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Old 23 September 2017, 18:34   #201
rare_j
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Don't worry readonlycat, I totally believe you can single handedly pull off an arcade perfect port of outrun on the a500.
Curse sega for not granting you a license.
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Old 24 September 2017, 13:12   #202
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Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
But it's an ST port. The graphics could be way way better than that.
To be fair, while the Amiga SHO graphics are derived from the ST rather than the arcade, ZZKJ and Saul did spruce them up a bit compared to the ST (plus the road display used the copper and got a few more colours onscreen that way...).
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Old 26 September 2017, 07:34   #203
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Well, it looks like my post has attracted similar responses so I will gather them for simplicity.

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Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Well, i hope your A500 Outrun will be that good. Because nothing about Super Hang On you just said is actually true.
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Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
SHO was the first ever amiga game I saw after moving up from the Speccy, and it indeed is a thing of beauty.
The frame rate of SHO is measurably sub par and the maximum I am willing to concede is 20FPS but frankly this is unlikely.
This can be measured easily using Tony's frame rate measuring system in UAE, feel free to post the results here. I will gladly swallow my hat and my pride if this reaches more than 20.

The motion of opponents is indeed jerky, that much is visible on every SHO Amiga video out there, just look at that moment for example:
[ Show youtube player ]
When they are close to the players, they systematically jerk left and right haphazardly.

And the controls do not compare to the arcade, even the mouse takes time to adjust rather than giving the precise response that No Second Prize offers for example. And I know, I finished the game!

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Originally Posted by Retro1234 View Post
MY Outrun port will be for 68010 only, so no competition to anyone else but I will contact Nintendo first to make sure they don't object to me contacting Sega and with this action putting Nintendo out of business. First I must contact Donald Trump and make sure it is ok to contact Kim Jong Um about using nuclear technology on my port, Thank you sir.
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
In other words, your plan is to do nothing.
Ah, Retro1234 said it already, but much better:
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Originally Posted by rare_j View Post
Don't worry readonlycat, I totally believe you can single handedly pull off an arcade perfect port of outrun on the a500.
Curse sega for not granting you a license.
Thanks for the sincere encouragement guys, what better recipe for success than renouncing the fight before even starting?

Sega does already sell licenses of their IPs to businesses which want to manufacture products related to them, Sonic figures, Comics, etc. They do not even seem to require large number of unit sales for these licenses to be issued.
This is a bona fide section of their business, as long as their IP is properly respected (and in some cases, even when it is somewhat disgraceful such as with the poor AtGames MegaDrive consoles) and that they get a reasonable return on unit sales they take it.
This is not unusual at all in the industry, SNK does the same (cf https://www.snk-corp.co.jp/license/ if you can grok Japanese since the US version is down at the moment).
From my experience of the industry this is business as usual.

Another point about Sega is that they also have been historically very friendly with home-brew development.
Sonic Mania is literally the creation of a homebrew developer which was recruited by Sega to take care of the Sonic 2D games.
A few years back they even agreed to allow a figurine maker to run a KickStarter to finance a run of MegaDrive related products, the KS failed but the facts are there : they had contractually agreed to it (provided he got the KS financed). And from what I can estimate the license fees were very reasonable.

Maybe they will say no, but frankly I doubt it. The industry does licensing deals on all scales, from 1000 units runs to millions, as long as they get paid correspondingly they do not care and for small runs the fees are not that high.

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Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
You know, you keep saying that but I don't recall seeing any games you wrote that took advantage of the enhanced miggy hardware...
This was not addressed to me but there is no need to be an expert in order to be able to criticize a game. Pointing at examples is enough.

There are plenty of games which prove that it is possible to do better than SHO on the Amiga: Lotus II, Prime Mover and a few others I forget. No need to have written a single line of assembler to verify that this is true.
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Old 26 September 2017, 07:41   #204
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Originally Posted by TuRRIcaNEd View Post
To be fair, while the Amiga SHO graphics are derived from the ST rather than the arcade, ZZKJ and Saul did spruce them up a bit compared to the ST (plus the road display used the copper and got a few more colours onscreen that way...).
You are absolutely right.
When I say that SHO is objectively average I do not mean to disparage the coder. I know from personal experience that the industry does not exactly always provide proper working conditions. It was his first ever Amiga work and he probably had only a few months to get familiar with the ST code and port it.

My perspective is purely that of the player: the Amiga is capable of a nearly arcade perfect Super Hang On and what we got was very far from it.
Now who is to blame for that is a complex question to answer. Time constraints, inexperience, lack of original materials, potentially limited tools (there was no DevPac at the time), unrealistic managerial expectations, high stress, etc. probably all have played a role in the result.
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Old 26 September 2017, 08:38   #205
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My perspective is purely that of the player: the Amiga is capable of a nearly arcade perfect Super Hang On and what we got was very far from it.
Yes, and players are usually quite clueless of what the Amiga is actually capable of and therefore tend to overestimate it's capabilities.
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Old 26 September 2017, 11:02   #206
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Originally Posted by britelite View Post
Yes, and players are usually quite clueless of what the Amiga is actually capable of and therefore tend to overestimate it's capabilities.
from a programmer point of view, when a program is targeted at the atari st, if you want to take and use the full possibilities on the Amiga side, you have to recode the whole program.

That's basically what a professional amiga coder told me. And on the opposite side, it's easier to port an amiga program to ST than the other way.
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Old 26 September 2017, 11:15   #207
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from a programmer point of view, when a program is targeted at the atari st, if you want to take and use the full possibilities on the Amiga side, you have to recode the whole program.
Well, that's pretty obvious, isn't it? Not sure how this relates to my comment though.

Quote:
And on the opposite side, it's easier to port an amiga program to ST than the other way.
I would have to disagree with you here, at least if by porting you mean actually getting comparable results
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Old 26 September 2017, 11:37   #208
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Originally Posted by ReadOnlyCat View Post
The frame rate of SHO is measurably sub par and the maximum I am willing to concede is 20FPS but frankly this is unlikely.
This can be measured easily using Tony's frame rate measuring system in UAE, feel free to post the results here. I will gladly swallow my hat and my pride if this reaches more than 20.

The motion of opponents is indeed jerky, that much is visible on every SHO Amiga video out there, just look at that moment for example:
[ Show youtube player ]
When they are close to the players, they systematically jerk left and right haphazardly.

And the controls do not compare to the arcade, even the mouse takes time to adjust rather than giving the precise response that No Second Prize offers for example. And I know, I finished the game!
Ah, I stand corrected then, many thanks - it was indeed a poor game! I must have spent years hating it, I think my memory may be faulty.
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Old 26 September 2017, 15:54   #209
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Has anyone looked at the specs of the SEGA arcade hardware that runs Outrun?
http://segaretro.org/Sega_OutRun_hardware

It just outperforms an A500 so much that it is not realistic to expect a port that would be even near in terms of quality. The blitter is poor at bitmap scaling in realtime, the 68000 even worse. Lotus 2 was well done, but it should be remembered that most graphics were prescaled in memory. With 1 MB of memory you don't get very far.

Even higher end classic Amigas, like 68060+AGA are still outperformed by the Sega arcade hardware in terms of graphics memory bandwidth and the way they have specialized hardware to draw road, and z-buffering stuff, separate CPUs to handle audio etc.
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Old 26 September 2017, 16:01   #210
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Indeed. We might be able to get to Lotus level gameplay/graphics style but that's very much inferior to what an authentic port of Outrun actually requires.
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Old 26 September 2017, 16:54   #211
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The X68000 hardware can run circles around a vanilla ECS Amiga (hell, even an AGA one), yet its Super Hang-On port is far from arcade perfect.

And I played Super Hang-On on Amiga a lot and had never noticed the opponents jerking left and right, now that you mentioned it I'll never be able to enjoy the game the same way again :P
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Old 26 September 2017, 18:21   #212
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Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
from a programmer point of view, when a program is targeted at the atari st, if you want to take and use the full possibilities on the Amiga side, you have to recode the whole program.

That's basically what a professional amiga coder told me.
As a programmer/coder, I find that a very odd statement.

You see, I'd agree readily that to get the best results on the Amiga you have to take the architecture in account and that this means that your code handling graphics (Blitter/Copper) and sound will be very different. I'd even agree that you may need to change parts of the main loop in Amiga programs if necessary to better utilize the bus.

However (and crucially), the stuff that makes a game a game is going to be just about 100% the same. It really doesn't matter all that much for game logic if you have an ST, Amiga or Megadrive. Especially so since apart from the custom chips these machines are functionally identical, barring some really rather minor differences (how much memory you have and how fast the CPU is). But these are fairly inconsequential and shouldn't change your base code all that much*.

Furthermore, since the ST has so few special hardware tricks, converting the graphics and sound code should be reasonably doable. Which won't be true if you do a conversion the other way round.

Edit: I just figured out you meant the case where you wish to use the Amiga possibilities fully. That would certainly entail much more rework (including on the art side), but the game logic should still be able to be reused just fine. IMHO that is actually the really important part of the code.

Quote:
And on the opposite side, it's easier to port an amiga program to ST than the other way.
I'd say that this is true for the game logic, but if the game is heavily based around Amiga custom chipset features graphics and sound code are going to be wildly different and will likely take significant rework.

*) As an example, if you where to redo a game from a completely different architecture like say a Z80 based system, you'd probably end up with more or less the same game logic code - just using MC68000 instructions instead of Z80.
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Old 26 September 2017, 21:01   #213
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And I played Super Hang-On on Amiga a lot and had never noticed the opponents jerking left and right, now that you mentioned it I'll never be able to enjoy the game the same way again :P
Yeah, I feel god-damned cheated I tell you. Cheated. I spent all those years (and I mean years) playing Super Hang On and I never knew it was a bad game. I enjoyed it for gawd's sakes, when I should have hated it for the sloppiness that ZZKJ employed when making his quick cash out of us poor kids.

All those memories I have of having mates round to see who could get furthest? All those evenings marvelling at the graphics that were really, really good but actually crap?

What a waste of my time that was.




Wait. Was the sound any good though? Can I at least have good memories of the thumping soundtrack and the deep throaty roar of the engine, until the whine of the turbo boost cycled ever upwards raising excitement to unbearable levels? Can I please have that one?
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Old 26 September 2017, 22:37   #214
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Quote:
However (and crucially), the stuff that makes a game a game is going to be just about 100% the same.
depends how the code is organized.

Quote:
It really doesn't matter all that much for game logic if you have an ST, Amiga or Megadrive.
If you plan to make an STF game, better not overload the CPU with a strong AI.

The Amiga allows a better AI to be used and graphics with more colors, faster, and at 50 fps.

Quote:
Especially so since apart from the custom chips these machines are functionally identical, barring some really rather minor differences (how much memory you have and how fast the CPU is). But these are fairly inconsequential and shouldn't change your base code all that much*.
Not really. when you port an ST game, you take multiple hits on cpu cycles, making the game slower than it should.

or otherwise, the ST will not cope.

Quote:
Furthermore, since the ST has so few special hardware tricks, converting the graphics and sound code should be reasonably doable. Which won't be true if you do a conversion the other way round.
You do that with a machine that

Quote:
Edit: I just figured out you meant the case where you wish to use the Amiga possibilities fully. That would certainly entail much more rework (including on the art side), but the game logic should still be able to be reused just fine. IMHO that is actually the really important part of the code.
The programmer i'm talking about just told me that the ST is too slow. If you put even in 16 colors, the software tricks you need to do just eat all your CPU cycles. So you have to remove specific routines from the amiga version, so that the ST could cope with what it has to process.

In his games, he was replacing the Amiga hardware routines by ST soft routines.

Quote:
I'd say that this is true for the game logic, but if the game is heavily based around Amiga custom chipset features graphics and sound code are going to be wildly different and will likely take significant rework.
If you code correctly and isolate all the hardware graphic routines, you can replace them with ST soft routines. That's what he did.
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Old 26 September 2017, 22:59   #215
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Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
depends how the code is organized.



If you plan to make an STF game, better not overload the CPU with a strong AI.

The Amiga allows a better AI to be used and graphics with more colors, faster, and at 50 fps.



Not really. when you port an ST game, you take multiple hits on cpu cycles, making the game slower than it should.

or otherwise, the ST will not cope.



You do that with a machine that



The programmer i'm talking about just told me that the ST is too slow. If you put even in 16 colors, the software tricks you need to do just eat all your CPU cycles. So you have to remove specific routines from the amiga version, so that the ST could cope with what it has to process.

In his games, he was replacing the Amiga hardware routines by ST soft routines.



If you code correctly and isolate all the hardware graphic routines, you can replace them with ST soft routines. That's what he did.
Sorry Denis, some of what you're saying is simply wrong.

If a game was written on the ST first, its MUCH easier to convert to Amiga than it is to write on Amiga first and then port to the ST, this isn't even a discussion worth having.

Secondly, absolutely NO-ONE is going to code better AI routines for Amiga, when the existing ST AI routines will do the job.

You also overestimate how complicated some of these AI routines are in some games, most simply either follow preset patterns, or simply seek toward the hero ship, there is certainly few games with truly decent AI, and those that do, are generally not fast action games.

As for worrying about the ST slowing down, pretty sure with the exception of Thalion, most programmers didn't give a shit if their games ran in a frame and were not perfectly smooth on the ST, because people were happy to buy what was on offer.

It was only when the Amiga sales overtook the ST that software companies developed first for Amiga and realised that shovelware excuses wouldn't work anymore, and it got to the stage where cutting down some of the Amiga versions to fit on the ST were a step too much, hence why the ST was dropped.
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Old 26 September 2017, 23:10   #216
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Yeah, I feel god-damned cheated I tell you. Cheated. I spent all those years (and I mean years) playing Super Hang On and I never knew it was a bad game. I enjoyed it for gawd's sakes, when I should have hated it for the sloppiness that ZZKJ employed when making his quick cash out of us poor kids.

All those memories I have of having mates round to see who could get furthest? All those evenings marvelling at the graphics that were really, really good but actually crap?

What a waste of my time that was.

Wait. Was the sound any good though? Can I at least have good memories of the thumping soundtrack and the deep throaty roar of the engine, until the whine of the turbo boost cycled ever upwards raising excitement to unbearable levels? Can I please have that one?
Hahahahaha

Personally I feel the same way and agree with everything you've said. Cracking game on the Amiga when compared to what was around at the time (besides the original arcade obviously but no home computer / console could match that)

Definitely had fun playing this and at the end of the day that's what counts...
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Old 26 September 2017, 23:18   #217
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Definitely had fun playing this and at the end of the day that's what counts...
I fully agree with that. And, being a bit of devil's advocate, if the outrun port was a bit more optimized in speed and playability, probably now we would not be here to moan, as long as had good playability, but pity does not

Actually, even a port with the same quality and playability of the PC-Engine one would do the trick, with better colors and soundtrack, of course ^^

Last edited by saimon69; 26 September 2017 at 23:19. Reason: punctualization
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Old 26 September 2017, 23:21   #218
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One can do the same as in Unreal dragon level, use the copper to double the horizontal lines. It will be a bit blocky but will help improve performances.
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Old 26 September 2017, 23:26   #219
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One can do the same as in Unreal dragon level, use the copper to double the horizontal lines. It will be a bit blocky but will help improve performances.
Kamelito
Actually i see the underal engine good for a Galaxy force clone ^^
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Old 27 September 2017, 01:09   #220
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Actually, even a port with the same quality and playability of the PC-Engine one would do the trick, with better colors and soundtrack, of course ^^
Yes.
Trying to piss higher than your head is always a bad idea.
There's plenty of adequate and great Out Run ports that an Amiga port could be based in.

Namely, the Megadrive and the PC-Engine versions, are the best reference, keeping the essence and playing really good! PC-Engine port is particularly great. The compromise being done for that one seems to be number of objects, but it still plays very good and I wouldn't mind seeing less objects on the sides of the road as long as playability and speed are kept!

The proof is in the pudding as they say anyway, and any talk in this thread is nothing more than speculation and time-wasting. If anybody in here thinks they c an do it, they should do it, and stop posting about it.
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