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Why is CD-i support in MESS Emulator limited?

>> Thursday, December 29, 2011

It seems we don't have to expect big updates on the MESS CD-i driver, because the author struggles to understand the system. It's a very complex system and if CD-i Fan wasn't around to help there would probably no CD-i MESS driver at all. A few paragraphs to display the current situation. Why is CD-i support in MESS Emulator limited?

"Because to work on the current CD-i driver any further [is very difficult]. I'll be happy to look into it if anyone ever procures dumps of the internal ROMs for the various peripheral MCUs that correspond to the specific CD-i board revision that MESS currently emulates, but beyond that I'd just be piling even more hacks on top of what is already a hack." ... "From what I can see the games for the system are designed in a fairly abstract manner, near enough an old style sandbox, designed to survive hardware changes because Philips designed it as the ultimate 'future-proof' multimedia system (however foolish that ended up being). There are probably a few key bugs in the implementation causing the vast majority of the problems. It's an impressive driver, don't get me wrong, but from my own study of it I don't feel it actually *needs* the internal ROMs to improve compatibility, afaik the standalone CDi emu does fine without them."

"To be quite honest, it is a very simple system, at least the Mono-II. The real problem comes from the abstraction that you mentioned above. By virtue of all of these different games going through the same core I/O functions that are supplied by the BIOS, there is an enormous lack of test cases. I have a bunch of CD-i games that all hit the hardware in more or less the same way."

CD-i Fan: "I have no more chip documentation then you do, in fact I originally had less since I worked on a different board (MiniMMC, it uses the (at the time) undocumented 2xVSC+VSD chips instead of the documented VDSC). My only "plus" is some years of headstart and a very good familiarity with the system as a developer. It does make me wonder where MESS CD-i would be without me; I think both emulators ended up better as a result of it. All of that aside, I sincerely believe that most current emulation bugs (in either emulator) would not be easily solved even with the contents of the internal ROMs; these bugs are probably only peripherally related to the contents of those ROMs."

"By contrast, I see the CD-i as a crap console that has only gone unemulated in an open manner for so long because people care so little about it. It's not a coincidence, in my opinion, that both more-popular and less-popular consoles and computers have been emulated in MESS. That both more-complex and less-complex systems have been emulated in both MESS and MAME. I was interested in emulating the CD-i because despite not knowing the ins and outs of all of the different CD-i platforms that you have emulated, I sincerely doubt that any of them are more complex than the Nintendo 64, so it seemed like a pretty simple target to hit until I found out that nobody ever bothered to leak any significant amount of register-level programming documentation."

CD-i Fan: "On the technical front, it's inherent in emulating CD-i. It's hard to get accurate low-level emulation with the amount of undocumented hardware in the system; reverse engineering and HLE is the only way that functional emulation can be achieved for a reasonable cost (time or money). I know that HLE is not the MESS way, but in this case it can't be helped. CD-i as a system is certainly way below the complexity of modern or even many older consoles, which makes it all the more challenging to get it properly emulated. That little register-level documentation was ever leaked is a consequence of the basic design of CD-i as a software API; to me as a software engineer it seems a better way then just fixing the hardware as so many contemporary consoles did. At the quality level, I think that the current CDIC emulation in MESS is essentially identical to that in CD-i Emu; there are still some problems in both emulators but I currently have no more ideas about fixing that then you do. I do not think that the CPU, VDSC and SLAVE emulations in either emulator have other then minor problems."

[Thanks, CD-i Fan, Just Desserts, Haze]


How Philips had a small hand in influencing every game... ever

>> Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interesting trivia news posted by GamesTM about 'the company behind the CD-i'... They talked about Syd Mead, a "visual futurist" and concept artist. He is best known for his designs for science-fiction films such as Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron. He actually did a lot of designs and concepts for games and movies for big studios including Hollywood, it's impressive to see his work when you type his name in Google. The link to Philips is because he actually worked for Philips for a long time. In 1970, he launched Syd Mead, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan to accommodate the offers he received, most notably from Philips Electronics. As the principal of his newly formed corporation in the 1970s, Syd Mead spent about a third of his time in Europe, primarily to provide designs and illustrations for Philips of Holland. His work for international clients continues to this day. Syd Mead was actually legendary and a big inspiration source to various game and movie studios. But with the link to Philips Design, the influence of the company in his work and thinking is interesting, as well is his influence on the designs of Philips of that time, which takes up including the CD-i start in the 1980's.


Happy Christmas!

>> Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This is it, the end of 2011 marks the end of the sixth year of Interactive Dreams and all I can say is: We did it again, together with you, having our small active community with a small dedicated CD-i scene, 20 years after Philips introduced the system to the market. Our archives are still very valuable when I look at our daily statistics. It's been a quiet year again, perhaps it will never be different anymore. The years of Black Moon and Le Monde are way past us, unfortunately. You'll never know what will happen in 2012 on the CD-i front but I can assure you Interactive Dreams will do its best to continue our seventh year reporting all the CD-i news and stuff we dig up.

We at Interactive Dreams wish you a very happy Christmas and thank you all for your support.


Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

  © Interactive Dreams Version 5 by The Black Moon Project 2013

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