Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Playing TitanFall and Super Mario 3D World on the bitbox

 Well, playing a video of Titanfall on a Bitbox, of course playing a demanding PC / nextgen console videogame is out of reach :) But OK, then, can we have video on the bitbox ?

Full motion video on a very small hardware like the bitbox poses some interesting optimization issues and challenges. That's the kind of challenges you're faced with when you've got a few k on RAM - too few to store the image you're showing entirely- and 180MHz to generate the content and synthetise you VGA signal by software ...

Can we made nice cinematic cutscenes for the game, i.e. full motion video on the bitbox ? Can we make it 4K 3D video ? Well, no (What did you think ? 1080p50 with an Arduino ?)

But ... how far can we go ?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Uploading to the bitbox, part II (bootloaders)

Bitbox has now a 2-stage bootloader : here is how it works.
Game programmers shall not worry about this since it's automatically taken care of by standard building scripts.

The principle is the following : a small first bootloader loads a second, more featureful bootloader to RAM and runs it. The second bootloader loads a program and writes it to flash.