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Old 20 March 2020, 12:47   #1
Glen M
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Could an Amiga with an 030 do Virtua Fighter?

Its a thought that's been bouncing around my head for a while now.

Given that the original saturn virtua fighter is fairly basic graphically could the Amiga with a fast 030 not plough its way through something similar. Say just 2 3D characters of similar style to the saturn game with a simple 2D background?

EDIT: just noticed I've fudged the thread title. Could an admin or mod delete the second "could". Not feeling that good today, tired sore head and coughing. Balls...

Last edited by Glen M; 20 March 2020 at 13:15.
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:15   #2
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Hmmm. I don’t think so as the Amiga doesn’t do chunky to planar 3D very well.
You working from home too?
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:16   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen M View Post
EDIT: just noticed I've fudged the thread title. Could an admin or mod delete the second "could". Not feeling that good today, tired sore head and coughing. Balls...
Done

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Originally Posted by DDNI View Post
You working from home too?
Lucky you guys... I've been in all week.

The office is absolutely dead... out of 1600 people there have been a maximum of 10 throughout 5 floors.

Unfortunately working in IT, I've had to come in build / configure / ship out laptops to new joiners; who won't come into the office to collect them
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:23   #4
Glen M
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Hmmm. I don’t think so as the Amiga doesn’t do chunky to planar 3D very well.
You working from home too?
From Monday yes will be working from home. Going to be hectic with 2 kids to school (7 and 12) while trying to get work done.

As for the idea I know Amiga isn't that hot in its chunky to planar but for all it would be surely a fast 030 could push through. 2 characters so say 16 polygons each, 32 total?

Just talk though as I for one don't have the skills to bring it together.
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:31   #5
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I think the 030 isn’t the limitation here. The custom chipset is.
If you stuck a mediator and a voodoo 3 card in to the mix, then I think it would be doable.
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:34   #6
DanScott
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Virtua Fighter is flat shaded... no need for Chunky 2 Planar, just a good fast CPU flat ploy renderer would do it.

I would say yes, an Amiga with 030 could easily do this
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:38   #7
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I'd say look at other 3D games on the Amiga and look at how they run on an 68030. I've not actually checked Virtua Fighter, but how complex is it? How fast does it run on the Saturn?

Is it comparable to say Guardian? Or Frontier? Or more complicated yet?
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Old 20 March 2020, 13:51   #8
Glen M
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I'd say look at other 3D games on the Amiga and look at how they run on an 68030. I've not actually checked Virtua Fighter, but how complex is it? How fast does it run on the Saturn?

Is it comparable to say Guardian? Or Frontier? Or more complicated yet?
On the Saturn the original Virtua Fighter runs at a smooth 60fps but its very basic. Flat shaded and very pointy characters. I'm fairly sure the only thing 3D is the characters and its basic polgons i.e. feet, lower legs (2), upper legs (2), waist, chest, neck, head, upper arms (2), fore arms (2), hand. Thats my 16 per character. OK its probably more than 16 as each element is probably made up of multiple but you know what I mean.

Guardian holds a solid frame rate on my TF330 (10.52mips sysinfo) . I've no idea if its a solid 50fps but certainly is over 30. There is absolutely no lag even with multiple enemies on screen with buildings, trees etc and surely all
that is more than the amount required for the fighter.

The world of guardian is a good example of how the fighter would work. Its basically just flat ground with a distant 2D border.
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Old 21 March 2020, 02:27   #9
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LOL.. there's probably more polygons in the feet than you total for the whole character ok.. but not far off

[ Show youtube player ]

but i don't see any reason why an 030 can't draw that kind of detail to planar screens
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Old 21 March 2020, 02:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen M View Post

As for the idea I know Amiga isn't that hot in its chunky to planar but for all it would be surely a fast 030 could push through. 2 characters so say 16 polygons each, 32 total?

Just talk though as I for one don't have the skills to bring it together.
I'm sure it could be done, but lolz, there is just no way you can do a meaningful 3d character with 16 polys
Lets have a quick look..
If you do the following bodyparts, each one as a box (12 triangles per box or 6 quads, if your engine does that instead like on Saturn):
Head, neck, torso, pelvis, upper leg (all limbs x2), lower leg, foot, upper arm, lower arm, hand... You end up with 192 tris or 96 quads.
Thats just a reference number, you could optimize away some of them but not too many unless you wanna see some weird see through stuff going on. You could probably do some limbs as three-sided instead of a box.. but still.. (That would be one ugly character)

Now.. the Model 1 arcade board could do 180,000 polys per second. It was designed to run at 60Hz so 3000 polys in a scene would run at 60 fps..

When the port to Saturn was done they had to sacrifice some stuff, but being a lunch title, we can assume it's not pushing the hardware. (and you can compare it to Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn which is texturemapped and has more advanced backgrounds) However... Saturn is still much more powerful than a 50MHz 030 Amiga.
50MHz 030 gives what, 10 MIPS roughly? The Hitachi CPUs in Saturn do about 35 and there's 2 of them. (Most devs didn't bother to program the second CPU but I think that Virtua Fighter *2* is one of those games that actually uses it.) Its also worth noting that the CPUs do have some sort of FPU built in which helps with 3d calcs. But we're not done yet. The Saturn has a pretty powerful DSP for Geometry calculations which really has no match in Amiga world (maybe AMMX in Apollo-core 080).
So in computational power, the Saturn *by far* outguns a 030 Amiga - its worth keeping that in mind.
Still, I'm convinced that a simple flat shaded 3d fighting game is possible. Just don't expect it to look too similar to Saturn version :-)
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Old 21 March 2020, 03:38   #11
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There's no use trying to guestimate performance using MIPS... the I in question is different on two different ISAs.

Better off looking at how many polys are in a frame of Frontier, then how many are in a frame of virtua fighter.
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Old 21 March 2020, 05:11   #12
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As someone who owns a Sega ST-V board and Virtua Fighter Remix cart, I'm going to say there's ZERO chance of any 68k based Amiga being able to run a decent version of this game.
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Old 21 March 2020, 10:21   #13
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Sega Saturn does polygons with rotated/scaled sprites, and its spritelist can handle hundreds of thousands per second. Since they're sprites, texture mapping is actually mostly free on the Saturn vs. solid filled polygons.

The Saturn doesn't have a dedicated 3D geometry processor, but Sega added a general purpose DSP to take that role. It was actually rather difficult to code for, so most devs never used it. A typical game would use the first CPU for game code and the second CPU for geometry calculations, though some particularly crappy devs used just one CPU for everything. The second CPU turned out to be about as fast at geometry calculations as the DSP anyway.

The Playstation's geometry processor was faster than the DSP or CPU in the Saturn, even though the Saturn could rasterize more polygons than the Playstation. Some very, very talented devs were able to unleash the Saturn's full polygon potential by writing geometry code for both the second CPU *and* the DSP in parallel. (see Sonic R)

The Amiga chipset doesn't have a geometry processor or a polygon rasterizer, but the Blitter's line+fill routines can be used to rasterize flat shaded polygons. The problem is that the Amiga blitter is too damn slow (it wasn't even enhanced for AGA) to do many. A fast 030/50 can do the geometry calculations as well or faster than a Saturn SH2 CPU, but it then would fall down on the rasterization. The blitter is too slow, and chip memory is so slow that the CPU will block on writes too much to leave time for calculating geometry at a high framerate.

There's basically no good way to do Virtua Fighter on ECS or AGA at 60fps, even with an 060. You would need Z3 gfx card. If the gfx card has accelerated 2D fill routines you could maybe do it with a fast 030, and you might even get acceptable performance on Zorro 2. You could maybe make it work on AGA if you had a PPC card, with the PPC handling tightly-written game code (lots of cache hits) and the rasterizing handled entirely by the 060.
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Old 21 March 2020, 12:16   #14
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The question is whether or not 60FPS is needed for the game to be a decent approximation. While it's obviously preferred, there are vast amounts of 25-30FPS 3D action games out there that people still enjoy quite a bit.

Note that this is separate from the question of how much of the Saturn was actually needed to pull off the game as that is simply not relevant. What other systems can do is really never all that relevant when it comes to ports. The only thing that is really relevant is whether or not the game in question requires more than the target hardware can do.

As an example: the game Puzzle Bobble launched on an Arcade board many times more powerful than an Amiga 500 or Amiga 1200. Yet, I'm utterly convinced that a decent version of the game should be possible on either of these systems. And for an example of this happening in reverse: the game Zork was first launched in 1977. And yet, a good port for the NEO GEO in it's basic configuration seems unlikely to work well.

It's not about the hardware it starts on, it's about what the system you want to run it on supports. And it may well be that you can't do a decent port of Virtua Fighter on the Amiga (I honestly don't know, I've never programmed 3D stuff on the Amiga), but if so it's not so much because of the system it started out on but rather what the game needs.
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Old 21 March 2020, 13:30   #15
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The question is whether or not 60FPS is needed for the game to be a decent approximation. While it's obviously preferred, there are vast amounts of 25-30FPS 3D action games out there that people still enjoy quite a bit.
Very true. And, though it's a while since I've played any of the Virtua Fighter games on a Saturn, I'm fairly sure that none of them managed 50/60fps. Certainly the first version for the Saturn was generally a bit flaky all round. Given a 50mhz 030 and some Fast RAM, there are surely some people out there who could program an engine good enough to enable a playable version of at least the first game. 25fps would be fine, or perhaps 17.5?

Somebody can correct me, if I'm wrong, but could such a 3D polygon engine not be built around fixed point maths? As opposed to relying on the (rather slow) 68882? Also, doing everything in a buffer in Fast RAM with the CPU would surely be quicker than using the slow blitter?

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Old 21 March 2020, 15:04   #16
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I'm thinking that an 030 could do a beat-em-up of sorts using characters like this:
[ Show youtube player ]
(4 minutes 30 in)

Would it be Virtua Fighter? Hell, no. Would it be fun? Could very well be!
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Old 21 March 2020, 17:02   #17
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for virtua fighter in the Amiga:

minimum 040 + 3d gfx card
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Old 22 March 2020, 00:41   #18
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As an example: the game Puzzle Bobble launched on an Arcade board many times more powerful than an Amiga 500 or Amiga 1200. Yet, I'm utterly convinced that a decent version of the game should be possible on either of these systems.
There's a fundamental bandwidth limitation using the Amiga chipset though that eats a huge chunk of your CPU time when you're trying to render fullscreen 3D.

Quote:
And for an example of this happening in reverse: the game Zork was first launched in 1977. And yet, a good port for the NEO GEO in it's basic configuration seems unlikely to work well.
This would actually be fairly trivial to do. Hell, you could run the Amiga version with the Amiga's libraries replaced with your own text rendering code. Might look a little ugly trying to do 80 columns but Zork was designed to look okay with as few as 40.
Quote:
Somebody can correct me, if I'm wrong, but could such a 3D polygon engine not be built around fixed point maths? As opposed to relying on the (rather slow) 68882?
Actually every single Playstation game and almost all Saturn games used fixed-point 32-bit math. The Playstation had zero floating point capability in any of its hardware, and while the Saturn DSP could do floating point the rasterizer was still integer.
Quote:
Also, doing everything in a buffer in Fast RAM with the CPU would surely be quicker than using the slow blitter?
Yes, particularly on AGA, but the copy to slow chip memory will still tie up your CPU for a long time thus drastically wasting its abilities. Hence the need for a graphics card connected via a faster bus, or a graphics card with fast local RAM and accelerated line/fill (like the Amiga blitter but way way faster). e.g. the Cybervision 64, while not a 3D card, would be perfect for this as the Trio64 chipset can do line+fill, which is sufficient for rasterizing flat-shaded 3D.

A 68040/50 + CV64 could do a Saturn-grade port. A 68060 + CV64 could probably pull off something closer to the arcade (similar number of polys, worse accuracy). (The SH-2 is an in-order dual-issue CPU, performance is between a 68040 and 68060 -- SH-2 code density is not as good but it's dual issue while 68040 is single-issue)

Last edited by AmigaHope; 22 March 2020 at 01:20.
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Old 22 March 2020, 01:42   #19
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There's a fundamental bandwidth limitation using the Amiga chipset though that eats a huge chunk of your CPU time when you're trying to render fullscreen 3D.
I never claimed there were no limits. My point was that a game running on fast hardware does not mean it needs the fast hardware per se. Hence my example of a game that runs on hardware much more powerful than the Amiga that probably can still get a good port.

Note that I also pointed out that it may well be that Virtua Fighter specifically won't be doable on the Amiga, but that the notion that it's not doable merely because it originated on more powerful hardware is not an accurate depiction of whether or not ports are doable. It's often true, but not always - you really need to do a case by case analysis and not dismiss stuff simply because of the hardware to port from.
Quote:
This would actually be fairly trivial to do. Hell, you could run the Amiga version with the Amiga's libraries replaced with your own text rendering code. Might look a little ugly trying to do 80 columns but Zork was designed to look okay with as few as 40.
The point was that playing Zork on a NEO-GEO would be a terrible experience because the system is not designed for text input. In other words, the power of the hardware itself is not the definitive factor in whether or not the game will be worthwhile to play or a good fit on the hardware.
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Old 22 March 2020, 02:17   #20
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Well, yeah, the power of the hardware doesn't mean a port isn't DOABLE, but, well...

[ Show youtube player ]
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