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JagFree CD Allows New Software - The Atari Times

JagFree CD Allows New Software

Play new and homebrew games on the JagCD!
by Gregory D. George

June 23, 2001
When Songbird Productions announced that Protector would actually be released, many Atari fans were elated that they would have the opportunity to play yet another, "lost Jaguar game." And while Protector is rated as one of the best Jaguar games, Carl Forhan still saw many areas that needed improvement, thus the Protector:Special Edition was born.

One of the most interesting features of Protector: SE is the JagFree CD. This will allow for new games to be written and burned to a CD for play through the Jaguar CD player.

During a chat at The Atari Times Chatroom, I talked with Carl and James Garvin about the JagFreeCD:

TAT: Will there be a screen programmed into the cart that lets you choose which game you want to play?

CARL: Since the JagFree CD is currently slated to be built into Prot SE, I'm leaning towards having it always boot a CD if one is present, otherwise boot Prot SE. No menu screen. I would like to include BJL support in Prot SE (regardless of the JagFree CD), so that Prot SE could be used as a RAM-download cart.

TAT: So you can only have one game per CD?

CARL: Not necessarily. That's up to the coder. How would the bypass or the CD know which game to load when? You have to have a menu program (on CD) for that. So, no, you can't burn unrelated games together. 

JAMES GARVIN: I would guess that it's up to the person who programmed the CD. If someone wanted to put together a compilation CD, there wouldn't be an problem with that.

TAT: Will the Protector SE cart's CD bypass allow burned CDs to play? 

CARL: As opposed to un-burned CDs? :-)

The JagFree CD should function with encrypted CDs as well as newly created unencrypted CDs and prototype CDs. If someone can make a byte-perfect copy, it should play. But if they're copying published Jag CDs (which I don't condone), then it will work with the JagFree CD only if it works on a normal consumer Jag CD unit without JagFree CD.

TAT: Can you burn a CD full of the shareware files and they will play?

CARL: As I said earlier, you can't just burn unrelated games on one CD and expect it to work. Any more than you can burn unrelated PS2 or DC games on one CD and expect it to work. Or N64 cart binaries.

TAT: How will games be saved?

CARL: Saved games will be handled with a large serial EEPROM, 2-4KB in size. This is 16-32 times the normal size of a Jaguar saved data EEPROM.

Some people are also proposing memory cards that could plug into the DSP port, or figuring out a way to utilize the Memory Track flash ROMs. Who knows...

You can be a part of Protector: SE by attending JagFest 2001! 

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