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philipj

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Posts posted by philipj


  1. Opinions are fine for subjective things, like saying "game X is more fun to play than game Y".

    For objective things, opinions are pretty much worthless, actual evidence is where it's at.

    There are already hundred of pages of uninformed opinions in this forum, we don't need more.

     

    What? I don't know what you're reading, but you're reading it wrong.

    Reality check: if the DSP was the ideal processor to run everything on, and if that was obvious from the docs, do you really think nobody would have noticed in 25 years?

     

    My opinions aren't that uninformed, I give enough information to relay a reasonable idea that's generally feasible in theory not to take away or question any of the programmers here... When I see a good thing I run with it.

     

     

    The 68000 is:

     

    a 32-bit processor

    has full access to main ram unhinged without a workaround at full speed

    is on a 16bit bus

    can control all the IO ports on the system

     

    Just sayin'

     

    No argument there man... Well one... It slower and tends to slow the other the processors down when it hits the bus, but has its advantages like taking some work load from the other processors. I'm probably not saying anything you don't already know, but for the sake of clarity and repetitive memory, I bring it up anyway.


  2.  

    Have you downloaded Rb+ yet?

     

    I got it... Been making some plans for it. I haven't poke around on it yet, but it's in my scope; first 2D and then 3D stuff once I've got the hang of things. Programming is still the newest of an old concept at this point so I just record ideas so I don't forget them based on Jag manual other sources... I'm bound to hit on something worthwhile. Got things going on in my home life so time can be an issue.


  3. Please, please, please, before offering advice and making plans, make something that can support your opinion.

     

    Because right now it's cringeworthy. Do you really think past and current Jaguar developers never read the docs?

     

    Well that's why they call this a forum right... So i can put my opinions out there. If opinions can't be freely given, then that defeats the purpose having a forum. You know as well as I know that the DSP is only 32bit processor that have full access to main ram unhinged without a workaround at full speed despite being on a 16bit bus, it's the only processor that controls all of the i/O ports on the system and is sited by Atari themselves for these facts.


  4. What gaming history has proven, time and time again, is that superior hardware is often not what wins out. Money for development and marketing, relationships with 3rd party publishers, with retailers, that's what can be the difference. Regardless, the Jaguar was inferior in actual capabilities than the Saturn, Playstation and Nintendo64. It was better than the 3DO, but not by much. It displayed far less colors than the big 3. The polygon count was 10% of those, which is laughable. It had less RAM, and the sound was hideous compared to the others. Having multiple CPU's was also shown to often be a detriment, as the PS1 and N64 were easier to code on than the Saturn.

     

    I remember when I first wanted to do Jaguar stuff, I thought the Jag could do what the PlayStation 1 was doing back in the late 90s till I got wise over a period of time... Deep down I wanted the Jag to do something on the level of the PS1 or the Sega Saturn, which it can but with limitations due to all of the hardware issues. The topic is turning into a history topic a bit, but can be very necessary in trying to find out what's actually feasible for the Jaguar and what's not. The PS2 had a crap load of processors in it and was considered hard to program, but was very flexible at the same time with more stuff to work with compared to a single processor 3D game console with a graphics chip. Because of that, the range of what's possible is wider, but for the Jaguar, you actually have to look backwards in time before all of the trendy stuff that was out by SGI, Sun Workstation, and other graphic systems that were out around the Jaguar release in the mid 90s that could do what the Jaguar couldn't do... Maybe a few things you can find here and there from consoles like the PS1, Saturn, and N64 that can be applicable for the Jaguar if you're lucky, but you need a very different and exclusive pipe-line when it comes to the Atari Jaguar. Any modern pipeline even Open GL 1.0 would be a challenge for the Jag without making some very extreme and specific optimizations.


  5. The DSP really is the best processor considering that it's the only chip that has full access to main memory and has the highest system priority... The whole idea of cutting off the 68000 always kind-of rub off as a bit of a waste in resource, but is perfectly understandable when it comes to it slowing the other processors down. At least the 68k has full access to memory versus the GPU. Memory is gold even on a unified architecture; I think all of the real action should happen with the DSP and 68K while GPU just drawing stuff to screen; it's just one big sprite machine with a lot of programmability. I think a decent 3D engine can be made using the just those two processors as a means of taking advantage of the their access to main memory.


  6. This is a great topic... I ran into this topic googling FPU. I think today you can use more modern controllers that have FPU on them, which you can get very cheaply. Then there the atmeltiny chips you can buy for less than a dollar in some cases that can be used on an Atari 2600 to help breath some new life into these old system; I have no problems that. I'm still waiting on the Atari 7800 XM module that'll will worthy sound processors for such a graphical 8-bit system with extra ram to do more stuff with the 6502 CPU. I wish I had the skill to do my own cartridge to help enhance the retro Atari 2600 and bring it to the 21st century; call it cheating or whatever, I see no problems using extra hardware even if it is a little overkill for the Atari 8s. Consider it to be like the FX chip for the SNES or the SVP cartridge for the Genesis, imagine a virtual racer style game for the 2600.

     

    • Like 1

  7. I'd like to see how the Jaguar handle spline and b-spline based 3D, a more bi-cubical style 3D graphics in games... I first took notice of bi-cubical in the game "Star-fighter" for the 3DO with all of the blocky polygons covering the landscape; the Acorn PC version uses even lesser graphics than the 3DO and it had a little bit more to it's hardware; the ground almost look mode 7 like, but I know that's just the way the texture maps look to accommodate hardware that may not have a lot of ram sticks. One computer system I like to look at is an old graphics workstation called the "Adage 3000", which was a 68000 terminal based computer system controlling a larger floor model that had boards that rendered 3D graphics using a series of 4bit AMD 2901 bit-slicers much like the ones used in the "Star Wars" arcade math box as part of a custom "Bipolar Processor", only their hardware was built around "Splines, B-Spines, and Bi-Cubical Surface" rendering techniques the company developed over the years prior. Although the Adage 3000 was a good system, it didn't have no where near what the Jaguar had hardware wise. It was considered the first GPU of its time in the late 70s and early 80s. Their hardware wasn't as powerful as the Jaguar, but they had a more well rounded system design that's still impressive for it's time frame. People always point to the SGI computer stuff (which could much of what the Adage could), but the Adage predated the old "Iris 2400 Workstation Computer" that also had the Motorola 68000 controlling a floor model using custom chips. Bottom line I think the Jag falls in line as a more advanced version of the graphic workstation computers of old with more perks than those old systems versus a PlayStation 1 or Sega Saturn. I could go on and on about that kind of stuff, but I'll just leave it here since it'll be a "YouTube Overload" with my post to help illustrate.

     

    You know the crazy thing about the Adage 3000 was that Atari had an Adage Workstation was that Atari owned an Adage computer and used to do some graphics work for the movie "Superman 3" dodging missiles being launched at him... Didn't the movie release around 1982 or 83? They probably used it to do graphic work for the "Firefox Laser Disc Game" as well; who knows? Just a note worthy mention.

     

    https://youtu.be/pKgt5IX-HVA

     

     

     


  8. I use to post long worded stuff like... Still do sometimes, but the consensus is to keep it short and direct to the point. Sometimes people just have a lot on your mind and want to get it out there. I know I like posting ideas I have, but I found the best thing to do is to write/type the idea down on MS Word or a rich text format and save it for later. It's a great learning tool when you go back and read something you wrote sometime ago and realize something about the idea you didn't quite see the first time around. It forces you to go back and look again; that is if you still believe in your ideas and want to see it come to fruition. Sometimes it can take you places one wouldn't think it would take you; just remember where ever you go, there you are... Just keep moving.


  9. Well... I had a lot of fun making songs on Jaytrax. It was the very first synth based software I worked on before I even knew what a synth software or mod tracker was. By the time I found out about mod trackers and I tried my hand with composing with a tracker, it felt like I was going backwards. Before then I was using a midi program called "WinJam" and found that my music didn't sound the same on every PC. I consistently used the program from 99 to about 08 until I moved on to "FL Studios", to ultimately investing in synthesizers so I'm somewhat in a transitioning period music wise thus I haven't really composed anything in a while. If you ever decide to make a user interface for your sound engine, go with a piano roll style interface like the one used in Jaytrax or FL studio. The guy who made Jaytrax once asked how to improve on his software because of the songs I was making on it and I wish I'd gave him the advise I'm giving now. To this day I've yet to use a classic mod tracker; doesn't feel very natural, but I guess the learning curb must always be overcome. The way the mod tracks can be arranged in Jaytrax made for the UI almost as seamless as a piano roll style interface only you place the modules in place like building blocks; I might do a tutorial on how it works for better or for whatever. I think the best way to reach people is in layman's terms and Jaytrax was a very easy to use.

     

    It's still a great program in its own right... The only reason I posted this in the Atari Jaguar forum was to archive the work I did back in the day for a couple of games including an entry I did back for a "Protector SE" contest I did when Songbird were holding for the release of an old Atari ST or Amiga game Carl Forhan ported over; very exciting times back then. I knew it was a shot in the dark, but you work with the tools you know how to use. I've included "Protector" contest entry music file in the downloads; not my best work, but it's all there for the listening.

     

    I tell you what... I'll load one of the last songs I worked on in Jaytrax back in 07 called "Ghost... AAAhhhh!" to illustrate what was possible... It almost fully utilizes Jaytrax synth capabilities and I still never fully utilize all that Jaytrax could offer. The song features "Microsoft Sam" in a very eerie voice at the end. I had a lot of fun making it. Jaytrax was a great program, where I had to learn sound editing from scratch in order to get results. I hope the post shine some light on the old program, I'd hate to see it fade into obscurity without some way to archive it. Tutorials could be in the future for this topic (Stay Tuned).

     

    "Edited"

    Ok... I just added a song called "Bump-N-Non-Stop", which is one of the first if not the first songs I did back in 99 or 2000... Perhaps you can hear a comparison of how far along I'd came with the program over the years. It's a shame I didn't get off into the Atari ST stuff early on; I wish I had TBH. I was still learning how to use Jaytrax when I did this one.

    Ghost... AAAhhhh Quality Sounds (Philip Wood (C) 2007).zip

    Bump-N-Non-Stop (Philip Wood (c) 2000).zip


  10. As with most things in Jag there are challenges and a balancing act to be had. Sound wise there is certainly more room for improvement, (well certainly from my offerings :D) beyond the trusty old 4 channel Amiga tracker mod days, but I doubt anything like a full Jaytrax mod is going to be possible in a useful way on the Jag, perhaps with some limitations on the features and channels etc, but you also need to get someone with the time to code up the player too!

     

    Yea I figured that out years ago Jaytrax uses full 16bit mono sounds at 16 sound channels; not to mention that each synth sound can use 1 oscillators and 2 source per synth controlling the output sounds... The program did, however start off as an Amiga based synth before being moved to the PC with probably less channels, less sounds, and less bit depth. The Jag doesn't the bus width or the cpu power handle Jaytrax. It's shame that the bus bottleneck hinders cause so much conflict of interest with the processors; if the DSP could at least pull off SNES style music, that would be a thrill, but even the SNES sound chip sat on it's own separate bus with it's own dedicated memory. Old keyboards like the "Casio CZ-1" (which got the CZ 5000 about a year ago) uses 2 oscillators sitting on a board separate from what the CPU sits on controlling up to 8 sounds simultaneously. It was suppose to be a cheaper alternative to the Yamaha DX series. I just found it interesting the keyboard is controlled by an 8bit NEC processor that's only 4mghz; not custom chip like the DX keyboards did. Those were dedicated machines unlike the Jaguar DSP setup. I could go on and on about that kind of think like the 1986 "Sequential Prophet Vector Synthesizer" being controlled by a 68000 processor... I like to see more than 8 channels of sound come from the Jaguar even if the sounds are cheap and low bit-depths. Here are some examples of some cheap synth or sound sample manipulation using 8bit processors to produce music except for the C64 cubase example.

     

     

    This one uses 1bit synthesis of stacks of click sounds the Spectrum would naturally produce in the form of synth.

     


  11. Ok here's some song not included with the files I've uploaded I composed using "Jaytrax Sequencer"... I have tons of music I've done over the years that very few know about until now. It's kind of the nature of thousands of mod files people create that never seem to make the light of day. Think of all of the Atari ST and Amiga mod files that never really got the recognition it deserved or the composers. Mod tracker composers really are the most widely known and unknown people on earth; for you mod tracker composers, I feel your pain. Keep composing my friends. lol :D

     

    "Pacman Intermission"

     

    "Sound So Good"

     

    "The Old West Spirit"

     

    "Atomic Breakdown"


  12. It's been some years since I composed any music so what I'm posting is a bit of a throwback for me... Attached to this post is a zip that contains a musical sequencer in tradition to a mod tracker... Actually it was my first mod tracker before I even knew what a mod tracker was. Although it doesn't support mod tracker files, it's very much based off of the way the mod tracker works internal; the only difference is the way the actual tracks are arranged. It functions almost like a piano roll only not as flexible; more like building building blocks. The track is placed in a module you can name and the blocks are assembled together in the "Song Editor" much like a piano roll. What makes this program different from the typical mod tracker is that it has a subtractive polyphonic synthesizer created by a man name "Reinier VonVliet" who actually gave me the program for free at a time when he was selling Jaytrax for profit "great guy". He originally created the synthesizer on an Amiga computer and moved it over to the IBM compatible PC where he expanded on it. It was made to run on a 386 or higher, but required more CPU power as the synthesizer become more complex at the user discretion; the more stuff you added to your synth sound, the more cpu was needed so you composed at your own risk or the program would crash so saving often was golden rule back in the late 90s. Bottom line I've used this old program cause for me it got the job done despite becoming dated over time; I only with it could've been ported over to the Jag some kind of way, but it's wishful thinking at this point. However, considering that keyboards from the early 80s like the "Casio CZ Series" used only 8-bit NEC processor (4mghz) versus the Yamaha DX that had customized YM chips in them to do all of the synthesis, the Jaguar can handle a complicated synthesizer with some bells an whistle.

     

     

    What makes this topic Atari Jaguar related is I composed music for Starcats "Jagmind and Jagworm" a few years back... I've included both song files including some work I did for "Jason Greene" for a SHMUP game that was never finished for the Atari Jaguar CD platform; probably some of the finest work I've done using Jaytrax. All of the songs can be found obviously in the "Song Folder"... Like the mod tracker, some songs have multiple sub-songs in them you can access by clicking the "Sub Song" drop-down button at the opening of the program.

     

    Well very few even heard of "Jaytrax" let alone ever used the program; it's very well capable to use today to compose music... It can still crash on you from time to time even on a modern PC, but I had fun using it over the years making music. For the record hope this work will kind-of fill you in on some things I've done in the past; I don't use the program anymore like I use to. These days I collect synthesizers, the "Roland JD-XA" being my most recent one in hopes to getting back to tinkering with music again. Maybe one day I'll make a tutorial on how to actually used "Jaytrax"... The interface was fairly decent for the time I used it until I found better programs.

     

    In the mean time here's a picture of how to access "Sub Songs" circled in red once a song is loaded. In order to open a song, just click "Project" then "Open Song" to browse to the "Song Folder". Once the song is loaded, simply click the "Play button" at the bottom to hear the music and the "Stop Button" to stop the track from playing. Sometimes certain instruments will continue to play in a loop even after you click the "Stop Button"; if that happens, simply press the "Space-Bar" bring the song to a complete stop. It is a very early and last version of the program before it got moved to mobile apps in the early 2000s.

     

    I hope you enjoy; be blessed.

    Jaytrax Free Version.zip

    post-3526-0-19703700-1532480720.jpg

    • Like 2

  13.  

    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.

     

    That's why I said not without the help of the RISC... The OP alone scales sprites, but a mode 7 like affect can rotate a background sprite or make it appear like it's rotating on multiple layers using multiple sprites. "Super Contra" for the SNES did this demonstrated that effect on the second level using SNES mode 7; something similar can be done on the Jaguar, that much is clear. In the case of "Red Zone" for the Genesis, it appears that sprite rotation is 2D polygon based so the goal for the Atari Jaguar would be to find a balance between the two to yield a better result... But yea I see how that sort of statement can throw someone off and sometimes I do forget certain details from the Jaguar manual, however my point was/is to show it is possible if not unconventionally, but with the Jaguar unconventional seems to be the rule if you want to get something really special out of it as far as visual are concerned. For ever flaw the Jag has, there are some benefits so there's always a way to do something if you really want it done; but I've always been an optimistic dude. I haven't fully felt the pain of programming the Jaguar yet. lol

     

    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.

     

    Agreed... Just something I'd like to personally see done for myself and I know others who would like to see more 3D content for the Jag. It's a project I started on some years back that I like to see finished.


  14. 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

     

    • Like 1

  15. Why ? I have an export toolset from 3dsmax. Whatever track I make, it will be in 3dsmax. Do you have any idea how much time would be burnt trying to figure out the format of the track, first importing it, then decoding, then exporting to my format and only then I would find lots of issues, as the track was modelled to satisfy the requirements of a different engine. Absolutely not worth the time...

     

     

    Why not make a proof of concept 3D engine on PC first based on what you already know about the Jaguar... That way you can make your own format ready to go when you implement/migrate 3D engine concept to the Atari Jaguar. Not to knock what you've already have done, just a prototype done on PC based on the work you've already have done on the Jaguar and establish a framework between the PC and Jaguar for 3D engine?

     

    I have an export toolset from 3dsmax. Whatever track I make, it will be in 3dsmax.

     

     

    I haven't done any serious 3D modeling in 3D max in a long time... I've almost forgotten how to use Max. Here's something I did back in 05 taking up a 3D surfacing class for CAD back in 05. The model was done using "Nurbs or Spline" modelling; later I would learn box modelling, but that's another story. The image was based off of a 2D drawing. I got to get back into 3D modeling... I miss it. Making Jag games would certainly help get me back to getting my stride in 3D stuff.

    post-3526-0-00320000-1531772986.jpg

    • Like 2

  16. Because the Jag itself can't code, you need Floods of competent progammers for that with Floods of freetime. And we are not even talking about gfx and game design, which probably Need Floods of Talent and commitment too. Then poor game design and code cant be blamed with Hardware Bugs, and unrealistic, lofty projects married with unadequate abilities in programming and art skills most likely won't be finished.

     

    True enough... That's always been the issue with the Jaguar back then and even more so today. Maybe one day that'll change.

     

    Back from the dead after 13 years!

     

    Lol...! :D Time flies.


  17. Man I sure was clueless back in those days... I'd barely read all the way through the Jaguar manual back in 05, but was familiar with the unofficial "Jaguar Dox"... This topic hasn't been touched since 2005 until today... Time sure flies.

     

    How exactly do you think that his flash card device would suit for a better jag cd?
    Now you could connect the jag to a pc but that would still not let you use its cd rom drive. What do you meant? Your post made me curious
    Peter

     

    For the record, here's my super late response... Back then I had "Protector SE" game cartridge which had a copy of good old "BJL" limited when you press a certain button number on the control pad for a few seconds. I had trouble getting it going using the then newer version of Windows XP 64 and didn't really understand the mechanics of how it all worked. You needed a "printer2jag" connector for connecting a PC to a Jaguar via the printer port. Otherwise the old BJL (Behind Jaguar Lines) required replacing the Jaguar bios chip with one that contained the BJL firmware in order to bypass the cartridge encryption, which plagued the Jaguar community to no end before the official Atari encryption key was found making it possible for flash cartridge like the Skunkboard and the up coming SD cartridge possible. This is an old topic and very late in response which seem to have been the ending point to this relevant topic, but it's a bit fun to run down the history to all of that stuff as I currently understand it. Why let the knowledge go to waste???

     

    I guess the idea of reverse engineering the Atari Jaguar chip sets was a bit of a none issue even back then, but than again... Has anyone ever considered reverse engineering the Jaguar? I'm not talking about unscrewing the motherboard from the case and having a look-see at the circuit board; well yes that too... I'm talking about cracking open the processors and chips itself to see what their made of... Chances are if you're still tinkering around programming the Jaguar after all of these years, you may as well go all the way with it %100 or just plain move on in life. lol Below is a video of the infamous Capcom "CPS1" arcade board that's being pretty much dissected revealing the graphic inner workings and so-on. I'd like to see something like this for the Jag system. I know topic is a bit of a throw back, but I think it's still a relevant topic... Wouldn't it be cool to have a public scrutiny of the Jaguar's inner workings like you see in the video below reverse engineering?

     

    • Like 3

  18.  

    I think the Jag could handle this game pretty well.

     

     

    Man I remember years ago I wanted to do the "Sega SVP" thing on the Atari 7800; basically a cartridge with a dsp on it for the 7800 to do some 3D stuff on that system... I still do in a way. At one time I thought the 7800 could handled limited 3D before I got a little better educated on some stuff; I mean it is possible, just not in the way that I thought and it's probably similar with the 3D stuff I'd like to do with the Jaguar although I'm always looking for ways to get around things if possible, but that's just something/a dream rather that I'm personally chasing and whatever I post sometimes have a lot to do with my own personal opinions and doesn't always reflect others; I'm still in the learning stages. The beauty about this "I-Robot" arcade system was that it featured the 8bit Motorola 6809 with four 4bit amd 2901 bit slicers on it to do 3D math (Mathbox). Looking up info on the 2901 I've learned a lot about how widely used the chip was in Universities and industry on system that required that extra horsepower before the use of PCs become a household thing.

     

    The good thing about today concerning the Jaguar is the available information out there now that wasn't always as easy to get previously when only a few people really knew how to get most out of the Jaguar, but I think it'll all boil down to the understanding of fundamentals more than anything and for me that would be learning Assembly "where the rubber meets the road", but to each their own; whatever is easier I say go for it. At this point any good game release is better than no game release, but i hope to push the system as far as I can push it and because of that, I have a lot of crazy ideas that probably wouldn't catch on as well as I would like it to as been the case in the past. lol

    • Like 1

  19. It's a bit related and not related at the same time I just ran into this old commercial concerning the "S.T.U.N.Runner" arcade hardware. At the moment I'm just posting for kicks; I thought about this post when I saw this. The arcade used 2 TMS DSP processors for "Hard Drivin" simulator/arcade... The commercial highlights the "TMS 34010", which I thought was very interesting worth posting.

     

    http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=770

     

    • Like 2
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