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What was the Jaguar truly capable of?


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#301 swapd0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 2:50 PM

The SNES and other console hardware were not perfect either. You can't really blame the hardware for poor gameplay execution anyway, 1 on 1 fighters were done a thousand times on weaker machines and HMS screwed KN up like no other. It was a MK rip off anyway, formuliac bare bones trash, but they could not pull that off. I don't buy those excuses anymore, sorry.
A lot of Jaguar games look meh because of rushed, sometimes downright rubbish art assets, showing no care for quality, imagination whatssoever. I'm quite amused, ppl are always debating hardware specs for that matter, citing excuses from all sources. It's just another myth. Luckily we have Rayman, and if you analyze that game, it becomes obvious that the Jaguar indeed had a lot of unfulfilled potential, especially with rendering impressive 2D artwork.

 

But the jaguar could be a lot better.

- CLUT of 256 colours only? NeoGeo has 4096...

- SNES has a register to set illumination for the palette (the whole palette), to make fade effects very easy, in the jaguar you must fade the whole palette and if you're using 16bits bitmap you must do it on each pixel. It's not important but gives a nice touch.

- It's a waste of time to wait for the blitter to finish before you can write a single register.

- The blitter it's very inefficient doing any nice effect (rotation, scaling and texture map), with a cache the performance could be x10 times faster.

- The blitter can't expand 1,2,4,8 bits pixels to 16bits pixels, so the textures must have the same bit depth as the frame buffer (usually 16bits), this takes a lot of memory and has less flexibility.

- Blitter registers are wrong, why on the hell the integer part it's on a different register from the fractional? As soon as you write a real example with the blitter you realise of this error.

- 5 processors without cache on a 13MHz bus has a lot of bottlenecks.

- RMW only works on CrY colours, and anyway RMW? WTF!?!? Why don't have a few operations for real transparency effects, like A + B, A - B, B - A , (A + B) / 2.

- OP can't do vertical mirror, WTF?!?! Just use the dwidth field like a signed value instead of unsigned and you can do vertical mirrors.

- OP could include a bit-buffer for pixel precise collision detection.

 

It's sad because many of these features are easy to implement.



#302 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 2:55 PM

And you branded ME defensive?

I love the Jag, but wishful thinking ain't going to make it better than facts demonstrate.

Calm down with your unbridled Duranik worship. You're losing credibility hand over fist.


Neither are you the keeper of facts nor the judge of ANYONES credibility.

#303 Gummy Bear OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:17 PM

Neither are you the keeper of facts nor the judge of ANYONES credibility.

You get up on the wrong side of the bed today, mate?
You seem to be pissing and moaning in every thread you can find.

#304 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:20 PM

You get up on the wrong side of the bad today, mate?
You seem to be pissing and moaning in every thread you can find.


Then tell me what you are doing? I'm under the impression I was quite reasonable with my critique.

Edited by agradeneu, Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:22 PM.


#305 Gummy Bear OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:22 PM

Then tell me what you are doing?


Apparently defending myself from someone who's got beef with me all of a sudden.

#306 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:24 PM

Apparently defending myself from someone who's got beef with me all of a sudden.


Sorry to say that, but you are the one who attacks.

#307 Gummy Bear OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:38 PM

Highly disprespectful of the actual creators of Native. Either you are totally clueless or just too full of yourself to realize the bigotry of your statement. Duranik are proven developers, they used any system they were working on to the fulllest potential - Lynx, Dreamcast and hopefully Jaguar again. It's not a sign of weakness to acknowledge their master class in terms of technical and graphical prowess. Native is the legit benchmark for any 2D game on the Jaguar. PERIOD. Their work and modesty (no BS talk but hard work!) should encourage everyone. Now its time to stop pointless arguments wasting my time and energy I could use elsewhere -  welcome to my ignore list!

 

You reap what you sow, mate.

You were ranting like a champ and steamrolling/ignoring anyone else who didn't agree that Duranik was the second coming of Christ.

 

Carry on though. Freedom of speech and all that.



#308 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:43 PM

But the jaguar could be a lot better.
- CLUT of 256 colours only? NeoGeo has 4096...
- SNES has a register to set illumination for the palette (the whole palette), to make fade effects very easy, in the jaguar you must fade the whole palette and if you're using 16bits bitmap you must do it on each pixel. It's not important but gives a nice touch.
- It's a waste of time to wait for the blitter to finish before you can write a single register.
- The blitter it's very inefficient doing any nice effect (rotation, scaling and texture map), with a cache the performance could be x10 times faster.
- The blitter can't expand 1,2,4,8 bits pixels to 16bits pixels, so the textures must have the same bit depth as the frame buffer (usually 16bits), this takes a lot of memory and has less flexibility.
- Blitter registers are wrong, why on the hell the integer part it's on a different register from the fractional? As soon as you write a real example with the blitter you realise of this error.
- 5 processors without cache on a 13MHz bus has a lot of bottlenecks.
- RMW only works on CrY colours, and anyway RMW? WTF!?!? Why don't have a few operations for real transparency effects, like A + B, A - B, B - A , (A + B) / 2.
- OP can't do vertical mirror, WTF?!?! Just use the dwidth field like a signed value instead of unsigned and you can do vertical mirrors.
- OP could include a bit-buffer for pixel precise collision detection.
 
It's sad because many of these features are easy to implement.

I can't comment on the tech Details, I am not a programmer. But after 30 years of gaming and being a (proffessional) artist for many years I am a bit confident about my judgement on gameplay and the quality of aesthetics. Simply put, too many Jag games lack something I would call SOUL, you won't find that by just looking at the tech details. Games are not just a matter of tech, they are a piece of entertainment, culture, art.

#309 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:50 PM

In case anyone is confusing the Nuon Native demo with the Jaguar demo (I know I have in the past), it's pretty obvious when seeing the actual Jaguar version:

 

 

The Jaguar version looks very good and definitely sets a high mark as far as the Jaguar is concerned, but is nothing like the few seconds of Nuon demo, which I think are pretty stunning (but then again, who knows how things would have degraded for an actual game). As an incomplete Jaguar game, it really doesn't prove that much either in my opinion other than some of the other game devs could have worked up better renders/sprites for some of their games.



#310 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:06 PM

In case anyone is confusing the Nuon Native demo with the Jaguar demo (I know I have in the past), it's pretty obvious when seeing the actual Jaguar version:
 

 
The Jaguar version looks very good and definitely sets a high mark as far as the Jaguar is concerned, but is nothing like the few seconds of Nuon demo, which I think are pretty stunning (but then again, who knows how things would have degraded for an actual game). As an incomplete Jaguar game, it really doesn't prove that much either in my opinion other than some of the other game devs could have worked up better renders/sprites for some of their games.


Wasn't the Nuon "demo" just a concept animation/mock up? As far as I know they did not wrote anything running on Nuon HW.
BTW not the best video quality to start with. ;-)

Edited by agradeneu, Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:08 PM.


#311 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:11 PM

Wasn't the Nuon "demo" just a concept animation/mock up? As far as I know they did not wrote anything running on Nuon HW.
BTW not the best video quality to start with. ;-)

 

I wouldn't be surprised. It looks far too clean for the Nuon based on the other games in the library. It probably would have ultimately looked only a little sharper than the Jaguar demo.



#312 swapd0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:14 PM

I can't comment on the tech Details, I am not a programmer. But after 30 years of gaming and being a (proffessional) artist for many years I am a bit confident about my judgement on gameplay and the quality of aesthetics. Simply put, too many Jag games lack something I would call SOUL, you won't find that by just looking at the tech details. Games are not just a matter of tech, they are a piece of entertainment, culture, art.

 

From a gameplay point of view, you'll have more time to fix the gameplay if you don't need to optimise the code until the last CPU cycle.

 

From a graphics point of view, the players looks ugly with very few colours, maybe they are using 4bits sprites because they are faster to draw and takes less memory, with a better hardware you could use sprites with more colours and have more CPU cycles to unpack more animations.

 

The game could be better but do you want to spend one year of development to make such a "simple" game?



#313 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:44 PM

From a gameplay point of view, you'll have more time to fix the gameplay if you don't need to optimise the code until the last CPU cycle.
 
From a graphics point of view, the players looks ugly with very few colours, maybe they are using 4bits sprites because they are faster to draw and takes less memory, with a better hardware you could use sprites with more colours and have more CPU cycles to unpack more animations.
 
The game could be better but do you want to spend one year of development to make such a "simple" game?


- So you think games are generally NOT/easily optimized? I read that Tomb Raider was runnning at 5 FPS when Core Design gave their code to Sony for optimization.

- The sprites in WMCJ look like 16 bit color, it's the color choice which makes them look ugly which is the artists job. Generally the are poorly done and appear like placeholders. Even 4 bit could look better with good color choice.

- Iron Soldier was developed under 1 year. I think your logic does not work - otherwise nobody should complain about "Jagzombies" lack of quality, it's just a simple game, why bother investing extra time for bugfixing?
There is a difference between good work and bad work and I don't thinks it's legit to immunize bad work from any reasonable judgement.

Edited by agradeneu, Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:51 PM.


#314 JagChris ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 5:01 PM

Halo was supposedly unplayable in its original form. They had to have help optimizing it. I believe Scott LeGrand of Battlesphere fame helped them do that.

#315 swapd0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 5:19 PM

- So you think games are generally NOT/easily optimized? I read that Tomb Raider was runnning at 5 FPS when Core Design gave their code to Sony for optimization.

No, usually the games are pretty optimized, I bet that WMCJ has already a lot of optimization and that is what you get. In the Jaguar if you have slow code you can rewrite it into the GPU for a great speed up, but the GPU only has 4Kb, it's not an easy task.

 

- The sprites in WMCJ look like 16 bit color, it's the color choice which makes them look ugly which is the artists job. Generally the are poorly done and appear like placeholders. Even 4 bit could look better with good color choice.

I doubt that they are 16bits if they look like that, they take 4 times more memory than a 4bits sprite, 4 times more memory to read, less bus cycles for other processors. Anyway without having a look at the code or at the OP list it's a waste of time speculating. And yes, the colours are crap, don't know why they look so ugly.

  

- Iron Soldier was developed under 1 year. I think your logic does not work - otherwise nobody should complain about "Jagzombies" lack of quality, it's just a simple game, why bother investing extra time for bugfixing?
There is a difference between good work and bad work and I don't thinks it's legit to immunize bad work from any reasonable judgement.

 

I said a year just as a random long time development, Iron Soldier was developed by eclipse and they were the best ST coders.

 

As I said before, of course that it could be better, but don't think that these programmers didn't know what they were doing.



#316 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 6:03 PM

No, usually the games are pretty optimized, I bet that WMCJ has already a lot of optimization and that is what you get. In the Jaguar if you have slow code you can rewrite it into the GPU for a great speed up, but the GPU only has 4Kb, it's not an easy task.

 
I doubt that they are 16bits if they look like that, they take 4 times more memory than a 4bits sprite, 4 times more memory to read, less bus cycles for other processors. Anyway without having a look at the code or at the OP list it's a waste of time speculating. And yes, the colours are crap, don't know why they look so ugly.

  

I said a year just as a random long time development, Iron Soldier was developed by eclipse and they were the best ST coders.
 
As I said before, of course that it could be better, but don't think that these programmers didn't know what they were doing.


So we agree to disagree. For me WMCJ is obviously a poorly executed attempt of a Streetball game. Many flaws are inherent to it's design and art choices, not only technical. A more talented dev could have pulled off something way better.

#317 JagChris ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 7:31 PM

You'll be hard pressed to find a Dev more talented than Adisak Pochanayon.

He had no say in the design of the game, even in the assets used.

Technically he simply went through the first time on this system stumbles.

#318 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:26 AM

Notice how he's not kicking and screaming and throwing a babyfit and blaming the DSP like the id software guy does.
Adisak just took care of business.


Well you mean Dave Taylor for starters and i believe i have already put up Adisak's talk of his FPS Engine experiment on the Jaguar on this form some time ago?

Difference is..the I.D guys produced 2 commercial FPS titles on the Jaguar, Adisak didn't produce an actual game with his prototype engine.

So we have nothing to actually compare game engines with.

#319 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:28 AM

I wonder if Pitfall is using the mentioned Atari music code, and if its one of the reasons why it runs at a lower framerate than the 16 bit versions... how many games could have run a bit smoother if they werent using it?

That's a bloody great question.

I'd love to know why Imagitec Design had the Jaguar version running at a mere 30 FPS compared to the 60 FPS Genesis version.

#320 CyranoJ ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:31 AM

That's a bloody great question.

I'd love to know why Imagitec Design had the Jaguar version running at a mere 30 FPS compared to the 60 FPS Genesis version.

 

16 bit colour vs CLUT graphics?



#321 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:39 AM

I agree with the animated poorly part. They can be a little floaty.
But beyond that they are scaled and rotated bitmaps, not polygons. I think the game is rather nice looking for what it is.
And it runs at over 320x200 resolution!
Neither games use the GPU manager as it wasn't ready yet.
Also makes no mention if advanced techniques such as splitting the display etc are used.


;-) Well you try and find some quotes that do mention what your looking for.

I only put the quotes i came across up,to try and further explain that whilst yes,games could of been improved on Jaguar, it was only in certain areas and you'd still be left with poor design choices, gameplay mechanics etc.

#322 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:40 AM

16 bit colour vs CLUT graphics?


That's a bloody good answer :-D

#323 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:47 AM

Halo was supposedly unplayable in its original form. They had to have help optimizing it. I believe Scott LeGrand of Battlesphere fame helped them do that.

It's original form was a 3rd person affair.

Surprised Scott took time out from critiscing the work of Digital Image Design, Rage Software, Sega, Nintendo and all the others works he ran down.

Everything from Inferno, Starfox 64,Metal Head, Darklight Conflict were all sub par to him.

He described Air Cars as an Atari 2600 title..

Everything in all creation at 1 point appeared to fall short of Battlesphere..

Prime example:

Scott Le Grand
Just picked up Ocean's Inferno in the $30 bargain bin...
Anyone else out there played this thing...  Initial opinion was
that it's a major turkey, and I can see why it failed miserably as
it has to have the most uninformative mission objectives I've
ever encountered.  Add to that, that there are definite bugs
in its joystick and sound handler, and say buh-bye to sales...
Much the same complaints raised about TFX...  Pretty annoying
FMV as well...

However, it has the wonderful TFX polygon engine and terrain
models and it seems like there are a zillion different spaceships, cities,
and random cool things out there on the various worlds...  Therefore,
I ended up having a lot of fun with it as a VR nuking my own cities
and fleeing civilians and such...  The game seems like a distant
descendant of Star Glider II and Elite which were incredible...

Pluses:
1) Diversity of spaceships and scenery
2) Descent-like explorations of the insides of ships
3) Planetary as well as spatial missions
4) Really really cool looking worlds

Minuses:
1) What the %*%& are you supposed to do?
2) Lousy targeting computer and HUD, easy to get lost even when targets
are right on top of you
3) Boring air combat, stupid opponents that just seem to whizz back and forth in formation and if the thing weren't so damned confusing to fly they'd be a pushover
4) Can the FMV and the delays
5) No way to determine what ships are enemies and what are friends I mean this is the future, right?
6) Crappy radars
7) Strange reliance on a 2D universe

Neutrals:
1) OK weapons and explosions graphics, but nothing to write mom about
2) lame transitions between insides and outsides of ships, and between
spatial and planetary missions complete with annoying CD load delay

Still, it's definitely worth the $30. just to see the eye candy...

Edited by Lost Dragon, Tue Dec 4, 2018 1:57 AM.


#324 skip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 6:10 AM

I remember Scott disliking Darklight Conflict. And thats okay. Different tastes and approaches to free roaming space shooters and all. DC was a standard mission by mission affair, BS not so much.

Darklight Conflict might not have gotten the press and the marketing that Colony Wars did back in the day, but DC is an under appreciated gem (weird button pressing shield mechanic notwithstanding) that I dont think I quite finished...close though. Im actually planning to go back and play it again on the PS3 on the 60 inch TV sometime soon :)

And I want to get back to Battlesphere too...proof that one can like and appreciate two similar but very different games. Whod have thought ;)

Edited by skip, Tue Dec 4, 2018 6:11 AM.


#325 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 8:21 AM

Darklight Conflict was a tough one to love on many levels at times, it wasn't as accessible as say Colony Wars i personally found, but i still appreciated it for Rage attempting what they did.

My point about Scott bashing it on a number of levels, is that it appears to be what Scott simply did at that time, judging by the many quotes from him.

There's pride in your own work, especially when you and others have invested so,so much into it,but it just grew stale seeing Scott attack Rage for Darklight Conflict, D.I.D for TFX and Inferno..

Seem to remember a brief war of words between him and Matthew Gosling over Jaguar Zero 5.

It simply got to the point where Scott came across as having a pop at anyone else's space based game as it wasn't Battlesphere.

He should of just let the game itself do the talking,rather than run down the efforts of teams working on the PC and PlayStation etc, let alone likes of Caspain Software who were struggling as a publisher as it was.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Tue Dec 4, 2018 8:27 AM.





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