How to request and test games for C4A


Advanced Member
Sep 7, 2010
*updated method - no poll anymore* see post here

Testing games for C4A:

1. Check if the game is already tested. I am maintaining a list of games I tested here

2. Install PanMAME here

3. Try the game you like in PanMAME and after playing check if a hi file is created. A hi file of the game you have played should be created in /pandora/appdata/panmame/hi . One example: for the game Amidar that will be amidar.hi. If a hi file is not created then it will not be possible to add the game to C4A

4. Skeezix needs a hi file with default high scores and one with a new high score. The default hi score should be created immediately after starting the game. So start, don't play a game and check if there is a hi file created.  If a default hi file (Skeezix calls it a vanilla file) is created, save it somewhere - else it will be overwritten

5 Play the game to reach a hi score. Once you have done that you will have two files that can be tested.

NOTE. To save time it is also possible to only test the default hi file. If the default file fails you don't have to bother to test the high score hi file anyway.

6. send the hi file(s) to me or start testing yourself

Testing the games yourself

Currently I am the only person testing the hi files, but I would like to see folks doing the testing themselves or even improve the script Skeezix has created. He has created a python script that tests if it is possible to add the hi file to C4A. Maybe someone with Python skills can check the code and add some improvements that would help adding more games to the compo.

Here you can find the script. Thanks Skeezix to let me share the script and letting me steal his explanation below :)


- python 2.6 and up

- mono  and maybe package 'mono-devel' in debian or ubuntu

unpack the tarball ("tar zxvf foo.tgz")

cd hitotext-tester

./ dkong

---> does it work?

Skeezix has included dkong.hi and the above should spit out the list of scores; if not, you're missing 'mono' package most likely.


$ ./ dkong
HiToText appears to have returned 5 rows

Rows returned look like:
[   {   'score': '7650', 'shortname': ''},
    {   'score': '6100', 'shortname': ''},
    {   'score': '5950', 'shortname': ''},
    {   'score': '5050', 'shortname': ''},
    {   'score': '4300', 'shortname': ''}]

_score_ is critical
_rowcount_ is critical  <- possibly ok?
_shortname_ is currently optional


How to test:

- clear the .hi file if any from panmame

- fire up the game, wait a sec, quit

-> grab the vanilla .hi file spit out (I call it a template, since its the baseline to measure against); keep it somewhere. Or call it dkong.template.hi or templates/dkong.hi or something

- fire up the game, play it, register a hi score

- quit panmame

- fire up the game again -- is your hi score still present?

--> if not, the .hi is not saving, game is no good due to panmame limits

--> if so, we can keep going to next steps

-> grab the hi score file (with your own score in it); I like to rename it to the score, like dkong.hi.23455JEF or whatever

Then copy one of the .hi files into the hitotext-tester directory, and give it a run

./ quartet          <- or whatever

You must check the output:

- if the rowcount is 0 or some bizarre number .. we're dead, skip this game (could be a bug in my plugin, or more likely a bug in HiToText, or missing game, or..)

- if the score table gets dumped (see above), then compare it to the in-game score table

--> if the table dump looks right --> we're gold!

--> if the table dump is bogus -> dump it, we're boned

So in essence:

- we check the scores persist

- we check the game is supported by hitotext

- we check the data actually comes out right

If all of these pass, game is candidate for c4a!

Create banners for with GIMP

1. Search in google image search for "marquee" + game name. Select a nice image and save it somewhere

2. Open in Gimp Image Editor.  Copy the part you want to use.

3. Paste into new image and then scale to size 360x130 (don't forget to break the chain between width and height).

4. Those banners will have to be sent to milkshake (or ED when he is not available) and have the same name as the hi files created

That is all there is to it :)

I will update this post if needed. Please let me know if anything isn't clear.
Last edited by a moderator:
Brilliant, thanks. From a quick poke at it, it looks like games that don't work might be an error in the hitotext.xml file we're using. I'll have to have a read-up on that format.
buda-buda-buda-buda-buda...sure glad someone understands this stuff, LOL.  Maybe soon we will get some games that could not be added before!