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The C256 Foenix Projekt

  • The most successful gaming platform in the beginning of the 90's was the x86 PC. It was the universal gaming machine, capable of running all kind of games: flight simulators, racing games, 1st-person shooters. It was the big winner in a tough competition - without providing hardware sprites and despite all its drawbacks.

    You have it.
    And so there's no need to re-create something like this. It's already there.
    In my basement, in the basement at work, it's still 'round.
    Maybe even at your place. It's superseded, obsolete or waiting for its un-burial.


    Retro computers have a good share of the past as they bring back old
    sentiments, something previously enjoyed. But also, things have changed,
    and so you have different displays with different connectors these days, a
    new screen aspect ratio etc. So, ideally, you manage to get the old feelings
    back using your new hardware and environment.


    If you create something entirely new, it will need to bring something with
    it that is still missing or was lost on the way to the point of time we're at now.
    Something like the SID chip was never again created. Computers these days
    aren't hard synced machines anymore. Today's chips have countless unknown errata.
    Programs today don't run on "bare metal" as they still used to do on CBM or MS-DOS.
    With a new retro computer, you invent something that could or should have been
    developed the old days but never was. Get my point? :)


    Cheers!

  • If you don't want to talk about your project before you finish it, do it this way: FIRST finish your project and THEN publish it. ;)

    @Snoopy,


    Trust me, if I could have avoid talking about it in the early stage, I would have. However, early on I was projected in the communities eyes through the interview I did with SNAPEDA.


    By the way, just to make the record straight, there is difference about not wanting to talk about it and having to argue about the idea to change everything on a whim because some feels that it ought to be different. I think it is a simple concept to understand that there will never be a consensus in the community about what a "new" retro computer ought to be. Right now there are discussions about David Murray own version and there is another thread about your community wanting to create one. I can tell you that there is no consensus in either of those threads and there will never be any.


    Just my 2 cents


    Stefany

  • First of all, I really appreciate what Stefany is doing. The C256 is a very promising project and the progress being made is amazing. I don't understand the discussions about the hardware, because I don't think that the hardware and specifications are important at all. The question is: what's the new machine capable of, which the old machine couldn't do? And that's the real problem, because there is one very important feature missing from the C256, as well as the MEGA65: running Doom! The combination of a slow CPU and the non-linear high resolution graphic modes just won't make it work.


    Let's take a brief look at the history of gaming. The most successful gaming platform in the beginning of the 90's was the x86 PC. It was the universal gaming machine, capable of running all kind of games: flight simulators, racing games, 1st-person shooters. It was the big winner in a tough competition - without providing hardware sprites and despite all its drawbacks. Higher resolutions were never used. Almost all games ran in 320x200. It makes me wonder, why all projects, which are trying to make a successor to the C64, just pimp the loser instead of catching up with the winner. There is no benefit in higher resolutions and more sprites, because it does not open the door for any kind of new games. If you carry out a survey and ask people if they would rather play a high-resolution Giana Sisters in 256 colors or a 16 color version of Doom in 320x200@25fps, the answer would be very clear. Doom was the final nail in the coffin for other platforms. I think it needs to be pulled out in order to have success. Whenever there is a new platform, it's the first game being ported. First game ported for new Amiga accelerator cards? Doom! First game ported for the SuperCPU? Doom! It's that "Look what's possible now!" moment, what makes people say: "Yeah, finally!" ;-) It's a tough task to add raycasting acceleration and some basic 3D acceleration, but since graphic chip for the C256 and MEGA65 are FPGA, it's a just software problem and might be fixed later.

    What's the deal with DOOM and Wolfenstein, why is there an urge to have those games running on a 14Mhz CPU? I don't get it. You can run those on a 5Ghz CPU these days with Ray-Tracing...
    Sorry, I wish I would understand the need for this but hey... If this rocks your boat! lol


    Cheers


    Setfany

  • Erm, Stefanie: €uro Cents, or $-¢ents??


    C'est juste une blague, hein?
    :ChPeace

  • Tout a fait!Je ne sais pas, de nos jours, l'argent ne vaut plus grand chose!


    2 Deutchmark maybe! :bgdev


    Chgeers
    Stefany

    Soit heureux que t'as pas besoin de payer en Rumanie.


    1,-€ = 4,43 RON (pronocer Lei). Et oui, il y a encore toujours des pièce de 1 BAN (100 BAN = 1 LEI).


    Et ca moi je trouve c'est une blague Une pièce de monnaie qui vaut pratiquement rien. :-D

  • Alors nous parlons fracais ici?

    Apparament oui! ;o)



    Soit heureux que t'as pas besoin de payer en Rumanie.
    1,-€ = 4,43 RON (pronocer Lei). Et oui, il y a encore toujours des pièce de 1 BAN (100 BAN = 1 LEI).


    Et ca moi je trouve c'est une blague Une pièce de monnaie qui vaut pratiquement rien. :-D


    Ici on a le "Canadian Pesos", on en a vraiment pour notre argent!
    Je ne sais pas pourquoi les gens se plaigne que le Foenix va etre trop cher quand je regarde le vendre aux alentour de $250 a $300 USD pour commencer, ce qui donne aux alentour de 220 Euro... est-ce si cher pour vous?


    qu'est ce que 220 Euro achete en Europe de nos jours?


    Stefany

  • Au contraire. Je trouve que c'est pas cher.
    Moi jai calculè plus tôt avec 300,-€

  • Please lets stop de parle francais as it is against the rules.


    IMHO only english is tolerated and german is preferred.

    Seriously? Wow, okay...


    Alright! let's come back to the main Topic...



    By the way:


    Well, today is a great day ... After months of procrastination, I finally managed to implement the background debug mode inside GAVIN the system controller.


    The BDM is a hardware block that allows the developer to take control over the machine. In other words, it means that by using the special port on the side of the Foenix,
    the developer will be able to upload and download code and data, change registers content and eventually being able to put breakpoints, etc...



    this is a huge deal because, this is a major piece that was missing for me to be able to release the first batch of early adopter boards to the world.
    Otherwise, it would have required a lot programming on my part before I would have been able to release the boards.



    Now, the hardware is rather mature and solid, but there is still a lot of software to write for the kernel to make it acceptable for less hardware oriented people.


    The deal is to find good early-on hardware oriented people that can deal with the fact that the machine is still in its infancy in terms of Kernel functions, That would the first phase.
    The second phase, will be to get more firmware oriented people that are willing to help consolidating the system's Kernel, Monitor and possibly implementing a BASIC interpreter.
    The Third phase, which could possibly be concurrent to the second phase will be to get people willing to write new games for the platform.


    Right now, I'm actually debugging the BDM module, but it means we can start counting the weeks before the first early release!


    Cheers!


    Stefany


    PS: I might make a video on this, check it out... I only have 1 bug to fix to have the basic stuff working, so I might have time to put a video about it together today!

  • Please lets stop de parle francais as it is against the rules.


    IMHO only english is tolerated and german is preferred.

    Habe gerade in den Nutzungsbedingungen nachgeschaut: Dort steht nichts über der Verwendung von Fremdsprachen.
    Es war meinerseits nur ein Zeichen der Achtung gegenüber Stephanie, weil ich weis daß Sie frankophon ist.


    Aber egal, dann halt auf dem angelsächsischen germanen-Dialekt ;)

  • Seriously?

    Actually no, not at all. The board rules don't say anything explicitly about which languages are or aren't considered acceptable around here. German is certainly preferred, English enjoys the long-standing tradition of being accepted, anything else is uncharted territory. I guess technically that should imply French is fine. (IIRC we once had a sub-thread where people used Latin...)


    But if the criterion is communicating with potentially as many people as possible, using English is obviously your safest bet. Francophone folks aren't necessarily uncommon, but with the occasional exceptions, probably just about everyone knows English at least to some degree.

  • I am a very very huge fan of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, but honestly, I don't give a #@!% whether it will be running on any of those machines. If I want to play those games, I play them on PC or DosBox, for example the SuperCPU port of Wolfenstein simply looks horrible and I wouldn't want to play it that way. And I'm even not really impressed to see it running there. Also, having either of those games run on the MEGA65 or C256 would probably just prove that those machines are already way too advanced for what they're trying to be. Granted, if they WOULD run and they would look fine and be actually well-playable, I wouldn't mind and maybe I'd even have some fun with it. But in my opinion, having those games run on those machines shouldn't be in any way a priority or a goal.


    Yes I know, Doom is known to run on virtually every possible platform, but still, I wouldn't really care. In most cases, it's not really playable anyway, it's just for the "wow" factor, and I don't really go "wow" in such cases...

  • What's the deal with DOOM and Wolfenstein, why is there an urge to have those games running on a 14Mhz CPU? I don't get it. You can run those on a 5Ghz CPU these days with Ray-Tracing...Sorry, I wish I would understand the need for this but hey... If this rocks your boat! lol


    Cheers


    Setfany


    Your argument pretty much kills everything, because there is not much you can't do with a 5 GHz CPU. :-) People have ported Prince of Persia, Civilisation and Lemmings to a 1 Mhz CPU. And they won't stop. Limbo and Eye of the Beholder are next. Why all this effort if you can run those games on other platforms? It's a kind of challenge to port these all-time classics, which were never supposed to run on older platforms. Making the impossible possible. That's what keeps people going.


    Cheers,
    Benjamin

  • Your argument pretty much kills everything, because there is not much you can't do with a 5 GHz CPU. :-) People have ported Prince of Persia, Civilisation and Lemmings to a 1 Mhz CPU. And they won't stop. Limbo and Eye of the Beholder are next. Why all this effort if you can run those games on other platforms? It's a kind of challenge to port these all-time classics, which were never supposed to run on older platforms. Making the impossible possible. That's what keeps people going.


    Cheers,
    Benjamin

    I guess first port of one "all-time-classics" would be pong, eh?