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How do you test your ROMs?

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For each thing you add, how are you going through and testing?
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I'm not too sure what else to answer other than with an Emulator and save states that are functional to my hack changes, but that's how I go through and test stuff! There's no need to restart from the beginning for most changes, so having a plethora of save states to easily jump to wherever helps tremendously. Testing with an accurate emulator is also highly recommended, because some inferior emulators can let some things slide that real hardware wouldn't. I sadly still use ZSNES for basic testing but when it's something that needs REAL testing, bsnes or
snes9x is the way to go. Also after each worthy modification I usually make a BACKUP of the ROM and name it to whatever I just did because ya never know when some change will mess everything up and you forget what did it. Smile


We are born, live, die and then do the same thing over again.
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  • Jeff (06-11-2019)

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(06-11-2019, 09:32 PM)Gi Nattak Wrote: I'm not too sure what else to answer other than with an Emulator and save states that are functional to my hack changes, but that's how I go through and test stuff! There's no need to restart from the beginning for most changes, so having a plethora of save states to easily jump to wherever helps tremendously. Testing with an accurate emulator is also highly recommended, because some inferior emulators can let some things slide that real hardware wouldn't. I sadly still use ZSNES for basic testing but when it's something that needs REAL testing, bsnes or
snes9x is the way to go. Also after each worthy modification I usually make a BACKUP of the ROM and name it to whatever I just did because ya never know when some change will mess everything up and you forget what did it. Smile

I didn't know different emulators might change how it works! What does ZSNES let slide that others might typically not? That's always been my emulator of choice.
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For one, ZSNES doesn't take pixels away from a monster sprite that is too large, or rather, there is normally a certain amount of pixels allowed per scan line or some shit like that and say you use a spell that exceeds it, it will usually take away some pixels from a monster sprite to compensate, ZSNES magically avoids it. This is most noticeable with very large monster sprites or multiple monsters on screen at once sharing the same lines. The original game tried it's best to avoid it from happening much and they did a good job, but you can see it happen now and then.

Another thing is that it allows for exceeding the instrument size limit, meaning you can have more than 3700 blocks of instrument RAM per song without it becoming all glitchy/broken. Again, due to it's inaccuracies it manages to avoid this blaring issue.

Besides those two things, it's just a known thing that it has inaccurate audio and timing and basically everything compared to the actual hardware so it's wise not to use it for testing.


We are born, live, die and then do the same thing over again.
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  • Jeff (06-12-2019)

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For ASM changes, I first test if my change does not break the game. After that I check it does what it should do and test other possible cases that could be problematic. A debugger can be helpful for troubleshooting. There are changes that don't require testing, like stuff you do with FF3usME except maybe monster AI.
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  • Jeff (06-13-2019)

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(06-12-2019, 07:46 PM)madsiur Wrote: For ASM changes, I first test if my change does not break the game. After that I check it does what it should do and test other possible cases that could be problematic. A debugger can be helpful for troubleshooting. There are changes that don't require testing, like stuff you do with FF3usME except maybe monster AI.

FF3usME isn't what I was worried about (besides Gogo's sprite replacement haha), moreso the bigger changes and events I'm hoping to start making.
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For testing I use ZSNES since it can save up to 100 save states so I have a save state for almost every places and events. I load the necessary savestates and I see how it goes.

For my testing procedure, I have my ROM which is heavily (and only) modified by FF3usME, then each changes outside of FF3usME are made into IPS files. Before doing anything I run PatchConflict to make sure there is no conflicts between the patches.

From there I run a batch file that I made that will copy the FF3usME modified ROM where my IPS files are, apply the IPS files to the ROM and then run ZSNES using that backup-patched ROM so that if corruption occur, it's no big deal since it's a copy of the original project.

BTW if anyone knows a program like IPS.EXE but compatible with Win32 that can patch IPS files in batch and via command line, that would be great.



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For special maps or events, it can be helpful to just change an early exit trigger, such as in the classroom, to point to your new map temporarily so you can easily access it.


I have no computer ATM, and no time or free money either, so I'm extremely limited. Lurking is about the extent of my ability. 
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