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Old 01 April 2012, 13:15   #1
DrBong
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Eek Magic Carpet (Bullfrog/EA) - Unreleased Amiga CD32/AGA pics found for HOL!!!

Hey EAB peeps!

I've managed to unearth from some dusty archives and mouldy, moth-eaten records a few Amiga pics of Bullfrog's Magic Carpet.

Just to whet your appetite, I've uploaded a double barrel screenshot (DBS) for Magic Carpet to HOL (sans titlescreen coz I don't have one), so have a looksy at the little-seen pics from the unreleased Amiga version of this game for yourself:

http://hol.abime.net/4423

I have a few more pics to come, so keep your eyes peeled!


Last edited by DrBong; 02 April 2012 at 18:08. Reason: Added link to Magic Carpet DBS from HOL entry
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Old 02 April 2012, 13:17   #2
fishyfish
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Hate to be the barer of bad news, but theyre not amiga shots. The CU Amiga preview that these pics come from was merely using what was the current state of the pc version at the time.
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Old 02 April 2012, 15:06   #3
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The date it was posted makes you wonder.. :P
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Old 02 April 2012, 16:24   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfish View Post
Hate to be the barer of bad news, but theyre not amiga shots. The CU Amiga preview that these pics come from was merely using what was the current state of the pc version at the time.
What makes you so sure?! The screenshots weren't taken from the CU Amiga A1200 preview - they were originally supplied in iff format (with date stamps from late 1993) by Bullfrog to an Amiga-based CD publication for the CD32 version that was in development.

It was well-held that the CD32 release of Magic Carpet in development was going to make use of the Akiko chip, probably because the A1200 wouldn't have been able to adequately cope with texture-mapping otherwise. Even so, according to Amiga World games reviewer Peter Olafson, an A1200 version without texture-mapping was definitely in development:

"A question: Back in days around the introduction of the CD32 (August '93), Bullfrog indicated it was working on some advanced Amiga games. One of them was Magic Carpet (which actually reached a prototype state on the A1200, as I recall--albeit without textures). What were the others--if any? I know I mentioned this in one of my old Amiga World articles, but if someone recalls this, you'll save me from pawing around in a dusty basement for some hours. :-D" [Source: Peter Olafson, posted to comp.sys.amiga.games]

Peter's no mug and I've had personal contact with him (and he has posted here on EAB too occasionally). I have other evidence too (e.g. the same game engine was being used in another unreleased Amiga game called Creation, which I also have screenshots for), but this post is long enough as it is. We might not always get it right, but the HOL team does try to do its research for game entries where there is uncertainty. Definitely one for aGTW to follow-up on methinks!

So whaddya reckon?! Magic Carpet AGA/CD32 - fact or fiction?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
The date it was posted makes you wonder.. :P
Haha! That was intentional......but my post was after midday!

Last edited by DrBong; 02 April 2012 at 16:44.
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Old 02 April 2012, 16:50   #5
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I seem to remember some of the Mail order companys listing MegaRace, Inferno, Magic Carpet
Shame AMR offten doesnt have the adds
Also Urban Assault for PC published by Microsoft "There are many icons, images, backgrounds in IFF/ILBM format "
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=591062#post591062

It would be nice if someone in the know could be contacted Know what point the game was at.

Last edited by Boo Boo; 02 April 2012 at 17:01.
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Old 02 April 2012, 16:58   #6
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I dont know for sure to be honest, but I had heard that amiga magic carpet was never actually started, which s where my comments came from.
Im still sceptical, but not confident enough that Id bet any money either way
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Old 02 April 2012, 17:18   #7
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Even if the screens are IFF, what we see in it seems very advanced for a stock Amiga or CD32.
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Old 02 April 2012, 17:50   #8
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Hooooo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Even if the screens are IFF, what we see in it seems very advanced for a stock Amiga or CD32.
AFAIK the screenshots are from the CD32 version (rather than the A1200 version) - texture-mapping seems to be quite evident in the screenshots. Here are the preview comments that accompanied the screenshots:

"MAGIC CARPET - Bullfrog

From what we have seen, this is going to be one of the most visually stunning of the first batch of releases for the CD32. This is a shoot-em-up seeing the hero flying on the back of a magic carpet blasting the hell out of everything in his path, a-la Space Harrier. What makes Magic Carpet stand out is the spectacular fractal-based texture-mapped landscapes giving the graphics a stunningly realistic quality.

What makes Magic Carpet different from most of the other CD32 titles is that this game will NOT be released on any non-CD Amiga as it relies heavily on the new Akiko chip for converting PC-style graphics to the Amiga. A few very impressive stills from the game in action can be found on the CD give you a taster of what the action should be like.
"


Who knows what may have really been possible on the CD32 if devs had actually taken the time to exploit the potential of the Akiko chip. The screenshots are very nicely done in only 256 colours, but you can't really know how advanced the game would have been without seeing the gfx in motion. You may well be right and the plug was pulled on the CD32 version because of speed issues that the Akiko chip couldn't overcome.

I'd be willing to bet more money, though, that C='s bankruptcy in Apr '94 (or months of rumours beforehand) was more of a factor in the CD32 version (or any other Amiga version) being unreleased. Don't forget that game sales on the CD32 were outstripping the more-fancied competing consoles at that particular time, and Bullfrog were highly devoted to the Amiga (Magic Carpet was the first game they released that didn't get a guernsey on the Amiga). As it turned out, the PC version was released in May '94 and was the only computer platform that ever saw a release. Other conversions came later in 1996 on the consoles in the form of PSX and Saturn releases. Definitely needs the aGTW treatment!

Again, I ask you my beloved EAB peeps, Magic Carpet AGA/CD32 - fact or fiction?!

EDIT: Just upped a couple more pics to HOL, which are a little different to the ones in the DBS above. Enjoy!

http://hol.abime.net/4423/screenshot

Last edited by DrBong; 02 April 2012 at 18:25. Reason: Added the preview comments that came with the screenshots
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Old 02 April 2012, 18:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfish View Post
I dont know for sure to be honest, but I had heard that amiga magic carpet was never actually started, which s where my comments came from.
Im still sceptical, but not confident enough that Id bet any money either way
What about now (see above)??!!
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Old 02 April 2012, 18:29   #10
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Picture 1 looks more feasibly "Amiga-ish", but 2 3 and 4 are preview pics of the PC version, they are exactly the ones that I remember seeing in mags like The One. Specially picture 4 is totally out of the question with that "blur" effect.

The only way what we see in pic 1 can work is with pre-rendered environments like in Microcosom or some such thing. Texture-mapping with phong shading would never work on a stock Amiga.
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Old 02 April 2012, 18:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Picture 1 looks more feasibly "Amiga-ish", but 2 3 and 4 are preview pics of the PC version, they are exactly the ones that I remember seeing in mags like The One. Specially picture 4 is totally out of the question with that "blur" effect.
Even on CD32? It is just a still after all. BTW I did plug these screenshots into TinEye and sifted through Google Images and couldn't find any pics on the net that were exactly the same or very similar (outside the Amiga mag previews, which were a little different). I would like to find some mag preview pics of the PC version to compare (although I'm not sure what that would prove exactly as why wouldn't Bullfrog have done the gfx concurrently for both machines if their development overlapped).

Quote:
The only way what we see in pic 1 can work is with pre-rendered environments like in Microcosom or some such thing. Texture-mapping with phong shading would never work on a stock Amiga.
Absolutely - texture-mapping wouldn't work well on a stock A1200, especially in 256 colours......which is why the A1200-specific version apparently didn't use texture-mapping (see Peter Olafson's post on c.s.a.g. above).

Love the enthusiasm.....keep the posts coming!

Last edited by DrBong; 02 April 2012 at 19:19.
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Old 30 April 2012, 13:31   #12
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Drbong:

Never really liked the game so the loss was never that big for me.
Some of these screenshots do feel familiar to what was seen in previews back in the day..

One of them where you see the prince being a bit different (gfx wise) is the one that made me think "hmm, is that the one?"

Maybe Peter Molyneux can help us with some details ? ,he's got time now that he has left Microsoft gamestudios...
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Old 14 May 2012, 20:34   #13
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I would safely say these are definitely Amiga version screenshots. These would have been from the CD32 version (first screenshot is most likely from an earlier build).

The framerate would have been possibly anything from 1 to 16 frames per second (being over generous) by the looks of it. I would think around 4 to 5 frames per second would be 'realistic'.

Would be interesting how they would have utilised this (especially if using bitplanes on the A1200 version [planar only version] or eventually making the game for an accelerated Amiga utilising a C2P routine). I think a CD32 68020 14MHz with the akiko chip is asking a bit.

I don't think the Akiko chip would be fast enough to handle this kind of level of detail (as in yes it is possible but expect a 'dull' framerate). In fact an optimised C2P routine on the CPU [talking non- 68020 14 MHz now. Akiko is still faster than an optimised C2P routine at this clock speed] will still most likely be faster than relying on the Akiko chip (as there is a limited bandwidth also not being able to utilise fast RAM - chip RAM is slow).

Akiko chip = Writes the chunky display words (4 bytes each) to its own registers, then read back and copy the planar converted data (as Akiko has been explained as only being able to read/write at copy speed). At least with a software implementation you can change this approach using a trick known as write pipelining (allowing for the write buffer to commit memory writes while the other instructions are being executed in different stages part of the pipeline)

In this case no matter the speed of the CPU the Akiko chip becomes the 'bottleneck' in the end. Still if you only have a 68020 at 14 MHz the akiko is the 'faster' option. At the time accelerators were expensive so this was the only option for most.

I can see why it most likely didn't go past the concept stage as the speed wouldn't be feasible for most. Still if the amount of detail was dropped further would have had a bit of improvement in speed (e.g. draw distance, smaller even simpler textures, small screen dimension size, etc).

Last edited by niobyte; 14 May 2012 at 21:16. Reason: Further info - Trying to explain stuff
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Old 15 May 2012, 11:42   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niobyte View Post
I would safely say these are definitely Amiga version screenshots. These would have been from the CD32 version (first screenshot is most likely from an earlier build).

The framerate would have been possibly anything from 1 to 16 frames per second (being over generous) by the looks of it. I would think around 4 to 5 frames per second would be 'realistic'.

Would be interesting how they would have utilised this (especially if using bitplanes on the A1200 version [planar only version] or eventually making the game for an accelerated Amiga utilising a C2P routine). I think a CD32 68020 14MHz with the akiko chip is asking a bit.

I don't think the Akiko chip would be fast enough to handle this kind of level of detail (as in yes it is possible but expect a 'dull' framerate). In fact an optimised C2P routine on the CPU [talking non- 68020 14 MHz now. Akiko is still faster than an optimised C2P routine at this clock speed] will still most likely be faster than relying on the Akiko chip (as there is a limited bandwidth also not being able to utilise fast RAM - chip RAM is slow).

Akiko chip = Writes the chunky display words (4 bytes each) to its own registers, then read back and copy the planar converted data (as Akiko has been explained as only being able to read/write at copy speed). At least with a software implementation you can change this approach using a trick known as write pipelining (allowing for the write buffer to commit memory writes while the other instructions are being executed in different stages part of the pipeline)

In this case no matter the speed of the CPU the Akiko chip becomes the 'bottleneck' in the end. Still if you only have a 68020 at 14 MHz the akiko is the 'faster' option. At the time accelerators were expensive so this was the only option for most.

I can see why it most likely didn't go past the concept stage as the speed wouldn't be feasible for most. Still if the amount of detail was dropped further would have had a bit of improvement in speed (e.g. draw distance, smaller even simpler textures, small screen dimension size, etc).
I suppose that lowering the horizontal and vertical resolutions, then doubling the vertical one using the copper like on Unreal would help to increase the framerate.
Is Akiko capable of writing in less bitplanes (ie not 8) then be faster doing it?
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Old 15 May 2012, 15:58   #15
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I still don't think any of these are Amiga screenshots. Proof is needed, because we can all speculate as much as we want and each one of us have their opinion.
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Old 15 May 2012, 17:30   #16
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I'd say do it Cody style: Ask somebody who was involved. I also doubt that those are Amiga screenshots, but that's just my uneducated opinion for now
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Old 07 August 2013, 16:39   #17
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Sorry to revive such a long dead thread but someone just posted a link to it on Facebook.

Those pics are from a very early PC version of Magic Carpet, probably from at least a year before release. I'd recently switched from Amiga to PC and was having a lot of fun playing around with the byte per pixel mode. That version didn't even use polygon rendering, it was a sort of strange slightly voxelish vertical scanning thing. I ended up completely rewriting the graphic engine before Sean Cooper (who had just finished Syndicate) turned it into the game that was finally released.

Back then we were still talking to Amiga magazines about Syndicate and Theme Park. I suspect what happened is that a journalist visited the office and someone (possibly even me) implied that it might be possible on CD32 as it had a byte per pixel mode or a chunky to planer converter or something didn't it? I hate to admit it but I stopped keeping up with the Amiga's capabilites by then, my only knowledge coming from occasionally talking to Mike Diskette who handled those last two Amiga conversions before going on to create Syndicate Wars (google 'Satellite Reign' to see what he is up to now).

Anyway, it's great to see those screenshots again, that old version had a few advantages over the final release, not least that you could actually see a bit further. It's also nice to see Andy Sandham's bloke standing on a rug graphic, he was animated and everything...
 
Old 07 August 2013, 17:22   #18
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Thank you for information and welcome.
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Old 08 August 2013, 12:43   #19
DrBong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennCorpes View Post
Those pics are from a very early PC version of Magic Carpet, probably from at least a year before release. I'd recently switched from Amiga to PC and was having a lot of fun playing around with the byte per pixel mode. That version didn't even use polygon rendering, it was a sort of strange slightly voxelish vertical scanning thing. I ended up completely rewriting the graphic engine before Sean Cooper (who had just finished Syndicate) turned it into the game that was finally released.

Back then we were still talking to Amiga magazines about Syndicate and Theme Park. I suspect what happened is that a journalist visited the office and someone (possibly even me) implied that it might be possible on CD32 as it had a byte per pixel mode or a chunky to planer converter or something didn't it? I hate to admit it but I stopped keeping up with the Amiga's capabilites by then, my only knowledge coming from occasionally talking to Mike Diskette who handled those last two Amiga conversions.
Thanks for posting Glenn and welcome! I guess I'm more disappointed than surprised to finally learn that no work whatsoever was started on a CD32 conversion. Games magazines back then (and occasionally developers/publishers! ) always tended to skirt the boundaries a bit when it came to reporting on "planned" conversions of big games.

Can you comment on an A1200 version of Magic Carpet (sans texture-mapping), then, that was claimed to have reached "prototype" stage by an Amiga World games reviewer?

"A question: Back in days around the introduction of the CD32 (August '93), Bullfrog indicated it was working on some advanced Amiga games. One of them was Magic Carpet (which actually reached a prototype state on the A1200, as I recall--albeit without textures). What were the others--if any? I know I mentioned this in one of my old Amiga World articles, but if someone recalls this, you'll save me from pawing around in a dusty basement for some hours. :-D" [Source: Peter Olafson, posted to comp.sys.amiga.games]
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Old 09 August 2013, 13:46   #20
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Welcome GlennCorpes
I am also disappointed. I was hoping that there is material that can be shared.
Perhaps there are other materials other unfinished games.

sorry my english
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