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phoboz

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Everything posted by phoboz

  1. I am sure that if someone really put the effort into it they could make a great fighting game for the Jaguar (because that is what the Neo Geo is all about, isn't it). I don't think that there are any specific technical limitations to the Jaguar that would prevent that. You have the same, or even more colors etc. If you use the 64-bit RAM in a clever way, because this is were you need to have the graphical data that you are about to display on a 64-bit system. There were indeed some attempts for the Jag, but you don't make a good fighting game just like that. I think that all of us that have played the earlier SNK fighters can agree to that, they didn't shine over night, it took several years of hard work to make a game that was comparable to for example Street Fighter II.
  2. The only reason graphics (sometimes) need to be shifted to RAM on the Jaguar is because 16-bit EPROM simply isn't fast enough for the 64-bit object processor. For example, in Kings of Edom, the title screen I can rendered directly from ROM, as it is only one 192x128 pixels image. In the game, the inventory screen (of the same size) which drawn on top of all the in-game graphics, has to be transfered to RAM before rendering. Because, the wait cycles for reading the 16-bit EPROM slows the whole rendering process down to much (e.g. the image flickers) So if the Neo Geo would have been a 64-bit system, you probably would also need to transfer some graphics to faster memory when very much is going on. Nevertheless, it's something you need to be aware about when programming the Jaguar, I am sure that there are other things you need to think about when are programming the Neo Geo. Of course if you successfully want to port a Neo Geo game you would have to only unpack, and transfer the graphics to RAM when it is needed. So for a fighting game, you will not keep all the animation frames for all the fighter in RAM all the same time. Rather you only load the 2 fighters that are fighting each other, and when they are done, you remove them from RAM to give room for others. PS. The Jaguar is not like a CD based system, because there a lot of things you don't need to transfer to RAM. For example, you never transfer any program code, you can play buffered sound directly from ROM, basically you can have all (non graphical) read only data in ROM. The loading times of the Jaguar (from ROM) is not even of the same magnitude as with a CD-ROM based system, and that was the part that really killed the Neo Geo CD.
  3. Yes I would definitely pack all the graphics in such case. Primal Rage might have been even better on cartridge with packed graphics, because of the more amount of RAM available to use for active animation frames.
  4. A quick check on the Neo Geo specs indicate that 2 Megabytes of RAM should be sufficient: RAM: 214 KB SRAM[27] Main 68000 RAM: 64 KB (32 KB SRAM ×2) Video RAM: 84 KB SRAM Main VRAM: 64 KB (32 KB SRAM ×2) Palette memory: 16 KB (8 KB SRAM ×2) Fast video sprite RAM: 4 KB (2 KB SRAM ×2) Z80 sound RAM: 2 KB SRAM However, if the 3DO version has less animation frames than the Neo Geo version, it might have to do with that you actually need to run everything from RAM on a CD based console. You don't have to do that on the Jaguar, its only the graphics that are in use at a particular time that need to be in the RAM. You can run code, and have lookup tables etc. in ROM. However, it might be that the 4 Megabyte limitation of the cartridge is a limiting factor. On the JagCd, you would have the same limitation as on the 3DO version, e.g. that everything has to be in RAM.
  5. Yes there are a lot of tile-sets on opengameart, but I think that many of the tools that are freely available are based that you develop games in a way you developed games for the Nintendo/SEGA consoles. Because ever since the NES, the norm was to use a character based display e.g. graphical tiles of a fixed resolution to build up a playfield. The Jaguar can be programmed to handled that, however, it is not limited to this. For example, none of the Neo Geo games use a character based display for the scrolling backgrounds. Games like Rayman, and the game below, (which was never released ), does not use such an approach at all. Rather I believe the world is created out of arbitrary sized, quite large sprites that are placed on a big canvas in order to build up the multi-screen playfield. You can do these kind of games with for example Unity, but unfortunately, there is no open tool (that I am aware about) than can be adapted to output configuration data in a way so it can be read by a Jaguar program to render the world. Also I am not sure that many pixels artist are used to create sprites this way, rather than using tiles? Complete game builders, like Unity, are very frustrating to work with, because every time you want to do something not completely according to what is expected, you have to do very complex workarounds. So I am really looking for a generic purpose tool that can put large sprites on a big canvas, define lines for collision detection, and output that data in a format that is easy to read in on the console side.
  6. Yes, and it does not only require good programmers, it also requires good pixels artists. The limitation for the Jaguar was that few took the opportunity to get the most out of the Jaguar's pixel power. There were a lot 16-bit ports, but Rayman was really the game that showed the difference. I think a lot of games from the Neo Geo library would be a great match for the Jag (because the arcade systems, even if the main CPU was 16-bit, they had a lot more graphical power than the home consoles)
  7. I think it has to do with the awareness about the Jaguar. Many retro collectors here are very young, who have only heard tales from their parents about Nintendo, and SEGA. So the prices for the good games for these systems are insane. I think once people discover that the Jaguar can actually offer better 2D pixel graphics than than the 16-bit Nintendo, and SEGA consoles the demand for the Jaguar will become higher. Of course the Jag will also need more games, but there are some new games being developed for the system. For me as a game developer it lies in my interest that as many people as possible can get access to the console to play the games.
  8. Is the Jaguar 2 hardware also an open platform, e.g. are things like the netlists for the custom chipset available?
  9. To bad that no one is investing time in it However, I do not see any lack of second hand Jaguar consoles in Sweden. So I am not afraid it will hard to find in the future. The system was quite hyped when it came during the 90's, so most video rental shops had them... A lot of these consoles are being sold now, as well as games in rental boxes. (actually I like the rental boxes more than the ones for the consumer market, as it's much easier to get access to the cartridge inside them)
  10. There was a project to clone the Jaguar hardware on FPGA. The work was based on the real netlists from the Tom&Jerry chips, which were made public when the Jaguar was declared an open platform. I don't know what happened with the FPGA core, but the most specific part for developing a clone system should already be there, as the FPGA core is open source. The other parts, such as the 68000 CPU etc. are off the shelf components. Of course a major part would be to integrate all of this in the end. https://www.retrorgb.com/mister-atari-jaguar-core-launched.html However, such clone console would probably not be cheaper than a second hand Jaguar console off eBay, as the Tom&Jerry chips require quite a large FPGA, e.g. expensive FPGA. I doubt that the volume would be big enough to motivate re-implemention of Tom&Jerry as ASICs, even if these are cheap per unit, it is very expensive to set up production for the first time.
  11. Propeller arena, and half-life. I don't know if these were officially released, but they were made available in the later days when the Dreamcast was still officially supported.
  12. There are some very nice 2D super scaler games for the Jaguar as well. As it is very good at performing sprite scaling, and image rotation. So you have Super Burnout, Atari Karts, and my own game Wormhole 2000.
  13. I guess the best way to battle this is for the owners of the rights (to these games), is to keep selling them (at a reasonable price)
  14. The first time I saw things that are preserved after permadeath (e.g. between game runs) were in Dead Cells. It gives a very good replay value, that you actually can farm progress by playing the game multiple times. I don't know how many runs I did of that game, but it was crazy. Yes this is now turning out to be a mix of rouge-like and traditional RPG (were you can farm things that are preserved permanently, and to have some story elements)
  15. I have finally come up with the idea what the objective of the game should be. There are 11 "super rare" crowns in the game, which you may (or may not) find during a game round, if you are lucky, and depending on how far you get in the game that time. When you find a crown, it will be saved to chip (so it's remembered even if you turn your Jaguar off) After you have played the game a LOT of times, you might be so lucky that you eventually find all the eleven crowns of the former kings of Edom. Then you should head for the pentagram at the entrance, and initiate the ritual to evoke the 11 kings of Edom. These are the 11 kings of Edom: Timna Alva Jetet Oholibama (this one should be familiar to some of you ) Ela Pinon Kenas Teman Mibsar Magdiel Iram
  16. I implemented a rouge-lite element (non rouge-like), that when you die, your remaining gold is stored to chip (EEPROM). The next time, when starting a new game, the new player "inherits from his father" some of the remaining gold. This you only get to do one time, so after the inheritance is done, the gold is reset back to zero in the EEPROM. This potentially gives the player motivation to play "just one more game", if previously collecting a lot of gold, but didn't manage to spend it before dying.
  17. Torches...like this? (completely random placement)
  18. Thank you for all the suggestions on what to further add/change. I will look into these, and see if it fits into the game. Currently there is no save feature, it would not make sense just save a snap-shoot of the progress, as all is lost when you die (e.g. it is a rouge-like so you have permadeath) But I will save something to chip, in order to keep the player motivated to go back for another round... (maybe not to go as far as they did in "Dead Cells", but I will think about something in that direction)
  19. A longer video of Kings of Edom, so you get to see a little bit more of the game-play. I got lucky this time and got a quite strong character from the beginning. Enjoy:
  20. I might as well describe the rules of the game. In principle, you don't need to know them to play the game. However, you can archive better results by knowing them. I also want to write them down, before I forget myself What you see below is the training menu. The first column shows the skill name, the second shows the required experience points to reach the next level, and the final column shows the current level. The yellow stars you see next to the skill name tells the game that this is a skill you want to improve (e.g. your gained experience points are distributed to advancing the skills you have marked with a star) You may put several stars on one skill, and you have up to 3 stars to distribute. You can change your training settings at any time during the game. Changes won't affect the level you already reached for a certain skill. 1. Strength - When performing a melee attack, a high strength level improves your chances to hit your opponent. 2. Intelligence - Your initial intelligence affects your initial searching skill level (see the last skill) 3. Dexterity - When an opponent performs an attack against you, your dexterity level improves your chances to avoid being hit. (equipping an armor, and a shield further improves your chances to dodge the attack) 4. Toughness - Your initial toughness affects the initial hit-points you get, toughness also helps you to survive hunger for a bit longer (e.g. until you hopefully find more food). 5. Mana - Your initial mana affects your initial searching skill level, whenever your mana level exceeds the mana requirements for a spell in the game, you automatically learn that spell. (you can also learn spells by finding, and reading scrolls) 6. Hitpoints - These are the maximum number of hits you can take before it is game over... Your hit-points can be restored by consuming potions (red), or by executing the heal spell on yourself. 7. Magical Power - When casting a spell, a certain amount of power points are consumed. If you have less power than the requirements of the spell, you cannot cast that spell. Your magical power can be re-filled by consuming elixirs (blue) 8. To-Hit Bonus - This skill directly increases your chances to hit your target (also see skill 1) 9. To-Damage Bonus - This skill adds additional additional points to the damage your equipped weapon causes to your opponent. 10. Searching - When you destroy a destructible object, or push-pull a rock for the first time, you may find an item. Your searching skill increases your chance of finding an item in such cases. This skill also affects the amount of gold, food, and the level of certain items you find.
  21. It seems RPGs take more time to develop. This is also a fact with new consoles, you don't get the RPGs right away (unless a game from another console is being ported). I looked at the list of cancelled Jaguar games, and there were actually quite many RPGs in the pipeline for the Jag. I get 15 hits for "Role-playing game" in this list, at least 7 of them seems to be unique (most notably Centipede 2000): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cancelled_Atari_Jaguar_games Even if RPGs are not necessarily more technically advanced than other games. It is usually expected that they have more content, more options etc.
  22. In my opinion, it's a mix of both. You have the randomness, and the lack of story driven gameplay, which leaves that part to the imagination of the player. However, some tools are given to guide your imagination, like the type of monsters you encounter, the items you find, the spells you learn, how and when to use these, and (especially in this game) the different environments of the levels you travel to... ...each time you play, you get a new kind of adventure... Sometimes you start with very good pre-conditions, then everything runs smoothly. Sometimes you start with poor pre-conditions, then you are in for quite a challenge.
  23. Thank you for being patient. Some more time will be needed before the game is final, but progress has been steady. The game is somewhat in a playable state, but in the end, some fine tuning will be needed to find the correct balance between challenge, and reward.
  24. It wouldn't be impossible to implement monsters that cast spells, but I don't have animation frames for something like an evil wizard. So currently it wouldn't make sense. Also I am running out of cartridge space (despite using packed images), so let's see how much more I can put it. The game currently has 26 levels, a number of different monsters, and quite a lot of items. Intentionally I have only shown the environment on a few of the levels, in order not to spoil everything for you..
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