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Johannes Graf (Atari) Interview - Iron Soldier 3 & Jag Questions


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#1 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:01 AM

Johannes Graf (Atari) – Interview - Iron Soldier 3 & Jag Questions

 

Ok, I appreciate Iron Solider 3 is not strictly a Jag game, but I do ask Johannes a lot of questions on the series as a whole plus some general Jag questions. We love Iron Soldier 3. Therefore, we love Johannes Graf. The Atari veteran discusses IS3, Sturmwind and the amazing Alpine Games to name but three of the great titles he’s worked on.  Enjoy the text interview below: 

 

https://www.arcadeat.../johannes-graf/



#2 JagChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:08 AM

Duranik was part of Eclipse at one time?

#3 Jagosaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:37 AM

How does IS3 PSX port compare to the Nuon version?

#4 PeterG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:06 PM

Duranik was part of Eclipse at one time?


Did you read the interview? He did the render intro only.

I agree though that a Turrican game on jaguar would be great.:)

#5 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:32 PM

Great Interview, thanks!



#6 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:49 PM

How does IS3 PSX port compare to the Nuon version?


Supposedly:

Cleaner Textures.
Better Transparencies and lighting effects.

Though personally i am only familar with the PS1 version.

#7 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:54 PM

Bloody great stuff.

Why aren't you doing these for the likes of RetroGamer Magazine?.

;-) The only thing i would politely disagree with him on,is the Uncharted series..it peaked at II and 4 was so disappointing :-)).

I cannot wait to see who you interview next.

#8 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:01 PM

How does IS3 PSX port compare to the Nuon version?


Update:

NUON-Dome gave a detailed break down of the differences:


Iron Soldier 3 NUON vs PSX Comparison
by Jack Gagliardi



I was one of the lucky ones to get a copy of IS3 when it was first released.

My buddy Lord Zod, who has a PS2, came by my place and we did a back to back comparison of IS3 on PSX and Nuon.

I connected the two systems to my switcher box and literally switched back and forth between the systems while playing on the same levels with each of the systems. Here are the results:

NUON FMV runs in full DVD playback mode (i.e., 30fps, no artifacting, perfectly clear)
PSX FMV is grainy and runs at a lower framerate (looks like 24fps)
NUON menus are in a higher resolution with 16bit-24 bit colour
PSX menus look like they are in 256 colour and you can see scan lines on the images
NUON sound effects are louder, clearer, and are bassier.
PSX sound effects are good but are slightly muffled and definitely not as boomy
NUON load times are longer than PSX
NUON textures are higher res than PSX and are filtered.
Even with PS2 filtering on, the NUON textures look leagues above PSX
The game is run at the same overall resolution (320 X 240 it seems)
NUON runs the game in 16bit-24bit colour. I suspect it is 24 bit but I could be wrong. Colours blend so beautifully that it looks 24 bit
PSX colours are muddy and look to be 256 colour. For example the blue sky is dithered while the NUON sky has perfectly blended shades of blue.
NUON transparencies have 256 levels displayed ... i.e, they are "smoother" looking transparencies and look VERY realistic
PSX transparencies are nice but do not show the subtle changes between transparent levels.
NUON light sourcing is smooth, noticeable and the varying brightness of light is easily detectable.
PSX light sourcing is nice but again the brightness does not vary like the NUON version
PSX Dual analogue control is nice to have and the dual shock is great!
NUON controller works fine but I prefer using digital control when playing the NUON version. The analogue is not as responsive with the NUON controller in my opinion (BTW I use the Stealth Controller)
Buildings blow up relatively the same but the NUON version has certain buildings blowing up with more "gusto" ... they come apart extra fast and really give the sensation of an explosion.
The PSX version blows up similarly but does not have the same "bursting" explosive quality. (Lord Zod's wife noticed this difference)
B/C of the increased use of colour the nightime levels on the NUON version look much more realistic than on the PSX. The buildings looks like their lights are on in the NUON version and it really is dark at night without loss of clarity.
The PSX version looks like it is dusk instead of nightime and the whole environemnt looks washed out instead of being "without light"
Framerates were nearly identical with both running at 24fps-30fps most of the time.

#9 skip OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:21 PM

I think there once was a direct video comparison online, probably YouTube, but I can't find it anymore. I'm pretty sure I'm not going mad here as I swear I watched it closely at the time, but I could be mistaken after all these years.

I do, however, have both versions, and plan on doing a short video comparison in the future.

 

Other than the lack of dual-shock control, the Nuon iteration of the game is generally the more favourable of the two. On the good side, the PS1 version isn't particularly expensive and worth getting (published by Telegames IIRC, not sure if they sell it directly but it's obtainable on eBay) if you're a fan of the series.


Edited by skip, Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:23 PM.


#10 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 PM

I don't know where he gets the "looks 24-bit". Just checked the YT vid :

 

Skybox and HUD are separate bitmaps, so they can be 16-bit, even if the 3d scene isn't. Jaguar's OP is totally fine with combining bitmaps of various bit-depths.

 

The 3D scene, however, totally looks doable in just 8-bit (256 colors). There's only 3 major colors present: green, blue and brown.

 

If you give 64 shades to each, you still have 64 colors left for other things (explosions, shots,  etc.)

 

Of course, hypothetically, they might be using 16-bit CRY mode, but if they do, it totally doesn't show. The 24-bit mode would slow things down drastically, unless nuon has also upgraded internals (not sure at this moment, and can't be bothered to check wiki just for that). It does look surprisingly smooth, though...



#11 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:48 PM

Oh, I just realized that guy tried it at the time when it was released.

 

Which means it was run on CRT. Those blended shades real nice, not like LCDs today, so it makes sense now...



#12 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:24 AM

I agree that a game like Gunlord/Turrican would rock on the Jaguar. The interview focuses a bit too much on Iron Soldier 3 I think. He just did the FMVs. Sturmwind, Alpine Games and Native are genuine Duranik games. The interviewer seems confused about that.

Johannes somewhat comfirms that Duranik stopped development on Native because the Chance to find a Publisher or to self publish was literallly ZERO. Just keep in mind that the encryption keys were considered "lost forever" at that time. Plus they were stuck with just 2MB RAM and they had not a proper CD dev kit if I remember correctly.

 

Nice to see he is a fan of the Uncharted series. Personally I like part 3 the most, but 4 was fantastic too, the recent Spin Off with the female lead characters is Meh, while the Vita Version is just ok. . The artdesign/tech is soooo unreal with all games.


Edited by agradeneu, Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:36 AM.


#13 agradeneu ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:28 AM

Update:

NUON-Dome gave a detailed break down of the differences:


Iron Soldier 3 NUON vs PSX Comparison
by Jack Gagliardi



I was one of the lucky ones to get a copy of IS3 when it was first released.

My buddy Lord Zod, who has a PS2, came by my place and we did a back to back comparison of IS3 on PSX and Nuon.

I connected the two systems to my switcher box and literally switched back and forth between the systems while playing on the same levels with each of the systems. Here are the results:

NUON FMV runs in full DVD playback mode (i.e., 30fps, no artifacting, perfectly clear)
PSX FMV is grainy and runs at a lower framerate (looks like 24fps)
NUON menus are in a higher resolution with 16bit-24 bit colour
PSX menus look like they are in 256 colour and you can see scan lines on the images
NUON sound effects are louder, clearer, and are bassier.
PSX sound effects are good but are slightly muffled and definitely not as boomy
NUON load times are longer than PSX
NUON textures are higher res than PSX and are filtered.
Even with PS2 filtering on, the NUON textures look leagues above PSX
The game is run at the same overall resolution (320 X 240 it seems)
NUON runs the game in 16bit-24bit colour. I suspect it is 24 bit but I could be wrong. Colours blend so beautifully that it looks 24 bit
PSX colours are muddy and look to be 256 colour. For example the blue sky is dithered while the NUON sky has perfectly blended shades of blue.
NUON transparencies have 256 levels displayed ... i.e, they are "smoother" looking transparencies and look VERY realistic
PSX transparencies are nice but do not show the subtle changes between transparent levels.
NUON light sourcing is smooth, noticeable and the varying brightness of light is easily detectable.
PSX light sourcing is nice but again the brightness does not vary like the NUON version
PSX Dual analogue control is nice to have and the dual shock is great!
NUON controller works fine but I prefer using digital control when playing the NUON version. The analogue is not as responsive with the NUON controller in my opinion (BTW I use the Stealth Controller)
Buildings blow up relatively the same but the NUON version has certain buildings blowing up with more "gusto" ... they come apart extra fast and really give the sensation of an explosion.
The PSX version blows up similarly but does not have the same "bursting" explosive quality. (Lord Zod's wife noticed this difference)
B/C of the increased use of colour the nightime levels on the NUON version look much more realistic than on the PSX. The buildings looks like their lights are on in the NUON version and it really is dark at night without loss of clarity.
The PSX version looks like it is dusk instead of nightime and the whole environemnt looks washed out instead of being "without light"
Framerates were nearly identical with both running at 24fps-30fps most of the time.

Played The PS version a bit - I think it feels off compared to the Jaguar versions. The series peaked with IS 2 for me.



#14 PeterG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:43 AM

Played The PS version a bit - I think it feels off compared to the Jaguar versions. The series peaked with IS 2 for me.

I liked the fact that you could choose between the "classic" control scheme and a new one. But I agree with you here, for me also IS2 is the best one. And there are two things in particular that I disliked on the new one.

In theory having a terrain with different heights is a good idea but here you were closed of. Like if you are on a small hill you can`t just walk down if there wasn`t a road so you are blocked off. That was annoying especially given that some of the mechs even had the hovering capabilities.

 

And the second thing was the lack of Jaguar controller. Or better said direct access to weapons via keypad. On the Jag the very precise change of weapons was important. You loose that with the circling through the weapons on PSX/Nuon.

With that said, I am still glad we got another one as the second two IS games are in my all time favorites. So I beat that one too but it still didn`t feel the same, only almost... (Still searching for a great Mech game on a modern system too. :-))

Regarding the interview I would really love to see more from Duranik on the Jag. The Native Demo was impressive and everything we saw from them so far has always been great.



#15 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:18 AM

Bloody great stuff.

Why aren't you doing these for the likes of RetroGamer Magazine?.

;-) The only thing i would politely disagree with him on,is the Uncharted series..it peaked at II and 4 was so disappointing :-)).

I cannot wait to see who you interview next.

I am a big fan of RetroGamer mag tbh, but I am in this with my mates, to hopefully grow Arcade Attack. I really appreciate the kind words and support. Johannes was great to chat to. I will keep digging for more Atari Jag interviews! :)



#16 Adriano Arcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:18 AM

Great Interview, thanks!

Thank you! :)



#17 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:13 AM

@Adrian:You sound like a lot of us in the community, just doing it for a love of the subject and the enjoyment you get from it.

As soon as it becomes something else,i.e your tied into publishers contracts, can't use or share content outside of..

And it's paid for material, something is sometimes lost i feel.

The UK press years ago made a big thing of how only they had the contacts,only they could get the information..

Complete and utter nonsense.

Your covering the names i have long since waited to see interviewed.

Great stuff and eagerly await the next.

Did you get any luck with a follow up with Bill Rehbock?




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