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General => The Gaming Lounge => Topic started by: MottZilla on July 26, 2016, 10:21:30 PM

Title: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: MottZilla on July 26, 2016, 10:21:30 PM
Has anyone here been keeping up with news about the SNES / Playstation CD-ROM prototype unit? For those who don't know, the prototype has been emulated and now an actual homebrew game has been released that can be played via emulation and maybe one day on the actual system.

Some video links:
Super Boss Gaiden Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99-v8lkoOdo
Super Boss Gaiden on CUPodcast - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mWR-hdTD6M
Ben Heck Prototype Teardown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug-CyGXMabg

It's a pretty neat piece to see since it never came to market. There isn't much to it though. But that doesn't mean it couldn't have been host to great games. The hardware would have been similar to the CD-ROM for the TurboGrafx 16 / PC-Engine because unlike the Sega CD it wouldn't have really added anything to the SNES's capability.

With the found prototype you get 256Kb (2 Megabits) of RAM, 8Kb of Save Data SRAM, CD-ROM storage access and CD-ROM audio playback. The PC-Engine Super CD-ROM also has 256Kb of RAM, Save Data Backup RAM, and some additional audio hardware. The Sega CD added a second 68000 processor as well as additional graphics capability.

Similar to the PC-Engine though the SNES CD-ROM Prototype could have had an upgrade later on by changing the Cartridge to one with more RAM, an additional processor, or whatever else they could put into a cartridge. The PC-Engine CD-ROM went from 64Kb of RAM to the Super CD-ROM with a total 256Kb of RAM with a System Card upgrade.

Maybe if we're lucky we will see someone make their own CD-ROM and System Cartridge based off the prototype.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on July 27, 2016, 09:24:13 PM
I heard about it getting found, but I didn't hear about it getting emulated. That reminds me, I saw on MetalJesusRocks that they had found a prototype for the English version of the N64 DD add-on that never got released in the US.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Guardian on July 29, 2016, 07:40:40 AM
An interesting collaboration effort.

Are you looking to port NG4 to this or something?
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: MottZilla on July 30, 2016, 11:32:11 PM
No, if anything it would be to the *real* Playstation. The real Playstation is an appealing system for some homebrew games. This prototype even if it were cloned and everyone could buy one would never be a good platform to make games on. The Playstation while having very little memory by today's standards has tons more than this prototype system.

Plus the PS in general essentially can be like a SNES with a CD-ROM as is evident by numerous SNES to Playstation ports. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV, V, VI. The Final fantasy Origins remakes look like SNES games. Mega Man X3 was ported over.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on October 27, 2016, 04:16:11 PM
Reminds me of this story (http://"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_of_Mana#Development"):

Quote
Secret of Mana was originally planned to be a launch title for the SNES-CD add-on. After the contract between Nintendo and Sony to produce the add-on failed, and Sony repurposed its work on the SNES-CD into the competing PlayStation console, Square adapted the game for the SNES cartridge format. The game had to be altered to fit the storage space of a SNES game cartridge, which is much smaller than that of a CD-ROM. The developers initially resisted continuing the project without the CD add-on, believing that too much of the game would have to be cut, but they were overruled by company management. As a result of the hardware change, several features had to be cut from the game, and some completed work needed to be redone. Most major of these removals was the option to take multiple routes through the game that led to several possible endings, in contrast to the linear journey in the final product. The plot that remained was different than the original conception, and Tanaka has said that the original story had a much darker tone. Ishii has estimated that up to forty percent of the planned game was dropped to meet the space limitations, and critics have suggested that the hardware change led to technical problems when too much happens at once in the game. In 2006, Level magazine claimed that Secret of Mana's rocky development was Square's main inspiration to move their games, such as the Final Fantasy series, from Nintendo consoles to Sony consoles in 1996.

If you remember, or if you feel liking booting up a ROM, Secret of Mana struggled with the limited sound channels it had to conform to on the SNES. The music would get interrupted whenever it had to process one or more sound effects during playtime, like opening a chest or hitting baddies. It'd be amazing to see all of that cut content return in a remastered Secret of Mana title on the Nintendo Playstation Switch.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on October 27, 2016, 07:08:02 PM
Forget the Switch, I'd rather see it redone and put out on Steam like they did with most of the other Final Fantasy games.

I would also imagine that Square's developers weren't the only ones that were pissed off by this failure of a deal too. I doubt that the storage capacity limitations on cartridges were the only reason why many developers left Nintendo for the Playstation. I'll bet that many of them had probably had it with Nintendo telling them how to distribute their own games too and then when it looked like they could do all these great things with a CD system where they could distribute their own CDs they were probably really excited until Nintendo pulled the plug on it. That was probably the last draw for at least some of them.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on October 30, 2016, 08:57:44 PM
These days I'd rather not have to go through Steam to get my games. It just means I need to have a client running in order to play. The question of whether or not developers would want to work with Nintendo again is another deal entirely.

Still, the idea of having another 90s-esque renaissance of gaming with Nintendo and Square together again sounds great. Too bad Konami seems to have gone off to other ventures.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on October 31, 2016, 06:11:39 PM
Konami is a perfect example of a disappointment if there ever was one for the gaming industry. They used to make such great games and now they just suck.

I personally don't see a 90s-esque renaissance of gaming with Square and Nintendo together again ever happening, but I would still love to see something like that happen. We can argue that Nintendo is still the same company it always has been (sometimes gets them into trouble, but I digress), but Square is not Squaresoft anymore. It's Square-Enix which sometimes produces good games, and sometimes it just produces absolute crap. Even when the good games come out, they don't blow the market away like they did in the old days. With all their changes they've had internally, they've lost the 'magic touch' they used to have.

As for Steam, I've gotten used to having to run the client, and it really doesn't bother me. If you're going to use a digital distribution system for games, Steam seems to have the right ideas. They don't always make the best decisions (like the mess with buying mods), but at least so far they do seem to listen to their customers when something is incredibly unpopular and stupid and back off from it. Also once I've downloaded the games into my library, I still play them offline. When I get back online, the client will resync with the Steam servers for any updates.

For developers wanting to work with Nintendo again, it's a tough sell IMO. Developers want to get their game out to the most people, and as long as Nintendo's console isn't flying off the shelves, it's not going to be very attractive to them. They also want to have some say in the distribution of the physical copies of their game too and they don't want console manufacturers telling them to censor their games for purely BS reasons. Nintendo has problems on both those fronts.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on October 31, 2016, 07:07:43 PM
Yeah, I remember reading about the scandals with Xenoblade censorship. Apparently Nintendo Treehouse was responsible for the controversial localization.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on November 01, 2016, 07:32:26 PM
Nintendo Treehouse should be abolished. Yes, they were supposed to fix the problems with the poor localizations being done for the 8-bit and 16-bit games, but bad translations aside, I do not support changing games to make them more 'western' for us here in the states. Personally, I think they ruin too much original and unique content and we live in the Internet age so if something is weird or not understood because of some cultural reference, it can be easily looked up in 2 seconds on your phone which is likely conveniently right with you while you're playing.

Censorship was a problem before they existed (like changing the churches in the original FF1 to clinics when it came over on the NES), now they've managed to take it to a whole new level of a problem. It supports continued isolation between cultures and beliefs instead of allowing the free flow of ideas and information.

I'm sure some wise man once said, if you go through life without having to see or hear anything you consider offensive, challenging, or just plain different than what you're used to, you'll never grow and never know what you can be capable of.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on November 01, 2016, 08:21:58 PM
I think the meaning of localization has just been skewed. There are cases where good localization will make something like a show or a game so much more smooth or sensible to the audience. The best example I've seen recently is Big Windup!, the seinen anime about high school baseball in Japan. The original Japanese dub is great, but the English dub by Funimation just made everyone sound so natural, even the awkward Mihashi or the irritable Abe.

What we're seeing in videogames now and then just seems like good intentions going awry, or arrogance, leading to full-blown censorship in some cases. The originally intended meaning for the BLADE acronym in Xenoblade Chronicles X sounded way better than the localized meaning; Beyond the Logos Artificial Destiny Emancipator might have been a mouthful, but it fits well with the religious transhumanist themes of the Xeno- games, whereas Builders of the Legacy After the Destruction of Earth turns out to be even more of a mouthful and less informative. What legacy? What are you doing?
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on November 03, 2016, 07:23:45 PM
Now that you mention it, I do think that arrogance and 'good intentions' are probably the reasons why we have this mess to begin with. For all the bad decisions Nintendo has made, I'm sure arrogance in some form has been at least one of the reasons behind all of them including those with 'good intentions'. For example, taking religious references out of a game may seem like 'good intentions' because people can get offended by it. However, given that we also have plenty of games where players can do prostitutes and run them over to take your money back, and games where the amount of blood spewing out of zombies could probably fill one of the great lakes, it's hard for me to believe that developers are worried about offending people over putting religious references in a game. Instead of 'good intentions' I view that as a slap in the face saying the gamer can't handle it.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on November 03, 2016, 08:54:51 PM
I think that attitude speaks to the internet culture of disdain towards all things religious, but really it goes as far back as removing the crosses from the world map of Final Fantasy I when ported to the US, which was ironic.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Aegis Runestone on November 04, 2016, 07:40:05 AM
Okay, guys, we went a little off-topic here, I thought this was about some homebrew stuff, not bashing Nintendo? Also, what's with the rage? Venting about things of the past does not change the past nor does it change the present or the future. Action does.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on November 04, 2016, 12:15:31 PM
'Cept let's be honest here: there's nothing we can do to change anything about it here. We're just chillin' out, maxin', relaxin all cool n' shootin' some b-ball outside o' da skool.

Anyways, if you ask me, this is nothing. If you really wanna see impotent rage, just visit /v/. The place should be rife with it, should social media fail.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Aegis Runestone on November 04, 2016, 07:30:17 PM
Good point. Still, can't excuse your own anger just because someone is more angry. :P

Anyway, as far as Nintendo's current state, I think it isn't best to pass judgment until they reveal more about Switch.

Especially if Skyrim Special Edition is confirmed for it.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on November 05, 2016, 05:00:15 PM
I just wonder what it could mean for gaming. If it takes off, not only could it be a platform for mobile games, but it could merge the business of traditional game development with the emerging mobile market. Companies may be more willing to develop more games if they have a "mobile-first" capacity, similar to modern web development. This may mean we could see more games with microtransaction-heavy business models, or more MMO-enabled games, but it could then blur the lines between AAA games, indie games, and the mobile games market.

That concludes my armchair business economist session for tonight.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on November 06, 2016, 06:02:13 PM
In a way this also brings us back to homebrew games if we're going to be blurring the lines since one can argue that homebrew games are another form of indie games especially when they're sold like any other game. There's still people making homebrew games and putting them on cartridges to run on the old NES and somehow I don't think that's ever going to go away.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: MottZilla on December 08, 2016, 02:10:33 PM
Reminds me of this story (http://"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_of_Mana#Development"):

Quote
Secret of Mana was originally planned to be a launch title for the SNES-CD add-on. After the contract between Nintendo and Sony to produce the add-on failed, and Sony repurposed its work on the SNES-CD into the competing PlayStation console, Square adapted the game for the SNES cartridge format. The game had to be altered to fit the storage space of a SNES game cartridge, which is much smaller than that of a CD-ROM. The developers initially resisted continuing the project without the CD add-on, believing that too much of the game would have to be cut, but they were overruled by company management. As a result of the hardware change, several features had to be cut from the game, and some completed work needed to be redone. Most major of these removals was the option to take multiple routes through the game that led to several possible endings, in contrast to the linear journey in the final product. The plot that remained was different than the original conception, and Tanaka has said that the original story had a much darker tone. Ishii has estimated that up to forty percent of the planned game was dropped to meet the space limitations, and critics have suggested that the hardware change led to technical problems when too much happens at once in the game. In 2006, Level magazine claimed that Secret of Mana's rocky development was Square's main inspiration to move their games, such as the Final Fantasy series, from Nintendo consoles to Sony consoles in 1996.

If you remember, or if you feel liking booting up a ROM, Secret of Mana struggled with the limited sound channels it had to conform to on the SNES. The music would get interrupted whenever it had to process one or more sound effects during playtime, like opening a chest or hitting baddies. It'd be amazing to see all of that cut content return in a remastered Secret of Mana title on the Nintendo Playstation Switch.

I'm not sure that "story" is based on a whole lot of truth. One part is true, the translator for Secret of Mana in interviews has stated that due to ROM size limitations they had him cut down the script significantly. There are ROM hacks that expand the ROM and script making it closer to the Japanese version. The mentions of the game being for the "CD-ROM add-on" and then turned into a cartridge game don't make sense. While there was prototype hardware, I doubt Squaresoft was seriously developing games for it. I doubt the whole Secret of Mana being influenced by that. The prototype we have seen has very limited RAM which actually makes cartridges look superior. Yes the CD-ROM can hold a lot of data but you can only access a tiny amount at any one point in time.

Anyway, to the subject of homebrew. You can do homebrew development on nearly any old console these days if you want to. The NES is very popular cause of it's somewhat more simple nature overall. It's not beyond one person to make an entire NES game on their own. It's more difficult on other systems particularly when more and more detailed art is needed. And some of these homebrew games actually do get cartridges manufactured and sold. retrousb.com sells some, not to mention their new AVS console. If anyone is unaware the AVS is a hardware NES clone system that outputs digital AV through HDMI. If you're going to play NES games on a HDTV then it's the way to go. It even have a Famicom cartridge port.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on December 08, 2016, 03:21:44 PM
There are two more articles I found that corroborate the story of a larger Seiken Densetsu game:

https://www.unseen64.net/2008/04/14/secret-of-mana-nes/
http://www.lostlevels.org/200311/200311-square.shtml

Unfortunately their sources are no longer available on the web.

Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: MottZilla on December 11, 2016, 02:56:13 AM
I still don't buy that any actual prototype game of Seiken Densetsu 2 existed for the Super Famicom Playstation CD-ROM add-on. I think like in those links they may have had plans and ideas for things. But the way some people word things makes it sounds more like the game was nearly done on the CD format and things had to be cut and/or reworked to bring it to cartridge. When you look at the prototype that was found and what it is, I don't see too much that suggests that.

The music instruments and sound effects canceling things out and sounding crappy was just crappy programming, not some problem due to loosing the CD-ROM format. The only possible way you might get that is the idea that if they intended to play CD audio tracks for music instead of having sampled instruments like every other SNES game. But this doesn't make sense as they certainly could have fixed the issue if they wanted to/had the time. It's just one of those things that never got fixed during development.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on December 11, 2016, 05:48:16 AM
In that case, I hope they rerelease an updated version of the original, and officially release the second (third) game while they're at it.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: MottZilla on December 11, 2016, 01:15:01 PM
Well they did Sword of Mana on GBA which was a remake of Seiken Densetsu 1 I believe. It is a shame that since they never did their own translation that we've yet to get SD3 on any Virtual Console platform. But it's really only too bad for Square since everyone interested will just play the unofficial translated ROM by whatever means they can.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on December 12, 2016, 06:29:07 AM
That's true, Square's missed out on an opportunity with that one. SD3 would've been a huge hit over here if they translated it and released it over here. Actually they're missing out on a lot of opportunity with the Mana series. They've been lost on every game they've released after SD3 IMO.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on December 12, 2016, 08:26:59 PM
That reminds me, they did remake Final Fantasy Adventure a second time, as Adventures of Mana on mobile:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d7md_wotDI

The sound effects for the menu are straight from Secret of Mana.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on December 15, 2016, 06:04:08 PM
Looks OK, but it's not likely I'll ever play an RPG on mobile. I need either a full sized computer monitor or a TV to really get into an RPG.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Aegis Runestone on December 15, 2016, 07:30:36 PM
Looks OK, but it's not likely I'll ever play an RPG on mobile. I need either a full sized computer monitor or a TV to really get into an RPG.
I agree, ports of RPGs that use controllers are awful on mobile. Now, a game like Final Fantasy Record Keeper that was DESIGNED as a tablet/phone game, that I can get into. Even if it has a weak story. At least I can play it for like 15 minutes a day and make progress... and NOT struggle with the blasted touch screen to move.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Kaiser Infinity on December 16, 2016, 02:27:00 PM
There's always the MOGA bluetooth controllers.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Golden Warrior on December 16, 2016, 07:15:05 PM
True, but they still won't solve the small screen problem for me. When it comes to mobile games, the most I can tolerate is things like Bejeweled and dare I say it, Solitaire games for when I'm waiting on something. When I'm on the go with my phone I just don't have time for something more than that. I've tried Final Fantasy Record Keeper and it was cute and it was kind of nice to have music from all the games in it, but it became too repetitive to where the game practically plays itself and I don't even have to look at it for a lot of it. Also, it has micro-transactions. Even if you don't need to use them to get anywhere, the fact that they're there is such an unforgivable cardinal sin that I can't get past so after trying it out to see what the hype was about I dumped it pretty quickly.
Title: Re: SNES CD-ROM Homebrew - Super Boss Gaiden
Post by: Aegis Runestone on December 17, 2016, 12:36:59 AM
There's always the MOGA bluetooth controllers.
Those don't work for all games that need a controller. Like mobile FF4.

@GW: FFRK hardly plays itself unless you're just auto-ing easy content. But, regardless, I won't argue with you due to our differing opinions. :p