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What Atari Jaguar games should have come out on other consoles


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#126 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:26 AM

Thanks for the insights.

 

 Mike,in his spare time,does some initial coding to see how well the hardware could handle thr game,finds it couldn't handle the required texture mapping and if he ditched that and used gouraud shaded polygons instead, the game just didnt look anything like what made Magic Carpet so special.

Yes, the untextured terrain would take a lot of the Magic Carpet charm away, so totally get him there.

 

Still, I played the game on PC at the time of release, and it was mostly a sub-10 fps game. I'd reckon that 80% of total play time (e.g. levels 41-50) was ~5 fps. Note that first ~30 levels the framerate was fine, but then the level design complexity kicked in, you had always 8 AI bots (throwing meteors around), multiple swarms, so the framerate took quite a hit. Throw in couple meteors yourself, and you're at sub-5 fps during attacks...

 

 

So, it wouldn't really be that much different experience on jaguar. Now, I reckon that Bullfrog had the fastest available PCs at the time, so they probably didn't play it at 5 fps, but the rest of the world couldn't spend $5,000 on latest rig to play it in higher framerate...

 

Of course, from business standpoint, absolutely zero point in financing the conversion to jaguar :lol:

 



#127 Goochman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:37 AM

Magic Carpet was awesome when it came out - I bought it from GoG a few years back and finished 1 & 2, though 2 was a bit of a let down.

 

Id think the entire engine would need to be rewritten/tweaked to run on the Jag.  The PC version prob wasnt very efficient, though awesome back in the day.  Even running on my modern rig the final level was a bear to get through - I was prob getting 1fps at one point with all the dragons and such.



#128 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:42 AM

Well, I personally don't really care much about those "30%" claims. The only thing that irks me is that there's this general belief that Quake's 3D visuals are outside of the realm of playable framerate on jag (which is simply not true). But, as nothing complex like that was ever released on jag, then this general sentiment is understandable...

 

As for Quake?

Well,not being a coder i leave the tech stuff to others.

As someone who read the 30% complete claims in Ultimate Future Games magazine along with online references to this Mythical John Carmack interview that has been referenced by some over the years,but cannot say who Carmack spoke to..or when or where it might be found..

I was looking into claims of Playstation Quake by Lobotomy on behalf of Unseen64,got a result,full interview with coder,game finished,ran better than Saturn version, yet no publisher wanted it.

So i did a similar approach with Jaguar Quake claims..scoured countless existing interviews with I.D and Carmack as an individual.. Nothing found (still looking now).

Contacted Romero and Taylor,both openly laugh at idea of Jaguar Quake.

Contacted Carmack only to be told by his agent he wouldn't be answering any questions.


Carmack may well indeed of done some test coding to satisfy his own curiosity, but given that I.D themselves admit both Doom and Wolfenstien sold way below expectations on Jaguar by time of Quake it was clear the Jaguar had failed at retail.

From a commercial point of view,your back to Magic Carpet answer..it simply didn't warrant a conversion.

So unless this Carmack said...interview appears, i am of the mindset it was a case of an individual believing what U.F.G magazine had said and getting Carmacks comments about doing Doom from scratch on Jaguar could see it run faster,in higher resolution and better lighting.

But who knows.I can only give my views and point out feelings of other I.D staff and that this 1 off interview really is a needle in a haystack as it's not even stated if it's a YT interview,magazine interview,E3 interview..only it exists..
:-))

My point is only technological, as I've done some tests with quake-style 3D scenes recently in my own engine and without textures I'm hitting 60 fps, so there's plenty performance buffer for playable textured framerate (though I'm personally much more inclined towards a high-framerate flatshaded 3D scenes).

 

But, that was my own 3D engine. Of course, if Carmack just took his PC-based engine, with floats, 8+ MB RAM requirements, and merely recompiled it using the GPU C compiler, that would result in roughly 12-20 GPU code chunks, which would eat enormous amount of GPU cycles (without actually doing any work whatsoever, just swap in/out), and I'm sure it wouldn't hit more than 5 fps.

 

But, if you ditch the floats for fixed-point, adjust the engine to suit jaguar-specific deviations, rework the lighting for the 2 MB, and especially take your time in coding the whole damn thing in GPU Asm, then the Quake's 3D scene complexity (note that I'm not saying anything about iD's Quake engine, just the equivalent 3D scene complexity) is absolutely doable on jag. Just not using the Quake engine, that's all I'm saying ;)

 

Of course, there was literally zero business sense from iD to undertake such endeavor, no argument there...

 



#129 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:55 AM

Magic Carpet was awesome when it came out - I bought it from GoG a few years back and finished 1 & 2, though 2 was a bit of a let down.

Yeah, the MC 2 was totally botched. You could even save in the middle of the 4-hour level ! That took all the tense away, as nothing beats the anxiety, when you're at 99% of the level, going for the final attack, just spent 3 hours carefully avoiding the bee swarm (and it's your third attempt :) ) and pinching mana here and there slowly, and then bam! I recall that some levels took me 40+ hours to beat. Highly likely because of the ridiculous framerate.

 

Did you play the Hidden Worlds datadisk ? Those levels were also pretty insane !

 

 

Even running on my modern rig the final level was a bear to get through - I was prob getting 1fps at one point with all the dragons and such.

Surprisingly, that last level  wasn't remotely as hard as few previous ones. But, yeah, at that point, the 1-5 fps gameplay was absolutely expected. I was always shocked, when -after playing the last 10 levels - I loaded some early savegame with the first 15-20 levels, and the framerate was, like, literally 10x higher :lol:

 

 

 Id think the entire engine would need to be rewritten/tweaked to run on the Jag.  The PC version prob wasnt very efficient, though awesome back in the day. 

Actually, from what I read about it, they wrote almost everything in ASM. It just was a next-gen game on a pre-pre-pre-old-gen HW, as that's what Bullfrog basically was doing at the time :)

 

On jaguar, though - I don't know how we'd handle pathfinding on those last levels.

We'd have to ditch the music completely, and let DSP handle just the AI.

 

I'm pretty sure the GPU+Blitter could render the world at nice 12+ fps (including textured castles), but there's no way DSP could keep up with all the pathfinding. Theoretically, one could decouple the AI tick from render tick (e.g. the game would still run at 12 fps, just the AI wouldn't respond instantly, but later), but that's quite a bitch to debug and test...



#130 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:27 AM

Heya Vlad.

Your welcome.

The Saturn coder of Magic Carpet spoke at the time how a straight attempt to port the PC version to the Sega hardware resulted in a dire frame rate, so it had to be rewritten for the Saturn architecture.


Wasn't it bundled with certain Pentium PC's or graphics cards at the time?.It seemed to be a showcase game for high end PC hardware at the time, so yes, Mike saying that if you took the texture mapping away, it just didn't cut it, i can fully understand.

I also personally don't feel a visually reduced version would of done the Jaguar or a platform like the CD32 any favours, espically at the hands of the press.

The same goes for Quake as despite I.D themselves praising Lobotomy, saying they had thought Quake wasn't possible on the Saturn, we still saw PC magazine reviewers popping up pouring scorn on it and the N64 version.

Saturn version critised for being ugly, having awful water effects, not being Quake etc.

An even more compromised version was not what the Jaguar needed.


I.D had said Jaguar owners could expect Doom II, if Wolfenstien and Doom sold well on the platform, well we now know they didn't and we didn't see Doom II , so it's pretty apparent I.D soon realised Jaguar was not a commercially viable platform.

As for Ultimate Future Games magazine?

It's up their with ST Format as a magazine who's scans deserve to be archived as they were press from the time, but who's claims in so many cases now just deserve to be ridiculed as they hold no credibilty.

A lot of great work has been done by the community into showcasing why you cannot use press from the time as proof games A-Z were started, but still they are rolled out .

The most common answer to why a game never appeared on Jaguar is as simple as.it wasn't commercially viable to start work on it.


Far better to focus on systems like the PC and get developing on Saturn and Playstation whilst awaiting the N64 with interest

I'm sure the 3DO, CD32,32X and CDi suffered similar fates.

It was a most peculiar period.A lot of in between era hardware released, but it was just stalling time until the real next generation console war began between Sega-Sony-Nintendo.

#131 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:30 AM

Magic Carpet was awesome when it came out - I bought it from GoG a few years back and finished 1 & 2, though 2 was a bit of a let down.
 
Id think the entire engine would need to be rewritten/tweaked to run on the Jag.  The PC version prob wasnt very efficient, though awesome back in the day.  Even running on my modern rig the final level was a bear to get through - I was prob getting 1fps at one point with all the dragons and such.



The engine was used in another title, High Octane?.Though that looked like a typical use existing assests, get product out to keep cash coming out, whilst we work on other big titles, to myself.

#132 sirlynxalot OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:25 PM

Yeah I heard Hi Octane used the magic carpet engine. Even still, Hi Octane's graphics had to be stripped down for the saturn conversion, in comparison to the PS1 and PC versions, and the saturn version wasn't exactly silky smooth. 



#133 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:17 PM

I thought the point of voxel engines was to make a fast fluid 3D-ish environment without too much CPU usage? Not that home console architecture is necessarily suited to it (and not that I'd know ...)

#134 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:30 PM

As someone who read the 30% complete claims in Ultimate Future Games magazine along with online references to this Mythical John Carmack interview that has been referenced by some over the years,but cannot say who Carmack spoke to..or when or where it might be found..

 

I have wondered to myself why no one was interested in publishing PS1 Quake. But, then I played through the entire Saturn version last week for the first time in a long while and found the gameplay to be utterly terrible. Visually it is an amazing piece for the Saturn, but with poor gameplay, it makes me wonder if that's a reason publishers didn't want it on PS1.



#135 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:00 AM

Ezra Dreisbach from Lobotomy talked about the PlayStation port of Quake was done as Lobotomy desperately needed cash and had hoped a publisher would sign it.

It was supposed to run faster than the Saturn version. The initial scene after you just start the game running at 20 fps on the Saturn version. On the PlayStation it ran 30, but the actual rendering part could have been going 60 if the CPU calculations weren’t holding it up.

He talked of it having the potential of running upto 60 fps.

Other than that, it would have looked identical to the Saturn version. Except the PlayStation video output has better colour than the Saturn’s.?

PS1 had Polygon FPS in games such as life Force Tenka and Shadow Master and i guess Quake II was seen as the hot property to bring to the platform?

#136 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:48 AM

Wasn't there an interview somewhere, where some developer obtained the source code of Quake, did the initial work to get it recompiled on PS1, and it ran (understandably, might I say), like, sub-10 fps ?

 

My point is that Quake's engine architecture was so heavily based around PC's Pentium and floating-point (it was the first engine of iD, where they didn't use the fast fixed-point, but rather much slower floating-point calculations) that any other HW architecture is woefully illsuited for direct conversion.

 

 

None of those consoles had the performance choking-point around which the original Quake was designed. Thus, unless you're doing complete rearchitecture (e.g. writing the engine from ground up - like Lobotomy did for Saturn), it's inevitably going to run like crap...



#137 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:39 AM

It wouldn't surprise me, although i haven't seen the interview myself.

Isn't Hammerhead's PS1 Quake II conversion done on an improved version of the game engine they used for Shadow Master?




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