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 Post subject: Grandtheftendo bummer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:38 pm 
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People were talking about Grandtheftendo on the old boards... and I recently went back to the page (http://www.grandtheftendo.com) to check it out after hearing a rumor about it. -- and apparently the rumor appears to be true.

From the FAQ:
Quote:
What mapper hardware does GTN use?

GTN currently uses the Nintendo MMC5 mapper chip. However, to make the game is the best it can be, when it is complete, I plan on converting it to use a custom mapper. The main purpose of the new mapper will be to provide better CHR ROM bank switching for more graphical detail and animation.

If GTN uses a custom mapper, will it still run on emulators?

In the case that GTN is modified to use a custom mapper, I will write mapper plugins for a few of the main emulators and release the source code. With the code, anyone with the skill will be able to add the mapper support to the rest of the emulators.


Am I the only one that's disgusted by this? What's the point of making an "NES game" if it uses a fake mapper (and thus won't run on a real NES). I mean I could just as easily write a new bogus mapper to add a million extra sound channels, allow for more color depth, and more silly abilities to make my game awesome -- but that defeats the whole point of working on the NES.

I mean if he was really that concerned about graphics... why didn't he choose a more powerful system? (SNES maybe?)

Unless he's actually planning on building the hardware for this new mapper --- but I find that a little hard to swallow


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:43 am 
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well it does't bother me, as i no longer have the hardware... even if i had some way to test...
but surely as its being developed on mmc5, he could release a mmc5 version and the enhanced version :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:27 am 
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If he builds the mapper in hardware, that'd be cool. Seems like a lot to go through tho, if the game will run on MMC5 originally. It wouldn't be the first one-game-only mapper that has some extra graphics features. MMC2/Punchout comes to mind.

On the bright side, MMC5 chips are rare as hell, so having a custom mapper might make it easier to make more than a few carts if he wants to.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:10 am 
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I suppose. I heard somewhere that he was actually going to make the actual chip to use, which would really change things. But it still kind of seems phoney. Maybe it's just me :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:19 pm 
I asked him about that on IRC. He said that he didn't like the CHR bankswitching for sprites or something. ie, he wanted to bankswitch sprites in less than 1KB chunks + didn't want to use 8x16 sprites (for 8x16 sprite graphic expansion) since his game uses 8x8 sprites. So he might just design a little chip to work side by side with the MMC5 to expand the sprites a little.

It was something like that. I believe that he'll prlly make an MMC5 version and then an "expansion" version. It would be really cool if he actually made the chip though. I, in fact, have been also thinking about making a new mapper, but I would defintly not make some software mapper (bogus mapper), and would defintly actually design it.

Quote:
On the bright side, MMC5 chips are rare as hell, so having a custom mapper might make it easier to make more than a few carts if he wants to.


There sorta rare, but I've actually found a few of them. Found CV3 at blockbuster for $2. Found Laser Invasion at flea market for $4, and found RoTTK2 on ebay for $7 so I don't think it's all that rare (like VRC7, and FME-7, and other such mappers).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:50 am 
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J2 wrote:
He said that he didn't like the CHR bankswitching for sprites or something. ie, he wanted to bankswitch sprites in less than 1KB chunks

The Final Fantasy games for Famicom used VRAM for fine-grained bankswitching. For something more graphically intense, I think someone needs to make a mapper that allows arbitrary writes to VRAM through a latch that sneaks them into the cycles when the PPU isn't accessing memory. First proposal was here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:45 pm 
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The Final Fantasy games for Famicom used VRAM for fine-grained bankswitching. For something more graphically intense, I think someone needs to make a mapper that allows arbitrary writes to VRAM through a latch that sneaks them into the cycles when the PPU isn't accessing memory. First proposal was here.


Heh, FF3j was awsome :-). Anyway, It's not so much that he wants "ExGrafix mode for sprites." He just wants something like 512 byte switching or something I think (for more definition to the cars and such). Although such a new mapper that allows for fast updating of CHR-RAM would be nice. Hmmm, I'm in the idea phase of making a new mapper (inspired by Squeedo, I'm figuring the features, pin assignements, and the IC and such right now) and I wouldn't be so against adding such a feature to the mapper.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:47 pm 
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J2 wrote:
Hmmm, I'm in the idea phase of making a new mapper (inspired by Squeedo, I'm figuring the features, pin assignements, and the IC and such right now) and I wouldn't be so against adding such a feature to the mapper.


Cool. :D

Squeedo was inspired by the VGWiz Maxicart, that'd be great to see another unique cart made in turn. Especially one with a nice CPU-PPU bridge.

What ICs have you decided on so far? If you need some DIP SRAMs, I could possibly hook you up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:43 am 
Any chance that Squeedo can do what Brian needs with Theftendo? If I can't play Theftendo on a real NES, I won't consider it a real NES game. It will just be another PC video game. Speaking of Maxicarts, why do the Atari guys get all the cool homebrew hardware and games these days?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:29 am 
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Anonymous wrote:
Speaking of Maxicarts, why do the Atari guys get all the cool homebrew hardware and games these days?

Because frontloaders have a lockout chip, and many frontloader owners are reluctant to open their NES console and cut pin 4.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:53 am 
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Grand Theftendo is optimized for MMC5, if a Squeedo version was possible it would look very different, and would have to be re-written in a huge way.

MMC5 is totally nuts, it enhances the PPU's capabilities (more tiles without coding tricks and higher color resolution). Squeedo is fairly passive with the PPU, like most mappers are.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:05 am 
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tepples wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Speaking of Maxicarts, why do the Atari guys get all the cool homebrew hardware and games these days?

Because frontloaders have a lockout chip, and many frontloader owners are reluctant to open their NES console and cut pin 4.


Yep, the lockout chip makes things difficult. There's no easy bypass method that will work on all consoles. So I don't think we'll be seeing new NES carts made completely from scratch anytime soon, if ever.

Famicom on the other hand, is huge. FC clones are still being made, and there's a lot of unlicensed games still being released for it. And of course, a lot of bootleg carts too..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:12 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
Famicom on the other hand, is huge. FC clones are still being made

Where can one buy a decent Famiclone in the United States without having to buy a pirate multicart along with it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:47 am 
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tepples wrote:
Memblers wrote:
Famicom on the other hand, is huge. FC clones are still being made

Where can one buy a decent Famiclone in the United States without having to buy a pirate multicart along with it?


Good question. I don't know, does anyone else?

I'm probably going to import some NES-to-FC adapters to use with Squeedo, I could maybe get some Famiclones while I'm at it, I've considered it before. I'll have to find out if I can get one that doesn't have pirated games built-in and isn't total crap quality (probably hard to judge the latter without having a sample tho..).

Would such a device be worth maybe $25 or so to anyone here? If they're already available somewhere else in the US, I probably won't bother with it though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:32 am 
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I'd pay up to $100 for a working devkit including a Famiclone, adapters to connect it to an NTSC TV and to 115VAC, a rewritable cart, and the hardware needed to rewrite it.


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