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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 ONLINE  

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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 ONLINE  

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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.






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