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SlidellMan

Arcade to Jaguar ports you would like to see.

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Only VladR can watch a YT video and become an expert about the technology behind a game and the management choices behind its development. It's truly amazing work he does here.

Are you seriously implying that the 3D engine coder made the decision (and that he actually had the power to go through with it) to go hires in 1989 ? Only if the same guy was the owner of the company - and that's something that Lost Dragon might have an insight to (from his experience and industry contacts), not me.

 

Besides, your sarcasm (as usual, btw), is misplaced, because I acknowledged in previous post that I actually didn't notice it was HiRes.

 

But perhaps, in 1989, in US, the HiRes was becoming a "new thing" - I don't know, I wasn't here at that time, because otherwise it's really hard to rationalize crippling the framerate so much. Maybe it was an experiment ?

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Are you seriously implying that the 3D engine coder made the decision.....

No, he's implying that one of these days you should really stop GUESSING the CRAP OUT of YT videos.

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I thought that's called "crystal-balling" or if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings "palantir-ing" or also "palanti-ring" (one of the 9 for men I presume).

Actually, I don't need to look into my precious crystal ball for this one.

 

I did a lot of resolution and fillrate experiments from jag's RISC GPU (both flatshading and texturing, both via HW (Blitter) and SW (just GPU code)), so it does give me a lot of insight what kind of a performance impact, a resolution has in that kind of HW environment.

 

What exactly [other than constant bitching and inserting sarcasm in each and every post - like madman] have you produced on Jaguar ? You must be a very unhappy & negative person, and your existence most certainly appears to be very miserable - I do actually feel sorry for you...

 

 

While I certainly can't rule out you've been living under a rock last 4 decades, to be on the safe side, let me remind you that there still is a very strong cross-industry push for always a higher resolution - from the 320x200 to current 3840x2160 (and beyond), so especially anybody who had a PC for gaming has certainly noticed the performance impact of even a slightly higher resolution, as the resolution selection window popped up upon starting the game for quite a long time in past, so it was right there, in your face (not the case with consoles, of course)...

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....

 

What exactly [other than constant bitching and inserting sarcasm in each and every post - like madman] have you produced on Jaguar ? You must be a very unhappy & negative person, and your existence most certainly appears to be very miserable - I do actually feel sorry for you...

 

.....

Actually now that you bring this up .... and after a little of introspection .....

 

 

..... I admit I am truly unhappy to all the GUESSING_CRAP_FROM_YT_VIDEO that you keep on doing .... stop "morpheus-ing" around, there's no prophecy here to behold, there's a lot of tech docs you can scour before GUESSING.

 

And for all the 3D prowess you believe to possess, it won't help you one iota wrt what the management decided ... get over it you are GUESSING and you're bad at it.

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No, he's implying that one of these days you should really stop GUESSING the CRAP OUT of YT videos.

Guessing, eh :) ?

 

I have flatshading 3D engine on jag running a very similar level data set as the outdoor section of the StunRunner (without 3D ships), so I don't have to guess. That's not a theoretical hypothesis, it's a real thing.

 

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Guessing, eh :) ?

 

I have flatshading 3D engine on jag running a very similar level data set as the outdoor section of the StunRunner (without 3D ships), so I don't have to guess. That's not a theoretical hypothesis, it's a real thing.

 

How does that "real" thing of yours tell you what the MANAGEMENT decided ~30Y ago and that from a YT video?

Zero, zilch, nada .....

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How does that "real" thing of yours tell you what the MANAGEMENT decided 20+Y ago and that from a YT video?

Zero, zilch, nada .....

It doesn't - and that's why I asked the question - as it's quite a WTF scenario (1989 & HiRes ?!?), so I'm really curious if it was some kind of industry push or what the hell was going on.

 

Perhaps somebody , just like they remember, that this game had an odd resolution, would remember an article or interview about this game/dev team.

 

Not sure what exactly is wrong about trying to find out more information - it's educational for me and I'd hazard a guess for a lot others too...

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RetroGamer Magazine Issue 62 had a Making Of Stun Runner feature.

 

Ed Rotberg and Andrew Burgess interviewed.

 

I can remember Ed chatting about features he would of liked to of included..but cannot remember issue of resolution being mentioned.

 

Long since thrown out my RG magazine collection though.

 

http://reverttosaved.com/2009/04/08/the-need-for-speed-the-majesty-of-stun-runner/

 

There is also this snippet:

 

Sega-16: After Sega, you worked at Atari and launched hits like Cyberball, Pit Fighter, and Stun Runner. How was the environment there? It was no longer the Atari of old, but it was still a strong arcade competitor.

 

Jerry Momoda: I joined the marketing team led by Mary Fujihara in 1987. Marketing and engineering shared different views of the road ahead. Atari became challenged within a changing market and veteran personnel began to depart. Atari was behind in 3D coin-op hardware development and trending game genre.

Edited by Lost Dragon
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No shit they were behind in game genre. They were still doing 'arcadey' games almost completely. Everyone else was playing/developing Mario world & Castlevania type games. And ten years later that genre was barely on Atari's radar.

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No shit they were behind in game genre. They were still doing 'arcadey' games almost completely. Everyone else was playing/developing Mario world & Castlevania type games. And ten years later that genre was barely on Atari's radar.

 

If you are referring to Lost Dragon's post, the article he linked to was specifically speaking about Atari Games (an arcade developer and manufacturer) which has nothing to do with Atari Corp (Jack Tramiel's Atari). It was their job to make "arcadey" games because that's the business they were in. They had a pretty good track record with popular games well into the mid to late '90s.

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However I think Atari Corp were also behind in trending genre's.

 

Yes, they were. It was pretty obvious, particularly now in hindsight.

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RetroGamer Magazine Issue 62 had a Making Of Stun Runner feature.

 

Ed Rotberg and Andrew Burgess interviewed.

 

I can remember Ed chatting about features he would of liked to of included..but cannot remember issue of resolution being mentioned.

 

Long since thrown out my RG magazine collection though.

 

http://reverttosaved.com/2009/04/08/the-need-for-speed-the-majesty-of-stun-runner/

 

There is also this snippet:

 

Sega-16: After Sega, you worked at Atari and launched hits like Cyberball, Pit Fighter, and Stun Runner. How was the environment there? It was no longer the Atari of old, but it was still a strong arcade competitor.

 

Jerry Momoda: I joined the marketing team led by Mary Fujihara in 1987. Marketing and engineering shared different views of the road ahead. Atari became challenged within a changing market and veteran personnel began to depart. Atari was behind in 3D coin-op hardware development and trending game genre.

Thanks ! A great read !

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STUN Runner. Flat shaded / light sourced polys, arcade ROM is only ~720 kB. Perfect(ish) arcade port (sans odd arcade resolution) could be done in about 1mB, add some funky feedback effects (ala Minter), cool soundtrack, improved gameplay enhancements for a "2K" mode....ahh, that'd have been great. Minter mentioned he'd have liked to have done, pre his Major Havoc 2K idea for the Jag...either Major Havoc or I Robot could've been phenomenal on the Jag if they were played to the machine's strengths.

 

 

 

- Instead of just passively dreaming/thinking, I dusted off my flatshader and created the basic level layout of Stun Runner to see how it would behave in higher res. I chose 768x200.

 

- To my surprise, GPU is able to render it, pixel by pixel, (well, 4 pixels at a time, as it's a 32-bit write) at 26 fps (video was vsync'ed to 20 fps - e.g. 3 vblanks), without any assistance of Blitter

 

 

 

- this would be a great candidate to put on DSP (should be very quick to port), where it could work in parallel with the GPU version (which would employ Blitter, so that both DSP&GPU can work as much as possible without touching main RAM at the same time)

 

- I created some handy macros (to create the tunnel data, which I cut out as it's slowing down periodically - I suspect culling issue), so I should be able to create also a 3D player ship without having to go through export/import/conversion, right in the code

 

- A quick test with the level data (rendering same amount of additional polys as the ship) shows that a player's ship should take about 15% of a frame time

 

- While going over profiling results, I noticed a new spike in one of the pipeline's substages (that I either didn't notice before, or it simply didn't spike at low res), and figured I could throw some additional memory at the problem (jag has 2 MB, the engine is literally just 4KB) and gain 33-50% more performance - so there's still room to improve this performance even before introducing Blitter

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...blah blah blah ... (I found another thing I didn't know) ... blah blah blah ...

 

btw wrt Hi-res in '89 ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_Drivin%27

released almost 6 month before .... so yeah they were already doing it.

 

And before you ask:

504×384

 

Yes, I'm being a stickler (i.e.:jerk) ...but with all the guesswork/speculation you do just to come back maybe 2 days later to mostly disprove your earlier statements, I feel entitled to.

 

EDIT: HiRes was already in the arcades in 1986 (2D) if we are to believe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Sprint at 512x384

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IMHO it's a waste of time trying to use Hi-res graphics with the Jaguar because you have a very limited bandwidth, just stick to 320x200 or 320x240.

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...blah blah blah ... (I found another thing I didn't know) ... blah blah blah ...

Yes, I generally don't have a problem to admit when I am wrong about something, or if I learn a new thing.

 

It's not like there's 3 more 3D coders on jag, so we could bounce ideas & experiences off each other.

 

 

btw wrt Hi-res in '89 ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_Drivin%27

released almost 6 month before .... so yeah they were already doing it.

 

And before you ask:

504×384

 

Yes, I'm being a stickler (i.e.:jerk) ...but with all the guesswork/speculation you do just to come back maybe 2 days later to mostly disprove your earlier statements, I feel entitled to.

Actually, this particular time, you're not, as you now showed up with straight facts, for which I am thankful. Was that so hard ?

Now it looks like my original crazy theory of an industry push was actually correct (e.g. "if Hard Driving has HiRes, why can't our game" mentality).

 

I sure wish I experienced arcades in US in late 80s. Must have been a hell-of-a ride from gamer perspective - new games and boundaries pushed on a regular basis...

 

What exactly did I disprove ? Not following you here.

 

EDIT: HiRes was already in the arcades in 1986 (2D) if we are to believe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Sprint at 512x384

Why is it hard to believe that 2D was HiRes in arcades just 3 years before 3D ? Arcades always directly financed development of advanced boards - the companies had cash-flow from current games, and to stay on top, had to progress and keep merging more chips onto same board.

HiRes 2D is easy - its performance characteristics are extremely predictable (unlike HiRes 3D, where each frame is drastically different from next), so that one is not surprising at all, given that those boards always sported multiple chips.

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IMHO it's a waste of time trying to use Hi-res graphics with the Jaguar because you have a very limited bandwidth, just stick to 320x200 or 320x240.

This is generally a very true statement, but yesterday night I made an experiment, where I removed bandwidth out of the equation (hell, just to see for myself, but the results are shocking). I have a compile-time flag, which removed just the one instruction that is drawing the pixels:

                etlLoop32Bit:
                    .if Bypass_Drawing_Pixels = 0
                        store    r1, (r0)     ; Draw the quadpixel
                    .endif
                    addq    #4, r0
                    subq    #1, r2
                jr        PL, etlLoop32Bit
                nop

Everything else stays (e.g. World transform, Camera, Culling, scanline traversal, clipping, and the all-expensive scanline drawing loops (except the actual draw command)).

I pushed the drawing distance way out and did 380 triangles per frame.

- It took 2.59 frames (e.g. 60/2.59 = 23.16 fps) to do a normal full render

- It took 2.23 frames (e.g. 60/2.23 = 26.91 fps) when I bypassed drawing pixels

 

So, the actual drawing - the dreaded bandwidth took just 2.59-2.23 = 0.36 (just a third of a frame time). And that's 768x200 (e.g. 768/320=2.4x more pixels). Of course, there's also the execution time of ~10,000 store instructions, so the real bandwidth is even less than third of a frame!

 

Of course, for a 3D graphics computations, there's no difference between 320x200 and 768x200. 100 vertices is 100 vertices in both resolutions. Same thing, computations-wise.

 

And since both resolutions have same amount of scanlines, the only difference is in the number of pixels on each scanline (e.g. the scanline loop has to execute 2.4x more than in 320x200).

 

 

 

I reckon they found out something similar for Stun Runner and that made the decision to go HiRes much easier (especially considering their HW has a Fill instruction that replaces the expensive loops)...

 

Practically speaking - at 60 fps, a third of a frame means a drop from 60 to 30 fps. That would suck.

 

But at 10 fps ? Who's going to notice the drop from 10.7 to 10.1 fps ?

Edited by VladR

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I removed bandwidth out of the equation (hell, just to see for myself, but the results are shocking)

Unless you disable the OP, the measurement isn't correct -- the OP uses bandwidth too.

 

Who's going to notice the drop from 10.7 to 10.1 fps ?

Nobody. But at 10 fps, your game is not going to be very enjoyable, either.
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Unless you disable the OP, the measurement isn't correct -- the OP uses bandwidth too.

From a theoretical standpoint it's true, it's just in practice we need OP to display the framebuffer. And OP does not care it the bitmap is empty (because we are doing bandwidth test and disabling writes) - it's still fetching phrase by phrase, regardless of the content.

 

But the point was on the finding that the bandwidth impact is not really that huge in large resolutions&low framerate in the flatshader environment on jaguar.

 

 

Nobody. But at 10 fps, your game is not going to be very enjoyable, either.

Well, Stun Runner may not have the Star Fox following, but it's quite popular, despite what looks like an average framerate of 10 (8-12) fps :)

I wouldn't, of course, personally target 10 fps for a fast-paced racing game :)

 

In a, say, top-down 3D RPG, where camera moves slowly through environment, 10 fps feels smoother, than 30 fps in fast racing game.

 

 

Arguably, with the speed that Stun Runner has, even 100 fps on a PC would not be completely smooth during those short turbo sequences. Too bad we lost the non-fake / real 120 Hz with CRT monitors gone (and those expensive modern 1ms ones still can't get remotely close to CRT)...

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Not so much my favourite games or anything but just games I think would have fit the Jaguar well/

 

STUN runner

A Hard drivin/race Drivin double pack.

 

and maybe not the exact originals but updates of

 

Cyberball

A 3d version of Xbots. the Aliens vs predator engine could have maybe been used for this due to the corridor like nature of the game

And considering Atari seemed desperate for a MK clone then they could have done a follow up to pitfighter.

 

Also Klax and Rampart could have been decent games with quick turnaround in terms of development time.

 

Rampage wiith the multitap supported

 

Funny thing is that most of these came out for the Lynx, it seemed like the IPs chosen for that system was far better thought out, and speaking of the Lynx, a Jaguar version of Electrocop could have been decent if treat the same way as I mentioned Xybots above.

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Also Klax and Rampart could have been decent games with quick turnaround in terms of development time.

 

Rampage wiith the multitap supported

There is a Klax version available: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/234198-got-sick-of-waiting

Someone else has been working on Klax for years, but no quick turnaround on that release...

 

Rampage w/team tap will be available at some point: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/246639-atari-st-games-ported-to-the-jaguar/page-33#entry3883779

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Well, Stun Runner may not have the Star Fox following, but it's quite popular, despite what looks like an average framerate of 10 (8-12) fps :)

I wouldn't, of course, personally target 10 fps for a fast-paced racing game :)

As someone who was there at the time, played it lots, played it in arcades as recently as 96 - 97, and could've picked up an arcade machine as recently as two or three months ago (but missed out due to bad timing :( ) It runs at more than 10 fps.

 

Admittedly I may have been tainted by the Xbox version of Midways Arcade Treasures #3 (which has SR on it) because it runs very smoothly (see here for example

), perhaps more smoothly than the arcade...but I'm assuming it's close because Race Drivin' on MAT3 runs like junk (5fps or lower, just like the arcade). But basing *anything* (resolution, framerate, colour depth, polygon count etc) as conclusive edvidence on YouTube videos isn't really going to end well or factually. Better to use Google, the wayback machine, wikipedia, VAPS, forums etc before YT. Edited by skip
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