see what happens, I wonder why the software was left out of your original compressor test?

    I repeated the test in PCem and got similar results, although the speed was locked to the supposed 4.77mhz there. Results were 5.6s and 6.0s (measured manually, twice, like before). Of course Scali is right and these probably mean nothing. Using MIPS.COM reveals how off both emulators are in their instruction cycles.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangis View Post
    The exe will self-decompress the actual files (compack.exe being one of them) in the same folder cpk45.exe is in.
    Now that I know what the filename pattern is, I found version 5.1 which is newer and I'll test that.

    Interesting too see what happens, I wonder why the software was left out of your original compressor test?
    The name implied it only compressed .COM files so I never looked at it. There were a lot of .COM-only compressors.

    edit: Author appeared to be a filthy software pirate as his examples in the documentation are programs that duplicate copy-protected programs, lol.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Documentation and original distribution disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Corona PPC-400, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  7. #187
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    I re-ran the tests in the spreadsheet with compack and pklite and found that compack does indeed compress smaller and decompress faster. Some quick analysis of compack shows:

    • It compresses smaller because it is an optimal parser; pklite is not (it is a lazy parser).
    • It decompresses faster because it uses no order-0 (statistical) compression; it is pure LZSS. No huffman/elias-gamma/etc. codes to depack. This makes the previous point very interesting; it manages to produce smaller files than pklite even though pklite is using order-0 codes (shannon-fano).

    Had I not dismissed compack because of its name, we would have definitely used it for 8088 MPH. The person who wrote it was ahead of their time. I updated the spreadsheet with compack info, and I re-timed all the pklite values too just to be sure I was comparing both the same way.

    I love learning new stuff in a field where I thought I knew everything!
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Documentation and original distribution disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Corona PPC-400, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  8. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I would find another source for pklite 1.2x and download it. Here is one such source: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/xtfiles.rar
    I've just spent several hours looking through this very interesting archive. Did you know some of the LHA archives contained in it appear to be corrupt?

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I love learning new stuff in a field where I thought I knew everything!
    Indeed!
    I had never heard of COMPACK, and I certainly didn't expect it to be this good.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by cthulhu View Post
    I've just spent several hours looking through this very interesting archive. Did you know some of the LHA archives contained in it appear to be corrupt?
    Perhaps you should try a few different unpackers? LHA wasn't a particularly well-specified standard, and I recall having to wrestle around with different unpackers back in the day (I had LHA, LZH, LHARC, probably more variations of tools).

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