Author Topic: PC-FX homebrew development.  (Read 5318 times)

elmer

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PC-FX homebrew development.
« on: January 26, 2015, 07:40:55 AM »
I've done  enough research now to have a good idea of what the PC-FX is capable of ... and it does have it's interesting aspects.

But looking around ... as far as I can see, nobody has really attempted to do any PC-FX development since the early 2000's.

Even Mednafen's 2007 spurt of interest is still based on the Japanese GCC work done in 2000/2001.

Is this machine totally dead?

If I spend the time trying to get a C compiler working for the PC-FX ... does anyone even care anymore?

BigusSchmuck

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 08:44:21 AM »
I've done  enough research now to have a good idea of what the PC-FX is capable of ... and it does have it's interesting aspects.

But looking around ... as far as I can see, nobody has really attempted to do any PC-FX development since the early 2000's.

Even Mednafen's 2007 spurt of interest is still based on the Japanese GCC work done in 2000/2001.

Is this machine totally dead?

If I spend the time trying to get a C compiler working for the PC-FX ... does anyone even care anymore?
It would be interesting to see if it is feasible to port over PCE games on it and possibly give them a graphical overhaul.. But I'm not sure how alike both platforms are and if it is too complicated might as well do pc ports.



Necromancer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 08:44:57 AM »
I'd be all over some sexy PC-FX homebrew!!!  :mrgreen:

But there's only a couple hundred thousand of these things in existence, compared to millions of PCE (or even more FEKA and SNERD shat), so your potential audience is definitely smaller.  If excitement for PC-FX translations is any indication, you'd certainly garner some healthy interest; and if you made something gaijin friendly and fun, I bet you'd even convice a few guys that they need to buy a PC-FX.
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wildfruit

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 09:00:21 AM »
Something neutopia like would be interesting. With some snazzy spell effects.

esteban

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 09:54:42 AM »
I don't know the state of PC-FX emulation... But if it is robust, that certainly helps the potential audience your work will reach.

I personally would love stuff for PC-FX, but I don't own one (yet!).

I do enjoy the soundtrack for Miraculum, though.

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elmer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 10:27:33 AM »
It would be interesting to see if it is feasible to port over PCE games on it and possibly give them a graphical overhaul.. But I'm not sure how alike both platforms are and if it is too complicated might as well do pc ports.

Well ... you've got the same HuC6270 video chip that the PCE uses in there ... but with double the memory (128KB instead of 64KB).

Then you've got a 2nd HuC6270 video chip in there, so it's like a SuperGrafx ... but with a total of 256KB instead of 128KB.

Then you've got the same sound chip in there (with a couple of enhancements).

And you've got 2MB of main memory, so it's like having an Arcade Card build in.

On top of that you've got the "KING" chip with another 4 background layers (including 1 with rotation/scaling) and it's own 1MB of memory.

Then, lastly, you've got the MPEG video-playback layer ... phew!

So PCE ports would mainly be case of recoding the logic from 6502 assembler into V810 assembler or C ... you could actually keep the basic graphics/flow nearly identical to the PCE, and then make whatever enhancements you want at you leisure.

The big question is ... who has the passion to do that, and with which games?

elmer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 11:14:27 AM »
I'd be all over some sexy PC-FX homebrew!!!  :mrgreen:

But would you, and the active developers here, really want to write some?  :-k

It should be possible to create a USB-based Develo-like system that talks to a retail PC-FX through the 2nd joypad port.

The Saturn guys apparently have a GDB debugger running over the Action Replay Pro's PC comms port ... so the same thing should be possible with the PC-FX through the joypad port.

It should be much easier than the PCE's Develo-board since the PC-FX hardware natively supports output through the joypad port.

That would work on a modern PC and avoid the need for an expensive-and-rare PC-FX GA board.

The GCC work that the Japanese fans did in 2000/2001 was to re-implement V810 support in GCC based upon the existing V850 support.

The main CPU in the PC-FX is the NEC V810, and the V850 is it's big brother that was developed at approximately the same time ... they are about 90% similar (from a compiler's point of view).

The V850 is still sold for the embedded market and is currently supported by GCC ... although I'm not sure that there's much reason to go more recent than GCC 3.4.6 in order to get a solid C99 implementation.

But it's all a significant amount of work to develop and put together ... for a machine that sold less than 200,000 units and had so few games that people care about.

If excitement for PC-FX translations is any indication, you'd certainly garner some healthy interest; and if you made something gaijin friendly and fun, I bet you'd even convice a few guys that they need to buy a PC-FX.

I can certainly see the value in translations that run on the original platform hardware ... that's a work of love and honor for the original creations.

But do enough people really care about new stuff for the PC-FX that they want to drag developer's attention away from PCE homebrew or (sorry to offend you  :wink:) Saturn homebrew?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 11:37:43 AM by elmer »

ParanoiaDragon

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 05:33:50 PM »
Personally, I can't get super excited about PC-FX homebrew.  If we had a lot more going on(& released) for the PCE, I'd feel more interested in it.

Arkhan

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 05:50:21 PM »
The dev tools and library are sort of non-existantish, for starts.

I would love to do PC-FX development.

I had a few ideas for games, but without a competent library to work with, it'd be a giant pain in the penis parts.'


I should really finish the PCFX Tome of Obey.   Atlantean and making games kinda sucked up all my time.
[Fri 19:34]<nectarsis> been wanting to try that one for awhile now Ope
[Fri 19:33]<Opethian> l;ol huge dong

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SamIAm

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 08:00:18 PM »
On a console called the PC-FX, with a design that's intended to look just like a PC tower and everything, it would be neat to get a little collection of classic DOS games. I don't know how practical it would really be, but I would love to play a little Gorillas or Aldo's Adventure on PC-FX.

ParanoiaDragon

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 08:33:44 PM »
King's Quest.

Necromancer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2015, 02:45:30 AM »
But would you, and the active developers here, really want to write some?  :-k

I have no coding or pixel art abilities, so my involvement is limited to beta testing and buying the game when it's done, and I'd be just as happy to do that for either PCE or PC-FX.

But do enough people really care about new stuff for the PC-FX that they want to drag developer's attention away from PCE homebrew or (sorry to offend you  :wink:) Saturn homebrew?

I give zero f*cks about anything on the Saturn, but I wouldn't want anyone to abandon a PCE project just to do something else (anything else really, be it PC-FX, some other PCE game, etc.).  If they're starting out and looking to do a project on either the PCE or the PC-FX, I'm behind either platform; the dev should pick the platform that interests them most, as game making on either is a work of passion and will never be a money maker.
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elmer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2015, 02:58:52 AM »
On a console called the PC-FX, with a design that's intended to look just like a PC tower and everything, it would be neat to get a little collection of classic DOS games. I don't know how practical it would really be, but I would love to play a little Gorillas or Aldo's Adventure on PC-FX.

Sorry, but I have trouble understanding where you're coming from with this. I may be missing something ...

Why not just buy a RaspberryPI and run DOSBOX on it? You could even put it in a PC-FX case if you like.

I believe that WindyCity is considering importing some PC-FXs in his next batch, and I'd suspect that he could get you a junker-machine's case pretty cheap.

What is there about running those games on 1994 console that's appealing? Seriously, I'm not trying to dis you ... just to understand.

Necromancer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2015, 03:04:19 AM »
I'm having a hard time understanding your point.  With your logic, nobody should make anything for the PCE either, as there are other platforms with better technical specs and larger audiences.
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elmer

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Re: PC-FX homebrew development.
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2015, 03:23:21 AM »
The dev tools and library are sort of non-existantish, for starts.

I would love to do PC-FX development.

I had a few ideas for games, but without a competent library to work with, it'd be a giant pain in the penis parts.'


I only just saw your old post on AtariAge ...

Quote
http://atariage.com/forums/topic/200921-pc-fx-homebrew/

Arkhan OFFLINE 

Posted Wed Aug 1, 2012 9:14 AM
No. There's not much of anything.

None of the PCE developers are actively doing any PCFX development, and we're probably the best people for the job, all things considered.

I've got the official dev kit, and the unofficial library that sort-of works.

It's not worth the time investment and effort, so I passed on it to continue doing PCE instead.


As you're one of the most committed current PCE developers ... I guess that I'll probably just follow your lead and let the PC-FX rest in peace.