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GP32 scene, where are you?

category: general [glöplog]

I always wondered why GBA has way more demos than GP32. And some of them are definitelly more impressive and polished than what I've seen in GP32. I thought that the open community (company supporting developers) and perhaps the CPU speed of GP32 too, would bring more demos to this lovely handheld! But I guess I am wrong..

Anyways,. I've also written lately an article about this, while reviewing most of the GP32 scene demos that came in my hands. And I think I found some simple reasons about the absence of the scene here. And so I thought I should ask some other questions just out of curiosity:

Who is still in GP32 demomaking?

Are groups like Noice, Aardbei and the rest of the people who wrote few demos for it, still planning for future demo releases in this handheld?

Are there any newer groups/sceners interested for coding something for GP32 in the future? Are there people currently working on a demo I should expect soon?

Just to know if there is still a GP32 demoscene around..

p.s. Personally I am working on a demo (oh, with those regular 2d effects and perhaps a little 3d engine this time if I can manage the time) and I think that everything goes fine, I'll release something this year. I should check whether TUM has a handheld competition and if I can submit an entry without being present at the party. There is also a handheld compo at BCN which I was thinking of lately, but that's much closer than my original plans..
added on the 2005-10-24 09:53:45 by Optimus Optimus
I started coding on GP32 but problems were with toolkit (some mr.mirko one). Actually I was able to compile stuff after all, but couldn't get xm player (mikmod) working correctly (slower fps, slower music). Bound it to timer of course, but something was seriously wrong. After all I managed to make a tunnel that ran with music like 10 secs and then crashed. Tell me how to play XMs and I'll consider again ;)

Big disappointment was that everything is so poorly documented although the homebrew scene is quite big. And XM player is something that I'm not doing myself.
added on the 2005-10-24 10:16:36 by shadez shadez
I believe that there is one big problem floating around the demoscene concerning the alternative platform choice: Many of the groups only do one great demo to proove that they have the skills and aborded a new system. After it they drop it like a hot potato. I only see the everlasting love to C64, Amiga and PC within the demoscene.
added on the 2005-10-24 13:19:38 by freeze freeze
gba pwns gp32 because it's a bigger challenge to do something cool with it. gp32 is just a portable framebuffer ;)
added on the 2005-10-24 13:26:45 by kusma kusma
well.. gba demos seam to be made in mode 4 which is a portable framebuffer?
added on the 2005-10-24 13:33:50 by the_Ye-Ti the_Ye-Ti
the_Ye-Ti: eh, so your framebuffer is adressed lineary, not tiled. you know, the gba-hardware is MORE than just tiled backgrounds. you can still use sprites, hw-rotation/scaling and so on. and that's damn usefull for demos.
added on the 2005-10-24 13:39:54 by kusma kusma
Mikmod SUCKS. Huge, ugly, disease ridden, rotting walrus carcasses floating in cesspools of toxic, radioactive waste. Through straws.

Anyway my gp32 needs to have stuff done on it, yes. I'll get to it eventually.

Anyway, Optimus, why aren't you doing one of your demos on it?
kusma hmm i didnt quite understand that.
mode 4 isnt a tiled background i think.
added on the 2005-10-24 13:55:30 by the_Ye-Ti the_Ye-Ti
fr-33:domfries: Actually Optimus is doing demos on it, even if they are still in progress.

Await a really nice article about nowadays GP32 scene and the outspoken "problem" on the Dreamcast diskmag "scenedicate", coming out in a few weeks! :)
added on the 2005-10-24 14:20:55 by freeze freeze
the_Ye-Ti: my point was that it's nowhere near "only a portable framebuffer" in mode4 either, it's a portable framebuffer with a lot of candy. like the really cool hw-blended sprites, and hw rotation/scaling on backgrounds.
added on the 2005-10-24 14:23:40 by kusma kusma
Mikmod SUCKS.

My .UNI-fied XMs from 1995-1996 agree with you.
added on the 2005-10-24 14:32:05 by Shifter Shifter
Maybe GBA is more challenging? As far as I know, GP32 is a linear framebuffer, a devilish fast CPU, shitloads of RAM for a handheld (8 megabyte), and a fairly simple soundsystem.

GBA has tiled background modes, sprites, hardware mosaicfunctions, an interesting set of BIOS functions, a more "hardcore" CPU speed (16.7 Mhz), is cheaply avaible everywhere in the western world, and a lot of other things which gives it a huge step forward compared to GP32.
Vote for your favorite system on http://scene.org/ asap btw kthx.
added on the 2005-10-24 15:07:50 by freeze freeze
how about because nobody has a gp32?
added on the 2005-10-24 16:17:58 by skrebbel skrebbel
skrebbel: not completely true, but almost. in january/february I coded 5-6 parts for a GP32 demo, but when I realized that only 5-10 ppl would actually watch it on the real thing I got kinda demotivated and killed the project.
I made a small 3d engine with some polyfillers and then ditched the damn platform.
Slummy: on Xbox you'd have a smaller audience, so stop being such a wussy :)
added on the 2005-10-24 18:25:28 by Shifter Shifter
freeze, name one good reason why :)
added on the 2005-10-24 18:47:41 by ph0x ph0x
earth calling gp32 scene.. earth calling gp32 scene.. optimus, where are you?
added on the 2005-10-24 18:52:15 by havoc havoc
ph0x: It will be better than GP32?
added on the 2005-10-24 19:56:00 by freeze freeze
GP2X is going to be the shit! :D

And they are actually going to sell it in germany!

Reasons to buy it are...

- Linux (don't need to wait until some group ports it like NDS or PSP linux)
- Portable movie player (hardware decoding for good quality)
- ARM CPU (we all love ARM ASM :))
- Open source
- Emulators

And i think it is going to be quite cheap.
added on the 2005-10-24 20:30:38 by Lupin Lupin
shadez: I have to agree with you, there are several annoying things I encountered while developing for it. The most common being a sound bug where the sound crackles while there is too much data traffic (to much graphics output, sound dma will not be able to get the needed data in time ;P). That's a problem of the hardware they say, you just have to get around this. Then, there is something more annoying that I don't know if it's an actual SDK bug or another problem of the hardware. I have even encountered it, randomly, in demos like Baardei or really good emulators like DrMD. Once in rare times, the screen roughly moves to another position, like someone suddenly moved the position of the videoram start in a far random position!

As for music, I have two great MODs for my future demos ready, so I don't know about XM players. But,. till this moment I used Mr.Mirko's mod player that is in the SDK. I can't raise the volume and it's not loud enough. Also, even with vsync enabled while this player runs, the movement jerks a bit. Without, it's ok. Third, in one of the MODs I played, I get an unknown crash after a while ;P. I think I'll search for another player, some of the good demos for this machine use CHN player (still just a MOD player) and there is AFM player around too. I'd like to use MikMod at the beginning but I haven't figured out how to play a module there yet. I'll check that CHN player first..

And yes, I agree about not much documentation. There was that great huge GBA nfo files, but in GP32 we do it through SDK functions or software buffer mostly. I couldn't find some more inside informations about GP32 yet..

And that sideways videoram is a bit annoying, though that's much less important than the rest of the problems here..
added on the 2005-10-24 20:42:01 by Optimus Optimus
160 € will be the release price.
added on the 2005-10-24 20:42:48 by freeze freeze
Also, (still) there is no proper emulation for GP32. Just a think that doesn't run Mr.Mirko's SDK based programms or several other stuff, there is no music, 30%-40% speed whatever. With GBA, several people will be able to watch your productions even through an emulator. What I don't like in GBA though, is that I have to give another 100 euro to buy the flash-eeprom in order to watch those demos in the real thing. I have a GBA but only play games with it for the moment. You get the tools/cable to transfer to GP32 along with the handheld for the same prize.
added on the 2005-10-24 20:46:32 by Optimus Optimus


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