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Fenner Machine

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Everything posted by Fenner Machine

  1. I’ve made some placeholder/concept art. I’ve made it in a way to easily encode it and test effects. Also learning pixel art and animation. This is a scene with several elements merged.
  2. The game I’m working on has butterflies in it, but not as the main ‘character’. Just one of many animals that will be in it. I'm also planning on making it from the ground up, my own take on a specific genre, designing it to take advantage of the X16 strengths.
  3. Answering what is the unique sale proposition (USP) of an FPGA only X16. The others, good and bad points: The C256 Foenix products, especially the A2560K, look and seem amazing on paper! Downsides: Cost, user base and current available software. Mega65. Stunning, if released early/mid 90’s. Downsides: Cost. Tied to legacy hardware and backwards compatibility. ZX Spectrum Next. If you are nostalgic for the Speccy, great! Possibly the best way of playing old Spectrum games, plus some new ones taking advantage of the new features. Downsides: Cost OK, but a bit high. Graphics enhancements seem held back by backwards compatibility? Colour Maximite 2. Very powerful. Cheap. Fast enough to run BASIC decently. What about the user base, and software? Main code and graphics are done in software on a CPU. There is a reason why graphics are done by separate chips/boards on most games consoles and PC’s. Commander X16 FPGA USP’s: Cost (potentially). Not tied to backwards compatibility. VERA – unique graphics chip. Direct to the metal programming. User base (hopefully!). Already has some programs, games, software available, and its just an emulator at the moment! Commander X16 FPGA could be an amazing product.
  4. What if you could connect an X8 to an expansion slot on the X16?
  5. Last but one post from David on page 8. Quote: “The X16 is definitely happening.”
  6. My preference is X16 Phase 1. I don’t mind FPGA’s. The X8 is cheap. Why not have both? Especially if they can be used together somehow?
  7. I think what you say sounds logical, but the X16 is the better system. Maybe. Not sure. If an expansion port was added to the X8, would it be possible to connect it to one of the expansion slots on the X16? It might then be possible to use both together. I don’t know how or what could be done with that.
  8. I voted 1: No, 2: No, 3: Pre-assembled. After having read all the comments so far I think I've changed my mind on all 3 to a certain extent. Specifically the X8: It seems that David maybe wants to release the X8. At under $50 it might be worth doing so. The only big issues I have with it is the seemingly low amount of RAM and VRAM. I know it’s something to do with the FPGA, but the VERA seems like it deserves more RAM. Other than that, for $50 it seems like an interesting ‘mini’ X16. What would be the feasibility of a bigger FPGA and adding a YM2151 as others have suggested plus more RAM? Could it be done, and what would be the likely cost? But at $50 for the current, working, almost ready to ship X8, I say why not? As a famous emperor once said “Dew it!”.
  9. What a decisions Mr Murray (and his team) has to make. David and the team have put lots of effort in to Phase 1. Phase 2 with maybe only 1 expansion port could prove disappointing at some point. Phase 3 is a hardware emulator. The X8 has too many missing bits compared to the X16. Some points to ponder: Is it a good idea to potentially fracture the user base? Look at what happened to Sega in the 90’s. The front page of the X16 website uses words such as inexpensive, reliable, real CPU, classic chips. Do any of the options really match all of these yet? The current Phase 1 has issues, such as things not working properly, parts availability and so on. It will also cost too much for most except retro enthusiasts and many in this community. Is there another option not yet considered? How difficult would it be to do an X8 on a board with a few other nice to haves? Like the best of X8 and X16 merged. For example, an X8 (maybe enhanced) replacing the X16 VERA and 65C02S, stuck on a board with extra RAM, YM2151, SNES controller ports and some expansion slots. Simplify anything can be, such as the RAM bank switching. Now it’s basically an X16 with a 12MHz CPU and cheaper/easier to make.
  10. This is one test/comparison. I’m looking forward to the next round. Over 8 times faster than a C64. Nearly 12 times faster than a Spectrum 48K, so possibly 1.5 times faster than a Spectrum Next (at 28MHz).
  11. X16 General Chat > Prototype #3? I too was surprised by the PCB cost, but I think that’s the price for 10. If I’m correct that makes them $27.00 each, which is nice.
  12. A few suggestions I’ve received: Aseprite GraphicsGale Pyxel Edit Tilemap Editor
  13. Interesting question. Can you give a specific example of what you mean? The Commander X16 is capable of a mix of graphics capabilities from the SNES, Mega Drive and TurboGrafx-16. Excluding enhancement chips, in the right hands, the X16 can probably equal or even exceed anything on these 3 systems. The sound capabilities could (subjectively) be superior to those 3 consoles too.
  14. A custom 256 colour palette should be very useful. Using 4bpp with palette offset for both tiles and sprites increases the amount of images that can be stored in VRAM verses 8bpp plus has the benefit of the extra colours. It will take planning to fully utilise, but the results should be worth it.
  15. It is an impressive keyboard. More than the sum of its parts or intended function. What switches did you choose? I sometimes think “if I hadn’t bought this keyboard then I could have bought this other thing…”. Then immediately think “But then I wouldn’t have this awesome keyboard!!!”. Worth every penny. Enjoy your new keyboard, toy, tool...
  16. Well, after some research I bought a few bits. This is what I found. An ergonomic chair: Office chairs are usually better. Gaming chairs, well it depends. I got a gaming chair, but only because it was a good fit for my small stature. It was also recommended by several reviewers as being good for smaller people that typically recommend office chairs instead of gaming chairs. Desk: I got a basic cheap desk with metal legs & frame. Nice, simple & solid. It is so good that I got more similar furniture to organise my room better. Having a more organised work space has so many benefits.
  17. I too wanted more video RAM to make things easier. It was a no. You can find the reasons somewhere in this forum. So I made a spreadsheet to do some calculations and comparisons between some different combinations of screen modes, layer sizes and bit depths to see what the X16 could do and what I have to work with. One example: Resolution: 320x240 Layer 1: 128x32 Layer 2: 64x32 Colour depth: 8bpp If my calculations are correct there is enough memory to have over 1700 8x8 or equivalent images, for either tiles or sprite animations. Using the 4 orientations (normal, H-flip, V-flip, H+V-flip) that’s a lot of images to build a screen and for animations. Using 4bpp with a custom palette and palette offsets could massively increase that number.
  18. That link to VGMRips looks excellent! What current synth keyboard would you say is closest to what the YM2151 can do? Thinking of something like the Yamaha Reface CS to experiment with.
  19. Would a Yamaha Reface CS be good for experimenting with? Would its sounds translate well to a YM2151?
  20. How does one test music ideas and compose for the YM2151? Is there software to help program FM synth music? What about a keyboard/digital piano that would simulate or actually use a YM2151, or interface with the software?
  21. Thank you. I have been searching for examples of what the YM2151 can do. Gives me something to aim for knowing what can be done.
  22. That was a quick delivery! Ordered my WASD Commander X16 Deluxe keyboard with Zealio 67G switches on Thursday, got it today (Monday). That’s 4 or 5 days (depending on how you count it). I was not sure if I should buy one of these keyboards, and divided as to the correct switches. The keyboard at least matches my expectations (probably exceeds them). It is very pleasant to type on. The keys feel nice and the Zealio switches are wonderful. A definite upgrade from my Trust Asta GXT 865 keyboard. I have used many keyboards, although most were cheap ones. This is the best keyboard I have used. A slightly unfamiliar layout (I’m used to UK) but easily adapted to as I have some experience with a US configuration. (Or I could change the keyboard setting in my OS). I haven’t tried the dip switches yet, but that’s something my brain didn’t even register as a feature. Nice surprise! Even the two LED lights are pleasing to look at. IMO this keyboard is worth the money.
  23. Well, I finally made a decision. I bought one with Zealio 67g switches. Don’t know total cost yet, but likely around £275.00 I need (sort of) a TKL keyboard, so thought why not get a really good one. Should give me some motivation to do some work with my racing/driving game!
  24. Didn’t know where best to post this as I have several posts about the WASD Deluxe keyboard scattered all over the forums. Stuck between Cherry MX Green and Zealio 67g. I’ve had a WASD key switch tester for a while and decided to given it a proper bashing today. I prefer green to blue, and Purple is better than all the others. The idea of a click noise plus tactile feedback is appealing, but the purple one seems the best of the others combined. What to do?
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