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carmel_andrews

Idea for more games for the jaguar

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Seeming as games designing programs like Batari basic and STOS etc for other atari platforms are or were popular in their time, brings me to this idea

 

Seeming as though there's a dearth of games coming out for the jaguar, compared to other atari systems like the 2600/a8 etc and the fact that people want more games for the jaguar (beit either original cart format or CD/DVD format) perhpas it's time for the jaguar to open up it's games development thing more and encourage more people to code/program on or for it

 

One main suggestion would be for a stos or batari basic type scenario but with additional facilities for creating the screens/sprites/music/sonix etc for the game

 

Also for the jauguar community to agree on a new media format i.e something like a Micro SD card or USB memory stick for delivering new jaguar games content, due to the expense of creating cd's and cart games which would be memory limiting compared to memory sticks and SD cards (which would mean more complex and interesting games for the jaguar)

 

Perhaps something like a skunk device (which i understand supports usb) with a built in games programming environment (as i suggested, along the lines of stos/batari basic with addit. facilities) might be the way forward

 

The basic itself or programming language would be a compiled one so as to running much faster (almost assembler/MC speed)

 

what do you people think?

Edited by carmel_andrews

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I like what Harmony, the cheap flash cart, did for the 2600. Now anyone can publish a physical cart, and just exactly the number they need.

 

I think it would be helpful to do a cheap (under $10) flash cart design. But it's hard to find people willing to be distributors for the Jaguar scene. Tursi has been shopping around the Skunkboard design, offering to give it for FREE, and unable to find anyone who would commit to making more.

 

As for high level programming languages... it's pretty high level these days. You can use gcc, targeting the 68K, and there are various libraries and examples that handle the object list and initialization. If you're just doing a 2D game in C, it can be as easy as the ST really.

 

To be honest, I think the Jaguar scene is thriving at the current 1-2 releases a year. It's not fair to compare the Jaguar to the 2600 directly. The 2600 sold 100 TIMES what the Jaguar did. So if we're doing more than 1% of the 2600 releases to more than 1% of the 2600 fan boys we're doing exceptional. :)

 

- KS

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Good luck with that. STOS will give you more of the same 16 bit like games. If you really want to see games

that actually take advantage of the Jaguar's REAL power, you need to learn RISC assembly. You also need to

realize that the 68k will do nothing more than allow simple 2D games so use it only to set up the machine

and then kill it once the main loop starts, employing only the RISC's, Blitter and OPL. Run the RISC's in

their localsfor time critical stuff and let the Blitter and OPL have the bus during rendering. Im not just

talking about 3D games, but 2D games as well.

 

Use the GPU out in main( the info is now public and there are a few tools that incorporate main GPU code,

SMAC and SLN). You will be able to not only get more bang for your cycles every frame, but for those that

still want to port of the ST based and 16 bit stuff, you will now be able to add more to the game as you

will have much more power. Ports are fine, but ports that take advantage of the extra power they have in the

Jaguar are always a plus.

 

STOS is kind of a waste of time unless you want straight ports of older STOS games. Now if someone indeed

moved STOS to the Jag.....calling it JOS(appropriately) and add some feature like RISC main code in-line

assembly and you might have something.

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Personally I wouldn't mind 16-bit-like games. It's my favorite generation of games, IF the games are original and well designed. i.e. not just ports of average games like bubsy, dragon, brutal sports or something like it ;)

 

Regarding what kskunk said:

I think a cheap cart design would really encourage people to publish more on cartridge.

I know, I would do cart releases, if I could get and produce them at a reasonable price.

 

Flash memory in the form of SD cards or USB sticks is dirt cheap, even several GB.

There must be cheap flash chips in smaller ranges, too.

Maybe you could even use bigger chips and just make the size usable that the Jaguar can address.

For some games 2MB carts may be enough, but if we could get cheap 6MB carts or more with bankswitching, now that would be perfect.

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Actually, I'd prefer something more along the lines of gfa basic. Still, with the STOS extensions one could go and develop games in a relatively short amount of time. And it will be perfect to create platform games in the likes of Rick Dangerous or adventure games and basic shoot' em ups such as Gyrus or Satan's hollow to remember my old A8 days. STOS or GFA Basic would also benefit the jaguar from a large pool of source code and knowledge in the ST world, and let's face it, Atari coders from other platforms are far more likely to code for the jag than other people.

But it's not likely any of this will happen. Best bet is something like the Remover's library for C.

Edited by Christos

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Actually, I'd prefer something more along the lines of gfa basic. Still, with the STOS extensions one could go and develop games in a relatively short amount of time. And it will be perfect to create platform games in the likes of Rick Dangerous or adventure games and basic shoot' em ups such as Gyrus or Satan's hollow to remember my old A8 days. STOS or GFA Basic would also benefit the jaguar from a large pool of source code and knowledge in the ST world, and let's face it, Atari coders from other platforms are far more likely to code for the jag than other people.

But it's not likely any of this will happen. Best bet is something like the Remover's library for C.

 

 

That's all fine and dandy but why limit the Jag to older 8 bit and 16 bit games when it can do a lot more?

Im all for good games, whatever the bit's or how ever many dimensions but make use of what the Jaguar has.

Of course not every game needs to do this andI have a few games that are simple old school shooters. I'd much

rather release the 3D classic updates I was working on but I need to rely on someone not very reliable for a fast

renderer to handle them....looks likeIm going to have to start looking into coding my own renderer or try to further

optimize the one I have.

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To be honest, I think the Jaguar scene is thriving at the current 1-2 releases a year. It's not fair to compare the Jaguar to the 2600 directly. The 2600 sold 100 TIMES what the Jaguar did. So if we're doing more than 1% of the 2600 releases to more than 1% of the 2600 fan boys we're doing exceptional. :)

 

- KS

 

Indeed - how many releases are there per year for the 7800 or the Lynx?

Its hardly fair to compare the jag scene to one the size of the 2600 or even the a8 or ST - which sold in orders of magnitude larger numbers.

 

It also seems to be a good mix of smaller games released often as the big projects trundle along in the background

 

A very cheap WORM type cart alternative wouldn't go amiss though

Edited by Atari_Owl
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When more people have access to cheap flash carts, or any viable flash cart at all, homebrew development will rise. It's a simple rule. Easy hacking is what makes the oXbox, PSP, and DS such popular homebrew platforms.

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When more people have access to cheap flash carts, or any viable flash cart at all, homebrew development will rise. It's a simple rule. Easy hacking is what makes the oXbox, PSP, and DS such popular homebrew platforms.

 

That rule has been proven wrong. The Skunkboard has been available for two years and there is no significant rise in development on the Jag.

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I think there is a lot more demand in the skunkboard and it's not available to those people unless they are lucky and find one on ebay.

If there were enough skunkboards for everyone who wants one, you can be sure, more people would use it.

I know I would develop games that use the higher rom space, but as of now it just doesn't make much sense, because so few people have one.

I could imagine other developers feel the same way.

 

Still you can't compare the Jag to Xbox, PSP, DS or Wii in terms of homebrew, of course. Those communitys are huge compared to the Jag's. Millions of people have those systems and a lot of people have the possibility to play homebrew titles and there are a lot more people developing something. Not as many games as you'd think though. Mostly tools of some sort or small hacks from what I can see.

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I think there is a lot more demand in the skunkboard and it's not available to those people unless they are lucky and find one on ebay.

 

 

Everyone who would of done anything with one will have gotten one by now.

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That rule has been proven wrong. The Skunkboard has been available for two years and there is no significant rise in development on the Jag.
Well, I know of at least one development team which has started coding for the Jaguar precisely because of the Skunkboard. And they have even released several games already :)
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That rule has been proven wrong. The Skunkboard has been available for two years and there is no significant rise in development on the Jag.
Well, I know of at least one development team which has started coding for the Jaguar precisely because of the Skunkboard. And they have even released several games already :)

 

Good. That is what we like hearing. But its not exactly the floodgates opening. Its a good start though.

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You did not need a Skunk board to develope. There are many cheap and simple ways. The fact is no one is writting any

Jag worthy games from the ground up. They are porting rehashes of ST games, and in some cases using pre made libs.

All fine and dandy but where's the beef? I too have a few simple games Im working on but Im looking to push the Jaguar

once I get my renderer finished. These things take time. Anyone can write simple games. Using the Jaguar's real power

in the GPU/DSP , Blitter and OPL need a lot of hard work and laborious debugging. The sources for several games were

released over a year ago now and not one person even made use of those. The Jaguar is not a cakewalk to code for if you

want to do something that truly takes advantage of the ability of the machine. They are being worked on by some of us

but we have lives and jobs and family to deal with. They will come and you will see them, Lord willing.

Edited by Gorf
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I've been trying to stay out of things for a while now, but there's a few things I just have to say Gorf.

 

The fact is no one is writting any Jag worthy games from the ground up. They are porting rehashes of ST games, and in some cases using pre made libs.

What exactly makes a game "Jag worthy", and who is the judge of that?

Also we're ALL using pre-made libs. Everyone has to use the Atari supplied startup code if they have any hope of getting things to display right on more than their own TV, and the only people I know of who aren't using the sinister mod player for music are Reboot (who afaik ported one of their own mod players from the ST to the Jag).

Given how many basic functions of the Jag are left as exercises for the developers (OP list maintenance for example), I think a nice generic set of library routines can only be a Good Thingtm.

 

Anyone can write simple games.

The sources for several games were released over a year ago now and not one person even made use of those.

I agree, anyone could code simple games (and simple games can be great fun), but not many people are doing so. Why not?

How do you know nobody has made use of them. What counts as "use" in your opinion? Maybe nobody has released a clone of them, but that doesn't mean they haven't been useful. Years ago I learnt how BSP trees work by reading the Doom source. I'd read maybe a dozen tutorials before and none of them made any sense, until I saw the code and walked through it in my head. Different things are useful to different people.

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Good luck with that. STOS will give you more of the same 16 bit like games. If you really want to see games that actually take advantage of the Jaguar's REAL power, you need to learn RISC assembly.

 

As true as that is, anything that helps people get into the programming circles to begin with would be ideal. Some of those who start off making 16-bit like games will go on to push the machine harder.

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What exactly makes a game "Jag worthy", and who is the judge of that?

 

How about one that uses the entire system and the way recommended by Atari...which BTW was to boot with the 68k then lay off it?

Not that everything Atari says is gospel...after all if we listened to them on everything, I would have never bothered to try to

jump around in main RAM with the GPU.

 

Also we're ALL using pre-made libs. Everyone has to use the Atari supplied startup code if they have

any hope of getting things to display right

 

No, WE are not ALL using pre-made libs. The start up code is NOT a lib. It's is a necessary part to get

the system up and running and is better equated to a bios or part of an OS. It is also recommended by Atari. There is

only one useful way to boot the Jag system so re-writing the start-up is re-inventing the wheel. Using 68k based libs

when there is so many more efficient ways to do things on the Jag is another. Start-up code != to a lib.

 

Given how many basic functions of the Jag are left as exercises for the developers (OP list maintenance for example), I think a nice generic set of library routines can only be a Good Thingtm.

 

Which will ONLY get you a nice 'generic' set of games. Scott used Sinister...as a guide....and from it wrote our player

from the ground up entirely in DSP assembler. Using a lib/source as a guide is one thing, even I agree with this. Depending on it

is another and will limit you and the type of games you can come up with on the Jaguar (or any system for that matter.)

 

I agree, anyone could code simple games (and simple games can be great fun), but not many people are doing so. Why not?

 

Some of us are. But we are NOT relying on other peoples libraries. Plus I am not against anyone using a library if it

offers a useful function. IT just seems too many people depend on them and do very little to explore a system on their own.

Simple games are the best games....but why can't you go beyond the simple use of the 68k and the OPL as a simple sprite engine?

Most of the free libs are based around the 68k and would be better suited toward coding a Genny or an ST. Show me a lib that

makes use of the real power of the Jaguar system,then you'll impress me....yes I AM working on such a lib....when I get time

it will be finished and it will offer a much better and more efficient use of the system.

 

How do you know nobody has made use of them. What counts as "use" in your opinion? Maybe nobody has released a clone of them, but that doesn't mean they haven't been useful.

 

Show me one example. Clone or otherwise. Outside of doom which a few people have actually had use of, it

aint happening.

 

Years ago I learnt how BSP trees work by reading the Doom source. I'd read maybe a dozen tutorials before and none of them made any sense, until I saw the code and walked through it in my head. Different things are useful to different people.

 

I think you mean that is how you 'learned' how BSP trees work. That is very different than just using the code and never

actually learning anything about the actual functionality of a BSP system. VERY different than cloning code.

 

Again learning something by using something else as a guide is one thing and that is how everyone learns anything.

Being a copy cat is hardly impressive. For novices, I have no problem with libs. For people that have claimed they

have coded for years, its almost inexcusable.

 

Even I have used the 3D renderer supplied by Atari, but even then we greatly optimized it(and it still sucks

performance wise.) This is why I am working on a ground up renderer. It is also why I have not release any of

my 3D apps. I want them to be optimal and effecient to the best of the Jaguar's ability. Im in no rush to

release anything if it means releasing garbage or for he sake of bragging rights or in hopes of amking others

look like they are doing nothing like some around have done.

Edited by Gorf
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Also we're ALL using pre-made libs. Everyone has to use the Atari supplied startup code if they have any hope of getting things to display right on more than their own TV, and the only people I know of who aren't using the sinister mod player for music are Reboot (who afaik ported one of their own mod players from the ST to the Jag)..

 

Please do not speak for everybody.

On this matter, Nick, you do NOT know what what everyone is doing - one thing you should remember though is that i am also not using the Sinister Mod player.

 

Having said that - i don't think a good set of libs to help newcomers to the jag dev scene is a bad thing.

Edited by Atari_Owl

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I think you mean that is how you 'learned' how BSP trees work.

No, I meant learnt. I'm English, therefore we spell things differently. Deal with it.

 

 

Please do not speak for everybody.

On this matter, Nick, you do NOT know what what everyone is doing - one thing you should remember though is that i am also not using the Sinister Mod player.

Sorry, I wasn't actually thinking of your project when I wrote that. Are you using fulsyn or did you write your own music system from scratch?

 

My point was not to tar everyone with the same brush, but point out that the brush in fact has paint on it, not tar. There should be more libs out there, and using them should not be anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

Imagine if a C++ coder on any other platform decided they were deliberately not going to use stdio, or were going to throw out the whole STL and re-implement basic functions themselves just for the hell of it. They'd be laughed at, whereas here things seem the other way round. Atari didn't supply much useful code, not even a malloc(), and the communities attitude towards libs confuses the hell out of me.

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Imagine if a C++ coder on any other platform decided they were deliberately not going to use stdio, or were going to throw out the whole STL and re-implement basic functions themselves just for the hell of it. They'd be laughed at, whereas here things seem the other way round.

 

Not in the embedded world. If I use printf on some of the micros I've worked with there is no space in the ROM for the application :lol:.

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Please do not speak for everybody.

On this matter, Nick, you do NOT know what what everyone is doing - one thing you should remember though is that i am also not using the Sinister Mod player.

Sorry, I wasn't actually thinking of your project when I wrote that. Are you using fulsyn or did you write your own music system from scratch?

 

My point was not to tar everyone with the same brush, but point out that the brush in fact has paint on it, not tar. There should be more libs out there, and using them should not be anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

Imagine if a C++ coder on any other platform decided they were deliberately not going to use stdio, or were going to throw out the whole STL and re-implement basic functions themselves just for the hell of it. They'd be laughed at, whereas here things seem the other way round. Atari didn't supply much useful code, not even a malloc(), and the communities attitude towards libs confuses the hell out of me.

 

Its from scratch - but its quite limited at the moment - to be honest its not my main priority so far.

In all honesty i probably would have used supplied code more if it had worked at the speeds and sizes i needed - my coding has been of necessity rather than simply wanting to do it.

 

In fact my initial attraction the the Jag was because i thought there was a usable Atari renderer i could use - unfortunately i didn't find the source code and it became clear from the 3djaz demo, quite early that the performance was inadequate, so i started from scratch. Many times since then i've had cause to question the wisdom of it all.

 

As i said though i agree that libs can help newcomers a lot and thereby not be a bad thing at all

Edited by Atari_Owl

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Imagine if a C++ coder on any other platform decided they were deliberately not going to use stdio, or were going to throw out the whole STL and re-implement basic functions themselves just for the hell of it. They'd be laughed at, whereas here things seem the other way round.

 

Not in the embedded world. If I use printf on some of the micros I've worked with there is no space in the ROM for the application :lol:.

Absolutely true, but the Jag is a little higher up the food chain. :cool:

 

I'd love a nice set of GPU OP routines. Too much reinventing of the wheel on the Jag.

 

Abstract away some of the arcane details and people will start writing more stuff. Although some of us can write assembly code, most people today have never seen it, and would be lost without object::method(foo). If you want a wider base of programmers, you need to step back a bit from the hardware. I think there's a big space between living solely on the 68K and Gorf-level knowledge of the RISCs. Some tools and libraries to exploit that space will bring more developers.

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Imagine if a C++ coder on any other platform decided they were deliberately not going to use stdio, or were going to throw out the whole STL and re-implement basic functions themselves just for the hell of it. They'd be laughed at, whereas here things seem the other way round.

 

Not in the embedded world. If I use printf on some of the micros I've worked with there is no space in the ROM for the application :lol:.

Absolutely true, but the Jag is a little higher up the food chain. :cool:

 

I'd love a nice set of GPU OP routines. Too much reinventing of the wheel on the Jag.

 

Abstract away some of the arcane details and people will start writing more stuff. Although some of us can write assembly code, most people today have never seen it, and would be lost without object::method(foo). If you want a wider base of programmers, you need to step back a bit from the hardware. I think there's a big space between living solely on the 68K and Gorf-level knowledge of the RISCs. Some tools and libraries to exploit that space will bring more developers.

 

 

I'd have written new tools if that was my bag....that is a science in its own right. I am a logic coder mostly.

I make the games think and act. I could probably do those other things but then I'd really never get anything

done trying to do it all....that is why teamwork helps. I have a team...they are slow...very slow but a team none

the less.

 

If you want these things so bad...write them...we had to from scratch and reading docs. Im no mega guru here.

I read, I write and I trial and error.

Edited by Gorf

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You did not need a Skunk board to develope. There are many cheap and simple ways. The fact is no one is writting any

Jag worthy games from the ground up. They are porting rehashes of ST games, and in some cases using pre made libs.

All fine and dandy but where's the beef? I too have a few simple games Im working on but Im looking to push the Jaguar

once I get my renderer finished. These things take time. Anyone can write simple games. Using the Jaguar's real power

in the GPU/DSP , Blitter and OPL need a lot of hard work and laborious debugging. The sources for several games were

released over a year ago now and not one person even made use of those. The Jaguar is not a cakewalk to code for if you

want to do something that truly takes advantage of the ability of the machine. They are being worked on by some of us

but we have lives and jobs and family to deal with. They will come and you will see them, Lord willing.

 

If not using a skunkboard, what method do you recommend for developing for the Jaguar? I can't seem to find a method that's readily availble and allows me to actually run my stuff on the Jaguar hardware. Everything appears to be unavailable. The Skunkboard and BJL bios seem to be the best options, but I can't get ahold of either one.

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