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Old 22 August 2005, 00:37   #41
Konrad
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@Gimbal: Play it further, you'll also get those slowdowns.

@FromWithin: I have a P4 2,6GHz and emulation is running at full speed with no frameskips

Anyway...

I verified the problem with the MAMEtesters board. They say those slowdowns are correct because the processors used on the original board were too slow causing these slowdons also on the original arcade game. The emulation is perfect, that's why those slowdowns are also emulated.

There are bootlegs of some games. The producers of those used faster processor on their boards, so these games run faster without slowing down. Seems as if I played on one of those when I was young .

Anyway, the only way to speed up those game (there are a few games with this problem) you have to overclock the CPUs in emulation through a cheat.dat for MAME.

So it's really not my computer, it's the game itself.

Check the MAMEtesters forum and search for a topic by me if you're interested.
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Old 27 August 2005, 20:44   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer
I've noticed that a lot of Amiga games have better music than the arcade version. The tune is the same but on the Amiga it is 'done' better. Is it the superiority of Paula? Maybe the arcade programmers didn't put all that much into music, since in the arcades it is hardly ever noticed, or even turned off/extremely low volume. Examples that spring to mind: Rodland, Toki perhaps, Dragon Breed, Rainbow Islands, yeah Bubble Bobble too and probably lots more. Anyone agrees on this?
I totally disagree about Rod-Land having inferior music to Amiga.
Rod-Land runs on Jalecos "Mega-system 1" and it has 8 channels of PCM and 8 channels FM synth in stereo... it sounds far superior to the Amiga, try it in Mame and hear for yourself

Also the arcadeversion of Rod-Land is twice as long as the Amiga version, it has an "part 2" that you can access after completing the first.
Only the first part seems to be in the Amiga and Atari ST versions and i guess it's the same for C-64 version also.
Part 2 has new graphics and music.
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Old 27 August 2005, 22:30   #43
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Erm, I've heard it in Mame lots of times and still prefer the Amiga version. The sound maybe less 'rich' and robust, but in this case (and most of the others) I actually meant it was better musically, not technically.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there was also a 'cheat' on the Amiga version which enabled the alternate 'pyramid' levels and storyline (and music) right from the start. But I could be wrong on this.
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Old 27 August 2005, 22:48   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad
They say those slowdowns are correct because the processors used on the original board were too slow causing these slowdons also on the original arcade game. The emulation is perfect, that's why those slowdowns are also emulated.
Isn't this rather absurd?
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Old 27 August 2005, 23:04   #45
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It's common on arcade hardware.. pretty much every shoot em up suffer from this on the final levels. Some even argue that treasue/Cave has this as a feature.

As for mame "emulating" slowdowns.. great, another way to spot bootlegs!
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Old 27 August 2005, 23:18   #46
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What I mean is, would you rather have:

'Perfect Emulation' - that not only includes some unintentional features such as slow down but also emulated the arcade machine in such a technically perfect way that it made currently playable games unplayable due to modern day PCs not being powerful enough.

Or

'Useful Emulation' - that emulated the original machine perfectly as far as actually playing it and enjoying it went.

Seeing as the second option produces the exact same effect as the first for everyone but nerds I'd choose that instead of ruining games that have been playable for years.
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Old 27 August 2005, 23:24   #47
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Erm, I think you need another Emulator for that, because MAME is clearly not what you want:

Even though MAME allows people to enjoy the long-lost arcade games and even some newer ones, the main purpose of the project is to document the hardware (and software) of the arcade games. There are already many dead arcade boards, whose function has been brought to life in MAME. Being able to play the games is just a nice side-effect.
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Old 27 August 2005, 23:34   #48
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But clearly that last sentence used to be ironic, now it isn't.
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Old 28 August 2005, 05:13   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanutuk
Isn't this rather absurd?
Not if you think about it. The goal of MAME is to make the emulation as accurate to the original as possible. They're not trying to enhance it.

Emulating the chips as accurate as possible means also emulate their timing and speed. And that's the problem with some games. Some chips are underdimensioned(?) for the games they have to run, resulting in slowdowns already in the Arcades. The speed of the chips is emulated properly, that's why the games are slowing down as in the Arcades because the timing and speed is exactly the same in MAME.

Sounds logical. Annoying none the less .
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Old 28 August 2005, 16:09   #50
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Question

@FromWithin. Going slightly O/T, but what of the next-gen consoles? Has there been sufficient improvements in the sound dept.(aside from the Blu-ray/DVD playback).
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Old 28 August 2005, 20:51   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7-Zark-7
@FromWithin. Going slightly O/T, but what of the next-gen consoles? Has there been sufficient improvements in the sound dept.(aside from the Blu-ray/DVD playback).
Playstation and PS2 are utterly dreadful. The PS2 has two of the Playstation audio chips in it and a stereo PCM output, but that's it. Gamecube was not too bad with its own DSP and 16MB audio RAM, but was hampered by Nintendo renaming the audio from Audio RAM to Alternative RAM, and allowing it to be used for secondary storage. The Xbox was the best so far with Sensaura 3D audio, modular DSP and Dolby Digital encoding.

The indications are that the new consoles will have no audio chips in them. Just an addressable output. Everything will be software mixing which gives you the ultimate flexibility. Longhorn is going this way as well, making it difficult, if not impossible to use hardware audio through DirectSound (which is why Creative pushes OpenGL on the PC).

But internal capabilities have been largely ignored. The only real audio innovation on the PS2 I can think of is Burnout 2 which managed to access the output of the audio chip and add distortion. The Xbox audio was severly underused thanks to a majority of early/mid games being ports from the PS2 and having no enhancement. The audio chips have mostly just been used for straight sample playback, with all music being streamed off the disc. Perish the thought of using the main processor for interesting audio. It's just not a possibility, especially on the PS2 with its rubbish processor. Graphics always have priority. CRI (cough, sega, cough, ahem) middleware made their entire product out of streaming data from the disc efficiently, and they've been very successful. Apart from some of the Japanese RPG companies, nobody does music with on-board chips anymore. It just doesn't sound anywhere near as good as streamed audio.

So, in answer to the original question: Audio technology on the consoles hasn't really changed since the introduction of the CD-ROM, and you can pretty much blame Sony for that. The new consoles will be better as software mixing allows ultimate flexibility, so all it takes is an interested programmer.

Last edited by FromWithin; 28 August 2005 at 23:28.
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Old 31 August 2005, 14:12   #52
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There were some great arcade conversions on the Amiga, but most were not:

1). Atari ST version invariably leaded, and seeing as most development teams had maybe six or so versions to do, they didn't have the time or inclination to make the Amiga version as good as it should be. Most development teams were simply paid a one off fee to get the conversion done. If the teams were not going to get any extra money to make the Amiga version better, can you blame them for not bothering?

2). Invariably the wrong teams were assigned to do conversion work. Its down to money. If Binary Design (Richard Aplin) doesn't give a better price than Tiertex, then Tiertex will get the job. And just look how shit they were!

The Amiga suffered mainly because of the influence of the Atari ST, end of! They coded for the lowest machine (and most popular at the time) then ported to Amiga.

The Megadrive was a good machine, and Strider on the Megadrive was infinitely superior to that of the Amiga version, same with Ghouls n Ghosts (although the Amiga music was far superior to the Megadrive and Arcade). This wasn't because the Megadrive was better, it was because Sega and Capcom had a little more pride in what they produced. US Gold didn't. They spent a shitload on a licence then needed to recoup that money as quickly as possible.

Its a simple equation really. Compare some individual development teams that wrote software for the likes of Psygnosis (not the last of their games obviously!). Maybe the gameplay was suspect on some of their titles, but you can't deny the technical prowess behind them. Terramarques Elfmania showed what the Amiga was capable of, it certainly made Streetfighter 2 look crap!

The Amiga was fucked by the Atari ST. The Amiga was fucked by every clown that went and bought a shite Tiertex, Kremlin, et al conversion. If people had voted with their money, people like US Gold and Ocean (The platform game kings!) would have had to sort their act out. Ocean did at least try before they got swallowed up by Infogrammes, with genuinely good attempts such as Robocop 3, Inferno, TFX (not amiga but PC), Hook. US Gold, got swallowed up by Eidos too easily because they had been rumbled, people were hacked off with their lame conversions.

So next time you decide to slag off an Amiga arcade conversion and think the machine simply was capable of it, I guarrantee theres at least a couple of independent games out there that prove that theory wrong.

Tiertex and early Teque.... did more damage than you can possibly imagine!
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Old 31 August 2005, 17:30   #53
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@ FromWithin. Thanks for your detailed answer-quite depressing to read of your detailed points about the "death" of the traditional soundchips as we knew them vs. streamed stuff-more professional & easier, but a little lacking on the innovation front-its not like one sees GFX chips treated the same way!

@ Galahad/FLT-tell us what you really think of Tiertex, we all know you loved them at heart-the way you've always talked about 'em its obvious!
Seriously though-well made points. When you think of successful platformers ala Rainbow Islands, Pang etc.,it makes it more the pity of something like a G'n'g wasn't more successfully done,ambitious though it might've been.
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Old 31 August 2005, 22:31   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT
The Amiga suffered mainly because of the influence of the Atari ST, end of! They coded for the lowest machine (and most popular at the time) then ported to Amiga.
Well, and by that you mean they actually was good on the ST? Trust me the games was most likely crap coded already on the ST so don't "blame" the ST for shitcoded Amiga games, it was the lousy programmers fault who did not use the potential of both computers.
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Old 31 August 2005, 23:39   #55
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True. Crap is crap whatever format it is on. Just look at Chase HQ, crap on all home formats except the Spectrum!

I think that the point is that a game that doesn't make use of the ST's capablilities fairs even worse when placed on a machine with even more potential.
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Old 31 August 2005, 23:56   #56
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Ok.. maybe it was bad to call the programmers "lousy" since it's more likely the fact that they were under timepressure and forced to do it "pixel perfect" even if the ST (and Amiga) hardware was not capable of such big sprites the arcadegame might have used.
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Old 02 September 2005, 09:42   #57
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Originally Posted by Peanutuk
True. Crap is crap whatever format it is on. Just look at Chase HQ, crap on all home formats except the Spectrum!
And the CPC. The CPC was just like the Spectrum version with all speech and stuff plus colours. Lovely conversion....

As for conversions, I agree with Stefan. It's not coincidence that most arcade conversions were made by big companies that could aquire the licences. I never ever show sympathy to those companies because money was above decent games.
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Old 02 September 2005, 12:38   #58
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What's the story with the guys that handled certain Sega conversions? Super Hang-On was fantastic. "Graphics by FOCUS"? Programmed by ZZKJ?? What the hell is that? I mean, if I were to make such an unbelievable conversion I'd have my name shining all over by contract with golden letters (Defender of the Crown style) from the loading screen, up to seconds before racing. Zareh Z.K. Johannes (ZZKJ) also handled Power Drift, another brilliant conversion imo. Good thing he kept away from the sad Outrun conversion.
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Old 03 September 2005, 15:28   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Lindberg
Well, and by that you mean they actually was good on the ST? Trust me the games was most likely crap coded already on the ST so don't "blame" the ST for shitcoded Amiga games, it was the lousy programmers fault who did not use the potential of both computers.

I think you over estimate the Atari ST's abilities as a games machine. Quite a lot of the conversions on the ST were as good as they were ever going to be on the machine. Sure the demo scene threw up some interesting effects, none of which could have been used in a game.

The Amiga suffered because of the Atari ST!
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Old 04 September 2005, 01:37   #60
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I think you over estimate the Atari ST's abilities as a games machine.
Thats exactly what i mean by when doing pixelperfect conversions that using the graphics like big sprites used by superior arcadehardware... maybe it is the Atari ST that suffered because the games was programmed with Amiga in mind using bigger sprites and such.

I belive this "Amiga suffered bacause of Atari ST" is exaggerated, there is only few examples.. it's more becasue the programmer did not know how to program the Amiga, and most ST to Amiga "ports" are better on Amiga anyway.
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