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Upcoming Jaguar Game Drive Cartridge

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1 hour ago, phoboz said:

Have you ever heard about the SkunkBoard, it has been around for years?

I agree with that in some regard as the Skunkboard gave access to all these cool files to check even to the non-technical folks like me. So the old dream of owning an alpine or a flashcard to check alphas and betas and such came through somehow.

But still you had to flash the roms one at a time, it took some time, the Jaguar had to be connected to a computer, at least on mine (until I got Matthias SD adapter and loader proto), you could not save games and so on.

The Game Drive improved on all this in a very significant way. It's faster, you can have all the roms on it, it saves your games... And hopefully soon it will also allow for the CD's and my main motivation for it, the VLM without the need to use the CD-ROM.

 

So I see this as an enormous improvement in all aspects and practicability over the Skunk's similar but much more basic functionality.

 

Not to take anything away from the Skunk because I really was impressed and happy for that solution for a long time.

With the GD I see myself playing the games, where I merely "tried stuff out" on the Skunk Board.

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1 hour ago, PeterG said:

still you had to flash the roms one at a time, it took some time, the Jaguar had to be connected to a computer

As a game developer this is exactly what I want, because I do some changes to the game, and then have to try the new version.

If I were to do that this with an SD-card, it would be very annoying to remove the SD-card from the device, put in my computer, upload the file, and then have to put it back in the device. With the SkunkBoard, I just transfer every new build directly using the USB-cable.

 

I addition the SkunkBoard has debug features over the USB interface, so you can actually communicate back to your computer while the program runs. So from my point of view, and USB port is more flexible than an SD-card.

 

For the Vectrex there is something called the VecFever, this has an built in drive, plus an USB interface. So you can transfer files to it using the USB cable, and you can also have it communicate with your computer as the SkunkBoard. In addition, the built in drive ensures full compatibility, as compared to an external SD-card, which might not be fully compatible for all games.

Edited by phoboz

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1 hour ago, phoboz said:

As a game developer this is exactly what I want, because I do some changes to the game, and then have to try the new version.

If I were to do that this with an SD-card, it would be very annoying to remove the SD-card from the device, put in my computer, upload the file, and then have to put it back in the device. With the SkunkBoard, I just transfer every new build directly using the USB-cable.

 

I addition the SkunkBoard has debug features over the USB interface, so you can actually communicate back to your computer while the program runs. So from my point of view, and USB port is more flexible than an SD-card.

 

For the Vectrex there is something called the VecFever, this has an built in drive, plus an USB interface. So you can transfer files to it using the USB cable, and you can also have it communicate with your computer as the SkunkBoard. In addition, the built in drive ensures full compatibility, as compared to an external SD-card, which might not be fully compatible for all games.

I see well, that of course is s a different perspective.

 

What about the mini-usb port on the Game Drive? Doesn't that provide connectivity to the computer?

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21 hours ago, phoenixdownita said:

Baldies : exclusive but boring 

I've got it on the PS1 and I'm pretty sure there was a version on the Saturn. So not an exclusive at least. But yeah pretty boring tho!

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I'm hyped for it, game quality good or bad, I like preserving the history. I also have an affinity for bad games, have a couple CDI units for example. And the limited production adapter for the Mega SD that lets you load the six 32x CD games which are all FMV crap. I love it.

I've never played any Jag CD games and am excited to see new stuff, good or bad!

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7 minutes ago, Hastor said:

I've never played any Jag CD games and am excited to see new stuff, good or bad!

Ah cool, you'll be fine :)

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15 hours ago, phoboz said:

Have you ever heard about the SkunkBoard, it has been around for years?

I have, and not the same, and keep in mind I made my own 7800 multi-carts (with dip-switches) and my own GX4000 multicart (also dip-switches + changeable EPROM). Many systems actually had small flashable solutions via PC available to them but it is SD carts that were game changers to a whole lot of people (Krikkz Everdrive line being a very nice case in point, but not the only).

 

I am sure that the SkunkBoard enabled Jag homebrews and if it wasn't for that we wouldn't have the recent homebrews/ports.

 

The JagCD support itself is a nice addition to the GameDrive for completionism sake, and a testament to SainT work and dedication, I hope me and you can agree on that.

 

For the rest I can understand you want to experience those games and buying a JagCD unit is unreasonably expensive these days, and with the GameDrive there's a solid chance so far that you'll be able to endure play those too, and hope me and you can agree on that too.

 

Tieing the value of the GameDrive only to the JagCD support itself is imho silly, but to each its own.

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6 hours ago, phoenixdownita said:

Tieing the value of the GameDrive only to the JagCD support itself is imho silly, but to each its own.

No I am not, but without bringing something new to scene (like optical drive emulation) it is a little bit hard for me to consider it a game changer.

 

Although I hope that it will motivate more people to start developing new games for the Jaguar, otherwise you will just sit and play the same old games, year after year...

Regardless if you play them (or people deveop them) using an Emulator, the SkunkBoard, Gamedrive, or whatever comes next, it's the games that makes a system interesting. Then you may buy them on cartridge, or use backup copies of them (hopefully only for the games you own, or from games that are freely available) It doesn't matter to me, as long as you enjoy the games.

Edited by phoboz

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10 minutes ago, phoboz said:

No I am not, but without bringing something new to scene (like optical drive emulation) it is a little bit hard for me to consider it a game changer.

 

Although I hope that it will motivate more people to start developing new games for the Jaguar, otherwise you will just sit and play the same old games, year after year...

Regardless if you play them (or people deveop them) using an Emulator, the SkunkBoard, Gamedrive, or whatever comes next, it's the games that makes a system interesting. Then you may buy them on cartridge, or use backup copies of them (hopefully only for the games you own, or from games that are freely available) It doesn't matter to me, as long as you enjoy the games.

Uploading a 4mb ROM via USB to the Game drive takes roughly 8 seconds vs something like 45+ for a Skunk*. For developers, the Game drive allows much faster iterations when you get to the stage of uploading a ROM each build.

 

* Times taken from rough mental note, I didn't time it as not at computer right now.

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36 minutes ago, Sporadic said:

Uploading a 4mb ROM via USB to the Game drive takes roughly 8 seconds vs something like 45+ for a Skunk*. For developers, the Game drive allows much faster iterations when you get to the stage of uploading a ROM each build.

 

* Times taken from rough mental note, I didn't time it as not at computer right now.

Yes I am also interested in this topic as a deveoper, and when the Gamedrive becomes widely available, at an affordable price I might get one myself?

(so it's not only about CD-ROM support)

 

Also it is interesting for me to know if there will be a market for digital purchases (of my games) in the future?

 

However, currently I am a little bit concerned that if I start selling my games as digital downloads, they might be shared very easily with persons who didn't buy my games?

Edited by phoboz

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44 minutes ago, phoboz said:

However, currently I am a little bit concerned that if I start selling my games as digital downloads, they might be shared very easily with persons who didn't buy my games?

There is potential to lock running of games to specific carts, it's something I may look into if there is enough demand.

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18 hours ago, phoboz said:

.... hopefully only for the games you own ....

... I wouldn't need an SD cart for that ... would I?

 

For the Jag I did purchase Orion Alice Mom's Rescue CD edition, and I do own 20-25 of the OG carts (for the time being) but this second part is because the GameDrive wasn't a thing when I started with the Jag.

 

I am not pirating homebrew, so unless "teh ROMZ" pack-edition already includes them I don't have a copy, for the ones that I may have in "teh pack" I don't think I loaded them at all (at least not yet for the Jag given I just got the GameDrive).

If I like an homebrew enough to pay the asking price I will purchase it, if not I can just not play it, but I will take a look if I have the time, that's one of the best things of an SD cart, I can finally playtest to my heart's content.
Wrt the Jag OG library I don't really feel bad, I know I bought those 20-25 because I could not really because I cared, luckily for me most of them were on the cheap, just a couple set me back more than the when-new price and in the end I don't think I should have bought them as I ended up not playing them much (Atari Kart and Rayman I am looking at you, just not fun for me, however Rayman does look gorgeous on the system).

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On 4/5/2021 at 8:28 AM, SainT said:

There is potential to lock running of games to specific carts, it's something I may look into if there is enough demand.

You know, this is just my personal opinion and probably not even worth the traditional two cents, but I think I'd rather not see a game released at all than to see DRM schemes slip into the back door of retro gaming.  (Yes, I know the JagGD already uses DRM for its firmware to stymie hardware counterfeiters, but in my opinion this is very different.) From a technical standpoint it's actually kind of cool that you can do that (lock a ROM to a cart), but it also means that if my JagGD gets stolen or ruined in a flood and I replace it then I either can't play that game anymore or I have to jump through hoops to re-authorize it.  In short it diminishes the authority of my ownership and the ability to actually own games is a large part of why I'm so enthusiastic about retro gaming.


I _may_ be in the minority in that I eagerly pay people doing active development for their work even if the ROM is freely available, but I think it's more likely that a majority of people in this community are aware and respectful of the fact that retro development takes time and hard work and if those things are not rewarded people will stop developing.

 

For the developers I get that it's scary to give up control and trust people because some people are absolutely going to betray that trust and play your game without paying you, but many more people are going to keep that trust and reward you for your work.  You can still recoup your investment and make money even if you don't assume your customers only pay because you use technological barriers to force them to. There are plenty of examples of this out there - GOG being a great one.  Here's an idea: decide what you need to make from a title and set up a crowdfunding campaign to release the ROM. It's not perfect but with a little creativity I'm confident there IS a way for everyone to get what they want that doesn't require adding in DRM. 

 

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On 4/5/2021 at 1:43 PM, phoboz said:

Yes I am also interested in this topic as a deveoper, and when the Gamedrive becomes widely available, at an affordable price I might get one myself?

(so it's not only about CD-ROM support)

 

Also it is interesting for me to know if there will be a market for digital purchases (of my games) in the future?

 

However, currently I am a little bit concerned that if I start selling my games as digital downloads, they might be shared very easily with persons who didn't buy my games?

Eh, I don't want to distract from the thread too much but I'll try and link it back in. Seeing the videos of your games in development, I think there is still a strong worth in keeping physical, for more "casual" developers making short play games, a form of digital support for downloads which we can then put on a cart like the GD is more favourable. As gamers we are all in different places, in 2020 I decided I'm more up for paying for new games on old consoles than I am paying stupid prices for old games on old consoles. 

 

Yes the skunk board exists, but some of us prefer the less intimidating devices that is more plug and play and might have additional features we might play around with. On that note, hyped for the hopeful update next week! Like hastor, I have an appreciation for any games... No matter the system, no matter the playability... No matter the quality...! 

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@samson7point1   well if your system gets destroyed in a flood you'll have to replace the entire GD anyway. Would you demand retroHQ send you a replacement free of charge or just the cost of the physical media because you already paid for the first one? 

I love WTR and my CD got stepped on. I don't feel it's my right to demand another free copy. I should have taken better care of the situation. And in the unlikely event of what you're talking about well your risks are even less. 

Edited by JagChris

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2 hours ago, JagChris said:

@samson7point1   well if your system gets destroyed in a flood you'll have to replace the entire GD anyway. Would you demand retroHQ send you a replacement free of charge or just the cost of the physical media because you already paid for the first one? 

I love WTR and my CD got stepped on. I don't feel it's my right to demand another free copy. I should have taken better care of the situation. And in the unlikely event of what you're talking about well your risks are even less. 

I'm sincerely not sure what point you're trying to make.  Are you suggesting that you don't think it's reasonable for me to be able to re-download the same piece of digitally delivered software without having to pay for it a second time?

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5 hours ago, samson7point1 said:

if my JagGD gets stolen or ruined in a flood and I replace it then I either can't play that game anymore or I have to jump through hoops to re-authorize it.

I'm not a fan of DRM, but this situation is a pretty rare occurrence. And I think most homebrew developers would send you a "replacement" download for free if you showed them some proof your JagGD got stolen or damaged.

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15 hours ago, samson7point1 said:

I'm sincerely not sure what point you're trying to make.  Are you suggesting that you don't think it's reasonable for me to be able to re-download the same piece of digitally delivered software without having to pay for it a second time?

The software industry has already addressed this issue.  When you purchase a digital copy of something you have a "timeframe" to download that title(30 - 90 days).  Once the timeframe expires you need to purchase another copy should you lose your digital copy.  Of course they offer "insurance" which allows you to download a replacement copy forever, but its not included in the base price these days.

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14 hours ago, Zerosquare said:

I think most homebrew developers would send you a "replacement" download for free if you showed them some proof your JagGD got stolen or damaged.

That's true as long as they're around. My primary gripe with DRM is from a preservation point of view. If there was a way to release the DRM automatically when the copyright lapsed or the software became abandonware, I'd be ok with these setups. Most people probably mean well, but companies go out of business and hobby developers move on to new hobbies, and have no legal obligation to keep these types of "purchases" working.

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Just witnessed another thread about the GD and the lable variation from another store. What is the story behind having two different lables? Just curious.

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Not much of a story, Stone Age Gamer always rebrand carts in their own style given the option.

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