Comprehensive list of Gamecube dev stuff?

Discussion in 'Nintendo Game Development' started by pstrick1, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. pstrick1

    pstrick1 Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    150
    Comprehensive list of Gamecube dev stuff

    It would be really helpful if there was a list somewhere with pictures and explanations of all of the various Gamecube Dev hardware. Shiggsy has one on his site, but it has not been updated for a while.

    I was hoping to start one here. Are there any objections to this?

    I'll start with basics:

    Gamecube NR Reader:

    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NR-Reader provides your testing team with a hardware
    environment that is as close to production as possible without
    requiring the creation of final discs. The NR-Reader is identical
    to a production NINTENDO GAMECUBE console, except that
    the NR-Reader’s optical disc drive mechanism accepts only
    proprietary NR-Discs written using the NR-Writer.


    This console is almost identical to a retail Gamecube. The only physical difference is a switch on the side that changed the region between Japanese and NTSC (JPN and USA). The region switch changes the language of the Gamecube menu, as well as letting the Gamecube boot NR discs from Japan and USA.

    The main difference between this Gamecube and a standard Gamecube is the firmware of the DVD drive. The firmware handles the differences between the NR discs and the retail discs. The actual motherboard does not play any sort of role. In fact, it is possible to install a DVD drive from an NR Gamecube in a retail Gamecube to allow the retail Gamecube to read NR discs or vise versa.

    NR Disc

    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    NR-Discs are not the same as production NINTENDO GAMECUBE
    optical discs. NR-Discs will not work in production hardware,
    and production discs will not work in NR-Readers. (An NR-
    Disc is shown in the photo of the NR-Reader on page 3.)

    These discs require special burners, but do not require a special program to read or burn the discs. Since the firmware of the NR Writer(below) handles everything, IMGBurn can read and write to these discs(assuming you have the NR writer with proper firmware).

    NR Writer

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NR-Writer is an optical disc writer that creates NR-Discs.
    Although it looks like a standard DVD-R with SCSI interface,
    it’s much cooler! The NR-Writer is specifically designed to
    produce 8cm NR-Discs. The NR-Writer software only accepts
    GCM files (see below). The NR-Writer can burn a GCM disc
    image to an NR-Disc in about 20 minutes. You can daisy-chain
    up to four NR-Writers on a single SCSI card, allowing multiple
    disc images to be burned simultaneously.


    These drives were not used exclusively by Nintendo. They were used for a variety of purposes in the non-gaming industry. Nintendo released special firmware for the drive along with a special drive flasher to turn it into an NR writer.

    What relationship did Nintendo have with Panasonic that gave them the ability to make firmware for these drives?
    Was this part of the partnership that led to the Panasonic Q?
    Were these drives developed for Nintendo, or did they already exist?


    NPDP-GDEV(This is listed as a "Development Solution".)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NPDP-GDEV is another NINTENDO
    GAMECUBE development and optical disc
    emulation system. The NPDP-GDEV uses
    the hard disk and CPU of the host PC to
    perform NINTENDO GAMECUBE optical
    disc emulation. The SCSI host connection
    channels real-time debug information
    supported by both Metrowerks CodeWarrior
    and SN Systems ProDG debuggers. The
    NPDP-GDEV also provides an NPDP-
    Cartridge slot for an alternative disc
    emulation method. The heart of this system is
    the NINTENDO GAMECUBE ORCA board
    (see page 5).

    Does this mean that you could stream games to the NPDP-GDEV from the host PC?
    What does it mean "uses the CPU of the host computer"? Was it unable to function with out offloading some work to the host PC?

    --------------Beta GDEV--------------
    [​IMG]

    Nintendo sent out GDEVs and GBOXs before the hardware specs were finalized. These units are marked "β release"(Look below GDEV logo). Most of these units were sent back to Nintendo to have their ORCAs upgraded. These are still labeled as betas, but are hardware identical to final units.

    (info courtesy barcode)


    NPDP-GBOX(This is listed as a "Testing Solution".)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NPDP-GBOX is a cost-effective solution
    for testing and debugging. This stand-alone
    unit accepts NPDP-Cartridges that emulate
    the NINTENDO GAMECUBE optical disc.
    Up to four disc images can be stored on a
    single NPDP-Cartridge (see page 6). The
    system provides front panel controls for
    emulating game disc cover opening and
    closing, and for emulating game disc
    swapping.

    The NPDP-GBOX is the only testing solution
    that offers two real-time communication
    channels for optional connection to a PC.
    First, the NPDP-GBOX can be connected to a
    host PC using the built-in USB2EXI device. With this
    connection, your development team can fine-tune your game by
    exchanging textures, sounds and other data. Second, a built-in
    serial cable provides debug output via the OS libraries.

    The other major benefit of the NPDP-GBOX is that it has 48
    MB of main memory. This allows your testing team to utilize
    any additional functionality that your developers have implemented.

    The NPDP-GBOX cannot write to an NPDP-Cartridge. Game
    disc images must be written to NPDP-Cartridges using the
    NPDP-GW cartridge writer.


    With the right jumper settings, the GBOX can act as a standard NPDP-reader.

    Note: "very rare shit" = IS-DOL-VIEWER

    --------------Beta GBOX--------------
    Nintendo sent out GDEVs and GBOXs before the hardware specs were finalized. These units are marked "β release". Most of these units were sent back to Nintendo to have their ORCAs upgraded. These are still labeled as betas, but are hardware identical to final units.
    (info courtesy barcode)


    ODEM PCI Card
    [​IMG]
    Short one is the newer ODEM PCI card. The long one is an older ODEM PCI card. You can see the "beta release" sticker on it.

    ODEM card for GDEV
    [​IMG]

    This is the card that is discussed in the above quote.
    NDPD-Console
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NPDP-Console is essentially a production NINTENDO
    GAMECUBE, except that its optical disc drive mechanism has
    been replaced with a NPDP-Cartridge interface. Front panel
    controls emulate game disc cover opening and closing and
    disc swapping.

    This is really just a standard Gamecube with a highly modified DVD drive. It can't do anything too terribly special.
    It was never very popular as dev studios.

    IS-DOL-VIEWER

    [​IMG]

    Atatches to the bottom of the NDPD-Console.

    This could allow debug capabilities over an RS-232 cable to a host computer. It provided the same functionality as a GBOX, but not a GDEV.

    This unit is very rare. Possibly the rarest Gamecube item in existence. The above graphic is the only one that I could find.

    The only reason this is on the list is because the Gamecube Service Disc, which was distributed to authorized repair centers before they were shut down, allows you to see if one is connected to the Gamecube.


    NPDP-Cartridge

    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NPDP-Cartridge is a removable, rewritable
    NINTENDO GAMECUBE optical disc emulation cartridge.
    It is the main medium of the
    NPDP series of products. Each cartridge stores up to four 1.4GB
    optical disc images. (The actual size of the NINTENDO
    GAMECUBE Game Disc is 1,459,978,240 bytes, or 1.46 billion
    bytes.)

    The NPDP-Cartridge consists of a high speed drive and
    controller. The controller firmware manages all the emulation
    parameters and can be modified via the NPDP-GW.


    These carts were extremely fragile. They were also expensive and covered in safety seals designed to detect abuse. These carts did not last long in a standard workplace environment. Even the rigors of everyday use could trip the seals.

    SN-TDEV
    [​IMG]

    This was a cheaper alternative to the GDEV. It has a USB 2.0 connection on the bottom so that programs can be streamed from a host PC. It also had had twice the RAM of a stock Gamecube. Some university used these for their programming classes.


    It can only read NR discs, has double the RAM of an NR-Reader/normal GC and is used for development of games and debugging.

    The overall advantage of it is that the disc is comes with enables you to send graphics to it right away (assuming you have the right software and the USB cable) and you can see what they all look like and whatnot.
    (/splith)

    The TDEV was a development kit built by SN Systems and Nintendo to work with SN Systems Prodg software. This picture is only half the kit its missing it PC interface and the NR disc, It was designed to be a low cost alternative to other Nintendo kits.
    (/icarusnick)

    T-dev works using an interface that has an expiring certificate.
    All units without the certificate are useless past being a collectible.
    If the certificate for use expires, the hardware no longer works; it locks you out.

    You need to be an educational institution participating in the T-Dev program and
    get fresh certs which last only a semester's length of time.
    (/ASSEMbler)


    Interface and NR disc
    (This is here in case any information becomes available about the associated NR disc and PC interface of the TDEV)

    (/splith)




    NPDP-GW

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    The NPDP-GW is a high-speed gang writer capable of writing
    game disc images to as many as eight NPDP-Cartridges at once.
    By daisy-chaining up to four NPDP-GW systems, you can write
    to a maximum of 32 NPDP-Cartridges simultaneously. Burning
    full disc images onto NPDP-Cartridges takes about five minutes.

    The NPDP-Writer GUI-based software mounts and writes data
    to the NPDP-Cartridges. It sets all available NPDP-Cartridge
    settings, such as the default boot disc image, and even updates
    firmware. Using this software, you can compare the disc image
    on an NPDP-Cartridge with the original image on your
    PC. There is also a GUI for generating a master binary
    disc image (GCM; see page 4) for NR-Readers and
    game submission.



    NPDP-SW

    [​IMG]

    Similar to the NPDP-GW, but only able to write a single NPDP-Cartridge at a time.

    DDH (This is listed as a "Development Solution".)
    FAQ: http://www.assemblergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10159

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4):
    AMC's Dolphin Development Hardware
    (DDH) is a NINTENDO GAMECUBE
    development and optical disc emulation
    system. The internal DDH controller board
    (“Marlin”) and an internal hard disk emulate
    the NINTENDO GAMECUBE optical disc.
    The emulation parameters are determined and
    configured by the firmware installed on the
    Marlin. The DDH provides a real-time
    debugging channel via an Ethernet
    connection supported by both Metrowerks
    CodeWarrior and SN Systems ProDG
    debuggers. As with all development systems,
    the maturity of the DDH is determined by the
    ORCA board (see page 5) and the disc
    emulation software

    -------------Beta DDH--------------

    Nintendo released a beta DDH that ran at half the speed of a stock gamecube. Also, it used RJ-11(similar to a phone jack) ports instead of Gamecube ports.
    There is a chart at the bottom of this post that has the different board revisions for ORCA. I presume that Marlin's specs matched closely to the ORCA's listed in the chart.

    ORCA

    [​IMG][​IMG](NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4, somewhat paraphrased):
    The ORCA board is the heart of every development solution. It
    contains the CPU, the graphics processor, and the main
    memory. Although there are different versions of the ORCA
    board, they are all designed to work in the DDH, NPDP-GDEV,
    and NPDP-GBOX.

    ORCA boards are supplied with the following daughter cards:
    -Video card. The final video card has the component video
    connector and a final-spec 9-bit video DAC.
    -EXI boards. These provide a hardware interface for EXI
    devices.
    -Boot-ROM. This contains the Initial Program Loader
    software.
    -Serial connector. This provides debug output directly from
    the ORCA board, and accounts for one of the communication
    channels of every ORCA-equipped system.

    FINAL SPECS FOR ORCA
    CPU clock speed..........486
    GP clock speed............162
    Audio DSP clock speed..81
    Main SRAM..................48MB
    Boot ROM....................0.93A

    USB2EXI(USB-Adapter)

    [​IMG]

    (NINTENDO GAMECUBE Development News, v4)
    The USB2EXI device can be used as a communication link
    between NPDP-GDEVs, NPDP-GBOXs, DDHs, and a host PC.
    This device connects from an EXI port on the development
    system to the USB port of any USB-capable PC. Many
    developers have incorporated this device as a critical component
    in their game development process. Look for a screen shot
    utility using the USB2EXI device on our website.

    The USB2EXI pictured above is a beta version.

    The one below is final. The connector looks more like a memory card, but functionality was the same as the beta.

    [​IMG]

    Memory card emulator

    [​IMG]



    This has eight dip switches on the front, five being active.

    It is used to debug and develop games by allowing the user to emulate the full range of memory card functions in realtime. It is simple to use and it works on all GameCube systems from development to retail.


    Dolphin Controller Test

    This is a beta controller from around 1999. It uses the same RJ-11 connector that the AMC DDH beta used.


    Beta ORCA specs
    D=revision

    D1...............HW1_Drip (4MB RAM prototype)
    D2...............375/150 clocked HW1
    D3...............375/150 clocked HW2
    D3.4, D4.4....486/162 clocked HW2
    D5...............Final spec (See ORCA part of this post)



    Hardware I am missing:
    PCI cards for computers. I have a pic of a WIF and ODEM, but were there more?

    Reminder: (So that I don't forget)
    The Service disc mentions a serial port 2 accessory for SN. I believe it is the only one. I need to find more info.
    ---SS
    It also mentions the IS-DOL-VIEWER, thus confirming its existence.
    ---Now, I need to post the screen shot of this.

    --Old Engineer seems to have let his site expire. All pictures were lost from the guide, (he was the host) but I have copies saved. I'll re-up them.


    Thoughts, information and PICTURES(!!) would be nice. I tried to stay away from photos taken by members. If you are okay with my using your picture, let me know! These photos from the newsletter are awful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
    Pinta77 and nold like this.
  2. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    19,394
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    There's the beta hardware NPDP-GBOXβ NDPD-GDEVβ

    DDH 1/2 speed with RJ-11 ports instead of gamecube ports
     
  3. inspuration

    inspuration Spirited Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quality post, thanks. It's nice to finally be educated as to what sort of dev stuff their is for the GC.
     
  4. Frodo The Hobbit

    Frodo The Hobbit Rising Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can found the ODEM Card here :
    [​IMG]
    Babu is currently selling one of them.

    There is also USB Adaptator as dev stuff :
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  5. G0dLiKe

    G0dLiKe <B>Site Supporter 2013</B>

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    4
    would love to see some pics if possible.
     
  6. lilly

    lilly Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll send you the pics for the t-dev and the memory emulator.

    Edit:


    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  7. Barc0de

    Barc0de Mythical Member from Time Immemorial

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    11,205
    Likes Received:
    23
    I have a GDEV beta but as with most beta GDEV/GBOXs they were returned and refitted with new motherboards including the final specs. They still carry the Beta sign though.
     
  8. pstrick1

    pstrick1 Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    150
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  9. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    19,394
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    I have some prototype stuff like memory cards.
    I will see if I have pictures.
     
  10. splith

    splith Resolute Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    997
    Likes Received:
    4
    The DDH has loads of different revisions, I've no idea why or what the differences are than the front of them, above the gamecube ports, some have 'Nintendo Gamecube Development Kit' and some have very different things. I've seen at least 3 different texts.
     
  11. ElBarto

    ElBarto Robust Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1
    Great topic, should it get Sticky ?
     
  12. Barc0de

    Barc0de Mythical Member from Time Immemorial

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    11,205
    Likes Received:
    23
    Please note that there are 2 different revisions of the ODEM PCI Card. V1 cards are larger than V2.
     
  13. babu

    babu Mamihlapinatapai

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    3
    If I get some free time next week I could probably take some better photos of the stuff I still own for this thread - got a _real_ camera now instead of my awful phone ;)
     
  14. pstrick1

    pstrick1 Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    150
    Thanks Babu. That would be awesome.

    And thanks for the heads up, Barc0de. Ill fix it soon.
     
  15. Teancum

    Teancum Intrepid Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Messages:
    663
    Likes Received:
    5
    Bringing this thread back from the dead. Just got a GDEV and have always been curious what the difference between a GBOX, GDEV and DDH was. This is the first result in Google when I asked the question.
     
  16. pstrick1

    pstrick1 Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    150
    Awesome! I didn't know I had a google result! Sweet!

    Seriously, I'm not sure of the difference exactly. I never worked with them in a development environment.

    The GBOX is pretty much an NPDP reader. It doesn't have any special features. It can debug using the USB2EXI, which standard cubes can't do.

    The GDEV is slightly different. The GDEV can stream images from a host PC and debug over the SCSI connection.

    As for the DDH, I honestly don't know. I think it is like a GDEV, but much earlier and thus much bigger.
    It debugs over ethernet, not SCSI.
    It has an HDD which can emulate the GC disc drive, instead of streaming the game from a host computer.

    I really don't know much else. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will try my best to help.
     
  17. splith

    splith Resolute Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    997
    Likes Received:
    4
    GDEV - full devleopment and debugging system using serial with an ODEM card (Made by hudson).
    GBOX - Same as a GDEV but doesn't have ODEM card and doesn't support full debugging (Made by hudson).
    DDH - full development kit like GDEV but doesn't have the hard-drive slot and uses network interface to the developer PC as well serial and hard drive access with the MARLIN card (Made by applied microsystems).
     
  18. Matthijscoman

    Matthijscoman Fiery Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have the USB interface (for serial port 1) and the accompanying NR-disc/PC software which worked in both my TDEV and my NR-reader. If you want, I can take some pics for the list.
     
  19. kirby6

    kirby6 Newly Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey do you know where i could find someone selling a tdev gamecube ? ( the brown one ) thank you :)
     
  20. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    9,564
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    There is a WTB section. TDEVs are relatively rare. A bunch came up for sale last year or so, but havent really been seen since.
     

Share This Page