Jump to content
Sporadic

Checkered Flag ROM Compilation and source tweaks

Recommended Posts

Maybe it's better to disassembly the rom.

I like the idea of working with the original code, personally. But yes, that is perhaps an option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The checkered Flag 3D engine has no Gouraud and no texture mapping mode ...

Using Hover Strike engine to create a car game could be better ? ( 3DS models ; texture mapping )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The checkered Flag 3D engine has no Gouraud and no texture mapping mode ...

Using Hover Strike engine to create a car game could be better ? ( 3DS models ; texture mapping )

 

One is a slow, juddering mess of 3D pixels and the other is... wait, which one are we talking about?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found the coder talking about the game back in the day, thought this a good a place as any to share it...

 

 


1. There are guard rails on the bridges, cause we don't want a swimming
game.
2. There are barriers around the track in some places to stop you driving
out of the 3D world
3. There is room enough to turn the car round on any piece of track other
than chicanes or narrow sections
4. Virtua Racing on the Genesis turns you back to face the right way if
you crash when driving the wrong way.  I don't.  I want you to be able to
drive right round the track backwards, even if you bounce off a few walls
on the way.
5. VR also has invisible walls - I hated that, so I don't have any.  If
I'm going to stop you getting out of an area, you'll be able to see the
wall that stops you.
6. VR also has holes in the track in the distance because it can't cope
with the number of polygons - not so for the Jaguar, where we draw out to
1/2 a mile away.

 

Rebellion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the look of CF but its really an embarassement for the devs. 

On 5/3/2019 at 12:14 PM, Fredifredo said:

The checkered Flag 3D engine has no Gouraud and no texture mapping mode ...

Using Hover Strike engine to create a car game could be better ? ( 3DS models ; texture mapping )

Of all 3D engines on Jaguar it's Iron Soldier (2) - its fast and can do gourads and textures. I really like to know if that "30 FPS fully texture mapped engine for a combat/racing game" by Eclipse was real or just a myth. Interestingly enough, after Iron Soldier's main coder Michael Bittner left Eclipse/Atari, he founded Synetic in 1996/1997 and their first game was Have a N.I.C.E. day, a fast combat racing game for PC. ;-) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's this book I ran into around the late 90s called "Virtual Reality Madness by SAMS publishing" that came out right around the time "Checkered Flag" came out and it's basically a book that highlights the VR technology of the times around 93 or 94. I found the book in a bargain bin around 97 or 98, but it was my introduction into the world of Virtual Reality. It came with a couple of CDs with shareware programs that required DOS or Win 3.1 and it featured some pretty amazing stuff or so I thought at the time; it also had a wire-frame modeler for DOS called "Impulse Imagine 3D", which I later found out was originally an Amiga software ported over. Looking at all of that polygonal stuff on Checkered Flag sort of reminds of the programs they used in the book and I sometimes wonder what kind of 3D program they used to model the 3D objects for the the game.

 

As choppy as the game is, I actually like the open world feel of the game... It's my understanding the only reason the game ran slow was because of the 68K Motorola controlling the AI caused the slowdown. The game play was a bit stiff with the controls, but it does show off some of what the Jag is capable of especially considering the tools "Rebellion" had to work with. Still I would love to learn what made that game tick and perhaps make something better.

 

s-l1600.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, philipj said:

 

As choppy as the game is, I actually like the open world feel of the game... It's my understanding the only reason the game ran slow was because of the 68K Motorola controlling the AI caused the slowdown. 

 

I'm pretty sure I tried removing the AI as one of my tests. It still ran like crap.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt we will ever know the full story regarding Checkered Flag's development. 

 

The Kingsley Brothers have put forward their side:It was a title they had little control over, Atari rushed it to market, they were simply contacted by Atari to produce a plain Polygon 3D Racing Title for the Jaguar and thats what they gave them..tthey tried various control methods etc etc .

 

Then you have Atari documentation  showcasing the low opinion Jon Correl had of Rebellion. .

 

 

There were clearly internal conflicts within Rebellion itself..Jane Whittaker has been proven to be a fraud and serial bullshitter,  another coder from Rebellion who wishes to remain anonymous has put the blame on the frame rate issues of AVP squarely on Janes 68000 code for the games A.I.

 

 

Mike Beaton, who joined after C.F had been started, refused to answer Q's about time at Rebellion (tthough that was probably due to the Whittaker investigation).

 

 

And now we have the coders views..11 mire piece of a much larger jigsaw puzzle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Sporadic said:

I'm pretty sure I tried removing the AI as one of my tests. It still ran like crap.

 

The source code does seem like a bit of cluster screw when going through it... I'm still thinking the Motorola has something to do the the slow down, although I can't really prove it. A real shame in a way... Sega was able to port Virtua Racing to the Genesis and get a very decent frame rate, but Rebellion couldn't get their game to do the same. Still it's good to have the source code available to take a good look at.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, philipj said:

 

The source code does seem like a bit of cluster screw when going through it... I'm still thinking the Motorola has something to do the the slow down, although I can't really prove it. A real shame in a way... Sega was able to port Virtua Racing to the Genesis and get a very decent frame rate, but Rebellion couldn't get their game to do the same. Still it's good to have the source code available to take a good look at.

Sega had AM2 i believe coded Genesis Virtua Racing?

 

 

Atari by comparison with C.F approached Rebellion, who were a small, inexperienced team, who'd approached Atari UK looking to do Falcon games and showed a concept demo they had for a planned Viking Longboats Vs Dragons game and Atari said we would like you instead to do games on our new Jaguar Console...

 

 

Starting with a 3D Polygon Racing Game to match Virtua Racing...

 

It was apparently the coders first title...

 

 

What could go wrong? 😂

 

 

 

Someone like Geoff Crammond or Thalion  or Lankhor's Dan Mcrae or Gremlin Graphics Team Suzuki team..

 

People with proven history of Polygon 3D Racing Games on the Atari ST would of been a start...

 

But Rebellion ????

Edited by Lost Dragon
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gremlin... Isn't that the company who made that DOS game "Whiplash"...? The moves Atari was making back then; you know some decisions you can kind of see the logic and justifications, but Atari must have really been desperate the decisions they were making. All in all Checkered Flag really is a good first effort game for a start up company, unfortunately people don't see regard first efforts, they look at the end results, but Rebellion did make AVP which was a system seller so it's pretty evident that their vision was pretty broad at that time. Still I was very happy when CF source code first got released some years back so I certainly understand anyone who'd want to take a good look at it; it's just a lot to it I didn't understand at first, but man talk about a game that has a large 3D world to it that's almost comparable to Virtual Racing... If only CF ran as smooth as it does on an emulator.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Lost Dragon said:

I doubt we will ever know the full story regarding Checkered Flag's development.

I think the source code reveals the true story: inexperienced coders. There are more remark statements stating this needs fixed or optimized or is placeholder than there is actual game code. 
 

No fault of their own really. It was their first 3D game with a deadline that didn’t allow for the 6+ months of optimizations (or learning curve) needed.

Edited by Clint Thompson
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off topic, if not related, but...

 

Was there any relation between World Tour Racing (WTR) and Checkered Flag (CF)?  Thought i read one time WTR started off being named CF2, but that seems odd given that WTR was coded by different development company than Rebellion.

 

Any chance we will ever see source code for WTR?

 

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/26/2019 at 11:07 AM, Sporadic said:

I'm pretty sure I tried removing the AI as one of my tests. It still ran like crap.

What AI? 🤣 The CPU cars are the most stupid thing that ever ruined a racing game - they literally stop on the straights and run into you in the corners.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jguff said:

Off topic, if not related, but...

 

Was there any relation between World Tour Racing (WTR) and Checkered Flag (CF)?  Thought i read one time WTR started off being named CF2, but that seems odd given that WTR was coded by different development company than Rebellion.

 

Any chance we will ever see source code for WTR?

 

Bob

Other than WTR also starting life as a cartridge based polygon 3D Racer until Atari wanted it texture mapped and moved to Jaguar CD?

 

Not that i am aware of.

 

Teque coded one,  Rebellion the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Clint Thompson said:

I think the source code reveals the true story: inexperienced coders. There are more remark statements stating this needs fixed or optimized or is placeholder than there is actual game code. 
 

No fault of their own really. It was their first 3D game with a deadline that didn’t allow for the 6+ months of optimizations (or learning curve) needed.

I'd see it as the above being a very large part of the problem, but there were clearly internal staffing conflicts and issues within Rebellion. 

 

Looking at comments Kingsley Brothers made to the press at the time about a certain coder who came promising big things, but couldn't do the maths calculations needed for 3D and left soon after...

 

The claims by serial liar Jane Whittaker. .

 

Comments at the time from Rebellion coders that they were not allowed to discuss certain aspects of games in development as it was forbidden by Jason Kingsley but Atari had far more control over certain projects than people might expect..

 

Atari to blame for rushing C.F to market..

 

 

The blame game has been played between Atari and Rebellion and within the ranks of Rebellion itself. 

 

A lot of old wounds still fester no doubt and these days Rebellion P.R seem to screen the more probing questions about the companies past. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, philipj said:

Gremlin... Isn't that the company who made that DOS game "Whiplash"...? The moves Atari was making back then; you know some decisions you can kind of see the logic and justifications, but Atari must have really been desperate the decisions they were making. All in all Checkered Flag really is a good first effort game for a start up company, unfortunately people don't see regard first efforts, they look at the end results, but Rebellion did make AVP which was a system seller so it's pretty evident that their vision was pretty broad at that time. Still I was very happy when CF source code first got released some years back so I certainly understand anyone who'd want to take a good look at it; it's just a lot to it I didn't understand at first, but man talk about a game that has a large 3D world to it that's almost comparable to Virtual Racing... If only CF ran as smooth as it does on an emulator.

 

 

 

Gremlins ST library:

http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-st-gremlin-graphics_publisher_1235_S_G.html

 

The trouble with using inexperienced start up companies to produce 1st wave software for your flagship hardware you've hyped the backside off, is that very, very few are going to give them any wriggle room.

 

Atari promised press and consumers 64 bit gaming and 64 bit gaming is what they were expecting.

 

Something that wasn't as impressive as what was running on the 32 bit add on for a 16 bit console,  was always going to get slaughtered,  espically considering it didn't even play as well as the 16 bit SVP chip version.

 

 

Rebellion had vision...

 

AVP/Skyhammer and Legions proved that, but to fund that vision, they had to start with contract work for Atari.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2019 at 7:54 PM, agradeneu said:

I like the look of CF but its really an embarassement for the devs. 

Of all 3D engines on Jaguar it's Iron Soldier (2) - its fast and can do gourads and textures. I really like to know if that "30 FPS fully texture mapped engine for a combat/racing game" by Eclipse was real or just a myth. Interestingly enough, after Iron Soldier's main coder Michael Bittner left Eclipse/Atari, he founded Synetic in 1996/1997 and their first game was Have a N.I.C.E. day, a fast combat racing game for PC. ;-) 

Found this..

 

Marc in discussion with Zero 5 coder Matthew Gosling:

 

"What I really can't understand is why you decided to run your game in
256 color mode. 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.    


(M.G): Actually, I remember playing with a GPU linedraw that didn't touch the
blitter.  It held a texture in the GPU cache, and drew lines by building up something like 8 'destination' pixels (at 8bpp) into 2 registers, and then writing them out to the screen memory ... the
performance sucked, it was slower than pixel-mode blitting from system
memory :(

 


(Marc):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.        


(M.G) :Yeah, hence my original comment about how it would have been nice to
get some dedicated video RAM in theJag.

 

 


(Marc):This is beyond question and I'm sure the hardware designers also knew
this. On the other hand you have to remember that at the time, when
the Jaguar hardware was developed,  the use of texture mapping was not
as common as today. And dedicated RAM would be primarily needed to
speed up texture mapping, for nearly all other purposes the shared
DRAM concept works just fine and made the machine much cheaper to
manufacture.

 

 

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.


Marc

 

 

Sadly it doesn't sound if the planned racing title progressed much beyond the game engine due to Atari's lack of backing.

 

Interesting chat between the 2 of them though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Supposedly the racing game was completed. He approached Atari with it and they said you're too late. Should have brought it sooner. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, JagChris said:

Supposedly the racing game was completed. He approached Atari with it and they said you're too late. Should have brought it sooner. 

"You are too late, we have Supercross 3D" 🤡

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

"You are too late, we have Supercross 3D" 🤡

Would like to see a source to explain where Eclipse got the funding to finish the game.

 

Marc's comments to Matthew suggest Atari was unwilling to fund it's development, something Matthew himself said of Caspain Software's own attempt at a Jaguar racing game and thus it was killed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Lost Dragon said:

Would like to see a source to explain where Eclipse got the funding to finish the game.

 

Marc's comments to Matthew suggest Atari was unwilling to fund it's development, something Matthew himself said of Caspain Software's own attempt at a Jaguar racing game and thus it was killed.

 

 

Yep I fully agree. I was joking about JagChris comment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

Yep I fully agree. I was joking about JagChris comment.

The claim presented needs a lot more grounding to have credibility for myself, as it suggests:

 

The version of events Marc tells Matthew is in fact wrong, Eclipse totally finished  the game, despite having no publisher lined up, show it to Atari, hoping they will sign it, but Atari decline, stating it needed to of been shown to them a lot earlier.

 

This throws up so many questions:

 

 

1) Why was it deemed too late? Jaguar market iit's death throes or did Atari decide W.T.R was enough?

 

 

2)Where did Eclipse get the funding to pursue a title that at that point had no signed publisher and why on earth take such a commercial risk on a niche platform like the Jaguar?

 

 

3) If complete..why didn't Eclipse approach a third party to publish it on their behalf? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...