>> Sunday, July 5, 2009
A few questions to the author of CD-i Emulator.
What products were you involved in developing for the CD-i in its heyday? Do you have a particular interest in emulating those titles first?
"I'm glad you're appreciating the work done on CD-i Emulator; it seems to be somewhat out of fashion. I was involved in two main types of CD-i products: games and educational/professional titles. For several games I did some finish-up programming, but it was never really my area; my involvement was usually on the tech support side for these products (video playback, sound mixing, real-time process scheduling, reclaiming system memory, minimizing system calls, etc).
I did more or less the same for "Frog Feast", again.
On the educational/professional titles I did most of the CD-i programming for a number of titles, some of which I'm quite proud of for their technical achievements. There are also numerous products for which I performed the tech support role. I could list some names, but that would be telling...
I did use some of the above titles as principal testcases for CD-i Emulator; in the early phases of emulation it helped a lot to have a good knowledge of the inner workings of the title being emulated, because it would allow informed guesses as to where the problems where when something hung. Alas, some of "my" titles still don't work, mostly because of the somewhat missing cartridge support (my dev version has a skeleton emulation, but it's not enough yet for these titles). "
How compliant/compatable is Phillips 68000-like cpu compared to the Motorolla 68000 in the Sega Genesis? Besides being 6 or 7 kHz faster? Does it have the same instructions? or more?
"I don't know anything about the Sega Genesis, but I do know the the Philips 68070 CPU is almost a vanilla Motorola 68000, except in a few very dark corners (which the documentation warns against; the system is specified to have "a Motorola 68000 compatible CPU"). It has the same instructions except for a few housekeeping ones. "
I enjoy Wii Homebrew, and I believe the Wii is a proper system for official re releases of CD-i titles because of the Input output systems (and the controller.) Regarding the Wii, is it powerful enough to run your code? And how easy is it to port a CD-i title to another system? Are they any contractual conflicts in porting CD-i titles to other systems?
"Regarding the Wii, interesting that you should mention that. Some time ago I've had some talks with a publisher that was interested in porting CD-i Emulator to the several game platforms, including the Wii, but it didn't work out for various reasons. I think the Wii is powerful enough but it would have to be tested to know for sure.
Porting a CD-i title to another system can be very easy or very hard; it depends highly on the technical details of the title. CD-i video hardware does some exotic things that even modern graphics hardware doesn't, but it can all be emulated in software (as I've proved). The video emulation is actually the most cpu-intensive task of the emulation.
There are contractual conflicts; I believe the distribution rights for most CD-i titles are now owned by Infogrames / Atari. I have no idea what their current thoughts are on ports, whether authorized or even unauthorized. "