To answer questions that have been popping up recently: No, I have not abandoned Dreamcast. It is true that lately I was focused mostly on NAOMI but that was due to all the work done on cart based games. It would be a waste not to implement these changes right away.
It's actually harder to get Dreamcast working right. NAOMI has fewer games, none of which uses WinCE kernel, and except some JVS woes the emulator base is pretty much complete now. What's left are NAOMI 2 extensions and maybe the comm board emulation. Renderer issues aside of course.
Let's be frank here, Makaron T12 had some major changes in it and didn't turn out all that great. What's more, there are still two major issues left unresolved:
1) Disc swapping
2) Proper fullscreen support
These two are very closely related. See, Makaron does support disk changing while running but the GUI won't allow you to do anything of the sort. And if you were playing fullscreen, you'd have to switch back to windowed mode to even access said GUI in the first place.
After I promised I'd bring back the ALT+key game image switching I realized that hacking T12 is pretty much pointles. I should focus on making it work as it's meant to. Sorry Yuki :) So, Dreamcast Test 12 branch is dead, I'm doing a major rewrite for T13.
I figured I only need to add GUI for the most important options, the rest should not be touched anyway unless you know what you're doing. Then there's the fullscreen and aspect ratio issue. I still haven't decided if I want to use slower but easier fake mode, or the real deal. I could perhaps do both but that means more code and obviously I don't like it :) Right now Makaron is unable to recover from a "device lost" situation and while it could be worked around, it'd be very ugly.
Another thing is WinCE support. There is a different way of doing MMU address translation, something I discussed long time ago with Nathan Keynes (lxdream author). It's much faster for Linux/FreeBSD but it remains to be seen what speedup, if any, I could get with games. It's a big change but fortunately Makaron is already half way there as is. This is something I actually look forward to, not a mindless bug hunting.
This kinda brings me to another topic, that is nullDC source code being opened. I'd hesitate with word "freed" here, it's not exactly as simple as some people think. Looking at the issues page it's obvious that there are still only two real maintainers: drkIIRaziel and PsyMan. I don't think this was the intended result. Whether or not someone picks it up or the original authors loose interest completly remains to be seen - but it's what I always say, not that many people are interested in writing an emulator. Source code being closed is no excuse, after all I started from zero on my own so anybody can do that. On the other hand, once the code is open you don't really see an army of helpers, now do you... Hacking in a feature or two does not count as proper development.
Since I touched the subject of features, I'm still against keyboard based gamepad support so don't get your hopes up. Get a wired X360 pad, it's the closest thing to a DC controller that can be hassle-free connected to a PC. I'm against Microsoft hegemony but having some standards put in place really makes my life easier. The hoops I need to jump through to get around bugs in DirectInput device drivers... ugh.
I'm also not going to add any additional texture filters, you don't like big pixels, go play a recent game and don't bitch about '98 graphics being poor. I might add full-screen filter effects though, depending on how bad it looks on widescreen LCD :)
So... when is Test 13 going to be ready? No idea. I might be forced to drop some of the changes I want to make in favour of faster release (like, say, integrating input plugins back to main executable). The software renderer is not going to make it in and thats pretty much certain, I only started playing with it. The rest... I guess we'll see about that.
- Music:Thievery Corporation