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Could Road Rash (3DO) be ported to the Jaguar?

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I don't think the Jaguar had a consistent resolution, and it was often well below even 320x240, wasn't it? I also think most 3DO games were 16-bit color depth, although a few touched 24-bit. I think the Jaguar dropped to 8-bit color depth a lot of the time. Again, I could be misremembering with this. In any case, I remember the 3DO resolution - even though it was what we would considered upscaled these days - to be particularly impressive on the TVs of the time at that time.

With 2D 16-bit ports, yes, the Jaguar usually got 8-bit color, Rayman, Bubsy and Zool 2 were 16-bit color depth, even if the latter two didn't use as large a pallette. But the truth of the 3D is, that it was usually done in 16-bit CRY mode, with or without textures and Zero5 is the only polygon game on the Jag that used 8-bit color depth, and alternatively, a lot of 3DO, Saturn and PSX 3D polygon games only used 8-bit color depth, that does not mean all or most, just a lot. The Jaguar should have had more 3D in 8-bit color and it would have improved frame-rates like with Zero5. But games like Tomb Raider on the Saturn and PSX used 8-bit 256 color, they just had good artists to do good blending. And I did use the sign "~" before every time I said 320x240 which means approximately. ALL 32 and 64-bit consoles used approximately 320x240, yes, in the jag's case I think it was usually 320x225, with a slightly more letter-boxed screen than some, but I'm not sure that the other systems had exactly 320x240 either, some games were probably slightly less too.

 

Yes the 3DO (I think it is called interpolation or something like that; it can be found in the 3DO faq or dev. docs) with it's use of all~480 lines did look better back then due to better color saturation since it didn't have black scan-lines every other line like the Jag, Saturn and PSX, and it tended to soften edges too, but the actual game resolutions were still ~320x240. In any case, it even states right on the back of the 3DO box that it is "320x240 (within 640x480)." And the Jag was perfectly cable of a full 240p even if it wasn't used a lot. hell, Doom was ~160x120 (maybe that 120 vertical res was higher, 140? 160? 180? Something else?) except for the status bar at the bottom. Of course this slight difference in resolutions (like 225/240) does not make game graphics in some games or on some systems sharper than the others, it merely changes the window size.

Edited by Gunstar

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Yes, I was thinking things like 1MB of VRAM versus shared with system memory (which is the same on both), higher resolution, two video co-processors, CD-ROM by default (i.e., no limitations as add-on, it was designed from day one with that option in mind), etc. I'm sure there are some things that the Jaguar does better, but, high original price aside (because we're not discussing that obvious disparity, just the technical features), it seems like the 3DO was just engineered better overall with fewer bottlenecks. I'd be happy to hear where the Jaguar has a clear advantage in (for one, I would think pushing certain 2D-centric games it would, since the 3DO didn't seem to do great with things like parallax effects, at least in an obvious example like Super Street Fighter).

 

In any case, none of that really matters, it's what was done with that power that matters. I think in that regard for a variety of reasons the 3DO had more of its potential utilized than the Jaguar, but then that's not exactly a new idea. I'm simply not confident we'll ever see the Jaguar pushed in a way that's been hoped for (and consistently speculated on) by its biggest supporters.

The Jag has 3 video co-proccesors; Blitter, Object, GPU. And the DSP and 68000 can do graphics too, IIRC.

Edited by Gunstar

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ALL 32 and 64-bit consoles used approximately 320x240, yes, in the jag's case I think it was usually 320x225, with a slightly more letter-boxed screen than some, but I'm not sure that the other systems had exactly 320x240 either, some games were probably slightly less too.

The Saturn had some higher resolution modes: [url]http://segaretro.org/Sega_Saturn#Display_Resolutions[/url]. I remember a few of the games from the ST-V (basically an arcade cart version of the Saturn) using the higher resolutions, but not sure of a complete list. Probably around a dozen total.

 

The N64 also had some games that supported 640x480 with the memory expansion pak.

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The Jag has 3 video co-proccesors; Blitter, Object, GPU. And the DSP and 68000 can do graphics too, IIRC.

 

Only one of those is a video processor.

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Only one of those is a video processor.

Sorry, my mistake, I was mixing up graphics and video processors. Or lumping them all together.

Edited by Gunstar

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Zerosquare, on the other hand, what advantages do you think the Jaguar has over the 3DO?, since you already posted on that link the ones 3DO has over the Jaguar. Not just on 3D, but overall. Thanks!

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 on the other hand, what advantages do you think the Jaguar has over the 3DO?

 

i think the raw speed of its single components (processors, bus, ram)

also the colormodes and the Objectprocessor that can be used in many ways (especially on 2d)

more freedom.. but also lot mor tasks for programmers :-(

 

the "disadvantage" against 3do in terms of texturemapping is the V-Ram (only if possible to store imagesources for textures in it .. dont know if it can)

and mostly the hardwaresupport for "basic" texturemapping inside one of 3dos processors. (maybe also basic transparence effects?)

 

for example...

disadvantage: The texturemapping a jagcoder has to "calculate" by its own with the given processors..

advantage: its also possible to gain the texturemapping quality a lot this "manual" way as we see on HS CD

that causes time and knowhow and results in another disadvantage.. 2 factors that avoid a lot for some programmers (like me ;-)

 

i think the point is, how much of the Jaguars "raw" speed the SAME texturecalculations would burn to have SAME result as on 3do (which is possible for sure cause bouth can display pixels on the screen ;-)

if you find out you propably can give an exacter comparsion

 

the question is.. do you or the gamers want the SAME textures.. or do you also agree a tick lower quality.. or want higher quality textures ;-)

 

look at doom.. variation of textures is a little lowered on jag (maybe resolution too.. dont know) .. but the game is much better than e.g. snes or 3do or 32x

its the balance that makes it far better

Edited by Otto1980

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It's quite interesting that the Jag, even with it's lowly line-drawn polygons comes as close as it does to the 3DO's built-in polygon hardware...raw computing power...

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Zerosquare, on the other hand, what advantages do you think the Jaguar has over the 3DO?, since you already posted on that link the ones 3DO has over the Jaguar. Not just on 3D, but overall. Thanks!

No idea. I know very little about the 3DO besides what I posted. But it's enough to see that when it comes to 3D, comparing the Jaguar and the 3DO is comparing apples with oranges.

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Uhh...that's not how that saying works Zerosquare...comparing 2D to 3D would be comparing apples to oranges, comparing 3D to 3D is comparing oranges to oranges or apples to apples...now one orange or apple may be larger than the one you are comparing it with, but it is comparable.

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I believe the reference is that the Jag, when it comes to 3D offers a few instructions rather than full blown support.

Tom's GPU has FMACC (fused multiply and accumulate) which can be used to accelerate matrix math.

Tom's blitter has Gourad blit mode in which you can render one Gourad shaded line per poly per blit (if I don't mistake).

 

Tom's does support few more matrix tricks but they were more geared towards DCT (sound and compression/decompression) which may be used for some matrix speedup (not sure how clever one has to be to exploit it though).

 

So there are bits and pieces rather than full blown 3D support, granted at that time it was better than nothing, not sure Atari shipped a 3D library to help developers either.

 

Finally the CPU of the 3DO was compared to a 25MHz 68030 which may as well be 4x as fast as the 14MHz 68K of the Jag (lots of assumptions here so take it with a grain of salt).

 

All these numbers may not matter much in the end as apparently it was easier to pull off "convincing" but not spectacular 3D on the 3DO than it was on the Jag at least that we can tell, we don't even know how much the 3DO was really pushed but in the end I believe both consoles didn't have enough HW support to leap onto the 3D landscape that was emerging. I think both camps can sleep tight thinking their side was "better" at some particular aspects of that era proto-3D and they would likely both be right.

 

I admit I slightly prefer the 3DO at 3D because of the textures but at the same time there's no game that really makes me go "wow".

Edited by phoenixdownita

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Uhh...that's not how that saying works Zerosquare...comparing 2D to 3D would be comparing apples to oranges, comparing 3D to 3D is comparing oranges to oranges or apples to apples...now one orange or apple may be larger than the one you are comparing it with, but it is comparable.

The 3DO has full hardware-based 3D acceleration. The Jaguar is basically a 2D machine, with a few bits of support for some parts of a 3D rasterizer ; the hardware can't even draw a single-color triangle by itself. If you don't like the "apple-to-oranges" part, that's like comparing a motorbike to a bicycle.

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Here is a nice little comparison, that coder Chilly Willy made between the Jaguar and 3DOs hardware:

 

"The DSP in the 3DO is half the rate you mention, and a plain 16-bit DSP like the one used in the SVP by SEGA. It's good for audio, but not nearly as powerful as Jerry in the Jaguar. The Jaguar wins big here.

The "math coprocessor" in MADAM is a VERY limited matrix operator - it takes two matrices and gives you the resultant matrix for a few different operations. You still need to load the arguments by hand with the ARM, and read the result out by hand with the ARM. The matrix operations and registers in the JRISC chips (GPU and DSP) are far faster and much more flexible. There are instructions dedicated to them as well, making their setup and usage faster and easier. Clear win for the Jaguar.

The ARM processor in the 3DO doesn't have a cache, so it's completely bus locked - it runs only as fast as it can fetch instructions and data, and store the results. The GPU and DSP in the Jaguar both have local ram for far faster data transfer. The ARM is indeed faster than the 68000 in the Jaguar, but you try to do as much as you can with the GPU, which trounces the ARM, hands down. Another clear win for the Jaguar.

The MADAM is a better video processor than the BLITTER in the Jaguar, but the combination of the BLITTER and GPU together is a bit more flexible. Harder to use, but could give better results. May be counted as a win for the 3DO, but not a big one.

The CEL is not very flexible compared to the OP in the Jaguar, being merely a set of DMA channels. Not incredibly important for most purposes, but still a win for the Jaguar.

In the end, it comes down to how the hardware was used. The 3DO had mature and fairly bug-free tools, but 3DO limited devs to using only their libraries to make future compatibility with altered hardware easier to do. That never came about, but it was there. Had devs been allowed to "bang on the hardware" with optimized assembly, you could have done much better. The Jaguar was burdened with buggy tools, and hard-to-make-full-use-of hardware. Nearly everything on the Jaguar used assembly, which devs of the time were not fond of as everything was shifting to C with a few assembly snippets for better speed. The lack of a robust C compiler for the JRISC chips in the Jaguar was probably the biggest problem.

So I think the Jaguar was probably a much better console from a hardware point of view, but hampered by a lack of tools and "odd" architecture. The 3DO had great tools and a straight-forward design (like the PSX), but was hampered by restrictions imposed by 3DO in view of a future that never came about.

 

First, even today most console FAQs have more misinformation and advertising speak that real facts. Nearly all 32X FAQs still say it has hardware scaling and rotation, as well as QSound audio hardware. Second, where I said Cell in my post, I meant CLIO. I mix that up all the time.

The "Dual Animation Processors" in the 3DO FAQ are just MADAM and CLIO. CLIO is a simple state machine that reads a command list and controls the DSP, timers, and DMA. I'm not certain how internals map to any FAQ... I suspect they're mostly wrong. MADAM has two functional units inside that dealarrow-10x10.png with rendering, and are referred to as CELs, so I suspect those are the "Corner Engines" they mention. Most all the in-depth info is Russian documents released by the FreeDO programmers. You can look at those and the code of FreeDO for the best info on the actual hardware."

 

 

Cool stuff, there are some pretty cool treads on Sega16.com, comparing the 5th generation consoles.

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More from coder Chilly Willy:
 
 
"13.3 MHz 68000 vs 12.5 MHz ARM60
Remember that this is an OLD ARM processor... nothing like the current ARM processors other than the programmer's architecture and machine language coding. The ARM is SLIGHTLY faster in cycles per instruction, but runs on a slower bus. Minor edge to the ARM overall, but mostly comparable.

26.6 MHz 32-bit GPU vs "Math coprocessor"
No contest here - the GPU kicks the *&%^ out of the "math coprocessor".

26.6 MHz 64-bit Blitter vs 25 MHz 32-bit MADAM
Very close... the Jaguar blitter is more flexible, but had some fill-rate issues due to said flexibility and the shared bus. The MADAM was more geared toward one thing - textured lines (very much like the Saturn VDP1). This contest is a toss up depending on the exact game and the way the programmer handled the unit.

26.6 MHz 64-bit Object Processor vs 25 MHz 32-bit CLIO
No contest here - CLIO is just an assortment of functions like Timers and Interrupt control plus a DMA channel. Tom and Jerry both have these various misc features, and more besides. The Object Processor also handles some of the features in MADAM. You might say it's more 26.6 MHz 64-bit Tom vs combined 25 MHz 32-bit MADAM + CLIO + "math coprocessor".

26.6 MHz 32-bit DSP (in Jerry) vs ??? MHz 16-bit DSP
The 3DO DSP edges out the Jerry DSP here... on QUALITY. Jerry's DSP is faster and more capable, but the 3DO does 16-bit 44kHz audio versus 14-bit ~20 to 40kHz audio on the Jaguar. The DSP in the 3DO is a 16-bit DSP (it has a 20 bit accumulator for multiply-accumulate ops) while the DSP in Jerry is full 32-bit to local ram and only 16-bit to external memory (which is usually not an issue unless fetching samples from rom for sound effects). It's the same exact processor core as the GPU with a couple different ops to make audio easier, coupled to a 16-bit external bus. It kicks the *&%^ out of the DSP in the 3DO. Atari knew that the DSP would be overkill for most audio, so they figured some devs might use the extra power to handle some of the video tasks, like computing the 3D matrix arrays, which would help Tom in overpowering MADAM+CLIO. 3D coordinate arrays wouldn't need much bandwidth, so the 16-bit external bus on Jerry wouldn't matter much for that.

The hardware bottlenecks (especially limited RAM) sort of compromise the "easy to make games for" factor. (plus, on the non programming end, the use of carts also made it less "easy to make games for" in terms of manufacturing costs)
The RAM is a factor in PORTS, not original games. Knowing you have limited ram, original games can be written from the ground up dealing with that. Also, I'd bet that had the 32X lasted another year, we might have seen carts with ram in them to help with ports of popular games... something like 2 or 3 MByte roms with the other 2 or 1 MBytes of space being ram."
 
 
And its not like he is biased towards the Jaguar, he actually likes the 32X, from what i undestand.

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I'm in favor of the Jag overall and feel the 3D style of Iron Soldier has aged better than a low res texture game (all a matter of taste there :]), I think the Jag would have major difficulty running a 3D game like 3DO Foes of Ali. Seems to run 3D textured fighters rather well. This one looks like a PS1 title (was later ported IIRC). Then again, I'm no programmer. Maybe the 3DO would have trouble with Super Burnout's sprites.

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I'm in favor of the Jag overall and feel the 3D style of Iron Soldier has aged better than a low res texture game (all a matter of taste there :]), I think the Jag would have major difficulty running a 3D game like 3DO Foes of Ali. Seems to run 3D textured fighters rather well. This one looks like a PS1 title (was later ported IIRC). Then again, I'm no programmer. Maybe the 3DO would have trouble with Super Burnout's sprites.

Foes of Ali is an amazing game, technically, no doubt there, and I would agree the Jag could have trouble pulling that one off(but not a lot of 3D 3DO stuff). But I don't think you can say it's because of weak Jag processors, but the lack of that megabyte of video ram the 3DO has. Any system/processor can do much more amazing things if more memory were made available to them. Unfortunately Atari always scrimped when it came to memory. The Jag's hardware was designed to handle a lot more memory, but memory was expensive back then and Atari execs were too stingy.

 

 I just wish I was better at FOA, it's mostly because of my hands cramping up playing it. that game really needs an arcade controller. I'd play it more if I had one.

Edited by Gunstar

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Since today I know Road Rash Genesis can be done for the Jag... :)

 

For people who want a 3DO one , You can take the Battlemorph source and try to do it ...

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Road Rash is a 2D / 3D Game, yeah i think it is possible on the Jaguar. 

The game consists of many 2D elements and only the track and houses are 3D. The game has very few polys.

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2. Full Game (8 tracks, 4 environments, 10 cars, 5 gameplay modes)

 

 

The 3DO NFS only has 3 tracks. Well it breaks those up into sections.

 

I wonder how easy it would be to rip the track data off the 3do discs to make them wireframe models for porting.

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The 3DO NFS only has 3 tracks. Well it breaks those up into sections.

 

I wonder how easy it would be to rip the track data off the 3do discs to make them wireframe models for porting.

 

It's probably magnitudes easier / harder than not doing it. Set aside some time in the future for it to never happen, eh?

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It's probably magnitudes easier / harder than not doing it. Set aside some time in the future for it to never happen, eh?


.... the community enjoys your ports & is supportive. Not sure why you feel the need to act snarky when someone ask a concept question with true interest in mind.

You've been productive, it's appreciated (and I don't even own a Skunk or JCD). The repeated condescending comments strike me as odd. Why even contribute to these conversations if that is all you want to add? I hope for your family & friends it's limited to this forum & doesn't carry over into daily life. That's not a dig or an insult, serious comment.

This is the Jaguar forum, I realize it's a "post at your own risk" zone but you seem to enjoy programming for the machine and yet are annoyed by most here. Just baffling to watch daily.

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.... the community enjoys your ports & is supportive. Not sure why you feel the need to act snarky when someone ask a concept question with true interest in mind.

You've been productive, it's appreciated (and I don't even own a Skunk or JCD). The repeated condescending comments strike me as odd. Why even contribute to these conversations if that is all you want to add? I hope for your family & friends it's limited to this forum & doesn't carry over into daily life. That's not a dig or an insult, serious comment.

This is the Jaguar forum, I realize it's a "post at your own risk" zone but you seem to enjoy programming for the machine and yet are annoyed by most here. Just baffling to watch daily.

 

Listening to Vladr isn't supportive either. He's the embodiment of everything wrong with Jaguar land 2000-2008 where people turn up, claim to be able to make something, get everyone whipped up into a frenzy, and then utterly fail to deliver because all they are interested in is the glory. For some reason, people like JagChris grasp hold of these people and hang on with a death-grip in the hope they will come through, despite all the available evidence to the contrary.  

 

Don't believe me, check his track record.

 

Hey, continue to enable this behavior if you want, that's your call. I guess it depends on how much you like being trolled.

 

I would like nothing more than to see someone make a fun 3D game (notice, that 'fun' '3D' and 'game' have to be joined here, because without 'fun' it wouldn't be a 'game' - also note that all three are distinct things)

 

The stuff Sporadic is doing with rb+ - great

The stuff Dr Typo has made - great

The stuff Seb, Matthias, Matmook have done - great

 

The stuff Vladr has made - doesn't exist.

Edited by CyranoJ

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Been 'chatting' to John Edelson about various things, full exchange will go online in a few days, but regarding his time at 3DO and the hardware itself he said:

 
 
 
'The truth about the 3DO technology and hardware was that it was rushed to market by a team using old fashioned development techniques (the Atari team) and there were some serious technical flaws.  For instance, the chipset design had some powerful 3D capabilities but it was architected in such a way that it couldn't really be used due to a flaw in the bus architecture design. It was a big disappointment that was kept private.  '
 
 
 
'When the Playstation came out a few years later, it was a superior design built around two sophisticated systems on chips. Their chipset had been developed using the most advance technology for integrated system on chip design. In contrast, the 3DO hardware had lots of little chips on the mother board plus a daughter board'

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