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How to make a disc with multiple titles on it, available to select from a menu?

Did anyone have any luck creating a bootable CDTV disc using software mentioned on English Amiga Board and is is possible to use this method to have many games?

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Well, a few users are creating compilation of games for the CD32 and the CDTV.

The most prolific is AmigaJay. For instance here he released several compilations for CDTV including a lot of titles:

Basically, the compilations boot with a menu (AGS or other) then run scripts to assign volumes and boot games that use the system (whdload is out of the question with only one megabyte of memory).

The limitation is that games must use AmigaDOS to load data (or boot as single file). The perfect candidates are cracked versions (with passwords or diskchecks removed) not using all of a 1MB memory A500/A600 amiga (the CD drive buffers eats some memory)

So games using floppy trackloading or custom loading (even cracked) can't be run. As opposed to the CD32, noone has written a routine to hardware bang the CDTV drive, so programs like CD32load (note: I'm the author of CD32load) can't be used, even if a few games only use 512k chipmem and could be adapted (Silkworm comes to mind since it runs on 1 meg A600 with CD32load in IDE mode).

Since that answer was posted, a version of JST (note: I'm also the author of JST) has been made which is useable on a CDTV using kickstart 1.3 and 1MB ram, and which can run a lot of NDOS/trackloader games by reusing the whdload slaves. The only requirement is that game memory + game data must not exceed 1 megabyte. This allowed to create another compilation disc with titles like Silkworm, Arkanoid, and a lot of other games.

Now to be able to create a bootable CDTV drive yourself, you need to use an ISO creator that is compliant with it. For instance ISOCD on amiga (there are alternatives on Windows/Linux but they're not widely spread). And the trademark file "CDTV.TM" must be provided to the ISO creating program, or the CD won't boot, even if there's a s/startup-sequence file. Once the ISO image is created you can test it on WinUAE with CDTV settings, and if it works, you can burn it on a CD-R (not a CD-RW as CDTV doesn't support it)

To create the compilation easily, you can use a tool that I've written in Python (with wxwidgets) called CompilationMaker. It wraps AGS and creates a directory with all required files, except kickstart files and CDTV/CD32 trademark files. It can be used to create bootable harddisks or CD-ROMS.

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  • Re "noone has written a routine to hardware bang the CDTV drive" — I recall Matthew Garrett was looking at how the thing works, likely with a view to creating a Linux driver. Whether he actually wrote such a driver, and it can be usefully extracted, and also that it is small and efficient enough that it would actually save memory compared to leaving the OS running is something else. – pndc Dec 15 '20 at 10:18
  • I know that someone resourced the cdtv.device but he pulled it out from github probably for copyright reasons. Also Toni Wilen, maker of WinUAE knows exactly how it works and I know him rather well, but wouldn't probably have time to write such a thing. Then such a code would have to be integrated in CD32load and that would open so many new possibilities/games. I have to dig more. – Jean-François Fabre Dec 15 '20 at 10:24

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