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Target format discussion. ATM, PC executable. But please, discuss! :)

#1 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 04 December 2008 - 08:00 AM

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What format should this project be on?

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My opinion (Which, might I add, I have posted here with the purpose of it being disputed and/or discussed. Feel free, that's what the forum is here for); Mega CD.

My reasons?
  • A Redbook audio soundtrack will allow for our musicians to experiment very freely for the most dynamic possible score.
  • Through emulation, this can reach a very wide audience. Off the top of my head, Mac, PC, PSP and Mega CD users could all play it. That's a lot of people there already. Not as much as Megadrive emulation, but I'm combining this with other factors, such as;
  • Playing on the original hardware is a piece of easy pie with the Mega CD format. Burn the ISO and go. This is appealing for many retro gamers (Who, by nature, will comprise a large part of the audience)
  • The format is limiting in so many ways. This will ensure authenticity, but the added capabilities of the Mega CD will allow for stunning set-pieces or special stages.
Reasons against?
  • Coding for Mega CD is largely undiscovered territory here. I'm vaguely aware of a homebrew scene somewhere, but we can't be guaranteed any help in this area, nor should we take it for granted.
  • Not everybody has a Mega CD. Not every Megadrive emulator emulates it, either.
  • Offering an ISO that a person is essentially able to publish and possibly distribute themselves is quite likely to get us a cease-and-desist.
Please, discuss; offer your own opinions, whatever.
This post has been edited by Jayextee: 13 December 2008 - 10:15 AM

#2 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 04 December 2008 - 09:21 AM

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MegaCD would be wonderful, but a lot more work, however I do feel there are a lot of capable hackers here; more so than there are capable general programmers, so it could potentially be better than a fan game.

#3 User is offline Tweaker 

Posted 04 December 2008 - 09:57 AM

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I maintain a firm belief that the next "main" installment of the Sonic series would not have been on the Genesis or Sega CD. If I had to target any platform for the game, it would either be the 32x or the Sega Saturn; the latter is a very unrealistic and unlikely platform to directly develop for, which is why I was under the assumption that we were developing for a PC platform to maintain the benefits of the Saturn without the drawback of having to program for it.

I don't think the platform for the project is something that needs to be talked about any further—it's best if it's made for the PC, and eventually cross-compiled for other systems as we can manage it.

#4 User is offline muteKi 

Posted 04 December 2008 - 10:04 AM

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As I've said before I agree with Tweaker here, for basically the same reasons he's given. It allows us to expand the color and detail of stages, but by using the PC we don't have to deal with hardware that is rather finicky -- I suppose it would be possible to create a Sega CD/32X combo game, as documentation exists for both devices, but it would be difficult and time-consuming to do so.

#5 User is offline Rokkan 

Posted 04 December 2008 - 10:12 AM

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I think it should be designed for the PC. We shouldn't work with any kind of limitations, that will only consume more time and work.
No color, sprite or number of shades in a single sprite limitation. All we gotta have is good sense, we'll not have a sprite that has 50 different colors!
Also mp3 quality music just like Sonic CD.

#6 User is offline Jordanime 

Posted 04 December 2008 - 09:03 PM

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The PC would probably be the best platform to develop for. The only reason I could see the value in developing for the Sega CD would be authenticity, but it's a pretty kitschy gimmick and I would wager a pain for developers, artists and programmers to work around the restrictions of that long defunct, buggy platform.

(Not that I didn't love my Sega CD, back when it worked, and even then only didn't ask that I dump the RAM every time I started it up or messed up in playing the three different versions of Ecco the Dolphin CD I bought) :argh:

#7 User is offline Shadow Hog 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:36 AM

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Basically, what Tweaker said. A <I>Sonic</I> game, as if it had been made for the Saturn - but since Saturn homebrew is in relative infancy (I sort of wish it wasn't), we'll just shift it over to the PC and <b>pretend</b> we're doing the Saturn.

Basically, it means the usual 2D sprites, backgrounds, what have you, but polygonal effects are fair game (albeit if we're really going to run all the way home with this, transparent polygons would have the awful "mesh" transparency the Saturn is notorious for), zooming in and out is fair game (another 2D Saturn game Sega developed, <I>Astal</I>, does quite a bit of this), dynamic rotations of sprites is fair game, relatively large amounts of sprites on-screen at the same time is fair game (think debris when you bust a badnik, for instance), true color is more or less fair game (I think; the Saturn might have had some palette restrictions, I forget; although, even if it does, it's still much higher than the Genesis), and, if we really want to, true 3D backgrounds here and there are fair game.

I don't actually expect that last one, but by all means, go crazy with the others. Heck, just imagine a large boss, made up of many sprites, rotating around all over the place, acting as its "limbs" of sorts, without having to draw a pose for every possible position... this is the kind of thing Sega DID during this era - they EMBRACED such shows of technical wizardry, just to drive home that their baby <b>could</b> do these things. Again, see <I>Astal</I>, and to a lesser extent (given that it's 2.5D) the <I>Clockwork Knight</I> series.

tl;dr: basically just PC, except acting a bit show-offy

#8 User is offline Kamon62 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:23 AM

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View PostRave, on Dec 5 2008, 02:12 AM, said:

I think it should be designed for the PC. We shouldn't work with any kind of limitations, that will only consume more time and work.
No color, sprite or number of shades in a single sprite limitation. All we gotta have is good sense, we'll not have a sprite that has 50 different colors!
Also mp3 quality music just like Sonic CD.


Couldn't of said it better mysellf. A Sega CD for the PC. Maybe in an ISO? Nah maybe just a plain .EXE. Yes deifnately, an .EXE. Install and away you go! No limitations like we would have producing it as a rom (.bin) or keeping to Sega specs of the Sega Megadrive/CD/32X. I would suggest more but that would just be repeating Rave. A must is: 'Unlimited colours' so that any of the people who have produced sprites not in the colour range of 32-bit won't have to redo anything. It will save alot of time.

#9 User is offline MKAmeX 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:37 AM

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I agree with everyone who says PC. It's probably the best option at the moment, unless there's a major breakthrough in CD/32X hacking, I just don't see how it can work. A lot of people can't run saturn emulators at a capable speed, and most don't even own one. I'd say just go with the one that has the most range of people, which would probably be Megadrive/Genesis, but that'll probably limit what we're trying to achieve.

Also, with the sprites, it's really a habit of mine to work with only 16 colors on a single sprite, so I'd go insane if I had to use any more. So even if we do have access to 50 bajillion colors, try to limit yourself to anything below 50. =P

#10 User is offline roxahris 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:57 AM

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I have to agree with Tweaker and Shadow Hog. Unfortunately, I have nothing else worthwhile to contribute on the subject.

#11 User is offline Jan Abaza 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 05:33 AM

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Quote

A Sega CD for the PC. Maybe in an ISO? Nah maybe just a plain .EXE. Yes deifnately, an .EXE. Install and away you go! No limitations like we would have producing it as a rom (.bin) or keeping to Sega specs of the Sega Megadrive/CD/32X


This is...wrong on so many levels I'm having trouble keeping my mouth shut...

Developing for the "PC"? Don't you mean Windows? (...an .EXE file? I run two Linux boxes, and neither has .exe files in them other than WINE stuff. But they're still PCs.) Would the C source code be compiled for any of the Linux distros, too?

No limitations! Yeah, in consuming RAM. But also zero portability compared to .bin files. Sonic 3K's original binary is 4 MB. Sonic 3K's Windows binary+executable+junk is somewhere along 9. The Windows version lags heavily in my portable emulator machine. The emulated Genesis version doesn't.

When choosing a platform, couldn't you just select one that doesn't waste so much space on ram and hard drive? You know, actual portable environment, as opposed to the multitude of APIs and DirectX dependencies Windows brings with them? It is my opinion that by using Windows to code a game like this, you are either limiting your output or making yourself a lot of work later on, when you want to 'port' your game to other environments.

#12 User is offline Quirk 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 07:53 AM

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I'm all for Sega CD/Genesis format. Something about being able to play it on a real Genesis hooked to a crappy TV seems really appealing. I prefer Sega CD because I would love to see classic Sonic with CD audio music again, but I can see that being a real bitch to get all set up. Why not stay with Genesis then? We know the most about the Genesis game's architecture right? Wouldn't it be easier to rebuild a previous Sonic than code PC one from scratch? Also, that way you could buy a Genesis flash cart, load it on there and play it on the real thing.

With the flash cart you could even sell a "Sonic Retro" kit on eBay or something for the hardcore that would come with a Flash Cart, PC-cart cable and a CD containing an IPS patch (no rom)

#13 User is offline Tweaker 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 02:32 PM

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View PostJan Abaza, on Dec 5 2008, 05:33 AM, said:

Developing for the "PC"? Don't you mean Windows? (...an .EXE file? I run two Linux boxes, and neither has .exe files in them other than WINE stuff. But they're still PCs.) Would the C source code be compiled for any of the Linux distros, too?

If a program is written in C, it can be compiled for damn near anything, not just different operating systems. If the engine is coded right, though, then yes—it could be compiled for Linux; hell, it could be compiled for Mac! Those are probably the marginally "easier" ports to make, though.

Quote

No limitations! Yeah, in consuming RAM. But also zero portability compared to .bin files. Sonic 3K's original binary is 4 MB. Sonic 3K's Windows binary+executable+junk is somewhere along 9. The Windows version lags heavily in my portable emulator machine. The emulated Genesis version doesn't.

That's because you're comparing two emulators—one for the Genesis (which takes a lot less to emulate well) and one that emulates... what, x86? WINE? Not sure what you're using. The point is, it's not directly comparing the two programs and how they're coded—it's comparing how well the emulators are coded.

If you compiled directly for Linux, directly for the PSP, or directly for the DS, it's going to go a lot faster than if you emulated it. Still, emulating something on another system doesn't magically make it work natively on the system; writing it in C and cross-compiling, however, would. That's the primary difference here.

Quote

When choosing a platform, couldn't you just select one that doesn't waste so much space on ram and hard drive? You know, actual portable environment, as opposed to the multitude of APIs and DirectX dependencies Windows brings with them? It is my opinion that by using Windows to code a game like this, you are either limiting your output or making yourself a lot of work later on, when you want to 'port' your game to other environments.

As I mentioned above, the point is to develop on, and primarily for PC platforms—not strictly Windows. If coded properly, the modular nature of the engine could allow it to be natively running on a multitude of systems from the Dreamcast to the PSP. That's the advantage. If you develop straight for the Genesis, you're going to have the same limitations no matter what platform you decide to emulate the system on—it's still a Genesis.

#14 User is offline synchronizer 

Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:17 PM

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Is there anyway to make a ppc mac version? Sonic Retro is the only Sonic engine I know that can create one. Up at the top of the page it was stated that if on the MegaCD, through emulation, a mac could run it? How? No MegaCD emulators exist for ppc or even intel macs as far as I know. I wish for ppc... Although, I do have a Japanese un-modded MegaCD. I would be for the MegaCD as long as I could just burn a disk, put it in the CD drive and play without any modding. If someone could write a guide describing how to burn Project Retro on a CD, and as long as all regions are supported (japanese) then I would really like the game to be on the MegaCD. I still would like mac ppc/mac intel/windows though, but second choice is MegaCD for sure, especially since I would like to have a second Sonic game to play on it.

But, I also have a PS3. Would I have to hack/mod anything to run Project retro, or would I just put it in a thumb-drive, open the file, and play it? I would enjoy playing it on my PS3.
This post has been edited by synchronizer: 05 December 2008 - 03:19 PM

#15 User is offline Axel Letterman 

Posted 07 December 2008 - 05:42 PM

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View Postsynchronizer, on Dec 6 2008, 05:47 AM, said:

Is there anyway to make a ppc mac version? Sonic Retro is the only Sonic engine I know that can create one.


As many have said, Sonic Retro is gonna be focused on the x86 (Windows, Linux, OpenSolaris, etc) for the time being.
But maybe sometime in the future there will be a PPC version (For PPC Macs and Wii).

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