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What was the Jaguar truly capable of?


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#51 LinkoVitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:34 AM


There are so many games that can fix a camera angle and use generic texturing only on a small subset of the scene, resulting in huge framerate boost. Something like my HERO engine, that was written entirely in C (which compiles to an ungodly horribly slow ASM), yet I managed to get stable 60 fps

 

 

Was that whilst running on actual real Jaguar hardware or in an emulator?



#52 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:41 AM

NeoGeo64 and anyone else can look at all the documented accounts from everyone who coded 3D on the Jaguar and decide for themselves who and what was to 'blame'...

I've literally only given a few examples and none are from any of the people i chatted with so no personal basis .

I wouldn't want to fuel that old chestnut..not even Autumn.

Atari had the people and teams listed, people can find thier accounts, examples of their work and decide for themselves.

Easy enough to contact them via social media in most cases if they still aren't sure.

Or there's welcome to the fantasy zone/beware the moon type speculation stuff just as easily found online.

Sega had some fantastic studios Atari didn't. .but licensing out Saturn Vital Racing to Time Warner didn't result in anything to be proud of..

Nor were Sega Tour Car Championship , Saturn Doom (not Jim Bagley's fault, but John Carmack's), they rushed Daytona USA out..

Core dropped Tomb Raider on Saturn after the 1st game.

Third party publishers abandoned the format in droves..

And that's before people start looking at how difficult it was to get best results from the hardware.

Always a number of factors behind the way games turned out the way they did.

#53 JagChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:41 AM

I could go for a rock steady 30 fps.

Around 2004-2005 Thunderbird had claimed they could now double the performance of Battlesphere based on improved engine and hardware knowledge. Later than the AEO interview so his understanding must have changed.

This sparked the discussion whether it should be put into more polys or making game run smoother.

This was about a year before the GPU in main bug workaround was found.

#54 JagChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:47 AM

Good example.

And let's not forget Lance Lewis


Boy you're all over quoting Lance Lewis when it suits your needs?

Fumes indeed.

#55 Sporadic ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:48 AM

When looking at or comparing early games a key point to remember is time. Back in the day, the Devs had probably less than a year to get anything substantial running etc. Then it was straight to market (give or take time for testing).

 

Nowadays we have as much time as we want, to create whatever we like.


Edited by Sporadic, Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:49 AM.


#56 agradeneu OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:51 AM

Good example.

And let's not forget Lance Lewis talking about improvements made when putting Hoverstrike out on Jaguar CD:

MT> You were the lead designer for both Atari Jaguar Hoverstrike games. Do you have a particular preference towards one version or another?
LL> Not really, but technically speaking, the CD version had a few extra perks. For instance the engineering crew managed to boost up the frame rate by a stunning 2-3 fps... And some of the terrain textures we were able to load as high res. Oh and the soundtrack was CD-quality instead of MIDI. Seriously though, I always felt the game was unnecessarily trashed in the magazines and flamed in newsgroups. It may not have been a GREAT game, but a lot of people put a lot of time and effort into making that game ship.

Source:http://gooddealgames...ance_Lewis.html

So people did get more from second and third generation Jaguar games.

The technical advances and the sheer amount of bloody hard work needed by teams of people to do the commercial 3D games we did see,have been extremely well documented by multiple sources and coders.

Yet the fumes are still so strong with some.

I'm blaming the recent Blood Eclipse for the surge in fume based activity.

Well, producing games that are fun is not easy and requires hard work - on any System. If your game is not fun you have failed - quite simple.



#57 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:55 AM

With all the developments that have opened up or that are currently in progress of opening up on the storage side, I feel there's still a lot of potential left in seeing some cool games come out. Not so much a this game pushes more polys and textures than that game as much as the amount of immersive content and disposable processing power we currently have in 2018 to completely hurdle through obstacles that were very evident in the early 90s without crazy amounts of money and expertise.



#58 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:01 AM

NeoGeo64 and anyone else can look at all the documented accounts from everyone who coded 3D on the Jaguar and decide for themselves who and what was to 'blame'....

I think that at this point in time we all understand the reality of teams producing games for Atari, and while I could be wrong, I don't think many people would argue that they could have done better, under those circumstances.

 

But, this thread is not about what got screwed up at Atari. I recall myself reading some faxes between Atari and some game developer, and it was truly drastic.

 

This thread is about what is possible to extract from Jaguar.

 

Again, a generic textured , first-person shooter game is the last thing you want to do on Jaguar.

But, something like this, which already runs (although only in 256 colors and 320x200), can be totally upgraded to higher res and more colors:

https://youtu.be/fB7s1ZZVMvQ?t=119

 

Not a single game has been produced using this technology during commercial times, and this would actually have given Atari all the marketing power on screenshots that they needed. Artists can paint some nice textures, bake in some lighting and there you go. And even 60 fps. This is the best possible compromise between visuals and performance that I can think of, for jaguar's strengths...



#59 LinkoVitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:11 AM

This thread is about what is possible to extract from Jaguar.

 

Again, a generic textured , first-person shooter game is the last thing you want to do on Jaguar.

But, something like this, which already runs (although only in 256 colors and 320x200), can be totally upgraded to higher res and more colors:

https://youtu.be/fB7s1ZZVMvQ?t=119

 

Not a single game has been produced using this technology during commercial times, and this would actually have given Atari all the marketing power on screenshots that they needed. Artists can paint some nice textures, bake in some lighting and there you go. And even 60 fps. This is the best possible compromise between visuals and performance that I can think of, for jaguar's strengths...

 

Again.. Is this running on an actual physical Jaguar hardware? or is it running within an emulator?



#60 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:31 AM

Boy you're all over quoting Lance Lewis when it suits your needs?
Fumes indeed.

If you can find a quote from someone else that worked on Hoverstrike U.L that details the actual performance increases better than Lance, please, be my guest and provide it.

Got anything from say Rob Zybdel from when he was working on it that you'd like to share with the community and add to this thread?

And given he couldn't actually remember what Panther games he and Gary Johnson worked on, no, myself nor my associates have not tried contacting him to ask him ourselves.

His memory didn't seem great.

Sometimes you simply play the hand your dealt.

If Lance was the sole quote i used to point NeoGeo64 in the direction of the wealth of material out there,you might just have stumbled onto something.. It wasn't though
and despite chiming in,so far you've not provided them with any viable alternative views from the team.

I'd rather back up my points with actual,finished software, rather than YT footage of games that never made it..


But yeah...fumes indeed.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:06 AM.


#61 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:52 AM

@ValdR:The O.P set the following question:
Posted Today, 12:23 AM

"If a highly talented and skilled team of programmers (such as the top coders at SEGA back in the mid 90s) who were intimately familiar with the Jaguar's hardware did some hardcore assembly programming with great resource utilization developed a game on the Jaguar using Tom and Jerry, instead of the M68K, what kind of 3D graphics would have been seen?"

So it's a fantasy question as it took even the 'best' coders on the Jaguar time to familiarise themselves with the hardware and when your facing strict commercial deadlines, time is a luxury in itself.

And it talks of using the Jaguar hardware as intended, which we did see people do during it's commercial life span and basically asks if we could of seen better 3D performance than we actually did..

At least that's how i am reading it.

I think it's slightly unfair not to praise the engineering teams that did get the likes of Skyhammer, I.S. II,Doom, Zero
5,WTR,Hoverstrike:U.L(insert 3D game of choice here) on the format, rather than jump straight into skipping through the meadow of what possibly might of been.

If all we had seen 3D wise was Club Drive, Air Cars, Chequered Flag II..then bloody hell.

The mythical what if..stuff is running a very real risk of drowning out what people actually did achieve under far from perfect conditions.

#62 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:32 PM

Note: All recent videos (less than 2 years old - once I got my skunkboard) on my channel are captured from real HW. Of course, that includes the HERO platforming 3D engine.



#63 NeoGeo64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:36 PM

@ValdR:The O.P set the following question:
Posted Today, 12:23 AM

"If a highly talented and skilled team of programmers (such as the top coders at SEGA back in the mid 90s) who were intimately familiar with the Jaguar's hardware did some hardcore assembly programming with great resource utilization developed a game on the Jaguar using Tom and Jerry, instead of the M68K, what kind of 3D graphics would have been seen?"

So it's a fantasy question as it took even the 'best' coders on the Jaguar time to familiarise themselves with the hardware and when your facing strict commercial deadlines, time is a luxury in itself.

And it talks of using the Jaguar hardware as intended, which we did see people do during it's commercial life span and basically asks if we could of seen better 3D performance than we actually did..

At least that's how i am reading it.

I think it's slightly unfair not to praise the engineering teams that did get the likes of Skyhammer, I.S. II,Doom, Zero
5,WTR,Hoverstrike:U.L(insert 3D game of choice here) on the format, rather than jump straight into skipping through the meadow of what possibly might of been.

If all we had seen 3D wise was Club Drive, Air Cars, Chequered Flag II..then bloody hell.

The mythical what if..stuff is running a very real risk of drowning out what people actually did achieve under far from perfect conditions.

 

 

 

Surely, the Jaguar can do better than this.  Is it not possible to not have everything have crap textures and use gouraud shading... and not have such choppy frame rates?  I know asking for 60fps is out of the question but couldn't it at least do 30?  WTR just looks ugly.  Couldn't the Jaguar handle something like Ridge Racer, in which the graphics meet or exceed the Playstation *and* have a steady 30fps frame rate.

 


Edited by NeoGeo64, Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:46 PM.


#64 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:16 PM

No.



#65 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:22 PM

No^2.



#66 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:26 PM

Surely, the Jaguar can do better than this.  Is it not possible to not have everything have crap textures and use gouraud shading... and not have such choppy frame rates?  I know asking for 60fps is out of the question but couldn't it at least do 30?  WTR just looks ugly.  Couldn't the Jaguar handle something like Ridge Racer, in which the graphics meet or exceed the Playstation *and* have a steady 30fps frame rate.

 

 

 

tcc.gif



#67 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:33 PM

You need to understand the Jaguar's place in history:

The Jaguar Hardware was designed during a period when texture-mapped 3D had yet to take hold..

It's from the era of the CDi, 3DO, Commodore CD32 and 32X..

Better than SNES SFX II and Sega SVP Polygon 3D, but it's not on the level of the Sega Saturn, let alone Playstation 1 hardware.

It's 3D strength lay with plain, Gouraud Shaded polygons.

Limited texture maps on polygons worked, but full screen texture mapping was asking too much from it.

Think of something like TFX on the PC which had things like the U.N logo texture mapped onto the aircraft models polygons.

The Jaguar MK 2 and 3DO M2 were going to be the machines to take on the Saturn/Playstation and N64 generation of hardware.

If this is another wind up thread, it's more time i won't be getting back.

But benifit of the doubt and all that.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:36 PM.


#68 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:21 PM

If you think about it World Tour Racing is a step up from what consoles had before; it's real, shaded, texture mapped 3D, at a frame rate higher than what the SNES or Genesis could handle unshaded & unmapped.

#69 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:54 PM

If you think about it World Tour Racing is a step up from what consoles had before; it's real, shaded, texture mapped 3D, at a frame rate higher than what the SNES or Genesis could handle unshaded & unmapped.

Exactly.

Compared to this on SNES with DSP on cart:

https://youtu.be/UiZ3YxDGQ7A

And this on MD with DSP on cart:

https://youtu.be/XdPc6b8-9UU

Rather than Playstation Ridge Racer..

It puts things into a more realistic perspective.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:02 PM.


#70 philipj OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:30 PM

Right... On that note, the hardware limitations are even fewer than the Playstation 1, but certainly much higher than the SNES or the Genesis. Although the SNES mode 7 effects are limited to background images, the Jag doesn't have that limitation. Certainly the Genesis 68000 can pull off the same kind of effect using software using a non-programmable video chip with 64kb of video ram, yet the Jag has more main memory to work with less video ram, but faster programmable gpu that can certainly do a lot more than what the geny can do. Trying to get a modern 3D engine or even a 3D engine from the early or mid 90s won't be without some level it taxing the system on some level. The Jaguar is very different and unique animal all together and requires a very different approach from the normal; at least in theory that's the case.

 

     I don't really know how smart it is, but I hope to experiment with a 3D engine using the Motorola 68000 to render fast wire-frame based rendering while the GPU to do fast polygon fill, shading, and small size texture mapping. Take a look at "Red Zone" for the Sega Genesis below... Look at how fast the Genesis is able to rotate low color depth textures in the helicopter scene probably no more than 16 colors... Now does that not describe what the Object Processor does; scale and rotate small sprites with some help from the RISC? I'm think small sprite size textures even if it's a series of small sprites to make up a large image would probably be the way to go to get the most out of the Jags texture mapping situation. If it's dithered, you can use copies of the same sprite over and over again; hat would be a good starting point. And then there's the "Star Fox" demo for the Genesis using just the 68K to do all of the 3D calculations using 72KB of system ram... If it wasn't for the color fills, the 3D could probably move faster just rendering wire-frames with hidden surfaces so there are ways to do things, just can't quite do it the way it was done on a PlayStation 1 or Sega Saturn unless is shrunk to manageable pace the Jaguar can handle and it can probably handle it. Also if you think about Virtua Racing using the SVP chip on a cartridge for the Genesis, it used a 16bit samsung DSP to pull off those low polygon graphics.

 

https://youtu.be/zzBc5a3frlY?t=1m59s

 


Edited by philipj, Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:35 PM.


#71 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:04 PM

That video reminds me of the bonus levels you pass through on Tempest 2000 with a hint of Iron Soldier and Cybermorph



#72 swapd0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:08 AM

     I don't really know how smart it is, but I hope to experiment with a 3D engine using the Motorola 68000 to render fast wire-frame based rendering while the GPU to do fast polygon fill, shading, and small size texture mapping.

It doesn't matter, at the end you must write the pixels from 68000 & GPU into memory to display them, and you got there a huge bottle neck.



#73 Stage_1_Boss OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:55 AM

All I know is the Jaguar already has Club Drive, so.. there's no sense trying to perfect 3D gaming on the Jag after that, just focus on what could be unique and fun on the system.



#74 CyranoJ ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:30 AM

Look at how fast the Genesis is able to rotate low color depth textures in the helicopter scene probably no more than 16 colors... Now does that not describe what the Object Processor does; scale and rotate small sprites with some help from the RISC

 

I know you'll get all bent out of shape by this response, but no, that isn't what it does at all, because it can't rotate. Not unless you count 180 degree horizontal flip. Go and read the documentation (again? I'm not sure it's been even looked at once, tbh)

 

The Jaguar is a console from ~1994.  There isn't a super-powerful CPU under the hood that has remained unnoticed for 25 years.



#75 Gummy Bear ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:14 AM

 
I know you'll get all bent out of shape by this response, but no, that isn't what it does at all, because it can't rotate.


But but but! The rocks in Rebooteroids rotate!
I've seen them rotating. Round and round they go!




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