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Fun with homebrew
Topic Started: Feb 26 2009, 10:16 AM (1,666 Views)
sheath
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I have been, and remain, non-sequitur
I've been doing a lot of lurking over at spritesmind.net, and I've discovered some interesting files that the hardware/software jockeys over there have been using as examples and demos. I thought I'd list some of them here just to generate some discussion. I'll be adding to this list at the bottom as I find more tasty tidbits.

Wolf 3D on 32X Beta 2!
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/w3d-sod-sw-b2.zip

As most of you know, emulation just doesn't cut it in comparison to the actual game on the real console. There's always glitches in timing, even if the sound and video "seem" to be right. Here are some files that demonstrate the deficiency of emulated sound versus the actual games.

After Burner Super Stripe for Genesis is actually missing instruments in emulators. This means that any game that uses a similar sound will also be missing instruments, and if you record music from emulators you're not getting the real tune.

Recorded from:

My Genesis 1 Sega CD 1 output:
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ABSuperStripeGEN.mp3

A Chinese Megadrive clone: (Right Click to Save)
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ABSuperStripeMDClone.ogg

KEGA Fusion:
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ABSuperStripeKEGA.mp3

Can you hear the difference? Here's the screwy instrument from KEGA amplified, see if you can even hear it in the full song.
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ABSSCutKega.ogg (Right Click to Save)

Here's the instrument coming from a MegaDrive 2:
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ABSSCutMD2.ogg (Right Click to Save)

What does this mean? It means that even if you think you remember the sound correctly, emulation's inconsistent output is actually creating two versions of the same song. Furthermore, the folks over at SpritesMind.Net also discovered inconsistencies between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 sound output.

Comic Zone Recorded From:
Megadrive 2
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/comix_zone_md2.mp3

Megadrive 1 headphone jack:
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ComixZone_50Hz_MD1_via_headphones.mp3

Ristar Recorded From:
Megadrive 2
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/RistarMD2.ogg (Right Click to Save)

Megadrive 1 headphone jack
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/Ristar_MD1_headphones.mp3

A PCM player for Megadrive Genesis that plays 4 digital channels at 8-bits with 16Khz, proving that the only "limitation" for Genesis sound was cart size and code quality.
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/pl4ch_01.bin (Right Click to Save) (Run in Emulator)

What would Final Fantasy IV (FFII in the US) have sounded like on the Genesis? These songs are homebrew efforts on the Sharp X68000, which uses a Yamaha sound chip in the same family as the Genesis sound chip with the addition of an actual ADPCM channel which is superior to the Genesis' Digital Audio Channel. As such, and in the light of the above Digital Audio player, this should be regarded as possible on the Genesis with only minor changes to the digital samples.

http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/FFIVMDXsets.rar

An unreleased X-men game for 32X, looks like Mortal Kombat Sub Zero. Fusion doesn't play it.

http://www.segasaturno.com/portal/index.php?topic_id=3969

Simply awesome:

"Welcome to Project2612, your one and only source on the web for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive VGM soundtracks. Our mission is to provide you with the most accurate, non-waveform reproduction of Sega Genesis/Sega Mega Drive music to date, using the VGM format. We currently have a total of 615 soundtrack sets, with every single known song (and even some hidden songs not used!) in these games. "

http://project2612.org/

UWOL_Quest_For_Money

Introduction by the developer

Now the long making of story, if you care.

The original game was made for ZX Spectrum by Mojon Twins, homebrew game developers team from Spain, and released in 2009. It is little nice old-style arcade game about jumping around and collecting coins, and I've liked it much. Unusual thing about all the Mojon Twins games is that they are made in C (for the platforms with Z80 @ ~3.5 MHz). After I've looked into sources, I've got idea to try to port the game to SMD using the original sources. I've asked Na_th_an from Mojon Twins for permission, he said they don't mind, as long as they are credited, and the game is open source.

I've wanted to make not just exact port of the game, which is makes not much sense, but to improve some details, as long as they will not take too much time.

The project has been started February 18, and pre-release version was finished March 3. It includes few days of fulltime (>8hrs) work. Most part of the time took graphics works, then code, and least part of the time (about 3 days) took sound part.

(More at the link)

Hint for a better playing experience, by the developer:
"After collecting all the coins on the level, one or two arrows will appear on the ground. You should stand above one of the arrows and press down (not necessary to stay on the ground, though, you can do it in mid-air too). Doing this you choose your way through the piramide. The goal of the game is to collect 256 coins. You can't do it in one play (10 levels), so you should complete the game few times, choosing different routes through piramide (when you enter already visited level, it has no coins)."

Sonic Boom (Hack)

I haven't played the game, but check out the sound test, go on, check it out! Especially 91.
Edited by sheath, Aug 10 2010, 08:56 AM.
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Belpowerslave
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The sound coming out of the Genesis 1 seems much, much cleaner...I wonder if it has to do with the direct port to the headphone jack.

What this means though, and you're not going to like it, is that Sega is more than just partly responsible for the perception that the Genesis couldn't do quality sound. I mean, if their own hardware can't handle it properly and consistently, how can we expect anyone to buy the notion that the Genesis *could* do quality sound?

Think about it...from here on out every time you go back and read some reviewer bashing a Genesis game because of its sound you now have to question what model Genesis he was playing it on. Every time some guy on a forum attacks the sound samples on SF2:SCE you'll have to ask him what version of the Genesis he was playing it on.

Hard roads ahead for you boy! ;)

As for the Wolfenstein beta, that's awesome! I had no idea anyone was doing anything with 32X homebrew dev. other than just static pictures showing off the system's maximum color output. Will have to grab that and give it a shot. Makes you wonder if someone will try to redo Doom on the 32X at some point...

Bel
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sheath
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They were talking about doing a full version Doom port, but ran into some kind of snag with the way the 32X handles memory. The wolf port doesn't have music yet, but I think they'll have it soon. It runs really well though.

As for the sound thing, the Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 thing doesn't complicate things as much as you imply. I already had to ask what people were playing the system on. If it was a 13 inch TV with a mono speaker, their observations were moot. The Genesis 2 definitely degrades the digital audio quality, but if most people were hooking their Genesis 1 up with the AV out on the back that output was mono. Sega is responsible for this inconsistency, but my position has always been that people don't know a damned thing about cables or signal quality anyway. The main thrust of my argument has been to discredit the people making the accusations against one system or the other by pointing out the inconsistencies in their arguments. Since web reviewers use emulation almost exclusively, their points are moot, since the classic magazines contradict their own observations, their points are moot, etc.

Now, adequately describing all of the variables without blowing out 99% of the people who might stumble on my page, that's a challenge. ;)
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sheath
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A PCM player for Megadrive Genesis that plays 4 digital channels at 8-bits with 16Khz, proving that the only "limitation" for Genesis sound was cart size and code quality.
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/pl4ch_01.bin (Right Click to Save) (Run in Emulator)
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sheath
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What would Final Fantasy IV (FFII in the US) have sounded like on the Genesis? These songs are homebrew efforts on the Sharp X68000, which uses a Yamaha sound chip in the same family as the Genesis sound chip with the addition of an actual ADPCM channel which is superior to the Genesis' Digital Audio Channel. As such, and in the light of the above Digital Audio player, this should be regarded as possible on the Genesis with only minor changes to the digital samples.

Full Soundtrack.rar
Edited by sheath, Jul 25 2012, 02:56 PM.
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Wow, that's bad-ass! Honestly, I can't say I'm surprised, especially as I've heard FF's main theme before back on High Seas Havoc(I still cannot believe they didn't get sued). Fire up the rom sometime and you'll see what I mean...you can hear it either in the awesome sound test or just by waiting for the attract mode. On top of that the soundtrack from Castlevania: Bloodlines, though not an exact copy of the SNES's IV, used some of the same pieces and was just fucking incredible. I mean, when I'm just sort of listening to gaming music via iTunes and some of the Bloodlines tracks come up, I often times mistake them for the Castlevania IV versions...

Still, it's cool to hear the FFII/IV soundtrack on the Yamaha....wish they'd do ActRaiser next.

Bel
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sheath
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Are you talking about the song that plays right after the Sega logo? That's not exactly the same as the FF theme, but it is close. I like the version they made for the X68000, but I did notice that the sound doesn't smoothly rotate between left and right like the SNES tune does. I think this is because these Yamaha chips couldn't fade left to right, they either played left, right or center.
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Well, to me, it sounds like the FFIV main theme only much, much faster. They throw in a few different instruments but it keeps the same tune. Anyway, after the hot water Data East got in to with Capcom(over "copying" Street Fighter), I just figured they'd of tried to keep clear of any other potential issues like that.

One thing that does interest me is that HSH is also an arcade game, but doesn't run in MAME just yet. Makes me wonder if it's just simply using the Genesis hardware(like the arcade version of SoR2) or it was on an actual arcade board. Once it gets running, I'd like to check that out and listen to any differences in the audio.

Bel
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DarcSeven
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Belpowerslave
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Yeah, you can run it in MAME...it's just running off of Genesis hardware though...so don't expect any differences at all(there aren't).

Bel
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sheath
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An unreleased X-men game for 32X, looks like Mortal Kombat Sub Zero. Fusion doesn't play it, I'll try Gens.

http://www.segasaturno.com/portal/index.php?topic_id=3969

Simply awesome:

"Welcome to Project2612, your one and only source on the web for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive VGM soundtracks. Our mission is to provide you with the most accurate, non-waveform reproduction of Sega Genesis/Sega Mega Drive music to date, using the VGM format. We currently have a total of 615 soundtrack sets, with every single known song (and even some hidden songs not used!) in these games. "

http://project2612.org/
Edited by sheath, Aug 13 2009, 12:18 PM.
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Quote:
 
An unreleased X-men game for 32X, looks like Mortal Kombat Sub Zero. Fusion doesn't play it, I'll try Gens.

http://www.segasaturno.com/portal/index.php?topic_id=3969

Reminds me of Bug! actually. Anyway, looks kind of crappy and nothing like what I had expected. Still, interesting to see it. Now if we can just get our hands on Virtual Hamster, *that* looked great!

Quote:
 
Simply awesome:

"Welcome to Project2612, your one and only source on the web for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive VGM soundtracks. Our mission is to provide you with the most accurate, non-waveform reproduction of Sega Genesis/Sega Mega Drive music to date, using the VGM format. We currently have a total of 615 soundtrack sets, with every single known song (and even some hidden songs not used!) in these games. "

http://project2612.org/

You didn't know about this place? I've been using it for years now, helps me with my Sound{e}scapes work, when I need info on piece names and whatnot. I really dig it.

Bel
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Belpowerslave
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Speaking of homebrew, have you guys seen the new index page for Good Deal Games?

http://www.gooddealgames.com/

Lists homebrew for *every* system they carry it for! Man, some of that stuff I had no idea existed!

Bel
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sheath
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Quote:
 
http://www.segasaturno.com/portal/index.php?topic_id=3969
Reminds me of Bug! actually. Anyway, looks kind of crappy and nothing like what I had expected. Still, interesting to see it. Now if we can just get our hands on Virtual Hamster, *that* looked great!


I hope Vitual Hamster will show up one day. The theory behind Bug! was very solid, you can see it in operation in all of those Sonic Xtreme videos online. I'm fairly confident they would have come across with the general public as too rudimentary though. Gunstar Heroes uses the same graphic design with Fatal Fury style "3D" gameplay to make up for it. The bottom line is that every system has limitations in every way, and the good games manage to make you forget about them. I don't think this unreleased X-Men game was one of them in the same way I don't think MK:Sub-Zero was.

Quote:
 
You didn't know about this place? I've been using it for years now, helps me with my Sound{e}scapes work, when I need info on piece names and whatnot. I really dig it.

Bel


No I didn't, and after listening to some game's music over Winamp with their plug in I'm almost glad I didn't know about them. The info piece bits from each song is definitely useful, but I'm just floored by how much of the actual songs is missing in most of these renditions.
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sheath
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UWOL_Quest_For_Money

Introduction by the developer

Now the long making of story, if you care.

The original game was made for ZX Spectrum by Mojon Twins, homebrew game developers team from Spain, and released in 2009. It is little nice old-style arcade game about jumping around and collecting coins, and I've liked it much. Unusual thing about all the Mojon Twins games is that they are made in C (for the platforms with Z80 @ ~3.5 MHz). After I've looked into sources, I've got idea to try to port the game to SMD using the original sources. I've asked Na_th_an from Mojon Twins for permission, he said they don't mind, as long as they are credited, and the game is open source.

I've wanted to make not just exact port of the game, which is makes not much sense, but to improve some details, as long as they will not take too much time.

The project has been started February 18, and pre-release version was finished March 3. It includes few days of fulltime (>8hrs) work. Most part of the time took graphics works, then code, and least part of the time (about 3 days) took sound part.

(More at the link)

Hint for a better playing experience, by the developer:
"After collecting all the coins on the level, one or two arrows will appear on the ground. You should stand above one of the arrows and press down (not necessary to stay on the ground, though, you can do it in mid-air too). Doing this you choose your way through the piramide. The goal of the game is to collect 256 coins. You can't do it in one play (10 levels), so you should complete the game few times, choosing different routes through piramide (when you enter already visited level, it has no coins)."
Also, would somebody who's first name means "He who is like God" and last name that references Dracula's bane please pin this topic. ;)
Edited by sheath, Mar 11 2010, 03:00 PM.
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sheath
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Sonic Boom (Hack)

I haven't played the game, but check out the sound test, go on, check it out! Especially 91.

-edit-

The game is just one truly awesome level and boss fight that I have yet to finish, set to the Duke Nukem first level theme.
Edited by sheath, Aug 10 2010, 08:56 AM.
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sheath
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Yeti 3D is a GBA homebrew engine meant to prove what the GBA was really capable of. Coding guru Chilly Willy has ported it to the 32X and added a "Mod Player" which allows for full 32X digital audio capabilities that we did not see in production level software. Keep in mind that this is a high level port with no assembly optimizations so far. The framerate dips are due to the lack of optimization, but the fact that it runs as well as it does means that the 32X was capable of fully polygonal texture mapped and lit gaming.


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Yeesh...I don't know that I call this "capable" in the least. What's his guess on what the framerate may actually make it up to?

Bel
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sheath
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For a straight high level port of a fully polygonal textured and lit 3D engine from the GBA to the 32X this is very impressive. I've seen Chilly Willy talk about what he thinks the engine could eventually be optimized to with assembly. Basically the sky's the limit with him, it's just a matter of how much low level optimizations and how much time one wants to take. I hope he spends more time working on a real Doom port personally.

I am uploading another video right now. Chilly Willy modified, well I'll just quote him:

"Here's a faster version of Yeti3D - I made one optimization to the polygon draw functions... I noticed in the dump that is was doing a call for a shift instead of just shifting; turns out it was doing a signed shift, which the SH2 only supports in one form - any other form has a call to a library that does the equivalent. That's bad news for the inner loop of a drawing function, so I changed the signed shift to an unsigned shift... no more calling the library in the middle of the loop.

This is why lower-end systems use hand-tuned assembly for these inner routines - there's no telling what a compiler will generate. Anywho, this version is STILL C code for everything, but slightly more optimal C.

Yeti3D-faster"
Yeti3D-Faster build:

Edited by sheath, Mar 5 2011, 08:33 AM.
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Any progress on this one?

Bel
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