Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by philipj

  1. My answer to the first question was that I don't really have time, which is currently true at least as far as games go (plus I can't draw sprites to save my life which is why I stuck with STOS 3D on the ST/Falcon) as my Jaguar focus is hardware although I have started to do a little Jaguar Assembly programming as I need it to test the hardware.


    As for the second question, I think more/better tutorials might help but they be hard to grasp espically when they are in a language you do not understand (C in my case). It may be helpful if tutorials showed the code in BASIC, Assembler and C as having code for all three languages side by side can both help understanding and make it easier for those who want/need to convert their programming skills from one language to another.

    Personally I would like to be able to program the Jag in BASIC as I don't really have the time and probably the intelligence to learn anything else and BASIC is both a language that is easy to learn and one I am already familiar with it plus I think it produces much nicer and easier to read code than C for example...


    BASIC is...

    Print "Hello" ' Print Hello


    C is...



    fprint("Hello"); */Print Hello /*



    or something close to that.


    To me C seems to require a lot of extra typing and syntax just to do the same thing as BASIC and I find all those damn brackets just make the code messy, confusing and difficult to read and that is for simple stuff never mind when they are nested as that gets even more confusing. For me BASIC just does things so much better, no opening and closing of comments or functions, no semicolon to indicate the end of the line, you don't have to tell BASIC to include the instructions before you can use them as they are always available but maybe thats just me.


    There's a book called "Atari Player Missle Graphics in BASIC" that I've been reading and following on and off. I did a couple of examples in it and found it pretty rewarding in renewing my interest in learning how to program. I still have a great deal to go as far as understanding how it works, but I find it somewhat simplistic. I first became interested in BASIC when I ran into this book called "Animation How-To," which used a raytracing program called "Polyray (the raytracer that existed before POV Ray). This book used QBASIC as a visualation tool to plot scenes before porting it over Polyray language to actually render the 3D scenes. It was a cheap alternative for plotting scenes at a time when DOS was the normal on 286 and 386 PCs was considered an average computer; unless you had a couple of thousands of dollars to get a high end 3D program in the early 90s, programs like Polyray and POV Ray was the next best thing. I didn't know a thing about BASIC, but I always wanted to learn just to use Polyray. These days I'm using BASIC to learn how the Antic and GTIA work beyond just reading about what all it can do.


  2. "The RISCs are vital to getting maximum performance from the Jag"


    Whilst the statement above is of course completely true - it doesn't mean that decent, fun games can't be coded with very limited use of these chips.


    There's the sinster mod player out there, the blitter can be controlled from the 68k quite adequately. There's a lot of 68k code and tutorials and even the possibility of using C on it.

    A simple, fun project can thus be launched in 2D using mainly the 68k - and that would be a good place to start, then as one's skill develops, moving sections to the RISCs could provide a way of maturing one's abilities - i worry sometimes that by placing too much stress on the GPU we put too much pressure on people to push the jag to its limits - a lot of fun games don't need to do that.


    Having said that i think it would be a terrible pity if nobody tried to push the boundaries - maybe there's room for both>



    Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see more games push the Jaguar to its limits as well, but if I had to choose between pushing the system and great design, I would always choose great design.



    I agree with you. However if no one learns to push it to its limits, we will never get any closer to what we really want. Games that push the Jaguar and have great design. :)


    Most definetly... Everyone bags on the Jag about this and that; about how it isn't a 64bit system and all of that nonsense... You know what I really would like to see what the Jag can do, but at the same time, I'd rather have games made for the jag system then no games made for it all. It's better to do a little at a time and then work your way up then to not do it all so I welcome any game development at this point.

    • Like 1

  3. I think most of us won't attempt programming because it seems so confusing, mathematical, tedious, hard, time consuming etc. :) I have DREAMED of making a super cool Jaguar game, but it won't happen until I have unlimited free time and money. :P Maybe in... 30 years? LOL


    I can seem like from time to time. :)

  4. I've always wanted to make a 3D engine for the Jag... I've worked on the conceptual side of creating one; I even did an article on it a while back on another forum called "3D in a 2D Universe" to kick things off and stir up interest. I've always beleive that the Jag is a complete 2D monster and 2.5D is the way to go with the Jag because 2D is the Jags most strongest area of processing (Phase Zero anyone?). I still touch it from time to time and I certainly haven't let go of the idea... The Jag is just one of those systems where you really got to want to program for it if you're going to get any where with it.


    Lately I've been looking at the Atari 8s since I purchased an 1200XL, studying how the Antic and GTIA works for various reasons... But these days I really have deal with real life first and the Atari Jaguar second. I hope to someday make a racing game for the Atari Jaguar as well as some other genera of games... My only concern is how much interest would be in new games for the Jag without the drama? That's why you really have to want to program the Jag if you want to get anything productive out of it and for me that's the possibility of making really cool Jag games.

  5. You sure you understand the idiom that "it doesn't hold a candle". Take another example: Atari 800 doesn't hold a candle to Pentium IV PCs. That means that you can still have a few things that Atari 800 has superior to modern PCs (like fastboot, better joysticks, etc.) and still that statement is true. GroovyBee is wrong and you are too for agreeing with him. Sorry, but just biasing a machine for a certain hardware aspect doesn't make it superior. It doesn't hold a candle to so many other features of A8 which NES and other 8-bit consoles lack.



    I understand that and YOU can stop being so condescending. The feature line items the A8 had over the NES were basically irrelevant to the hordes playing the SMB series, Kirby series, and other well regarded franchises on the title. My point was the NES was very good at such games and developing them was relatively easy. Can the A8 be cudgeled into doing such a game? Sure, but it isn't easy or quick and the results are debatable. We basically have Crownland and a small handful of other titles to hold up in that regard and the number will stay small because the limited talent and expense pool for creating them probably isn't going care about the no doubt voluminous feature list you'll reply to this with.


    Are we talking about the same point here-- doesn't look like it. When you compare a computer system with a console, the computer automatically gets a whole bunch of advantages so even with you more tiles or another channel or two of sounds don't hold a candle to what the A8 can do. A8 is well-rounded in terms of its computing capabilities whereas NES and some others like 7800 are stressing just sprites or tiles. NES has very little RAM, no scanline based IRQs, no WSYNC, serialized joystick ports, less colors, very little sprite collision/priority registers, NO KB/Disk drive, etc. etc. Doesn't matter if you can build a few games targetting its strengths that show up a little better.


    The NES IS superior for big-world tile based games and those were the "killer apps" for the console. To be sure, the A8 has it all over the NES for Ballblazer but Ballblazer wasn't what was making the NES a hit. The A8 can no doubt show some superiorities in other areas but so what? They aren't terribly relevant to type of gaming that started predominating in the mid eighties.


    And while I'm on the point of "quick and easy", the A8 can truly do some astounding things in the hands of a super talented developer even things that aren't easily replicated elsewhere. But to middle of the bell curve devs, the A8 doesn't yield it's treasures easily or quickly and platforms like the NES did.


    It's the reverse; it's the middle of the bell curve applications/games where A8 wins. See explanation above. A8 shows the major strengths; NES is good just for a few games biased towards its tiles. And that cartridge connector isn't a big thing either. Stressing one aspect of the hardware and then claiming it superior over A8 is the exact faulty logic that I was disputing.


    It would seem like that a computer would be better structured then a game console just made for sprite animation... Considering the times, most of the arcades were mostly sprite based machines, not including the vector arcades, thus defined what was needed to make video games during that time. Game systems like the NES were task specific graphics and sound computers to produce a certain product, which were the sprite based video games, that sold very well during that time. But the A8 computers seemed more flexible then an NES because of it's well rounded system design. Keep in mind that video game crash, due to an over satuation of sprite based games, made sprites the norm/industry standard; so for sprite based games the NES served its purpose. But to me it seems like the A8 (as you-all call them) has more flexibility especially when you consider how much more RAM it had over the NES. That alone seems like it would've gave some kind of graphical momentum over the NES even though it couldn't display sprites and tiles as fast as an NES. 64K is a lot of RAM compared to 2K was it the NES sported?

  6. The other day I was thinking about the Nintendo versus an XE computer and came to the conclusion that those XE's really could've gave the NES a run for its money. Just from a hardware standpoint, the NES just doesn't hold a candle to an XE.


    I can't agree with that statement. The NES can push far more background tiles and sprites than the XE can. However, that's a discussion for another thread so I'll leave it at that.


    You should leave it for another thread, but you didn't. Sorry, you can disagree all you want but it doesn't affect reality that sprites don't make a system superior or inferior. And what sprites are you talking about; they aren't that great on NES. Any computer would do better than a console given the greater flexibility a computer offers. NES-- let's see 2KB RAM standard (less than even the crippled 7800), less colors, no DLIs, no ANTIC processing for various combinations of graphics modes, etc. etc.


    I was kind of thinking along those same lines... I'm just now reading up on the Atari 8-bit computer inner makings. The biggest problem with the 2600 was that the 6502 had to control every aspect of the bus, which cut cycles for graphics and gameplay. The computers, however had the freddie chip that controled the bus and left the CPU free to do more then a 2600 or an NES. Plus it had 64k of RAM with an Antic and GTIA that had 16 graphic modes.


    Any ways I was just checking up on the progess of the "New GTIA's" as the topic title goes... When I saw the "8-bit TV Computer" it just reminded me of this topic and I was just curious about the new GTIA; didn't want to go off topic, which was why I kept my first comments short so I wouldn't let my enthusiasm get the best me comparing hardware. Just checking up on the new GTIA's. ;)


    Any new releases comming out soon? :lust:


    I saw this link a few minutes ago and thought about this topic... Think there might be a chance for a re-release of the old 8-bit computers? :lust:


    8-bit TV-Computer


    I would have loved to see an Atari flashback computer like this. I believe the topic was discussed once before. I just can't find the topic now.


    I wouldn't doubt it... It would've been cool if a cartridge connector was put on those things... Oh... Also including those two button Atari 7800 pad controllers, you know the one we didn't get in the U.S., would be great. :cool:

  7. I saw this link a few minutes ago and thought about this topic... Think there might be a chance for a re-release of the old 8-bit computers?


    Its a NOAC too.


    The other day I was thinking about the Nintendo versus an XE computer and came to the conclusion that those XE's really could've gave the NES a run for its money. Just from a hardware standpoint, the NES just doesn't hold a candle to an XE.

  8. I doubt it. They designers made it pretty clear that they considered that the "real" CPU (as in "central processing") in the Jaguar was the RISC GPU, and that the 68k was to be used only as a bootstrap.

    I always wanted to know the story behind this one! Atari was QUITE clear that Tom was the CPU and the 68K was just there to 'read the joysticks'.


    But the actual netlists refer to the 68K as the CPU and Tom's processing system as the GPU. I always found that surprising. I wonder if marketing helped push the Tom-as-CPU idea or if that's something the chip makers felt all along.


    The dev manuals are somewhere in the middle... they usually call the 68K the CPU, but there's a couple of paragraphs downplaying its use.


    I always got mixed messages from the dev manuals. At times it seems like the GPU was designed mainly for transform, lighting, and rasterization -- most of the discussion of the GPU is in the context of how to make it do that. Every now and then they mention in vague terms that you could do other things with it, like a real CPU.


    There's almost a complete lack of discussion about game logic in the dev manuals -- it's all about graphical effects. That may be part of why so many people used the 68K for game logic -- there's no help and few hints in the manual about how you could run the system any other way.


    - KS


    It was also my assumption that the GPU was meant to be the central processor unit... Wasn't it Atari who first suggested to turn the M68K off in some document out there? They may have said that after the fact they discover how much havoc the M68K reeked on the system bus.

  9. I remember reading books about how old raytracers would take up to 2 and 3 days to render stuff.

    I have done CGI for televisions with Amiga and waited weeks to render stuff...


    Yea I've been there too... I did a three minute architectual walk through using about 16 workstations on campus. Of course this was back in 2005 using 3D Viz (a watered down version of 3D Max) with radiocity turned on. I remember the room would get so hot, I'd had to step out of there because it was a summertime... All of the fans in the PCs were running. It took about a good 2 or three weeks to render, I was a work-study student so I could render things when classes weren't in session including weekends, but I figured I had too many details 3D house like furniture and other little details.


    Of course I can't imagine an 8-bit to do anything like that... That's just unrealistic. But to see some kind of 3D work done on an 8-bit is a novelty. :D

  10. Here's a neat little article I ran into a few weeks back... Does anyone remember this article and has anyone ever done any Raytracing on the 8-bit computers at all? I know I've seen some 3D demos on youtube, but has anyone ever did any kind of raytracing?



    Hard Wired Raytracing

    I did some raytracing on some workstations for a computer graphics class in college but never attempted it on an 8 bit.

    It took long enough on the workstations. You could do it on an 8 bit but it would take forever.


    I could only imagine... I remember reading books about how old raytracers would take up to 2 and 3 days to render stuff.




    I know many raytracing demos for the A8 but only one raytracing (calculating?) program. It is called "Atari Raytracer" by Karl Pelzer. I never used this program, thus I am not sure if it really calculates raytracing stuff or if it simply uses pre-calculated / converted pictures. Anyways, most A8 raytracing demos were converted from the ST or Amiga and do require XRAM (128k, 320k or even 1MB), only a few demos work on 64k Atari XL/XE computers...


    Ray1MBxx: (where xx is disk and side number): This demo uses various Gr. 15 screens converted from Amiga or Atari ST, it requires 1 Megabyte of XRAM though (think there are better demos which do require less RAM)...


    Ray320k: This one uses Gr. 8 screens and requires 320k memory (256k XRAM, blocks 8ACE as in AM/TOMS/Newell/Rambo/etc.), the effect is quite simple but okayish...


    RayAnim: There are three different animations by Karl Pelzer in Gr. 8 resolution, type a) 1,2 or 3 to choose the animation then type b) 1, 2, 3 or 4 to choose the speed; should run on 64k or 128k machines...


    Ray128k: A raytracing demo named "Landscape" by Karl Pelzer with Gr. 9+11 (256-colour) pictures, it uses only 4 pics for the animation; alas, the graphics have quite some high flicker and the ani requires a 128k machine...


    Shiny bubbles: A raytracing demo with 10 animated pictures, requires 128k to run...


    Demos14: Raytracing XL, a raytracing demo ripped from the C64, thus 64k RAM is enough...


    Demos15: Shiny Bubbles with half screen resolution, therefore runs on a 64k machine...


    WAF-Demo: Side B, boot without Basic, press START for the next part - there is one raytracing part, that uses Gr. 9+11 and requires 128k to run...


    Raytracx.ATR: Atari-Raytracer by Karl Pelzer, written in TB XL and german language, works on 64k or 128k machines (includes some sample pics)...


    Besides these, I also created lots of TIP-Animations that show raytracing (but like the name says, these are only 256-colour pictures converted from GIF animations into TIP animations)... -Andreas Koch.


    Thanks a bunch... I'll give them a try on an emulator. It's neat to see someone one have tried their luck raytracing with the 8-bits. I've got any old 1200XL (keyboards' broken) and a 130XE (no power supply) I found at a local flea market, but I know very little about it's history in 3D usage. I'd like to try my luck with them someday.


    Now that I think about it, you'd need a lot of memory to render a picture of any complexity.

    Not something 8 bits are good at.


    I know... I was just curious if anyone tried their hand in raytracing for the old 8-bits. But I can certainly imagine how memory can all but detour someone from doing any serious raytracing. I guess the raytracing question was asked out of nostalgia, but still it seem like more would've evolved from the article.

  11. I wonder about the justification for Jerry. On the one hand it is very powerful on paper. On the other hand it's so hamstrung by performance bugs, it's almost impossible to tap that power -- except when synthesizing sound.


    How many games use Jerry for non-sound, non-CD, related tasks? I thought somebody said Jerry was used in Cinepak to improve framerates, but I don't know this first hand.


    Maybe the bugs were a surprise -- in theory Jerry can handle nearly 6x the bandwidth it actually does, but all of the required features to do this are broken or unimplemented in the Jaguar.


    Or maybe they just believed that sound synthesis was a very important feature on its own. After all, the SNES had quite good sound synthesis and that requires DSP-like power to do. Plain old DMA audio mixing, ala Amiga/Falcon, is really limited in comparison. You can forget 3D processing and Q-Sound and Dolby and the other kind of stuff that was pushed at the time. Jerry was capable of all of that.


    DMA audio mixing is also a pretty big waste of cartridge space. No biggie for CD games but they may have wanted something "smarter" (like the SNES) to save cart space.

    - KS


    Not to go off topic here, but I have to say SPC format for the Super Nintendo really was a great sound format that yeild a lot great music and sound effects. I know it was really task specific for SNES sound chip, however the concept behind SPC is solid, kind of similar to how the "Casio Tone Bank keyboards" works where a small chunk of a looping sound wave is stretched and modified in realtime to make long musical key notes. If only Jerry had more internal RAM to hold more data. I would like to here more then 8 channels of sound where only 4 is used for music and the other 4 is used for sound effects. I always felt that the Jag could do more then 8 channels of sound considering that Jerry is a little flexible with more instructions then the SNES sound chip. Didn't mean to go off topic here, I just had to throw that out there. :lust:

  12. If the midi files are available, it could be possible to find a synthesized solution to adding music to the game. The Jag is in much need of a music player that plays more than four channels for music and four channels for sound fx.

  13. Hi Lars,


    My study is complete, I have my degree in game design and when ever I'm not busy with work, I spend my freetime working hard on Eerievale again.

    You got your priorities right. Career first, then hobby programming.

    Congratulations on your degree, and I'm sure it will do well for you.

    Glad to know you're still working on Eerievale. That's persistence. :-)


    Richard / JustClaws.


    That's awesome... It's funny where this Jag programming stuff can take you. I took a class in "Design Visualization" just so I could learn how to 3D model and eventually make a game. Congrats on your degree. :thumbsup: :)


    is the ps2 controller adapter a reality? seems like this would be the best way to finally have a joystick for fighting games on the jag



    Although the Jag have a few good fighting games, I'd like to see a Tekken style game with the same level of quality... Don't get me wrong; FFL is a good 3D fighter, but it can't hold a stick against Tekken 2 and 3. A PS2 controller would be just the thing to make a great gamming experience. :D

  14. I've always thought of the Jag to be a 2D monster... It's just a matter of capitalizing on it's 2D capabilities by tricking the Jag into do things it wasn't designed to do. I've worked on a 2.5D game engine concept, but that's all it is; a concept. It would be cool to see more homebrews in that regard. :idea: ;) :)

  15. Look, if your child is dressing like a goth, and / or wearing trench coats every day... and you see that OTHER kids are not doing it... then chances are it's not a phase... "there's something wrong". Find out what's wrong...

    You're supposing just being part of a certain sub-culture automatically shows "something's wrong"?

    Your survey could be better, it is not abysmal however.


    Looking back on it now after the fact, yea I agree... It could've been better. The requirements of the report I did was that I either do an interview with a professional in the subject I was doing the report on, or do a survey. I choose the survey because it was easier to do one of those on line and get instant results in order to meet that requirement. I was so busy trying to rush things out the door, when I started on project I didn't know where to begin. Doing a paper is one thing but doing an interview is another... When I did the questions I didn't even do any internet research on the topic let alone had the insight on exactly what I was going to ask, plus the deadline to turn everything in was just around the corner. So I ask some general purpose questions, basically shooting in the dark, posted the survey and voila... I met my requirement thus half the work was done in that respect. Now that I got my survey questions out of the way, I could focus on the paper, which I'll probably post in the near future.



    Being that the survey was up before I wrote the paper using "Survey Monkey," being able to monitor the results in realtime really help to bring the paper to life, because it wasn't based on just piecing together information I snagged here and there from the internet, but was very interactive in a way because people, 99 of them to be excact, responded to the survey with comments. This really helped a big deal to figure out how my paper would be written, so put the questions out there wasn't a total lost in the least. In the future, however, I'm going to give a little bit more thought before I conduct a survey... After all it was apart of the learning experience... The next time I'll be better prepared. :)

  16. If could do so, I'd start with the "CoJag" games like "Area 51 or Maximum Force." Of course it would have to stream from a PC to a Jag via Skunkboard or something to that affect, but I do know that much is possible if nothing else is possible. That would be a great starting point. :lust:

  17. The survey will be up until "March 4th, 2010" so feel free to continue in filling out the survey for those who haven't done so yet. And leave plenty of comments if you want. Thanks a bunch. :) :thumbsup:


    Atariage won't let me use the edit feature to remove the link...


    Hmmm....the survey isn't working. But let me sum it up with one VERY valid point. My favorite genre of games are first-person shooters. I grew up with Doom, hell, we used to play it in school in my social worker's office for boys group. I still remember him having the cheats on a chalkboard in the room as well.


    I play these games A LOT. Yet, I'm a very smart person and very peaceful....unless I need to fight when I believe I'm being screwed or my character judged. Yet, according to Senator Lieberman and the United States Government, I'm supposed to be a violent person with no regard for society. Well, sheeeeeit, who'da thunk it?


    Point is, I'm not a mindless drone. I'm a human being. I feel, I love, and I care. Games don't change me. Well, except for my hand-eye coordination. It's very good thanks to games like Doom, Mario, and Tetris.


    The government is just a bunch of old, rich, white men in suits who listen to classical music and are more backwards in their time period than the Afghanis. Remember though, they did the same thing to movies in the late 60's, porn flicks, and rock and roll music. In 20 years when we're old enough to be elected, watch this debate slow to a sizzle.


    Because instead of focusing on a war that we shouldn't be in, our economy, our unemployment, and corruption(I live in NJ so I know ALL about it), they rather worry about trivial things like this.


    What did I just say? Oh, I guess I'm not a "mindless drone of violence" after all. If I were, I probably wouldn't have put this together.


    So, in layman's terms, my answer is that violent video games DO NOT affect a person unless that person wants it to.


    Really the government have no business trying to be big brother... It seem like the more they try to control people the more they wind up putting their foot in their mouths. Most of everyone that took the survey echos your statement:

    my answer is that violent video games DO NOT affect a person unless that person wants it to.


    Hey philipj, your survey aint working!


    Sorry about that guys... But the deadly for the survey was March 4, 2010, I guess I should've hammered that deadline a little more to make sure everyone knew. I presented the paper last night and it went pretty well... The survey really added to the paper I presented, I made power point presentation to aid me in my discussion and it went better than anticipated. To tell you the truth I was sweating bullets standing up there, but I got the feeling that it went well. I almost talked past my time limit... I really have to work on that, but the project was a success. I have my good grade for the quarter--that's all that counts. :D :thumbsup:

  • Create New...