NGF File To Cart

This one is a bit trickier. It’s a bit more involved to actually take a .NGF save-game file and write it to an official cart. Nonetheless, I did it. I had issues, and I left out any real error checking (like to make sure the .NGF is valid for the cart). It works, though.

So, now you can share save-game files between an official cart and an emulator (R.A.C.E. or NeoPop). You can dump an NGF from a cart and load it on your PSP running RACE. You can take a NeoPop save-game from your PC and put it on a cart and play it on the actual NGPC.

You can make periodic backups of your NGPC carts just in case you loose your data, want to start a new game, or end up dying. Then you can restore to the last backup.

I think it all works, but it will require some more testing. What it did bring to light, though, was how slow the cart writing process actually is. I was only writing small blocks, but it still took a long time. If I were writing an entire 32mbit cart (like a Bung), it would have taken hours.

I came up with a new “smarter” way of writing bulk data. It seems fairly usable. At the end of last night, it was able to write the entire Card Fighters save-game data in about 20 seconds. That accounts for about 1/64th of a 32mbit cart, so we’re still talking like 21 minutes to write an entire 32mbit. There are still tricks to speed this up, but 20min isn’t all that bad, really. First, you’re not usually writing a full 32mbit. Then, if you are writing a lot, you’re not doing it all that often. Like, if you’re developing some homebrew, you might be writing the cart fairly often, but you’re probably looking at like maybe a minute’s worth of data.

So, this is all good news. I continue to work on the USB Pocket Linker. Gerry continues to fit in work on the Pocket Flash Cart when real life permits. It’s all going well, and we have some other related projects in the works for you Neo SNK freak types.

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