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Thread: realtime 3D graphics preview

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    As I'm finishing up (read: redesigning / re-inventing) the 3D rendering core that is the foundation of all my projects, I've tried to imagine how that works (laser MAME). Initially it is trying to fit a square peg that seems round in a round hole - just because it is vector based. I'm not aware of too many vector game out there and my guess is that it would take more work to get them to run properly than to code clones of the games from scratch that will run right because a lot of the details involved in laser display can be taken into account on all levels.
    LaserMame is an emulator written in C. I think some might be assembly but am not sure. The vector games drew the stuff like an oscope. Mame somehow converts those coordinates to screen coordinates and draws a normal line. You just need to find that piece of code, which is probably in the vectors games driver, and convert the screen coordinates to vector coordinates, sort them, and then make a frame. I think the hard part would be locating the drawing code in the Mama source. I can't image the rest being too difficult. You have already figured out how to sort vectors, from what I understand, so that is done. There is nothing 3D about it since the 3D to 2D stuff is handled in the video game roms.

  2. #42
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    A PC driven vector generator that will drive WG, Amplifone, Sega, and Vectrex monitors. It will also drive Oscilloscopes
    http://www.zektor.com/zvg/index.html

    Vector MAME
    http://www.hackszine.com/blog/archiv...ctor_mame.html

    MAME on an Oscilloscope
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/video-of-...ope-331078.php

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by carmangary View Post
    LaserMame is an emulator written in C. I think some might be assembly but am not sure. The vector games drew the stuff like an oscope. Mame somehow converts those coordinates to screen coordinates and draws a normal line. You just need to find that piece of code, which is probably in the vectors games driver, and convert the screen coordinates to vector coordinates, sort them, and then make a frame. I think the hard part would be locating the drawing code in the Mama source. I can't image the rest being too difficult. You have already figured out how to sort vectors, from what I understand, so that is done. There is nothing 3D about it since the 3D to 2D stuff is handled in the video game roms.
    Sure it can be done but I personally don't see the point in doing the work. When I first found laser mame on the net I was very excited about it and read up on it. However I find it's more a hack than something original (although I recognize the efforts by its authors). I just don't find it very attractive. Working on a 3D rendering engine opens up a world of creative possibilities, that I like.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ AIWAZ View Post
    A PC driven vector generator that will drive WG, Amplifone, Sega, and Vectrex monitors. It will also drive Oscilloscopes
    http://www.zektor.com/zvg/index.html

    Vector MAME
    http://www.hackszine.com/blog/archiv...ctor_mame.html

    MAME on an Oscilloscope
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/video-of-...ope-331078.php
    There ya go!!! !

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    Sure it can be done but I personally don't see the point in doing the work. When I first found laser mame on the net I was very excited about it and read up on it. However I find it's more a hack than something original (although I recognize the efforts by its authors). I just don't find it very attractive. Working on a 3D rendering engine opens up a world of creative possibilities, that I like.
    I agree with you for the most part.

    I am glad that you are working on the 3D stuff and I am curious to see what you will end up doing with it.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    Sure it can be done but I personally don't see the point in doing the work. When I first found laser mame on the net I was very excited about it and read up on it. However I find it's more a hack than something original (although I recognize the efforts by its authors). I just don't find it very attractive.
    I suspect that on a gut level, that's exactly what Robert and Pat decided after they had completed LaserMame. After all, you can't really market this. People will pay a quarter to play a video game. Maybe they'd pay a dollar to play it on a laser projector on a large screen. But that's still a lousy business model when you need an expensive laser projector present in order to make it work.

    So it's certainly not a project that is going to make a ton of money. I actually spoke with Robert on the phone about this, and he admitted that it really only had use as a "draw" gimick... Set it up next to an ice-cream stand and get people to check out the games so that they'll stick around and buy an ice cream or two. I think that's why he wanted to do the Tempest on the Grand Coolie Dam thing... It had value to him more as a publicity stunt than anything else.

    But from a hobbyist standpoint, it's something very cool. Lots of geeks my age are very much into the whole retro-gaming scene. (When people come over to my house, I *always* show them Pangolin's Laser Asteroids, and everyone loves it.) Mame is one way to revisit those great games from the 1980's. Being able to do it in laser simply adds another "coolness" layer! But I also reconginze that it's a non-trivial project. (Though with Carmangary's links above, it would seem that a lot of the legwork has already been done by others.)
    Working on a 3D rendering engine opens up a world of creative possibilities, that I like.
    I agree that your rendering engine will probably be more useful to the community as a whole. But I'd still love to see LaserMame released in some form. Oh well...

    Adam

  7. #47
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    I don't think selling LaserMAME was ever an option. I am pretty sure the open source agreement for the MAME base prohibits commercializing it and the arcade ROMS are not redistributable without some kind of agreement made with Atari.

  8. #48
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    Cool

    You're right - I should have clarified what I meant by "Market". I didn't mean that Rob wanted to sell the software. I meant that he realized that it was something that would be very hard to use to make money with.

    In other words, you couldn't design an "arcade" around LaserMame and charge people to play. Sure, you'd get some people to pay, but you'd never make enough to cover the cost of the equipment.

    Having said that though, he still doesn't want to release it into the public domain. I haven't a clue why... (I suspect that Steve is right. There's some ego involved, and Rob would rather hoard it for himself.)

    Adam

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Having said that though, he still doesn't want to release it into the public domain. I haven't a clue why... (I suspect that Steve is right. There's some ego involved, and Rob would rather hoard it for himself.)
    I am not sure if it is so much Rob. It could be Matt. Hard to say... As far as I can tell, if they play by the rules, they were license-bound to contribute the changes back into the MAME library, but they didn't...

    For anyone interested, I usually crank up LaserMAME (yes, I have a copy) at various PL functions.

    Also, regarding SDK and games and 3D and all that, this is why we released the source code for our Asteroids game, which not only has a 3D engine, but also a mini Physics engine as well. Our hope was that others would take it and develop other games with it. (Basically, we are so busy developing "real apps" that we don't have time to work on the fun stuff...)

    I am glad Zoof is doing this. It shows that a smart person with some time on their hands and interest in this subject could accomplish cool things in laser. Maybe Zoof's development will spur the interest of others who will also pick up the ball...

    Bill

  10. #50
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    I spent some hours a week or two ago porting your Asteroidsd VB.NET code to C# and was planning on adding support for the other DACs (EasyLase, Lumax, etc). The samples were missing from your distribution as well as some custom controls for the forms so it would not compile as it was. I could have worked around it but after awhile I lost interest and just deleted it all. I didn't see the 3D stuff in there, though... but I am not saying it isn't there. But why would Asteroids have a 3D engine?

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