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Messages - gameblabla

31
I thought i would make a list of video game consoles that can be emulated with common hardware, without requiring any extra dumping work other than the games themselves.
Here's the list of consoles that can be emulated without a BIOS copy, with simply a CD/DVD drive.

Sony Playstation 1 (with HLE bios emulation. psx4all, epsxe, pcsx-remarmed and its derivatives... all have this option. Limited Compatibility)
Sega Saturn (Yabause forks have an HLE bios emulation option. Limited Compatibility)
Sony Playstation 2 (Play! is the only PS2 emulator with HLE bios emulation. Very early stages though unfortunately)

These consoles can be emulated without a copy of the BIOS but have very poor emulators.

NUON (Nuance's author died and the emulator is Windows only. Source code was made available but copyright status is unclear)
Jaguar CD (Project Tempest can run homebrew games and some commercial games. Windows only and proprietary)
PC-FX (Only with Magic Engine FX and Windows only, also paid. Mednafen requires a copy of the BIOS.)

Only works under some instances but HLE bios emulation is still available.

Libretro's redream fork (HLE bios is mostly compatible with games except BBA ones)

Can be dumped without any special trickery but no emulators are available

Playdia
Tandy Video Information System (Windows based ?)
Bandai Pippin (would probably require a copy of System 7.6 anyway)
Mattel Hyperscan
V.Smile Pro

Can be dumped easily but requires a copy of the BIOS

3DO (requires a copy of one of the models. No work towards HLE bios)
Amiga CD32/CDTV (requires a copy of the kickstart. An open source one is available but cannot boot CD games from what i gather)
Neo Geo CD (All emulators for it requires a copy of the neo geo bios in addition to the CD one)
Sega CD (requires a copy of the BIOS. In addition, it is also region locked)
PC Engine CD (requires copy of the syscards. Game Express made their own but it is still proprietary)
Philips CD-i (requires copy of the BIOS)

No copy of the BIOS required but can be painful to dump

Gamecube/Wii (some drives can dump those games but most can't. An original console is best)
Sony PSP (no UMD drives in the wild. Requires a CFW and a PSP to dump those games. Digital only games however requires no such things and PPSSPP can run them happily)
Xbox original/360 (Requires either a hacked drive or the original console)

Cartridge consoles
GB/GBC/GBA (Requires a Retrode)
NES/SNES/N64/Virtual Boy (Requires a Retrode)
Master System/Megadrive (Requires a Retrode)
Atari 2600/5200/7800 (Requires retrode)

Requires BIOS/firmware and a special drive or console
Sony PS3 (Can only be dumped with some drives. Tools are proprietary. Firmware is copyright Sony)
32
Consoles / Super Quartet - Philips CD-i homebrew game
December 11, 2018, 07:44:32 PM


Here's a port of Killminds, Super Quartet, for the Philips CD-i.This is based upon Frog Feast's source code release by cdoty and plays similarly to the 3DO port.

It's a puzzling game  where you must act as quickly as possible to fill one of the 4 slots with a piece of a square given to you.


I've played it on my own CD-i 220 and recorded it here :


There's no sound effects yet because i still have to figure out the CDi... It's not an easy platform.But you can download the game as it is here :
https://gameblabla.nl/files/cdi/Super_Quartet_CDI.zip

Burn it with Imgburn on a blank CD-R. Do it so on a Gold or Silver CD-R preferably.
I would like to thank Cdifan for his assistance and giving me the source code to frog feast.
33
Consoles / Re: Hardest platforms to program/work for ?
December 06, 2018, 06:11:56 PM
Quote from: Juju on November 22, 2018, 05:00:51 AM
Also I hope you guys will not have to deal directly with the Win32 API in straight, unmanaged C/C++. Kinda forgot about that, been years I haven't touched it, but I remember it was kinda weird. At least, it made .NET look like a walk in the park.
Win32 rofl. But don't give Microsoft more reasons to push UWP down our throats D:
QuotePlayStation 2

My take on this is somewhat atypical because I once tried to port back NetBSD to it, so I did not care about all the insane Sony proprietary bits. Turns out the CPU is one of the most insane things about it : from what I can recall, it's a MIPS-III with most MIPS-IV instructions, a couple of MIPS-V instructions, 128 bits registers, 64 bits virtual addresses like MIPS64, 32 bits physical addresses like MIPS32, FPU units almost but not quite IEEE 754-compliant and a 64 byte cache line.

WHY?! :banghead:

It's technically a MIPS CPU, but that's the weirdest MIPS ever made by far. It's like they've decided to make a hybrid of five different MIPS ISA because they could and piled on more insanity on top of it...

I haven't even talked about things a general-purpose UNIX-like OS does not care about, but the heterogeneous computing with the PS1 CPU bolted-on (or the PowerPC core on later models) on the bus would've yielded even more insanity to exploit.
Ah, interesting. I've heard a lot of talk about the GS processor on the PS2 but not a hell lot about the CPU. I guess most people assumed it was just a boring old MIPS cpu. I mean in theory it should be possible to tell GCC to target some of the CPU's features right ? (or even create a new target but i think you guys went with the safe route C:)
QuoteHP Prime G1

It's not hard because of the hardware (it's fairly standard), but the firmware' OS is quite odd from what I've heard (early versions actually relied on the RAM mirroring to boot, which screams sloppy programming to me), the flashing protocol is proprietary and the utilities are Windows-only, the calculator will be bricked if the beginning of the NAND gets corrupted or overwritten and the touch chip is proprietary. That makes for a very, very frustrating platform to work on for homebrews.

Hopefully the G2 will not be such a pain in the ass to work with
Isn't  the G2 going to be more locked down though ? It's a shame that neither the Linux or NetBSD ports went anywhere.But touchscreen isn't that important on a calculator one could argue.

I saw some articles about Fushia but it's as early stages as Haiku OS it seems. At least they got rid of Java it seems.I don't really care for the microkernel design but as long as it is POSIX compliant and performs decently, it's all good.But then again, it might end up like Tizen and stay on smartwatches and all. (which kind of died because the license was not truly open source among other things)

Also, i think i should add the Philips CD-i to my list as well... Seriously, it's terrible to work with and the whole design is flawed.

The good thing is that it does support lots of colors on screen compared to other platforms at the time (like the SNES or Megadrive).

The bad things is that you must go through the OS's calls to do your work.
I mean, when you play a sound effect, do you expect it to be delayed by 4 seconds the next time you play it ?
It's not even consistent, it's completely random.

Philips came up with "libraries" (like Balboa) to somehow help developers... except said libraries is unnecessarily even complex than just using the OS's calls !

Also, everything has to be software rendered. The advantage is that it does make it more flexible, kind of like DOS PCs at the time.The bad thing is the CD-i's main CPU is too slow to deal with the load, forcing devs to rely on compiled sprites.
But it does have a CLUT 128 colors mode in which you can have 2 planes, which is used by most games.

Overall though, it honestly looks like my ports to it are going to be challenging... I still have yet to find a fix for the sound effect issue.
34
Consoles / Hardest platforms to program/work for ?
November 22, 2018, 04:23:50 AM
I thought i would share my experience with some of the platforms i've had to deal with and the most horrible ones i had to work with.

Atari Jaguar

Why use a single lame Motorola CPU that is not even 32-bits while use two 32-bits RISC processors as co-processors ?
And it is just the beginning.
For example, the memory controller cannot execute code out of ROM : you must load your game's code in RAM in its entirety.
Then there's the unusual way the Atari Jaguar draws graphics : It is not a framebuffer nor is it tiled-based.
In fact, even when looking at the Remover's Library, it's not clear how the Jaguar draws graphics (scanline-based ?) and it chuggles when you attempt to draw over 256 sprites on-screen.
(This does include things like the map or tiles, at least if you're not going the framebuffer way)

I later learned that you must pull off crazy tricks to even reach 1000 sprites. (Such as Super Burnout)
Meanwhile, the PS1 and Saturn have no issues doing just that. Even the 3DO is much less trickier when it comes to CELs.

I saw some people suggest that the unusual architecture makes it more powerful than a PS1, Saturn or even a N64.
In my experience, this is laughable, as it is very hard to even achieve smooth 2D graphics without the Jaguar outright crash or become sluggish.

So yeah, this is the reason why Evil Australians is still not finished.
While i did manage to make it run at decent speed (finally) by dropping unused objects, i am encountering weird bugs and crashes related to memory.
I have to remind you that the very same C code works fine on other Motorola platforms like the Falcon with no issues.
I do not know if i will be able to solve this. I might release an early build to prove my point.

Sega Saturn

Similar to the 32x, it has two SH-2 processors but they only have one cache shared by the two. (unlike modern processors)
If you thought that would make your task hard enough then you will have to deal with the VDP, because it is not trivial to use !
If you use Sega's official tools, it is surprisingly complex to display a single sprite on-screen because you have to go through so many steps
to convert a single bitmap.
Seriously, even the so-called "new improved tools" were hard to use at the time.

Another flaw of the Saturn is the two RAM chip configuration.
It is divided into two different ones : a slow bigger one and a fast small one.
This means that if you need to use more than 1MB, then you basically can't do it easily. Good luck with that.
It also forces you to manually manage memory, as if dealing with two SH-2 processors was not enough !

The flaws would have been soften somewhat if the Saturn was a cartridge system like the 32x.
While it could in theory do that, all games so far use the CD-Rom format. And that means dealing with memory is even more painful,
because you also need to worry about slow disk access time and you can't cheat like you would do on carts by loading and unloading graphics from RAM.
This is the perhaps the reason why many arcade games on the Saturn require the 4MB cart :
because it is much more straightforward to deal with.

All of this makes it a horrible system to program.
On the plus side, there are new libraries since then though that now soften the blow somewhat.Still, this was enough for me to run away from it, not to mention there's no way to boot unofficial software through the CD drive.

Android

Why is it even on this list ? Well, it's simple.
Supporting the more than 10000+ different phones out there is a nightmare.
In some cases, you are required to use hacks and weird permissions to even use basic features like sound support.
In some other instances, updates to software like SDL fix weird issues on new Android versions but also introduces others on phones with crappy GPU drivers.

How do you deal with this ? The short answer is you can't.
Making a whole operating system around Java and requiring all the other programming languages to use the JNI (worthless piece of s*** btw) is a mistake.
And don't tell me to use Java for Android especially after Oracle sued Google over it.
It was a terrible idea to begin with and the implementation is even worse.

Getting something trivial to work on all phones might be child's play but it becomes more painful as your project grows in scope.
Add to that ads pay nothing but scraps as well as the Google Play environment discouraging paid apps in general (made worse by the numerous phones out there to support)
and you have a recipe for disaster.

Honestly, I've given up on it and it's just not worth it given that there are also millions of other apps out there.
You will never stand out among the crowd and censorship is rampant on the Google Play store anyway.
(I had gotten complains about one of my games, Rubby Bird, briefly mentioning feminists and nazis, really !)

iOS is somewhat better on the programming aspect but they also have other issues, like the fact that Apple forbids numerous apps over non-sensical reasons and
asking for a huge annual fee. No thanks.

Good examples

GBA : This is actually a very straightforward platform to work with, i've been very surprised by it.
The bitmap modes are especially easy to set up and are very suitable for 3D engines.
Sprites are a bit finicky to use though.
But other than that, it is relatively easy to get some work done.

Dreamcast : Kallistios is really a pleasure to use on the Dreamcast, all things considered. It's no Windows CE, but it is much better performance wise while
still being POSIX compliant. However, mastering the GPU does require a learning curse but if you wanna go the software renderer route, then it is very easy
to setup a framebuffer.
Did you work on any difficult platform at some point or another, whenever it is modern or old ? Share your thoughts and opinions here
35
PC, Mac & Vintage Computers / Re: Custom Bitmap Format
November 16, 2018, 01:39:14 PM
You could use a raw format (RGB565, RGB8, RGB555 etc...) then compress it with an algorithm known to decompress pretty fast such as lz4.If your compiler is somewhat modern, then the best choice would probably be zStandard. It has higher compression rates than lz4 while being much faster than its other alternatives. (although lz4 is still faster)
If your platform is using a Motorola 68000 cpu, stef made a fast decompressor called lz4w for that CPU family. It can be found in assembly form here :https://github.com/Stephane-D/SGDK/blob/e8d6e7e6668579e1299e19f1c024dd8dc16d430e/src/tools_a.s
Function call in C is as such :u16 lz4w_unpack(const u8 *src, u8 *dest);
On the same platform, aplib is also another good alternative but it's a fair amount slower.
As for encryption, well it's just easier to do it outside out of the file format because that would require more work (separate the actual image data from the header then compare it to a hash etc...).
Make sure the file format meets your needs only. On the Atari falcon, space was of no concern so i simply made a raw RGB565 format except flipped for Big endian cpus. Of course on little endian machines, this is not a concern and you can go for compression for example.
36
I thought you could not switch from SimpleMachines because there was still a lot of work to do ?Between phpbb3 and Discourse though, i much prefer phpbb3. At least you can use it without javascript... Hopefully you end up using that. (or another alternative that's just as good)Good luck
37
Just saying that after Opossum Massage simulator 64, i also took a look at Evil Australians as well and managed to fix it.In addition to that, i've also added analog support as well as music & sound effects, which is now on par with the PC & Atari Falcon releases.
38
Consoles / Re: Opossum Massage Simulator for N64
October 24, 2018, 12:43:01 PM
Hey,so after Cen64 got a lot more accurate and the fact that libdragon fixed a bunch of other issues too,i've finally managed to make Opossum Massage simulator on Cen64 and Mame. (Mame doesn't seem to recognize any input but Cen64 does)So it should work on real hardware now.
I've updated the link, which now points towards the fixed version.I've also added analog support, as well as fixing some other issues.
39
Hey,took the time to fix some of my nspire stuff.First of all, RoqPlayer would sometimes crash on real hardware.

That is now fixed.
Grab it here :https://tiplanet.org/forum/archives_voir.php?id=296214

Also, Picodrive is now finally working again !I also took the time to add support for newer screens on that picodrive.
Get it here : https://tiplanet.org/forum/archives_voir.php?id=304358
Now, i'll have to do the same for PocketSNES but had lost the source code to the latest version so i'll need to start from scratch...
40
f***ing hell, it's worse than i expected. Sony is already running out of cartridges for 2018 according to Limited Run games.Which is why they had to limit Salt & Sanctuary to only 1800 units... However, they made no such announcement for the PS3.
An opportunity perhaps ?
In any case, i can turn to Hong kong (e.g eastasiasoft) should it stop by March 2019.(I feel like i won't have enough time for making a decent game by then)
I'll ask them some questions asap.

Also as far the 3DS was concerned, you're right. It seems they only accept the CIA format.

In fact with a CFW, it's possible to export a Unity game through the 3DS export module and run it.
http://nintendo-ds.logic-sunrise.com/dossiers-et-tutoriaux-1005917-3ds-faire-un-jeu-3ds-avec-unity.html

(It also turns out that Unity can run on the old 3DS, just with severe limitations)
41
Ah i see, so it wasn't that hard... But i still don't think that Sony will be as kind as Nintendo.

Does Nintendo require you to be at least a Sole Trader ? Because Sony does. (Thankfully that's the case for me at least)
I'll probably wait until i make some more progress but it looks like it's not as scary as it sounds.

Btw, i did look at whenever Nintendo was accepting new developers/publishers for the Wii U on physical discs:
They do not since 2016. (Confirmed by Limited Run themselves...)

I do not know if that's the case for the 3DS though but if you can't develop for that thing without an official devkit then yeah,it sucks.

(I don't think they would accept homebrew format for games anyway, .3dsx ? Doesn't hurt to try i suppose)

In any case, i'll make more progress on the game then i'll submit a document at least i hope end of this month.Let's cross fingers !

42
Hello guys,i'm currently working on a PS Vita game (still in early stages though !) and i would like to (eventually) publish it on the PSN.
However, while becoming a dev on the Ouya, Firefox marketplace (both now dead) and Google Play store was fairly easy,
Sony asks for much more information than either those so i'm not sure where to begin first.

I heard that @Juju became a Nintendo dev though, so perhaps if you or anyone else could help me certification, that would be nice.

For example, Sony asks for a document describing planned projects for PlayStation platforms. How it should be written ?

I saw mobile ports on the PS4 PSN store and even RPG maker-like games on the PS Vita store so i wondered how those people got in... Any ideas ?
43
Gaming / Re: Rare games : Part 2
September 11, 2018, 07:43:35 PM
Rare games for the Playstation Vita

The Playstation vita is known for selling poorly and having fewer physical games than its competitors (namely the 3DS and Switch).
Speaking of the Switch, the release of it overshadowed the Vita even further.
With memory cards being pretty expensive on the Vita, you aren't going to buy a lot of digital titles either, meaning that it's sometimes best to have a cart release.
Combined with the fact that publishers can actually order a small quantities for carts and you have a recipe for disaster.
Here are some of my picks, note that i won't really count Limited Run games, as most people are taking good care of them.
Breach & Clear as of right now is worth 200$ but you know what ?
It's not even the rarest game or the priciest !
In fact as i will show you, it's not even hard to come accross a rare game.

Epic Mickey 2: The power of Two

This multi-platform game is fairly common on the 360, PS3, Wii and Wii U.
However, the PS Vita version is much, much less common.
First of all, it was never released as retail in the US, only in Mexico as part of a bundle and PAL regions.
Secondly, the PS Vita version is no longer available on PSN.
Thirdly, it seems that they made limited copies of it...
Pre-owned copies are worth at least 35$, while sealed are priced a little higher.  I just ordered my copy of it for 5€ (and 5€ for shipping... oh well).
I'll let you know when i receive it.


Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

It seems that overall across all platforms that it was not released in high quantity, and the PS Vita seems to be no exception !
I found a copy for 15€ and another one for 20€ but it's still kinda expensive to my taste, especially when most other games can be found for cheaper.
Despite this, i've been told it's a great game, even on the PS Vita, so maybe i'll get around to trying it one day.

It's also worth noting that it's one of the last Capcom fighting games without obnoxious day one DLCs... When are we gonna get loot boxes in full retail releases, i don't know !
Note that it's not the rarest version of the game :
Indeed, the PS4 and Xbox One versions only released as limited editions on physical media are even rarer and fetch for higher prices.


Street Fighter X Tekken
 
And here we have another PS Vita port of an excellent title !
Unlike the 360 & PS3 versions, this one comes with a free online code where you can claim all of the DLC characters
The game looks like they took the PS3 version and just removed the shadow and the polygon count... Some might even prefer this look, it's amazing.
Unfortunately, this port in particular kept its value, but it might still be possible to find a sealed copy of it.
This port only sold 5500 copies in Japan and then completely disappeared off the charts the first week. And i think it sold as much elsewhere !


Supremacy MMA Unrestricted

Good luck finding a copy in your region of that port...  Amidst of poor reviews, it seems that they stopped manufacturing copies while they were doing so and only a few copies made it out.
This was only released in the US as a retail copy as far as i know, even though there's a box with a PEGI rating floating around.
If you come accross a copy of it for cheap then get it, even though it's a horrible game...


Dragon Ball Z : Battle of Z

It was quite surprising to see a DBZ game with so much value...Only the english/international releases are valuable, while the japanese versions are worth 3x less. (but are still at 30$ at best)
The game got a mixed reception it seems : Some seem to enjoy it, others hate it, unfavourably comparing it to Budokai 3 or even the PSP DBZ games. (most infamously the fact that you can't transform during gameplay)
Also, the day one edition is even more expensive. So if you see that port in the wild for cheap, definitely pick this one up even if you don't own a Vita or TV.


Ar Nosurge Plus

The physical release of the game was only made available as part of a limited edition... and obviously released in very limited quantites.  As of writing, it's sold for around 380$+ ! So it's fair to say that you should give up trying to get that game physically.
Making this even more painful is the fact that not even Japan got a physical release, only the US.


Madden 13

It's very surprising to see a Sports title as a rare & valuable but this is one of the exceptions.
It being the last madden games for the PS Vita, it can fetch for a fairly high price used.
Spend at least 30$ for a used copy.


F1 2011

Another surprise : the other ports are fairly common and very cheap but this playstation vita port is one of the most expensive !
If you look on ebay, you'll find only mostly japanese copies with only a few north american and PAL releases, the last two being one of the priciest.

Undertale

To be honest, i did not even know there was a PS Vita version of this game available !
And unfortunely, it's a US-only release and they fetch for a fairly high price. (60$+ used)
It's a fairly good game but i'm not sure if it's worth that much. (unless you insist on having a cart release of the game)

Hatsune Miku games

The Project diva game series are fun and difficult rythm games. Just like they do on the PSP, that series kept its value and constantly rises in prices...
For example, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd goes for at least 45$+ used at best, even more so sealed ! The reason why is because it was the only western release of Project Diva for the PS Vita.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X eventually got released though and right now, it's at a more reasonable price of 25$ sealed but that will not last i'm afraid... Especially since only the US got a retail release this time !


Honorable mentions
Ben 10 Galatic Racing
Hard to find, kept it's value. 28$+ used, 39$ new.

MLB 15 : The Show
Only available at retail as an Asian release. Price unknown, since i found no copies online, despite having proof it exists.

Chicken Range
PAL only retail release. Current price unknown since there are no copies floating around !
It was sold at 20$ brand new but given how scarce it is, i expect this to grow in value.

The Count Lucanor
Seems to be only available as a Signature Edition release. Very pricey and uncommon. 90$+

New Little King's Story
PAL & Asian retail releases only. 40$ used, uncommon.

Summon Night 6 : Lost borders
Very uncommon, US only release. 50$ if not more so.

Sorcery Saga : Curse of the Great Curry God Uncommon, few copies in the wild. US release only available as a Limited edition.
UK version is cheaper but still uncommon. 20$+ for a UK release.

Phineas and Ferb Day of Doofensmirtz
PAL retail release only. Fairly uncommon, 20$+ used.

Virtua Tennis 4
Uncommon PAL & US releases. 25$+, 40$+ Sealed

Axiom Verge : MultiVerse edition
US only physical release. 60$+

Best of Arcade Games
German & French retail release only. Fairly cheap but not a lot of copies floating around. 15$+ used

HandBall 16
Not too common, especially the UK retail release, you'll have more luck finding it in Germany and France. (There are two different covers too) PAL only retail release. 25$+


Asian-English only releases
Some PS Vita that would otherwise only be available as a download-only titles are made available as retail copies in Asia, and they are actually a good portion of them with english available !  As you can guess, vita players & collectors are pretty much jumping on these...

Cursed Castilla EX
60$+ used, 100$+ sealed.

Dragon Quest Builders
70$+. Japanese version is very common but Asian-English release has a different cover.

Sid Meizer's Civilization Revolution 2
45$+ used.

Resident Evil Revelations 2
60$+ used.

Digimon Story Cybersleuth: Hacker's Memory
60$+ used

Moe Chronicle
Uncommon, 45$+.

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster
Note that the PAL & US releases don't have X-2 as physical, it was only provided as a download code in the X/X-2 compilation. Asia did get a retail english release though. 40$+ used

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragmen
At least 40$.

Accel World vs. Sword Art Online
40$⁺. Some sellers seem to suggest this was also released in the UK (including a cover with a PEGI rating) but so far, we're not sure.

==================

Btw, Micromania did not have Combat Wings... What a bummer.
I did manage to get Epic Mickey 2 PS Vita (which i'll receive in a few days) and Yu-gi-oh Tag force 2, complete with the 3 cards that came with it !
44
Gaming / Re: Rare games : Part 2
September 09, 2018, 08:49:05 PM
Quote from: xlibman on September 09, 2018, 08:29:49 PM
You forgot the NTSC (and some PAL) versions of FIFA 14 for the PS2. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for the PS2 (PAL only) also comes to mind but I dunno if it's as rare.
The list was for PSP games though :blah: But you're right as far PS2 games are concerned, though even those are not the rarest as far PS2 games are concerned. (.hack games most notably)Maybe i'll cover those a later time.

45
PC, Mac & Vintage Computers / Re: Gateway to Legend [pc]
September 09, 2018, 01:54:12 AM
So far i think it's nothing exceptional as a game itself... though i haven't tried it much i admit.
I think it lacks some oompf ! Attacking enemies is just not satisfying.

Hopefully you work more on it. (or on more games)
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