Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finalizing input record/playback

Today I resumed working on the input record/playback code to get it towards its final specification for this beta.

I want the record/playback code to be generic, by which I mean:

1. Recorded input files must be dumpable (e.g. by cdifile) without having to know intimate details of the recorded devices and messages. This can be achieved by labeling all input channels with name and type and recording the formats of all input message types, which is now mostly done.

2. Recorded input files must contain all the information required for faithful playback, which includes things like CD-i player model, DVC cartridge type, extension roms, PAL/NTSC and special startup options and emulated disc insertions.

The ideal is that "wcdiemu -playback" will just work without the need to fiddle with emulator options to reproduce the recording environment. This is now also mostly done except for the disc insertions (they are recorded but cannot yet be played back).

3. It must in principle be possible to play back on a different CD-i player model or with a different DVC cartridge. This means that the input channel matching must be somewhat "intelligent". The groundwork for this is in place but the actual channel matching is not yet there.

All of the above are needed to get the feature usable for extensive compatibility testing, which is a goal of this beta: it should be possible to exchange input recordings that reproduce crashes or rendering bugs, even when they require some time to reproduce. Emulator state snapshots would make this even better, but that is too much work for now.

Recorded input files are in IFF format with the following generic structure:
- each file contains a single FORM chunk of type INPT (recorded input)
- the first chunk inside the FORM is an IVER chunk (version information)
- the next chunk inside the FORM is an ICHN chunk (channel information)
- the final chunk inside the FORM is an IMSG chunk (input messages)

Input messages are recorded in binary format to keep their size small; the first time that a message type is used, the message format string is prepended.

The cdifile dumping code will not be released with this beta, there's too much unfinished code in there (i.e. the -dir[ectory] option to display the directory of a CD-i disc image file).

I will attempt to finish this tomorrow, but it's just barely achievable...

Until then, you'll have to do with this picture:

No comments:

Post a Comment