colgate wrote:Wow I'd love to read about how you patched the xband games, have you written something about that?
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The Netlink games and the Japanese Xband games are very similar in that they both use a version of the Xband OS. However, they're not similar enough that simply patching in the Netlink software would work. That's the first thing I tried with no luck. The Netlink games are designed to direct dial an opponent and you have complete control over the number dialed. The Japanese games first contact a matching server that passes along opponent info and their phone number then the systems direct dial each other. It's the matching server that hasn't been recreated and has been the reason these games remained locked out to us. I noticed that a certain developer disc contents were dumped online so I started looking at the Netlink documentation. This was useful for describing which xband files/programs were doing what. Most importantly though, the disc included a version of the xband OS that was intended for developers. It was described as essentially a translated version of the Japanese OS with direct-dial functionality bypassing the matching server. It turns out that this version of the OS can replace the Japanese retail OS.
Four main things were changed to the Japanese games:
1. The Xband loader program was replaced with the developer version - this bypasses the modem check and allows both Netlink and Xband modems to work.
2. The Xband OS and libraries were replaced with the developer versions
3. I wanted these games to be forward compatible with a Dreampi solution. This was a challenge because although you can call into the dreampi easily, the dreampi can't ring the phone line on the answer side of the connection. I made it so the answer side attempts to dial out first and connect to the dreampi while keeping that process invisible to the software. If using VoIP, the modem will go into normal wait for ring mode after ~5 seconds. Work is being done on a Dreampi solution, but VoIP still works in the interim.
4. In our testing, we found that 14.4K modem speed (what the JP modem uses) works better with VoIP. It uses a different modulation than the Netlink's 28.8K that seems to survive the VoIP audio encoding better. The games were modified to cap speed to 14.4K so that Netlink users can have the same experience as JP modem users.
Hope that's what you were looking for!