Just noticed someone had pulled an Altered Beast on this topic about a month or two ago (WISE FROM YO GWAVE...!)
Looking back at some of these posts...wow...kind of embarrassing, actually. I think I made some good points, but should've just taken more of a high road on some things.
And armchair quarterbacking is something I often engage in; it's a fault. I admit it.
That said...I still think Atari shouldn't have skipped Panther, and should've held back on Jag for a bit. It didn't make sense, IMHO, to not have product out in '91. Even if Panther wasn't great hardware from a developer's standpoint (and there can be an argument made with regards to more RAM needed, etc.), and even if Sega and Nintendo would've outsold it by plenty (most likely scenario), it would seem Atari was a tiny bit more financially stable in '91 (the year Panther was to be released) so might've been on more solid ground than they were with Jaguar with regards to launching and supporting a console. Also, even if it was lapped in sales by Genesis and SNES, if it came in at an affordable price point (particularly if lower priced than the competition) it would've garnered some sales.
...another scenario I've thought of lately as I've gotten back into playing TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine games: What if Atari had signed a deal with NEC to handle the PC Engine in the US? Or, better yet, the SuperGrafx (which was released in Japan in '89, the same year that NEC launched the vanilla PC Engine as the TurboGrafx-16 in the US)?
Anyway, the reason for my responding and resurrecting this topic:
Okay as for Crash and Burn on the 3DO can someone confirm with proof that the background is indeed FMV and not real time?
...I'm so damn certain that Crash and Burn is real time but everyone keeps saying it's FMV.
This has been debated since that game was released. I know I stated earlier in the topic (back when the topic was first alive) that it's FMV...but now I'm not so sure. It is pulling off things that 3DO shouldn't really be doing, however, as the draw distance is very good (better than some early PS1 and Saturn games, actually), and it seems the amount of polys onscreen outweigh 3DO's capabilities.
But...not really. There is something "funny" going on, but not FMV, according to one of the members of the dev team:
I probably shouldn't say anything but what the heck. The track is being
pulled off the CD. Originally the entire track was in memory but when the
enemies cars were added the frame rate went all the way down to 5fps. The
solution was to write a tool that would, for each view of the track, remove
all the polygons that are not seen. Since you can move left and right and
up and down (cockpit vs 3rd person) nothing is 'pre-calculated'
The entire track is still in memory. The track consists of tons-o-polygons.
Far too many for any machine to display in real-time. On part of displaying
something in 3D is figuring out which parts you can see and which parts you
can't. For example, if you are driving down a race track and you are
looking forward you can't see behind you therefore you don't want to draw
the stuff behind you on the screen. So, you do some math to tell you what
parts of your 3D world you can actually see. This takes alot of time. In
fact it is probably this single biggest problem with anything that works in
3D. All programs deal with this in different ways. Flight Simulator does
it while it's running. It keeps a list of all the things you can see and as
you fly around it adds or removes things. To see it in action, fly in skew
mode and skew really fast and then stop. You will see different 3D parts
pop in one at a time as the program finds new things that are now in your
On CnB we wrote a program that would 'drive' down the track and for each
section of the track it makes a list of all the parts that can actually be
seen. These 'lists of visible parts' are then stored in the CD and as you
drive down the track the 'list' for the part of the track you are currently
on is loaded. This makes it run faster because we don't have to do all the
calculations for which things are visible while you are racing.
Maybe what accounts for that strange "feeling" I get when playing the game that I'm playing FMV isn't that it is FMV, but rather the program they're using in conjunction with the apparently 24fps framerate. It isn't the graphics, per se, but the motion of the whole thing, especially when the track turns and parts of the track I've passed come into view further away. The way they scroll into site seems very...movie like. It just feels very different than how Virtua Racer 32x; Checkered Flag Jaguar; Daytona USA Saturn; Ridge Racer PS1; and Crusin' USA N64 did on their respective consoles.
Great post... Thanks for the link.
It's basically constantly loading elements off the CD as you are playing. Scorcher on the Sega Saturn does this as well, constantly, probably a reason why it rivals most PlayStation 3D games despite that system being technically superior to the Saturn in that regard.
Those guys who did "Scorcher" were just phenomenal pulling the kind of graphics that they did for the Sega Genesis and the 32X demo... They come straight out of the Amiga demo-scene and it showed.
Quotes from Next Generation issue 12 Dec 1995
"in a similar way to the Atari Lynx, organize the graphics into "animation cells." These cells are full color. high-rez images capable if being moved, scaled, rotated, warped, texture-mapped, and light-sourced with the aid of 3DO Cinematic Software Tools. The cell engines draw the image, leaving the CPU free to concentrate on calculating position (with aid of a math coprocessor) resuling in very fast realtime polygon generation - for the time anyway."
"But probably the 3DO's strongest feature is its Direct Memory Access engine, which enables it to shift large chunks of data around within its three megabytes of memory without using the CPU."
I really need to take more time to get to know the 3DO better... That's some good info... Thanks for posting.