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PPcenter. Arts and craft for my Sega Saturn. Since 1847 !


Written by cafealpha 14 comments
Today is some kind of special day for me : among many other things, this is the anniversary of Jean-Luc Le Ténia, the best French singer in the world ! Jean-Luc would had be 45 years old today but unfortunately is no longer here to celebrate today with us.

Today is also the 4th anniversary of Gamer's Cartridge initial public release. For more than three years, this project was the occasion to meet many people, to loose hair on many bug and -I hope- to have contributed in a better Saturn community

Jean-Luc Le Ténia is no longer here, Gamer's Cartridge production was frozen (not to say discontinued) last year because of enough free time lacking to assemble new cartridges. And Saturn gamers are now either using Action Replay (reliable expansion RAM but no backup memory) or "all-in-one" cartridge (backup memory but sometimes buggy expansion RAM) to play their favorite games.

To makes things a little brighter, the best I can do is to develop a new Pseudo Saturn Kai fitting more nowadays needs and situation :
  • Built-in support with latest ODEs
  • In-game save data access for Satiator ODE
  • Save data storage on cartridge flash ROM

As a consequence of my free time being limited from this year, I thought in stopping non-priority projects to focus on other (not necessarily Saturn) ones. But on the other side, if I don't improve Pseudo Saturn Kai, I'm not sure that somebody else would do it for me !

So if the Saturn community shows enough interest, I would like to contribute to a newer Pseudo Saturn Kai

And to measure if the community is interested or not, I'm making Pseudo Saturn Kai development crowdfunding-based.
Principle is simple : the more interest (support) from the community, the more free time I allocate on Pseudo Saturn Kai. And the less interest from community, the more free time I spend on other projects.

My new patreon page

I don't plan to make a living in developing Pseudo Saturn Kai, and for this reason all the development made so far was done on a altruist basis.
All the development made so far (cheat codes, Rhea/Phoebe support etc) was cool but honestly a lot of work. So with your help I would like to find enough energy to give it birth again


#1  - ruiner9 said :

Fantastic! As a Fenrir and Gamer's Cart owner, I'd love to see some intermingling between the two! I can only afford the $5 tier right now (times are tough) but if you need someone with my hardware setup to test things, I am more than happy to help!

#2  - cafealpha said :

You're my first patreon, thank you !!
I will do my best to make support of Fenrir and Gamer's Cartridge working fine and convenient ... but API for Fenrir isn't available so let's hope it will be public soon :)

#3  - whitezombie said :

I would like to see an option to dump my game saves to a PC from Fenrir, Rhea, Phoebe, and somehow transfer them back. Since you are no longer going to produce the Gamers Cartridge and the USB DataLink relies on old GameShark or Action Replay with the pin connector. The Gamers Cartridge was the best way to accomplish this and there is no better way to back up the internal and external RAM. I understand you are trying a method for Satiator. Nothing can beat the Gamers Cartridge RAM functionality right now. It's simply amazing.

#4  - cafealpha said :

Fenrir, Rhea and Phoebe act as physical replacement of CD drive, which because of being a read-only device doesn't allows to receive large block of data from Saturn. For that reason, it's not possible to write data to the SD card of these ODEs.
Regarding Satiator, it is feasible for this ODE in particular because it works on Saturn's SH1 side (one step behind CD drive) and consequently have a more flexible way of communicating with Saturn application.

BTW, it is possible to make an USB dev cart to act as a memory cartridge whose files are located directly on PC, as shown in this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgy_b0cuQUM
But it may have some compatibility issues, and PC software for it is not publicly available too. Additionally, it doesn't solves the fact that of expansion RAM being missing, which is another reason why I'm not so interested in releasing it ... that's something like a B plan in the case I can't prepare a better solution.

> Nothing can beat the Gamers Cartridge RAM functionality right now. It's simply amazing.

Thank you ! My biggest pride regarding Gamer's Cartridge is to have kept hardware simple while providing almost unbeatable feature :)

#5  - JayBee said :

Awesome! I sure will try to help you with that, I'd love to see a gamer cart update that supports Fenrir :D

#6  - cafealpha said :

Thank you for you help and still appreciating Gamer's Cartridge :)

#7  - Retro Emulation Nation said :

Would love to provide my support via Patreon, but Malaysia is not a supported country 😪

Purchased the Pseudo Saturn Kai cart from you four years ago, not sure how many customers you had from this part of the world 😊

I would love to see a new version that includes support emulating the Capcom 4MB and SNK 1MB RAM carts, like the Action Replays but with quality parts and chips, and without having to manually switch a toggle on the cart.

Another feature I would love is support for the Terraonion MODE, which has some minor issues when used in conjunction with the PS Kai.

#8  - cafealpha said :

Welcome back ! I think that Gamer's Cartridge is a bit rare in Malaysia, because the number of carts I sent there is ... one :)

An alternate to patreon is the donate link on my homepage : https://ppcenter.webou.net/donate/
But please note that in this case it is just like putting money in a tip jar, without any guarantee to get something back in Pseudo Saturn Kai.

MODE support is relatively far in my priorities list, because its user interface is quite good (so there's no big interest for average users to use another menu) and also because as its programming interface is not publicly available, it is difficult for third party developer like me to develop an alternate menu.
I know that it is a bit troublesome for using in conjunction with Gamer's Cartridge, or when wanting to enable cheat codes, so this shall be done someday but probably after support for other ODEs such as Fenrir or Satiator.

Hardware of Action Replay and other clone cart is terrible, without any revolutionary change for more than twenty years, and still using obsolete electronic parts. To be honest, the only advantage of these carts is that they are affordable, and still manufactured nowadays.
So I really would like to see a new and modern cart becoming widely available too :)

#9  - Hslick said :


Since we haven't heard from since June (in the form of a full post) I just wanted to stop by and say Happy New Year!

Whatever you're doing, I hope you're enjoying it.

#10  - cafealpha said :

Happy new year to you too !! And, thank you for your fidelity on my blog !
I'm not super active on my blog because currently focusing on my patreon page ... which is not so active too. I really would like to have more free time.

At some point, I should sum up information from patreon on this blog, because all articles there are public : the point of patreon is to see if users are interested in having a given third party feature being added, not to get paid just by writing small articles :)
Apart from third party projects, I'm playing with other ones, but should start detailing about them when they will be mature enough. At that time, this blog will be the first place where I shall write about these project(s), so please stay tuned !

#11  - vbt said :

Jean-Luc Le Ténia will replace Daft Punk in our hearts :)
any devblog news or you fully moved to patreon

#12  - cafealpha said :

I like Daft Punk, but I prefer Jean-Luc le Ténia !! His discography is in my car so that I can listen to him during my daily commute :)

Devblog is still alive (as you can see, I check for any eventual comment from time to time) and in fact it's complementary to patreon : patreon = third party project that I wouldn't do without external support and devblog = personal projects during my free time.
Initially, I wanted to clear Fenrir support within a couple of months and then take a small break here until next third party task. But things are not going as expected because development and beta testing regarding Fenrir looks like running in the mud :D Anyway, I'll be back here sooner or later !

#13  - vbt said :

i can help on testing with fenrir !

#14  - cafealpha said :

Thank you ! Testing of other features such as support for USB dev cart and USB Data Link would be appreciated too :)


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