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Thread: Neo Geo Development

  1. #1
    Bashful Neophyte

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    Neo Geo Development

    Hey Guys,

    I'm a neo-geo noob, who has an interest in learning to develop games for the neo geo. unfortunately I haven't found all that much hard information about this topic, it seems that the neo-geo homebrew circle is pretty small. I've run across the NeoDev libraries, along with the source for a few games/demos. I've managed to build the source, but am having difficulties figuring out how to get Mame to play homebrew roms. Can anyone lend me a hand here?

    My end goal would be to have some game that I could put onto a MVS cart and play on my machine. From searching around it seems as tho there are no flash carts for loading homebrew code. Someone out there must have information on building these due to the large number of bootlegs. Although I'm not all that adept with hardware/electronics (I'm a software guy by trade) I do own a few eprom burners and have some basic knowledge. I have a bootlegged metal slug cart, I was considering tearing that apart to try to figure out how I could load my own code, but if anyone already has this kind of information and would be willing to share that would be awesome (I do understand this is probably an touchy subject due to the people bootlegging games)

    Thanks!
    Stephen

  2. #2
    Neo Bubble Buster
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    First of all, welcome!

    It's great to hear that you wish to develop games for NEO*GEO!

    As for your question, I'm not MAME literate as others here. All I can say is that the NEO*GEO rom file format must be worked on to make it runs on MAME. Paradoxally, the Kawaks emulator now only accept NEO*GEO roms in MAME format instead of native.
    I'm sure that other people here are going to give you a superior insight on the problem.

    As for burning AES roms, it's known that the German developers of Last Hope did just that, so I'd ask them, for a starter.

    good luck!...

  3. #3
    Geese's Thug

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    I asked about this the other day, and was linked to this : http://www.neobitz.com/

    I want to do some NEO homebrew at some point, as well, but I want to actually finish my current project (Atari 2600 homebrew) first.

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    Your best bet (starting out) is to code your game and name your rom files the same as an existing game like Puzzle de Pon. Then you can just load your game into MAME, ignoring all the crc mismatch warnings.

    Second to that, you can modify mame source to add your own driver. You can read more about the mame source on mame's site (www.mamedev.com) and download the build tools.

    If that sounds like too much work, try and locate NeoRageX. This will load just about any .zip if it finds the necessary files it needs to run a game.

    You could also try Nebula. It uses an external driver file. You can download the driver files from my site with my simple demos (www.neobitz.com) to see what is involved.

    As for building a cart -- that's not so tough either. Just pick up a cheap cart and yank the mask roms and replace with low-profile sockets. Then burn eproms and try it out. Sure, there's a little more to it than that, but if you put your game onto same size eproms as the mask roms from your host cart, that's 90% of your battle.

    Nobody (as far as I know) has really created a faq for this sort of thing.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    drunk downunder!
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    ALRIGHT! "noob" and "neo geo development"



    I think I've said enough.



    !!

  6. #6
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    Best of luck on your projects Crim and Chainclaw.
    Discounted shipping, even on your forum buy/sell/trade threads. No membership fees.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMKurtz View Post
    Your best bet (starting out) is to code your game and name your rom files the same as an existing game like Puzzle de Pon. Then you can just load your game into MAME, ignoring all the crc mismatch warnings.

    Second to that, you can modify mame source to add your own driver. You can read more about the mame source on mame's site (www.mamedev.com) and download the build tools.

    If that sounds like too much work, try and locate NeoRageX. This will load just about any .zip if it finds the necessary files it needs to run a game.

    You could also try Nebula. It uses an external driver file. You can download the driver files from my site with my simple demos (www.neobitz.com) to see what is involved.

    As for building a cart -- that's not so tough either. Just pick up a cheap cart and yank the mask roms and replace with low-profile sockets. Then burn eproms and try it out. Sure, there's a little more to it than that, but if you put your game onto same size eproms as the mask roms from your host cart, that's 90% of your battle.

    Nobody (as far as I know) has really created a faq for this sort of thing.

    Jeff

    Cool I appreciate the info on running the roms with mame, I'll give it another go.

    As far as the carts go I'm fairly handy with a soldering iron and have done basically the same type of work on Nissan ECU's desoldering roms and replacing with sockets/eeproms. If you get the urge you should put together a FAQ for this, otherwise when I go down that road I'll put something together.


    Thanks!
    Stephen

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMKurtz View Post
    You could also try Nebula. It uses an external driver file. You can download the driver files from my site with my simple demos (www.neobitz.com) to see what is involved.
    Hey Jeff,

    I downloaded your games and dropped them into nebula, along with the driver and neogeo bios, but keep getting 'Z80' error. Any thoughts?

    EDIT-- Cool got them along w/ the sample code in your dev library up and going
    Last edited by Crim; 10-15-2008 at 10:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Geese's Thug

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    I'm excited to hear about your progress on this! It'll unfortunately be a while before I can start anything, so your trailblazing will make future stuff easy.

    I'm especially looking forward to your notes on making custom carts. While I doubt any projects I work on will ever be complete enough to make carts, my eprom skills are so far limited to building my own Atari carts, and in that case I used a couple socketed boards because I ended up with a couple bad burns.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMKurtz View Post
    Your best bet (starting out) is to code your game and name your rom files the same as an existing game like Puzzle de Pon. Then you can just load your game into MAME, ignoring all the crc mismatch warnings.

    Second to that, you can modify mame source to add your own driver. You can read more about the mame source on mame's site (www.mamedev.com) and download the build tools.

    If that sounds like too much work, try and locate NeoRageX. This will load just about any .zip if it finds the necessary files it needs to run a game.

    You could also try Nebula. It uses an external driver file. You can download the driver files from my site with my simple demos (www.neobitz.com) to see what is involved.

    As for building a cart -- that's not so tough either. Just pick up a cheap cart and yank the mask roms and replace with low-profile sockets. Then burn eproms and try it out. Sure, there's a little more to it than that, but if you put your game onto same size eproms as the mask roms from your host cart, that's 90% of your battle.

    Nobody (as far as I know) has really created a faq for this sort of thing.

    Jeff
    Hey jeff, are you still working on the neo pacman?

  11. #11
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    I suspended it because Vektorlogic had plans of making a pac clone but they all but vanished. I've been thinking about getting back into Neo dev after my hectic work schedule slows down. If I do, I may start back with that game to ease back into the swing of things.

    The game was probably about 50%. The ghost logic was almost complete. You could finish off a level and go to the next. It needs more mazes, sound, and then the opening/closing stuff. I also wanted to add bonus items like you would see in Ms Pac Man, but these would give you abilities -- like speed, invisibility, ghost confusion, monster size, etc.

    Jeff

    Quote Originally Posted by BigTinz View Post
    Hey jeff, are you still working on the neo pacman?

  12. #12
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    Sounds amazing.

  13. #13
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    I'm also interested in coding a demo or two on the ngpc, but cant find the flashcard anywhere....

  14. #14

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    If you're interested in making the game run on real Neo hardware, it would be much more practical to burn a Neo CD than to make a cart. That would be much better for testing purposes, as you wouldn't need to worry about making a cart unless you wanted one for the final version.

    Otherwise there's a lot of rom soldering/desoldering involved if you want to test on Neo hardware several steps along the way. In other words, not practical.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    If you're interested in making the game run on real Neo hardware, it would be much more practical to burn a Neo CD than to make a cart. That would be much better for testing purposes, as you wouldn't need to worry about making a cart unless you wanted one for the final version.

    Otherwise there's a lot of rom soldering/desoldering involved if you want to test on Neo hardware several steps along the way. In other words, not practical.
    Is there more to it then putting in some low profile sockets and burning eproms?

  16. #16
    Tesse's Maintainence Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMKurtz View Post
    I suspended it because Vektorlogic had plans of making a pac clone but they all but vanished. I've been thinking about getting back into Neo dev after my hectic work schedule slows down. If I do, I may start back with that game to ease back into the swing of things.

    The game was probably about 50%. The ghost logic was almost complete. You could finish off a level and go to the next. It needs more mazes, sound, and then the opening/closing stuff. I also wanted to add bonus items like you would see in Ms Pac Man, but these would give you abilities -- like speed, invisibility, ghost confusion, monster size, etc.

    Jeff
    Without a doubt I would buy a MVS Pac cart. Please make this happen Mr. Kurtz

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    icon15.gif

    Quote Originally Posted by topher View Post
    Without a doubt, I would buy a Pac-Man MVS cartridge. Please make this happen, Mr. Kurtz.
    Ditto! What he said!!


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  18. #18
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    Testing in an emulator is fast and pretty close to accurate and is the easiest way to test. There are a couple things the emulators will let you get away with that you cannot do on real hardware.

    But for running on real hardware -- if you don't have access to an eprom programmer, the CD route is a good alternative. Thanks for pointing that out, I never seem to think of that since I have the tools to make a cart.

    Jeff

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    If you're interested in making the game run on real Neo hardware, it would be much more practical to burn a Neo CD than to make a cart. That would be much better for testing purposes, as you wouldn't need to worry about making a cart unless you wanted one for the final version.

    Otherwise there's a lot of rom soldering/desoldering involved if you want to test on Neo hardware several steps along the way. In other words, not practical.

  19. #19
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    Yes and no... If you have the right size eproms to match your current board configuration, then no, you just pop in the eproms and go.

    It's far easier to pad and lay out your rom images to match the board settings than it is to match board jumper settings to your eproms.

    My test board doesn't use sockets, I used pin receptacles. I forget the ones I used, they were something like these:

    http://dkc3.digikey.com/PDF/T083/0514.pdf

    The reason you want low profile or something like what I used is because DIP sockets can add height which could cause the boards to touch and be cramped inside the shell.

    Jeff

    Quote Originally Posted by Crim View Post
    Is there more to it then putting in some low profile sockets and burning eproms?

  20. #20
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    I cracked open the Metal slug bootleg I have here, only one of the eproms still is marked what it is...
    HN27C101G

    Another is partially marked D27C and the rest is unreadable. All of the rest of the roms are blank and etched with each of the numbers 821 thru 827. Upon closer inspection, it looks like the pinout for these chips on the board are incorrect, because under each chip there are tiny wires running from various pins.

    What type of eproms do you drop in for these? Do you have issues w/ the pinouts being incorrect between the chip and board?

    In my spare time I've been messing about w/ the neodev library, put together pong pretty quickly. I haven't quite figured out how to really use sprites yet tho.

    Thanks!
    Stephen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crim View Post
    In my spare time I've been messing about w/ the neodev library, put together pong pretty quickly.

    well, congratulations!

    you and Jeff must be pretty good programmers

    I know C++ and have some basic knowledge of assembler (Z80 expecially) and I'd like to be of help, for how little I can be right now.

    Yet, the more I think about Neo*Geo games, the more I'm convinced that what made them really stand out as quality games was the great care put in designing the sprites, their animation and such...
    Coding a game like King of Fighters can be hard, or boring, but can be done... What I couldn't even think where to start from is creating/putting together beautiful character's sprites such the ones of Terry, Mai and such

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by lachlan View Post
    ALRIGHT! "noob" and "neo geo development"



    I think I've said enough.
    Oh man, you're soooo cool.
    JP AES Serial: #110330

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastTrin View Post
    Oh man, you're soooo cool.
    You're right.

    Thanks.



    !!

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    For a quick first project Spirantho and I have finished putting together the basics for a 2 player tetris game (tetrinet style), there's still a good bit of work left before it's "finished", but all the basics of game play are there. Does anyone have any interest in helping out with creating original graphics for the game?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crim View Post
    For a quick first project Spirantho and I have finished putting together the basics for a 2 player tetris game (tetrinet style), there's still a good bit of work left before it's "finished", but all the basics of game play are there. Does anyone have any interest in helping out with creating original graphics for the game?
    Post this in the creative forum and I'm sure someone there would be MORE than happy to help you out.



    !!

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