Jump to content
T.A.P.

It blows my mind that the Jaguar was basically only around for 2 years

Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, zetastrike said:

I have access to this demo.  Enemy AI is implemented as are damage and level hazards.  This only began development less than 2 weeks ago.  It went from 100% software rendering to this in less than 10 days.  The dev estimates it will take over a year to get everything optimized.  This demo is not an indicator of what the final product will be.

I don't know who is posting these but they're intriguing. However no matter how accurate they say emulation is I'd like to see video from actual hardware. Because everyone doubts emulation for accuracy. Especially so early in the project. 

Share this post


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

I don't know who is posting these but they're intriguing. However no matter how accurate they say emulation is I'd like to see video from actual hardware. Because everyone doubts emulation for accuracy. Especially so early in the project. 

I've played it in my 3DO model FZ-10.  It's accurate.  I'm not using emulation to play it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's simply fantastic to see anything resembling Tomb Raider running on the 3DO and i say that as someone who hated the Core Design games on Playstation and Dreamcast, took Crystal Dynamics to make the series playable for myself. 

 

 

 

Let's not forget how poor the Playstation version was when it was first presented to Sony, 5 fps.. 

 

 

 

Mike Fulton: I was the “Senior Development Support Engineer” for the PlayStation. Aside from things like answering developers questions on phone calls and online, I also contributed to the sample code libraries and was the primary editor when we did our first big documentation revision. I was also the development tools guru and a major proponent of coming up with GUI-based tools instead of running command line tools in a DOS box.

Mainly, though, I was the guy that helped developers with code optimization. To many I was known as “Mr. Program Analyzer”.  This nickname refers to a device called the “program analyzer” which was essentially a PS with a logic analyzer and signal tracer/recorder glued on top of it and with everything mounted together in a PC-style case.

Some years later, the whole thing was redone as a plug-in PC card and made more widely available but this was right after the initial launch of the system, and at the time it was all hand built and there were just 5 of these devices in existence. I once heard that they cost about $100k each to create. We had 2 of them at SCEA. One sat in my cubicle, and the other sat in a special office we had setup just for hosting visiting developers who brought in a project to be analyzed.

I started at SCEA in early 1996, just a few months after the PlayStation was first launched. My first month or so was basically an immersion into learning the development kit and everything else I could. Then I was introduced to the program analyzer and told to become its master. To that end, I underwent training with the SCEI engineer who wrote the software, and beyond that I just spent hours with the machine until it all made sense.

The performance analyzer came with a Windows application that allowed you to capture a recording of up to about 7/60ths of a second that included all of the important signals in the machine. You would run the game and press a button wired up to the analyzer when you got to the point where you wanted to record.

By analyzing the recording, you could determine when memory was being accessed (indicating a cache miss), when the GPU was active, when information was being sent to the sound chip, etc. This allowed us to make determinations such as: “the game is running at 20 fps, but just barely? there’s only a tiny amount of idle time before the GPU finishes processing and the next vertical blank. It would take a lot more optimization to hit 30 fps, but the main worry is that if that code runs even a little bit longer, the frame rate will drop to 15 fps.”  Or, we might say “the game is running at 20 fps, but that’s because the GPU is finishing processing the frame right AFTER the vertical blank and it has to wait for the next one to page flip. In other words, a little code optimization could bump the frame rate up to 30 frames per second.”

And then, having determined that, we’d look at other parts of the analysis and look for certain patterns. If there seemed to be an unusually high number of cache misses, we could look at the memory being accessed and compare it to a symbols listing from the program.  This would let us figure out things like function A and function B are both called all of the time, but because of their relative positions in memory, they’re always bumping each other out of the CPU cache.  Rearranging the order of functions in your source code and the order in which object files were linked was a common optimization for the PS.

Because the first analyzers were hand-built and fragile, they didn’t leave our HQ. So that meant developers came to me. Typically the way it worked was that they would send me a build of their project along with instructions for how to play the game up to the point where analysis was desired, and then I would use the machine and generate a report which I’d send back to them. Then a week or two later, in many cases, the developers themselves would come to visit me in the office and we’d spend a day or two doing additional runs on the analyzer and going over their code. Sometimes they’d make changes after each run and we’d go back and forth with new versions.

Ultimately, the trick was to correctly interpret what all of this information meant and turn that into a plan for what to change in your project’s source code.

Case in point: Tomb Raider for the PS. The *ORIGINAL* game, that is, was running at about 5 fps when the developers brought it in for analysis. It was essentially unplayable, and the developers were beginning to get worried that it wasn’t going to get any better. Keep in mind that this is still just a few months after the machine first launched. Many developers were still working on their first title and didn’t really know what sort of performance they could expect from the machine. After doing our analysis, a few simple optimizations brought the frame rate up to 20 fps.

 

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20190124094601/http://www.fultonsoft.com/category/playstation/

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/26/2021 at 2:11 PM, Lostdragon said:

It's simply fantastic to see anything resembling Tomb Raider running on the 3DO and i say that as someone who hated the Core Design games on Playstation and Dreamcast, took Crystal Dynamics to make the series playable for myself. 

 

 

 

Let's not forget how poor the Playstation version was when it was first presented to Sony, 5 fps.. 

 

 

 

Mike Fulton: I was the “Senior Development Support Engineer” for the PlayStation. [..]

 

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20190124094601/http://www.fultonsoft.com/category/playstation/

 

worth to mention that @MikeFulton has an account here

  • Thanks 1

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...