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FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

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  1. 1. I would pay....

  2. 2. I Would Like Support for...

  3. 3. Games Should Run From...

    • SD Card / USB Memory Sticks
    • Original Cartridges
    • Hopes and Dreams
  4. 4. The Video Inteface Should be...



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I just realized that I basically stopped using the Mega Sg completely when I got my Nomad in January. Even in its stock configuration with its horrible screen and trash battery life while unplugged, it is still my favourite way to play Mega Genesis Drive games. I do still use the Mega Sg on rare occasion for CD games, though, as I'd rather have CD audio than no CD audio. Also for games that don't fit in the Nomad, like Mad Stalker.

 

In any case, one of my friends told me yesterday that he has been hearing reports of the new Nt mini corrupting the SD cards in Everdrives. Interesting. Hopefully my Nt mini actually ships before the end of the year, but even if it takes a few months, that's fine as long as it works properly when it gets here.

10 minutes ago, Kismet said:

2. There's a lot of visual artifacting that I don't recall being a thing on the vintage console either, let alone 1991. 

Overscan?

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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3 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I just realized that I basically stopped using the Mega Sg completely when I got my Nomad in January. Even in its stock configuration with its horrible screen and trash battery life while unplugged, it is still my favourite way to play Mega Genesis Drive games. I do still use the Mega Sg on rare occasion for CD games, though, as I'd rather have CD audio than no CD audio. Also for games that don't fit in the Nomad, like Mad Stalker.

 

In any case, one of my friends told me yesterday that he has been hearing reports of the new Nt mini corrupting the SD cards in Everdrives. Interesting. Hopefully my Nt mini actually ships before the end of the year, but even if it takes a few months, that's fine as long as it works properly when it gets here.

Overscan?

Not the overscan, that I expected. Like the moving platforms in 1-4. I'll have to check some other stuff, but it just kinda jumped out at me that I don't remember it that way.

 

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On 11/28/2020 at 7:46 PM, zetastrike said:

They're not supposed to look one way or the other.

That's not entirely true. There are many Genesis/MegaDrive games that were made with analog RF/Composite display technology and it's characteristics in mind, especially (but not limited to) transparency effects, with the water falls in Sonic 1 being a common example, but there are dozens of others that also used such effects that simply aren't going to be visible when viewed in a more raw digital form.

 

So yes, while appearance can be subjective, it can also be said that many of these games were meant to be viewed a certain way by design and the intent of the developers that made them, which is why these blending/dithering effects are often seen as being a more canonical appearance instead of what is directly coming out of the video processor.

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5 hours ago, Kismet said:

Not the overscan, that I expected. Like the moving platforms in 1-4. I'll have to check some other stuff, but it just kinda jumped out at me that I don't remember it that way.

 

Not sure what platforms you're talking about, as I've never played that game aside from the first level maybe 2 or 3 times and then instantly losing interest (someone's probably going to take a cheap shot at me for being a Sega type of dude, but whatever), but I'll take a look when I get my Nt mini... next year, at this rate. That game's on my list of games to play and it's fairly high priority, especially since everyone says it's better than its sequel (which I enjoy a whole lot) or its prequels, so I'm looking forward to trying it to find out why.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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8 hours ago, Kismet said:

Not the overscan, that I expected. Like the moving platforms in 1-4. I'll have to check some other stuff, but it just kinda jumped out at me that I don't remember it that way.

 

You may be seeing shimmering: it happens when each "game pixel" is scaled to several "screen pixels" using a "nearest neighbour" approach, instead of a linear filter.

I don't know if the Mini-whatever has that option. MegaSG and SuperNT sure have some kind of interpolation to avoid shimmering on modern screens.

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You may be seeing shimmering: it happens when each "game pixel" is scaled to several "screen pixels" using a "nearest neighbour" approach, instead of a linear filter.
I don't know if the Mini-whatever has that option. MegaSG and SuperNT sure have some kind of interpolation to avoid shimmering on modern screens.
It's probably just the NES' sprite limit he's talking about, which causes all sorts of flickering and artifacts like he describes. For example, the moving platforms in SMB3 1-4 glitch out when Mario is on the same line or when one platform falls past another. Entirely normal. Always been there. Nt Mini Noir may have an option to hide this by increasing the sprite limit but you couldn't do that on an original NES.

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On 11/29/2020 at 8:02 AM, zetastrike said:

It's also a fact that RGB cables that provided a sharp picture have been available for the MD from the time it was released and it was designed from the get go to utilize them.  Hell, in France RGB would have been the only way to display a MD on a TV, so their baseline of normal would be very different

A couple of things that should be mentioned.

 

While RGB was available, it was fairly uncommon in NA and JP markets. A lot of the developers, especially the bigger ones, were mainly targeting the Japanese and North American (read: US and Canada) markets (many of them were also based in those regions), so RF/composite was the display type that was targeted by most of them since they knew that's what most people at the time were using.

 

Europe had SCART at that time, yes, though most televisions also had RF and that was also used by a lot of people. I recall that not all televisions had a SCART connector,  so it wasn't something that even European developers at the time would have been able to fully rely on (especially in the 80s still), though from what I've seen, many games developed in Europe didn't rely as much on composite and RF blending tricks as those made for Japanese and American markets.

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On 11/28/2020 at 4:33 PM, vanfanel said:

Pixel blending *is* broken.

 

Did you even play a MegaDrive via RF or RCA back in the day? Did you? Really? I suspect you know MegaDrive from software emulation and just got a MegaSG.

 

Do you remember having "Sonic 1" or "SOR 2" or "Story Of Thor" having working transparency but horribly deformed fonts? Do you remember that? No you don't.

And do you know why you don't remember that?

Because it did not happen in original hardware.

The Pixel Blending algorithm is not broken per say, its just always going to be limited in terms of how accurate it can be given what is on screen.  The only other option for pixel blending Kevtris could implement is a standard blurring method, but you'll lose sharp pixels in the process. You can't have your cake and eat it too, its either sharp but flawed pixel blending or blurry blending.

Also, could you please tone down the aggressive attitude and the assumptions you are making about people please?  Its not needed. You are taking this stuff way too seriously for your own good. All you do is complain about what you don't like about Analogue consoles and make comparisons to other devices like MiSTer.  If you like the MiSTer Genesis core better then go play it.  Why come here to complain about features missing on Analogue consoles when you already have an alternative device that gives you what you want?

Edited by SegaSnatcher
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Were the scart connectors for the Mega Drive back then using RGB in Europe or were they just sending composite video through the connector?  Did anyone at the time even know there was a difference?  Was there an official Mega Drive scart cable?  I'd be curious how it was wired.

Edited by Toth

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On 11/29/2020 at 7:07 PM, vanfanel said:

Do you know who is already enjoying that feature on way a better, public FPGA core that also has SVP and MegaCD support? Me.

 

In fact, you are helping me a lot here, since ultimately I don't want any private cores anymore, and by keeping Analogue cores in an inferior state than then public ones, you are building a better future for us all (even if that means my Analogue machines will never come out of storage again: the good of the many outweighs the good of the few) :)

Then freaking stick to your MiSTer and be happy.   Kevtris has already made it clear in this very thread that he would prefer people not to bring up MiSTer and you are being disrespectful ignoring his wishes.  You clearly don't enjoy Analogue products anymore, given all you do is complain about them, so go enjoy your MiSTer and leave this thread to people who actually still enjoy Analogue products.  

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?do=findComment&comment=4320064

Notice you are the first one to reply to Kevtris's comment and that was over a freaking year ago.  So over a year all you've been doing here is complaining about Analogue consoles.  To me this is no longer comments from an unhappy user, but straight up trolling now. Time to move on buddy.

Edited by SegaSnatcher
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On 12/1/2020 at 5:15 PM, SegaSnatcher said:

Then freaking stick to your MiSTer and be happy.   Kevtris has already made it clear in this very thread that he would prefer people not to bring up MiSTer and you are being disrespectful ignoring his wishes.  You clearly don't enjoy Analogue products anymore, given all you do is complain about them, so go enjoy your MiSTer and leave this thread to people who actually still enjoy Analogue products.  

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?do=findComment&comment=4320064

Notice you are the first one to reply to Kevtris's comment and that was over a freaking year ago.  So over a year all you've been doing here is complaining about Analogue consoles.  To me this is no longer comments from an unhappy user, but straight up trolling now. Time to move on buddy.

It's awesome to see how the consumer minds work in certain parts of the world.

Instead of joining me for bugfixes or features in a product that advertises accuracy and does NOT deliver it, you join the interests of Analogue, a company that releases new products while leaving previous ones with bugs.

 

That's why opensource solutions are destroying the private FPGA busines. You help my goal with every step :) Go on like this!

Edited by vanfanel

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It's awesome to see how the consumer minds work in certain parts of the world.
Instead of joining me for bugfixes or features in a product that advertises accuracy and does NOT deliver it, you join the interests of Analogue, a company that releases new products while leaving previous ones with bugs.
 
That's why opensource solutions are destroying the private FPGA busines. You help my goal with every step Go on like this!

So, it's not accurate because the digital output doesn't simulate composite blending from the original's analog output? Combine Mega Sg with the Analogue DAC and a composite cable to get exactly what you want. How's that for "accuracy?"

You want jailbars to go with that? ;) I jest but I, too, want to see non-selective blending on the digital output but you should be able to get that just by moving the slider all the way.

We all know and accept that FW development understandably stalls between product cycles as they focus on the next product and that they usually revisit the previous product shortly after the next one launches. Knowing this, it's too early to act like they have abandoned it prematurely.
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24 minutes ago, CZroe said:

You want jailbars to go with that? ;) I jest but I, too, want to see non-selective blending on the digital output but you should be able to get that just by moving the slider all the way.

Precisely that is the problem: moving the slider all the way does NOT do non-selective blending. Thats's what it *should* do.

Does it work like that for you?

Maybe there's some language barrier here and I am not understanding you well.

Edited by vanfanel

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1 hour ago, vanfanel said:

It's awesome to see how the consumer minds work in certain parts of the world.

Instead of joining me for bugfixes or features in a product that advertises accuracy and does NOT deliver it, you join the interests of Analogue, a company that releases new products while leaving previous ones with bugs.

 

That's why opensource solutions are destroying the private FPGA busines. You help my goal with every step :) Go on like this!

Yeah, I'm sure Analogue is shaking in their boots after Noir preorders sold out, after Pocket Preorders Sold out and when Duo preorders sell out, but you keep fighting that battle brother......... 

 

The fact is Kevtris is quite aware of all the outstanding bugs, but for a long time he was the only engineer at Analogue and with his limited time he could only do so much before having to start on the next project.  Its not like he's happy that all these bugs still exist, he would love to fix them, but he was constrained by time.  Hopefully with all the new engineers being hired this will get better.  The point is, you are wasting breath by constantly whining about how Analogue products have been a disappointment to you.  Again, its been over a year now, why are you still here when you clearly found an alternative that makes you happier?  Go take your thoughts to the MiSTer thread if you want to talk about open source projects.

Funny, you speak so highly about MiSTer, but you never once posted in that MiSTer thread here at AA.  10 pages worth of comments in that thread and you haven't commented once, but instead come into this thread and talk about it.  Do you not see how this comes off as you just being a troll?  I don't use that word lightly because I feel a lot of people these days use that label so loosely, but the evidence is pretty clear with you.

 

Edited by SegaSnatcher
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If we are pointing out issues that need resolved still though, I will mention one that still kinda blows my mind. Scanlines, at least the last time I checked (I've not fooled around with my Noir yet because FedEx held it for nearly a week before finally delivering it last Friday, and I was gone that weekend and busy with other things) are still not in an acceptable place. To me this is the biggest issue because it is something that you think would be a big priority since it is something that can be applied across their entire product line. 

 

And on a side note regarding scanlines....is it possible (in theory) for them to be applied when games scroll vertically? For instance, I like to play a lot of Mega Man titles and when you jump down into a new area for instance, the screen scrolls vertically and the effect is lost. It really kinda ruins the effect for me in general, yet I do like scanlines better than no scanlines. If I recall, MiSTer's scanlines do the same thing, so maybe it's just a limitation on what is possible.

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Also, since Kev doesn't seem to bother with this thread much if at all anymore, I'm wondering if there have been any updates on Discord that anyone could share? For instance, with the original Mini, the GB and GBC cores were not in a very good state. I can recall specifically the Mega Man X games for GBC were badly broken. Is there any news of whether the GB and GBC cores on the Noir have been updated given the work that has gone on with the Pocket? Or any of the other cores for that matter? Has any of the work that was done when the Mini was revisited with the Noir led to any uh huh moments or fixes/enhancements to any other cores? 

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1 minute ago, jamon1567 said:

Also, since Kev doesn't seem to bother with this thread much if at all anymore, I'm wondering if there have been any updates on Discord that anyone could share? For instance, with the original Mini, the GB and GBC cores were not in a very good state. I can recall specifically the Mega Man X games for GBC were badly broken. Is there any news of whether the GB and GBC cores on the Noir have been updated given the work that has gone on with the Pocket? Or any of the other cores for that matter? Has any of the work that was done when the Mini was revisited with the Noir led to any uh huh moments or fixes/enhancements to any other cores? 

GB cores were improved.   The core can now play Pinball Fantasies.  

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58 minutes ago, vanfanel said:

Precisely that is the problem: moving the slider all the way does NOT do non-selective blending. Thats's what it *should* do.

Does it work like that for you?

Maybe there's some language barrier here and I am not understanding you well.

I don't know. I see no huge differences in the clouds at the beginning of Crusader of Centy using Mister's "Composite Blend - Adaptive" setting vs. the Mega SG's dither blending slider. They both display it great!

 

Thing is you may have a valid point about the differences, but your snark just makes everyone roll their eyes. You know what the Mega SG+DAC does that the Mister doesn't do very easily? 1) Plug in an actual Crusader of Centy cart and 2) play it on a consumer CRT over composite, where all your pixel things and scanlines are blended exactly as it was back in the day. :)  And what? They're just different hardware solutions.  Kev will never look at MiSter code by the way so you're barking up the wrong tree asking him to clone it. 

 

On 11/29/2020 at 9:07 PM, vanfanel said:

Do you know who is already enjoying that feature on way a better, public FPGA core that also has SVP and MegaCD support? Me.

lol I'm not sure who you think you're talking to generally on these forums..  a friggin retro gaming forum full of 30-50 year olds who are more interested in 70s/80s/90s video games than most. As someone who bought a Genesis at launch these are just some of the options available to me on a whim now to play friggin Sonic the Hedgehog. Are you going to spend a year telling us that my poor Atgames consoles suck?(they do :lol: ). Again the question is.. "And what?"  :P

1961976584_2020-12-0211_57_24.thumb.jpg.5ed028b9a4e798baf3f6add4ef4fb09d.jpg

  I say play your MiSter then until the Mega SG is the way you want it. That's what I'd do. :)

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3 minutes ago, NE146 said:

You know what the Mega SG+DAC does that the Mister doesn't do very easily? 1) Plug in an actual Crusader of Centy cart and 2) play it on a consumer CRT over composite

I will say that using composite with the DAC is not a great experience. Kev seems to have perfectly replicated a very bad Model 1 Genesis composite output (which, respect, but not really what I was looking for) in the sense that there is a lot of rainbow banding or whatever you call it. Unless this was revisited, it's not a great way to play.

Edited by jamon1567

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If we are pointing out issues that need resolved still though, I will mention one that still kinda blows my mind. Scanlines, at least the last time I checked (I've not fooled around with my Noir yet because FedEx held it for nearly a week before finally delivering it last Friday, and I was gone that weekend and busy with other things) are still not in an acceptable place. To me this is the biggest issue because it is something that you think would be a big priority since it is something that can be applied across their entire product line. 
 
And on a side note regarding scanlines....is it possible (in theory) for them to be applied when games scroll vertically? For instance, I like to play a lot of Mega Man titles and when you jump down into a new area for instance, the screen scrolls vertically and the effect is lost. It really kinda ruins the effect for me in general, yet I do like scanlines better than no scanlines. If I recall, MiSTer's scanlines do the same thing, so maybe it's just a limitation on what is possible.


I recall that he had the math wrong for scanlines at any resolution other than 720p, and since native 720p displays functionally don't exist, it's almost impossible to have a true integer scale with proper scanlines. Not sure if one of the later updates fixed it so I need to go back and look.

Not sure what you are saying about vertical scrolling with scanlines. The issue I recall was that the lines would bisect/split pixels that have been scaled up. That might make for some funny artifacts with vertical scrolling as rows of pixels expand and contract when scrolling past lines that are supposed to land between them, but the dark lines themselves should not scroll.

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3 minutes ago, CZroe said:

Not sure what you are saying about vertical scrolling with scanlines. The issue I recall was that the lines would bisect/split pixels that have been scaled up. That might make for some funny artifacts with vertical scrolling as rows of pixels expand and contract when scrolling past lines that are supposed to land between them, but the dark lines themselves should not scroll.

 

If the entire screen scrolls up or down (like dropping into another screen on Mega Man, or flying up in Mario 3...you may be able to use the vertical scroll test in 240p test suite to replicate it as well, but I don't recall trying it) the scanlines disappear while that transition is occurring. I know all the Analogue implementations do, and I'm pretty sure MiSTers does as well, so it may just be a limitation to what can be done.

Edited by jamon1567

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8 minutes ago, CZroe said:

I recall that he had the math wrong for scanlines at any resolution other than 720p, and since native 720p displays functionally don't exist, it's almost impossible to have a true integer scale with proper scanlines. Not sure if one of the later updates fixed it so I need to go back and look.

Not sure what you are saying about vertical scrolling with scanlines. The issue I recall was that the lines would bisect/split pixels that have been scaled up. That might make for some funny artifacts with vertical scrolling as rows of pixels expand and contract when scrolling past lines that are supposed to land between them, but the dark lines themselves should not scroll.

 

1280 * 3 = 3840

720 * 3 = 2160

 

Can't do it with a 1080p display, but a 4K display should be able to integer scale 720p just fine. At least on mine, the input lag is the same for 720p and 1080p, so I just run at 720p.

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2 minutes ago, Kaide said:

1280 * 3 = 3840

720 * 3 = 2160

 

Can't do it with a 1080p display, but a 4K display should be able to integer scale 720p just fine. At least on mine, the input lag is the same for 720p and 1080p, so I just run at 720p.

I thought when he revisited scanlines some time back that he broke what was working pretty well on 720p? I may be misremembering, but regardless, this is one area where MiSTer def has a better implementation (at 1080p no less) and I would really like to have that for the Analogue consoles. Seems to me like it should be a priority item.

Edited by jamon1567

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