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NeoGeo64

What was the Jaguar truly capable of?

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But but but! The rocks in Rebooteroids rotate!

I've seen them rotating. Round and round they go!

 

CJ might kill me for this, giving away his secrets.. but it's a trick.. the rocks aren't actually rotating.. the code rotates the universe around you on the quantum level to give the impression that the perfectly static rocks are moving! It's achieved by running main in GPU!! ;) ;) :D

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I know you'll get all bent out of shape by this response, but no, that isn't what it does at all, because it can't rotate. Not unless you count 180 degree horizontal flip. Go and read the documentation (again? I'm not sure it's been even looked at once, tbh)

 

The Jaguar is a console from ~1994. There isn't a super-powerful CPU under the hood that has remained unnoticed for 25 years.

 

That's why I said not without the help of the RISC... The OP alone scales sprites, but a mode 7 like affect can rotate a background sprite or make it appear like it's rotating on multiple layers using multiple sprites. "Super Contra" for the SNES did this demonstrated that effect on the second level using SNES mode 7; something similar can be done on the Jaguar, that much is clear. In the case of "Red Zone" for the Genesis, it appears that sprite rotation is 2D polygon based so the goal for the Atari Jaguar would be to find a balance between the two to yield a better result... But yea I see how that sort of statement can throw someone off and sometimes I do forget certain details from the Jaguar manual, however my point was/is to show it is possible if not unconventionally, but with the Jaguar unconventional seems to be the rule if you want to get something really special out of it as far as visual are concerned. For ever flaw the Jag has, there are some benefits so there's always a way to do something if you really want it done; but I've always been an optimistic dude. I haven't fully felt the pain of programming the Jaguar yet. lol

 

All I know is the Jaguar already has Club Drive, so.. there's no sense trying to perfect 3D gaming on the Jag after that, just focus on what could be unique and fun on the system.

 

Agreed... Just something I'd like to personally see done for myself and I know others who would like to see more 3D content for the Jag. It's a project I started on some years back that I like to see finished.

Edited by philipj

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It's a project I started on some years back that I like to see finished.

Great. Start with the basics. Reading the docs, building sample projects, modifying them, etc.

 

It's a lot more productive than debating on a forum, especially when talking to people who have more experience than you do.

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OMG must we do this?

 

OK, the Atari Jaguar was pure potential, more power than the Sega Saturn and bigger than the Sony Playstation. Its 64 bits of pure power would have dominated the market if only the Tramiels had spent a little bit more money on marketing. Then everyone would know how much better Fight For Life was than Virtua Fighter or Battle Arena Toshinden. Then PHEAR would have come out on the Jaguar and compelled everyone and their mom to buy the system, Minter would have made Defender 2000 run at 120hz, and the VR helmet for Missile Command 3D would have come out and revolutionized the way we play games. RAYMAN would have been a Jag exclusive, smashing all the competitors, and Super Nintendo players would have begged Atari to port Donkey Kong Country to the one true 64 bit powerhouse monster console to rule them all. We would have seen Laura Cruz Tomb Raider and maybe a crossover with Iron Soldier and Ultra Vortek. Sega would have put the cancelled Saturn Eternal Champions on the system and Trevor McFur would have gotten Com-Lynx support with the Atari Lynx, which would have kicked GameBoy's black and white ass. Then 3DO would have put all its great titles on the Jag CD and everyone would still be talking about Plumbers Don't Wear Ties and Vid Grid. Man I wish we had a 2018 update to Vid Grid, that game never got the love it deserved, along with Club Drive. That's the original and best driving game!

 

"Not a troll" <--- the lady doth protest too much, methinks

 

No, Sir! I disagree! The best racing game on the Jag is still Speedster II. But it´s a close head-2-head race with Club Drive.

Edited by evisu
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No, Sir! I disagree! The best racing game on the Jag is still Speedster II. But it´s a close head-2-head race with Club Drive.

 

In terms of FPS, that's actually true lol

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For reference:

 

 

Same company also made a helicopter game:

 

 

There's a bit of irony with a Jag game set at Walmart...

 

Created for a kiddie coin ride; not a commercial game. (Does anyone have a picture of one of those rides?)

Edited by pacman000
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For reference:

 

 

Same company also made a helicopter game:

 

 

There's a bit of irony with a Jag game set at Walmart...

 

Created for a kiddie coin ride; not a commercial game. (Does anyone have a picture of one of those rides?)

Where can I get the OST for Speedster 2? Kickass soundtrack for sure! This game puts Super Burnout to shame, and even gives games like Gran Turismo a run for it's money! I guess I now know what the Jaguar was truly capable of now, case closed. :-D :-o :-D

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Battlemorph

Iron Soldier 2

AvP

Skyhammer

 

I think these give us a pretty solid idea.

 

Even the tunnel areas of Zero 5

8:05 mark

 

It'll always be hard to beat a team of programmers feeding their families on their checks in the timeframe versus guys coding in their spare time today.

 

I think Rayman & Super Burnout are very impressive, but not as exciting to speculate about sprite based games apparently.

Edited by Jagosaurus
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I'd like to see how the Jaguar handle spline and b-spline based 3D, a more bi-cubical style 3D graphics in games... I first took notice of bi-cubical in the game "Star-fighter" for the 3DO with all of the blocky polygons covering the landscape; the Acorn PC version uses even lesser graphics than the 3DO and it had a little bit more to it's hardware; the ground almost look mode 7 like, but I know that's just the way the texture maps look to accommodate hardware that may not have a lot of ram sticks. One computer system I like to look at is an old graphics workstation called the "Adage 3000", which was a 68000 terminal based computer system controlling a larger floor model that had boards that rendered 3D graphics using a series of 4bit AMD 2901 bit-slicers much like the ones used in the "Star Wars" arcade math box as part of a custom "Bipolar Processor", only their hardware was built around "Splines, B-Spines, and Bi-Cubical Surface" rendering techniques the company developed over the years prior. Although the Adage 3000 was a good system, it didn't have no where near what the Jaguar had hardware wise. It was considered the first GPU of its time in the late 70s and early 80s. Their hardware wasn't as powerful as the Jaguar, but they had a more well rounded system design that's still impressive for it's time frame. People always point to the SGI computer stuff (which could much of what the Adage could), but the Adage predated the old "Iris 2400 Workstation Computer" that also had the Motorola 68000 controlling a floor model using custom chips. Bottom line I think the Jag falls in line as a more advanced version of the graphic workstation computers of old with more perks than those old systems versus a PlayStation 1 or Sega Saturn. I could go on and on about that kind of stuff, but I'll just leave it here since it'll be a "YouTube Overload" with my post to help illustrate.

 

You know the crazy thing about the Adage 3000 was that Atari had an Adage Workstation was that Atari owned an Adage computer and used to do some graphics work for the movie "Superman 3" dodging missiles being launched at him... Didn't the movie release around 1982 or 83? They probably used it to do graphic work for the "Firefox Laser Disc Game" as well; who knows? Just a note worthy mention.

 

https://youtu.be/pKgt5IX-HVA

 

 

 

Edited by philipj

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Love a Minter quote:

 

 

" I certainly wouldn't say the 68K was useless, although naturally you'd

use the GPU for anything compute-intensive. The 68K was fine for

running odd bits of game logic though - and convenient 'coz you didn't

have to keep paging code into the GPU address space. I basically used

to run graphics on the GPU/blitter, logic and controls on the 68K side.

 

I think one of the main failings of the way the Jag was handled was that

Atari weren't picky enough about the software that they released. There

were too many "ho-hum" games that were OK but didn't really make you

want to go buy a Jaguar. I think Atari missed a great opportunity,

especially that retro-remakes are getting so popular - they had the

rights to some of the best classics of all time, and excellent

reworkings of their best titles should have been available at or shortly

after launch.

 

If Jag had launched with a really hot reworking of "Star Raiders" (done

properly by someone who really loved that game) and had it as the

pack-in at launch, then followed up (quickly) with excellent reworkings

of some of their classics, I reckon a lot more people would have bought

the system...

 

Also, at times it seemed to me that the producers at Atari wanted to

stick a load of stuff like texture mapping - which Jag sucked at, as it

had no hardware assist for proper texmapping - into games just because

it was trendy, rather than doing stuff that really played to Jag's

strengths (like Gouraud-shading with a high poly count). So you ended

up with games that had trendy texmaps and ran at one frame per Sunday

(Hover Strike anyone?) instead of nice, smooth, lightsourced

Gouraud-shaded stuff, which IMO looks very cool anyway, and which you

can do at a decent clip on the Jag.

 

Rule #1 of game design is that you should design with the strengths of

the target hardware in mind. Too many people don't seem to realise

this. This is why the best games are created by designers who are also

coders, or who are at least technically proficient enough to grok the

target hardware deeply. Otherwise you get the designer coming up with

all these wild and outrageous ideas, and the poor coders having to

shoe-horn them into a hardware context that can't really sustain them."

 

 

Hover Strike 1 frame per Sunday ...a classic Minter statement

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Agreed!

Hover Strike is a good game!

 

(cd version is better of course)

 

 

It's one of my favorite games on the Jaguar.

 

… and yeah, the CD version just seems worlds better, but for the life of me can't remember what exactly is different about it.

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It's one of my favorite games on the Jaguar.

 

and yeah, the CD version just seems worlds better, but for the life of me can't remember what exactly is different about it.

Looks better, sounds better, runs better. :)

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Nice to see the Minter quote went down well.

 

How about Matthew Gosling on how Zero 5 used the hardware and his follow up racing game Atari didn't want ?

 

"We found it to be significantly faster on plain flat-shaded polygons,

which usually form 90% of the game world (although some sections, such

as asteroid belts, are heavily texture-mapped). Memory was also an

issue as well, as we wanted triple bufferring, which was far more

feasable with 8-bit colour (especially as we give over something like

300K to in-game music, speech and sound FX, we really needed the RAM).

 

As for the number of colours, nobody at Atari noticed it was 8-bit

until we told them (they wanted us to use the trick of holding

textures in the colour palette), but perhaps that is more of a

reflection on Atari ..."

 

 

 

 

"We also knocked up a basic engine to use for a racing game

after finishing Zero 5, using a strange technique, which Atari weren't

interested in. This is something that, in theory, sounds like it

wouldn't work at all, but the effect was quite good. It used the

object processor to simulate texture mapping. Each scanline of each

polygon is effectively a 1-line high scaled sprite, with DATA and

HSCALE set to show the appropriate texture line. The trouble with

this technique (apart from about 1meg's worth of double buffered

object list) is that the texture has to stay upright, it can't rotate,

but it's amazing what you can get away with in the case of a racing

game with mainly flat road and side barriers .."

 

 

cue this being added to Wikipedia entry for sure...and your welcome.

Edited by Lost Dragon
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Last one...

 

Marc Rosocha:

 

"When we started our development on Jaguar we also had

to decide which mode to use, and our conclusion was that the

advantages of the 16 bit CRY mode (hardware gouraud shading, more

colors and easier graphics creation without having to care about color

limitations) are definitely worth using it. We couldn't recognize a

considerable performance loss compared to 8 bit mode, so it was more a

question of available memory.

 

The memory interface between GPU and DRAM is quite tricky. You have to

be very careful how to write back your data to DRAM. If the time

between two writes is too long, the GPU will give up the bus, and if

you haven't shut down the 68K or the Blitter is running in the

background, this will cause constant page faults and therefore a loss

of performance."

 

"I have also experimented with various kinds of pixel transfer

concepts, using combined Blitter / GPU routines, caching and data

ordering techniques. In the end I worked out a routine that could make

much higher use of the 64 bit / fast page mode characteristics than

the usual pixel mode blitter stuff."

 

"We worked on a new 3D engine designed around this routine to create a

completely texture mapped racing game with a decent frame rate.

Unfortunately, as with some other proposed projects, Atari was just

too blind and unflexible to see what big step foward we could achieve

and so we had to cancel development after a few months as we couldn't

afford to proceed without Atari's support. At least some results from

our research were used in IS2. "

 

 

 

"The Jaguar was designed to support fast and smooth gouraud shaded

polygons and had also still a very strong 2D hardware with the Object

Processor. Texture mapping was implemented as a possibility, but the

designers surely didn't see texture mapping as the main feature of

their chipset. Also, and this is truly sad, the earlier dev systems

had in fact a significantly higher texure mapping performance than the

production version."

 

We really should have a thread dedicated to the best games Atari were offered, but weren't interested in, at this rate.

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I've always had an interest in the games Atari were offered for the Jaguar, but weren't interested in.

 

Judging by the comments from Marc, (Lee B and ) Matthew Gosling, we could of seen another 3 racing games at least had Atari kept the Jaguar going a little longer and taken what was being offered to them.

 

Forwarded on a few other odds n sods for Atarimania's Jaguar section last night..These were among the material i had been meaning to send months ago.

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We really should have a thread dedicated to the best games Atari were offered, but weren't interested in, at this rate.

 

Yeah, another "what if"/speculation thread. That's what the Jag forum needs.

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I think Atari missed a great opportunity,

especially that retro-remakes are getting so popular - they had the

rights to some of the best classics of all time, and excellent

reworkings of their best titles should have been available at or shortly

after launch.

 

If Jag had launched with a really hot reworking of "Star Raiders" (done

properly by someone who really loved that game) and had it as the

pack-in at launch, then followed up (quickly) with excellent reworkings

of some of their classics, I reckon a lot more people would have bought

the system...

That statement is obviously true right now, but do you guys think it was back then? It seems to me that compilations such as Namco Museum started to appear in the second half of the 90s but got terrible reviews at the time, because they were too expensive (full retail price) for primitive games from the early 80s at best. Of course it doesn't mean that nobody bought them, but the way nostalgia works, you need at least 20 to 30 years for games, movies or music to become very popular again. I guess Minter is advocating for Tempest 2000 and Defender 2000, which may be great games but I really am note sure they were system sellers alas...

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That statement is obviously true right now, but do you guys think it was back then? It seems to me that compilations such as Namco Museum started to appear in the second half of the 90s but got terrible reviews at the time, because they were too expensive (full retail price) for primitive games from the early 80s at best. Of course it doesn't mean that nobody bought them, but the way nostalgia works, you need at least 20 to 30 years for games, movies or music to become very popular again. I guess Minter is advocating for Tempest 2000 and Defender 2000, which may be great games but I really am note sure they were system sellers alas...

Yes. The '90s had a slew of retro remakes that were popular, particularly in the PS1 era. Asteroids, Space Invaders, Centipede, Missile Command, etc. Then there are the compilation packages (Williams and Atari's Greatest Hits, Activision Classics, Namco Museums, etc). The earliest Namco Museum began in Japan in 1995, while the first iteration of it hit the USA market mid-'96. A couple of these as well as some of the retro remakes (like Asteroids) received the Greatest Hits treatment, which is an indicator of their popularity.

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