One thing that has been on my ‘to look at list’ for a while is Race Drivin’ Panorama, a special 3 screen version of Race Drivin’.
Hard Drivin’ / Race Drivin’ alone is a bit of an insane hardware setup, and Race Drivin’ Panorama makes that even crazier by adding 2 extra slave video PCBs to drive each monitor (based on the lower resolution ‘Compact’ releases, using a standard monitor for each of the side views as opposed to the medium res one used by the center view)
Luckily as MAME’s device model has improved and more and more code has been converted to a device structure it has become easier to support multiple video boards etc. without having to duplicate large amounts of code or worrying about shared global variables etc. so I decided to take another look at this. As it happens there was actually one part of all of this that hadn’t been converted to a device yet, the Slapstic, and because we have more than one of them on this setup that was actually something, to my surprise, I had to upgrade.
Anyway, after doing all that, including converting the video PCBs etc. to act as devices and hooking up the serial connection between the boards (which was remarkably easy) we end up with the following
It’s actually playable (albeit very slow, it has rather a lot of CPUs)
Unfortunately there’s what I’m starting to strongly suspect is a MAME core bug causing partial updates to not quite work properly on everything except the primary screen, you can swap the order of the screens and the primary screen (be it a side screen or the main view) will always render correctly, but the other screens will only partially update the display, usually in the wrong places, causing those displays to stutter and appear incorrect frequently. There doesn’t seem to be any use of the ‘first_screen’ in the driver code, so I strongly suspect it’s something core level causing the issue. Fingers crossed somebody can help track that down, and this will be fully playable!
*edit* I’ve managed to find a kludge around the display update issue, however upon further testing the side-screens crash if you select the Roadster car. According to real hardware sources the game should display a full 3d view rather than the car panels at the sides for that car, which is probably related (the GSP seems to time out loading pictures in MAME, when I guess it should simply fail to load them because they’re not present?) I’ve put up a video of the thing in action here, although the sound is out of sync due to MAME not liking it when you record multi-screen games with dyanmic refresh rates ;-)