Monday, August 28, 2006


An old MSX classic

I recently did a bit of work on the MSX part of JEmu2. Not even MSX2, but 'good-ole' MSX1. One of the reasons was that a personal favourite of mine didn't work correctly on it yet: The sadly overlooked 'Iriegas' (a.k.a. 'Illegus'), made by the japanese ASCII corp. (the main creators of the MSX standard).

It plays much like an updated version of the ZX81 classic 3D Monster Maze, but in full colour, much smoother game play and animation, sound, traps you have to jump over, atmospherically changing light conditions, I/R goggles, gold, and this time you can shoot back at your enemies!

Not exactly Doom4 or Half-Life 3, but you can still regard this as a pretty good, early First Person Shooter.

I have some fond memories playing this game, which is at least as scary as the mentioned 3D Moster Maze. Especially the day/night cycles add a sense of urge to finish a level before night has fallen completely.

If you're lucky, you have found the infra red goggles before that happens, but they tend to deplete when you need them most which leaves you helplessly wandering in the dark, hoping you'll find new goggles or a brand new day to arrive before the baddies find you, or before you fall into a trap.
Even the sound, which is merely a pulsating drone indicating the distance to a baddy, adds a lot to the atmosphere.

The things that were missing from JEmu2 to allow this game to work correctly were proper SCREEN 3 support and support for zoomed sprites.

The use of SCREEN 3 (a low resolution graphics mode) is probably one of the reasons this full 3D game moves so fluidly on an old machine like the MSX.

I will add this game to the next version of JEmu2, and I recommend anyone to give this one a go!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Announcing VirtuArcade

I'm currently working on the next step in online emulation: VirtuArcade!
VirtuArcade is, as the name suggests, a totally 3D representation of a 'real' virtual arcade with multiple machines, all running simultaneously in real-time. You can simply walk around to look what games the arcade has running, walk towards the game you feel like doing, insert a 'virtual' coin and start playing.

The idea was also to make things as scalable as possible, so running an arcade with many games at once should be doable on today's machines.

To pull this off, a number of optimizations, tricks and clever cheats were needed.

I have an early prototype running locally now, which already works nicely but the graphics and models (obviously) need work, as you can see below.

Screenshot of the prototype displaying 6 fully working arcades at once at full speed:

VirtuArcade is built on JEmu2, so all hardware currently emulated by JEmu2 work in VirtuArcade too and they will be simultaneously updated.
You can regard VirtuArcade as a new, enhanced 3D front-end for JEmu2.

Stay tuned!

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