SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

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SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby blabla » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:00 pm

Hey guys,
i made a quick port of SMSPlus, a GG/SMS emulator.
I ported the emulator because i was curious to see how fast the atari falcon could run it in true color mode.
Of course, it's not very fast... It's not playable unless you have a CT60 or play it on Aranym.

It also uses custom modes (160x144 for GG and 256x192 for SMS, True color) for speed reasons so it might not work over RGB.
By default, it looks for a file called test.gg.
You can use a terminal (EmuCon) and type sms_030.prg sonic.sms if you want to play another game.
I would recommend that you play the Game gear versions over the master system versions due to the lower resolution.

It works fine on Hatari and Aranym (very smooth on aranym) but i'm curious to know how well it works on real hardware so let me know because i never owned an Atari and probably never will after looking at the prices on ebay...

The build supports no sound because that would slow it down even further and only the keyboard is supported for now.

Binaries :
https://github.com/gameblabla/smsplus-falcon/releases

Source code :
https://github.com/gameblabla/smsplus-falcon
Last edited by blabla on Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby shoggoth » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:08 am

I haven't tested your port, but I ported SMS+ myself about a decade ago, and it does 50FPS on the CT60 (25MHz bus) using 5bpp C2P. It think it drops to 25FPS in TC.
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby blabla » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:44 am

That's embarassing haha... I wouldn't have done it if i knew you had ported <_<
Oh well, i don't think it will run much faster

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby CiH » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:57 am

A reply to an unseen topic opener text. I'm intrigued.
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby wongck » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:08 pm

CiH wrote:A reply to an unseen topic opener text. I'm intrigued.

I saw the original post by OP ( not Keith ) hours ago.... wasn't taking too much attention to it, I think OP even had a link to his port.
IIRC, OP mentioned that it needs CT60 or Aranym to work proper.

Wonder why he would delete it away, leaving a reply to an unseen topic.
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby mikro » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:43 pm

Let's turn it into something positive. So hey Peter, how is releasing your source code going? ;-)

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby shoggoth » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:51 pm

This is... weird.
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby shoggoth » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:51 pm

It's been a tough year though, I've been known to talk to myself and/or imaginary friends lately :)
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby shoggoth » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:10 pm

blabla wrote:That's embarassing haha... I wouldn't have done it if i knew you had ported <_<
Oh well, i don't think it will run much faster


My port is not exactly pretty. But it's very playable with joypads. The PSG is emulated using the YM-chip, because they're fairly similar. Periodic noise is approximated when possible, and the noise channel is simulated by using free channels or by enabling noise on some other channel with roughly the same volume. I have no idea where I have the files though :)
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby wongck » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:27 pm

Ha ha It's back :thumbs:
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby joska » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:44 pm

blabla wrote:It works fine on Hatari and Aranym (very smooth on aranym) but i'm curious to know how well it works on real hardware so let me know because i never owned an Atari and probably never will after looking at the prices on ebay...


Tested it on my Falcon in both 030 and 060 modes, and I got the same result in both. The screen (VGA) is split around 1/3 from the top, the bottom part is all white and the top part is all purple and then goes all black. Then nothing more.

Tested with Sonic the Hedgehog.
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby blabla » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:38 pm

joska wrote:
blabla wrote:It works fine on Hatari and Aranym (very smooth on aranym) but i'm curious to know how well it works on real hardware so let me know because i never owned an Atari and probably never will after looking at the prices on ebay...

Tested it on my Falcon in both 030 and 060 modes, and I got the same result in both. The screen (VGA) is split around 1/3 from the top, the bottom part is all white and the top part is all purple and then goes all black. Then nothing more.
Tested with Sonic the Hedgehog.

Thanks for giving it a try. I think that you downloaded the first buggy build. I noticed it did that on Hatari too after i enabled borders... (which i then promptly fixed)

If the screen stays black, its because it couldn't load the rom.
The previous version also had a bug where you couldn't launch a game from the terminal (which is now fixed).
Download it again and if it still doesn't work, rename your room to test.gg.

Btw, the post disappeared because it had to be approved. It's none of my fault...
I plan to port of my games to the Falcon, without using SDL of course because that's way too slow on a stock Falcon...

My port is not exactly pretty. But it's very playable with joypads. The PSG is emulated using the YM-chip, because they're fairly similar. Periodic noise is approximated when possible, and the noise channel is simulated by using free channels or by enabling noise on some other channel with roughly the same volume. I have no idea where I have the files though

Very nice ! At first, I was thinking of using STE DMA but of course this is a much better idea. If you can get your source code, it would be nice because i struggle to find some nice C code for the Ataris. (or old computers in general...)

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby Foxie » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:29 pm

blabla wrote:Very nice ! At first, I was thinking of using STE DMA but of course this is a much better idea. If you can get your source code, it would be nice because i struggle to find some nice C code for the Ataris. (or old computers in general...)


You could probably use STE DMA sound for noise, with some big lookup tables of noise to play back. You could have one lookup table for each volume.

I think I heard the Japanese Master System used the same YM2413 FM synthesiser as the FM Melody Maker cartridge for the Atari? You could perhaps add support for it very easily. olivierg on this forum is selling a modern clone of the FM Melody Maker cartridge here: http://www.gossuin.be/

The Melody Maker uses address lines A1-A8 as the data lines D0-D7. The address line of the YM2413 is connected to A9. To write to it, you read the ROM3 area (upper 64K of cartridge space). You can't read anything useful from it.

If you know assembly language, you could also use the DSP to emulate the PSG and YM2413. That sounds like a pretty big project to make it exact.
Last edited by Foxie on Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby penguin » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:51 pm

shoggoth wrote:I haven't tested your port, but I ported SMS+ myself about a decade ago, and it does 50FPS on the CT60 (25MHz bus) using 5bpp C2P. It think it drops to 25FPS in TC.


I remember playing SMS Shinobi on your port!

I do like these SDL port - of course they require a powerful Atari or an emulator, but it's nice to see some apps that require powerful machines...
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby joska » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:49 pm

blabla wrote:Thanks for giving it a try. I think that you downloaded the first buggy build. I noticed it did that on Hatari too after i enabled borders... (which i then promptly fixed)


Tried the fixed version. I get a black screen, followed by a cyan screen with some purple, vertical stripes.

Can you post a ROM that you know works?
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby blabla » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:44 am

joska wrote:Tried the fixed version. I get a black screen, followed by a cyan screen with some purple, vertical stripes.

It could be that it is simply very slow and it's loading the game. For how long you let it run ?
I have attached another version that initialize the display differently. Give this one a try if it still doesn't work.

Can you post a ROM that you know works?

This homebrew (a button test) works fine for me.
http://www.smspower.org/uploads/Homebrew/GamegearButtonTest-GG-0.3.0.zip

Let me know if this work so i can go ahead and release my game c: (somewhat done)

And i probably won't bother adding back sound support... it's too slow as it is right now.
Using the DSP is an even crazier idea ha
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby Foxie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:26 pm

blabla wrote:Using the DSP is an even crazier idea ha


It's probably a bit overkill. Mapping the SN76489 tone channels to the YM2149 should be really easy. You'd just need a lookup table of 1024 pitches to convert them.

It looks like there are only 3 frequencies and 2 types of noise. You'd only need 6 lookup tables containing sampled noise to play back with DMA sound. Volume control can be done with the Falcon codec attenuator. You can set it by the word at $ff893a. I think it's 0000LLLLRRRRxxxx where L and R are the attenuation amount (1.5dB steps). Or it might be 00000000LLLLRRRR. I think the codec attenuator doesn't affect the YM2149 but I'm not certain.

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby Estrayk » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:56 pm

blabla wrote:
joska wrote:Tried the fixed version. I get a black screen, followed by a cyan screen with some purple, vertical stripes.

It could be that it is simply very slow and it's loading the game. For how long you let it run ?
I have attached another version that initialize the display differently. Give this one a try if it still doesn't work.

Can you post a ROM that you know works?

This homebrew (a button test) works fine for me.
http://www.smspower.org/uploads/Homebrew/GamegearButtonTest-GG-0.3.0.zip

Let me know if this work so i can go ahead and release my game c: (somewhat done)

And i probably won't bother adding back sound support... it's too slow as it is right now.
Using the DSP is an even crazier idea ha


Hi! blabla, this one it works. The binary from first post doesn't work (weird colors at screen like to joska).
Captured from a Falcon ct60e 95Mhz VGA. I hope it helps you.

rom used:
https://mega.nz/#!SR0TxLbA!zjGirhFprGIe ... duEYaTIxAc
Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1PtXdlzIrY

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby blabla » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:48 am

Estrayk wrote:Hi! blabla, this one it works. The binary from first post doesn't work (weird colors at screen like to joska).
Captured from a Falcon ct60e 95Mhz VGA. I hope it helps you.

Hey, thanks.
And indeed it helped me, i am very surprised by the speed of SMSPlus on a CT60e !
I almost considered working on sound support haha but i don't feel like it right now.

I have released a new version that was compiled with the latest version of vbcc and fixed the display.
(it also fixed a bug with the rom not being freed, oops)

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby mzry » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:39 am

Is there any chance of a Sega megadrive emulator for a ct60 falcon? Damn that would be nice
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby jury » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:32 am

I'm 99% sure, that going through some atari sites I have seen Megadrive/Genesis emulator for our platform somewhere. Spend 1 minute in web search engine now, but couldn't find it, but I'm pretty sure its somewhere.
Edit:
Oh, and to be honest, even thou I used to have Genesis back then and loved it to max ( one of my favourite platforms beside atari 16/32big ) but I was so sceptical about the speed of this, that even not downloaded it to try out ( also I have real Genesis + 2 Megadrives, so emulators stand no chance :) )

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby Foxie » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:07 pm

jury wrote:Oh, and to be honest, even thou I used to have Genesis back then and loved it to max ( one of my favourite platforms beside atari 16/32big ) but I was so sceptical about the speed of this, that even not downloaded it to try out ( also I have real Genesis + 2 Megadrives, so emulators stand no chance :) )


The Mega Drive has a 68000, so you could make big savings in speed by running the code natively. Use the MMU to catch hardware accesses. I don't know how fast emulating graphics and sound would be. Emulators for many machines did exist in the mid 90s and they were fast. You can emulate a SNES on a Pentium. Surely the CT60 can compete with a Pentium on speed.

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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby mzry » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:39 pm

Yeah I absolutely would adore playing SONIC on my Falcon. Having beautiful VGA output and sound through the DAC to spdif... :D
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby CiH » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:49 pm

Is there any chance of a Sega megadrive emulator for a ct60 falcon? Damn that would be nice

From my non-coding perspective, I'm guessing an '060 class machine to run something like that at all...

Also somewhat hand-optimised to make it run half-decently.
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Re: SMSPlus for the Atari falcon

Postby Foxie » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:20 pm

CiH wrote:
Is there any chance of a Sega megadrive emulator for a ct60 falcon? Damn that would be nice

From my non-coding perspective, I'm guessing an '060 class machine to run something like that at all...

Also somewhat hand-optimised to make it run half-decently.


I think the Mega Drive had parallax scrolling like the Amiga? This makes it more difficult. You'd need to redraw the whole screen 50 times a second. Easily possible on an 060 + SuperVidel. The Falcon bus might be too slow without a SuperVidel? You might also need to do some chunky to planar if the Mega Drive isn't planar. Then again, with Quake II running on a 16MHz Falcon I wouldn't be surprised if you could do it all at 16MHz.


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