New Ports?

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by christo930, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. christo930

    christo930 Well-Known Member

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    Why has there been such a drop-off of ports to the gp2x? Almost no games push the hardware anywhere near it's limits and I have seen lots of 2-d games for the wiz and caanoo that the GP2X should be able to handle. Is it simply lack of interest? Neither the wiz or Caanoo are much better than the gp2x in terms of processing power and it seems to me that there are games that really should be ported to the gp2x. Any replies?
     
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  2. Parkydr

    Parkydr Developing for the GP2X since 2006

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    Care to tell us which games you're talking about?
     
  3. christo930

    christo930 Well-Known Member

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    [CAANOO] Metal Slug Zombies
    The 12 Balls Game

    Mission faileD
    and so on (it's actually pretty time consuming comparing the games on all 3 consoles. But my point is, that the "community" seems to drop support short;y after a new machine (my greatest appreciate of all the game-makers that continue to write on all 3) and normally that is OK, in the consumer market. In the consumer market, the hardware is pushed further than anyone could have expected because they want to get the absolute most for the hardware available. The drive for new hardware is not because the games are getting too complicated for the hardware, it's that the next emulation frontier has arisen. We can emulate a GBA on the GP2X, imagine if what could be done with software written for it!

    I just think we are obsoleting hardware long, long before it's limits is approached with the single exception of emulators.
    Chris
     
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  4. iprice

    iprice Certified Guru

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    That's nothing new. Have you seen what coders are doing for the 8bit machines nowadays, 30 years after these were killed off by their creators and the general public, willing to jump to newer, more powerful hardware? Some of the new stuff is absolutely fantastic, but there's not a lot of it.

    People move on - owners and coders. Get used to it. We have a massive wave of new machines that have either hit the market, or are about to, leaving all those old devices to Rust In Pieces. Sure, some people still use the old machines, and some coders still dev for them, but they are losing ground all the time. You can't blame devs for progress or wanting to create bigger, better projects on bigger and better machines.

    That's not strictly true either. Better hardware does indeed bring possibilities that older hardware can't even hope to achieve.

    Do you not think it's time consuming to get the same code running on three different devices to the best of their ability? You also have to factor into the fact that not all devs will own or have direct access to these three machines. Then there's the Dingoo, Yinlips, iOS, Android, webOS etc. etc. etc. on top. Why should they exclude these other machines? And to you know how much praise and feedback most devs get for their efforts, or how much time it takes to actually create something in the first place. I'll tell you - it can take months of hard work creating something and get none or very little feedback or praise for their efforts.

    Perhaps it would be easier for you to move with the times than everyone else cater to what you want? Maybe?
     
  5. Parkydr

    Parkydr Developing for the GP2X since 2006

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    Only The 12 Balls Game has a source code link (ports require source code) and I doubt many of the developers have a GP2X anyway.

    I'll have a look at the code to see if it's feasible to port it to the GP2X.

    The GP2X has hardly been dropped overnight, mine is more than 6 years old (and showing it's age).
     
  6. christo930

    christo930 Well-Known Member

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  7. iprice

    iprice Certified Guru

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    What makes you think that?


    The two systems are not terribly compatible.


    That doesn't actually mean anything. And better graphics are purely subjective anyway - what you may find attractive, others may not. It's no surprise that many games on the GBA look better than those on GP2X - purely because the graphics artists are paid professionals - the same cannot necessarily be said about many GP2X artists, who do it for the love and as a hobby. There are many games for GP2X that have excellent graphics too. There are also games on the GBA that look crap.

    Well rather than moan about the lack of support and people not pushing limits, why don't you give it a try? It's not as easy as you make it sound, and like I said, it is a pretty thankless task. Don't believe me, just look at the feedback for pretty much everything in the archive. Sure there's a good deal in the forums for some apps but most get very little feedback. Original GP2X games and non-emulators are lucky if they get several comments.

    What's with the bold text BTW
     
  8. Dimacus

    Dimacus Member

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    When you are talking about pushing their games to the limit (in terms of hardware usage), you need to understand that this takes a lot of work and a deep understanding of the platform you are coding for.
    You also need to understand that a lot of potential game makers aren't too good at programming or simply not interested in it, and vice verse, a lot of programmers don't have the creativity to create games or simply have no interest in doing so.

    And as iprice says, most get very little feedback on their creations and this is really a shame, since it probably deters a lot of creative people from keep working on their projects and deters new people who sees that feedback is rare.
     
  9. bunny

    bunny Still Fresh

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    As someone who wasn't around when the GP2X scene was at its height, maybe I can offer a slightly different perspective. I'll be honest, I bought my GP2X (from eBay) primarily as an emulation platform, and for that it's outstanding. It has more emulators available, for a wider range of machines, than any of the other open handhelds -- including the BBC Micro, which I don't think any of the newer open consoles support at all.

    So, I probably spend 80-90% of my GP2X time in emulators. I *do* play original games as well, but they're up against very tough opposition. For example, Head Over Heels and Beneath a Steel Sky are both freely available and easily run on the GP2X under emulation. Unless a game is so good it really blows me away -- Animatch is an example of a game that *is* that good -- then I tend to play it a few times and then forget about it, and go back to my emulated games.

    One of the reasons I started my blog was that I was hoping to give a little more visibility to GP2X game (and non-game) programs, but even after several months of reasonably regular posting, I'd had virtually no feedback -- ironically, the same problem the programmers had! -- except for the few people who commented on the forum thread in here, and most of those were people who'd been around the scene for years in any case and knew much more about the games than I did.

    It's a bit of a vicious circle, I think. I look at the archive and am frustrated by the *huge* number of programs that could have been fantastic if only they'd been finished. (Even in the emulation category -- the PSX emulator, for one.) There are a lot that have messages like "Don't worry, I intend to keep updating this!" -- but not a hint of any *actual* update for years. In at least some cases, I'm sure that the programmers lost interest because they weren't getting the feedback... but perhaps they weren't getting the feedback because the game hadn't been finished!

    The sum total of my GP2X programming experience consists of an SDLBasic program to draw Lorenz attractors, and even that took me a while, so I don't underestimate the difficulty in porting games from other platforms. Take the GP2X version of Jazz Jackrabbit -- it's certainly not what I'd call a finished, polished game, but there's no way I could have done any better. The problem is that there is no longer the critical mass of interest to keep things ticking over -- and, unlike with the Spectrum, the userbase wasn't huge in the first place.

    If there had been a million GP2X units sold, then who knows what would have appeared? I'd guess there'd be quite a few nice OpenGL games, a decent X-based graphical desktop, lots more ports of things like Midnight Commander (that worked!) and lots more besides. After all, consider that the much, much less powerful Psion 5MX can (with some messing around) run Debian Sarge. Would we have ended up with complete distros being adapted for the GP2X? We'll never know, sadly.

    Okay, I've rambled off the topic here (as I tend to do) but I suppose my point is that doing those things would have felt worthwhile to many more of the talented programmers and designers who've owned a GP2X over the years, if only there had been a sizeable user base *that lasted* to support it. The Spectrum was commercially viable for a full decade, and had a huge user base. The GP2X wasn't, and didn't. There's your difference.
     
  10. iprice

    iprice Certified Guru

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    I totally agree. A larger installed userbase would certainly prolong the life of the hardware and software. Sadly it just wasn't to be.

    Also the Spectrum (and other 8bit machines) are also a lot easier to develop for and the 8bit machines are very well documented in multiple books and on lots of dedicated sites. The same can't necessarily be said about the GP2X. And the Spectrum lacked (realistic) emulation capabilities so it had to survive on original software (including "ports", which weren't really ports).

    There are some absolutely fantastic games and apps available for the GP2X and Wiz - sadly, most of them are totally ignored due to the fact that most users see their machines as emulation stations. To me, emulation is a bonus and not the most important aspect of GP2X. Hence why I delivered numerous original (and a couple of not so original, but improved) games for it.
     
  11. bunny

    bunny Still Fresh

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    There are certainly some excellent original games available (yours included) and it's frustrating that they're so little known. There are multiple reasons for that, of course -- not least that you can't rank games in a section of the archive by rating, rather than number of downloads or comments. There are well over 100 games in the Arcade section, for example, and with a few exceptions I have no idea which ones are any good until I try them out myself.

    I'm actually rather tempted by this discussion to be stubborn about this, and start reviewing games again -- but with the emphasis not on the titles that got all the attention, Cave Story and so on, but rather on those which never saw any feedback at all. Most of the games published in the last two or three years have no comments whatsoever, and I find that very sad. Probably some of them are terrible, but I'm sure there are some gems in there as well, and authors deserve at least to have their efforts *noticed*, I think.
     
  12. Parkydr

    Parkydr Developing for the GP2X since 2006

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    There used to be a rating system, but some people abused it so much, the ratings were meaningless.
     
  13. Farox

    Farox Certified Guru

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    I'm working of porting BermudaSyndrome on GP2X (almost done!!)...so its not totally abandoned (at least by me) the only thing that work against is lack of time... :)
     
  14. Ziz

    Ziz Advanced Member

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    I do not port games, but I write new ones. And every of my games I release for gp2x, too. :)
     
  15. bunny

    bunny Still Fresh

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    Parkydr: Yeah, after I'd posted, I remembered reading about the old rating system. Unfortunately the lack of it means anyone sifting through the games is now working in the dark a bit.

    Farox: That's great news. I seem to remember it being a rock-hard game, though, so I may not get far enough in it to review! :p

    Ziz: Excellent. One thing I'd like to do is to make a point of mentioning every new upload, even if only briefly. :)
     
  16. coldfish

    coldfish Member

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    I agree that it would be nice to see some new stuff make its way to the trusty ole' GP2X.

    The devs and coders made the platform great value back during it's heyday, some like Ziz continue to make the GP2X great.
     

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