Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Opening Up - Part 2

Really I feel like we need to develop our own emulators from scratch. Why? It's a long story and I'll go into it later. For the moment just believe that I have good reasons. I actually started several years ago. I developed a CPU core for the Sally 6502. That is the CPU of the Atari 2600. I actually designed it to be a completely stand alone piece of software. You can not only use it for an Atari 2600 emulator but for any system that used a 6502, the NES for example. It would actually need a bit of tweaking to work for the NES, but the changes could be implemented with a series of “switches” that way the same CPU core could be used for the Atari 2600 and NES.

The idea is to develop each piece separately and then assemble those pieces together into a working emulator. Once we have a perfected 6502 it shouldn't need to be redeveloped ever again. It may need to be updated in time and translated from one language to another, but most of the work would only need to be done once. Another advantage of developing this way is that all the core development can be cross platform. The CPU core itself doesn't need anything that isn't standard C++. Since it's standard it's cross platform.

The input and output could also be developed with porting in mind. I actually have a very full idea of how I want it all to work. I'll lay out here later. The real point of all this is that we need developers to help us get this off the ground. We intend to open the source code for the CPU core I've already developed and then start a number of other open source projects to complete our own series of emulators. That way anyone who helps us is also helping the emulation community. It's another way that Console Classix will be giving to the classic gaming community. Even if our actual code contributions are small we should be able to help orchestrate something awesome.

One top of any emulator projects we may have I might open the source code for the browser itself. I would like to see what additions the community could come up with. It might also be interesting if we provided potential developers with the software library we use to allow emulators to connect to our server and retrieve games. I would love to see a NES emulator loading games from CC on an iPhone!

As you can see, we have a lot to do. This isn't really a complete list. This is just a look at a few things we need help with. There is just too much for us to do. We need more help. Lord willing, we'll get it.

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