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Cannonball - Enhanced OutRun Engine Released

#1 User is offline reassembler 

  Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

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I'm delighted to announce the release of Cannonball; a portable C++ OutRun engine. This is the product of many years of reverse engineering, hacking and debugging.

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The entire OutRun codebase has been decompiled and rewritten from scratch in C++. This extends to the Z80 sound program code and therefore full audio is supported.

Not only that, but the game now runs at 60 frames per second and many bugs present in the original code are eradicated.

This is just the beginning. Future releases will include a full menu, proper control, video & audio configuration plus an array of options and game modes not present in the original game.

I'm hoping to find OutRun enthusiasts who will port Cannonball to a variety of platforms. I'd love to see Linux, Mac, Wii, Raspberry Pi and other platforms supported. I will facilitate serious offers of help. We can ensure that any changes make it into the master branch, so it's easy to keep ports up to date.

The codebase isn't perfect; the original code from 1986 can prove messy and inconsistent. Some of this is naturally carried through to the rewrite. For now, the focus has been on the accuracy of the conversion, at the expense of serious refactoring. But that's not to say this isn't a viable future goal. And I've been working on this long enough, it's time to release.

Why do this? Because I love OutRun, and no one else would have done.


#2 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 02 December 2012 - 07:03 PM

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Very interesting! I'd love to see a Wii port of this.

Do the planned video options include higher resolutions modes than the original? That would be a nice addition.



EDIT: Watching this game running at 60 FPS is so cool... Perhaps you could try to reach SEGA, like The Taxman did with his Sonic CD project?


EDIT 2: Just one thing, though. The "Last Wave" track can never be fully heard since it stops when the "Best Outrunners" ranking comes in.
I don't think this happened in the original cabinet, as I used to stay sitting in there until it fully ended, when I was very little...
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 02 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

#3 User is offline reassembler 

Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:31 AM

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Hi Iceknight.

Higher resolution is definitely on the consideration list. The thing to remember is that a lot of the sprites and pixel art are pretty low-res to begin with. So you'd benefit from the scenario where Sprites are clearer whilst zoomed out - but not when you're close to them. I believe this is what the Dreamcast version does, so playing that on a monitor will give you an indication of the quality. The road rendering would also benefit. It's something I'd want to quickly prototype to see if it falls into the easily doable category... :)

Last Wave music - should be a one line fix, thanks for pointing that out.

Reaching Sega - OutRun has problems with the Ferrari license and so forth. So not sure it would be any help. Part of the reason for this project is that there hasn't been a decent version of OutRun since the Sega Saturn.

A Wii port should be easy as I believe it has SDL available for it. Might only take a couple of hours. I'm hoping some others can take up the porting work, leaving me to focus on the core engine stuff.

#4 User is offline reassembler 

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 02 December 2012 - 07:03 PM, said:

EDIT 2: Just one thing, though. The "Last Wave" track can never be fully heard since it stops when the "Best Outrunners" ranking comes in.
I don't think this happened in the original cabinet, as I used to stay sitting in there until it fully ended, when I was very little...


Just tried the original (both the Japanese and US release) and it's the same behaviour. I guess you misremembered?

#5 User is offline Truner 

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

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Would a PSP version be also possible? I love the idea of having old games like this natively running on different consoles.

#6 User is offline reassembler 

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:30 AM

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View PostTruner, on 03 December 2012 - 06:50 PM, said:

Would a PSP version be also possible? I love the idea of having old games like this natively running on different consoles.


Yes. The PSP has SDL support, so hopefully a quick job. (I don't have a PSP though, so someone else would have to give this a go).

#7 User is offline Glaber 

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:15 AM

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in regards to the Ferrari licence, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing uses a simlar car for Jacky to drive. Base it on that and you should be able to get around the license like Sumo did.
This post has been edited by Glaber: 04 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

#8 User is offline Elratauru 

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

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Man, now this is cool. I'd love if we had the same thing for Outrunners though, because for me, it's the best OutRun version. That aside, holy 60fps.

#9 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:30 PM

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I'd like to see something like this done for the Genesis Sonic games.

#10 User is offline Elratauru 

Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:26 AM

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View PostAerosolSP, on 26 December 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

I'd like to see something like this done for the Genesis Sonic games.


Well...some time ago I believe that LOst made something pretty similar, I'm not sure if it used the original rom data or dissasambly but I tested a version of it and hell it was accurate...though it happened pre-Sonic 2HD and I'm gonna guess it was his starting point. I was focusing on the art so I didn't care too much about it.

Though I agree, It would be amazing to develop a port of the engine that used the original rom data.

#11 User is offline Master Emerald 

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

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Hey, I love this! Please consider adding 'Sharper Bilinear'! In which you can upsize the image to an integer value higher than the screen and then using bilinear to downscale! Looks pretty good and is the best way to filter images to non-integer scales!

And more importantly: OGG support for remixes <3 (looping ogg would be awesome, as it's easy to read the looping tags from the metadata!).

EDIT:
Also: please remove the 21-character limit on the Replacement track title and fix the tile missing on the sea from the course map:

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This post has been edited by Master Emerald: 09 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

#12 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

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Any plans to support any kind of editability? You know, for cats who want to produce their own hi-def/res/octane/whatever graphics packs, or goons like myself who just want to pretend they done made an Outrun game of their own, derp.

#13 User is offline reassembler 

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:09 AM

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View PostJayextee, on 09 February 2013 - 04:47 PM, said:

Any plans to support any kind of editability? You know, for cats who want to produce their own hi-def/res/octane/whatever graphics packs, or goons like myself who just want to pretend they done made an Outrun game of their own, derp.


Yes, that's the plan in the long-run. Currently I'm finishing off the force-feedback support and then I'll probably move onto it.

#14 User is offline LocalH 

Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

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View PostAerosolSP, on 26 December 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

I'd like to see something like this done for the Genesis Sonic games.

Isn't that basically Taxman's Retro Sonic engine, as seen in the 2011 Sonic CD ports?

Anyone know if he had to restrict usage of that engine after signing on to work with Sega? I don't remember if he discussed that or not.

#15 User is offline reassembler 

Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:20 AM

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View PostLocalH, on 21 February 2013 - 07:45 PM, said:

Anyone know if he had to restrict usage of that engine after signing on to work with Sega? I don't remember if he discussed that or not.


Without knowing much about the specifics of the project, almost certainly yes it would have been restricted by the terms of the contract.

Did he release the source code, or was it closed source?

My personal view is I don't see the value of a project like this unless it's open source so able to be extended and ported, and available to all (I.e. not owned by a corporation).

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