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Schmudde

More Impressive 3D Engine: Rebellion vs. ID

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I was playing a little Doom last night, after a 90+ minute engagement with Skyhammer, and it got me thinking about how Rebellion's work on the Jaguar stacked up against the king of 90s 3D, id. I broke it down like this: Doom wins out on framerate, lighting, and draw distances; Alien Vs. Predator wins out on resolution.

 

The framerate of AvP isn't all that bad - playing as the Alien is evidence of that - but the lighting and especially the draw distances pale in comparison to Doom. Certain textures in Doom look particularly low resolution (I'm thinking of the animated skull graphics on the walls in later levels) but the game never breaks stride or slows down. I'd throw Skyhammer in the mix, I think the game is awesome and looks great, but it seems unfair as parts of the game do feel like they could use a little polish.

 

I suppose we could consider Hover Strike: UL as well. The lighting effects are killer in that game. But I don't think the environment is as complex.

 

So what do you think is the most impressive fully texture mapped 3D engine on the Jaguar?

 

Edited by Schmudde

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IIRC AvP and Doom are not 3D but raycasted, so not a fair comparison with 3D environment games like Hoverstrike and I-War for example.

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IIRC AvP and Doom are not 3D but raycasted, so not a fair comparison with 3D environment games like Hoverstrike and I-War for example.

 

Fair enough. I wasn't being technically accurate enough. I could revise the title:

More Impressive Use of Raycasting: Rebellion (AvP, Skyhammer) vs. ID (Doom, Wolfenstein)
and submit another topic of consideration
More Impressive True 3D Engine: Zero5, Hoverstrike: UL, Battlemorph, etc...
The only problem here is that I think that the raycasting in Doom "looks more impressive" than the 3D in Cybermorph. So I'm not sure if the technique is as important as the end result, a 3D (pseudo or not) environment.

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Raycasting looks like texture mapped polygons to a point. It's really the level design in Doom that makes you forget it's not *really* 3D.

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Fair enough. I wasn't being technically accurate enough. I could revise the title:

More Impressive Use of Raycasting: Rebellion (AvP, Skyhammer) vs. ID (Doom, Wolfenstein)
and submit another topic of consideration
More Impressive True 3D Engine: Zero5, Hoverstrike: UL, Battlemorph, etc...
The only problem here is that I think that the raycasting in Doom "looks more impressive" than the 3D in Cybermorph. So I'm not sure if the technique is as important as the end result, a 3D (pseudo or not) environment.

 

 

You are correct. Raycasting merely gives the impression of texture-mapping, although there is no actual texture mapping happening.

 

That's why, from visual-standpoint, you can't discount the engine. It's merely incomparable (as in : apples vs harvesters)

 

Of course, as an end user, you can't help but notice the visual difference, and that's OK as long as you acknowledge the inherent limitation of the comparison.

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I've always felt that (frustratingly) the various 3D games for the jaguar (raycasted, polygon, voxel .etc) all have different strengths and weaknesses and that no single one decisively beats out the rest.

 

Phase Zero is a great looking voxel engine, but I thought the resolution seemed a little low and there are many areas that probably would've been polished prior to release.

 

Battlemorph uses quite a few different techniques (high mapping, Goraud shading, texture mapping, light sourcing .etc) but imo the rather poor draw distance can be disorienting at first.

 

Missile Command 3D has some impressive environments and the boss phases look great but for the majority of the game you are just shooting at falling spikes. Perhaps unfair to allow the weakest points to taint my opinion of the 3D engine in general. I feel the same way about zero 5 - the first person missions look great, but the third person space segment where you're just shooting at geometric shapes kind of taints the graphic quality of the package as a whole.

 

Fight for life is really impressive, but the models and the pace of the game really kill it.

 

I-war looks good but the whole game is rather generic.

 

.etc

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The render cost of outdoor vs indoor scenes has always been several orders of magnitude higher. On PC, we got realistically looking indoor scenes easily 10 years ago. But it took multiple generations of gfx cards till the outdoor quality became bearable-even Crysis was a flickering LOD hell.

 

Thus, the visual comparison between , say, AVP and Battlemorph is inappropriate.

 

if the goal is to achieve the highest visual fidelity, then you must combine multiple approaches - voxels for terrain and ray casting for indoor scenes. Not impossible. Just an awful lot of work...

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Fair enough. I wasn't being technically accurate enough. I could revise the title:

More Impressive Use of Raycasting: Rebellion (AvP, Skyhammer) vs. ID (Doom, Wolfenstein)
and submit another topic of consideration
More Impressive True 3D Engine: Zero5, Hoverstrike: UL, Battlemorph, etc...
The only problem here is that I think that the raycasting in Doom "looks more impressive" than the 3D in Cybermorph. So I'm not sure if the technique is as important as the end result, a 3D (pseudo or not) environment.

 

 

I was just pointing out that they are different, perhaps a more general theme for best visuals of a 1st/3rd person game would fit?

 

For my own take on things I think there are various pro's and con's with each. Doom's environments are more complex than AvPs (angular walls, varying heights of walls/floors etc) whereas AvP is more akin to Wolfenstein with it's single height walls and no angles. It has a higher resolution than Wolf which makes things nicer, does start to feel a little sluggish if you leave the overlayed map on tho.

 

I imagine the limitations of the hardware and short life of the Jag restricted much development of the engine's used, Doom may be possible with higher resolution graphics and less simplistic levels with similar detail possible in AvP.

 

Back in the day I fount AvP very atmospheric and tense to play and it still one of the very few Jag games I have played to completion. Doom I had played on the PC prior to the Jag version so had little interest in what was effectively a crippled port of it, the graphics are good, but not as good to the PC version I was used to.

 

Overall I found texture use on the Jag visually horrible, the resolution was too low, and it quickly became a rather tatty mess of confusing pixels and hard angles. Perhaps with more time someone could have released something pretty and fun to play. Of those I have put time into AvP I think gets the vote from me for best visuals on the Jag.

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For me the best 3D engine is Iron Soldier's.

 

THe horizon is very far, and the frame rate is good. In Iron soldier 2 there are more texture. BUt of course it would be nice to see Iron soldier 3 on Jaguar butr I guest we can still dream about it ....

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Overall I found texture use on Jag Doom visually horrible, the resolution was too low, and it quickly became a rather tatty mess of confusing pixels and hard angles. Perhaps with more time someone could have released something pretty and fun to play. Of those I have put time into AvP I think gets the vote from me for best visuals on the Jag.

 

Glad you said tbh, as the resolution seems to be something that's often overlooked re: Jag Doom. I still enjoy a blast from time to time, but the resolution is really low...

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For me the best 3D engine is Iron Soldier's.

 

THe horizon is very far, and the frame rate is good. In Iron soldier 2 there are more texture...

 

I'd have to agree. Iron Solider and Iron Soldier 2 consistently impress me whenever I sit down with either of them. IS2 on cart, especially.

 

Although texture maps were on the up, I really wish we had received more super smooth and sexy early 90's simple poly looking titles.

 

Hell, as shoddy as Club Drive was as an overall experience, the framerate (rotating wheels not withstanding! :-D ) was great.

 

Conversely, had Checkered Flag even HAD a framerate, I reckon that game would have looked and sounded (great music!) awesome.

 

Someone with "da skillz" seriously needs to put together a professionally finished/looking, dedicated, IS1 & IS2 controller, more simplistic yet akin to the Steel Batallion controller for Xbox! :P

 

-

 

steel_battalion_controller__44108.136155

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I think Willard kind of hits the nail on the head:

 

I've always felt that (frustratingly) the various 3D games for the jaguar (raycasted, polygon, voxel .etc) all have different strengths and weaknesses and that no single one decisively beats out the rest.

 

Phase Zero is a great looking voxel engine, but I thought the resolution seemed a little low and there are many areas that probably would've been polished prior to release.

 

Battlemorph uses quite a few different techniques (high mapping, Goraud shading, texture mapping, light sourcing .etc) but imo the rather poor draw distance can be disorienting at first.

 

Missile Command 3D has some impressive environments and the boss phases look great but for the majority of the game you are just shooting at falling spikes. Perhaps unfair to allow the weakest points to taint my opinion of the 3D engine in general. I feel the same way about zero 5 - the first person missions look great, but the third person space segment where you're just shooting at geometric shapes kind of taints the graphic quality of the package as a whole.

 

Fight for life is really impressive, but the models and the pace of the game really kill it.

 

I-war looks good but the whole game is rather generic.

 

.etc

 

But to try and draw a conclusion:

 

It seems that Iron Soldier 2 is the most well-rounded 3D experience. It feels like Eclipse worked within the limitations of the Jaguar and put together the complete package with IS 1 + 2. What I mean by that, is that the levels are really tightly contained but enjoyable. The 3D world didn't have to draw far into the distance.

 

I think that Battlemorph is a great looking game but the draw distances really detract from the overall effect. I've never been a fan of ATD's work, but this seems like their finest moment.

 

It also seems that the choices Rebellion made to create AvP were pretty smart. Large Wolfenstein-like levels with Doom-like pseudo 3D graphics that were impressive at the time. Putting yourself back in 1994, these aren't easy decisions to make. Atari was depending on them to create a system seller. The pressure to make something great was probably pretty high. Consider this in comparison to what Kasumi Ninja delivered or the Tiny Toons project just wilting - two other titles that I think Atari had high hopes for.

 

It's a shame they struck out so hard with Checkered Flag's polygon engine.

 

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It's a shame they struck out so hard with Checkered Flag's polygon engine.

 

It's a total shame. Polygonal racers were a huge deal in the early '90s, and they were typically what helped move new consoles at the time (3DO had Crash 'n Burn, PS1 had Ridge Racer, Saturn had Daytona USA, and the 32X had Virtua Racing Deluxe). I think had Checkered Flag been a high quality experience (or at least had a nice framerate and better controls), it may have really helped to push systems.

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3DO had Crash 'n Burn...

 

Random. Would have though NFS would have been the first 3D racer for 3DO to pop into your head tbh? Was out quite a bit before the SAT & PS1 versions too.

 

Crash 'n Burn is still awesome though!

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Random. Would have though NFS would have been the first 3D racer for 3DO to pop into your head tbh? Was out quite a bit before the SAT & PS1 versions too.

 

Crash 'n Burn is still awesome though!

 

Right.. In general, yes, but I was referring to launches and/or close to launch. NFS wasn't for at least a year later as far as I know. Crash 'n Burn was jaw-dropping in '93 when it was released, and probably helped push what little systems it could (barring the 3DO's astronomical price).

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I think Willard kind of hits the nail on the head:

 

 

But to try and draw a conclusion:

 

It seems that Iron Soldier 2 is the most well-rounded 3D experience. It feels like Eclipse worked within the limitations of the Jaguar and put together the complete package with IS 1 + 2. What I mean by that, is that the levels are really tightly contained but enjoyable. The 3D world didn't have to draw far into the distance.

 

I think that Battlemorph is a great looking game but the draw distances really detract from the overall effect. I've never been a fan of ATD's work, but this seems like their finest moment.

 

It also seems that the choices Rebellion made to create AvP were pretty smart. Large Wolfenstein-like levels with Doom-like pseudo 3D graphics that were impressive at the time. Putting yourself back in 1994, these aren't easy decisions to make. Atari was depending on them to create a system seller. The pressure to make something great was probably pretty high. Consider this in comparison to what Kasumi Ninja delivered or the Tiny Toons project just wilting - two other titles that I think Atari had high hopes for.

 

It's a shame they struck out so hard with Checkered Flag's polygon engine.

 

 

I think Checkered Flag and Club Drive killed the console because it seemed like the press turned on the Jaguar with those two titles. To me, it seems like Rebellion put all of their development efforts into AvP and Checkered Flag was a sloppy afterthought for them.

 

Then there's Sensible Soccer which also was an embarrassment for a 64-bit console.

 

It also didn't help that Ubisoft took the Sony bribe money to delay the release of Rayman for the Jaguar until the Playstation was released and thus we the Jaguar owners ended up with the press comparing a cartridge version with a disc version on the competing platform.

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I was playing a little Doom last night, after a 90+ minute engagement with Skyhammer, and it got me thinking about how Rebellion's work on the Jaguar stacked up against the king of 90s 3D, id. I broke it down like this: Doom wins out on framerate, lighting, and draw distances; Alien Vs. Predator wins out on resolution.

 

The framerate of AvP isn't all that bad - playing as the Alien is evidence of that - but the lighting and especially the draw distances pale in comparison to Doom. Certain textures in Doom look particularly low resolution (I'm thinking of the animated skull graphics on the walls in later levels) but the game never breaks stride or slows down. I'd throw Skyhammer in the mix, I think the game is awesome and looks great, but it seems unfair as parts of the game do feel like they could use a little polish.

 

I suppose we could consider Hover Strike: UL as well. The lighting effects are killer in that game. But I don't think the environment is as complex.

 

So what do you think is the most impressive fully texture mapped 3D engine on the Jaguar?

 

 

 

I was thinking the other day how SkyHammer is sort of a "flying" version of HoverStrike. I've been playing HoverStrike on cartridge lately just because I don't feel like hooking up my CD drive, but I seem to recall that the CD version (which I have) was considerably better. I just remember the graphics, lighting, music and sound all to be substantially better. Not the resolution or the framerate (I don't know? just doubt it), but more effects all around. I really like SkyHammer too... it feels a lot like HoverStrike. But based on my experience, it felt like the HoverStrike graphics were a bit more crisp than the ones on SkyHammer. SkyHammer is still an EXCELLENT game. It's one of those games (there are several) that I am REALLY happy that Carl put in the effort to make it happen.

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With all due respects, 82-T/A...... I don't get it that you are so affraid to use your Jag CD :?

 

If there is one thing that can go bad (because of age or extensive use), it's the laser which can easily be replaced, IF it breaks at all.

 

Plug it in, play Hover Strike CD and have a good time :)

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With all due respects, 82-T/A...... I don't get it that you are so affraid to use your Jag CD :?

 

If there is one thing that can go bad (because of age or extensive use), it's the laser which can easily be replaced, IF it breaks at all.

 

Plug it in, play Hover Strike CD and have a good time :)

 

 

It's a combination of things...

 

for one, it makes the system much too tall to properly fit in the cabinet that I keep my games (in a wardrobe in my bedroom), second, it's way too much of a pain in the butt for me to have to plug in two of those gigantic A/C adaptors, third... the load times are kind of annoying.

 

I used to play my Jag CD all the time several years ago... just too much hassle for right now, not so much about the fear of it breaking (to be honest).

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My dream Jaguar title (well, one of many): AVP 2, with the picture quality of the first AVP, but with the complexity, versatility and speed of the Doom engine. Oh and it would be on cd so we can have music and tons of game content.

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The CD doesn't work like that.....

 

You are actually more constrained for content when using it due to the lack of 4mb cart address space, because you have to cram *everything* into 2mb of RAM.

 

My dream Jaguar title (well, one of many): AVP 2, with the picture quality of the first AVP, but with the complexity, versatility and speed of the Doom engine. Oh and it would be on cd so we can have music and tons of game content.

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