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retroclouds

MSX1 TMS9918 madness - Freedom fighters

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This morning I stumbled on the MSX DEV 20 game competition. Quality of entries is (very) high most of the time.

Although not TI-99/4a related, I’m listing one MSX1 entry because of its TMS9918 graphics madness. 

Bullet hell and smooth scrolling on the 9918 with huge bosses.

 

 

 

 

 

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If you didn't tell me, I would never have guessed a TMS9918. It would also be neat to know the output device they used to get such clear video.

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I wonder if these games are developed by a single person or the MSX community is big enough to put together teams of programmers, graphic artists and music composers?

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1 hour ago, Asmusr said:

I wonder if these games are developed by a single person or the MSX community is big enough to put together teams of programmers, graphic artists and music composers?

Mainly alone coders who do everything but there are some exceptions

This is a work team of 3 people

https://www.msx.org/news/challenges/en/msxdev’20-11-relevo’s-snowboarding

 

you can try it here

https://www.file-hunter.com/MSXdev/index.php?id=snowboarding

It is an accurate and philological study on Konami games in'80 

 

Edited by artrag

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4 hours ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

Is the MSX1 vdp and memory configured the same way as the TI?   Or in other words, are their hardware and/or performance differences that make games like this 'easier' to create and program with the 9918?

The vdp is tied to the z80 i/o ports and has its 16KB of VRAM, the z80 has a separate RAM of 16KB or 32KB (or 64KB) according to the msx1 model

Plain game ROMS can be up to 48KB (actually up to 64KB but it is non very standard )

Using rom mappers, you can get up to 512KB of rom, but there are many mappers and some can be larger 

 

 

Edited by artrag
typos

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Looking into the MAME emulation of the MSX computers, I found that there is an abundance of variants from different manufacturers:

 

Al-Alamiah

Canon

Casio

Daewoo

Eurohard S.A.

Fenner

Frael

Fujitsu

Goldstar

Gradiente

Hitachi

JVC

Mitsubishi

National / Matsushita

Olympia

Panasonic

Perfect

Philips

Pioneer

Samsung

Sanyo

Sharp / Epcom

Sony

Spectravideo

Talent

Toshiba

Victor

Yamaha

Yashica

Yeno

 

(and that's just for the MSX1-clones)

 

 

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^^ Yes, that was the idea with MSX, to become a standard for home computers similar how the IBM PC was to become a standard for personal computers. Obviously the majority of those manufacturers would never have entered the computer business if there was not a standard to attach to.

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This gives me some appetite to take a peek at the MSX systems in MAME; if there is some interest I could upload the required ROMs to our WHTech server.

 

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10 hours ago, artrag said:

The vdp is tied to the z80 i/o ports and has its 16KB of VRAM, the z80 has a separate RAM of 16KB or 32KB (or 64KB) according to the msx1 model

Plain game ROMS can be up to 48KB (actually up to 64KB but it is non very standard )

This is essentially the same setup as in the Coleco Adam computer which has 64k of RAM on top of the 16k VDP RAM. I was actually able to add graphics capabilities to Turbo Pascal 3 under CP/M on the Adam using that setup and embedding z80 assembly code into graphic modules. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Asmusr said:

I wonder if these games are developed by a single person or the MSX community is big enough to put together teams of programmers, graphic artists and music composers?

I don't know about these msxdev entries, but I know many of the new homebrew being released on cartridge for the MSX are from small teams with diverse skills as you describe. 

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21 hours ago, mizapf said:

This gives me some appetite to take a peek at the MSX systems in MAME; if there is some interest I could upload the required ROMs to our WHTech server.

Are there any preferences for a particular MSX1 (and/or MSX2) system?

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The MSX architecture has definite advantages over the TI, especially where memory is concerned. Plus the sound chip is slightly better. (4x more range so you get two extra octaves)

 

It's not impossible to write such games on the TI, if you use a SAMS card to overcome the memory limitations.

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