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philipj

MARIA GRAPHIC POWER

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I'm excited by the fact that the 7800 can do polygons.

 

I anticipate the day when we can play original games for the 7800 that were developed by people who actually care about the system, as opposed to the Tramiel era.

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I'm excited by the fact that the 7800 can do polygons.

 

I anticipate the day when we can play original games for the 7800 that were developed by people who actually care about the system, as opposed to the Tramiel era.

 

This is something I always admired about the 5200 community ... a desire to make the 5200 excel. Warner originally wanted the 7800 to excel, but when Jack T took over, he only wanted to make a fast buck and it shows in most games that were churned out by Tramiel Atari for the 7800. Make it quick, make it cheap.

 

It would be interesting to see people delve into the hardware to see what they can actually make the 7800 do. After seeing RESCUE ON FRACTALUS, I just want to see more.

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I played "Ballblazer" for the 7800 yesterday and just looking at that game I think 3D is very much possible for the 7800. That system handles Ballblazer like it aint nothing, yet some of these guys here make 3D engines for the 2600. It'll be very interesting to find out.

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hmmm... sad to hear that MESS is not helping in "hardcoding" while not emulating the CPU cycles exactly... this is what atari8bit coding helped a lot on PC when atari800win emulated nearly 99,9% the real machine...so everybody (me either) could go on coding on PC and just for final check test it on real hardware...

 

but knowing that MESS is not emulating CPU time exactly makes it hard to optimise your engine where every CPU cycle per frame counts...

 

but the 3D demo is outstanding... i was thinking about "MARIA" rendering some time ago as well... as MARIA is drawing lines "on the fly"...

 

so what about 1st do a 99% emulation in MESS???

 

just my 2 cents...

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I'd often thought about making a custom card for the 7800

because I got two 7800 systems; one to play on and another to

develope on in the event something was to happen either one. If there was a way for someone with a "Cuttle Cart 2" to use their

cart to help them accuratly emulate the 7800 that would be a real

big plus. I believe over time something will come about for the

7800 if developments like the 3D engine continues. I'm still

waiting on my "Krocodile Cart" so that I can learn how program

the "TIA" because if I get a Cuttle Cart now, the first I know what

I'm going to do is to jump right on the "Maria GPU" and from what I understand the 7800 is a lot harder to program then the 2600. If I can just get a handle on the "TIA" the "Maria" might not be so hard to program.

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If I can just get a handle on the "TIA" the "Maria" might not be so hard to program.

 

correct me if I'm wrong, but the TIA and the MARIA are very different designs as opposed to one being an "enhanced" version of the other.

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If I can just get a handle on the "TIA" the "Maria" might not be so hard to program.

 

As Drac says, the two GPUs are radically different. The TIA is a synchronous slave, while MARIA is an asynchronous master. However there is a surprising amount of 6502 knowledge which is common to both platforms (although there is greater emphasis on certain optimizations for the TIA).

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I have a question about the demo ROM. During running the ROM image, the demo locks up and this funky weird color pattern occurs. You can see what I'm talking about in the screenshot below.

 

Is this something intentional or is it just a bug? :?

 

Either way, it's interesting. :D

post-616-1104983938_thumb.png

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man this gives me visions of stunt car racer on the 7800 :-) (among other things,) I've always believed the 7800 was way ahead of it's time in terms of system power and I would happily spend $50-$60 on a modern 7800 cart that actually made use of the system. Since the poor thing only has a 2600 sound chip, make sure you get paul slocrums (sp) routines so you can at least have tolerable sound/music :-)

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I always thought it would be interesting to try and create a new SUPER CART for modern 7800 development. The new thing would:

 

* Have larger storage space (ie. 4 megabits of RAM)

* Employ a POKEY (better sound)

* Have additional ram (16K or 32K)

* A battery save (something never done in a 7800 game)

* Additional 6502 processor.

 

Regarding the last one, my naivety about engineering may be showing. However, when people have had a good look at MARIA and described the strengths and weakenesses of the system, the sense I always got was that MARIA was an extremely powerful and extremely flexible graphics chip that was humbled somewhat by the limitations of the 6502 processor. I've often wondered what the MARIA would be capable of doing if a second 6502 processor offloaded some of the 7800's workload to let MARIA really do her magic.

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For it to do any good, the second 6502 would have to have its own memory bus with its own RAM and ROM, or at least some kind of dual-port arbitration with on-cart RAM and ROM. The Maria doesn't slow the 6502 by stealing clock cycles, it slows the 6502 by stealing bus cycles. And depending on the way a game is written, the stolen bus cycles are as likely to come from cart ROM as from any RAM.

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I have a question about the demo ROM.  During running the ROM image, the demo locks up and this funky weird color pattern occurs.  You can see what I'm talking about in the screenshot below.

 

Is this something intentional or is it just a bug?   :?

 

Either way, it's interesting.   :D

 

Has anyone been able to get this running on a regular 7800?

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