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Thread: Quake II engine being rebuilt and optimized for a Stock Atari Falcon030

  1. #16
    Nameless One
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    Another even more impressive video is up and available:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDXSMgW-r5M

  2. #17
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    Amazing. I just wish he had picked the Jaguar instead of the Falcon, as the lucky Atari machine he is pulling miracles on, hehe.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturndual32 View Post
    Amazing. I just wish he had picked the Jaguar instead of the Falcon, as the lucky Atari machine he is pulling miracles on, hehe.
    Actually I think it's cool he picked the Falcon. It in some ways is even more restrictive than the Jaguar. Itty bitty caches and a itty bitty main memory bus. He is having to learn how to shrink stuff down in some ways far more than he would have to on the Jaguar for it to run fast. Not in general RAM terms as the Jaguar has only a little over 2mb. But in terms of engine speed he is having to learn how to do things he probably wouldn't have to on the Jaguar. The Jaguar's cache's are 16x->32x the size of the Falcon's. And the main memory bus the graphics chips use is 4x the size. Plus it's an risc architecture set up for games.

    Here are DML's thoughts regarding Quake on the Falcon vs on the Jaguar when he was talking to Mike Fulton(ex-Atari Jaguar development tools manager) about his Falcon Quake II engine work.

    For this engine, the Falcon's blitter is a paperweight, yes. It is far less sophisticated than the Jaguar blitter - it is a two-source, integer-addressing block transfer device with some logic operations and bitplane scrolling support. Aside a few interesting quirks and tricks which have been found to work with it, the blitter is really not capable of 3D work, except where it is needed to fill flat colour or copy contiguous data in rows or rectangles.

    The Jaguar blitter is a lot faster, wider bus, has fixedpoint addressing IIRC and I'm sure I had it affine-texturing cubes back in the day as one of my early tests with the devkit.

    The Jag is definitely much better set up for data bandwidth and pixel pushing.
    The 68000 is slower than the Falcon's 68030, but unlike the Falcon nearly everything could be split between DSP and GPU, with enough effort.
    The Jag bus is much wider and faster than the Falcon's 16bit bus. The Falcon's direct DSP/CPU exchanges must bottleneck through a narrow 8-bit wide port - the DSP has no direct access to system RAM.
    The Jag DSP has some issues accessing system RAM as well but still much faster than this even with the bugs.
    Main problems with the Jag are the effort involved in offloading the bulk engine code from the 68k (managing overlays on the GPU), and general lack of system RAM.
    Contrary to what some will tell you the Jaguar has quite a bit more oomph than the Falcon for games. Just compare Towers II Falcon version with the Jaguar version. Along with the effort it took to get Doom to run reasonably on the Falcon vs the Jaguar.

    So either he or someone else could take what he learned from cramming the Quake II engine into itty bitty nooks and crannies and through an itty bitty memory bus on the Falcon and then apply that to the Jaguar. And combine that with a far more functional Blitter to help with 3D work.... well you can probably do the math, pun intended.

    A problem would be taking the map sizes from the PSX Quake II and finding a little more room somewhere on the Jaguar to get them to fit.
    Last edited by A31Chris; 02-25-2015 at 12:48 AM.

  4. #19
    WCPO Agent Orchid87's Avatar
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    RAM aside, how does this thing compares to 32x? I would love to see 32x Quake.
    _____________________________________


  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid87 View Post
    RAM aside, how does this thing compares to 32x? I would love to see 32x Quake.
    I'm pretty sure the 32x has more horsepower than the Falcon as well. And plus it's a games console. Via Carmack on twitter:

    For the same given paper spec, a console will deliver twice the perf of a PC, and a PC will deliver twice the perf of a mobile part.

  6. #21
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    Reading DML's blog on Atari forum where he is posting info on optimization updates he has done since the last video was posted is impressive. He's finding more and more ways to speed things up.

    I made a few more simple improvements that actually got rid of all of the padding nops and doubled the size of the jumptower. The impact of this on speed of complex scenery is actually quite good - it spends more time drawing pixels and less flyback time on very short spans.

    For now it's partly a negative trade because it meant pushing some other code out of DSP fast memory - slowing other areas down - and causing more cache misses on the CPU side (bad!) but these can be bought back later with other changes. The fact that it is faster eveywhere despite this is a good sign.
    Imagine he or someone else doing these optimizations on the 32x or Jaguar where the caches are much larger and things won't get 'bumped out' so easily.

    It really makes you wonder...

    Original post:
    http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic...rt=600#p270509

  7. #22
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    Last edited by A31Chris; 05-13-2015 at 01:54 AM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by A31Chris View Post
    I just re-installed Quake II on my backup PC and was playing it yesterday. At a casual glance watching the videos it is hard to tell the difference in the PC map layout and the PSX layout in 3mb of memory. And the PSX version has some graphic upgrades that are better than the PC version. It's an amazing port IMO. And I am not a big fan of the PSX.
    The PS1 version is awesome IMO; characters animations are fluid, unlike the N64.


    I also like Alien Resurrection on the PS1 quite a lot; I think Argonaut did an amazing job with the textures and lighting on that one as well.
    Here is a proper showcase of it (using real hardware):





    Douglas Little has posted some other videos after the last update of this thread.
    Here they are:







    Last edited by Barone; 09-05-2015 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #24
    Road Rasher BladeJunker's Avatar
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    At first I was like "The Falcon 030?" and then like "Oh right the swan song." lol. Pretty limited the Falcon but I'm guessing it doesn't have the fill rate deficiencies of the Amiga so it's got that going for it. Still a very impressive feat as the frame rate isn't high but it's stable and steady even with each layer of texture mapping added, really amazing it runs that smooth at all with lightmaps and diffuse textures with texture perspective correction at the same time.

    Yeah makes you wonder how he'd do on a Jaguar if he ever sets his sights on that, guess he must have some Atari love so maybe someday. As is I think it could do System Shock, Ultima Underworld, and other polygonal world games quite well which never appeared on the Falcon 030. Also the performance for flat shaded polygons was really good too so anything flat shaded is possible as in early 3D games like Virtua Fighter or Geograph Seal.

    Awesome stuff, really amazed how far he's pushed it since it must be getting harder and harder as the fidelity increases closer and closer to Quake.

  10. #25
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    I had Alien Resurrection. Very impressive post-Half-Life FPS on the PS1. Ironically reviews slammed its controls at the time for being so unorthodox, yet this control format would go on to be the standard for future console shooters.

  11. #26
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    I don't own a PSX. Is Alien Resurrection available for Saturn?

    I gotta get my Saturn fixed. This is bullshit.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by A31Chris View Post
    I don't own a PSX. Is Alien Resurrection available for Saturn?
    No, it's a late PS1 exclusive; released in October of 2000.
    It also makes heavy use of additive blending for lighting, so it would take a hit if ported to the Saturn or to the N64.

  13. #28
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    Thorougly enjoying the PSX Alien resurrection video you posted.

  14. #29
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    I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

    That channel is pretty good, I made a thread for it here:
    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthr...utube-Channel)

    It has coverage of several FPS and TPS games; as well as several Saturn games.

    I've being in contact with Jon Rivera (the main responsible for the channel AFAIK) and he seems to be a very cool guy. His gaming CRT TV broke and that's why the channel has been quite in the last days but I believe he'll be back very soon.

  15. #30
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    I am going to give VladR a nod here. A few years ago he oddly became interested in working on the Jaguar. He was the head 3D researcher for Nokia or somesuch. He is a very talented 3D engine programmer.

    The reason I say it's odd because he seems to like working on 3D algorithms in higher level languages such as C and seems to have no real taste for going 'to the metal' as it were. Which, considering the relative state of the Jaguar's development tools makes his choosing the Jaguar a rather odd one IMO.

    But that being said while he seems to distance himself from going low level as much as possible on the other hand seems to really get a thrill out of pushing 3D algorithms and finding faster ways to do things in 3D, on the Jaguar, in C. Which currently means working with the 68k mainly.

    He seems to have made some breakthroughs and has some interesting ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by VladR
    I finally reorganized my dev set-up, and connected jag (including skunk) to a small tv that fit along the wall next to my PC, so I can deploy the builds within 10 seconds to jag and test it right away.

    I obviously tried the H.E.R.O. first and have been optimizing and refactoring it since. You guys didn't mention that my last public 30-fps build ran more like 24 fps on real HW.

    But that's fixed now. I crossed the 30-fps about 3 weeks ago, then jumped to 45 fps about 2 weeks ago.

    Getting over 55 fps was quite challenging, but I came up with a new line drawing algorithm that is incredibly fast compared to Bresenham (and others).


    Yesterday I finally crossed the 60 fps barrier. On an actual jag. No GPU, No DSP, No ASM - just the 'slow' C compiled to bus-hogging 68k driving the Blitter/OP :-)

    This code, when rewritten to GPU, should be able to handle something like 640x480 in an acceptable smooth framerate, I believe.
    http://www.jaguar64.eu/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=21

    How does this possibly relate to the Falcon or Sega systems? Above he talks about a new line drawing algorithm. If it is the breakthrough he claims something like this may be useful on the Falcon030/Sega32x.

    Also brings up a question. On a system with relatively hardwired 3D hardware such as the PSX I wonder if such a new/faster line drawing algorithm would benefit the PSX or if you're just stuck with whatever the 3D hardware may have built into it.

    Another idea he had that he has started a blog on is procedural texturing. He wants to see what he can do in this regard to get Doom 3 style textures on the Jaguar. Once again these techniques would most likely be more useful on the 32x rather than the Sega Saturn.

    http://vladr.blog.com/2015/05/31/doo...-atari-jaguar/
    Last edited by A31Chris; 10-04-2015 at 10:17 PM.

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