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Thread: Sega Homebrew: SCD vs 32x

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    Nameless One Maeloko's Avatar
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    Default Sega Homebrew: SCD vs 32x

    I've always had an interest for Sega homebrew games, though I'm curious about something. I've noticed a lot more homebrew attention centered around the 32x then I have the SCD.

    Given the availability and affordability of CD-Rs, why aren't there more SCD projects? From what I've been told, isn't the 32x more difficult to program for, as opposed to the SCD?

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    The Sega CD probably isn't used much because the only other thing it offers that the Genesis doesn't is FMV, CD quality music, and maybe a better color palette.

    32x however offers 3D, better 2D, very large color palette, sprite scaling, etc.

    So unless you want CD quality music, may as well use the Genesis.
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    16-bits is all he needs Master of Shinobi matteus's Avatar
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    It doesn't even offer that Baloo! What it offers is more channels of PCM sound, a magical custom graphics ASCI which apparently isn't documented very well so no bugger really knows how to use it or its potential (I believe Chilly Willy maybe looking into this one though), a bit more ram but bugger all ROM meaning it was at a disadvantage to the Genesis from the off! With the Sega CD you were forced to fit as much game code as possible into RAM to save trying to access and transfer data off the slow CD drive, while the Genesis could simply use and access ROM instantaneously ...


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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    I really need to finish my CD base code. I think if a bit more homebrew comes out, others might try their hand at it as well. The main issue is that there's very few devs working on MD/CD/32X homebrew at all. Most of them are working on the MD. There's a scant few of us on the 32X, and almost nobody working on the CD.

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    16-bits is all he needs Master of Shinobi matteus's Avatar
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    I guess it’s difficult to gain decent displayable results from the CD and when you do people just go but can't the MD do that anyway... at which point you cry in the corner over how you had to write routines to manage all the buffering from the CD, etc and it was ten times more complicated than MD coding


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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    The Sega CD probably isn't used much because the only other thing it offers that the Genesis doesn't is FMV, CD quality music, and maybe a better color palette.
    It offers more storage space, FMV, PCM audio, CD audio, a faster processor and sprite & background-scaling. The VDP is the one in the MD, so the colour palette is the same. But the add-on is hard to program for, so it may be one reason why it isn't used much.

    32x however offers 3D, better 2D, very large color palette, sprite scaling, etc.
    The only thing better with the 2D it actually offers is the large colour palette. But many games didn't use it much because it was so hard to program the 32X or maybe because they needed to do their job quick and used the MD VDP because they had experience with it beforehand. The sprite scaling is only used in software, but I guess you're right on it because most systems do.
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    Mastering your Systems Shining Hero TmEE's Avatar
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    From what Fonzie has told me, MCD will crash on anything that it won't like... highly unstable environment, or so he says.
    32X is not difficult, it is just offering you nothing interesting... 2x framebuffers and 2x really shitty quality sound channels...
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    16-bits is all he needs Master of Shinobi matteus's Avatar
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    Isn't part of the issue with the 32x that it can't render backgrounds unless they're made up of sprites? So you end up using the MD's background layers which are colour limited?


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    I'm still saying if someone made a 32x game creator or something that is real simple to use the 32x would have more homebrew than say the Dreamcast sure it might take a while to make but still it would be worth it.
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    it'll never happen... you couldn't bring it down to complete novice level it would still require complicated low level programming to get anything out of it Dreamcast has Windows CE hidden in the background, which makes development alot easier....


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    Quote Originally Posted by matteus View Post
    Isn't part of the issue with the 32x that it can't render backgrounds unless they're made up of sprites? So you end up using the MD's background layers which are colour limited?
    No, the 32X is a plain framebuffer with 256 color palette of 32768 colors, or 32768 colors direct. There's no sprites, no NOTHING, just a framebuffer. The CPUs have to do EVERYTHING except fill a line (the only thing the VDP can do).

    Since there's no cells or sprites, many games use the MD graphics for many things, then do a few things that need the extra color or SH2 power on the 32X. For example, Chaotix does the background on the MD so they can use the same old Sonic background engine, and does the sprites on the 32X so that you get more colorful sprites that can be sized and rotated. Kolibri is the opposite (from my understanding) - doing the background on the 32X for more colors, and the sprites on the MD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TmEE View Post
    From what Fonzie has told me, MCD will crash on anything that it won't like... highly unstable environment, or so he says.
    32X is not difficult, it is just offering you nothing interesting... 2x framebuffers and 2x really shitty quality sound channels...
    Isn't the PWM actually a single (ie paired) stereo channel, not possible to separate them and use as 2 mono 10-bit channels, with a "mono" mode that just outputs the same thing to both DACs. (with multiple, mixed software channels of course, ie 2 9-bit, 4 8-bit, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    No, the 32X is a plain framebuffer with 256 color palette of 32768 colors, or 32768 colors direct. There's no sprites, no NOTHING, just a framebuffer. The CPUs have to do EVERYTHING except fill a line (the only thing the VDP can do).
    With 256-color you can get full screen, but it has to be clipped to 320x204 when using the full palette, right? (I assume Kolibri is using 256 colors as it's full screen) Can the unused RAM in 256-color mode be used for anything else?


    Quote Originally Posted by Zebbe View Post
    The only thing better with the 2D it actually offers is the large colour palette. But many games didn't use it much because it was so hard to program the 32X or maybe because they needed to do their job quick and used the MD VDP because they had experience with it beforehand. The sprite scaling is only used in software, but I guess you're right on it because most systems do.
    Well you get anything the SH-2s can manage in software, the Scaling in BC Racers seems smoother on the 32x than the CD version for example, but of course there's no sprites, tiles, or background support, just a double buffered bitmap display manipulated by the CPUs.

    The CD video ASIC does more than just sprite scaling/rotation as well, I don't know that much about it, but one function is a bitmap to tile conversion to output to the genesis VDP, and it can draw polygons, or at least can be tweaked to draw polygons. (Chilly Willy mentioned this, and I found a comment from Fonzie that it's done by 'tweaking" the ASIC's vector line drawing capability)
    Last edited by kool kitty89; 09-29-2009 at 10:42 PM.
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    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    I think programming on the 32x is more interesting than the Sega CD because the 32x was never pushed to it's limits, and had few games in general. The Sega CD is a bit more boring by todays standards. I'd prefer either, as long as it's released on a CD so I can use original hardware Can't wait for Chilly Willy's stuff to be released on CD.
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    Mastering your Systems Shining Hero TmEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Isn't the PWM actually a single (ie paired) stereo channel, not possible to separate them and use as 2 mono 10-bit channels, with a "mono" mode that just outputs the same thing to both DACs. (with multiple, mixed software channels of course, ie 2 9-bit, 4 8-bit, etc)
    The PWM stuff itself is just 2x digital output signals with a low pass filter following... at least you have some sort of timing hardware present so the sound will not be as bad as say what one could get from a PC speaker in IBM PC compatibles (on which you do PWM to achieve more than just beeps).
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    say what you will about the technical aspects, but playing a Sega CD game on real hardware is WAY more accessible than playing a 32X game on real hardware. We just recently got a proper USB flash cart, but it's still $150, so most people won't want to shell out that kind of cash. On the other hand, anyone with a Sega CD can easily burn a homebrew game. The FMV aspect also makes it easy to make interesting games like Novastorm without any real special programming or tricks.

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