simplest coolest hardware add on to enhance msx games

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Van st1mpy

Paladin (838)

afbeelding van st1mpy

07-04-2009, 19:10

I want this FPGA cart!

Van ARTRAG

Enlighted (6567)

afbeelding van ARTRAG

07-04-2009, 20:40

it does not exit yet, but you could propose it

Van MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

afbeelding van MäSäXi

08-04-2009, 08:13

St1mpy´s idea somehow sounds same as my previous wishes... Wink

MSX-1 cartridge game which can add some more sprites, or gives smooth scroll could be COOL to have! Smile

But I wonder that then smooth scroll starts to sound almost same thing as hi-res graphics without colour spill?

Thought it is not exactly the same.

But this way MSX-1 freaks could see something they can´t normally see, and all that without touching MSX-2! Tongue

Maybe just some more sprites and some new colours + few more AYs into same cartridge Tongue = BIG cartridge! Tongue But I don´t mind, if someone produces cartridge which is somewhat bigger than standard MSX cartridge, you probably need some extra space to add some special features I think. Smile

I am talking about putting more AY chips (or whatever sound chips, but AY is natural choice for machine which already uses AYSmile) into game cartridge, as not every MSX-1 has two cartridge ports = no SCC and no MSX-MUSIC. When you have some sound chip(s) in game cartridge, it doesn´t matter anymore which MSX you use = you can see and hear the same on EVERY MSX!!!! Smile

Van PingPong

Prophet (3793)

afbeelding van PingPong

08-04-2009, 08:28

Problems:
- heavier hardware (e.g. hardware that offers more sprites, multilayers, hi-res graphics.. or simply a g9k) increases the CPU-load for the MSX. More sprites are fun, but you got to manage them all. More musical options, such as an OPL4, are nice, but you got more channels to control, more RAM usage and more medium storage.

At least not always: for example a brute force smooth scroll is doable on gfx9000 with a limited n. of OTIR. Doing a full screen pattern scroll on msx1 vdp is heavier. (768 bytes copy )
Plus the absence of sw delays to vdp alleviate the cpu-load.

Depends. of course

Van Hrothgar

Champion (479)

afbeelding van Hrothgar

08-04-2009, 12:15

What are the technical limitations here?

I suppose a simple cartridge could add sound (obviously - we already have SCC) and generate interrupts (which could give the possibility to do line-coloured sprites or vertical sprite stretching on MSX1). But what about things such as more sprites and smooth scroll? Can that technically work just by inserting a cartridge (and how??) or are we talking about a cartridge with its own video output signal then, to be connected to a monitor or TV?

Adding pure storage and computational power by means of a subprocessor sounds feasible. I'm dreaming of having Civilization IV on MSX by building all game data tables inside the cartridge (MEGAbytes!) and using an internal query engine to process game events, and limit the data transfer with the CPU to minimized diff packages.

Van PingPong

Prophet (3793)

afbeelding van PingPong

08-04-2009, 12:51

@Hrothgar:
a smooth scroll cannot be added magically by a new cart. we need to change the vdp. somewhat like a desktop PC with a new video adapter.
The problem here is that a lot of people see changing the vdp as a sacrilege.

Even with a new hw, when concerning vdp data transfers, the bottleneck is the VDP itself. No matter if who write to vram is the z80 or a modern Pentium. You cannot send a byte without waiting almost 8us between each byte you write. Plus there is also the complex protocol needed to set the vram ptr. Do not expect great improvements using a fast hw. the entire system is the bottleneck.

Van tonigalvez

Champion (300)

afbeelding van tonigalvez

08-04-2009, 13:42

I think maibe if we put an GFX9000 on a FPGA and later on a cartridge mai be Ok, the video output can be on the cartridge and with 512 ks of memory can be so good for games.

I do not know what is cheaper, an autentic GFX9000 or emulated on a FPGA?

Van AuroraMSX

Paragon (1902)

afbeelding van AuroraMSX

08-04-2009, 14:16

I'd say: slam a small FPGA on a cartridge, add some RAM, a couple of general purpose I/O pins, a couple of D/A converters and you'd have a the perfect MSX expansion cartridge. The I/O pins could be used as video or sound output or as input for some game controller. Of course, it should be possible to program the FPGA from the MSX's Z80; I wouldn't want to bother with some PC/USB solution. A demo or game can then configure the FPGA as it finds neccessary.
Something like this should then be a piece of cake :P

Van alexworp3

Expert (126)

afbeelding van alexworp3

08-04-2009, 14:16

and what about an fpga cartridge which acts like av99X8 but without the 3.5 Mhz limitations.
This would be a major step forward if you wouldn,t have to wait for your vdp to react.
i dont know if it is possible however.

Van wolf_

Ambassador_ (9903)

afbeelding van wolf_

08-04-2009, 14:53

Regardless of any expansions, you need people to make content for it, or it'll be an epic fail among the audience.

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