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Jag CD Stats, Facts & Views - Future Pod Discussion


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#51 Zerosquare OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:28 AM

phoenixdownita: It basically works like your description, albeit with only two areas: a banked one for "dynamic" data, and a non-banked one for code and "static" data.
It also has a few goodies like support for larger than 2 KB EEPROMs for game saves, and something else that's not announced yet.

Regarding sharing the design, I'd do it if a few well-known @ssh0les didn't spend their time selling unauthorized "repros" of homebrew games. So I'll probably won't release it publicly, and instead discuss it in private with serious developers.

Anyways, I need to finish routing the board (it's about 90% done), getting it manufactured and test it first. So many projects and so little free time...

Edited by Zerosquare, Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:31 AM.


#52 LinkoVitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:43 AM

Bank-switching will be supported on the next version of the Jagtopus. And no, it won't involve twiddling switches manually. I know we can get away with many ridiculous things on the Jag, but come on!

 

Ah, it has a small camera and you have to instruct it to which bank is desired through the medium of interpretive dance? :D



#53 Gummy Bear OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:10 AM

Like I said: Super Bankswitch 64! :)

#54 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:51 AM

I actually rate the Game Gear version as the most impressive of the Sega versions.


There's "impressive", and then there's "fun". The later is what stands the test of time, not the former.

#55 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:14 AM

There's "impressive", and then there's "fun". The later is what stands the test of time, not the former.


True, but we are looking at it from 2 different perspectives here.

Mine is quite simple.

I'd enjoyed the game immensely at the time on the ST , so was delighted to see it coming to the Sega formats i had moved onto...having paid £270 on day 1 for the Mega CD, i was understandably praying for games you just couldn't do on the bog standard MD hardware..sound and intro aside, Prince Of Persia just didn't deliver anything like what i had hoped for, so it didn't get the playtime the Game Gear version did.

Maybe my expectations were set too high?, but having spent so much money on an add on, i think they were justified.

I gave it one last shot on the Sega formats via Domark's cartridge version as just found they'd gotten more from the hardware.

By the time it was released however, the benchmark for MD hardware had moved on and titles like Flashback made Prince Of Persia seem dated.

I never tried P.O.P 3D as it was annouced on Dreamcast but i never saw a UK release so not sure if it made it at all...

I did try the PS2 reboot of the franchise and whilst technically impressive, i hated it.

#56 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:58 AM

@VladR:It's not really bitching to moan about Atari releasing the Jaguar CD drive.. it arrived late and delivered little.

Sam Tramiel had been telling people the Jaguar hardware was on par with the Sega Saturn and here in the UK Darryl Still was telling the press the Jaguar was at a disadvantage next to Saturn and PlayStation 1,being cartridge based and they were CD based, but as soon as the Jaguar CD drive arrived, it'd be a level playing field...

Utter nonsense on both counts.
 

 

.....

Sega convinced me to buy a Sega CD on day 1..yet as a day 1 Jaguar owner, i never had any inkling to buy a Jaguar CD, especially once it became clear Freelancer from Imagitec Design was never going to appear.

Well, I can definitely understand the disappointment if you were an active console gamer at the time and were expecting some additional chips (like other consoles did with their CD). I was hardcore PC at the time, as everybody else there, because my country didn't become officially sales-supported by console manufacturers till PS3/4-era (even X360 (which is quite recent) was technically illegal and only had to be imported, and if you went online, boom - your IP got banned instantly - it's going to take at least two human generations till people will start to think of attempting to trust Microsoft again there after that X360 fiasco), so I cannot truly appreciate the expectations you guys had, only attempt to imagine them.

 

 

My point about "bitching" is that CD is very important from the technological potential standpoint (if used for non-FMV stuff). It's unfortunate that the potential was never remotely tapped during commercial era of jaguar (that horse has been beaten at least dozen times this month, let alone last year, and you summarized it nicely in your post anyway).

 

 

As much as I'd like to use that potential myself for my 3D projects, one look at the current CD-ROM prices makes me just shake my head and get back to cart reality. I'm sure I'd destroy at least one unit burning hundreds of builds and constantly open/close it, compared to super comfortable and non-destructive build upload via skunkboard...



#57 LinkoVitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:07 AM

 

As much as I'd like to use that potential myself for my 3D projects, one look at the current CD-ROM prices makes me just shake my head and get back to cart reality. I'm sure I'd destroy at least one unit burning hundreds of builds and constantly open/close it, compared to super comfortable and non-destructive build upload via skunkboard...

 

I believe the original Dev version of the CD required a hookup to a Flacon/Mega ST with a SCSI HDD large enough to hold an image.  Obviously burning images and swapping discs is inefficient and slow.  Most of the code aspects wouldn't be on the disc image anyway during dev, it'd hold the assets needed for the game.  So even if you were to burn discs there shouldn't be much need to keep reburning them except when your game assets changed and needed testing (at least during engine development).

There are a few of the Dev CD Units knocking about, it might be a fun delve into the past to get one working as it would have back in the day, but may be quicker to look at using what is available right now and working with that.  I suspect with a bit of tinkering and a custom modded version of JCP it would be possible to simulate a JagCD read via a skunk board with USB connected to PC with the image file living on there.  You'd only need then to refactor the IO code for an actual real CD drive, and you could always release your game as a downloadable SKUNK ROM with your custom loader.  (I suspect this is possible, I am not saying it is BTW :D, it's an avenue you could develop)

Good luck



#58 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:36 PM

@ValdR:My often unpopular opinions :-)) are purely based from my perspective as a gamer of that era who'd started a full time job and suddenly had money coming in at end of each month and the likes of Sega and Atari wanted it :-).

I fully understand Atari's reasoning behind wanting the Jaguar CD kept dumb..in their eyes the low price point was essential.

I've never seen press claims Atari did look into prospect of adding extra chips to the hardware to assist with texture mapping etc,so as that stands it remains pure speculation at this point..

None of the usual suspects/experts out there seem to know if the claim is true either.

But yes..having seen the difference custom hardware could make...

Going back to the Sega Mega CD..I had played Thunderhawk on The ST..enjoyed it, but bloody hell the Mega CD version was simply jaw dropping..Night and Day difference..

And the 3D sections in Batman Returns were the most impressive i had seen outside the Arcades..and there i had been thinking the 3D sections in Ocean Software's Batman The Movie on ST and Amiga were as impressive as a 16 bit Batman game got...

It was a game changer for myself to find the differences between cart and CD games on the Jaguar.

Especially when you saw 1st generation PlayStation games like Ridge Racer..Jumping Flash..etc.

You knew Jaguar games were never going to look this good.

Cue being on hold for hours to Silica Shop to pre-order the PlayStation :-))

It was crystal clear the future had arrived and it was courtesy of Sony who'd caught even Sega by total surprise.

#59 madman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:52 PM

Wrt avoiding repeating assets in every bank given we are brainstorming the trick is to have smaller banking regions than the whole 2/4MB, say use a 32bit latch to specify 16 separate banking region each with 2 bits on the latch (so 4 pages) of say 128K ROMs would go a long way to avoid repeating assets (that would total 8MB of ROM swappable at 128KB boundaries in a 2MB linear space, with each page that can be chosen among 4 possible) .... then again it is a little more complex and unsure if warranted (the single latch allows to change all the pages at once with one single 32bit write).

That's how the Gameboy/GBC's bank switching worked, there was bank0 (I forget the exact terms, it's been almost 20 years) that was static and other banks you could switch to. So you'd have the game logic/shared assets in the first bank 16KB bank and switch as needed. 

 

Edit: What Zerosquare said...



#60 Pete5125 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:56 PM

The real mystery is why they released the Jag CD when it offered nothing other than increased storage over carts. No additional RAM, no extra sound chips, no extra processing power, nothing. I think CJ said it slightly reduced the amount of RAM available on the Jag. The PCE CD released in the 80's offered more of an improvement than the Jag CD. The pack-in was Blue Lightning which without the FMV clips likely could've fit on a cart. People trash the 32X, but it was a far better add-on than the Jag CD. And it has better games, too.



#61 Pete5125 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:03 PM

at this point atari still wanted to look like they were operating a company and not going out of buisness (that would come about the following February) even with the merger they had to pretend that the company was solid and they were going to still be in buisness for the long haul, the only way to get the atari board members to agree to let a disk drive company to run them, as he quietly scrapped every project that wasnt 80 to 90 percent done.

im sure he figured with minimal advertising 20k units could sell easy, the jag sold more than that 2 yrs prior, then he could sell another run and be done, plus the 10 games produced would have to pay liscensing fees and cds cost next to nothing to produce for games he already paid to liscence.

#62 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:19 AM

@Austin:From a pure personal point of view here, having bought Prince Of Persia on the ST and then being blown away by the Sega Game Gear version, i expected great things from the Mega CD version.

Instead i found myself with a CD intro, improved sound and visuals that wouldn't be anything special on cartridge.

The Domark team managed to produce more detailed graphics and fit an extra 4 levels onto the cartridge version, which in my eyes made far better use of the more limited hardware and storage medium.

The CD version should of been so much more.

 

I agree the CD version probably should have been more than it was given the hardware it was released on. I got it sometime in '95 or '96, and compared to the SNES one I spent a lot of time with, I felt it was a downgrade (funnily enough, it was developed by the same folks). That said, I am speaking from a 2018 perspective now, not a 1992 one. In this day and age, the Sega CD version is the absolute way to go if you have a choice between it or the Genesis release. It just plays right, whereas the Euro-developed versions do not.

 

Side note, it's interesting picking apart the Sega CD version these days. I used to think it was only CD audio that was unique to it, but many of the sound effects are sampled via the Sega CD hardware as well. Many Sega CD games do this and it's a common oversight when people criticize the Sega CD.



#63 matmook OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:44 AM

Bank-switching will be supported on the next version of the Jagtopus.


Greaaaaat !!!

#64 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:09 AM

Podcast now recorded! Thanks all!

 

I used a number of your shared comments, but with time constraints couldn't share all! However, Dyl and I will revisit this topic (CD peripherals) in a month or so and I plan to use more your fine comments then.

 

I will post the podcast here, when available!

 

Thanks all, Adrian.



#65 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:23 AM

Dear all,

 

The Jag CD First Impressions Podcast is now available! My good buddy Dyl also discusses his first impressions of the SEGA Mega CD! 

 

https://arcadeattack...st-impressions/

https://itunes.apple...st/id1174983594

https://www.stitcher...-gaming-podcast

 

Here is a description of the episode: Adrian and Dylan have finally shelled out for their most wanted CD peripherals and they're not happy! Just kidding! Adrian's picked up the Jag CD, Dylan paid a bit less for his Sega CD, let's find out how they've got on in the first month of owning them... Apologies for the dip in sound quality midway through the pod, curses you (but also praises you) pizza delivery man!!

 

I also include some lovely comments / posts from a few people in this thread - thanks so much for your help! FYI If you weren't mentioned - I have saved your comments for a future follow up pod!

 

If you enjoy the pod, I would be honoured if you subscribed to future episodes! I love you all!

 

Kind regards

 

Adrian



#66 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:23 AM

Listening to the podcast as i type ;-)

Streaming it and probably rubbish Internet in the house,but it cut out 3 times around the 28:28 mark?.

Running fine now.

Loved hearing you guys talk about buying hardware as it took you back to a time you had no commitments..

Tell me about it :-))

My Mega CD was only a Day 1 purchase as i was doing a lot of overtime in my full time job, which i had only recently started, was learning to drive,but didn't own a car, was lodging with folks..so minimal rent.

Very different to the middle aged me here today :-D

1 thing i would add, the Jaguar CD VLM ,which is indeed often credited as Jeff Minters creation, was a 2 man effort, this from Jeff's website :

Atari were in the process of developing a CD-ROM add-on for the Jaguar, and me and Ian Bennett, one of the Inmos guys, flew out to Sunnyvale to pitch them the idea of building a VLM implementation into the CD-ROM's firmware, to be invoked whenever the user played an audio CD. I was in particularly good favour at Atari, since "Tempest 2000" had been released to a degree of critical approval, and we got the green light to develop VLM for the add-on. It took about six months to make, with me doing all the graphical stuff and Ian writing the code to sample the audio stream and generate a frequency spectrum analysis which I then used to drive the visuals. The results were very pleasing - I have vivid memories of going into the office in Sunnyvale when we were out there finishing off the code, and finding Leonard Tramiel playing classical music through it and dancing ecstatically around my cube }:-).


Loved the comments about Sonic CD...:-))

Never been a fan of it.

The mode 7 special stage used the Mega CD hardware, so it wasn't just FMV and CD music,but the special stage was poorly done.

Looking forward to the BJ West podcast interview..he's a great guy.

Fantastic work and thanks to all you guys who made the podcast happen.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:28 AM.


#67 scrummy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:19 PM

I purchased the Jag CD in '95 to play with VLM. Once I found the code to get into the VLM editor, it became one of the more unique gaming fascinations I have yet enjoyed.  The idea of having access to all of these little understood parameters and options created a most unusual experience. Creating patterns that caused it to crash or slow to a few frames per second were clues you had found the edge of something and it

seems as though I was discovering something new.  I believe that Jeff has said that he was ill in the last weeks of development, and that it is unfortunate that save states and other options were not completed.  In any case, it remains a most unusual experience and a "game" that has yet to be equaled in its mix of creativity and exploration.



#68 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2018 8:58 AM

Hi guys, I am hoping to record the 2nd Jag CD / Mega CD opinion pod later today!!! I have gone back and taken a few unused comments from this thread to add in! I will keep you all posted when the new pod is ready for your listening pleasure! Thanks all, Adrian. :)



#69 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2018 5:57 AM

Looking forward to it.

#70 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 4, 2018 8:08 AM

Atari Jaguar CD - Follow Up Podcast Thoughts

 

Dear all, I have now owned my Jag CD for a good few months. Here is my 2nd podcast on my thoughts and experience of this great add-on! I discuss some of the games I have played recently, share some AtariAge facts and stories and more! My good buddy Dyl also reflects on his recently acquired Mega (SEGA) CD. I would be honoured if you gave the podcast a cheeky listen:

 

https://arcadeattack...rther-thoughts/

https://www.stitcher...-gaming-podcast

https://itunes.apple...st/id1174983594

 

Podcast Description: Dylan and Adrian's meandering chat about the Atari Jaguar CD and Sega (Mega) CD peripherals they picked up a few months ago went so well they decided to give us an update! 

 

Rob and Keith joined this time round to mainly look confused. 

 

To give you a taste of what's to come, Adrian's had time shuffling around jumbled up music videos whilst Dylan still doesn't know what to make of Sonic CD...

 

Here is a link to the first Jag CD thoughts podcast:

 

https://www.arcadeat...st-june-4-2018/



#71 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2018 5:10 PM

Fantastic work guys.

Really enjoyed listening to this.

Keep up the great work.




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