Asking for the cooperation from MSX Software developers

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By tvalenca

Paladin (747)

tvalenca's picture

12-08-2015, 20:12

AxelStone wrote:

I particurally don't like very much external outputs as V9990 or OPL4. If I should decice, I prefer to develop for plain MSX2+ or even MSX turbo R. The MSX turbo R is an unexplored frontier, it's great CPU and good amount of RAM (256KB minimum) should allow totally new games for MSX as good adaptations of PC classics as Warcraft or Baldur´s Gate.

Sure, and your answer is really important. Knowing how much people are interested in coding for new hardware or MSX2+/TurboR would (at least in theory) redirect people's efforts on doing cool things for MSX.

Don't get me wrong, the MSX1 people had done are really cool, but I doubt people only have MSX1 nowadays... so no one can say that there are only MSX1 releases because it would hit more people. This argument doesn't hold even water! There are more MSX2+ and/or Turbo R's outside japan than inside. Look for that Turbo R serial code thread and look how many people has one Turbo R here despite not having almost no exclusive software. (I even forgot to post my TR's s/n there! I bet more people didn't post either!)

But if enough coders say that they would code for a V9990 card if that card had it's video output superimposed to internal VDP output, I'll probably put some effort on it, even if needs to be released as a kit to mod existing GFX9000 and Powergraph carts. That's my point: Doesn't matter (or does only a little) how these hardware add-ons will be released. What matters is if people will use it or not. That's what I am asking.

Grauw wrote:

I do want to create a product with V9990 support someday, but needing a second display or scart switch isn’t exactly its strongest point…

Would the availability of this feature anticipate this product?

By Grauw

Ascended (10604)

Grauw's picture

12-08-2015, 21:35

tvalenca wrote:

But if enough coders say that they would code for a V9990 card if that card had it's video output superimposed to internal VDP output, I'll probably put some effort on it, even if needs to be released as a kit to mod existing GFX9000 and Powergraph carts.

Mmh, at least I’d be interested in purchasing it Smile, in both forms described.

tvalenca wrote:
Grauw wrote:

I do want to create a product with V9990 support someday, but needing a second display or scart switch isn’t exactly its strongest point…

Would the availability of this feature anticipate this product?

I’m currently mostly working on music products so sound chips I am immediately interested in, graphics a little less immediately Smile.

Nevertheless I do want to do something with Gfx9000 in the future, just don’t know what yet. I was thinking maybe a GUI for Synthesix, or maybe a game with multi-VDP engine. (E.g. smooth scroll on V9958, multilayer scroll on V9990, etc.) I would probably not code for the V9958+V9990 superimposed combination specifically, but I think it is a feature which adds good value to the user.

By tvalenca

Paladin (747)

tvalenca's picture

12-08-2015, 22:15

Grauw wrote:

I’m currently mostly working on music products so sound chips I am immediately interested in, graphics a little less immediately Smile.

Do you think MSX-AUDIO BIOS support for OPL3/4 will help you somewhat? A SFG-01/05 clone will take longer on my roadmap.

Grauw wrote:

Nevertheless I do want to do something with Gfx9000 in the future, just don’t know what yet. I was thinking maybe a GUI for Synthesix, or maybe a game with multi-VDP engine. (E.g. smooth scroll on V9958, multilayer scroll on V9990, etc.) I would probably not code for the V9958+V9990 superimposed combination specifically, but I think it is a feature which adds good value to the user.

Well, considering that superimposing the internal V99x8 over an external V9990 without modifying the MSX will be harder, more expensive and maybe require some modifications inside the MSX, we should probably adopt V9990 over V99x8 as default. This way, coders may use the internal VDP as 3rd background layer for some cool parallax effects and if someone don't have the superimposition mod on his/hers V9990 card, still could play the game but with less graphics. What do you think?

EDIT: adding a second VDP on the same port of internal VDP will be more expensive and won't work for Turbo R owners (at least GT ones) because primary VDP OUTs don't reach external bus.

By Grauw

Ascended (10604)

Grauw's picture

12-08-2015, 23:06

tvalenca wrote:
Grauw wrote:

I’m currently mostly working on music products so sound chips I am immediately interested in, graphics a little less immediately Smile.

Do you think MSX-AUDIO BIOS support for OPL3/4 will help you somewhat? A SFG-01/05 clone will take longer on my roadmap.

I don’t plan to use it.

tvalenca wrote:

Well, considering that superimposing the internal V99x8 over an external V9990 without modifying the MSX will be harder, more expensive and maybe require some modifications inside the MSX, we should probably adopt V9990 over V99x8 as default. This way, coders may use the internal VDP as 3rd background layer for some cool parallax effects and if someone don't have the superimposition mod on his/hers V9990 card, still could play the game but with less graphics. What do you think?

Yeah, that 3rd layer is what I referred to when I said “I would probably not code for the V9958+V9990 superimposed combination specifically” — I probably wouldn’t use such a 3rd layer because existing Gfx9000 users can’t benefit from it. But still the single superimposed video output is a feature that would add value for the user even if the V9958 is not used as 3rd layer.

Maybe I wasn’t clear what I meant by multi-VDP engine: I was referring to a game engine which will work on both V9958, V9990 and possibly the V9938 as well, but not simultaneously. For example if your system has a V9938 you get an 8x8 scroll, if your system has a V9958 you get a smooth scroll and if your system has a V9990 you get a dual-layer scroll and animated background tiles. This is my idea for keeping compatibility while offering benefits to owners of new hardware.

By tvalenca

Paladin (747)

tvalenca's picture

12-08-2015, 23:07

Grauw wrote:

Yeah, that 3rd layer is what I referred to when I said “I would probably not code for the V9958+V9990 superimposed combination specifically” — I probably wouldn’t use such a 3rd layer because existing Gfx9000 users can’t benefit from it. But still the single superimposed video output is a feature that would add value for the user even if the V9958 is not used as 3rd layer.

Existing GFX9000 users (and Powergraph ones too) might have their V9990 carts modded in order to have superimposed graphics (in this case, the possibility of using just one monitor to get both images without any switching)
And not that I expect you to don't know that, but the only V9990 two-layer mode is P1. P2 and B1/2/3/4/5/6 are single layer modes.

By syn

Prophet (2097)

syn's picture

12-08-2015, 23:21

tvalenca wrote:

Well, considering that superimposing the internal V99x8 over an external V9990 without modifying the MSX will be harder, more expensive and maybe require some modifications inside the MSX, we should probably adopt V9990 over V99x8 as default.

Mmm there has been a video9000 (superimpose msx vdp over v9990) where a modification was required in the gfx9000. So I highly doubt that you need to modify msx computers. I dont know what the modification was though, it may be very complex or not, dont know.

Btw have you seen maxis' procyon? the final product should be a fpga v9958 with superimpose from your msx (although through HDMI, you may need some converter/upscaler/whatsnot ). It looks somewhat similar to the ideas you have been posting about (although your ideas are a bit more higher spects with the v9990 and all)

By Grauw

Ascended (10604)

Grauw's picture

13-08-2015, 00:23

@syn, tvalenca mentioned superimposing V99x8 on top of V9990, it requires modification to the MSX.

tvalenca wrote:

Existing GFX9000 users (and Powergraph ones too) might have their V9990 carts modded in order to have superimposed graphics (in this case, the possibility of using just one monitor to get both images without any switching)

As a software developer, I can’t count on everyone to modify their hardware, or for such modifications to be easily available 5 years from now, and I want to maximise my audience. For the same reason I can not support the MSX-AUDIO BIOS (regardless of whether I personally want to use an abstraction layer).

Consider for example the 256K sample RAM expansion for the Philips Music Module, it used to be relatively popular but I’m sure the majority of Music Modules still has the original 32K (myself included). Also last I heard the SuperSoniqs kit is sold out, besides it requires some soldering skill… (Still, I do support it in VGMPlay because 1. it required no extra effort, and 2. there are VGMs which use it.)

p.s. I edited a new paragraph to my last post in case you missed it:

Grauw wrote:

Maybe I wasn’t clear what I meant by multi-VDP engine: I was referring to a game engine which will work on both V9958, V9990 and possibly the V9938 as well, but not simultaneously. For example if your system has a V9938 you get an 8x8 scroll, if your system has a V9958 you get a smooth scroll and if your system has a V9990 you get a dual-layer scroll and animated background tiles. This is my idea for keeping compatibility while offering benefits to owners of new hardware.

By hit9918

Prophet (2923)

hit9918's picture

12-08-2015, 23:22

@tvalencia,

tvalenca wrote:

Ok @hit9918, call me a dumbass because I didn't understand a thing you said. LOL!

The thing is that you got the desire to do something crazy Wink
Then you didn't understand, because your thoughts always go in another direction.

When I talk questions of compatible performance, of turbo cpu port transfer performance,
that is meeeh, but the idea of VDP overclocking you immedeately found interesting Wink

By syn

Prophet (2097)

syn's picture

12-08-2015, 23:31

grauw my bad I thought the video9000 was like what tvalenca was trying to do Big smile my mistake

By Grauw

Ascended (10604)

Grauw's picture

12-08-2015, 23:39

@syn Isn’t that what tvalenca said? He also considered the other option, but discarded it because it would require modifications of the MSX.

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