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Old 08 September 2018, 21:01   #1
iXien
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And what about CDTV conversion too ?

Hi every one, I'm registered on EAB since 2014 but you should notice I have never been very active on the threads. To be honest, I read a lot, really a lot.

So let me begin introducing myself: I bought my first Amiga in 1992, it was an A600. Next I gone to A1200 with a lot of expansions and I acquire a CD32 in the late 90's. There is a model that has always seemed magical for me, it's the CDTV. Very nice, and black... but expansive, and a real commercial disaster.

But in the early 2k years, I was searching to keep an Amiga always available in my living room. The good idea for me was the CDTV, so I decided to buy one. Clearly, 95% of the Amiga games are OCS and for the 5% left, I have my CD32 in a locker.

I really optimized my CDTV over the years but what I still prefer is that with my floppy disc drive connected, I just have to turn it on, insert a disc and play with the OCS game of my choice, just like a console system.

But there is something frustrating : the lack of use of the CD drive, just the default unit of the system!!!

Still, there would be a lot of great things to do, even with this 1x CD drive and the 1mb default memory. We all launch games such as Prehistorik, Xenon 2, Defender Of The Crown or Battlestorm that show what can be done. Little videos and animated cartoons, HAM pictures and of course audio CD musics. Labyrinth of Time is another great game CDTV compatible but it needs 2Mb RAM .

Some ideas ? Well, lot of CD32 games are just OCS games with CD features perfectly compatible with CDTV specs. Have you noticed that Chuck Rock 2 and Bubba'n Stix cartoons use only 32 OCS colors? And what about a Disposable Hero or Bubble & Squeak OCS version using the CD32 musics? It would be so nice to be able to play these games on a stock CDTV with CD soundtrack.

Others? Mega CD, FM Towns, PC Engine CD or CDi games that include CD soundtrack are available on Amiga but only on floppy disc or CDTV/CD32 version doesn't include CD soundtrack: Heimdall, Chuck Rock, Jim Power, Flashback, Eye Of The Beholder, Drakkhen, Dungeon Master, Lemmings, Lemmings 2 (yes there is a Fm Town version offering a wonderful CD soundtrack), Loom, Indy 3, Monkey Island, Jaguar XJ 220...

This is just a sample of games some of which would surely be simple to adapt to CDTV if it is possible to hack them to play CD musics instead of mods. And it should be interesting even for CD32 users. Even if it is an OCS game, it would be very nice to play Chuck Rock with Mega CD soundtrack, wouldn't it? It is a thing that the official release doesn't offer (a real shame)!

Regards to all !
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Old 08 September 2018, 21:18   #2
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CD soundtracks being added to an existing Amiga game is not simple at all, its taken an eab member JOTD an age to get round to make the first Amiga game to run on the CD32 with CD audio only this week and he’s been doing stuff for years!

The main reason CD32 gets more Amiga game compliations and ports is because it has more memory needed to run programs like whdload and even specific programs like cd32load were needed for alot of 1mb games, even still alot dont work or flash due to lack of memory, the only games possible for CDTV are 512k games and/or HD loadable.

Just because animations are 32 colours doesnt mean the CDTV can run them, dont forget the CD32 has double speed drive, alot of animations would have been optimised to the full to be streamed at 300k/sec.
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Old 08 September 2018, 22:02   #3
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Hi Amigajay,

I'm really touched by the fact that you're the first one to reply me as I know the great work you make on CD32 conversions.

I understand perfectly that 1x drive and only 1Mb ChipRAM can be a break to adapt a CD32 game to CDTV, even when all the files are OCS compatible. That's just an idea What I think interesting is that Core Design cartoons seem not to be heavy as CDXL HAM6 videos, more like Deluxe Paint animations with not all pixels to change every frame. If you look inside the Bubba'n Stix CD, you can see a 397Kb "Intro" file and the rest is composed with the known game files. Chuck Rock 2 ? 9Mb file but it includes 8SVX sound. That's why I wonder if it would not work even with a 1x CD player.

But if not, no problem, I think that "just" add CD soundtrack would be wonderful. About the difficulty, I suppose that it is the reason why your unofficial release of Lemmings doesn't include the CD soundtrack found on all the other CD based versions of the game.

What you're telling about the JOTD great work on adding CD soundtrack is really wonderful. So maybe some games will be patched at last

It would be nice not to forget CDTV You talk about RAM restrictions but a lot of 1Mb based Amiga games perfectly work on a stock CDTV, even with CDTV ROM active. And if they are natively AmigaDOS compatible, it should be less difficult to work on them not using WHDLoad that required a lot of extra memory. I think about adventure games and more generally all natively HDD installable games. Files of a lot of non AmigaDOS games have been extracted for WHDLoad purpose, making them exploitable without additional memory, isn't it?
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Old 08 September 2018, 22:08   #4
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I was interested about adapting CD32load for JOTD but got a cold shower from Toni (Wilen) who explained that the low-level CD-read routine that I'm using for CD32load (written by Psygore, who probably reverse-engineered Rob Northen routine to enhance it) won't run on CDTV because the CD hardware is different.

I'm not going to write a CDTV hardware loading routine, but if someone does, I'll be happy to integrate it to CD32load. Some games run with CD32load with just 1 meg (using IDE HD on A600). There are rare (silkworm comes to mind because it only needs 512k) but they exist.

AmigaDOS compatible games should run without issues though if they only need 1 megabyte. But non-AmigaDOS games won't run, even if the filesystem is DOS (ex: sensible soccer, SWOS, cannon fodder 2) because they take over the OS, and there's a hardware banging routine (written by Rob Northen, again ) to read OFS/FFS files without the need of the OS.
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Old 08 September 2018, 22:18   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iXien View Post
Hi Amigajay,

I'm really touched by the fact that you're the first one to reply me as I know the great work you make on CD32 conversions.

I understand perfectly that 1x drive and only 1Mb ChipRAM can be a break to adapt a CD32 game to CDTV, even when all the files are OCS compatible. That's just an idea What I think interesting is that Core Design cartoons seem not to be heavy as CDXL HAM6 videos, more like Deluxe Paint animations with not all pixels to change every frame. If you look inside the Bubba'n Stix CD, you can see a 397Kb "Intro" file and the rest is composed with the known game files. Chuck Rock 2 ? 9Mb file but it includes 8SVX sound. That's why I wonder if it would not work even with a 1x CD player.

But if not, no problem, I think that "just" add CD soundtrack would be wonderful. About the difficulty, I suppose that it is the reason why your unofficial release of Lemmings doesn't include the CD soundtrack found on all the other CD based versions of the game.

What you're telling about the JOTD great work on adding CD soundtrack is really wonderful. So maybe some games will be patched at last

It would be nice not to forget CDTV You talk about RAM restrictions but a lot of 1Mb based Amiga games perfectly work on a stock CDTV, even with CDTV ROM active. And if they are natively AmigaDOS compatible, it should be less difficult to work on them not using WHDLoad that required a lot of extra memory. I think about adventure games and more generally all natively HDD installable games. Files of a lot of non AmigaDOS games have been extracted for WHDLoad purpose, making them exploitable without additional memory, isn't it?
Well you could be right about certain animations being doable, but i guess making a cdxl intro would be easier than trying to convert something if it doesnt work ‘out of the box’.

I can’t code, thats why my Lemmings don’t include CD audio! Either the game has to be changed code wise or as JOTD has done is adapted cd32load to tell when it can start and stop music when data isnt being accessed, but as he said its only for games with either a sfx or music option which Lemmings, thats a nice idea to JOTD for a CD soundtrack version after Wonderdog? Btw not all CD versions of Lemmings have CD audio, the original PC CDROM version didnt.
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Old 08 September 2018, 22:59   #6
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Hi JOTD and thank you for your great work since more than 20 years on HDD game installation, if my memories are good. With the work of all the WHDLoad team, I can play tons of games directly from HDD on my expanded CDTV.

I think that CDTV is an under-exploited system. Back in 1990, having the ability to play CD based soundtracks ingame was enough to justify it. And it is really frustrating to know that lot of games available on Amiga was not using the CD soundtrack available on a lot of other versions. Lemmings is a good example (you're right AmigaJay, PC CD version hasn't audio soundtrack). I suppose audio soundtrack have been composed after PC and CDTV releases.

I played a lot of FM-Towns and Mega CD games. When I launch a game, each time it offers a CD soundtrack and exists on Amiga, I'm thinking CDTV was the perfect system to host the best Amiga version (before CD32 launch of course).

I understand that you will not create a "CDTVLoad" but please, try not to forget CDTV when it is possible. Patching Wonderdog is a great Idea, even if I suppose it will only work on CD32.

CDTV has a great advantage as floppy drive is natively supported which means that games don't have to be patched to save on CDTV internal memory or memory card I think about lot of adventure games that directly work on drive with 1mb RAM. I dream of a Loom, Dungeon Master, Eye Of The Beholder and Indy 3 versions using FM-Towns musics.

As I have an external CF card reader on my CDTV, I made just for fun a Worms version including all the videos converted from AVI (PC version) to HV played randomly before the launch of the game on a bootable CF card. Of course, you need extra RAM and the speed of an IDE drive, but it is really impressive on screen. A CDTV with cartridge port for games But once again, I can't use the CD soundtrack of the game as it needs to patch the Worms code, a hard task compared to the simple creation of a custom startup-sequence.
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Old 09 September 2018, 10:32   #7
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the blocking point for CDTV is the current lack of hardware based CDTV data+audio replay routine. Only a few people can achieve this.
The "save on floppy" is technically possible (I have a lot of hardware floppy read/write routines including RN). The game would have to be patched to access floppy on given file names (even for loading). That could already be done for the happy owners of CD32 floppy modules (they are rare)
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Old 09 September 2018, 11:31   #8
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With a expanded CDTV Kick3+ FastRam etc would your Wonderdog with CD audio work? or is it CD32load only
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Old 09 September 2018, 14:56   #9
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I totally understand what you are telling about.

The fact is that CDTV always been the ugly Duckling of the Amiga computers, the Amiga that is not really an Amiga.

The CD32 represents a kind of magic for a lot of Amiga fans. AGA and with 2Mb RAM, it can virtually play all the games and it is much more compact than an Amiga. Since the launching of WHDLoad, a lot of CD collections allow to play tons of OCS games that are not originally compatible with AGA computers.

Many tools appeared to help in adapt and hack Amiga games for CD32 (your great "CD32Load" in head). Great efforts have been made to adapt OCS games to CD32 that don't require more than 1 MB RAM. If I understand that as a nostalgic idea, I think that don't serve the idea of a great 32 bits system. Now if you can add CD music, it will be more interesting.

The main goal of my thread is to remember that in recent years, ECS based Amiga computers have taken on a lot of importance for the community, so the CDTV could perhaps finally start to no longer be considered a marginal machine but as the entertainement system version of the A500, in the same way that the CD32 is for the A1200.

List of games that should be hacked to use CD soundtrack and work just as well on CDTV as on CD32 is important.

And we can talk about a compromise : Nowadays, it is easier to add additionnal memory on CDTV than on CD32. So if some of your projects can be CDTV compatible with just 1Mb more RAM, please consider it as a possibility. I think it is not really a problem for current CDTV users. If your CD32Load is not required, maybe the only difference will be that CD32 is equipped with 2Mb ChipRAM and CDTV with 1Mb ChipRAM plus extra FastRAM ?
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Old 09 September 2018, 15:13   #10
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With a expanded CDTV Kick3+ FastRam etc would your Wonderdog with CD audio work? or is it CD32load only
Take care, if CDTV needs to be too much upgraded, there will be no interest to work for compatibility with a configuration that very few people have. Extra RAM can be easily added with the famous CDTV expansion available on an auction website for a rational price. You open your CDTV, plug it in the internal expansion port of the CDTV and that's it. A lot of CDTV users are ok to do this as it guarantees that they can access almost all A500 games.

Adding a new kickstart that required a new CDTV ROM too is generally the beginning of another approach in which many CDTV users do not want to get started.

But you're right, it is a good question
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Old 09 September 2018, 15:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
I was interested about adapting CD32load for JOTD but got a cold shower from Toni (Wilen) who explained that the low-level CD-read routine that I'm using for CD32load (written by Psygore, who probably reverse-engineered Rob Northen routine to enhance it) won't run on CDTV because the CD hardware is different.
Yeah, there is absolutely nothing in common between CD32 and CDTV in low CD controller hardware level. CDTV is based on A2091/A590 DMAC and old Matsushita CD controller. (Almost same protocol that first PC non-IDE Matsushita/Panasonic CD drives used). CD32 CD controller is unique, it is not based on any existing Amiga hardware, I think even CD microcontroller is custom because it has Commodore part number.

Writing loader isn't that difficult (CDTV CD controller is much more intelligent than CD32, CDTV can return 2048 byte "cooked" sectors. CD32 only returns raw 2352 sectors). Simple CD sector loader that takes sector number and then reads it using polled IO (I don't remember if CDTV must use DMA or if PIO is possible) is fine for this purpose?

Unfortunately there is another missing major part: CD filesystem that works without OS. Unless it can ripped from RNC loader.
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Old 09 September 2018, 18:18   #12
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Only Psygore seems to have done it (rip or full rewrite, with bugfix when too many files on disk). But the sources were never released (as often with Psygore, unfortunately)
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Old 14 September 2018, 09:12   #13
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Big grin

Gentlemen, whatever your decision after these few exchanges, I hope that you have at least decided not to forget anymore the CDTV when it seems possible to make your work compatible with it. Because that's really frustrating to see a CD32 adaptation of an OCS game even requiring less than 1MB RAM that does not work on CDTV.

CDTV users are less numerous than those of CD32 but equally enamored of their machine and would be really happy to be able to feed their favorite system with new adaptations.

In any case, thank you for the excellent work you're doing on the AMIGA game library since all these years!
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