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Ranger03

How could they mess up Doom for the 32X?

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I bought the 32x at retail new specifically for Doom, Virtua Racing and Star Wars. Sure, doom wasn't as good as the PC version. But to have a PC rig capable of playing it, you needed to spend $1000+. The 32x was $150. It was a no brainer at the time.  It's completely playable. 

 

Just for fun, I snipped some PC advertisements from the period we're discussing. PC prices were off the hook!

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/280935-a-bunch-of-pc-ads-from-december-6-1994/

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As a part-time musician, this conversation is killing me. :lol:

 

You mean OPL3 based FM sythesis, VS Midi Samples playback.

 

 

 

Doesn't the PC version use ordinary FM midi? The music isn't bad.

 

 

MIDI is just MIDI, not completed sound. There's no FM MIDI or sample MIDI. The industry settled on a MIDI standard called General MIDI that included 128 specific instruments available across 15 channels, plus one percussion channel where each percussive instrument had its own specific note that appeared in channel 10 as the 16th channel. MIDI is note data that's sent to a MIDI-capable device. The MIDI device then interprets the note data and plays music.

 

The device might use FM synthesis or sample playback. In the 90s there were some common (but suuuuuper expensive) external MIDI devices that consumers could get their hands on. Roland had the GS series, Yamaha had their own stuff, and Gravis had the internal wavetable player in the UltraSound. Most PC gamers had Creative Sound Blaster cards in their PCs, and many of those cards used a Yamaha OPL FM synthesizer. Later in the decade, Creative released the Sound Blaster Live that had its own "sound font" technology, which was a bank of instrument samples. Windows 98 introduced a General MIDI synth baked into the OS that provided sample-based playback, and from that point forward MIDI hasn't really changed in Windows. All that is getting beyond the scope of Doom, though, unless you count one of the later Windows ports. 

 

I had a Yamaha keyboard that had MIDI in/out ports. Those ports interfaced with the 15-pin "joystick" port on my PC. I couldn't use a joystick and my MIDI controller at the same time, which was a shame. The keyboard could then play the music from Doom using the built-in sounds. It was way better than any FM synth for sounding like a real instrument, but it wasn't so great at FM sound effects, which basically don't exist in many DOS PC games, since the Sound Blaster did a great job with audio samples compared to 16-bit consoles. 

Edited by derFunkenstein

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Don't you mean Easy: They ported it to the 32x.  :P

 

Doom on PS1 is pretty good.

 

I meant exactly what I said. :twisted:

 

IMO there is no such thing as a good console port of Doom,* although the PSX version does probably come the closest. Hell, even the PC version of Doom isn't the best version of Doom now that there are source ports, texture packs, sound packs, and mods out the absolute yin-yang to fit any style of gameplay you desire (seriously, the activity of the Doom scene is mind-blowing). Once you've played the game in GZDoom or Zandronum with something like Smooth Doom, there is just absolutely no going back to any '90s console port, or even plain, old, bare-bones, as-it-was-in-1994, vanilla PC Doom. Except maybe for a nostalgia trip.

 

I very rarely say that about old games vs. updates/remakes, but in the case of games like Doom, Duke 3D, and other "immersive," pseudo-realistic '90s FPSes, the forms that these games have evolved to are more or less what they would have been in the first place had the tech been there at the time. John Romero himself once even said something to the effect of Brutal Doom being the game iD would have made in 1993 if they could have. So I grant Doom a rare exception to the "don't f@#$ with it" rule. :-D

 

However, I can understand how those console versions were pretty great at the time. I was there, myself. :P And yeah, PCs that could competently run the game were expensive AF (in the parlance of our times). I mean, you'd still have had to have been pretty hard up for some Doom action to suffer through the SNES version, but if you had a 32X? Jaguar? PlayStation? Those would have gotten the job done until you could get a decent PC. :-D (Sorry, 3DO owners.  :_( )

 

(*Defined as "Coming even close to being as good as the PC version.")

Edited by BassGuitari

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Hell, even the PC version of Doom isn't the best version of Doom now that there are source ports, texture packs, sound packs, and mods out the absolute yin-yang to fit any style of gameplay you desire (seriously, the activity of the Doom scene is mind-blowing). Once you've played the game in GZDoom or Zandronum with something like Smooth Doom, there is just absolutely no going back to any '90s console port, or even plain, old, bare-bones, as-it-was-in-1994, vanilla PC Doom. Except maybe for a nostalgia trip.

 

 

Funny, because despite trying countless mods and enchancements for the FPS games from this heady era, I'll still rather play the originals, if it was down to a binary choice (regarding the fx changes at least). I totally respect the modders' skill, effort and inventiveness,  and these versions sure can be fun to play with - but I guess I'm just allergic to absolute statements such as the "there is absolutely no going back..." one.

 

And, it has zilch to do with nostalgia. I just like the old style, is all :)

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...I guess I'm just allergic to absolute statements such as the "there is absolutely no going back..." one.


I mean...I did preface the entire paragraph with "IMO." So pop some Zyrtec. :P :-D

 

Teasing aside, I totally respect where you're coming from. I'm generally a bit of a purist when it comes to most things classic gaming-related (ex: Genesis pads on a 2600 = blasphemy), but for me personally, Doom is one of the few things where I can't see a real reason to go back. I've probably been spoiled by mouselook, butter-smooth framerates, HD textures, particle and lighting effects, varied monster sprites and death animations, improved weapon physics, etc. etc. etc., but OTOH realism and immersion were what games like Doom were going for, and all this stuff only serves that end. I play the game with all these enhancements and think, "This is the way it was supposed to be." The OG stuff is just too clunky and clumsy for me, especially the console ports. Again, just my opinion.

 

No accounting for taste, I guess. :-D

 

I just like the old style, is all :)

Ordinarily, I'd be with you. Just not for Doom. :-D

Edited by BassGuitari

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As a part-time musician, this conversation is killing me. :lol:

 

MIDI is just MIDI, not completed sound. There's no FM MIDI or sample MIDI. The industry settled on a MIDI standard called General MIDI that included 128 specific instruments available across 15 channels, plus one percussion channel where each percussive instrument had its own specific note that appeared in channel 10 as the 16th channel. MIDI is note data that's sent to a MIDI-capable device. The MIDI device then interprets the note data and plays music.

 

The device might use FM synthesis or sample playback. In the 90s there were some common (but suuuuuper expensive) external MIDI devices that consumers could get their hands on. Roland had the GS series, Yamaha had their own stuff, and Gravis had the internal wavetable player in the UltraSound. Most PC gamers had Creative Sound Blaster cards in their PCs, and many of those cards used a Yamaha OPL FM synthesizer. Later in the decade, Creative released the Sound Blaster Live that had its own "sound font" technology, which was a bank of instrument samples. Windows 98 introduced a General MIDI synth baked into the OS that provided sample-based playback, and from that point forward MIDI hasn't really changed in Windows. All that is getting beyond the scope of Doom, though, unless you count one of the later Windows ports. 

 

I had a Yamaha keyboard that had MIDI in/out ports. Those ports interfaced with the 15-pin "joystick" port on my PC. I couldn't use a joystick and my MIDI controller at the same time, which was a shame. The keyboard could then play the music from Doom using the built-in sounds. It was way better than any FM synth for sounding like a real instrument, but it wasn't so great at FM sound effects, which basically don't exist in many DOS PC games, since the Sound Blaster did a great job with audio samples compared to 16-bit consoles. 

 

Developers had to be conscious of their musical compositions in MIDI because you didn't really know what the music would sound like on everybody's PC. Did you do something unique that only sounds good for MT-32 owners, or a dumbed down AdLib-friendly soundtrack?

 

I remember finding patchsets for my Gravis Ultrasound that helped tweak the music in Doom to sound better - or at least closer to what the composer intended. I don't think people nowadays appreciate how amazing it is that developers can just toss in a high-resolution digital soundtrack and rest assured it'll play back flawlessly on every device.

Edited by deepthaw

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I mean...I did preface the entire paragraph with "IMO." So pop some Zyrtec. :P :-D

 

Teasing aside, I totally respect where you're coming from. I'm generally a bit of a purist when it comes to most things classic gaming-related (ex: Genesis pads on a 2600 = blasphemy), but for me personally, Doom is one of the few things where I can't see a real reason to go back. I've probably been spoiled by mouselook, butter-smooth framerates, HD textures, particle and lighting effects, varied monster sprites and death animations, improved weapon physics, etc. etc. etc., but OTOH realism and immersion were what games like Doom were going for, and all this stuff only serves that end. I play the game with all these enhancements and think, "This is the way it was supposed to be." The OG stuff is just too clunky and clumsy for me, especially the console ports. Again, just my opinion.

 

No accounting for taste, I guess. :-D

 

Ordinarily, I'd be with you. Just not for Doom. :-D

 

It's weird how much source ports and other modern improvements *haven't* ruined Doom. I always play with GZDoom and find going back to 320x200 Doom to be choppy and ugly. I think it's the strong art direction and arcade-y gameplay. 60fps (actually, whatever gazillion fps modern PCs can do) complements the very run-and-gun feel so much better than the original 35fps maximum. I don't do any filtering or so-on, I want my pixels so sharp I can cut myself! :)

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I meant exactly what I said. :twisted:

 

IMO there is no such thing as a good console port of Doom,* although the PSX version does probably come the closest. Hell, even the PC version of Doom isn't the best version of Doom now that there are source ports, texture packs, sound packs, and mods out the absolute yin-yang to fit any style of gameplay you desire (seriously, the activity of the Doom scene is mind-blowing). Once you've played the game in GZDoom or Zandronum with something like Smooth Doom, there is just absolutely no going back to any '90s console port, or even plain, old, bare-bones, as-it-was-in-1994, vanilla PC Doom. Except maybe for a nostalgia trip.

 

I very rarely say that about old games vs. updates/remakes, but in the case of games like Doom, Duke 3D, and other "immersive," pseudo-realistic '90s FPSes, the forms that these games have evolved to are more or less what they would have been in the first place had the tech been there at the time. John Romero himself once even said something to the effect of Brutal Doom being the game iD would have made in 1993 if they could have. So I grant Doom a rare exception to the "don't f@#$ with it" rule. :-D

 

However, I can understand how those console versions were pretty great at the time. I was there, myself. :P And yeah, PCs that could competently run the game were expensive AF (in the parlance of our times). I mean, you'd still have had to have been pretty hard up for some Doom action to suffer through the SNES version, but if you had a 32X? Jaguar? PlayStation? Those would have gotten the job done until you could get a decent PC. :-D (Sorry, 3DO owners.  :_( )

 

(*Defined as "Coming even close to being as good as the PC version.")

 

I hadn't seen Smooth Doom before. Looks like I need to install and replay Doom for the umpteenth time.

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I hadn't seen Smooth Doom before. Looks like I need to install and replay Doom for the umpteenth time.

 

Check out some custom .WADs and map packs while you're at it! There's an absolute metric ton of amazing stuff out there. :)

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I hadn't seen Smooth Doom before. Looks like I need to install and replay Doom for the umpteenth time.

 

Wow, that looks nice, if very subtle. Like what Carmack said about his iOS port of Doom -- "like you remember it, which is better than it actually was"

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Check out some custom .WADs and map packs while you're at it! There's an absolute metric ton of amazing stuff out there. :)

 

There is! And I still remember (and have) all my wads from back in the day. The ones I made and the ones others made. The genuine data bits that came in on 14.4K baud and slower. The genuine bits still sitting on my Zip disks. Yessirreee!

 

 

Wow, that looks nice, if very subtle. Like what Carmack said about his iOS port of Doom -- "like you remember it, which is better than it actually was"

 

Funny that phenomenon, remembering how things were, the remembrances of the time are almost always universally better than the actual experience at the time. I really have little desire to be a 10-year old kid sitting on a smelly worn carpet playing Atari VCS on a 25" tube TV that's got CB radio distortion and my parents bothering me to do my homework. Not interested in going back to the exact years of playing Doom for real for the first time. Had too much other "stuff" to worry about like hiding my sex toys and mags from the parents!

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Developers had to be conscious of their musical compositions in MIDI because you didn't really know what the music would sound like on everybody's PC. Did you do something unique that only sounds good for MT-32 owners, or a dumbed down AdLib-friendly soundtrack?

 

I remember finding patchsets for my Gravis Ultrasound that helped tweak the music in Doom to sound better - or at least closer to what the composer intended. I don't think people nowadays appreciate how amazing it is that developers can just toss in a high-resolution digital soundtrack and rest assured it'll play back flawlessly on every device.

 

Yep, all of this is true. That's what was so glorious about MIDI tracks in games, but also why you can't just brush in broad strokes and say "MIDI suxx" like the person I referred to (yet mysteriously didn't quote, for some reason) said. 

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Yep, all of this is true. That's what was so glorious about MIDI tracks in games, but also why you can't just brush in broad strokes and say "MIDI suxx" like the person I referred to (yet mysteriously didn't quote, for some reason) said. 

 

"MIDI suxx"

 

Oh? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fvO__ywTZg would have a word with you.

 

I think way too many people just equated FM Synth == MIDI back in the day.

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I was reading about Doom on the 32x and it sounded like they paid John Carmack to port it. Which sounds good until you start reading about him camping out working his butt off to get it done in time.

It's dumb that Sega didn't do more for this port as it was a show piece for the 32x and a better port could have sold a lot more systems.

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Did Jay Wilbur of I.D software say it was unlikely they'd be doing 3DO Doom in house , as they prefered to code to the metal as it were on hardware..

Did the 32X let coders bypass the O/S ?

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Found the I.D comment about coding to the metal on 3DO,

Makes more sense when it's in context, comment from John Romero as well:

Jay: Our developers can program on the metal with
the Jaguar and not hurt a thing. If one were to go to the hardware
on the 3DO it is likely to crash with the next OS rev. [John: help
me here].

John (Romero): We like fitting our code within
cartridge-sized constraints - it's fun. And the
parallel-processing elements of programming on the Jaguar are much
more fun to code than a straightforward architecture. We don't like
wasting space on CD-ROM.

:-)) Always heard developers moaning about PlayStation libraries being too restrictive,Sega keeping the best for themselves with the Saturn...

Had no idea what they might have moaned about when developing on 32X, O/S wrong term clearly then :-)

Libraries better term?
Probably not...:-)

1st time i have seen Romero talk about Jaguar in positive light as well.

So that's a bonus... Edited by Lost Dragon

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what really irks me is this commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcINs2hJwGs

 

the 32X is not 6 times more powerful than the 3DO, hell, its less powerful than the nes

 

however, i own one (and need a few more cords)

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the 32X is not 6 times more powerful than the 3DO

I think that wild claim is based on the MIPS rating of their CPUs. Each one of the 32X's CPUs is far more powerful than the 3DO one. 

However, the 32X has minimal video hardware and every 3D game on it has to be software-rendered, unlike with the 3DO. That's the part Sega's marketing didn't tell you.

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To be fair, John Carmack did tell people the 32X version would not look as good as the Jaguar version, as the Jaguar version had twice the man hours spent on it.

You rush a project out..it's gonna suffer.

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