32X strengths

Ask anything your want about the 32X Mushroom programming.

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ob1
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32X strengths

Post by ob1 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:24 pm

or what is the 32x good at ?

I mean graphically.
Out of the box, you don't get anything very exciting, even for its time. Bigger palette (256 out of 32k colors), direct color mode (32k), VDP fill and RLE direct support.

But then ?
tiles must be made software (see SuperVDP). The 2 SH2 are desperately doing their jobs, left with no other possible task.

3d must be made software. I don't know exactly how it could be handled, even if it is possible, but I'm pretty sure both SH2 would be on their knee to get a decent result.
VDP fill exists, but it must be ran from 68k. And 68k can't handle geometry (I don't even speak of Z-buffer).

adventure games ? I mean, like Monkey Island 3, with gorgeous graphics, not a lot of animation ? For the huge graphics, you don't need the SH2. The RLE mode from the mere 68k does it well. So you got nice graphics, and two quite fast processors ... sleeping !?!

Going further, what's the point of that framebuffer, if you got no tool to use it ?

I still believe the 32X is a very interesting architecture (RISC, 32bits, multi-processor) and I'm still working the SuperVDP project in my mind but ... what can we do of the 32X ? Ideas anyone.

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Post by TmEE co.(TM) » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:31 pm

Darxide seems to push the 32x to its limits pretty well, it almost feels like PSX (but without graphical glitches).
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Post by evildragon » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:41 pm

well, as far as graphics in 2D are concerned, I think Kolibri does it best.

as far as 3D, the only game I see for 3D, is DOOM. DOOM sucks though in the performance area, but I think if the Sega CD was used, and the game was programmed much better, you could have a game that almost looked (if not did) like the PC version...

heck, you probably could do Quake II on the 32X if you really took the time to program it... (yes, with looking up and down and jumping around)

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Post by WayneK » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:20 am

Check this link for what the 32x can do when programmed well:

http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=10686

tech demo from the guys in Zyrinx who made some nice Genesis games also (former Amiga demo-scene guys).

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Post by Fonzie » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:05 pm

The 32x just miss a real VDP capable of drawing something ^^
Maybe they should have kept only one SH2...

Well, if only the 32x had the VDP1 of the saturn...


The only powerful feature is the RLE for flat 3D... But if I'm not wrong, it can take ages to implement. No game used it, seems ^^.

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Post by ob1 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:18 am

TmEE co.(TM) wrote:Darxide seems to push the 32x to its limits pretty well, it almost feels like PSX (but without graphical glitches).
Couldn't find a lot of things about it. Anyway, looks amazing.
WayneK wrote:Check this link for what the 32x can do when programmed well:
http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=10686
tech demo from the guys in Zyrinx who made some nice Genesis games also (former Amiga demo-scene guys).
Yeah, I knew this one as Fonzie pointed it to me. Impressive.
Fonzie wrote:Well, if only the 32x had the VDP1 of the saturn...
Indeed ! Wait a minute ! We're not talking 32X anymore, we're talking GBA aren't we ?!?

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Post by commodorejohn » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:27 am

I'm convinced 32X DOOM suffered mainly from shoddy workmanship and severely limited space (the original game is 10MB, the 32X cartridge is 3MB.) Although it doesn't run at a slower rate than the original the way SNES DOOM does, there are significant chokeup points (especially in "outdoor" parts,) which just should not happen on a combine 54MHz of processor. And a listen to the soundtrack should confirm the "shoddy workmanship" theory - I can do better than any given song in twenty minutes on TFMMaker; it's just inexcusable.

Anyway, as to the 32X itself, you can really do a lot with two 23MHz 32-bit processors, one 7MHz 16-bit processor, and a 15-bit bitmapped display. Look what you could pull off on the Amiga, with 8MHz and a 5-bit bitmapped display. The 32X has the added advantage of being in chunky mode rather than planar mode.

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Post by evildragon » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:36 am

commodorejohn wrote:I'm convinced 32X DOOM suffered mainly from shoddy workmanship and severely limited space (the original game is 10MB, the 32X cartridge is 3MB.) Although it doesn't run at a slower rate than the original the way SNES DOOM does, there are significant chokeup points (especially in "outdoor" parts,) which just should not happen on a combine 54MHz of processor. And a listen to the soundtrack should confirm the "shoddy workmanship" theory - I can do better than any given song in twenty minutes on TFMMaker; it's just inexcusable.

Anyway, as to the 32X itself, you can really do a lot with two 23MHz 32-bit processors, one 7MHz 16-bit processor, and a 15-bit bitmapped display. Look what you could pull off on the Amiga, with 8MHz and a 5-bit bitmapped display. The 32X has the added advantage of being in chunky mode rather than planar mode.
Don't forget, you can't have EVERY processor render the same scene/game engine.. Atleast I don't think this is physically possible.

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Post by commodorejohn » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:06 pm

What do you mean?

Actually, if you're saying wat I think you're saying, DOOM could work just fine on 32X; have the 68000 run the game engine (i.e. player movement, collisions, etc.) and have one SH-2 render the odd columns and one render the even columns - that's the beauty of a raycaster engine.

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Post by evildragon » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:08 am

commodorejohn wrote:What do you mean?

Actually, if you're saying wat I think you're saying, DOOM could work just fine on 32X; have the 68000 run the game engine (i.e. player movement, collisions, etc.) and have one SH-2 render the odd columns and one render the even columns - that's the beauty of a raycaster engine.
That could work..

What I thought you were saying, was to have ALL 5 processors run the same code...

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Post by commodorejohn » Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:05 am

Oh, certainly not. There'd be little point in that. I wonder, though, how it's broken up in the existing 32X DOOM port...

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Post by TascoDLX » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:06 am

commodorejohn wrote:Actually, if you're saying wat I think you're saying, DOOM could work just fine on 32X; have the 68000 run the game engine (i.e. player movement, collisions, etc.) and have one SH-2 render the odd columns and one render the even columns - that's the beauty of a raycaster engine.
Except the DOOM engine is not a true raycaster. It's based around BSP trees and renders both vertically (walls) and horizontally (floors and ceilings).

That said, I'm sure the engine can be reworked to run more efficiently on the 32X's dual processors. But as the game was rushed for the holidays (released December '94), I can't imagine there was much care taken.

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Post by Stef » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:52 am

DOOM 32X is really a poor port. It does something that almost 32X coders know we have to avoid : execute code from the ROM. It's mentionned in officials documents that code execution from ROM is a lot slower because the ROM access are too slow for the SH2. Generally you first copy your "sensitive" code to the 32X RAM then executes it from here.
DOOM also uses only 1 SH2 for the 3D rendering, the 2nd SH2 is used for sound. As you can see, there are many ways of improving it...

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Post by commodorejohn » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:37 pm

DOOM isn't a 100% basic raycaster like Wolfenstein, no, but raycasting is still the bulk of the rendering.

Anyway, I'm not surprised to find that it's poorly done. I guess the sound processing is a valid point, but if one were to do a 32X CD port, one could offload the sound onto the CD 68K (which has a nice 8-channel sample playback chip I'm surprised they didn't add to the 32X in the first place.)

Yeah, 32X CD really would've been the way to go. If I were Sega I'd have made a 32X original raycaster FPS for cartridge and just put DOOM on CD.

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Post by Stef » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:45 pm

commodorejohn wrote:DOOM isn't a 100% basic raycaster like Wolfenstein, no, but raycasting is still the bulk of the rendering.

Anyway, I'm not surprised to find that it's poorly done. I guess the sound processing is a valid point, but if one were to do a 32X CD port, one could offload the sound onto the CD 68K (which has a nice 8-channel sample playback chip I'm surprised they didn't add to the 32X in the first place.)

Yeah, 32X CD really would've been the way to go. If I were Sega I'd have made a 32X original raycaster FPS for cartridge and just put DOOM on CD.
Doing the sound by the 68000 and Z80 cpu would have been sufficient. I remember at least one game is using the Z80 cpu to handle PWM sound. It's a very nice idea imo. The Z80 can access the 32X PWM chip which offer 2 channels (stereo) compared to the classical DAC YM2612 output.

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