Questions about Sega Saturn

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

  1. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    It kinda depends how you define "superior". PS sound hardware had 4:1 sample compression, allowing the console to store more, and more detailed sounds, even though other aspects of the hardware itself was less capable than that of the Saturn.
     
  2. David Gámiz Jiménez

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    Just in this aspect not are superior. Well, play 32 PCM channels not is are inferior feature, by my point of view. Maybe is a problematic to save amount of data. But SS support ADPCM via library. In this direction you can archive PCM FX in mono a medium quality and more long or important sound in ADPCM. In other side the superior capacity is in the sound FM capability. At 32 channels, not only 24 in PSX side. And in other side in the DSP programming unit. In this side, whit a 3D sound possibilities, and a lot of effects or customize effects.
     
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  3. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    I am wondering sometimes how the Saturn games would have evolved if it had full support, a healthy lifecycle and technology was going towards the direction of the Saturn.
    Same with the Dreamcast.
    The PS2 was somewhat like the Saturn and it pulled out some pretty interesting results at the end.
    Sega had it's own exotic hardware in the Saturn with some interesting features that devs had little incentive to work with (unlike the PS2 that had a huge userbase) and then they had a very easy, very powerful hardware that maybe would have stood neck to neck with the PS2 in some areas if it lived long enough.
    It is disappointing that we will never know
     
  4. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    To be clear, I wasn't questioning his word. I was saying that based on that video, those aren't features available on the hardware. Everything is possible in software, of course, but that all comes down to speed.
     
  5. David Gámiz Jiménez

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    Well is normal. The first home console whit a environment mapping by hardware was N64. For PSX and SS a lot "features" really was a combination of hard features whit a lot of ingenious code. Whit the result of the some cycles consum for this things. Nothing is free, for nobody. :)
     
  6. HokutoNoKen

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    The Sega Saturn Hardware - By Sega Lord X



    / Ken
     
  7. Nesh

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    I kind of get the impression the guy is trying to do some retro damage control as a die hard fan by spinning history to a more favorable picture for the saturn
     
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  8. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    As a Saturn fan looking back, that generation ended exactly how it should have. Nintendo and Sega both dropped the ball and Sony did just about everything right. The right hardware, the right software, the right media, the right developer support. It's popular now for Sega and Saturn fans to pull up obscure titles that show off some "impossible" graphics effect that the Saturn is pulling off, but the fact remains that those are edge cases and outliers. Transparency is a big one here. If it was so easy why wasn't it used more? Because it had limited situational use on Saturn and the workarounds that didn't involve checkerboarding were performance constrained. Also, on a CRT with composite cables it was hard to see the checkerboards. It's understandable for developers to look at checkerboards as an acceptable trade off considering the visual quality on a CRT being acceptable and the performance hit being negligible. The concept that Sega had the right system but developers were too lazy or stupid to get results out of the thing is insulting to the developers and misses the point completely that Sony and Nintendo were looking forward with their design choices while Sega was looking backwards. Sega Lord X mentions several times in that video that Sega did this or that because of their arcade systems. The industry was moving on to more single player, narrative games. Games were being developed for several systems at once. The industry was moving away from making games for single sets or hardware with unique features.
     
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  9. HokutoNoKen

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    Sega Saturn - Dithering vs Transparency



    / Ken
     
  10. Nesh

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    So how did they achieve it on the other game and what was the compromise to do it I wonder.
     
  11. Nesh

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    Ok I think I still spot some of the limitations. The transparency seems to work only for some objects. I.e the legs are visible through the skirt, but anything beyond that, like the background is not visible through it. Now regarding the transparent walls, it seems to work flawlessly with 2D backdrops. as a transparent background object But would it work with multiple layers of 3D+2D backgrounds?
     
  12. dogen

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    great explanation of saturn's transparency problems in this video

     
    #372 dogen, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  13. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    The way I understand it if you want transparency using just VDP1 in hardware, only items displayed by VDP2 will be seen through it. VDP2 can do hardware transparency, but I'm not sure it's variable. It's usually just used for background layers but, if I understand it correctly, the fire in burning rangers is rendered by VDP1 and then transferred to VDP2 and displayed on screen as transparent. That certainly explains why the fire has different than normal depth sorting issues. Also, there's apparently a performance cost to this method that makes it not ideal for every game.

    I'm not sure how D-Xhird is achieving the transparent skirt, because legs are visible but not the background. It could be the same as Burning Rangers or it could just be rendered in software. Also, that game pulls off some impressive effects but overall, it's not very fun and the character design and animation really hurts it's presentation. When I first saw it on youtube I thought it looked really impressive but I think the compression really helped gloss over a lot of the games shortcomings. This was back when 360p was the normal quality of youtube videos.

    At the end of the day transparency on Saturn isn't an impossibility, it's just not convenient, versatile or cheap. At least not when you compare it to PSX or N64.
     
  14. dogen

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    If you watch the gamehut video i linked, it seems like if you use perfectly rectangular quads transparency might just work. Not sure if the saturn actually allows it though.
     
  15. Nesh

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    Yes that raises the question...was there a Saturn game that used quads and managed perfect transparencies?
    Which one was it?

    I have actually seen and played that fighting game and although it managed some nice lighting effects, overall it was very ugly. Maybe if the animations were better things might have been different. But even when not considering the ugly animation Toshinden 1 on the PSX was looking better and I think it was an older game
     
  16. dogen

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    Sonic R itself? The shield is a quad and is transparent. Did you watch the video? :p

    Though I guess i mispoke when I said "not sure if the saturn allows it". I meant not sure if it works in every situation and if backgrounds work perfectly with it, etc.
     
  17. Nesh

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    I am talking about a normal 3D polygon object. The shield was a simple flat plane or sprite.
     
  18. dogen

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    it's a quad though. I don't think there's any difference. Do you mean a whole 3d model made out of transparent quads? Sonic r does that with objects that fade in and out.
     
  19. Nesh

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    The matter is that the Saturn supposedly had an issue with transparencies because its quads were distorted into triangles which caused overlapping pixels and the other issue was the gouraud shading. In practice all games had quads but they were distorted quads. So in the case of Sonic R the developer created formulas that solved the problem in steps and that allowed transparency only with the background. In the emerald stage were the game had a ton of transparencies only allowed for the backgrounds to be seen through also. So the question is what would have happened with a 3D model that was made out of just normal undistorted quads? I.e what if the Toshinden characters on the PS1 were made out of quads on the Saturn? Would that have allowed for normal transparencies instead of the mesh effect an transparent objects of the character? To simplify it better, if 3D graphics evolved to use undistorted quads would have Saturn allowed for transparent 3D objects without relying on complex formulas to allow an effect that worked with limitations?
     
  20. milk

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    You can't render a 3D object without distorting it's geometry in screenspace.
    The problem described in the video was not exclusive to quads distorted into triangles. Its for any quad that gets drawn in any shape other than a square ON SCREEN. So even if your render a perfect cube on saturn, as you rotate it, each quad is distorted in a different way on screen, causing the artifacts if they are rendered as transparent.
     
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