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Thread: Japan execs were upset that Kalinske was allowed to resign w/o taking blame for 32X

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post

    For 3D racers I really think the Saturn hardware isn't good at all if you want more advanced 5th gen stuff. Sega Rally is awesome but that's about the best we saw on the Saturn.
    Even Daytona USA CCE has that shit of reducing the scrolling speed when the screen gets filled with more cars/scenery details. The speed sensation is not good.
    There's quite a few different Saturn Racers with a good sense of speed. Touge King the Spirits 2, Drift King 97, and Impact Racing are a few third party titles that come to mind. Now they may not have very intense lighting, but there is some lighting in some of those games. Really though a lot of the Saturn's 3D racers tend to be games that in their original forms didn't really have much real lighting and shading effects going on to begin with. We know the system is easily capable of doing those kind of lighting effects though, so I don't think it's a technical limitation that we don't see it that often in racing games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    The system didn't have anything even remotely near to the level of N64's Top Gear Overdrive, RR 64, Beetle Adventure Racing, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing, or World Driver Championship.
    I wouldn't expect it to since those games all came out in 1999 and 2000.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    The PS1 library also wipes the floor with it in terms of graphics; Gran Turismo games, CTR, Speed Punks, Muppet RaceMania, RR Type 4, Ray Tracers, Motorhead, Wipeout 3 (the earlier ports run at 20 fps instead of 30 fps, look uglier, etc.), Moto Racer, Total Drivin games, Colin McRae Rally 2.0, Dead in the Water, Rapid Racer, RC Revenge, etc.
    Again I wouldn't really expect it to have anything on par with some of these games as many of the came out after the system was dead and buried. Others that were out when Saturn was still around I'm not really seeing what's so special about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    For most 3D racing games you really needed raw rendering speed, transparencies (heck, not even proper shadows you can do without it; see Saturn's NFS), lighting effects to make the stages look good, and some multitexturing to make the cars look fancy. Not a good fit for the Saturn.
    PS1's additive alpha blending is a big deal here too. Stuff like skid marks only look good with it, smoke looks much better with it, etc.
    The system is definitely capable of pulling of decent lighting effects and environment mapping to do reflections in both software and hardware. This is a simple demo XL2 did a while back showing the Saturn doing the Gran Turismo style reflection effect with VDP1's hardware features. He used a model and the reflection textures from Gran Turismo and did a short demo with lighting/shading. He even copied the frame buffer back to VRAM to use as a texture for a TV Screen:



    The additive blending for transparencies is really the one thing that hurts it for things like smoke/fog and lightbeams/balls. But for simple shadows both VDP1's 50/50 blending would work, as would dithering or just an opaque black polygon as many PS1 games do. Over composite dithering generally looks fine to be honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    In general, I'd say a couple of things killed 3D on the Saturn:
    - The standard libraries, the lack of proper debugging and profiling tools;
    - Quads instead of triangles which put it outside of what got standardized in the industry during that gen, tools were all made around triangles and not quads;
    - The need of learning how to make proper use of the dual-CPU architecture in order to get top-tier 3D performance out of it;
    - The lack of proper transparencies and the use of additive shading made most cross-platform games look like crap;
    - Failed hard commercially in the west so most of the game genres which were strong in US/EU never got a proper push; most companies not even tried to use the VDP2.
    The only ones I'd say are really an issue of the hardware was the lack of additive transparencies for VDP1, and the lack of texture coordinates. Quads are kind of mislabeled as an issue. Plenty of engines at this time were experimenting and using quads as well as triangles. Hell even the PS1 allows you to technically draw a quad. Yes internally it's converted into 2 triangles, but it still allows you to send the command as a quad to support quad based rendering engines of the time. The use of additive shading I don't think is a really big issue either. Certainly not worth making a big stink over it or saying it was a mistake. Plenty of Saturn games still have gorgeous shading. And I'm not even sure the dual CPUs is really a major issue when you consider arcade boards of the time. Plenty of third party devs were able to figure out how to use them properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    But it was released just two months apart from this (real hardware capture):


    The gap is abysmal IMHO.
    I'm not really seeing anything here that looks like something the Saturn would truly struggle with other than the transparencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    There's quite a few different Saturn Racers with a good sense of speed. Touge King the Spirits 2, Drift King 97, and Impact Racing are a few third party titles that come to mind. Now they may not have very intense lighting, but there is some lighting in some of those games. Really though a lot of the Saturn's 3D racers tend to be games that in their original forms didn't really have much real lighting and shading effects going on to begin with. We know the system is easily capable of doing those kind of lighting effects though, so I don't think it's a technical limitation that we don't see it that often in racing games.
    Impact Racing looks awful on any platform.
    Touge King the Spirits 2 has lighting, just like Steep Slope Sliders also has, but the sense of speed is not really there.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    I wouldn't expect it to since those games all came out in 1999 and 2000.
    Again I wouldn't really expect it to have anything on par with some of these games as many of the came out after the system was dead and buried. Others that were out when Saturn was still around I'm not really seeing what's so special about them.
    What's so special about them is that they show stuff the Saturn games never showed. OK, the system died too early, but not my fault. I'm not saying the 96-97 Saturn games should look like late N64 or PS1 titles, but I don't feel any confidence in the system pulling them off with the same ballpark of frame rate.
    Obviously, I'm no Saturn dev. This is just from a spectator/consumer perspective.

    Every time I try to play Saturn racing games not named "Sega Rally", I get really disappointed with them. I'm sorry but they suck hard in many aspects. Slow, feel clunky, look boxy, etc.
    I'm not saying the system couldn't have done much better, but what is there with one or two exceptions isn't good looking or impressive at all IMO. Bunch of fugly games if you ask me.



    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    The system is definitely capable of pulling of decent lighting effects and environment mapping to do reflections in both software and hardware. This is a simple demo XL2 did a while back showing the Saturn doing the Gran Turismo style reflection effect with VDP1's hardware features. He used a model and the reflection textures from Gran Turismo and did a short demo with lighting/shading. He even copied the frame buffer back to VRAM to use as a texture for a TV Screen:
    It's cool and all but just a quick tech demo.
    I'll agree with you the day I see anything closer to an actual game and running with good performance.


    EDIT: Just to make it very clear:
    - I'm sure the Saturn could have done much better than its actual library of 3D racers suggests; I just don't feel like there's enough substance in most of those games to suggest/prove that it could graphically and in performance rival neck-to-neck with late N64 and PS1 3D racers had it survived healthily until then.
    I'd be very happy to be proven wrong in the future.

    - Most of the 3D racers on the Saturn sure weren't made with the same development time and budget as most/all the games I cited; but, then again that's the reality of the actual library.

    - Racing is my favorite genre and on the Saturn I only play Sega Rally nowadays. It's not like all other games are unplayable or broken, no. But there are so many much better options on both the N64 and PS1 that I really don't feel like wasting my time with them.
    Ex: Touge King the Spirits 2 is far from being horrible, but it's pedestrian and mediocre, and the framerate is NOT smooth. Every time you turn the car and there's a bit more scenery or a building pop-up out of the vacuum, there's a bit of stuttering.
    The car doesn't react well to the terrain (most Saturn racing games have this issue), it feels weird as hell.
    I honestly have no fun playing the game; had I only owned a Saturn and had this game I'd probably have mild fun with it; but I know way better games than that.

    - The PS1 also has a ton of fugly games.
    Last edited by Barone; 06-04-2022 at 07:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Impact Racing looks awful on any platform.
    I didn't say it as a very pretty game, but it does have a good sense of speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Touge King the Spirits 2 has lighting, just like Steep Slope Sliders also has, but the sense of speed is not really there.
    If you know what you're doing it has a pretty good sense of speed:



    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    What's so special about them is that they show stuff the Saturn games never showed. OK, the system died too early, but not my fault. I'm not saying the 96-97 Saturn games should look like late N64 or PS1 titles, but I don't feel any confidence in the system pulling them off with the same ballpark of frame rate.
    Obviously, I'm no Saturn dev. This is just from a spectator/consumer perspective.
    But there are Saturn games that show some of that stuff, they're just not racing games. Lobotomy's games all show gorgeous lighting and shading effects. What makes you think you couldn't do that in a racing game? It's just Gouraud shading after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    It's cool and all but just a quick tech demo.
    I'll agree with you the day I see anything closer to an actual game and running with good performance.
    He currently has the effect implemented on guns in his first person shooter:




    In fact what he has going on there is more advanced than what Gran Turismo does. Gran Turismo just uses a static reflection texture while what he's doing in his shooter is copying the frame buffer over to use as his reflection texture so it actually has real time reflections. It's really not even that demanding of an effect with how he's done it. He copies the texture to CRAM and which then let's him pretty much trick VDP1 into letting him do environment mapping, UV coordinates, etc. with gouraud shading. As far as VDP1 knows it's just doing additive blending with the colors it has in CRAM. The downside is his texture can't be bigger than 32x32.

    The point is, the system was perfectly capable of being competitive and holding it's own. Just because it didn't last long enough to get games of the same caliber as later PS1 and N64 games doesn't mean the hardware was incapable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    I didn't say it as a very pretty game, but it does have a good sense of speed.
    Right. Point taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    If you know what you're doing it has a pretty good sense of speed:
    Lol. I sure know how to play the game. That's not the issue.

    Anyway, that's also emulation AFAIK and not fully accurate to the real hardware performance.
    The game stutters quite a bit more on real hardware:
    https://youtu.be/SY5CraptxgQ?t=688


    See how it struggles here:
    https://youtu.be/SY5CraptxgQ?t=388

    If you can get a good sense of speed while the game stutters, good for you. I honestly can't.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    But there are Saturn games that show some of that stuff, they're just not racing games. Lobotomy's games all show gorgeous lighting and shading effects. What makes you think you couldn't do that in a racing game?
    I didn't say that.
    But nothing you posted in this thread proves it could run WDC, Gran Turismo, RRT4 or RR64 as well as those platforms do.

    They do cast a lot of intrigues about how far the released games actually pushed the system and make it difficult to claim that it would *be impossible* for the system to do; I never said it's impossible.
    To me, I still find it highly unlikely and, as I said, give me a real game scenario demo, with proper AI, collision, complex track design, complex scenery, etc. then I'll agree with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    He currently has the effect implemented on guns in his first person shooter:
    I've seen all those videos; I've been watching his progress.
    Amazing stuff, for sure.

    Doesn't prove much as far as racing games go though.
    You can run into numerous types of technical constraints depending on the kind of game you're creating, even inside the same genre; let alone completely different stuff.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    The point is, the system was perfectly capable of being competitive and holding it's own. Just because it didn't last long enough to get games of the same caliber as later PS1 and N64 games doesn't mean the hardware was incapable.
    It doesn't prove much as far as racing games go.

    They show/prove that the system had a lot of untapped power and could do a lot more than most of its games showed; how much more in each scenario and exactly what it could pull off in terms of a full 3D racing game, that's impossible to know by just looking at the examples you shared.
    Last edited by Barone; 06-04-2022 at 08:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post

    Lol. I sure know how to play the game. That's not the issue.

    Anyway, that's also emulation AFAIK and not fully accurate to the real hardware performance.
    I'm aware that one was most likely emulation, but it was the only video where the person playing isn't driving like a complete retard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    tl;dr it stutters.
    Quite a few of the N64 and PS1 games you've listed don't have locked and solid frame rates either and stutter from time to time on real hardware. Secondly there's other real hardware videos of that game that aren't stuttering as badly so I'm not sure if that's really performance related or capture related. The game still gives you a pretty good sense of how fast you're moving regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I didn't say that.
    But nothing you posted in this thread proves it could run WDC, Gran Turismo, RRT4 or RR64 as well as those platforms do.
    What are those games doing in particular that you think Saturn would struggle with beyond the obvious additive transparency effects?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    They do cast a lot of intrigues about how far the released games actually pushed the system and make it difficult to claim that it would *be impossible* for the system to do; I never said it's impossible.
    To me, I still find it highly unlikely and, as I said, give me a real game scenario demo, with proper AI, collision, complex track design, complex scenery, etc. then I'll agree with you.
    So a first person shooter with a complex map full of AI bots running around shooting each other while doing lighting, shading, transparencies, and environment mapping as well as up to 4 player splitscreen isn't a real game scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Doesn't prove much as far as racing games go though.
    You can run into numerous types of technical constraints depending on the kind of game you're creating, even inside the same genre; let alone completely different stuff.
    You do realize that racing games in general are seen as easier to do because there's more you can get away with faking right? There's parts of the scenery you can ignore because they'll never be visible, other parts you can ignore doing collision detection on because it's out of bounds. There's more control over the camera's position and where the player can be, etc. Tree's, spectators, etc. can just be 2D sprites. Since the car can never get close to certain background objects they can just be static 2D images as well. Sega Rally isn't the only racing game that does this, Gran Turismo, Ridger Racer Type 4, etc. all do it too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Scorcher has much fewer polygons than most proper racing games would require. No actual cars, no grid/traffic, no crowd, limited trackside visibility, narrow track, short draw distance, etc.
    And it's a really dark game. The atmosphere is similar to PS1's Motorhead, just a much, much simpler game 3D-wise and much slower.
    Not too bad for 1996 though.
    That guy only races on the 1st track. I didn't realize that he was only repeating himself on what is pretty much the least impressive track.




    That being said, look at the quality of the textures and the impressive transparencies of the smoke and vapor. This game could easily be mistaken for being a PlayStation game. I was never suggesting that it was better than the best of the PlayStation. I'd compare Hang-On GP to Rave Racer. It has a very capable game engine.
    Last edited by gamevet; 06-04-2022 at 09:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    The only ones I'd say are really an issue of the hardware was the lack of additive transparencies for VDP1, and the lack of texture coordinates. Quads are kind of mislabeled as an issue. Plenty of engines at this time were experimenting and using quads as well as triangles. Hell even the PS1 allows you to technically draw a quad. Yes internally it's converted into 2 triangles, but it still allows you to send the command as a quad to support quad based rendering engines of the time. The use of additive shading I don't think is a really big issue either. Certainly not worth making a big stink over it or saying it was a mistake. Plenty of Saturn games still have gorgeous shading. And I'm not even sure the dual CPUs is really a major issue when you consider arcade boards of the time. Plenty of third party devs were able to figure out how to use them properly.
    I thought we discussed this a few years ago maybe it was someone else... but anyway quads are very useful for 3D modeling and asset creation but terrible for rendering. The PSX using two triangles to render a quad is a good feature to have, because triangles can easily make almost any shape (other than a sphere). If you try to go in reverse, using quads to draw other shapes, you run into all sorts of complications. Either you fold one vertex onto another (which is wasteful and makes transparencies much harder) or you wind up using three quads to make one triangle. The other great thing about triangles is that each one creates its own plane, which isn't the case with quads that can be in two planes at the same time. That creates issues for textures, lighting etc.

    I'm not someone who hates on the Saturn and those homebrews you posted are very impressive. It's just that when it comes to 3D rendering it's always fighting an uphill battle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    I thought we discussed this a few years ago maybe it was someone else... but anyway quads are very useful for 3D modeling and asset creation but terrible for rendering. The PSX using two triangles to render a quad is a good feature to have, because triangles can easily make almost any shape (other than a sphere). If you try to go in reverse, using quads to draw other shapes, you run into all sorts of complications. Either you fold one vertex onto another (which is wasteful and makes transparencies much harder) or you wind up using three quads to make one triangle. The other great thing about triangles is that each one creates its own plane, which isn't the case with quads that can be in two planes at the same time. That creates issues for textures, lighting etc.
    Again, the issue isn't really Quads. 3DO uses Quads and it doesn't have the transparency problem Saturn has. The NV1 also uses quads and doesn't have these issues. Neither does the Model 1, 2, or 3 arcade boards. The issue is what Saturn does. Saturn renders textured quads in a way that is technically fast, but is also very wasteful. There's no concept of texture coordinates, and there's no knowledge of what pixels have already been drawn. So it will draw every pixel of a texture every single time.

    So you end up writing to the same coordinate of the frame buffer multiple times for each polygon. For opaque polygons that's just wasteful and can waste time, but it still looks ok. For transparencies though you end up blending pixels with each other within the same polygon which isn't correct. 3DO doesn't have that issue because it keeps track of what pixels it's already rendered for each draw command. It does still have the issue that the entire texture is rendered to the polygon though. However there is other quad based hardware that doesn't have that issue because it has a sense of texture coordinates.

    So it isn't Quads that's the issue, it's the lack of texture coordinates and the pixel overdraw issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    It's just that when it comes to 3D rendering it's always fighting an uphill battle.
    The issue is more that people keep conflating multiple issues with the wrong thing. A lot of the old discussion threads on this site honestly cause devs in the Saturn, 3DO, PS1, and N64 communities to cringe and facepalm because a lot of it is just blatantly wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    I'm aware that one was most likely emulation, but it was the only video where the person playing isn't driving like a complete retard.
    Quite a few of the N64 and PS1 games you've listed don't have locked and solid frame rates either and stutter from time to time on real hardware. Secondly there's other real hardware videos of that game that aren't stuttering as badly so I'm not sure if that's really performance related or capture related. The game still gives you a pretty good sense of how fast you're moving regardless.
    Clearly not a capture issue IMO. You just draw conclusions too quickly based on emulation.

    At 30 fps it gives you good speed sensation, yes, but it dips to 20 fps more often than it keeps 30 fps.
    And that's without the ONE other car in your view. With both cars in view, it's not surpassing 20 fps.

    Similar situation here regarding speed sensation on both versions:


    Another example here:
    https://youtu.be/Ntl_pu0rwX0?t=117


    Framerate matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    What are those games doing in particular that you think Saturn would struggle with beyond the obvious additive transparency effects?
    Texture quality, scrolling speed, lighting effects, framerate, draw distance, car detail, and trackside detail. Not saying that all the games I listed are perfect in all those aspects, but surely better than what I've seen on the Saturn in 3D racing games.
    Best example to summarize it is probably RRT4: https://youtu.be/TGTR0G2xC1E?t=583
    I don't foresee the Saturn running a game like that beyond 20 fps, no.

    To me, Sega Rally is still the best I've seen on the system as far as racing games go.



    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    So a first person shooter with a complex map full of AI bots running around shooting each other while doing lighting, shading, transparencies, and environment mapping as well as up to 4 player splitscreen isn't a real game scenario?
    For the nth time, not a racing game.
    Completely different AI, physics model, RAM/VRAM usage characteristics, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    You do realize that racing games in general are seen as easier to do because there's more you can get away with faking right? There's parts of the scenery you can ignore because they'll never be visible, other parts you can ignore doing collision detection on because it's out of bounds. There's more control over the camera's position and where the player can be, etc. Tree's, spectators, etc. can just be 2D sprites. Since the car can never get close to certain background objects they can just be static 2D images as well. Sega Rally isn't the only racing game that does this, Gran Turismo, Ridger Racer Type 4, etc. all do it too.
    I never heard before that "racing games in general are seen as easier to do", no.

    Yeah, I'm aware of all those tricks, smoke & mirrors, etc. But, still, apples to oranges in a lot of aspects.
    I'm sure I'm not qualified to claim something like: "This Quake engine here proves that we can do World Driver Championship or RRT4 on the Saturn run as well as they run on the N64 and PS1".
    If you are, then again, good for you. To me, this kind of conjecture/projection seems to be an awful stretch.



    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    That guy only races on the 1st track. I didn't realize that he was only repeating himself on what is pretty much the least impressive track.
    That being said, look at the quality of the textures and the impressive transparencies of the smoke and vapor. This game could easily be mistaken for being a PlayStation game. I was never suggesting that it was better than the best of the PlayStation.
    Oh, much better footage (Austin's channel is awesome).
    Agreed.
    Last edited by Barone; 06-04-2022 at 09:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Clearly not a capture issue IMO. You just draw conclusions too quickly based on emulation.
    I didn't raw conclusions based on emulation. I looked at the same video you posted and saw the same performance. I didn't post it because the person driving was constantly hitting walls and barely going above the speed of smell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    At 30 fps it gives you good speed sensation, yes, but it dips to 20 fps more often than it keeps 30 fps.
    And that's without the ONE other car in your view. With both cars in view, it's not surpassing 20 fps.

    Similar situation here regarding speed sensation on both versions:
    I'm not sure Need for Speed is a very good example here. It's struggling on both systems in that video and there's no real pattern to it. There's spots where Saturn is chugging with more cars on screen, but then there's instances where it's running better than PS1 when it has more cars on screen. My guess is there's something odd going on with that engine that's causing hiccups, or that they didn't use a good LOD system or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Texture quality, scrolling speed, lighting effects, framerate, draw distance, car detail, and trackside detail.
    With texture quality we again see plenty of Saturn games with good texture quality from Sonic R, to Jam, to Quake, Powerslave, Duke Nukem 3D, etc. And if you're going to say "But that's not a racing game!" please explain why a racing games textures would be any different.

    Movement speed isn't really a technical issue here. That has more to do with how fast the developers program the camera to move. Yes I know the player car and some of the enemy cars in this example are 2D Sprites, but the scenery and some of the other objects are very much 3D objects:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH1uNWw7f18&t=364s

    As for lighting effects, please explain to me how doing lighting effects in a racing game is different than doing lighting effects in a first person shooter for this generation of hardware? In both causes it's just gouraud shading, which is something that Saturn is perfectly capable of doing, and in fact it's actually a bit faster at doing it than the PS1. Hell some of the games you've listed don't even do real dynamic lighting effects. Gran Turismo it's all pre-baked lighting and the car just goes a darker or lighter shade of color if it's in a shadow. The cars don't actually react to any of the lighting you see on the tracks beyond that simple palette swap.

    As for car detail, again we have homebrew devs taking the models out of games like Gran Turismo 2 and rendering them on Saturn. So I don't see what the issue is there either.

    As for frame rate, a lot of the games you mentioned have pretty inconsistent frame rates. So If Saturn games are hovering around 30fps with some dips here and there like those games you've brought up I don't think that's worth making a fuss over.

    Which that just leaves us with Draw Distance really. As I've mentioned previously though, that in many cases has more to do with SGL having odd limits. Many of the racing games that have these bad pop-in issues typically all tend to use SGL. SGL has a lot of static buffers in HWRAM, and if one of those buffers is full, it's not going to draw anymore polygons. So the CPUs may have calculated and processed say 1500 polygons for your frame, and VDP1 may be sitting there with plenty of fill rate to draw them, but if one of your buffers for say your vertices is full after say 600 polygons, SGL isn't going to draw anything else and will throw the rest away. And consdering we have plenty of racing games with good draw distances and decent performance I don't really see how this is some crazy issue the Saturn can't handle.


    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    For the nth time, not a racing game.
    For the nth time Racing games are less demanding and generally easier to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Completely different AI, physics model, RAM/VRAM usage characteristics, etc.
    Yes, it's all generally less complex. A lot of what-if scenarios get thrown out because they can't happen. A lot of the environment can be completely ignored because it's static and the player can't interact with it. The enemy AI doesn't have to worry about things like managing it's health, finding ammo, traversing tough terrain, trying to kill the other players without getting killed, etc. It just has to drive around the track trying to follow it's line and deal with other cars that might be in it's lane. Maybe every now and then it might try to block a car or bump a car out of the way, but that's about it. You also don't have to worry about the player looking around and seeing things they're not supposed to because the camera angles are generally fixed and controlled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I never heard before that "racing games in general are seen as easier to do", no.
    It's a commonly known thing. Why do you think they're always some of the best looking games each generation? Because they're less complicated and more resources can be put into making them look pretty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    To me, this kind of conjecture/projection seems to be an awful stretch.
    To me it seems you can't really wrap your head around the fact that at the end of the day these games are all just rendering polygons with different shading effects. It doesn't really cost VDP1 anymore to gouraud shade polygons for an FPS than it does to do it in a racing game. The only thing that impacts that is what color modes you're using and what resolution you're running at. If Saturn can render a large open map for a First Person shooter with a long draw distance, why can't it do it for what's effectively a narrow tube for a race track? If anything I wouldn't be surprised if a racetrack from Gran Turismo or Ridge Racer Type 4 had less on screen polygons at a given spot than some of those massive maps in that First person shooter demo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    I'm not sure Need for Speed is a very good example here. It's struggling on both systems in that video and there's no real pattern to it. There's spots where Saturn is chugging with more cars on screen, but then there's instances where it's running better than PS1 when it has more cars on screen. My guess is there's something odd going on with that engine that's causing hiccups, or that they didn't use a good LOD system or something.
    I just shared it because both versions feel slow when the framerate drops to 20fps. That's all.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    With texture quality we again see plenty of Saturn games with good texture quality from Sonic R, to Jam, to Quake, Powerslave, Duke Nukem 3D, etc. And if you're going to say "But that's not a racing game!" please explain why a racing games textures would be any different.
    You need to explain to me how much multitexturing you're doing over a Duke 3D enemy's fucking sprite. And you can do stuff like grass and other textures used in FPS games with pretty low res and it's not all that noticeable; same for the color depth. Not the same luxury when you need to render recognizable logos of well-known brands.
    But since you're the expert here, you surely knew that already.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Movement speed isn't really a technical issue here. That has more to do with how fast the developers program the camera to move. Yes I know the player car and some of the enemy cars in this example are 2D Sprites, but the scenery and some of the other objects are very much 3D objects:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH1uNWw7f18&t=364s
    Laughable. 3D-looking objects and a 3D game where you can actually turn the car and the camera around aren't the same thing.
    If they are, then any game using the Vroom engine is a fully 3D game.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    As for car detail, again we have homebrew devs taking the models out of games like Gran Turismo 2 and rendering them on Saturn. So I don't see what the issue is there either.
    Rendering one car. Again, awful stretches you're making here.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    As for frame rate, a lot of the games you mentioned have pretty inconsistent frame rates. So If Saturn games are hovering around 30fps with some dips here and there like those games you've brought up I don't think that's worth making a fuss over.
    Except that the game you used as example looks like crap in comparison to them and has a grand total of TWO cars in the entire track, with a rather limited draw distance and barely any buildings.
    I also clearly listed Ray Tracers and RRT4. Both with pretty solid framerates. Oh, yes, you have to ignore those. You have to, got it.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    For the nth time Racing games are less demanding and generally easier to do.
    If you mean that single-direction shit demo you just posted, yes.
    I clearly stated the games I was referring to and, sorry, but unless you have any actual experience developing games like that I'm seeing your posts here as "speculation" and I strongly disagree with them for the most part.



    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Yes, it's all generally less complex. A lot of what-if scenarios get thrown out because they can't happen. A lot of the environment can be completely ignored because it's static and the player can't interact with it. The enemy AI doesn't have to worry about things like managing it's health, finding ammo, traversing tough terrain, trying to kill the other players without getting killed, etc. It just has to drive around the track trying to follow it's line and deal with other cars that might be in it's lane. Maybe every now and then it might try to block a car or bump a car out of the way, but that's about it. You also don't have to worry about the player looking around and seeing things they're not supposed to because the camera angles are generally fixed and controlled.
    I love how you completely ignored the physics part.
    And, following your logic, FPS bots also don't have to get worried about spinning off track or getting back on track once the human player pushes them off the track or compensating the brake pressure when the car behind is pushing them near a corner.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    It's a commonly known thing. Why do you think they're always some of the best looking games each generation? Because they're less complicated and more resources can be put into making them look pretty.
    Sorry, I didn't know you were such an expert in racing games development.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    To me it seems you can't really wrap your head around the fact that at the end of the day these games are all just rendering polygons with different shading effects. It doesn't really cost VDP1 anymore to gouraud shade polygons for an FPS than it does to do it in a racing game. The only thing that impacts that is what color modes you're using and what resolution you're running at. If Saturn can render a large open map for a First Person shooter with a long draw distance, why can't it do it for what's effectively a narrow tube for a race track? If anything I wouldn't be surprised if a racetrack from Gran Turismo or Ridge Racer Type 4 had less on screen polygons at a given spot than some of those massive maps in that First person shooter demo.
    And to me, it seems that you're claiming things far beyond your actual knowledge and experience.

    You keep making assumptions, claims and trying to force me to agree with them solely based on someone else's work and your limited, superficial knowledge about it; without having a clear idea of how much of the resources of each component of the system you'd need to use to render a specific scene and exactly how you'd balance out all that in an optimal manner; much less project average framerate and whatnot of AAA racing games.
    I'll agree to disagree and I'm not replying to you on this subject anymore.
    Last edited by Barone; 06-04-2022 at 11:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    I see what you mean, it depends what kind of games you like. I never got into 3D fighters. I do like 2D fighters and the Saturn is a very good platform for those. For me the N64 games that mattered were things like Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, which would be very difficult to pull off on the Saturn. The Saturn did have some advantages in 3D though, the games often have better textures than what you'd see on the N64.
    The Saturn was crap from Platform games and the real killer for me was a serious F1 game, even the N64 did those much better. We can thank SOA for the lack of Sonic and by the time SOJ looked to clean up the mess, even in Japan, the Saturn was starting to fade and Sonic Adv was moved.

    SEGA Japan had a really nice F1 racer with great graphics and the perfect blend of arcade and sim gameplay and handling, but like with many SEGA titles they rushed out F1 Live Information with just a handful of tracks, rather than the complete season, and SOJ would have had most of the data for all the tracks, given their brilliant work on F1:BTL on the Mega CD. If SEGA Japan had just taken more time with F1 Live and put in all the tracks, the Saturn could have a really nice serious F1 game and then the killer blow was F1 on the PS, that was the only time I ever felt short-changed by Saturn and it really hurt since F1 is by far the sport I love the most and my PC at the time couldn't run Geoff's F1 GP2 (the best sim ever made) at any sort of decent speed, so it was just a bad time

    Like with ClockworkKnight, Victory Goal, Daytona USA SEGA Japan must have known it was unacceptable to release F1 Live in the state it was
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
    one of the best 3D shooting games available
    Presented for your pleasure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    You need to explain to me how much multitexturing you're doing over a Duke 3D enemy's fucking sprite.
    What you're talking about with lighting isn't multi-texturing. It's Gouraud shading. As for the environment mapping for the cars, you only have to do it on the cars and only when they're close enough for it to be visible. When the cars get farther away and you switch to lower detailed models you can stop doing the reflection effect. Gran Turismo does this and you can see it happen if you look for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    And you can do stuff like grass and other textures used in FPS games with pretty low res and it's not all that noticeable; same for the color depth. Not the same luxury when you need to render recognizable logos of well-known brands.
    But since you're the expert here, you surely knew that already.
    I'd imagine for certain brand logos 4bpp would be more than enough colors, 8bpp if you really need more. And again you're not going to be drawing a ton of those logos either. And honestly the textures they use in Gran Turismo aren't even that high of resolution for those things to begin with. As for grass and scenery textures, if anything low res/low color grass and scenery textures are going to be more noticeable in an FPS because you're going to be standing there staring at them for a longer period of time, while in a racing game you're gonna be zipping past them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Laughable. 3D-looking objects and a 3D game where you can actually turn the car and the camera around aren't the same thing.
    If they are, then any game using the Vroom engine is a fully 3D game.
    Again, you've missed the point here. The point is that how fast the car moves isn't really relative to rendering performance in many of these cases. You can literally put in action replay codes into any Saturn racer of your choice such as Sega Rally, Need for Speed, Daytona, etc. and the car will go zipping by at high speed without much impact to the frame rate if at all. The point I'm making is that how fast or how much of a speed sensation you get isn't really tied to rendering performance if the game is already running at a decent frame rate. Hell people have even done it for the 3DO version of Need for Speed where they make the cars go 500mph.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Rendering one car. Again, awful stretches you're making here.
    And he's done demos where he's rendered multiple cars. How many polygons do you think those car models are? For Gran Turismo it's around 150-250 polygons per car, some are even lower than that. And the game isn't rendering all of them at that count all the time. Only the ones close to the camera are rendered with that level of detail. The further away they get the less detailed the get. The game uses some pretty aggressive LOD. And that's not even getting into the fact not all the polygons will be rendered because they wont all be visible. The game only renders 6 cars at max, and of those maybe 2 are being done at their full detail level, the rest that are further away are going to be much lower detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Except that the game you used as example looks like crap in comparison to them and has a grand total of TWO cars in the entire track, with a rather limited draw distance and barely any buildings.
    I also clearly listed Ray Tracers and RRT4. Both with pretty solid framerates. Oh, yes, you have to ignore those. You have to, got it.
    No, you're fixating on one game I brought up which I only brought up for an example of a third party game with a good sense of speed. As for the games you listed, I didn't ignore them. I asked what was special about them and you didn't really give good solid technical answers. They were vague answers that weren't really good explanations. I brought up examples of games doing all the things you mentioned and you're only excuse was "not racing games!" which just shows you don't really understand that at the end of the day that really doesn't matter for a lot of these effects.

    Also, Ray Tracers isn't even that demanding by the looks of things. What is it about that game that you think the Saturn can't do? The tracks aren't that detailed, the draw distance isn't even that far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    If you mean that single-direction shit demo you just posted, yes.
    And most racing games in general. The point I was making with the demo I posted was that if you just want pure speed it's more dependent on how fast the people programmed the cars to move.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I clearly stated the games I was referring to and, sorry, but unless you have any actual experience developing games like that I'm seeing your posts here as "speculation" and I strongly disagree with them for the most part.
    Can you explain why you think they're so much more demanding to create? I've already explained what makes them less demanding. The scenery is mostly static, most of it doesn't even need to be modeled or drawn because it's not visible. Collision can be ignored for areas outside of the track or if it's something the car can't actually reach to interact with. The track itself in most these games is just a fancy tube so to speak. The cars themselves don't need much animation beyond their wheels spinning. There's also no realistic damage going on in any of these racing games. The AI isn't nearly as demanding or complicated either, especially in these earlier racing games. The only thing left really is physics, which how demanding does that really need to be? Sega Rally's physics have the car driving and reacting differently to different surfaces after all, and the game maintains a solid 30fps throughout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I love how you completely ignored the physics part.
    How demanding do you think the physics really is in these PS1 racing games? I wouldn't be surprised if it's no more complicated than what Sega Rally is doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    And, following your logic, FPS bots also don't have to get worried about spinning off track or getting back on track once the human player pushes them off the track or compensating the brake pressure when the car behind is pushing them near a corner.
    The FPS bot has to worry about not being pushed into lava and other hazards, trying to get out of said hazards, how to sneak up on the player, how to check their back to be sure the player isn't sneaking up on them, etc. Meanwhile your AI car probably isn't giving a shit about brake pressure when bumped which is why usually when you bump them they just either hit the wall or immediately try to get back to their line. Honestly the Gran Turismo games are notorious for having retarded AI. And the first 2 games are no different. You can literally see the AI just flooring it into a turn and then going off track and using the wall to turn themselves. Other times they'll wreck each other as they all try to take the exact same line in a turn. They'll ram into you from behind because they don't consider your car being in the way when they start to brake for a turn. And there's even instances where the AI gets so far off it's line that it just sits there as it doesn't know how to continue:



    Not saying FPS Bot AI is much better than this, but let's be honest here. PS1-Era Racing AI isn't really all that intelligent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Sorry, I didn't know you were such an expert in racing games development.
    Again, it's pretty much common knowledge at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    And to me, it seems that you're claiming things far beyond your actual knowledge and experience.
    I've at least done some Saturn development and am aware of what the general consensus is among homebrew devs for what is and isn't possible on it. Do you think you're the first person to wonder if something like Gran Turismo is possible on Saturn? News flash you're not. It's been asked in the discord multiple times and the general response from various Saturn devs has been it should be doable, especially now that environment mapping has been figured out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    You keep making assumptions, claims and trying to force me to agree with them solely based on someone else's work and your limited, superficial knowledge about it; without having a clear idea of how much of the resources of each component of the system you'd need to use to render a specific scene and exactly how you'd balance out all that in an optimal manner; much less project average framerate and whatnot of AAA racing games.
    Hello pot meet kettle. You're doing the same thing only your evidence is "Look at this real hardware capture of these PS1 and N64 games!". Yeah, my Saturn dev experience is in 2D stuff and FMV mostly, but that doesn't mean I don't pay attention to these technical 3D conversations when they regularly come up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Knuckles as a character was clearly aimed at an older audience than Mickey Mouse fans, I mean he goes around punching other animals Other than that I agree with you. Ristar with more colors and layers and improved music would have been incredible.
    A kid-friendly platformer with decent controls and straightforward gameplay would have helped IMO given the time of the year.


    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    The other issue with a game like Doom II is that realistically you need at least an 8 MB ROM. That would have been an expensive cart, not good for a budget console.
    Pretty good point that gets lost sometimes. The 32X proposition, strongly reinforced by Kalinske's words, was focused on the price point.
    Pricier carts would make both the SNES Super FX games and PS1/SAT far more reasonable options.
    So ideally you shouldn't even surpass 16/24Mbit if you really wanted to sell and make good money off of the software sales.

    It's really difficult to list games that check all the boxes necessary to fit a commercially viable 32X.


    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    I checked the PC version of Tomb Raider awhile back, take out the FMVs and it's still around 50 MB. Putting it on the 32X would mean cutting a LOT of textures. I think it would have been better to make a simpler 3D platformer that uses a more cartoonish art style and gouraud shading for most objects. Forget having an open world too, go with a more linear design, that would help hide the limitations of the hardware and the lack of buttons for controlling a camera. I'm picturing something like Floating Runner on the PSX but with Sonic characters.
    Yep.

    I think a bit simpler Jumping Flash!-alike games could have worked; also 'cause they don't need high framerates and it's more of a minimalist 3D world with exploratory gameplay that could be further redesigned for more slow-paced gameplay.

    Another kind of "engine" that could have been explored was this (@Gryson, maybe a interesting tidbit for you):


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOAg_XCMP_g (this one has tons of animation frames but the concept is still the same)

    Here's 3DO's Slam 'N Jam '95 using the same concept in a more consolized form:


    And Slam 'n Jam '96 Featuring Magic & Kareem for the Saturn still reusing the same concept:


    At the very least, it doesn't look like a regular 16-bit game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Pretty good point that gets lost sometimes. The 32X proposition, strongly reinforced by Kalinske's words, was focused on the price point.
    Pricier carts would make both the SNES Super FX games and PS1/SAT far more reasonable options.
    So ideally you shouldn't even surpass 16/24Mbit if you really wanted to sell and make good money off of the software sales.

    It's really difficult to list games that check all the boxes necessary to fit a commercially viable 32X.
    Exactly. That's why when I see posts like "it could have run Neo Geo ports" I think no it couldn't, even if you could render all those sprites in software there's no way anyone was going to pay for those huge ROMs. With the combination of relatively fast CPUs, a framebuffer and limited cart sizes, the 32X is better off with flat or gouraud shaded 3D, like in VR, VF or Star Wars. A game like Jumping Flash would have been perfect. Even something like Continuum (Alpha Waves) could have been interesting if it was a bit more detailed, as it's something that isn't doable on 4th gen consoles.

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