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Old 20-05-2020, 10:36 AM   #41
DADi590
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Hmm, looking at the debug file dump, let me ask you something - have you ran other games in DosBox on the PSP aside of Fallout 1? If so, did they have similar problems to save games, or there were none?
Can't pinpoint a solution, but my gut feeling says that there's an incompatibility problem between DosBox' emulated file system, and the PSP's file system. In that when Fallout 1 is trying to save the game, it fails to be able to write the necessary data on PSP's internal storage. But it's just a feeling, I'm not technically skilled enough to decipher the debug file info.
Well, the PSP can save as long as it's done after creating the game. A second time it won't work. Only the first time. And I must create a new game, not load the game and save - that won't work either. I MUST create a new game to save, and at most only once.

My thoughts keep going to the max files of the PSP which seem to be 8 at a time (load(/write?) 8 files at a time), but I'm not sure because I don't know how to test that outside the PSP. On DOSBox documentation it's said one must recompile DOSBox to change the FILES thing (max load/write files at a time), and I've no idea where that's written in the source to even try to change and recompile. So I seem to have no way to replicate the thing outside the PSP... Though, I thought maybe someone could be sure of something having that logfile (which actually doesn't tell me much - there are no error codes >> ???????).

EDIT: but no, I haven't tried any other game. I guess I could try, but I'm not sure on what that would help, since DOSBox can write to the PSP memory (both the character and the game). Though, save the game, only one time alone, unless I create another game. With the character, I seem to be able to save various times (if I remember correctly - I forgot to write that haha, but I believe I could, because I didn't write I couldn't). Also it was able to write the debug file in-game >> while not being able to save........ Hmm...... New information just arrived hahaha.

It can't write a save file, but can write a debug file.... Right.... Wtf?? I also saw on PC with the help of Process Explorer, I ran Fallout 1 on PC with DOSBox (and the Windows version too) and I saw it needs to write the save file (SAVE.DAT) and another one which is the region where I'm at (Vault Entrance, V13ENT.SAV). It wasn't shown on Process Explorer (possibly the it was made too fast to be seen there), but I also see an AUTOMAP.SAV. So I'm guessing it could need to mess with 3 more files. But... Supposing this is sequencial, it wouldn't need to open the 3 at the same time, only 1. So I'm more confused hahaha. Supposing thegame didn't create threads (no idea how that's done in C), then it's sequencial, and it would need to mess with one file at a time - why leave a file open for writing after writing to it? Open, write, close, times 3. Supposing it's sequencial and it closes after writing, then it doesn't make sense to me to be the max files (FILES=XXXX of config.sys). Supposing it leaves them opened for some reason or it created threads or something to do things in parallel, then could still be the max files. At least from what crosses my mind. If someone has any better guesses, maybe it could be fixed somehow. Or if not, it's a pity and I'll have to give up...

Last edited by DADi590; 20-05-2020 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 20-05-2020, 10:49 AM   #42
Scatty
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Well, the PSP can save as long as it's done after creating the game. A second time it won't work. Only the first time. And I must create a new game, not load the game and save - that won't work either. I MUST create a new game to save, and at most only once.
Actually that resembles a behaviour I kept noticing in playing Fallout 3 on Windows 10 PC. When you first start Fallout 3, in some areas it crashes if directly trying to load a savegame in that location, however if you start a new game, then load that savegame in question, it loads without any problems.
So technically it looks like when starting a new game, Fallout 3 loads the entire data together, which is not the case when just loading a savegame. This is also supported by the fact that when loading savegames later during playing, they load much faster than starting a new game right at the start of F3 OR directly loading a savegame which loads just fine. Both of those cases take longer time to load, than when loading games later during gameplay.


It might be a similar problem with PSP - starting a new game in Fallout 1 loads the entire game data, and saving a game first time works just fine. However I wonder if the problem with failing to save next time is because PSP doesn't empty "something", maybe memory cache, after saving, so the available memory in PSP remains occupied and the game fails to be able to perform a save due to lack of memory.
I "do" seem to remember that PSP had very small working memory, being a handheld console, and very dated by now as well. I mean the memory used by PSP when playing games, not the storage space. That might be the root of the problem, but like I said earlier, I'm really not technically skilled to know, just guessing here.


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EDIT: but no, I haven't tried any other game. I guess I could try, but I'm not sure on what that would help
Well if other games can't save normally either, it would show that DosBox doesn't work entirelly correct on PSP after all, and it's not just a problem of Fallout 1 by itself.

Last edited by Scatty; 20-05-2020 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 20-05-2020, 11:07 AM   #43
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Actually that resembles a behaviour I kept noticing in playing Fallout 3 on Windows 10 PC. When you first start Fallout 3, in some areas it crashes if directly trying to load a savegame in that location, however if you start a new game, then load that savegame in question, it loads without any problems.
So technically it looks like when starting a new game, Fallout 3 loads the entire data together, which is not the case when just loading a savegame. This is also supported by the fact that when loading savegames later during playing, they load much faster than starting a new game right at the start of F3 OR directly loading a savegame which loads just fine. Both of those cases take longer time to load, than when loading games later during gameplay.


It might be a similar problem with PSP - starting a new game in Fallout 1 loads the entire game data, and saving a game first time works just fine. However I wonder if the problem with failing to save next time is because PSP doesn't empty "something", maybe memory cache, after saving, so the available memory in PSP remains occupied and the game fails to be able to perform a save due to lack of memory.
I "do" seem to remember that PSP had very small working memory, being a handheld console, and very dated by now as well. I mean the memory used by PSP when playing games, not the storage space. That might be the root of the problem, but like I said earlier, I'm really not technically skilled to know, just guessing here.
Hmm I'll try playing with available RAM on DOSBox for PC. I'll put less on PC to simulate the PSP not having enough memory to save the game or something. See if the same errors appear. If it's that, not exactly sure what I could do haha. The PSP, the Slim, Super Slim and Street models have 64MB of RAM. The Fat model has only 32MB. I'm testing this on a Slim model. And on DOSBox I have memsize=40. More than that I think it didn't work or something. I don't exactly remember. I'll try putting 20-30 on PC or some ideas about memory and see what happens. Had not thought on that part of the PSP not freeing memory. If it could be that, if AUTOMAP.SAV is only an image or something (I don't know, just saying), I could try disable Fallout to change it, so it would skip it (trying to get a bit into Reverse Engineering haha) - maybe that could help, being the max files or memory, because a file less and less memory used to mess with the file. Either that or one of the other files, I don't know.


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Well if other games can't save normally either, it would show that DosBox doesn't work entirelly correct on PSP after all, and it's not just a problem of Fallout 1 by itself.
Oh I said that because DOSBox can still write to the PSP memory card. But I'll try when I can. I'll search for some random game.

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Old 21-05-2020, 08:54 AM   #44
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I think I managed to pinpoint the root of the problem with Fallout saving in PSP: the minimum requirements for Fallout under Ms-Dos dictate that it needs 32MB available RAM, double of which it requires under Windows - 16MB there. Have a look here.
As a matter of fact, PSP does also have exactly 32MB RAM, for example you can look here - using its memory for some of the PSP's system workings already takes away some amount of it. Seeing as DosBox itself also needs some amount of memory for operating, not sure how much exactly, you can see how that puts Fallout at a disadvantage - the setting memsize=40 could not even go above the actually available memory after all the factors, which would be somewhat lower than 40MB. And that might explain the troubles with saving game more than once. Fallout 1 simply runs out of memory to operate correctly.


I suspect that playing other games in DosBox on PSP, which (usually for Ms-Dos games) require less memory, shouldn't be a problem unlike with Fallout 1.
P.S. having said that, since I don't know how PSP handles the writable storage (the specs page mentiones just the disc drive which is playback only), and what size it is, that might be also a cause of the problem, lacking enough space to handle saving games.

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Old 21-05-2020, 11:26 AM   #45
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I think I managed to pinpoint the root of the problem with Fallout saving in PSP: the minimum requirements for Fallout under Ms-Dos dictate that it needs 32MB available RAM, double of which it requires under Windows - 16MB there. Have a look here.
As a matter of fact, PSP does also have exactly 32MB RAM, for example you can look here - using its memory for some of the PSP's system workings already takes away some amount of it. Seeing as DosBox itself also needs some amount of memory for operating, not sure how much exactly, you can see how that puts Fallout at a disadvantage - the setting memsize=40 could not even go above the actually available memory after all the factors, which would be somewhat lower than 40MB. And that might explain the troubles with saving game more than once. Fallout 1 simply runs out of memory to operate correctly.


I suspect that playing other games in DosBox on PSP, which (usually for Ms-Dos games) require less memory, shouldn't be a problem unlike with Fallout 1.
P.S. having said that, since I don't know how PSP handles the writable storage (the specs page mentiones just the disc drive which is playback only), and what size it is, that might be also a cause of the problem, lacking enough space to handle saving games.
There is just one problem haha. The site you saw has wrong information. Not all the PSPs have 32MB. I've no idea why they still have that information, but it's not correct. See this Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Portable. Wikipedia is not wrong, as I've heard that many times, so I think the site has outdated information (referring to the Fat model, which was the first one), even though it was updated last year (). I can also confirm that myself because if I put memsize too high, DOSBox will stop working (must be trying to use memory which the system doesn't have). So with 40MB it works. And the PSP I'm using is a Slim model, so it's one of those that have 64MB total. I went MB by MB from 30-50 to see what value would be the maximum to work, and I found 40MB to be that value. So supposedly it has the RAM it wants.

The part of the storage, it's a memory card. In my case, I'm now using an 8GB one, which has about 20MB free. Though, before this one I was using another one of 64GB and I had at least 10GB free. I also used the -free command with some values as suggested by Smiling Spectre to put it seeing free space on the "disk".

EDIT: forgot to write this part, so, also thank you for the requirements, which I didn't know about. And it also says it needs MS-DOS 5.0 at least, so that's not a problem too (DOSBox 0.71, which is the one the PSP has ported to it, emulates MS-DOS 5.0).

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Old 21-05-2020, 12:37 PM   #46
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Guess then for now I'm out of ideas, except one. Frankly I never played Fallout 1 in Ms-Dos / DosBox, always in Windows, thankfully it ran stable in any Windows version I've had so far. However, long time ago I've been trying to play another Windows / Ms-Dos crossbreed game, Lands of Lore II: Guardians of Destiny, and it's Ms-Dos always crashed in DosBox no matter which settings, while the Windows part had no problems.
So maybe, it's just a bug in Fallout 1 Dos part of the game. Admittedly your case is the first I've read about playing the game in Ms-Dos environment, I've always only ever seen on the net about it being played in Windows, seeing as it came out during the Windows 95 & 98 time and was a full-fledged big Windows game. It is possible that the backwards-compatible Ms-Dos port of the game was just an afterthought with less rigorous bug testing.
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