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Leeroy ST

Has anyone tried to create a game/demo that explores the 7800's 3D capabilities?

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2 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Can studying coding of 3D on the 5200 be of use to learn how-to program 3D on 7800…?

Probably not, because the display architecture is different. (at least to my understanding). 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

Probably not, because the display architecture is different. (at least to my understanding). 

 

 

Oh…

 

darned

 

Edited by Giles N

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57 minutes ago, ZylonBane said:

Now explain how you think "very unique architecture" equates to "scaling style games and filled 3D was possible at relatively high frame rates".

Which was shown in F-18 Hornet.

 

You dont have anything to complain about here, that's why you didn't tag. Your whole argument is flawed, the fact is no one said the 7800 had dedicated 3D hardware, you made it up in your head.

 

Yes it is "capable" of 3D as seen in the game this thread was created around. Yes, the other consoles not so much. And that's it. 

 

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51 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Hey-hey!

 

I was only asking about info…!!

(I’m not living inside a 7800 machine)

 

- - -

Anyway… I’d be more interested in seeing an exchange of info concerning actual ‘how-to’-developement rather than just lots of meta-discussion concerning who said what with which possible intention.

 

- - -

 

We have F 18, where they actually got some 3D stuff to actually be pulled of fairly well, - with a fairly good frame-rate.

 

We don’t have source-code to learn from…

 

…so how do we get a 3D game up and running… (conceptually or theoretically at least…)?

 

- - -

Can studying coding of 3D on the 5200 be of use to learn how-to program 3D on 7800…?

I mentioned before the C64 had a lesser version of F18.

 

It may be possible to learn by looking at both versions. But it would help if someone could find the source codes.

 

Clearly the devs of F18 saw the 7800 could improve what was done on C64 in many areas, so they had to gain knowledge of its capabilities to discover that.

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2 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Which was shown in F-18 Hornet.

Exactly which aspect of the 7800's "very unique architecture" do you believe was exploited in F-18 Hornet?

 

  

2 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Clearly the devs of F18 saw the 7800 could improve what was done on C64 in many areas, so they had to gain knowledge of its capabilities to discover that.

F-18 runs faster on the 7800 than the C64 because the 7800 version is rendering the 3D view at half the vertical resolution, in a smaller viewport, on a CPU that's about 50% faster. Simple as that.

Edited by ZylonBane
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3 hours ago, Giles N said:

Can studying coding of 3D on the 5200 be of use to learn how-to program 3D on 7800…?

Neither the 5200 nor the 7800 video hardware have any "3D" features. So any 3D-looking games, either faked with scaled sprites or brute-forced by drawing to a frame buffer, are going to use mostly platform-agnostic techniques.

 

So yes, but no more so than literally any other platform or environment that supports a frame buffer.

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3 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

I mentioned before the C64 had a lesser version of F18.

 

It may be possible to learn by looking at both versions. But it would help if someone could find the source codes.

 

Clearly the devs of F18 saw the 7800 could improve what was done on C64 in many areas, so they had to gain knowledge of its capabilities to discover that.

But the C64 also had these.. 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Rogue supposedly features A. A on the Polygon edges and could track 3 enemy ships at once. 

 

Both also very solid games to play not just tech demos. 

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1 minute ago, Lostdragon said:

But the C64 also had these.. 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Rogue supposedly features A. A on the Polygon edges and could track 3 enemy ships at once. 

 

Both also very solid games to play not just tech demos. 

Battle Command seems a bit empty, and jerky, but that's pretty impressive.

 

59 minutes ago, ZylonBane said:

Exactly which aspect of the 7800's "very unique architecture" do you believe was exploited in F-18 Hornet?

 

  

F-18 runs faster on the 7800 than the C64 because the 7800 version is rendering the 3D view at half the vertical resolution, in a smaller viewport, on a CPU that's about 50% faster. Simple as that.

C64 version has a bunch of sprites replacing most of the polygons (some are just missing outright and are empty space), nor are the polygons (when there are) as big or textured up close. The one polygon moving object/Enemy target that appears a few times per stage in 7800 doesn't even exist in the C64 version. Also a couple stages are shorter.

 

So no that's not why it runs faster, the C64 has more empty space, less polygons, less enemies, and less objects in general.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ZylonBane said:

Exactly which aspect of the 7800's "very unique architecture" do you believe was exploited in F-18 Hornet?

 

The part that makes it impossible to get the same result on its competition? Which has been mentioned multiple times?

 

Or the fact a made for cheap home console releasing two years later then it was supposed to, could even have a game that could be compared to several filled polygon (8bit) computer games.

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8 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Battle Command seems a bit empty, and jerky, but that's pretty impressive.

 

C64 version has a bunch of sprites replacing most of the polygons (some are just missing outright and are empty space), nor are the polygons (when there are) as big or textured up close. The one polygon moving object/Enemy target that appears a few times per stage in 7800 doesn't even exist in the C64 version. Also a couple stages are shorter.

 

So no that's not why it runs faster, the C64 has more empty space, less polygons, less enemies, and less objects in general.

 

 

Considering Carrier Command was reduced to a 2D, top down affair on the C64, Battle Command must of been a flagship twilight era C64 game. 

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11 hours ago, ZylonBane said:

Neither the 5200 nor the 7800 video hardware have any "3D" features. So any 3D-looking games, either faked with scaled sprites or brute-forced by drawing to a frame buffer, are going to use mostly platform-agnostic techniques.

 

So yes, but no more so than literally any other platform or environment that supports a frame buffer.

So, 3D programming for the 7800 will have to be sophisticated programming brute-forcing the CPU-hardware to deliver then…?

 

So it’ll be math, math, math and math and getting all those zeros and ones in the right order… and not much else…?

Edited by Giles N

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47 minutes ago, Giles N said:

So, 3D programming for the 7800 will have to be sophisticated programming brute-forcing the CPU-hardware to deliver then…?

 

So it’ll be math, math, math and math and getting all those zeros and ones in the right order… and not much else…?

I believe C64 Battle Command used 

Precalculated data tables, stored on the 

Cartridge, in order to pull off it's 3D

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19 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

The part that makes it impossible to get the same result on its competition? Which has been mentioned multiple times?

You're never, ever, no matter how many times you're asked, going to cite some actual documented hardware feature that makes the 7800 better at 3D, are you?

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9 hours ago, Giles N said:

So, 3D programming for the 7800 will have to be sophisticated programming brute-forcing the CPU-hardware to deliver then…?

 

So it’ll be math, math, math and math and getting all those zeros and ones in the right order… and not much else…?

Doing 3d is always math math math and unless you have dedicated 3d hardware or some form of co-processor, then the calculations would be done by the CPU. That's true of any system doing 3d vector graphics from the C64 to the Amiga.

 

The challenge for the 7800 is a) doing that math quick enough and b) translating that to the screen in a meaningful way. 

 

 

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This is a bit of confusion, it seems, in this thread around platforms and 3D capabilities.. the 7800 doesn't have really anything that is different than other 8-bit platforms, to aide in doing a 3D game. You could point to the 6502 and the frequency it is running at, compared to the C64, etc., or the number of sprites per line, etc.. but that's about it.

 

Next, every "pseudo 3D" game on the 8-bit platforms will be doing tricks, using data tables (be it for doing super-quick multiplications, Taylor series equations or straight up trig functions, optimizations to manipulate individual "pixels" in a buffer, for drawing 3D items, etc.) These are all just optimizations on doing real calculations on the fly.

 

They technique you use can vary from platform to platform, because of how memory is stored, how it is accessed, how much memory there is, etc. I've written a 3D demo on the SEGA Genesis that didn't have a frame buffer, but used background and sprite character sets, that when written into and organized specifically on the screen, could allow the creation of a 3D polygonal engine. I used many tables to make it as fast as I could (this machine uses a 68K CPU, not a 6502, so it has more compute power), plus many other tricks.

 

The summary is on these types of platforms, the biggest trick is to figure out how NOT to do something, how to simplify an equation, etc. to get as close to the result you are looking for (at least IMHO).

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6 hours ago, ZylonBane said:

You're never, ever, no matter how many times you're asked, going to cite some actual documented hardware feature that makes the 7800 better at 3D, are you?

So you're just going to make up your own context because you dont have an argument. Ok.

 

Sorry no one ever said the 7800 had dedicated hardware, change the goal post if you want but you're wrong.

Edited by Leeroy ST
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18 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

Considering Carrier Command was reduced to a 2D, top down affair on the C64, Battle Command must of been a flagship twilight era C64 game. 

I'm curious how the A8 would handle it. If there wasn't already an attempt.

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12 hours ago, selgus said:

This is a bit of confusion, it seems, in this thread around platforms and 3D capabilities.. the 7800 doesn't have really anything that is different than other 8-bit platforms, to aide in doing a 3D game. You could point to the 6502 and the frequency it is running at, compared to the C64, etc., or the number of sprites per line, etc.. but that's about it.

 

Next, every "pseudo 3D" game on the 8-bit platforms will be doing tricks, using data tables (be it for doing super-quick multiplications, Taylor series equations or straight up trig functions, optimizations to manipulate individual "pixels" in a buffer, for drawing 3D items, etc.) These are all just optimizations on doing real calculations on the fly.

 

They technique you use can vary from platform to platform, because of how memory is stored, how it is accessed, how much memory there is, etc. I've written a 3D demo on the SEGA Genesis that didn't have a frame buffer, but used background and sprite character sets, that when written into and organized specifically on the screen, could allow the creation of a 3D polygonal engine. I used many tables to make it as fast as I could (this machine uses a 68K CPU, not a 6502, so it has more compute power), plus many other tricks.

 

The summary is on these types of platforms, the biggest trick is to figure out how NOT to do something, how to simplify an equation, etc. to get as close to the result you are looking for (at least IMHO).

And games like F-22 and Block Out used the Z80 as well as the 68000 to help with the maths. 

 

 

Could in theory, the Precalculated data tables stored on cartridge, being used to assist 3D games on the 7800, as they were on C64 Battle Command?? 

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4 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

Could in theory, the Precalculated data tables stored on cartridge, being used to assist 3D games on the 7800, as they were on C64 Battle Command?? 

Oh, I am sure there are at least some pre-calculated data tables being used in any 8-bit attempts at 3D engines. That was one of the points I was trying to make, tables are just a way to optimize the complexity and frequency of calculations.. taking strain (i.e clock cycles) off of the CPU. Depending on how much memory (or ROM) you have available, you might move more calculations to tables. Also, using RAM to hold intermediate information to speed up calculations.. like when I used a Y-buffer to store for each column on the display, what was the highest value rendered, and if you try to draw one lower than what you've already plotted, ignore it (when drawing layers from front to back). This gives you hidden line removal, but also avoids overdraw.

 

(BTW, this was for drawing a mountain landscape, where you know if lower than an already rendered point, it can't be seen.. and that drawing happens from that point, to the ground. Also, in this game, you could not spin upside-down)

 

There are all sorts of tricks you do, as I stated, to try and avoid doing work. It is (normally) faster not to do something, then to do it optimally. 

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We are starting to get a lot of reports from the insults that are being hurled.  Please stop the nonsense.

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On 8/25/2021 at 3:47 AM, Lostdragon said:

The commercial A8 market in the UK was pretty much dead and buried by the time C64 Carrier Command was started. 

 

 

A few failed attempts to bring Starglider II to the C64 went nowhere.. 

 

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/starglider-2/

 

Strange, I was led to believe the XE/XL extended life of the A8 family in the UK(also the XEGS console). I guess those flopped?

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44 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

 

Strange, I was led to believe the XE/XL extended life of the A8 family in the UK(also the XEGS console). I guess those flopped?

 

The XE range hit the market around 86 in the UK I think. By this time, Atari was pretty much an "also ran" in the UK 8bit market. They would have had quite the uphill battle with the XE's vs the heavily entrenched C64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad micros (maybe you could consider the BBC in here too) and while there was some software support, it was nothing like it was for those other micros. They did do well in Germany and Eastern Europe from what I remember in the press BITD and recent articles. 

 

The A8 range never had a huge market share in the UK to start with really. Various interwebs sources state Atari sold anywhere between 200k and 350k units in the UK of various marks (I don't think there is any accurate figure). Compare that to the UK sales numbers for others Sinclair's range sold probably 3 to 4m + (depending who you ask) and the C64 probably another 2 to 3m+ and Amstrad's computers selling 1.5 to 2m. Take those with a liberal pinch of salt and speculation but even if the numbers are not entirely accurate, the general gist is, the marks the A8 were competing against in the mainstream outsold them considerably.

 

Personally I love the A8 range and have a pimped 800XE (Eastern European version of the 130XE) sitting next to my C64. with U1MB, VBXE and a Side 2. It's one of my favourite 8bit micros.

 

Anyway I digress, where is that demo of Virtua Fighter for the 7800! :D 

Edited by Muddyfunster

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47 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

 

The XE range hit the market around 86 in the UK I think. By this time, Atari was pretty much an "also ran" in the UK 8bit market. They would have had quite the uphill battle with the XE's vs the heavily entrenched C64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad micros (maybe you could consider the BBC in here too) and while there was some software support, it was nothing like it was for those other micros. They did do well in Germany and Eastern Europe from what I remember in the press BITD and recent articles. 

 

The A8 range never had a huge market share in the UK to start with really. Various interwebs sources state Atari sold anywhere between 200k and 350k units in the UK of various marks (I don't think there is any accurate figure). Compare that to the UK sales numbers for others Sinclair's range sold probably 3 to 4m + (depending who you ask) and the C64 probably another 2 to 3m+ and Amstrad's computers selling 1.5 to 2m. Take those with a liberal pinch of salt and speculation but even if the numbers are not entirely accurate, the general gist is, the marks the A8 were competing against in the mainstream outsold them considerably.

 

Personally I love the A8 range and have a pimped 800XE (Eastern European version of the 130XE) sitting next to my C64. with U1MB, VBXE and a Side 2. It's one of my favourite 8bit micros.

 

Anyway I digress, where is that demo of Virtua Fighter for the 7800! :D 

Actually you joke but it's probably possible. Somewhat.

 

Considering you just need a "ground" you can have a single color background or optionally a gradient (made of shades) and have two blocky figures fight it out.

 

Something like the 4D boxing models maybe, but with less colors and without the multi view camera. Shape the blocks to make them slightly more anime looking. Give the Akira model spikey triangles for hair.

 

Only problem is not sure how much color or detail you could put on the characters themselves. And you probably won't even hit 20fps with this idea. Even if you use multiple shades of limited color on the characters and a single solid color background with an undetailed "floor" you probably wont hit that. Or even 15fps.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

 

Strange, I was led to believe the XE/XL extended life of the A8 family in the UK(also the XEGS console). I guess those flopped?

Define extended.. 

 

The likes of Ocean Software etc made clear they were never going to support the XEGS console.. 

 

Bob Gleadow of Atari UK could be seen giving statements like Atari were encouraging software houses to port ST titles to the XE range. 

 

The software houses hit back by saying Atari were promoting the ST, so why would they themselves want to support the obsolete Atari systems?

 

 

The Tramiel offloading of around 100,000 unsold 800 XL's to Dixons and Curry's boosted the UK user base and there were some token full price title support gestures, Gauntlet, Basil The Great Mouse Detective, The Living Daylights, Druid etc but Domark nearly pulled out of publishing Star Wars, after Zeppelin delivered to them the finished conversion. 

 

We didn't see Elite because there was no viable commercial A8 market, no way were we going to see conversions like the original Starglider, Carrier Command etc. 

 

 

Titles like:

 

Zoids (Martech) 

Jackal (Konami) 

 

Annouced, advertised, never even started it seems. 

 

Imagine didn't even want to do the Green Beret conversion, so passed it onto an external team. 

Edited by Lostdragon
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