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View Full Version : Let's talk Virtua Fighter 3 on Saturn



Orchid87
12-30-2018, 03:09 PM
I hope this topic is not taboo here, hehe.

I'd like to discuss two things:

1) What are the latest news on this holy grail of cancelled Saturn games? The last news I've read were ten years ago when someone took glitchy Supermodel VF3 screenshots and tried to pass them as Saturn version screens. Anything new since then? What's the full story behind the development and cancellation of this port?

2) Imagine yourself being in charge with Satrun VF3 port. How would you do it?
I'd certainly do it this way:

- Go for 60 FPS, high resolution (like VF2 and Dead or Alive ports) and complete arcade movesets/techniques above everything else.

- No goraud shading and light sourcing, again, like VF2 and DoA. Fighters Megamix has those and it is an ugly low resolution mess. The depth and shading should be static and baked into textures. Obviously you can't just use Model 3 textures, you have to work on them quite a bit to add fake shading.

- Looking at Model 3 character models, you can see that there are actually not so many polygons on them. Many are spent on faces and hands, and if you don't count those, the models are barely better than Tekken 3 ones. So Saturn version models should have two versions: 1) Simplier ones. The polycount is similar to DoA models, minus some polygons that we would use for ground objects. More on this later. 2) Models with more polys on hands and faces. Those are streamed in right before the victory pose, similar to how Tobal 2 on PS1 does this. The latter feature should be optional for those who doesn't want a couple seconds of loadings before victory poses.

- The inaccessible background elements outside arenas are 2D. No need to spend polys on them.

- The arenas consist of two layers. First layer is VDP2 layer, like on VF2 and DoA. Then add few polygons on top for stuff like stairs, bumps, sand dunes and other uneven ground things. These should be as low poly as possible, but not completely ugly. Their job is to affect the gameplay, instead of being an eye candy. Try balance them with player models in the poly count department.

- Evades are done with shoulder buttons.

I think all of the above is completely possible, without the need of additional hardware cart.

Black_Tiger
12-30-2018, 04:39 PM
Dead or Alive perfected the use of 2D layered backdrops, which look better than polygonal ones. 3D elements are better saved for the actual ring.

I think that the ideal version of VF3 for Saturn would be high res 60fps with no shading/lighting, no 3D ring elements, but with optimal background composition, like DOA. I also think that a flat ring is better than attempting a faithful port.

If gameplay/moves based on variable level floors needs to be altered, so be it. The ideal version for home consoles would be a version, not a port, which would lose too much on any platform.

Leynos
12-30-2018, 05:12 PM
Eh makes as much sense as VF2 on Genesis.

cleeg
12-30-2018, 05:44 PM
I actually quite like 3, it's the 'black sheep' and there is more point in playing it over 4 in my opinion just to appreciate the differences. It does seem to have a more sterile flavour than the others though, it's just missing something from the atmosphere somehow. I think it's because the music sounds a little flat, whereas particularly 1 had an amazing soundtrack; really funky and fitting with the vibe. 2's was a bit more punchy and actionish but with some real standouts. I loved Wolf's stage music for instance. 4 Sounded good, but the next version of it, though a better game, had a boring generic heavy guitar sound. 5 I need to play a little more, but I seem to remember being OK with it.

Enough digression..!

If making a Saturn title I think if it was along the lines of a Virtua Fighter '2.5' we could be in business. That looked great and played like a dream, if the poly models were like that it'd look good enough for me. Also, we could even go so far as to get rid of background uneven stages and have it play more like 4, if this would make it possible for higher speed and such. If it made no difference keep them in.

TrekkiesUnite118
12-30-2018, 06:50 PM
I'd say Last Bronx was also a good example of VDP2 compositing for 2D Background elements replicating 3D objects:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOHul97vFFQ

I'd say that is really the game where they were able to make the illusion believable. The background elements move properly which games like Virtua Fighter 2 really didn't do quite right. So you don't see that odd border where the 3D floor suddenly clashes with the 2D backdrops. The backdrops are layered and angled properly and move correctly with the camera. So maybe something passable for VF3 could have been done using that game as a blueprint.

There's also Digital Dance Mix which started out as AM2 using it to test VF3 models on the Saturn to see if a port could be doable:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyJLAlCbF3A

zyrobs
12-30-2018, 08:02 PM
Take the fake 3d backdrops from last Bronx, combine it with 3d fields from K1 Fighting Illusion, use the 3d models and lightning from Vipers/Megamix, and keep the gameplay like VF2 did.

Team Andromeda
12-30-2018, 08:16 PM
Fighting Megamix shows what AM#2 would have done IMO and how VF 3 Saturn would have looked, if they had continued work on it, before dropping it for the DC version. It features some really quite a number of more polygons on the characters to VF II (Saturn) or Digital Dance mix , features some lovely lighting effects some nice 3D backgrounds and also includes quite a number of the move set from VF3Tb to boot

zyrobs
12-30-2018, 09:34 PM
Megamix uses the exact same models as VF2, they just use more gouraud shading. And the VF3 moves are completely lost since the game plays too much like Vipers (even when set to VF mode).

Team Andromeda
12-31-2018, 01:20 AM
Megamix uses the exact same models as VF2, they just use more gouraud shading. And the VF3 moves are completely lost since the game plays too much like Vipers (even when set to VF mode).

Don't agree More Polygons are used especially on characters like Shun . It's a big difference and where the Fighter megamix VF2 characters look far more like the Model2 characters



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D64Woq07Gmg&t=20s


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJDmUCoEK18

Orchid87
12-31-2018, 02:28 AM
Eh makes as much sense as VF2 on Genesis.

Except VF2 on Genesis is a bad game by Genesis standards. VF3 on Saturn could be the best fighter on Saturn, even simplified like that.

zyrobs
12-31-2018, 03:38 AM
Don't agree More Polygons are used especially on characters like Shun . It's a big difference and where the Fighter megamix VF2 characters look far more like the Model2 characters

You need to check your eyes. The VF character models are the exact same ones in both games.
The only difference is the lightning (flat shading on model 2, no lightning on Saturn VF2, ugly gouraud shading on Vipers/Megamix). But that's down to the game engine, not the models.

Team Andromeda
12-31-2018, 05:12 AM
You need to check your eyes. The VF character models are the exact same ones in both games.
The only difference is the lightning (flat shading on model 2, no lightning on Saturn VF2, ugly gouraud shading on Vipers/Megamix). But that's down to the game engine, not the models.

I don't agree with you sorry. Fighting Viper's were using more polygons than VF 2 on the Saturn and even they were hugely improved for Fighter MegaMix and the polygons used on stuff like the Daytona car must have been quite a lot. VF 2 character's like Kage, Shun were vastly better in Megamix.

I don't think the Saturn could have done much more than Megamix at 60 fps for any VF3 port.

Team Andromeda
12-31-2018, 05:17 AM
Except VF2 on Genesis is a bad game by Genesis standards. VF3 on Saturn could be the best fighter on Saturn, even simplified like that.

Agreed in just the same way one had GF II and Space Harrier on Master System hardware. Which despite the gulf in specs played really nice and one had a flavour of the Arcade versions.

One could have a rather decent VF 3 on the Saturn using a improved Fighters MegaMix engine, that could have played and had a lot of the moves from VF3

Cafeman
12-31-2018, 01:43 PM
Has it ever been revealed the technical polygon usage for Saturn VF, VF2, FMM, and LB? Personally, my eye says that LB character polygon builds > VF2 > FMM. But it is hard to tell. And for all I know, the original VF might use the same amount of polygons for characters, but doesn't have any of the texturing or lighting or shading.

Concerning the OP and a VF3 on Saturn, I think the main obstacle would have been including Taka-arashi in the game. He is huge, and I have read that AM2 had problems balancing him with the other fighters due to his thickness and the engine.

I would have been happy with either the FMM engine or a LB engine. There are 2 main differences that VF3 introduced -- the escape button, but also the elevation changes and sometimes a wall to interact with. None of the Saturn fighters had variable ground elevation, and although anything is eventually possible with time and money, I doubt we'd have been all that impressed by a Saturn VF3.

zyrobs
12-31-2018, 02:54 PM
Fun fact, VF2 already has a mechanic for the characters to walk on uneven ground, you can see it when you do a winpose on the edge of the arena and one leg of the character is on the arena and the other is off.
It also has one or two characters capable of doing evades (Shun and either Lion or Kage).
So mostly they'd only need the horsepower to be able to draw the uneven, open arenas, while keeping a steady framerate. Megamix and Vipers already had the framerate totalling on stages with walls (not to mention the boxing arena that switched lightning direction periodically).

Team Andromeda
01-01-2019, 06:23 AM
Has it ever been revealed the technical polygon usage for Saturn VF, VF2, FMM, and LB? .

AM#2 gave an interview with the Japanese Saturn mag and where they said that the VF 2 Characters on the Saturn, were actually made up of fewer polygons than VF on the Saturn but were using advanced texture mapping for them to appear better. Hiroshi Kataoka then gave an interview to the Saturn mag talking about Fighting Vipers on the Saturn and he said that the team faced all sorts of issues with the programme needing to display far more polygons for each of the new character compared to VF 2 on the Saturn (given the armour and colthing used) and that the game also used Polygons for the backrounds, so the team had to drop the use of the Highest Res mode, but the up shot of that was that then meant they were apply to use lighting.

When I play Fighting Megamix it to me looks to be using far more polygons (for me) and more so when you consider that the Fighting Vipers are hugely improved over the Fighting Vipers on the Saturn and that game AM#2 said was already using more polygons than VF2 characters on the Saturn. So one would look to the Last Bronx and Fighting Mega Mix as about the best the Saturn could offer. So you could have had a Saturn VF3 with most of the move set and most of the characters done well enough, to get the gameplay over, given the Saturn 6 button pad the escape mode would not be an issue and the Saturn could repulcate stages like Wolf Or Jeff's pretty well, but Wolf's stage would just be flat, but it could still be just as big and maybe AM#2 would have used the VDP 2 in really clever ways like having one layer on a tilt to be used as the roof on Pai's stage.


It would have been a big ask, given that even the DC had issues with a VF3 port. But of course it could have be done, more so when you look at the likes of MK II coming to the Gear Gear or the ZX Spectrum handling a decent version of Enduro Racer. But I guess with the big decline of the Saturns sales in Japan after FF 7 and the upcoming DC project it didn't make sense to continue with the Saturn version

Orchid87
01-02-2019, 07:30 AM
It would have been a big ask, given that even the DC had issues with a VF3 port.

The port was outsourced to Genki and they were given too little time to finish it. Proper DC port could look better than Model 3 version, maybe the Dead or Alive 2 level of graphics.

Team Andromeda
01-02-2019, 07:51 AM
The port was outsourced to Genki and they were given too little time to finish it. Proper DC port could look better than Model 3 version, maybe the Dead or Alive 2 level of graphics.

SEGA its self had issues porting Model 3 games to the DC like we saw with Rally 2 :) . Genki did a great job with the DC port and it was all but perfect but even porting Model 3 games to the DC wasn't easy. I read an interview with Genki on how they had to rework their code over 4 times to get Virtual Striker running on NA@MI board and up to speed and that porting it to the DC would be even harder given the less memory

Model 3 was a bit of a monster board and lets the fact it even Model 2 would really struggle to handle Model 3 so any port to the Saturn would lose a lot, One could look at Fighters MegaMix and Last Bronx as the best the Saturn could do.
But using those you could still bring over most of the characters and the move set over, but pay a heavy price with the backgrounds. I would have thought that AM#2 would have looked to keep VF 3 on the Saturn running at 60 fps that's if much of the game was ever developed or at all because like with Sonic Fighters: Both were announced by nothing ever seen or hardly much talked about them; which is usually code for a project in trouble or that it been scrapped.

Cafeman
01-04-2019, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the polygonal recollections, TA! Interesting.

Team Andromeda
01-05-2019, 01:28 AM
Thanks for the polygonal recollections, TA! Interesting.

If I get time I'll try and dig out some of the interviews. I still have the Saturn Fighting Vipers interviews somewhere

The one interview I really wish I kept, was the interview with Genki talking about the VF3 DC port, that was posted on the Dreamcast Technical pages forum (such a good SEGA board before this place, that I was very lucky to be a member of) It was with a Japanese mag and a member translated it: In that interview Genki confirmed a few things which I didn't know at the time 1) Genki were all former AM#2 staff. 2) The Arcade version of VF3 didn't use a million polygons. 3) They had less than 6 months to handle the DC port of VF3. 4) Genki were the 1st outside studio to use AM#2 development tools for the VF3 port (which I think at the time were called firebird or phoenix). 5) The DC version of VF3 used 95% (or it may have been more) of the Arcade total polygons.

Cafeman
01-05-2019, 03:25 PM
That topic was interesting to me back around 1999, and I was also one of the few DCTP members. The administrator was called "Dural". I remember one of the devs from Namco, and one from Melbourne House, were on that forum too. I wonder if that info is archived on the Internet Archive.

Team Andromeda
01-05-2019, 05:23 PM
That topic was interesting to me back around 1999, and I was also one of the few DCTP members. The administrator was called "Dural". I remember one of the devs from Namco, and one from Melbourne House, were on that forum too. I wonder if that info is archived on the Internet Archive.

That place was a wealth of hardcore knowledge and like heaven for any SEGA fan... I'm still friends with the likes of Racer and Apharmd Battler to this very day, such a shame that Dural/EDGE (the site owner and an amazing tech guy) completely lost it towards the end with his bans to good members and PS2 trolling. Just because he didn't like how the SEGA faithful on that site went to the Xbox and not the Cube (which Dural/Edge loved) after SEGA pulling out of the Hardware. Yes they were a few developers on there, posting. Including one who worked with John O'Brien during their days at Malibu Interactive and I used to love his stories on what it was like to work on the Mega CD and with the amazing John O Brien (batman Returns 3D section coder)

Great times and none better when all us Dreamcast Technical pages members used to meet up online on Quake 3 and PSO on the DC. I just so wish I copied and pasted that Genki interview because it was fantastic and full of great info over Model 3, DC development and how Genki had access to AM#2 development toolset, that not even SEGA other In-House AM team had access too

Moirai
01-10-2019, 01:57 AM
Eh makes as much sense as VF2 on Genesis.

are you serious lol

parallaxscroll
02-28-2019, 08:41 PM
From Next Generation #30 - June 1997, and EDGE #50 - October 1997, respectively.

https://i.imgur.com/wkdNvLK.jpg?1

https://i.imgur.com/ZZSISDa.jpg

Team Andromeda
03-25-2019, 07:41 AM
Here's a interview with AM#2 Katoka-san and given what he said about the number of polygons needed for Fighting Vipers over and above VF II on the Saturn. I can't see how much more AM#2 could have got out of the Saturn for any VF 3 port over and above Fighting MegaMix.

https://i.imgur.com/Q9wkc7T.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/G8MYgEc.jpg

Da_Shocker
03-25-2019, 09:30 PM
So ya'll just not gonna mention the fantastic Dead or Alive port?

Black_Tiger
03-25-2019, 10:06 PM
So ya'll just not gonna mention the fantastic Dead or Alive port?

Second post.

Team Andromeda
03-26-2019, 05:27 AM
So ya'll just not gonna mention the fantastic Dead or Alive port?

I think people already have. In terms of polygons, I doubt its doing much more than VF II (other than breast and some clothing) and I would think Last Bronx and Fighting Megamix are handling more polygons per frame. Zero Divide on the Saturn is a stunner too with VF/DOA High Res mode and also some 3D Polygons back drops to go along with the 2D backdrops. Apart from the odd clitch, Last Brox looked the best 'for me'