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What was the Jaguar truly capable of?

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6 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Before you shake your inflated head, try comprehending the entire sentence (although I guess the opportunity to get in some dumb sarcasm is too great for that!). I threw out a couple of examples of tools, wasn't throwing shade on your ST stuff, like you seem to think.

The rest of the sentence doesn't detract from the fact you are implying there's a toolchain to magically make the ports.  Maybe I'm the tool for spening sometimes weeks/months on them.

 


Clint, your stuff looks great.  I hope to get SD support into RAPTOR quickly, nice to know there's someone ready and waiting to test it!

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16 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

If you want to see what Tom & Jerry (the chips, not the cartoon characters) could do, then write something like the ST conversion tool, but for the CoJag arcade board that Atari Games developed. Or let's see RB+ add CoJag support. Then aspiring homebrewers would have a 68020 or R3000 processor (depends on the hardware revision) instead of the 68k, 4MB of RAM, HDD/CF access, and devs could sell their games to arcade ops like me, who will pay a lot more than $70 for a good game kit :D 

 

There are likely more working CoJag boards out there right now than there are working Jag CDs

 

 

 

A better strategy might be to encourage development of a rB+ library to access storage and features on the upcoming flash cart.  Ports (in my very limited experience) are usually harder than starting from scratch with modern development tools.  Being able to access chunks of flash storage for game data would go a long way towards beefier full blown computer game conversions / homages.

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Anyway you still have 2MB RAM and all OP objects must be at first 8MB address space, with or without JagSD you only have main RAM there.

Edited by swapd0

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1 hour ago, CyranoJ said:

The rest of the sentence doesn't detract from the fact you are implying there's a toolchain to magically make the ports.  Maybe I'm the tool for spening sometimes weeks/months on them.

 


Clint, your stuff looks great.  I hope to get SD support into RAPTOR quickly, nice to know there's someone ready and waiting to test it!

I'm sorry it came across like that, I misremembered something about the conversions to think there was a tool or tools in their process, so shouldn't have mentioned ST conversions in the example. I also forgot how easily bent out of shape people get around here. I hope you're not involved in customer service for your regular job.

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9 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Big kudos for the stuff you've been working on Clint. From what I've seen of your stuff, I really like the art direction. I've been curious, what resolution are you running everything at? It seems like it's on the higher end. Where I'm constantly flummoxed by coding, perhaps I need to research more about doing art for the Jag (sprite dimensions, color indexing and such).

 

On Fear No Escape, that's an awesome hallway effect and I like the sound of the idea you've got going on there. Apart from Xenophobe, it also looks like it has a Project Firestart vibe to it. If you're able to get a digital/SD release, then I'm there :D

There's some trickery involved with the corridor but almost everything I'm running is 16-bit and the main screen is 320x224, which quickly eats up a lot of space and without the additional SD storage, you hit a wall very quickly with as to how far you can take any idea on a larger level. I've never played Project Firestart before but dig it! It does kind of look like it could be based off of that game though. I forget the size of the alien off the top of my head but think it's either 32 or 48x128 and scaled up/down accordingly to Y axis location.

3 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

Clint, your stuff looks great.  I hope to get SD support into RAPTOR quickly, nice to know there's someone ready and waiting to test it!

Thanks! I'm excited to see where it can all go once implemented and to think this is all done using Rb+!

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3 hours ago, Gemintronic said:

A better strategy might be to encourage development of a rB+ library to access storage and features on the upcoming flash cart.  Ports (in my very limited experience) are usually harder than starting from scratch with modern development tools.  Being able to access chunks of flash storage for game data would go a long way towards beefier full blown computer game conversions / homages.

That would be cool, with the JagSD dev forum and cartridges arriving in the hands of people, I imagine we'll see a bit of that. I'm really looking forward to seeing what possibilities the JagSD opens here.

 

On the CoJag, I know some people who worked at Atari Games back in the 90's; I'll ask around and see if by chance any of them might still have a dev kit or anything else for it. It's a long shot, but might as well check. If there were any software resources created for the CoJag that might still be around or overlooked in a box somewhere, I can't imagine that anyone in the Jag dev community would be adverse to having those released (right?). 

2 minutes ago, Clint Thompson said:

There's some trickery involved with the corridor but almost everything I'm running is 16-bit and the main screen is 320x224, which quickly eats up a lot of space and without the additional SD storage, you hit a wall very quickly with as to how far you can take any idea on a larger level. I've never played Project Firestart before but dig it! It does kind of look like it could be based off of that game though. I forget the size of the alien off the top of my head but think it's either 32 or 48x128 and scaled up/down accordingly to Y axis location.

So, what order # are you for JagSD? Hope you get it soon to take this to the level it needs to be :D I'll send you a message about the graphics stuff.

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18 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

On the CoJag, I know some people who worked at Atari Games back in the 90's; I'll ask around and see if by chance any of them might still have a dev kit or anything else for it. It's a long shot, but might as well check. If there were any software resources created for the CoJag that might still be around or overlooked in a box somewhere, I can't imagine that anyone in the Jag dev community would be adverse to having those released (right?).

It would be super cool to finally see a CoJag Dev setup!

 

I spoke with Brian McKee a while back, fun guy to chat with, and he mentioned not having a CoJag devkit since he was more of the hardware guy but did state it consisted of the CoJag with a 68020 ICE (in circuit emulator) but along with that, he did have an Alpine with dev Jag, but made it seem like it was entirely separate for their use. I found it fascinating that he went into detail about the numerous amount of hardware bugs they continued to encounter and other fun stuff like:

 

" We separated the jaguar chip set from the 68020 and gave the 68020 it's own memory so it could run independent of the jaguar. That way game code could be predictable and not have to deal with any slowdowns the jag chip set might cause. " They programmed the Jag chipsets in assembly, the 68020 in C (GCC) and ported some TI DSP code to the Jags DSP for audio stuff. For Freeze The Cat, they changed over to the MIPS 3041 from the 68020.

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31 minutes ago, Clint Thompson said:

It would be super cool to finally see a CoJag Dev setup!

 

I spoke with Brian McKee a while back, fun guy to chat with, and he mentioned not having a CoJag devkit since he was more of the hardware guy but did state it consisted of the CoJag with a 68020 ICE (in circuit emulator) but along with that, he did have an Alpine with dev Jag, but made it seem like it was entirely separate for their use. I found it fascinating that he went into detail about the numerous amount of hardware bugs they continued to encounter and other fun stuff like:

 

" We separated the jaguar chip set from the 68020 and gave the 68020 it's own memory so it could run independent of the jaguar. That way game code could be predictable and not have to deal with any slowdowns the jag chip set might cause. " They programmed the Jag chipsets in assembly, the 68020 in C (GCC) and ported some TI DSP code to the Jags DSP for audio stuff. For Freeze The Cat, they changed over to the MIPS 3041 from the 68020.

Very interesting! By my understanding, sounds like it would avoid some of the bus issues brought on by the 68k, although you'd still have the issues in the T&J to work with (by my understanding - would it be accurate to say that if a game was primarily coded on the T&J with little from the 68k, then that would require less work for porting than something that was loaded with 68k code?).

 

Maximum Force used an R3000; I imagine that would create a problem for developments in coding for anything CPU related, since you'd have to have a way to have the code work for boards using the 68020 as well as the R3000. Area 51 sold more units than MF did, assuming that this document is accurate, and combining all of the numbers from the three regions, A51 sold 11,510 units while MF sold 9,574. Still, that put at least 21,000 CoJag units out there.

 

Here are more details on the CoJag in case anyone had missed that before:

 

http://system16.com/hardware.php?id=778

 

I recall reading that prototype chipsets of the Jaguar used a 68020 and ran with 4MB, so that's also why I think that when it comes to the Jaguar's "potential," CoJag comes to mind as fulfilling that dream of what could have been that all of these threads wonder about. Unfortunately only a few games received a wide release on the platform, so who knows. At the very least it would be fun to see some graphics demos running on both the Jag and CoJag then compare performance.

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someone has both CoJag versions:

 

Is this a CoJag 68020 motherboard version?

TitoloAtari-Maximum-force-PCB-KNOWN-ATARTitoloAtari-Maximum-force-PCB-KNOWN-ATAR

 

another motherboard layout:

4LpXFYef16Ez4DqhdnpqKy7mNmxA8H1HYsAgc3mK

 

 

three different layouts together:

cojag.thumb.png.31fc4569b45e5314be75edd74ea9739e.png

 

Edited by Cyprian_K
additional photo
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59 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Very interesting! By my understanding, sounds like it would avoid some of the bus issues brought on by the 68k

I doubt that the 68000 has some bus issues because it's the more stable/reliable/tested processor in the Jaguar but it has also the lowest priority, so if you hit the bus very hard with all other processors it won't have free bus cycles for him.

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45 minutes ago, Cyprian_K said:

someone has both CoJag versions:

 

Is this a CoJag 68020 motherboard version?

TitoloAtari-Maximum-force-PCB-KNOWN-ATARTitoloAtari-Maximum-force-PCB-KNOWN-ATAR

 

another motherboard layout:

4LpXFYef16Ez4DqhdnpqKy7mNmxA8H1HYsAgc3mK

 

 

three different layouts together:

cojag.thumb.png.31fc4569b45e5314be75edd74ea9739e.png

 

That person would be Clint :D

 

I have an A51 board that isn't in a cabinet at the moment. I need to fix an issue with it that keeps one of the guns from calibrating (it's a board issue, not the guns). Here's an example of one of the many Compact Flash kits that are out there to convert the boards over from old IDE HDDs. Any games developed for it wouldn't have to be limited to light-gun games either; since it connects through JAMMA, you could do a standard 3/4 button joystick game too.

 

1 minute ago, swapd0 said:

I doubt that the 68000 has some bus issues because it's the more stable/reliable/tested processor in the Jaguar but it has also the lowest priority, so if you hit the bus very hard with all other processors it won't have free bus cycles for him.

Makes sense. I would guess that the situation is the same on the CoJag, with the 68020/R3k being stable and without the bugs that T&J are known for. Then as Clint mentioned, they designed the board to avoid certain issues with the Jag chipset (sounds like the 68020 runs on a separate bus? then it has it's own cache)

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6 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

I'm sorry it came across like that, I misremembered something about the conversions to think there was a tool or tools in their process, so shouldn't have mentioned ST conversions in the example. I also forgot how easily bent out of shape people get around here. I hope you're not involved in customer service for your regular job.

 

Apology would have been great... if you hadn't followed it up with another insult. Classy, especially when commenting on other people's behaviour.

In any case, carry on.

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On 8/20/2019 at 11:12 PM, Clint Thompson said:

 

 

 

Holy crap.  That looks really great.  I love the graphics.

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On 8/21/2019 at 1:51 PM, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Makes sense. I would guess that the situation is the same on the CoJag, with the 68020/R3k being stable and without the bugs that T&J are known for. Then as Clint mentioned, they designed the board to avoid certain issues with the Jag chipset (sounds like the 68020 runs on a separate bus? then it has it's own cache)

 

Hi Shaggy... :) I remember reading sometime back the CoJag being redesigned where the board didn't have the same kind of bottlenecks that the game console had, which included one or more chips running on its own bus having about 6MB or more ram...? Eventually ditching the 68020 for the R3K MIPS processor. The cojag specs looks awesome on paper and sounds like a dream console to dev for; something I've always wanted to make games for. I eventually let go of the concept of making something for the Cojag just to sort of get grounded on the fundamentals just making a simple Jag game. It's really too bad considering all of the stories I'd hear about the 68000 hogging bus on the console and what have you, and how it was suggested to just turn the 68K off and just use the JRISC, which I've always thought would be a waist of a good chip not to use it in any manner what-so-ever. A more non-parallel approach to working with the Jag processors was a promising thing to consider at one point. The Jag is quite a unique system; a mixed bag of being very 3D capable, but not as good as the PS1 or the Sega Saturn, but can do everything an SNES or Genesis can do plus more so there's wiggle room for some good things as far as pushing the system to the limit. Can handle Doom well, can handle voxels very well, can do fast zooming/scaling via the OP; I use to refer to the Jaguar as a "2D Monster" and I still do thus it's strength is in the pseudo 3D or 2.5D (fake 3D) stuff. Not to put misinfo out there or anything of that nature, that's just my core stance when it comes to the Jaguar console.

 

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A couple of month of further development to include a cache on DSP, GPU, OP & blitter, include a few extras (like RGB transparency), and you'll have an awesome console. No need for a 68020 or a R3000.

 

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On 7/16/2018 at 9:26 PM, sd32 said:

 

What kind of 3D graphics?, probably about the same what we saw, but more optimized for smoother framerates. More interesting is that if a team of the top Sega coders developed for the Jag, then stuff like Fight For Life and Checkered Flag would have had some decent gameplay on them, like Virtual Fighter and Virtua Racing on 32X. So probably a bit smoother framerates and some good gameplay would be the biggest gains, and in my oponion the most important ones.

Fight for life was programed by one guy. He worked on Virtua fighter. He was one of five programers for Virtua fighter. 

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Francois Yves Bertand only did the camera  and hit detection routines on Virtua Fighter. 

 

Not sure of his exact roles on VF2,  Virtua Cop and Daytona USA. 

 

Motion Capture..Art (High Voltage Software assisted with some aspects) etc on Fight For Life were handled by others, but you needed a decent sized coding team to pull off a worthy polygon fighter.

 

Even Argonaut Software had 2 coders for FX Fighter, 4 people doing character animation, 7 artists, 4 game designers etc.

 

 

Rebellion were not the people to give a polygon 3D racing game tof produce.

 

Zero experience in racing games period.

 

Lee B's original F1 Racer should of been releases if anything, but that at request of Atari was turned into W.T.R on Jaguar CD.

 

I'm of the mindset that giving Defender to Minter, Blue Lightning to ATD and having both Beyond Games and HMS produce beat-em-up titles were huge mistakes on Atari's part as well.

 

Minter had already messed up Defender 2 on the ST and Amiga, brought ideas and weapons from it over to D2K..

 

The others simply lacked experience in the genres they were expected to produce flagship titles in.

 

But when you had such a limited pool of development teams to choose from as Atari did.....

Edited by Lost Dragon
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On 8/23/2019 at 1:22 AM, philipj said:

 

Hi Shaggy... :) I remember reading sometime back the CoJag being redesigned where the board didn't have the same kind of bottlenecks that the game console had, which included one or more chips running on its own bus having about 6MB or more ram...? Eventually ditching the 68020 for the R3K MIPS processor. The cojag specs looks awesome on paper and sounds like a dream console to dev for; something I've always wanted to make games for. I eventually let go of the concept of making something for the Cojag just to sort of get grounded on the fundamentals just making a simple Jag game. It's really too bad considering all of the stories I'd hear about the 68000 hogging bus on the console and what have you, and how it was suggested to just turn the 68K off and just use the JRISC, which I've always thought would be a waist of a good chip not to use it in any manner what-so-ever. A more non-parallel approach to working with the Jag processors was a promising thing to consider at one point. The Jag is quite a unique system; a mixed bag of being very 3D capable, but not as good as the PS1 or the Sega Saturn, but can do everything an SNES or Genesis can do plus more so there's wiggle room for some good things as far as pushing the system to the limit. Can handle Doom well, can handle voxels very well, can do fast zooming/scaling via the OP; I use to refer to the Jaguar as a "2D Monster" and I still do thus it's strength is in the pseudo 3D or 2.5D (fake 3D) stuff. Not to put misinfo out there or anything of that nature, that's just my core stance when it comes to the Jaguar console.

 

Clint posted a byte from one of the Area 51 devs who mentioned something about the 68020 being on a separate bus. But the system itself only had 4MB of RAM, while the Jaguar spec always claimed it could address as much as 6MB (a moot point since the system came with 2 and no one's ever made anything that would bump it up to 6, in part, by my understanding, that it would be slow to fetch data through the cartridge bus. If it's possible to add more RAM to the CoJag, that depends on some things.).

 

Area 51 boards did come with the 020, while Maximum Force and the eventual Max Force/A51 combo boards would feature the R3000. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, swapd0 said:

The Jaguar memory map is 8MB of RAM, 6MB of cartridge and 2MB for ROM/IO.

 

2 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Ah thanks for the correction. I had read that as 6MB of RAM max in the past.

 

I’ve got one of the 8MB boards, but it’s only populated with 4MB unfortunately. This is the 68020 version.

 

Out of all the things they could have done, it would’ve been cool to have had a Falcon gaming computer hybrid from Atari with this much RAM and Jag’s chipset in 1994.

 

64550A6E-C38B-438C-93A4-702AD1908F6F.thumb.jpeg.84283e3b69452e521c220bd814e95a45.jpeg

Edited by Clint Thompson
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9 hours ago, Lost Dragon said:

I'm of the mindset that giving Defender to Minter, Blue Lightning to ATD and having both Beyond Games and HMS produce beat-em-up titles were huge mistakes on Atari's part as well.

 

Minter had already messed up Defender 2 on the ST and Amiga, brought ideas and weapons from it over to D2K..

He wanted to do I, Robot after T2K.  I have a feeling that would have turned out WAY better.

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Wow,  I had not heard Jeff talk about doing I, Robot if he could...that would of been a far better experience i'm sure, but Atari were probably looking for a title that had more commercial viability. 

 

I, Robot too niche compared with Defender.

 

 

 

On the subject of Jeff (and it is Jaguar related in enough respects)...

 

 

I mean no offence to Jeff, but having followed him, interviews and quotes wise, since he started out, an awful lot of his talk sadly stayed just that.

 

I fully appreciate as Jeff himself put it, what he was allowed to write was up to "The boss dude" (or dudes. .) at Atari and they would  often to reject his proposals out of hand (Atari UK having no interest in him bringing ST/Amiga Defender II to the Lynx for example) , but during the Commodore 64 era he talked of wanting to do a Star Raiders type game. .

 

It never happened during that time.

 

Then he says he would of loved to of done Star Raiders 2000 on Lynx, but Llamsoft too small to risk Lynx development. 

 

His demo work on  the Panther was to create test routines for an epic Star Raiders type game he tells the press.

 

This was the last we ever saw of him attempt anything like Star Raiders. 

 

 

During the Jaguar era you can find him talking about how he'd do an upgraded version of Virus (ST/Amiga)...

 

How he wouldn't mind doing "..the Robotron Thang. ..Sinistar. ..yeah i hunger"...

 

Well ok Jeff you had a crack at Sinistar on ST/Amiga with Photon Storm,  bit hit n miss, but lessons learnt etc.

 

 

Then talk of how Jaguar Llamatron would be done:

 

"I'd love to do a 'Super Llamatron' on the Jag... massive complex maps full of baddies instead of just an arena, 
simultaneous 4-player games over comlynx, extreme speed and blastability, 
adrenaline rush, mad powerup weapons, and lots of fluffy beasties.."

 

 This would be the Robotron Thang no doubt.

 

I cannot fault him for wanting to update the classics, but post Jaguar we saw a lot more Tempest updates in one form or another and the likes of:

 

Polybius

Minotaur Rescue

GridRunner++

Hover Bovver II

(Cancelled) Unity

Space Invaders Extreme

Super Ox Wars( Galaga)

Goat Up

Five A Day (Time Pilot inspired)

Minotron 2112

Caverns Of Minos (Lunar Lander/Oids inspired)

Deflex 

 

And probably some i have missed.

 

What's happened to the idea of Jeff's take on Virus, Star Raiders and I, Robot? .

 

 

Home hardware now far more powerful than those available when he originally suggested what he'd love to do back then.

 

Far from an attempt at knocking his work, i would honestly love to see him approach the titles he's talked of.

 

It's clear they are close to his heart and the updates to Star Raiders i have played (from Star Raiders II on the A8, Star Raiders on the ST to that abomination on XBLA some years ago) he could inject some much needed life into a once legendary title.

 

I just struggle sometimes to understand how he chooses which games to update and why.

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1 hour ago, Clint Thompson said:

 

 

I’ve got one of the 8MB boards, but it’s only populated with 4MB unfortunately. This is the 68020 version.

 

Out of all the things they could have done, it would’ve been cool to have had a Falcon gaming computer hybrid from Atari with this much RAM and Jag’s chipset in 1994.

 

64550A6E-C38B-438C-93A4-702AD1908F6F.thumb.jpeg.84283e3b69452e521c220bd814e95a45.jpeg

😊 Now now Clint, this is Atari we are talking about.

 

What did commercial coders moan about on Atari Consoles like the Panther and Jaguar, even the 7800?

 

Computers like the Falcon? 

 

 

(Ok..that could start a very long list 😂)

 

RAM or the lack of...

 

 

Jinks coder talking about the 7800:

 

"The only downside to the 7800, IMHO, was the pitiful amount of RAM in the 
system which often made things....interesting.... ;-)"

 

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1 hour ago, Clint Thompson said:

 

 

I’ve got one of the 8MB boards, but it’s only populated with 4MB unfortunately. This is the 68020 version.

 

Out of all the things they could have done, it would’ve been cool to have had a Falcon gaming computer hybrid from Atari with this much RAM and Jag’s chipset in 1994.

 

64550A6E-C38B-438C-93A4-702AD1908F6F.thumb.jpeg.84283e3b69452e521c220bd814e95a45.jpeg

Now I need to pull the A51 board I have out of mothballs and look at it more closely :P I imagine that Max Force also only has 4MB, but I wonder about the prototype games. Galloping Ghost Arcade in IL has Freeze, although this doesn't look like it would need more than 4MB (nice and smooth animations though):

 

 

 

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