Week 47 Update

by 🦊 The Fox on 2020-06-08

Hello all, not much to report this week. We’ve largely been working on other things to keep our minds fresh and to avoid burnout. Staring at Unreal for hours or days at a time will have that effect on you…
Right at the start of this project I promised transparency with those of you following us, and those of you supporting us. So here’s to being transparent instead of silent!

Progress?

Whilst not a lot has been done with the codebase or the project itself I have been doing some background work on ship design proposals, lore and a few other mechanics here and there for Corporeality itself. Trying to condense things back down a bit and make sure this isn’t going to end up being a wildly massive project that we can barely make any headway into.
The breakout clone is mainly awaiting graphics assets and a way to properly load in level sets. Both of those shouldn’t take too long. But to be honest, we just don’t want to be looking at it right now!

Ok, what has been taking up most of your time?

Phantasy Star Online : Blue Burst

With the release of PSO2 we were both quickly taken back to our time in university when we had a private PSO:BB server running in our lab for people to jump in and out of. Feeling like taking a nostalgia trip we grabbed all the files again (which haven’t changed at all in over 7 years) and tried to get it to run on Linux… That’s proven to be a little tougher than we anticipated.
If you want to follow along feel free to have a nosey at this GitHub repository where we are tracking our work porting the Tethealla server over to Linux.
Original server project is hosted here.

This is mainly just a small project to see if we can do it, but so far it has proven very interesting to work with again, and has really taken us back.

⚡ SHK CPU

Hello there! Shockk here with a super tiny mini section on what’s been occupying my time lately. None of this, of course, is relevant to our shared Corporeality project, but in the spirit of transparency I too wanted to provide a bit of context as to what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been working on creating a very simple architecture (like x86, ARM, MIPS, etc) with its own CPU, instruction set, registers, rules, etc, and I’ve been simultaneously building both an assembler and an emulator for this.

I won’t go into loads of detail here, but this is mainly just a distraction project in order to try and increase my levels of motivation once again. It’s been a while since I’ve really, really enjoyed coding and I feel like this project is doing that for me once again. The eventual goal will be to build real hardware specifications for an FPGA and test my CPU for real with some kind of custom OS.

Here’s a quick example of the assembly language I’ve built, where we calculate the 10th number in the Fibonacci sequence.

MOV $0, #0
MOV $1, #1

MOV $2, #0
MOV $3, #10

loop:
  ADD $4, $0, $1
  MOV $0, $1
  MOV $1, $4
  ADD $2, $2, #1
  CMP $5, $2, $3
BRA loop, !LT $5

DBG
DIE

If you’re interested in checking out my code, feel free to take a look at the following repositories:

shk - common machine definitions
shk-emu - emulator
shk-asm - assembler

⚡ Shockk, Lead Programmer

What next?

Next week we do plan to sit down and work on the breakout clone some more, hopefully get level loading working properly and iron out some of the more interesting bugs.

Hopefully we’ll see you next week!

-🦊 The Fox, Project Manager