Questions about Sega Saturn

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Liandry, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Akumajou

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    You're the one directly comparing Sony PlayStation hardware and Sega Saturn as if they HAD to have console parity features while ignorant my mentioned "PSX has GTE"

    You keep insisting that "Saturn renders distorted sprites" when even PlayStation with GTE does the SAME damn thing.

    Neither console system, were truly designed to render real polygons and both are different designs.

    You're arguments on Saturn games simply diminish any effort made on Saturn in general...ambient lighting, sounds and complex layers by use of VDP1 and VDP2 are a lost cause to talk with you because you keep pointing to PSX.

    What was the first confirmed source that stated Saturn as being hard to program for?

    What was the first source that mentioned the Sega Graphics Libraries initial release?

    What was the purpose of the Sega Graphics Libraries?

    Did successive revisions to Sega Graphics Libraries still not make a difference in making Saturn development more comprehensive or are you still going to say PlayStation hardware is better because it's easier and use endless redundant tech jargon to diminish or dismiss all the work that real 3d engine Saturn developers did?

    1: thanks for revealing what you missed and your stance...also you are in a different region...the U.S. available print magazines have wording which makes mention of other games.

    2: you statement on how pretty Soul Edge may have been to you and glowing reviews does not validate the serious gameplay flaws that were dropped and removed for Soul Calibur. Pretty games back then were much highly forgiven when there was some one sided hyperbole fanboyism writing the perception.

    Seems your perception lacks a lot of information being how late you got into that console generation...in your situation.

    You have dismissed and diminished the home port of Die Hard Arcade and made claims like as if I indicated "it was supposed to save SEGA" as if the game has no technical aspects worthy of praise beyond "ok"

    So since PlayStation was your first system back then and Capcom was your favorite developer why do you insist on using those rather ignorant questions to back up your claims?

    Biohazard/RE was made with PSX as base hardware, since you're the Capcom expert when did Biohazard/RE Saturn start development and shipped?

    Star Gladiator...was made as a System 11 Arcade hardware game...your implied reasoning of a technology analysis is laughable if not insulting.

    Cyberbots was a CPSII Arcade game...again since you are the Capcom expert, please explain why Capcom chose Saturn for "profitability"?

    Finally...Capcom lagged behind Namco when it came to "3d technical showpiece" even back then...they were definitely way behind Takara during the 1994-1996 timeframe.
     
  2. Exophase

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    You said:

    So when others in this thread have looked at Saturn hardware and said that no, it wouldn't be easy to develop games for it (particularly 3D games) you are saying that they are wrong and their reasoning is flawed. But you're not saying anything to argue this point, except bringing up the gaming press.

    I don't say that the two systems need to have parity features, I've said that they have strengths and weaknesses. And even in 3D games a few Saturn titles like Sonic R managed to look fantastic, easily competitive with the best PS1 had to offer. I simply contend that a) getting those results was far more difficult on Saturn and b) Sega used a much more expensive design to accomplish this.

    I've made several explicit arguments to support these things, which you seem to deny, but without addressing anything what I've said or giving your own opposing arguments.

    I'm starting to understand why so much of your arguments rely on non-technical and political points and deference to authority. You just don't really understand how these consoles actually work if you think PS1 renders distorted sprites. It renders triangles, real triangles. Ones that are not depth-aware either in interpolation or hidden surface removal but triangles in every sense of the word, with a very by-the-books rendering methodology.

    I haven't diminished Saturn at all. I never said the games were worse, that impressive things weren't accomplished, nor that it couldn't produce games that were as visually appealing as PS1 games. I've made a few comments on very specific things that it couldn't do that PS1 could, and areas in which it was weaker. You seem to be taking this is as a much broader indictment against the system than it is. The reason it came up was because these questions and comments started being made in this thread, probably in response to ones people were making about Saturn being a beast that destroyed PS1 and N64.

    The technical users manuals in the eyes of someone who understands game programming and console hardware.

    Just because you don't understand what I'm saying doesn't make it redundant or jargon. Nor does it mean I've dismissed anyone's work.
     
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  3. milk

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    somebody remind this guy that "endless tech jargon" thar HE can't even understand, is the very point of this thread and Beyond3D as a whole.
    He should find more apropriate discussion pals at the BeyondVintageMags forums.
     
    #203 milk, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
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  4. Shifty Geezer

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    This is the Console Tech thread. Anyone wanting to continue this conversation needs to start quoting technical jargon and making technical arguments. Akumajou's stance is recognised, but it's time to move on if you can't present clear documentation (or personal development experience) that supports your argument. Let's go back to asking questions about how Saturn worked without any #retrofanboywars.
     
  5. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Damnit, I just bought more popcorn.
     
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  6. Nesh

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    I dont understand what you are trying to say there
    Enough with the magazines already. Soul Edge was a great game in general. Get over with it.

    Lack like what? And what do you mean with late?

    Yes. Otherwise please provide evidence about its technical aspects

    Where did I say it was MY favorite developer?
    What does "was your first system back then" even imply? Should I have went with a Saturn, an N64, a Jaguar or a 3DO first during that generarion and buy the Playstation later? Would that make my understanding of Saturn's capabilities different than what it is believed now?

    Also what is your problem with the questions? Do they make you feel uncomfortable? They asked Capcom pretty clear questions, Capcom answered about its capabilities. I trust Capcom.

    Capcom said what they said. They are the experts. I listen what the experts have to say. The Saturn had technical issues with 3D

    So what? It was not a special arcade board. It was a Playstation. In a cabin. Which shouldnt have been "too damn difficult" for the Saturn considering your statement that it was great at 3D and easy to make games on. According to Capcom it was neither.
    Ahm....why should I explain it? Its Capcom that said it not me. Obviously, although Capcom clearly expressed how difficult Saturn was at 3D they were supporting it as much as they could. Which means, no bias. They have no reason to sabotage a platform on which they expected to profit from. Their opinions are objective: Saturn's hardware wasnt all that great at 3D. Cyberbots was a 2D game that never saw a release on the Playstation even though that it was doable
    You are in no position to judge when Capcom was one of the best developers on the Playstation and the Saturn.
     
    #206 Nesh, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
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  7. function

    function None functional
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    And I think this is it in a nutshell.

    Also, given how much of the Saturn's silicon (and memory) was tied up in VDP2, developers had to know that if they went polygon only in order to potentially gain flexibility, they were going to lose a good chunk of the detail the system could bring to a the screen. I suspect this could have caused early commitments to engine and asset design. Multiplatform games couldn't always be adapted to make optimal use of the Saturn's hardware.

    Well you're in good company because Yu Suzuki thought the same. And he was used to working with exotic, multi-processor hardware.

    The Saturn's strengths came at the cost of potentially greater weakness elsewhere and expense everywhere.
     
  8. Cyan

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    This excellent Digital Foundry Retro video shows why the Saturn version of Castlevania Symphony of the Night fell short compared to the PS1 version even if the Saturn is a 2D powerhouse:

     
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  9. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    This is not Beyond2D :nope:
     
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  10. Nesh

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    It is an old post but I didnt quite get what you are describing.

    Can you provide a visual example? I am interested
     
  11. Exophase

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    I'm not too good at diagrams, but if you look at the VDP1 user's manual (was linked on page 1 of the thread) there's a diagram in figure 1.6, where SEGA rather bizarrely calls it "anti-aliasing." It shows how the lines drawn, that make up the quads, have extra pixels added. And the next diagram, 1.7, shows how concave polygons get rendered with kind of curvy sections.
     
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  12. HTupolev

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    So, suppose these are your vertices, for a quad you want to fill black:

    [​IMG]

    To fill this quad, let's say that we just start drawing 1-pixel-thick lines from spots on the left side to corresponding-ish spots on the right side:

    [​IMG]

    Uh oh, looks like our lines missed some spots!

    To solve this, the Saturn uses an approach which more or less amounts to drawing the lines wider. But the methodology for choosing extra fill-in pixels isn't perfect, and so some pixels get filled multiple times. This is inefficient, and if you're rendering transparencies, pixels that are blended multiple times end up looking incorrect.
     
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  13. Exophase

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    Thanks, that was a good illustration.

    If I may nitpick a little though, in cases like this Saturn will actually draw starting from every pixel on the longer edge. Moving down the shorter edge less than one pixel at a time.

    Guess this is as good a time as any to try to actual do something in GIMP for once.. here's some extra illustrations:

    http://imgur.com/a/9jxFh

    This is what Saturn would look like without the "anti-aliasing." The red lines are drawn to show the edges it draws the connecting lines between. It creates a bunch of holes, even on this quad that is just rotated in 2D.

    So here's what it does instead:

    http://imgur.com/a/1NYE2

    It draws extra pixels to "anti-alias" around the line's diagonal joints. I drew these pixels in a darker green.

    But then when drawing is done with half-transparency it looks like this:

    http://imgur.com/a/aRtAN

    You can see the vertical lines where the overlap occurs.

    Finally, here's what I meant earlier about concave quads:

    http://imgur.com/a/x01u3

    I actually had to be really careful to draw the "anti-aliasing" pixels correctly by the rules SEGA described to not have gaps. You can see how it doesn't fill the quad according to its shape exactly, because the internal lines are drawn in a way that makes them go over the concave vertex. Resulting in a sort of curved appearance. It's possible this could be exploited to make some interesting looking geometry, but I doubt any game did.

    EDIT: Had a lot of problems trying to embed the animated gifs, will have to deal with links instead, sorry :/
     
    #213 Exophase, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  14. function

    function None functional
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    Brilliant!
     
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  15. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Interesting side-track: the edge antialiasing algorithm used in the N64 also double-drew pixels frequently, giving polygons these weird little bumps near the corners. Probably had some measureable performance impact as well...
     
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  16. Exophase

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    Yeah, N64's edge AA was pretty simple, just coverage to alpha and I think a lot of consumer hardware could do it. But it wasn't order independent and like you say, it resulted in edges interacting in unintended ways.

    DS got around this with a hack where a pixel ID was used to prevent pixels from the same model from being alpha blended twice. It also had top-two sorting to make the edge-AA order independent.
     
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  17. milk

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    Wait, the ds had AA? Was it used?
     
  18. Exophase

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    Yeah it was used kind of a lot.

    It also had edge marking, and when used in conjunction with the AA it'd result in half-transparent edges.
     
  19. milk

    milk Like Verified
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    I could never tell. DS looked very aliased.
     
  20. Exophase

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    There's only so much you can do with a 256x192 display, and its edge AA doesn't always work that well.

    There's also no texture filtering or mip-mapping, so the texturing itself can look pretty aliased.
     
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