Digital Foundry Retro Discussion [2018 - 2019]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cyan, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. dogen

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    he went over the GBA ports, probably not for 15 minutes though
     
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  2. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    gotta give it a brief re-watch, 'cos I don't remember that. I downloaded the video when it was released. Back then I had a measured connection so I preferred to download videos I wanted to watch instead of wasting data streaming the same video more than once.

    That being said, I am currently completing the 2016 version of Doom. I am having fun tbh.

    Gotta check if there is a mod to play the original levels of Doom 1 for the new version of Doom. :)

    I still remember the first 9 levels of Doom 1 quite vividly, 'cos when I discovered the game, in early 1996 I played the shareware version of Doom for countless hours before buying the full game. Those Doom 1 levels are soooooooooo good.
     
  3. dogen

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    they gave away the best part of the game for free ;-)
     
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  4. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    actually that's a perfect definition. Maybe it was because those were the first levels I've played, but they were so good and so well done that I could play those levels on all difficulty levels repeatedly without getting tired of them.

    The other chapters of the full campaign weren't as good or memorable, as far as I remember, imho. I still remember fondly how "empty" I felt after beating once again the Hell Knights in the final map of the episode, like saying "Darn, I want more of this".

    The additional episode of Ultimate Doom had VERY good maps though.

    Also Doom 2 has some memorable maps, but still I dont remember them as fondly as the maps in the first Doom.

    That's not to say that I didnt enjoy some legendary Doom1/Doom2 campaigns and maps made by users, but the first episode of the original Doom is forever pasted in the album of my memory.
     
  5. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    Looking back, I am surprised id Software ever made it, because the shareware levels from Wolf3D, DooM and Quake were not only some of the best of the games, the shareware campaign for each of those were long enough to keep you busy for hours. Also, Quake shareware discs included the whole game locked behind a simple CD key that got cracked almost immediately. But it's crazy to think that people went through the trouble of mail ordering the games, not pirating them from people who already did, or just continue to play the shareware levels that were some of the best. Plus, there are tons of secrets to find in them!

    Regarding level design, I always enjoyed DooM 1's first episode the best, but over the years I think DooM 2 might be the better designed game. Although, Toxin Refinery is still my favorite single player map. All the time I spent with the automap open trying to find the secrets...
     
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  6. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    that's a very interesting fact about Quake... I played the shareware version before buying the full game.

    I fiddled a lot with those games. In Doom, in fact, I discovered a newbie hack which I think no one ever discovered. I didnt have internet at the time so I never shared it. I was fascinated by the code of games and used Notepad for Windows 95 to open the WAD files -and others-, just out of curiosity.

    Doom 1 and Doom 2 official original WAD files started with the word IWAD. However, the shareware WAD began with PWAD. I changed the P with a I using Notepad, :) and for whatever reason that didnt corrupt the file at all.

    What I found is that you could play the entire game using the shareware exe of Doom by changing a letter.

    Back into Quake, I can't remember the shareware version well, 'cos I got the full version after playing the demo, but imho, most levels of Quake are some of the best levels ever made in a game, imo.

    Especially those with old castles when the knight with an axe appear.

    also Hexen and Heretic followed the same shareware formula of Doom, but for whatever reason those gave me motion sickness.

    that level was soooooo good that the map I made myself usind DoomEd -or a similar map editor for Doom- and was most proud of is a map I made modifying that level in particular.

    I remember filling the map with explosive barrels and lots of pinkies, hordes of enemies..., I created a whole new level within that level, using my very limited skills when my english was so so and couldnt understand all the options the editor gave me.
     
  7. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    I should clarify that it wasn't the downloadable sharware version of Quake that was the full game, but they sold a CD-ROM version for a few dollars (or maybe it was free, I can't remember) and you could unlock the full game from that by paying for it and they would send you a key. There was a keygen almost immediately. Actually, I sort of remember it have shareware DooM or DooM 2 on it as well, but I could be wrong about that. I remember finding out about that, going to the store and getting copies of the demo disc with some friends. Same friends I rushed to the store to get Tiger Woods 99 with the south park glitch with, so I always associate those two things.

    Anyway, seriously surprised id made it all those years as an independent. I guess licensing fees from game engines was lucrative, but those early years must have been crazy. I don't think I knew a single person with a legit copy of Wolf3d. Lots of shareware and a few friends and I knew a couple of the answers to a couple of the questions for the copy protection.
     
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  8. Nesh

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    How were they even making money? :p
     
  9. manux

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    Masters of doom book is good. After reading that I'm even more surprised id made it. Based on that book the company and people were dysfunctional most of the time and working in chaotic environment. Heroic effort for win.
     
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  10. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    new DF Retro article, featuring Virtua Racing now that there is a Switch version. The best Virtua Racing version ever.

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-virtua-racing-sega-ages-switch-analysis



    My best childhood friend had the Megadrive and his parents got him a copy of Virtua Racing, which was just soooooo impressive. It was very addictive trying to beat the best times.... one couldn't stop.

    Plus the game was frantic, the feeling of speed at the time was unique. Plus, there was nothing quite like that.

    The game was short, content wise, shorter than any game made for the Super NES Super FX. That's why they created the mirror mode of the circuits, which made the game even more addictive -though still short of content-. What kept you playing, apart from the awe-inspiring graphics, was trying to beat the records be it in the original circuits or in reverse mode of said tracks.

    The level of perfection was such that it got to a point that beating a lap time was an almost impossible task, but if you had an almost perfect lap you always could scratch a few hundredths of milliseconds.

    My friend also got the 32X version later on, iirc -I have more vivid memories of the Megadrive version, the one I played the most-.
     
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  11. milk

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    Why did he not show counter examples of what bumpmaps look like under ambient light on the OG XBox? I'm curious.
     
  12. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    It'd be nice if we could get an in-depth technical breakdown of the various render paths (not talking about screenshot comparisons and the accompanying fan-rage). The DX9/SM2.0 path ended up using MRTs, IIRC, hence the lack of proper MSAA support at the time, although IIRC again, the Mac port didn't have that limitation (or maybe it was just okay with FSAA in OpenGL or just completely different from the Windows edition).

    And maybe a bunch of the shader re-writes/updates just weren't 1:1 (like the missing AR specular or the fog, which reappears in the older render path, which is closer to what they had with NV2A).

    ----

    Fat chance getting a copy of the mac port at this point I guess (along with pre-Intel MacOS). :p

    ----

    idk, there must be someway to profile or look at the shader code.
     
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  13. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    I remember when Halo PC came out I had either a Radeon 9700 in my main rig, and a Geforce 3 in my secondary. It was around this time that the Geforce FX cards launched and the benchmarks weren't compelling for me to upgrade my 9700, but... I'll be honest I got caught up in the "cinematic computing" hype. I wanted to see the demos and check image quality for myself. Also, Wal-Mart let you return PC hardware even if it was open for a full refund. So I headed to the store and the only FX card they had was the entry level 5200. I install it in the secondary computer, run some benchmarks including Halo PC and Doom 3, and it basically performs the same as the Geforce 3. Now here's the thing, about a week later when I'm getting ready to return the card, new drivers come out boasting large performance gains. Like 40% or more. So I download the drivers, bench again and sure enough, Halo PC in particular was much faster. On closer inspection, the game also looked different. Lots of the shaders were altered, at the driver level, to achieve that performance. Lots of the shiny or reflective shaders had this pixelated 8-bit look to them, for instance. Anyway, I ended up keeping the card because performance is king, and it was cheap enough.

    The DX8 and DX9 era for PC graphics was full of competition, and card makers were pretty cut throat when it came to winning benchmarks. There were cases of exe detection that changed settings to win benchmarks (ATi detected Quake 3 and prevented the highest quality of textures to be loaded, even when selected in the menu), shaders were replaced with lower quality version, and games were built with vender specific render paths that altered the look completely. I remember an program cad 3d analyzer that let you change what features a game would detect your card having, allowing you to run games that needed vertex shaders on a card without them, for example. Or in the inverse, reporting your DX 9 card as a DX 8 one, forcing the game to run with lower quality shaders. You could even change vender and card IDs, so you could make a game think your nVidia card was an ATi card so it would use that cards render path. I remember there being ATi or nVidia sponsored games that performed better or worse depending on your vender ID also. And, there were cases of bug fixes in game being this cat and mouse game, where a driver update would alter something, then the game would get patched and it would be broke because the developer was fixing a problem that appeared on drivers that didn't replace a shader of whatever.

    That's a bit long winded, but I wanted to put things in context. I'm curious if running Halo PC looks the same if you run it on period correct hardware and drivers.
     
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  14. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    new DF Retro video on Castlevania series, more concretely the Anniversary Collection. Super Castlevania IV my favourite Castlevanis IV game forever. I was able to complete it in one go at the hardest difficulty level -unlocked once you had beaten the game-.

    Megadrive version, Bloodlines -recently discovered- is also very good! SOTN is a great game, I completed it on teh X360 like 10 years ago, with the famous 200.6% of teh map uncovered.

     
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  15. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    Doom running on a NES

    [​IMG]

     
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  16. milk

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    Haha, wow.
     
  17. Shifty Geezer

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    Except it's running on a Raspberry Pi.
     
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  18. dogen

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    doom wasn't really running on a snes either ;)
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

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  20. dogen

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    People call that a snes game too, and I'm fairly sure it does more than just rendering on the sfx chip.
     
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