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Tomb Raider & Swagman for the Jag

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Remember that Sega's AM2 had a lot of expertise on 3D from the arcade. 3D techology was already at the arcades for 1-2 years before it was going to be translated to home consoles. So maybe it was black art but surely not a black box. Many believed Sega has the edge over SONY because of their arcade expierence and their R&D developmnet staff was well expierenced with 3D rendering technology.

"Black box" actually would have been better. That was the approach that Sony took, by having the GPU hardware handle everything. In the Saturn's case, you needed to code 100% of the rendering engine yourself. Being a "black art", there wouldn't have been enough arcade programmers to help handle the number of games that needed to be produced. And even if there were, arcade programming is a different experience. The hardware and software are developed together, allowing for a lot of flexibility in design. Consoles constrain the programmer to a degree that may very well have hampered the more hardware oriented arcade designers.

 

Again, there just wasn't that much experience to go around. It took a lot of time for everyone to get up to speed on what was possible, and produce games based on that.

 

No way. The 200-300 polygons of Lara alone would make the Jaguar cry. The scenery consists of more than 20-30 polys, for sure. :ponder:

Multiply with 100 and its more like it is.

One of the great things about Tomb Raider (and I say that with the utmost sarcasm) is that you could easily see the seams of the polys.

191414.jpeg

Let's all count together now! 1... 2... 3...

 

Summa summarum I guess more than 60 000 polys are caculated per second. Too much for the cat.

Holy @#[email protected] Batman!!!! I can guarantee that you're off by at least an order of magnitude there. Actually, I take that back. You said "60,000/sec", which means 2,000/frame at 30 frames per second. Even then, that's probably unrealistic. Using the various Quake engines as a comparison:

 

From Abrash: "A Quake level might have a maximum of 500 potentially drawable polygons that get placed into the edge list."

From Ace's: "Quake 2 used 3,000 polygons per scene".

 

I think it's safe to say that Tomb Raider was less sophisticated than Quake. (Definitely less than Quake 2.) Best case would be on par with Quake's engine. So you're probably still off by an order of magnitude. Using the maximum case Abrash gave for Quake I, we'd get 30 * 500 = 15,000 polygons per second going into the edge list. The majority of those polys are obscured, so the actual draw is significantly less. So your estimates are way too high.

 

BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

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Actually, I take that back. You said "60,000/sec", which means 2,000/frame at 30 frames per second.

 

One of the graphics engines I wrote on the PS1, pushed about 3000 @ 30fps in 512 x 240 resolution even. :ponder:

 

Oh, and the Saturn doesn't have textured polygons, it has what the manual calls "distorted sprites". Those were really wicked, but making all geometry out of quads wasn't that cool.

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Remember that Sega's AM2 had a lot of expertise on 3D from the arcade. 3D techology was already at the arcades for 1-2 years before it was going to be translated to home consoles. So maybe it was black art but surely not a black box. Many believed Sega has the edge over SONY because of their arcade expierence and their R&D developmnet staff was well expierenced with 3D rendering technology.

"Black box" actually would have been better. That was the approach that Sony took, by having the GPU hardware handle everything. In the Saturn's case, you needed to code 100% of the rendering engine yourself. Being a "black art", there wouldn't have been enough arcade programmers to help handle the number of games that needed to be produced. And even if there were, arcade programming is a different experience. The hardware and software are developed together, allowing for a lot of flexibility in design. Consoles constrain the programmer to a degree that may very well have hampered the more hardware oriented arcade designers.

 

Again, there just wasn't that much experience to go around. It took a lot of time for everyone to get up to speed on what was possible, and produce games based on that.

 

No way. The 200-300 polygons of Lara alone would make the Jaguar cry. The scenery consists of more than 20-30 polys, for sure. :ponder:

Multiply with 100 and its more like it is.

One of the great things about Tomb Raider (and I say that with the utmost sarcasm) is that you could easily see the seams of the polys.

191414.jpeg

Let's all count together now! 1... 2... 3...

 

Summa summarum I guess more than 60 000 polys are caculated per second. Too much for the cat.

Holy @#[email protected] Batman!!!! I can guarantee that you're off by at least an order of magnitude there. Actually, I take that back. You said "60,000/sec", which means 2,000/frame at 30 frames per second. Even then, that's probably unrealistic. Using the various Quake engines as a comparison:

 

From Abrash: "A Quake level might have a maximum of 500 potentially drawable polygons that get placed into the edge list."

From Ace's: "Quake 2 used 3,000 polygons per scene".

 

I think it's safe to say that Tomb Raider was less sophisticated than Quake. (Definitely less than Quake 2.) Best case would be on par with Quake's engine. So you're probably still off by an order of magnitude. Using the maximum case Abrash gave for Quake I, we'd get 30 * 500 = 15,000 polygons per second going into the edge list. The majority of those polys are obscured, so the actual draw is significantly less. So your estimates are way too high.

 

[

 

Makes counting a bit harder ;)

Edited by agradeneu

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

 

One of the graphics engines I wrote on the PS1, pushed about 3000 @ 30fps in 512 x 240 resolution even. :ponder:

I'm not surprised. He just switched between polys per scene to polys per second. So I was taken aback for a moment. Still, his poly count is high for Tomb Raider.

 

Oh, and the Saturn doesn't have textured polygons, it has what the manual calls "distorted sprites".

Also known as "Affine Texture Mapping". ;)

 

Those were really wicked, but making all geometry out of quads wasn't that cool.

Funny story about that. When I was writing one of my first 3D engines, I got the idea that it would be easier to create a texture mapper based on Bresenham's line algo if I used Quads instead of Triangles. It was a neat idea, but I only later realized why everyone else could make more interesting geometry. :lol:

 

The algo could have actually been adapted to use Triangles, but I was too new to the idea of texture mapping to realize that you didn't need to map the entire image at once. So I was making my own life easier by assuming a 1:1 relation between the polygon and the texture image. I wonder how that would have looked if I'd used images of different resolutions? :P

 

Yes it does, but it's not as bad as you think. If you pay attention, Tomb Raider had a lot of very large surface quads. Texture mapping and a few odd angles here and there were used to confuse the eye into believing that the scene was more complex than it really was. It's probably not even as complex as this scene from Quake:

236626.jpeg

Yet Tomb Raider looks more complex on the screen. The truth is, though, it's mostly just a pixelated mess.

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Oh, and the Saturn doesn't have textured polygons, it has what the manual calls "distorted sprites".

Also known as "Affine Texture Mapping". ;)

 

Have you ever seen what happens when you take the bottom two corners of one of their distorted sprites and flip them? It's unlike anything I have ever seen, probably due to the fact that they weren't really polygons. :D

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Have you ever seen what happens when you take the bottom two corners of one of their distorted sprites and flip them? It's unlike anything I have ever seen, probably due to the fact that they weren't really polygons. :D

Depends on the rendering algo, but yeah, I think I know what you're talking about. When I did my Bresenham renderer, there was this really weird glitch at a specific angle that would result in the swap two of the vertices. The result was... interesting. :P

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Have you ever seen what happens when you take the bottom two corners of one of their distorted sprites and flip them? It's unlike anything I have ever seen, probably due to the fact that they weren't really polygons. :D

Depends on the rendering algo, but yeah, I think I know what you're talking about. When I did my Bresenham renderer, there was this really weird glitch at a specific angle that would result in the swap two of the vertices. The result was... interesting. :P

 

Normally, in 3D hardware, a quad collapses and forms something like:

 

>

 

on the Saturn, it actually distorts into:

 

)(

 

If you string a bunch of them together (and rotate the verts properly), you can simulate perfect looking spirals, it's bizarre. :cool:

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

If only Atari knew the concepts of "optimize" and "playtest" I still love the game but what the hell were they thinking with the Dark Stages?? "I know! Lets make a level where you can't see anything.. the frame rate would be through the ROOF! Also lets throw in some "Flares" that do jack shit and pack it up." How many polygons on screen could the Jag handle?

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Normally, in 3D hardware, a quad collapses and forms something like:

 

><

 

on the Saturn, it actually distorts into:

 

)(

 

If you string a bunch of them together (and rotate the verts properly), you can simulate perfect looking spirals, it's bizarre. :cool:

Really? That is bizarre! It would almost be worth finding out how that works just to reimplement it for spirals in other engines. :D

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

 

BS is predominantly gouraud shaded with some small 'decal' texture maps for interest.

IS2 and Battle morph texture a bit, but they're not exactly all textures.

BIWN textures a bit, but its engine is strongly constricted and the near plane clipping/texture warp is simply appalling.

So unfortunately HS:UL and Skyhammer(i dont have this so i don't know how many DOF its working in) probably have the largest number of texmaps at any kind of fps.

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Oh, and the Saturn doesn't have textured polygons, it has what the manual calls "distorted sprites".

Also known as "Affine Texture Mapping". ;)

 

Have you ever seen what happens when you take the bottom two corners of one of their distorted sprites and flip them? It's unlike anything I have ever seen, probably due to the fact that they weren't really polygons. :D

 

They often look exactly like distorted sprites. Pixelated mess. :sad:

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

 

One of the graphics engines I wrote on the PS1, pushed about 3000 @ 30fps in 512 x 240 resolution even. :ponder:

I'm not surprised. He just switched between polys per scene to polys per second. So I was taken aback for a moment. Still, his poly count is high for Tomb Raider.

 

Oh, and the Saturn doesn't have textured polygons, it has what the manual calls "distorted sprites".

Also known as "Affine Texture Mapping". ;)

 

Those were really wicked, but making all geometry out of quads wasn't that cool.

Funny story about that. When I was writing one of my first 3D engines, I got the idea that it would be easier to create a texture mapper based on Bresenham's line algo if I used Quads instead of Triangles. It was a neat idea, but I only later realized why everyone else could make more interesting geometry. :lol:

 

The algo could have actually been adapted to use Triangles, but I was too new to the idea of texture mapping to realize that you didn't need to map the entire image at once. So I was making my own life easier by assuming a 1:1 relation between the polygon and the texture image. I wonder how that would have looked if I'd used images of different resolutions? :P

 

Yes it does, but it's not as bad as you think. If you pay attention, Tomb Raider had a lot of very large surface quads. Texture mapping and a few odd angles here and there were used to confuse the eye into believing that the scene was more complex than it really was. It's probably not even as complex as this scene from Quake:

236626.jpeg

Yet Tomb Raider looks more complex on the screen. The truth is, though, it's mostly just a pixelated mess.

 

 

Even if so, its clear that TR moves more than 20-30 polys around. It's not possible on the Jaguar.

Quake was written for low spec Pentium machines and its a software renderer which is wholly based on CPU horsepower. Both Saturn and Playstation are far beyond that specs.

It was very PC specific written and it's software rendering heritage shows off with rather primitive lighting and brownish texture maps.

I don't know why they even bother to port Quake to the Saturn. Its not worth the trouble. Thats probably the reason why the PSX never got a port.

PSX specificly written engines got much better performance and visuals. Instead PSX got later Quake 2, which was a very respectable port.

 

 

 

http://www.idsoftware.com/games/consoles/q...ages/full04.jpg

Edited by agradeneu

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I don't know why they even bother to port Quake to the Saturn. Its not worth the trouble. Thats probably the reason why the PSX never got a port.

 

I know I´m going to sound like a broken record here, but Quake on the Saturn is simply an amazing game, both technically and playwise. It´s got dynamic, colored lighting which is better than what even the PC version could muster. Lobotomy´s Slavedriver engine doesn´t even seem to hurt while copying most of what made the PC game great while adding stuff that makes the game distinctively "Saturn".

 

No deathmatch, but that´s about it. And where did it get poor reviews anyway? Every single review I´ve read placed it in the A category.

 

EDIT: And the Saturn version´s not a port as such. Lobotomy re-built it from scratch and let the Slavedriver Engine do the rest.

Edited by Palmer Eldritch

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Even if so, its clear that TR moves more than 20-30 polys around.

10-20 on average, just for the background. Lara is definitely more complex, but there are some wonderful computational tricks that can be utilized to only paint the visible polygons. According to Rebellion Software:

the Jaguar can render "10,000 Gourard shaded, large, 65536 color, any shape polygons per second," while still performing other tasks.

These guys probably knew better than anyone what the Jag was capable of.

 

Quake was written for low spec Pentium machines and its a software renderer which is wholly based on CPU horsepower. It was very PC specific written and it's software rendering heritage shows off with rather primitive lighting and brownish texture maps.

The brownish texture maps were due to the limited color pallette of the PC. Quake was designed for 256 color mode, and thus had to make due with a limited number of colors. For some unknown reason, id preferred browns. Quake, like Tomb Raider, could be made 3D Accelerated with the right version. Of course, 3D acceleration on S3 Virge and Voodoo cards only helped Tomb Raider if the CPU wasn't powerful enough. Quake, OTOH, was designed with the ability to scale up in mind. GL Quake shows this off fairly nicely.

 

I don't know why they even bother to port Quake to the Saturn. Its not worth the trouble. Thats probably the reason why the PSX never got a port.

A lot more households had game systems than PC computers back in those days, so there was value in porting computer games. It was probably never ported to the PSX because it wasn't that good of a game. Quake fans know that official and semiofficial mods like Quakeworld and CTF were what actually made it entertaining. The regular single-player game was duller than dull. :P

 

Instead PSX got later Quake 2, which was a very respectable port.

Quake II was a much better game. ;)

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

If only Atari knew the concepts of "optimize" and "playtest" I still love the game but what the hell were they thinking with the Dark Stages?? "I know! Lets make a level where you can't see anything.. the frame rate would be through the ROOF! Also lets throw in some "Flares" that do jack shit and pack it up." How many polygons on screen could the Jag handle?

 

Ok here we go I assume you are talking about the cart version of Hoverstrike not the far superior CD version which has many improvements over the original. The flares work on this version for starters.

 

After doing some searching I have found the Hoverstrike CD uses between 20,000 and 40,000 texture mapped polygons per second at between 15-20 frames per second. It does this in 16-bit colour (cry mode) too which is actully not even possible on the Playstation. Who knows what could have been achieved if this engine was optimised futher. I had heard some programmers say that with code optimisation Hoverstrike: UL could be made to run at up to 60 FPS! :o

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

If only Atari knew the concepts of "optimize" and "playtest" I still love the game but what the hell were they thinking with the Dark Stages?? "I know! Lets make a level where you can't see anything.. the frame rate would be through the ROOF! Also lets throw in some "Flares" that do jack shit and pack it up." How many polygons on screen could the Jag handle?

 

Ok here we go I assume you are talking about the cart version of Hoverstrike not the far superior CD version which has many improvements over the original. The flares work on this version for starters.

 

After doing some searching I have found the Hoverstrike CD uses between 20,000 and 40,000 texture mapped polygons per second at between 15-20 frames per second. It does this in 16-bit colour (cry mode) too which is actully not even possible on the Playstation. Who knows what could have been achieved if this engine was optimised futher. I had heard some programmers say that with code optimisation Hoverstrike: UL could be made to run at up to 60 FPS! :o

 

If you switch the debugger on you'll see the poly counts displayed. It's between 20, 000 and 25, 000. Frame rate is also displayed. It runs between 11-15 frames mostly, sometimes even 9 frames with heavy scenes.

I like to see that running in 60 frames! That would mean 60*1500 polys = 90,000 textured polys per second. Sounds impossible.

I guess the Jag is maxed out with 20, 000 polys. Reduce the poly count or ditch texture maps to gain more frames/second.

BTW most PSX games are running just fine in 16-bit mode with 24- 30 fps.

Edited by agradeneu
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I guess the Jag is maxed out with 20, 000 polys. Reduce the poly count or ditch texture maps to gain more frames/second.

 

Ok......so you still think Tomb Raider is impossible on the Jaguar?

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I guess the Jag is maxed out with 20, 000 polys. Reduce the poly count or ditch texture maps to gain more frames/second.

 

Ok......so you still think Tomb Raider is impossible on the Jaguar?

 

Yes. Hoverstrike crawls around 12 frames even with reduced window size.

Edited by agradeneu

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If you switch the debugger on you'll see the poly counts displayed. It's between 20, 000 and 25, 000. Frame rate is also displayed. It runs between 11-15 frames mostly, sometimes even 9 frames with heavy scenes.

I like to see that running in 60 frames! That would mean 60*1500 polys = 90,000 textured polys per second. Sounds impossible.

I guess the Jag is maxed out with 20, 000 polys. Reduce the poly count or ditch texture maps to gain more frames/second.

BTW most PSX games are running just fine in 16-bit mode with 24- 30 fps.

 

Firstly it is well documented that the debugger is bugged (only on the Jag :D ) when reading Hoverstrike CD (and other games) Secondly my statements came from the programmers themselves and they said that the HS: UL runs at up to 40,000 polys (night levels down to 20k) and lastly the Playstation CANNOT do 16-bit CRY mode when displaying tectured polys FACT

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BTW most PSX games are running just fine in 16-bit mode with 24- 30 fps.

 

You can't even go lower than 16bit (that's considered the crappy resolution), all the really nice looking stuff is in 24bit. :lol:

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BTW most PSX games are running just fine in 16-bit mode with 24- 30 fps.

 

You can't even go lower than 16bit (that's considered the crappy resolution), all the really nice looking stuff is in 24bit. :lol:

 

:D

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If you switch the debugger on you'll see the poly counts displayed. It's between 20, 000 and 25, 000. Frame rate is also displayed. It runs between 11-15 frames mostly, sometimes even 9 frames with heavy scenes.

I like to see that running in 60 frames! That would mean 60*1500 polys = 90,000 textured polys per second. Sounds impossible.

I guess the Jag is maxed out with 20, 000 polys. Reduce the poly count or ditch texture maps to gain more frames/second.

BTW most PSX games are running just fine in 16-bit mode with 24- 30 fps.

 

Firstly it is well documented that the debugger is bugged (only on the Jag :D ) when reading Hoverstrike CD (and other games) Secondly my statements came from the programmers themselves and they said that the HS: UL runs at up to 40,000 polys (night levels down to 20k) and lastly the Playstation CANNOT do 16-bit CRY mode when displaying tectured polys FACT

 

I'd be interested in seeing what they had to say about it. Can you point me to their comments Kieren?

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BTW How many textured polys does Hoverstrike?

Not enough to justify it's terrible framerate, if that's what you mean. From what I hear, Battlesphere was a lot better.

If only Atari knew the concepts of "optimize" and "playtest" I still love the game but what the hell were they thinking with the Dark Stages?? "I know! Lets make a level where you can't see anything.. the frame rate would be through the ROOF! Also lets throw in some "Flares" that do jack shit and pack it up." How many polygons on screen could the Jag handle?

 

Ok here we go I assume you are talking about the cart version of Hoverstrike not the far superior CD version which has many improvements over the original. The flares work on this version for starters.

 

After doing some searching I have found the Hoverstrike CD uses between 20,000 and 40,000 texture mapped polygons per second at between 15-20 frames per second. It does this in 16-bit colour (cry mode) too which is actully not even possible on the Playstation. Who knows what could have been achieved if this engine was optimised futher. I had heard some programmers say that with code optimisation Hoverstrike: UL could be made to run at up to 60 FPS! :o

 

If you switch the debugger on you'll see the poly counts displayed. It's between 20, 000 and 25, 000. Frame rate is also displayed. It runs between 11-15 frames mostly, sometimes even 9 frames with heavy scenes.

 

Just the act of having the debugger display text puts more strain on the Jag. Displaying text for the Jaguar isn't like the PC. The Jag displays text in a bitmap fashion which drags the frame rate down.

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