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December 1, 2000

I'm not doing very well at updating the news pages. But, at least this time I've been steadily working on the emulator since the last update. So, what have been up to? (besides playing Shenmue, and oooh, I have Skies of Arcadia, Jet Grind Radio, and Grandia II all waiting for me.. I really need more free time. Though I did find some time to lie on the beaches of Cancun for a week... )

I've finished phase 1 of rewriting the the 68000 core. Along with a complete rewrite of the Genesis memory systems, the emulator is running faster. While rewriting the memory systems, I discovered several bugs and some long out-standing problems have been fixed. Best of these is the sound seems to be fixed. Every game I know of with sound problems seems to work correctly. There have been a lot of little problems fixed such as games with missing sprites and priority problems. On the 32X side of things, I'm rewriting the SH2 core in assembly and I'm showing some improvement in framerates. And for those keeping score, no, I have not started working on Sega CD support yet.

On projects other than Gensx, NBA2K1 is now shipping (I helped on this for about 2 months) and my own pet project was officially unveiled at Sega Gamers day. I've been working on this game forever and it's nearly finished!

October 19, 2000

Alright! Time for an update!

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile, but there really hasn't been much to report since version 0.96 was released. After the last release I was a bit burnt out and just didn't have the urge to even turn on my computer. I also had to stop and help a few projects at work get finished up (NFL2K1 & NBA2K1.) Anyways, I've started work again on the emulator several days ago and I'm pretty deep in the 68k core which I'm rewriting. This will probably keep me busy for awhile. Since the poll I put up had the Sega CD winning as the most requested new hardware to emulate, I may start emulation on it sometime this fall, though my own project at work will be finally finishing up early in the new year, so it will be a pretty busy winter at work. Oh, I've fixed some bugs in the PSG sound code.

August 13, 2000

Whew! Thanks for the e-mail and the great name suggestions. Over 50% of the e-mail was for GenX or Gen-X. Since this name is a bit common (and the name of a comic book) I decided to throw an "S' in the name and created "GENSX." I think it's a decent name since it's unique, sort of rhymes with Genesis, and has NSX in the name :) Another name I cam up with but decided against was "Gladiator." Other popular suggestions were Mars (Sega's 32X codename) or Neptune (Sega's never released Genesis and 32X in one machine.) Also a few people suggested "Exodus" which is the second book of the bible, Genesis being the first. I was toying with using that but eventually decided against it. I'd rather have a name that doesn't generate thousands of false search hits.

Anyways, what you've really been waiting for. Version 0.96 can now be downloaded!! I barely got half the features in I wanted for this release, but at my current pace it would be a long time before it was released and there has been too many cool changes to keep to myself.

August 11, 2000

OK. I meant to have made a new release by now, but I was a bit burnt out and wanted a few days away from my computer, then things got hectic at work. Ugh! Anyways, I just spent about 10 minutes today and two more Genesis games work! (Andre Agassi Tennis and the black screen bug in Batman & Robin)

By now, you've probably noticed something fishy on the web site.. Anyways, the name Vegas is a tradename of Sonic Foundry so I'm looking for a new name. Please e-mail me your suggestions. I'd like to release the next version of "the emulator" this weekend and I'll need to decide on a new name before then.

Oh, if you haven't noticed, I've removed the downloads until the next release. If you're desperate and can't wait for the next release, I'm sure there are some emulations sites around with the old version, though to keep the lawyers at bay, I would suggest any web site take down the emulator, though it should be ok to keep it around until the new version is released in several days.

August 6, 2000

I did some major work on the SH2 emulations and I've GREATLY increased the performance. I did some experiments with processor timings and was able to get some games to work and others to fail. The 32X seems VERY sensitive to how fast the SH2s are running. I've yet to find a balance in timings that get all games running at once. Dang. Fixing the timing has re-fixed Brutal and Kolibri which I earlier broke. The new timings also got the graphics working properly in Space Harrier. On the downside, T-Mek won't enter the game anymore and Knuckles is acting weird with the new timing. I may actually have to emulate the timing of the caches. Hopefully I won't need to emulate the pipeline stalls. Ugh!

I have a long list of things I wanted to accomplish for the next release, but since I've done a lot already and it's been awhile since the last release, I may make a new version available in the next few days. Stay tuned.

Btw, after doing an interview for www.emuitalia.com, I was thinking how cool it would be emulate the Model 1 hardware. Does anyone know if the Rom's for these games have ever been dumped? (Not that I know anything about the hardware.. but it would be fun to take a look.)

August 1, 2000

Fixed a Genesis DMA bug. A number of games have been fixed by this and other fixes: Viewpoint, Warsong, Aleste, Bad Omen, Bible Adventures, F-15 Strike Eagle II, James Pond 3, Pirate's Gold, and We're Back!

July 31, 2000

I received a few suggestions on some the games in the problem list from Charles Mac Donald.

I've now fixed the graphics glitches in Golden Axe II, Sonic 3D, and Budokan.

July 30, 2000

Added Genesis Save State loading. Uses Genesis .GS0 format. Saving will be added shortly.

Wrote new memory architecture for the SH2. about 2 to 5fps improvement.

Fixed a bug in SH2 memory architecture, a few more games work.

Tweaked 32X memory access timing. A few games run faster now, a few run a tad slower.

Fixed a bug in the SH2 division unit.

Optimized the SH2 division unit.

Summary:

Doom 32X now runs perfectly!

Knuckles & Chaotix 32X now runs perfectly!

Virtua Fighter 32X now runs perfectly!

Virtua Racing 32X now runs perfectly!

Darxide 32X now runs perfectly!

Space Harrier 32X runs a bit better.

Kolibri 32X and Brutal Unleashed no longer work. Should be easy to fix.

July 25, 2000

Added bank switching. Super Street Fighter II The New Challengers now works.

Fixed a problem in Wani Wani World.

July 20, 2000

Added ZIP support to loading!

July 11, 2000

It's been real busy at work and I haven't had much time to work on Vegas. However, tonight I did find a bug in the SH2 division code and Stellar Assault 32X (Shadow Squadron?) now works. It looks quite cool.

July 2, 2000

I've added a bug list page for Vegas. If you know of any bugs not on this list let me know. I'm sure there are some I forgot and even more I don't even know about.

I fixed a hang bug introduced in V0.94. Sorry if anyone had to reboot their machine because of it.

June 29, 2000

Real quick. Due to my haste, I didn't completely test the last release, and I broke the menu option for the Edge Enhancement. However, the keyboard accelerator '4' does work. So, if it didn't work for you, try pressing '4' on the keyboard.

I've been getting a lot of good responses from everyone. Thanks! It seems the performance has increased for most and a few people have had the frame rates drop on them. I'm probably just going to add some more settings so instead of me deciding what's best for everyone (an incredibly difficult task) I'll let you "tune" the rendering from a menu or a dialog box.

June 28, 2000

There is a new release of Vegas available for download! This is not an official new release, but a test version for everyone to try. I've completely rewritten the rendering code and the Direct-X code. I'm very interested if this version of Vegas runs better for everyone. The new scanline rendering effects are also available. In my June 22 news update, I was complaining about the bandwidth needed to do some of these effects, well, that problem has been fixed. I was accidentally allocating my off-screen frame buffers in VRAM (slow to access) and set to write-only (I was reading from it.) Doh! Moving the off screen frame buffer to system memory boosted the speed significantly. In fact, with frame-skip on, the edge-enhancement mode runs 60fps on my P3-600. And it's all written in C with brain-dead for-loops. :) Speaking of which, there is a slight bug in the edge-enhancement mode, which I may fix in a future version. I'm nervous that the "fix" will run slower, but it might not. I'll try it out anyway in case it looks dramatically better. It already looks cool.

June 26, 2000

I've just made RomMaster's Swedish translation of Vegas available.

Julian Eggebrecht just pointed out several games (International Superstar Soccer & Mega Turrican) that had incorrect shadow and hilight modes. I ended up finding 4 different bugs related to this in the code and it's working great now. I've also figured out how to make a few more Genesis games (I hope) work. It's going to take a bit of work and might be slow, but perhaps I can get those last few games to work correctly (to be honest, there are additional problems yet to be fixed.) I'll probably make this "slow but perfect" mode either selectable in a menu, or I'll automatically recognize any games that require and just use it for those games only.

Full-screen mode in Vegas is currently using 320x240x16 mode. I just found out this isn't supported by the Matrox G400. Perhaps other cards also don't support this? Regardless, I will simply make the full-screen mode run in 640x480x16 and just scale the image. I've been planning on rewriting some of this code anyway, especially for all the cards that don't have hardware scaling. Hopefully I can come up with a solution for everyone.

June 22, 2000

The response to version 0.94 has been great and I'm getting good reports that the frame rate is better for a lot of people. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions on what to add next. I will probably put a hold on increasing compatibility and start adding some much needed features.

Real quick I want to say thanks to Inhalor for the German translation of Vegas (www.gemuny.de) and to Ice ball for the new Vegas logo.

Last night I added a new rendering architecture to Vegas so I can start adding raster effects. Last night and tonight I coded up normal mode, blend mode, scanline interleave mode, and an edge enhancement mode (Nearly identical to Eagle.) The first 3 worked great but my edge enhancement was hacked together and Vegas dropped from 60fps down to a whopping 2fps. Uh oh! I did some tests where I just doubled all the pixels instead with no extra work at all and the emulator ran about 22fps. Wow! The bandwidth requirements to simply copy 640x480 worth of data w/o modification is huge! The edge enhancement mode looked neat, but I'm unsure how useful it will be at such low frame rates. I have an idea for speeding it up significantly, but my other tests show I'll be lucky to achieve 22fps. (all numbers are on a Pentium ||| 600MHz, GeForce 256 video card, 133Mhz system bus.)

June 20, 2000

Vegas 0.94 is now available!

A lot has been updated since Vegas 0.92 so be sure to look at the updates document in the zip file. Genesis games are really nice and the sound is really good now. (And I fixed the silly sound bug introduced in 0.92.) A lot of 32X games now run under Vegas and I can now start listing games that don't work instead of games that do work. I've made some changes to try and improve the performance, but no radical changes. I have some ideas for improving the frame rates on some computers. I've also made the frame rate meter available for everyone so you can report slowdown bugs with proper evidence :) Btw, if Vegas seems to suddenly come to halt about once every 5 minutes, go to the Win98 Task Scheduler and see if Microsoft has added the update "feature" which checks for new versions of Windows every 5 minutes. What morons! I found this on both of my computers. This was causing havoc when playing games and on Vegas. I don't understand why they think you need to check for updates at 5 minute intervals. What's wrong with 4 in the morning once a day?

I've had a lot of offers for web hosting, but for now I'll stick with Tripod. The main reason is I want to add a lot of non-Vegas content to the web site. Otherwise, I would have taken up one of the offers.

June 18, 2000

Well, I've finally created a web page! Let's start things off with some news on Vegas! Last night I found a huge bug in the 32X code. Combined with a few other bug fixes since the last release, I should have much better compatibility with the next release. Speaking of which, the next release of Vegas should be really soon. I'm trying to fix a few more incompatibilities first. If I can't fix them soon enough, I'll just go ahead and release it as is.

 

Copyright 2002-2005 Tim Meekins

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Last Modified: June 23, 2005 03:11 AM