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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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19 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

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. 

Atari had done PR spinning UK performance before, I think you were the one that posted about that.

 

Likely based on what you and muddy said, I assume Atari was trying to make themselves look good (in US) by acting like they were bigger overseas than they were.

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1 minute ago, Leeroy ST said:

Atari had done PR spinning UK performance before, I think you were the one that posted about that.

 

Likely based on what you and muddy said, I assume Atari was trying to make themselves look good (in US) by acting like they were bigger overseas than they were.

Pass. 

 

I was just a kid at the time. 

 

Had gone with the 800XL as I had loved the 2600 and it was another Atari machine, but it was hard going. 

 

Trying to explain to your parents why they had to drive miles to likes of Bideford, Barnstable, just to find stores that stocked a pityful range of A8 software. 

 

My Sister was working in Exmouth at the time, she brought new games home on visits but was clueless over what was worth getting, Gunlaw anyone? 😅

 

As much as I loved the machine, the lack of software and no Turbo loaders made it a nightmare to own. 

 

So in the end it was sold to help fund a second hand Breadbin C64. 

 

 

I actually regret now going with the ST over the Amiga, hadn't had it that long when Atari annouced the STFM was being phased out in favour of the STE, i felt like yet again i had been the one to suffer whilst Atari shifted existing stocks. 

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16 hours ago, tep392 said:

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

Great, now we're never going to find out why the 7800 is uniquely superior at 3D.

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On 8/28/2021 at 2:10 AM, ZylonBane said:

The 7800 is uniquely superior at 3D.

Which was never said in the thread in any context.

 

But this was a poor and not so clever way of dodging the warning post from the mod.

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Let’s get on with exchanging information about how-to potentially do a 3D game on the 7800.

 

So far: its all down to hard math and optimal coding pushing the CPU.

 

Then I guess the Sprite-capabilities can be used to fill up with drawn objects filling in a 3D landscape (think early FPS’)

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27 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Then I guess the Sprite-capabilities can be used to fill up with drawn objects filling in a 3D landscape (think early FPS’)

The problem with doing that is as soon as you allow a situation where the 3D graphics are supposed to obscure the things drawn on top you then need to do a lot of masking of graphics in software which then means you need more RAM to hold graphics, and a lot of extra CPU power to do the masking. It would be much more practical to have anything within the 3D space drawn together and then restrict extra objects to overlays.

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@SmittyB

Or design the game in such a manner as to avoid 3D polygons getting in the way of sprites.

 

Example from top of my head: only encounter drawn enemies within a corridor when player is going straightforward.

 

Anyway, - not knowing whether the source-code for Tunnel Runner 2600 is known/available to study, but there they got this old console to have these gobblers coming around corners.

 

But sure, it would have to be taken into the CPU budget.

 

Anyway - what you say about overlays is probably the best/most cost-efficient solution.

 

But perhaps smart ideas of how to use overlays in as many possible ways as possible can be gathered and used innovatively…

 

Lets say you had a CastleMaster-like game (as the Amiga game), which had 360 degrees turn-arounds, but enemies had a ‘’tendency’’ to appear out of the ground or disappear down into the ground as soon as player came close enough to a corner.

 

Lets say an open square: enemies come up of the ground and attacks until: computer reads player to cross a line close enough to door, corner, steps, or whatever, when they dip down into ground. (zombies, skeletons or whatever - spectres could just vanish, gargoyles just fly up above 3D walls)

 

Something like that.

Edited by Giles N

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1 hour ago, Giles N said:

@SmittyB

Lets say you had a CastleMaster-like game (as the Amiga game), which had 360 degrees turn-arounds, but enemies had a ‘’tendency’’ to appear out of the ground or disappear down into the ground as soon as player came close enough to a corner.

 

Lets say an open square: enemies come up of the ground and attacks until: computer reads player to cross a line close enough to door, corner, steps, or whatever, when they dip down into ground. (zombies, skeletons or whatever - spectres could just vanish, gargoyles just fly up above 3D walls)

 

Something like that.

There's the Shen strategy of having it where enemies/NPCs won't load/be visible until the player is within a certain distance. Would that be an idea?

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I think you are mixing up "3D games" and "3D polygonal games". There are tons of 3D games on different consoles and 8-bit processors.. it's just not as easy to do 3D polygonal games, for all the reasons already mentioned.

 

You can to tricks to simulate 3D, many games do parallax scrolling, simulating a 3D environment.. Vectorman used a bunch of different sized sprites, looking like spheres, to simulate a 3D character. We have Star Raiders from the start, which as scaled sprites and 3D star-fields zooming by you, simulating 3D.

 

To do polygons just requires a lot of calculations and memory operations/modifications.. if you don't have the hardware to off-load these type of operations or the CPU horsepower to overcome it, it's just not that simple.

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@selgus

Well, it would seem to be a rather broad consensus that F 18 is doing actual polygons, yet I believe rockets and incoming enemy planes are sprites.

 

The cockpit is some sort of screen overlay/border or whatever.

 

Not sure if you responded to me, but what I was talking about was actual 3D polygon walls (and 3D ground/texturemapping) with given program-limited areas of enemy-sprite actions to not est up too much CPU for polygons having to either cover or reveal sprites.

 

Perhaps this would be called a hybrid.

 

But I think a homebrew using polygons in a way that actually in one way or another inter-acts with the playability would be a sort of progress, getting onto new homebrew-territory, independent of what one calls it.

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25 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

There's the Shen strategy of having it where enemies/NPCs won't load/be visible until the player is within a certain distance. Would that be an idea?

Yes, I believe (not claiming to know) so.

 

Background environment having actual 3D polygons, walls, buildings, whatever.

 

Enemy/NPC-programs having implemented rules to get these (sprites) out of view before they would be a problem to visual covering by polygons, by detecting where in the playfield player is. Getting close to a polygon that would cover the sprite if turning around, not having cpu-power to do that, the program tells the enemy/npc to perform disappear-routine (descend into earth, fly vertically up, vanish, or whatever - in a fantasy world, possibilites are many).

 

So, the program would need an invisible map/boundary-structure: as soon as player crosses this, enemies/npcs begin to do disappear-routine.

Edited by Giles N

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I can only find one interview with F-18 coder, John Van Ryzin and the game itself isn't even discussed there. 

 

Does anyone know his whereabouts? 

 

Hopefully he's still with us. 

 

Any FB/Twitter/LinkedIn leads? 

 

 

He'd be the best person to approach and then the issue of the game using polygons and how the 3D was done could be discussed with him? 

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On 8/23/2021 at 1:50 PM, 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.

Facts

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On 8/29/2021 at 7:34 PM, Giles N said:

Background environment having actual 3D polygons, walls, buildings, whatever.

As I look and thought about how this been done.  It wasn't done with polygon.  It been done by doing single point perspective drawing routines.  There's no turning left or right.  There's always a square or rectangle facing the camera, 4 lines with fill for the building or mountain.  Then 3 more lines with fill for the side of the object when the rectangle move away from the middle point perspective, 3 more lines/fill for the shadow. It would has to be double buffered which I think is why it is low vertical resolution to fit 7800's RAM.  The mountain backdrop is the bottom layer, then the 3D image on top, and then the crack, missile, and border takes top layer. 

This is really cool 3D effect.

Edited by Kiwi

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16 hours ago, Kiwi said:

 There's always a square or rectangle facing the camera, 4 lines with fill for the building or mountain.  

If you're talking about F18, you can move the plane off the path a distance so you don't see any square or rectangular polygons. You can also rotate the plane.

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4 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

If you're talking about F18, you can move the plane off the path a distance so you don't see any square or rectangular polygons. You can also rotate the plane.

Rotate the plane…how…?

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8 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Rotate the plane…how…?

If you go back to the gif in the OP, do you see that clock on the top left of the bottom dashboard?

 

That's not a clock that's a compass/gauge like indicator, the white hand/line points in the direction your facing which can be changed.

 

It's the circular one, right above the blue-green map.

Edited by Leeroy ST

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1 minute ago, Leeroy ST said:

If you go back to the gif in the OP, do you see that clock on the top left of the bottom dashboard?

 

That's not a clock that's a compass/gauge like indicator, the white hand/line points in the direction your facing which can be changed.

And how - as to controls - can it be changed?

 

Is it four directions, 2 directions, or 360 degree rotation?

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7 minutes ago, Giles N said:

And how - as to controls - can it be changed?

 

Is it four directions, 2 directions, or 360 degree rotation?

 4 north east south west gauge.

 

You can't turn 360 in real time you flip or snap in the direction you go in.

 

Iirc you can only do east and west for certain areas of each stage, and only on the ground. Which makes sense since you can move the plane away from the track a ways, but you will eventually hit an invisible barrier. East and west is likely just to set you up to fly off on the sides easier, changing back to north south.

 

There are also times you can just move the plane left or right while facing north or south, that works most of the time and isn't specific.

 

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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I don’t see anything in the F 18 game manual describing controls changing direction to head east/west/south(back again.

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47 minutes ago, Giles N said:

I don’t see anything in the F 18 game manual describing controls changing direction to head east/west/south(back again.

I found a gif showing someone flipping south at the start of the stage:

 

NOx5X8.gif

 

He flips away from the hanger which is close, when he changes direction the hanger isn't there. The gauge flips south.

 

He also shows what I meant when I said you can move the plane left or right while facing a direction. Some parts will let you flip west or east. But not the whole play area, moving while north or south is all the time with no limits.

Edited by Leeroy ST
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37 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

I found a gif showing someone flipping south at the start of the stage:

 

NOx5X8.gif

 

He flips away from the hanger which is close, when he changes direction the hanger isn't there. The gauge flips south.

 

He also shows what I meant when I said you can move the plane left or right while facing a direction. Some parts will let you flip west or east. But not the whole play area, moving while north or south is all the time with no limits.

Is it done just by holding right at the start until you reach the far end of the area, and it then switches south automatically?

 

Would be really, really if some or all of the maps could be flown through south-north.

Edited by Giles N

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9 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Is it done just by holding right at the start until you reach the far end of the area, and it then switches south automatically?

 

Would be really, really if some or all of the maps could be flown through south-north.

No he/she just switched south. You can do that anywhere. On any stage.

 

East and west is the one with conditions, and only select areas. But you can only go a certain length. You get the same result just moving left or right facing north or south until you hit the barrier, so east and west is kind of pointless outside maybe being impressed it's possible, or to view all four sides of a building.

 

North and south is anywhere anytime.

Edited by Leeroy ST

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28 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

No he/she just switched south. You can do that anywhere. On any stage.

 

North and south is anywhere anytime.

And what do you one do with the stick, buttons, switches to do this turn-around precisely…?

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51 minutes ago, Giles N said:

And what do you one do with the stick, buttons, switches to do this turn-around precisely…?

You shift back without holding a button, on the ground. 

 

There are select areas that let you flip west or east by shifting in those directions without buttons held, but north and south is all the time.

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST
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