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Thread: Saturn Vs. 3DO FMV

  1. #31
    Hero of Algol
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    Just for the record, this is the part of the Road Rash gameplay where former 3DO developers comment on some differences/hardware constraints when the game was ported to the PS1 and Saturn:
    https://youtu.be/zsqqideaiXY?t=395

  2. #32
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    They also made another comment on the lack of multi-tasking support on the PS1 here (affecting Shockwave's in-game FMV playback):
    https://youtu.be/zsqqideaiXY?t=2970

    And some comment on how some later 3DO models (especially Goldstar's) had different CD-ROM drives and that some games such as MegaRace were affected by that:
    https://youtu.be/zsqqideaiXY?t=4620

  3. #33
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    Space Hulk might be a good example of the 3DO OS's multitasking abilities. On the 3DO and Windows versions you can bring up the tactical screen which smoothly expands and covers the 3D action while temporarily pausing the game and allowing you to enter commands. Once the timer expires the game unpauses and you can see it carrying on behind the translucent tactical screen but you can still control your squad at your own risk. The Playstation and Saturn versions don't do this, however. There, when you bring up the tactical screen it is not translucent or overlayed on top of the 3D, and it does not smoothly scale up to fill the screen. If the timer expires on those versions, you're entirely reliant on the map to see what's going on until you switch back to 3D view.

    Also, Space Hulk uses a technique where the Genestealer sprites are replaced by FMV sequences when they get close enough to enter hand to hand combat. I recall an interview with a developer saying that the 3DO's OS and libraries made this was pretty easy to implement on the 3DO but required significant work to get going on the Playstation and Saturn.

    My all accounts it sounds like the 3DO was the easiest console of the time to develop for, Mac only devkits aside. It sounds like the only real negative was that developers were forbidden from having low level access to the hardware, as use of the Portfolio OS was mandatory.
    Last edited by Silanda; 04-08-2021 at 04:21 PM.

  4. #34
    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    Space Hulk might be a good example of the 3DO OS's multitasking abilities. On the 3DO and Windows versions you can bring up the tactical screen which smoothly expands and covers the 3D action while temporarily pausing the game and allowing you to enter commands. Once the timer expires the game unpauses and you can see it carrying on behind the translucent tactical screen but you can still control your squad at your own risk. The Playstation and Saturn versions don't do this, however. There, when you bring up the tactical screen it is not translucent or overlayed on top of the 3D, and it does not smoothly scale up to fill the screen. If the timer expires on those versions, you're entirely reliant on the map to see what's going on until you switch back to 3D view.
    It always bothered me why the Saturn version never used the VDP2 for the translucent hud. I really enjoyed Space Hulk on the 3DO it was quite scary in places too, but the frame rate wasn't the best. I also remember one magazine marking down Need for Speed because you couldn't drive backwards, which was the downside of it streaming in graphical data for the tracks. I thought it was nuts since you don't look to drive backwards. From what I read with 3DO developers, was following on from the Lynx (which they say was the 1st console to come with tools and a debug unit) The 3DO improved on that. I love my 3DO I think it was a huge step up and set the standards and the pipelines needed for 32-bit development. It's easy to laugh now but when you 1st saw Fifa or Crash N Burn on the unit it was amazing.

    Speaking of FMV I really thought Twisted was an amazing game, so well done and so different to most other games and to this day I love Killing Time, I guess that must be making use of the 3DO features streaming in the lovely translucent FMV ghosts and what not
    Such a shame it never got a proper remaster/remake
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  5. #35
    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post

    1) Limited Disc space. Sega told devs not to go beyond 650MBs or about 60ish Minutes on a CD. So if over half that is used for CD audio, you only have the remaining half for everything else. One high quality Cinepak file the length of Panzer Dragoon's intro could easily hit 100 or more MBs in size. The Hatsune Miku video I posted is about 50MB and is about 3-4 Minutes long. Panzer Dragoon's intro is double that, at a higher frame rate.

    2) Insisting on using higher frame rates. The Saturn disc drive can only do 300 KB/s. At 30fps that's about 10KB/Frame for both Audio and Video data. At 15fps you'd have double that amount per frame. When your amount of space per frame is that low something's gotta give, so the compression goes up and the quality goes down.

    3) Early stuff could only do uncompressed PCM for audio. So that's going to eat into the amount of data per frame even more. So again compression has to go up to maintain that high frame rate.
    Fair points but when you look at the size of ClockworkKnight or GaleRacer or even Victory Goal disc size doesn't play a part. Fifa on both the Saturn and Mega CD had many CD-DA tracks and yet offered better FMV, Victory Goal FMV is shorter than Fifa 96. I can't help but say it was a Sega Japan issue more than anything. It doesn't matter if the games were using Cinepak or not, the results should have been better And I'm sorry I thought former staff Team Andromeda staff at one of the GDC shows talked about the move to Cinepack for the sequels I'm sorry and stand corrected
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  6. #36
    Master of Shinobi evilevoix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    It always bothered me why the Saturn version never used the VDP2 for the translucent hud. I really enjoyed Space Hulk on the 3DO it was quite scary in places too, but the frame rate wasn't the best. I also remember one magazine marking down Need for Speed because you couldn't drive backwards, which was the downside of it streaming in graphical data for the tracks. I thought it was nuts since you don't look to drive backwards. From what I read with 3DO developers, was following on from the Lynx (which they say was the 1st console to come with tools and a debug unit) The 3DO improved on that. I love my 3DO I think it was a huge step up and set the standards and the pipelines needed for 32-bit development. It's easy to laugh now but when you 1st saw Fifa or Crash N Burn on the unit it was amazing.

    Speaking of FMV I really thought Twisted was an amazing game, so well done and so different to most other games and to this day I love Killing Time, I guess that must be making use of the 3DO features streaming in the lovely translucent FMV ghosts and what not
    Such a shame it never got a proper remaster/remake

    Oh yes Twisted was done really well.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Oh yes Twisted was done really well.
    It really was, it was one of those rare games that at the time looked to involve the whole family. Some of the American humour was lost on me and my mates (don't mean that in an insulting way) but it was so much fun to play and so unlike anything else around at the time. I also loved the 3DO daisy chain control for multiplayer too
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  8. #38
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Fair points but when you look at the size of ClockworkKnight or GaleRacer or even Victory Goal disc size doesn't play a part. Fifa on both the Saturn and Mega CD had many CD-DA tracks and yet offered better FMV, Victory Goal FMV is shorter than Fifa 96. I can't help but say it was a Sega Japan issue more than anything. It doesn't matter if the games were using Cinepak or not, the results should have been better And I'm sorry I thought former staff Team Andromeda staff at one of the GDC shows talked about the move to Cinepack for the sequels I'm sorry and stand corrected
    Sega CD stuff is a different beast entirely. It could be Cinepak or some other custom format or just raw uncompressed frames. The Sega CD is also slower with a 1x Speed drive so it's bit rate budget is 150KB/s. So 15fps or lower is mandatory there. The color depth is also a lot lower. Saturn Cinepak is 24-bit RGB, while Sega CD is usually 16-64 colors. That results in lowering the required amount of data per frame. So we have low data frames running at a lower frame rate, so we can use that bitrate budget better and don't have to crank up the compression. It's really that simple.

    Those early Saturn games are running their FMVs at 24-30fps with uncompressed PCM audio and 24-bit RGB color. Throw in that there's CD Audio and other things taking up disc space in some of them and the compression has to be dialed up higher. It's really just bad encoding and not using the disc space wisely. It's not the tools, it's not the system capabilities, it's not the codec. It's just that the person encoding the FMVs was being dumb with the settings. I wouldn't be surprised if they just used the same settings in the encoder on all of them.

    Also keep in mind that running in a window isn't a sign of bad FMV capabilities. In many cases on Saturn it's intentional, that's the aspect ratio the FMVs were created in. They were going for a cinematic look so they made them wide screen. In other cases it can be that the PS1 version ran at a lower resolution (say 256 wide mode) and it the FMV was full screen. Saturn can't run in that low of a resolution so now it's in a window on Saturn since it's at 320 wide. Lunar actually is like this. On PS1 the FMV resolution isn't that much higher than the original Cinepak Saturn release, but they look to take up a lot more screen space because they switch to a lower resolution when playing them.
    Last edited by TrekkiesUnite118; 04-09-2021 at 12:24 PM.

  9. #39
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    When you buy a new state of the art console, you hope to see it do stuff better. It was so disappointing to see early Saturn FMV stuffer when other even older CD based systems did better. It was only a small inconvenience as a few months into the Saturn, even Sega Japan got its act in order for FMV. Like I said I'm sorry I seemed to recall the original Panzer Dragoon team saying that the move to Cinepak allowed them to increase the window size and also improve the quality of the FMV. I got it wrong sorry
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  10. #40
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    When you buy a new state of the art console, you hope to see it do stuff better. It was so disappointing to see early Saturn FMV stuffer when other even older CD based systems did better. It was only a small inconvenience as a few months into the Saturn, even Sega Japan got its act in order for FMV. Like I said I'm sorry I seemed to recall the original Panzer Dragoon team saying that the move to Cinepak allowed them to increase the window size and also improve the quality of the FMV. I got it wrong sorry
    They probably felt the higher color depth was an overall improvement. Which I'd agree with to be honest. Even with bad cinepak artifacts, the 24-bit RGB color depth more than makes up for it and is an improvement over the Sega CD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    They probably felt the higher color depth was an overall improvement. Which I'd agree with to be honest. Even with bad cinepak artefacts, the 24-bit RGB colour depth more than makes up for it and is an improvement over the Sega CD.
    Like I say, I can't really remember the interview. It was done with the team year's ago. I only knew about the interview myself thanks to a fellow Panzer fan, who was from New Zealand. The team did talk about a move to Cinepak but I can't remember details
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Like I say, I can't really remember the interview. It was done with the team year's ago. I only knew about the interview myself thanks to a fellow Panzer fan, who was from New Zealand. The team did talk about a move to Cinepak but I can't remember details
    It's either misremembering on your part, the developer in the interviews part, a bad translation, or just the person being interviewed not being the one who did the actual encoding and just talking out their ass. This is why myself and Barone have brought up that you need to take what's said in those old interviews with a grain of salt. In this particular case the files on the disc don't lie. The original Panzer Dragoon is using Cinepak, as is Zwei and Saga.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    It's either misremembering on your part, the developer in the interviews part, a bad translation, or just the person being interviewed not being the one who did the actual encoding and just talking out their ass. This is why myself and Barone have brought up that you need to take what's said in those old interviews with a grain of salt. In this particular case the files on the disc don't lie. The original Panzer Dragoon is using Cinepak, as is Zwei and Saga.
    The interview was from way back In like 2001/2 . It was like 4am In the morning for me , but it was so nice to her the tram behind my most favourite game of all time . I just remembered the taking of improvements to FMV that allowed then to increase the window size and improve the quality .
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
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    Presented for your pleasure

  14. #44
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    The improvement is probably that they switched to using sequenced music instead of CD Audio which left more space on the disc. I'd also have to look and see if they changed the framerates at all.

  15. #45
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    Here's your answer for why they look so bad TA:

    Panzer Dragoon:


    Clockwork Knight:


    The bitrate is being blown on Audio and Frame rate. The audio is overkill, though it's at least not Stereo, and the 30fps Frame rate isn't helping anything. It also looks like the same settings were used on both games. I wouldn't be surprised if the other two are similar.

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