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Old 21 March 2016, 17:07   #1
twinbee
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400 for Stunt Car Racer at 50/60 frames per second

Preface and background

Stunt Car Racer has always been one of my favourite racing games of all time. The spectacular physics, sound and gameplay were legendary and still are. Even back then though (15-20 years ago), I was dying to see a smoother frame-rate. In fact, part of the reason I even bought a 68060 at the time was the hope that SCR would break the ~15fps frame rate it was fixed to. That hope didn't bear fruit unfortunately.

Around six years ago, I asked you guys about the possibility of a super-smooth version of Stunt Car racer and created a post on this very forum. From that thread and other threads around the forum, I was directed to various 'tweaked' versions such as the ones found from here. But such versions (e.g: Stunt Car Racer Turbo) failed to be just smoother, and instead simply sped up the game which spoils the experience.

It's not through lack of trying either, as djvernon (a user here) explained his attempt to convert SCR to 60fps when he converted the original 68k code to Windows with his 'remake' (Source code here). Ervin, another user also tried hard to no avail.

Of course, there have been quite a few remakes too ( [ Show youtube player ], [ Show youtube player ], [ Show youtube player ], [ Show youtube player ]), but although many of these WERE smoother, they lacked the incredible physics that made the original so great. We're talking about the subtle tilting of the car as the load under each wheel varies, and how the vehicle bounces when you make a medium to hard landing. These ARE noticeable and drastically affect the feel of the game, and they are mostly missing from the remakes.

But..... the dream still hasn't died. Let's throw money at the problem.

Challenge:

SCR@60FPS OR BUST

I'm offering 200 400 for someone, anyone, who can tweak the original code to run at 50/60fps. 100 200 of it will be to make the game run at full frame rate. The other 100 200 will be much easier to implement - I want to be able to adjust the CPU car speed in percentage points for extra difficulty (I love a challenge and completed the original SCR on the Amiga). However, I'll only award the latter 100 200 for that 'adjustable difficulty' addition if you can successfully make it run at 50/60fps first.

So points to bear in mind:
  1. It has to be SMOOTHER (50/60fps) keeping the original game speed. To simply speed the game up (though affecting the FPS) is trivial to do, and not what I want.
  2. It also must be stable and not crash, so I can complete the game.
  3. No bugs. Well, if I see some errors, I'll play it by ear according to how serious these errors are.
  4. It must almost certainly be a tweak of the original code, not a complete rewrite. It must run through an Amiga emulator.
  5. The physics MUST be faithful to the original. I'll know if they aren't! No 'tweening' of graphical frames to fake the smoothness.
  6. If you want to add other goodies too (such as increased resolution, integration of the TNT tracks, or a level above the Super League for even beefier cars) then feel free, but make them optional if you do.
  7. You must use Paypal for me to pay (I'm not sure how easy bank transfers are across countries since I live in the UK).
If someone is successful, great, they get the prize. If someone ELSE is also successful afterwards, I'll pay AN ADDITIONAL half of the amount that I offered in this post (so 50/100 100/200 instead of 100/200 200/400) to that second person. In total, I could be giving away 300 600.

I'll honour my word about payment. A little about myself - I own the site skytopia.com and I create software such as the Lifehacker-endorsed OpalCalc, SunsetScreen, SonicPhoto and others. I also created the 'Eclipse of Mars' music CD, and helped discover the Mandelbulb - a 3D representation of the 2D Mandelbrot if that rings a bell to any of you.

Potential users here to carry out the update include AmiGer (SCR TNT fame), djvernon (SCR 68k to Win32 fame), and Galahad/FLT (SCR Turbo fame), but I'm sure there are many others here capable of carrying out this mission, even if they have never even played the game before.

Last edited by twinbee; 23 March 2016 at 11:06. Reason: Added "no tweening of frames"
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Old 21 March 2016, 17:10   #2
turrican9
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Look at this [ Show youtube player ]

Stunt Car Racer with 'Cache' tooltypes for whdload

Edit: Of course not original games speed :P

Also, I tried the game in NTSC yesterday, and indeed it felt more smooth.

Last edited by turrican9; 21 March 2016 at 17:15.
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Old 21 March 2016, 20:58   #3
Mrs Beanbag
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200 is really not very much to reverse engineer/rewrite an entire game
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Old 21 March 2016, 21:10   #4
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[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 22 March 2016, 15:44   #5
jizmo
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To me this seems like a good goal, but why not crowdfund the whole thing and let everyone pitch in?
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Old 22 March 2016, 15:47   #6
Retro1234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turrican9 View Post
Look at this [ Show youtube player ]

Stunt Car Racer with 'Cache' tooltypes for whdload

Edit: Of course not original games speed :P

Also, I tried the game in NTSC yesterday, and indeed it felt more smooth.
I dont think it could go much faster? surprised its not tied to the blitter in some way, so it must have been pretty much the same speed as ST version.
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Old 22 March 2016, 16:14   #7
twinbee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jizmo View Post
To me this seems like a good goal, but why not crowdfund the whole thing and let everyone pitch in?
More than happy with this idea, especially if it'll mean the difference between making this dream come true or not.

Anyone feel free to state amounts in addition to my figures, no matter how small.
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Old 22 March 2016, 16:32   #8
demolition
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I think many people could be interested in this, but you might want to specify the hardware requirements. It certainly won't be able to run on a plain 68k like the original, but possibly on an 030. I think it should be able to run on a real Amiga and not just through WinUAE in JIT mode.
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Old 22 March 2016, 19:21   #9
Mrs Beanbag
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yes indeed, 50/60fps is really not attainable on a 68k OCS machine such as the A500, it is rare enough for a 3D game to even get 25fps, it is just not possible to fill an entire screen-worth of polygons in the available time, although it is probably possible to do a lot better than the original.
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Old 22 March 2016, 19:54   #10
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To get a polygon fill operation that is faster, you will need a faster blitter. All Amiga chipset versions have a 3.5 MHz 16-bit blitter so the only way to get the speed you want is with a new FPGA design.
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Old 22 March 2016, 21:35   #11
Akira
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
To get a polygon fill operation that is faster, you will need a faster blitter. All Amiga chipset versions have a 3.5 MHz 16-bit blitter so the only way to get the speed you want is with a new FPGA design.
Not really. You can change the blitter routines to use the CPU instead and an accelerated machine then would have an advantage (like what fblit does, right?).

Doesn't sound like an easy job anyway and yeah, A500s would be excluded.
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Old 22 March 2016, 21:47   #12
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FBlit does not patch the polygon fill operation but it could be replaced with a look-up table.
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Old 22 March 2016, 21:49   #13
Mrs Beanbag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
FBlit does not patch the polygon fill operation but it could be replaced with a look-up table.
well you know, something i have thought about before, is that the Blitter fills from right to left, so one plots the outlines in single-pixel per scanline mode. But, one could just as well do it by plotting the outlines as single-pixel per column and filling from top to bottom, which would be very much easier to implement in a CPU routine.
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Old 22 March 2016, 22:16   #14
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Stunt Car Racer only uses the blitter for the RNC sector loader, so you might as well close that topic of conversation down.
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Old 22 March 2016, 22:21   #15
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but if we were going to rewrite the graphics routine, which we'd have to, it "could" use the Blitter... but even if it didn't, we could still discuss how to actually implement a polygon fill routine that would be fast enough
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Old 22 March 2016, 22:24   #16
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So it runs faster on faster CPU anyway? wonder if FBlit does have any impact
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Old 22 March 2016, 23:02   #17
Mrs Beanbag
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it might use a timer to assure a certain frame rate, if that is the case it should be easy to speed up the frame rate, but not so easy to keep the action at the same speed.
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Old 22 March 2016, 23:08   #18
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So it runs faster on faster CPU anyway? wonder if FBlit does have any impact
It did on my Blizzard 1230-IV back in the day - much, much smoother than it was on the old A1000 I played it on previously.

D.
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Old 22 March 2016, 23:32   #19
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wonder if FBlit does have any impact
Fblit only affects Workbench/system friendly applications.
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Old 22 March 2016, 23:37   #20
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O yeah - there are a couple of games it seems to work with, looks like #2 is the answer anyway.
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