Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Panzer video

I forgot to put this on youtube but, but oh well. What's so great about it? This video actually shows solid 3D ingame gfx of Panzer. The fullscreen quad still covers up the 3D scene from time to time, but at least you can see what's going on for a while. What's the difference between this build and other build featured in the old video? This video was taken in Release mode [from visual studio] rather than Debug. It turns out that Release builds are more stable and less buggy when running Panzer Dragoon ORTA and Robotech: Battlecry. Both games had similar problems. Speed is still an issue, and me and Defiance have tracked it down to the PushBuffer emulation (IDirect3DPushBuffer8, Xbox only). The problem is that it uses a combination of Indexed Geometry and Quad Lists (D3DPT_QUADLIST, Xbox only) and that appears not to have been perfected in push buffers.

Robotech: Battlecry, however, did not use push buffers but did use the same types of primitives using indexed geometry. Defiance fixed that (for the most part). Okay, getting slightly off-topic, but the two games are related though. I'll try to make a video of that soon. Fraps can't record it properly, so I'm using another tool to do so.

So while it's not really news, it's a slight improvement that I want you all to be aware of.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Excuses, excuses.

First of all, I'd like to say sorry since it's been so long since my last update. You're all probably wondering what's going on. I'll get to that right now so no one is left in the dark.

1. Q: Where have you been all this time?
A: As it has already been stated, I'm really busy IRL and there's lots of work to be done. I'm doing okay, but I've been better. If all goes well, I'll be getting a new job soon (an IT job, finally). How it's going to effect my work on Cxbx is unknown; either way, I want to let you know that whatever happens, it's not over until I say it is, got it? It's only been 2 months so far. Cxbx and other emulators have gone much longer without updates before, remember that.

2. Q: Where's our release?
A: Good question. I emailed my release to Caustik before hoping that he'd release it on the homepage, but he's already busy enough as it is going through some rough transitions. "Why not release it here?" That's not my call. I'm just "The co-author", remember?

3. Q: Is there anyone else still working on Cxbx while you're away?
A: Yes, a fairly new programmer, Verteks is working on Cxbx's D3D8LTCG support for XDK 5849. It's preliminary, and will take a long time to complete, but it's worth waiting for once it finally works. It's tougher to create signatures for this library as it is not directly compatible with IDA, so it will take some time to get things working with it. "What about defiance?" Lately, he's been busy too. I don't know what his details are, but he's made some good progress fixing bugs and advancing towards Direct3D9 support.

4. Q: What about the OpenGL port?
A: That's only partially implemented right now. When it's done, you'll know! Just be prepared with a card with decent OpenGL drivers as it might be using OpenGL 2.x instead of 1.5 as originally planned.

5. Q: When are you going to update the SVN?
A: Good question. The reason I haven't yet is because I really hate having to delete the entire SVN and then re-upload it and missing out on the changes for everyone to see. It takes longer and is much more work. TSVN solves this problem, but I need to take some time to figure out how to syncronize my dev folder with TSVN so I can update the SVN each and every time I make an update automatically. If anyone knows how to do this, let me know.

6. Q: What about x86-64 support?
A: I don't remember if I answered that before or not on my blog. The status of this remains the same. Unfortunately, it still doesn't work. Afaik, it can be done, but quite frankly you're asking the wrong person for this type of update. Since I didn't write the LDT code for this emulator, it's the hardest part for me to understand. A Sony employee claimed to get it working and even left us with his source code to do it. I added it, but didn't get it working due to the fact that I didn't know how it was implemented. Caustik says he can do a workaround eventually, but in that case we might be waiting a while longer.

So there you have it. I'd like to work on Cxbx right now, but I still have lots to prepare for in terms of pursuing a new job, place to stay, and hopefully a vehicle (and more that I'll share with you all at a later time). Until then, stay tuned.