Jon Burton of Traveller's Tales/Gamehut Discussion

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Mobius1aic, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    I'm sure some of you guys have come across the Gamehut Youtube channel, headlined by Traveller's Tale founder Jon Burton. While TT is more or less just a licensed game house these days, it's awesome to have a studio head actually divulging the secrets to some of his most recognized games and even showing off old prototypes like he did the other day:



    A personal favorite video of his, related to the Madagascar prototype, is a PS2 vector unit based particle system he used for numerous games.



    I figure the channel deserves it's own thread like Digital Foundry, and I hope that Jon comes to post on the forum if he doesn't already under a pseudonym :mrgreen:
     
  2. turkey

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    I've watched a good few of his videos, very interesting. I especially liked the secret to punching the sonic 3d cart for a level select.
     
  3. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    I remember my copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 locked onto Sonic & Knuckles, if bumped, would reset the system and erase the entire series of save files. Probably a lost signal connection like Sonic 3D. This was playing on a Genesis Nomad BTW.
     
  4. dogen

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    His best videos are the mod player, toy story 3d and the palette swap tricks imo. He's making one on how he programmed their PS2 particle engine though (which he claimed is able to handle unlimited particles... maybe he meant effectively unlimited, not literally). Should be interesting.
     
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  5. milk

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    Great initiative on creating this thread. I've seen all his videos, many more than once, and eagerly waiting for every next episode of coding secrets. I've asked some questions in the comments before but they got lost among them and never were answered. It would be great if he himself could participate over here!
     
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  6. Mobius1aic

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    My questions have been lost too lol. I'm sure he will mention VU usage for the particle system, but I was more interested about any experimentations with normal or bump maps on PS2. I seriously doubt Shiny Entertainment (Matrix: Path of Neo) and IO Interactive (Hitman: Blood Money) were the only ones to try it.
     
  7. dogen

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  8. legendCNCD

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  9. Nesh

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    this guy is a genius. What is he doing now?
     
  10. Mobius1aic

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    AFAIK he's still with TT but has also delved into film production with a number of films, mostly CGI family flicks. The guy is definitely very business savy. TTs past decade is almost exclusively licensed Lego games which are incredibly lucrative, but is somewhat depressing considering Burton's more varied early pedigree.
     
  11. Mobius1aic

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    A really interesting view on how Jon and his team used the Saturn's dizzying array of silicon to run Sonic R. What a franken-machine! It's amazing how Sega just added in more ICs to fill gaps in capability like an arcade system.
     
  12. Nesh

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    Sounds like a super headache for the programmers!
     
  13. function

    function None functional
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    I dunno, sounds like Jon loved the Saturn. It was a bastard but if you banged on it, it could do remarkable things. The key to achieving remarkable things seems to be 1) being very talented and 2) not being forced to use a PSX engines and assets.

    Sonic R is an incredible title that is built around squeezing every last drop out of the bastard Saturn!
     
  14. Garrett Weaving

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    Hi, first post here after years of semi-lurking.

    I really enjoy Jon's channel, it provides the viewer with an infinite amount of tidbits and interesting inside info on many games from the 90's. I loved Sonic 3D as a kid and as such his videos on it were really interesting, the guy went as far as to make a "hack" of the game called "Sonic 3D Director's Cut" (or DX for short).
    His recent video on Sonic R and how it utilized each Saturn chip was also really interesting, you guys should check out his Rascal video from a few days ago.
     
  15. Mobius1aic

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    You can really hear the pride in his voice. But I'd hate to think what the time value proposition between Saturn and PSX was, even without accounting for sales penetration rate of each system. It's actually quite amazing to think how straight forward the PSX was, with Sony to get all complicated with the PS2. But to be fair, the industry wasn't completely sure at that point where things were heading.

    What surprised me was the use of fast texture swapping to create the illusion of texel interpolation, and the only the second case of environment mapping I've seen on PSX (Crash Bandicoot: Warped being the other).
     
    #15 Mobius1aic, Sep 23, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  16. milk

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    Spyro games used env. mapping often. On the metal shielded enemies.
     
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  17. Mobius1aic

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    It's been so long since I've played any of them. I'll have to take a look!
     
  18. Nesh

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    Well I am sure he loved it but the rest must have hated it.
     
  19. function

    function None functional
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    Well, yeah. I'm sure lots of developers did hate it. I should have added a 3) to my list: having the time and resources.

    One of the programmers from Core Design, who was working on Tomb Raider 2 for Saturn, said in an interview at the time that he liked the Saturn because the more you pressed the more it gave you (words to that effect).

    Then Sony paid Eidos not to release it on Saturn so we never got to see how much more they'd been getting out of it. Lol.
     
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  20. Nesh

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    Thats a shame. I wish we could see these results
     
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