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NEW AVP prototype found!


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#21 nosweargamer

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:56 PM

"depending on who you ask, it was a horrible failure for the company"

 

As was brought up, this is my only problem with the article. 

 

I don't believe you should you say "depending on who you ask" and only bring up one, unsupported point. 

 

Depending on who you ask.... The Browns will win the Super Bowl, Tax Avoiders is a great game and beef tastes like chicken.

 

Too me, that was lazy and biased. How in the world does a system that lasted multiple years count as a horrible failure? Just because it didn't sell as well as the Game Boy? 

 

BTW, I think the main reason the Lynx didn't sell more was due not to any lack of games, but the high price of the unit compared to the Game Boy. Even if Tetris, the biggest portable system seller of all time, was packed in with the Lynx, the Game Boy would've still outsold it.


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#22 btbfilms76

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 12:38 AM

"depending on who you ask, it was a horrible failure for the company"

 

As was brought up, this is my only problem with the article. 

 

I don't believe you should you say "depending on who you ask" and only bring up one, unsupported point. 

 

Depending on who you ask.... The Browns will win the Super Bowl, Tax Avoiders is a great game and beef tastes like chicken.

 

Too me, that was lazy and biased. How in the world does a system that lasted multiple years count as a horrible failure? Just because it didn't sell as well as the Game Boy? 

 

BTW, I think the main reason the Lynx didn't sell more was due not to any lack of games, but the high price of the unit compared to the Game Boy. Even if Tetris, the biggest portable system seller of all time, was packed in with the Lynx, the Game Boy would've still outsold it.

 

So even though I had the Lynx very early on it felt like very long stretches of time before any games would come out, at least in my area.  I also got a Game Gear, so should I go to Target and find a huge selection of games - none of them were Lynx.  I would have to have someone take me to one of two places that carried Lynx games, Toys R Us (totally out of the way) or Electronics Boutique (even more out of the way).  This same pattern happened during the Jaguar.  I found my self getting more Game Gear games only because it was more accessible in my area.   For what it's worth. 


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#23 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:47 AM

The thing is, this article is just 1 of so, so many i've read over the years from people who work in the writing industry, keen to get across that they are a writer and would like folks to follow them on X,Y and Z social media wise, subscribe to or what ever, which is fine..it must be very hard to stand out as it were as anyone with an internet connection, camera and keyboard can get something up online.

 

 

The issue seems to be not just the manner in which historical events are reported on, but with profeesional magazines, just who's given the article to write up.

 

It often appears X is avaiable, cheap enough and we know he/she can deliver by a deadline..right 4-6 pages on please, we need it by....oh and it's a celbration type piece so just the feel good stuff please, no critics of system quotes, ta....

 

 

That sort of thing.

 

 

So in the early days, it was the NES and the UK..where as the writer could of took an interesting look at just Why Nintendo failed to make the massive inroads expected, the whole Mattel angle etc, we were simply told it was huge here as well...cue the WTF are they talking about? clearly they never lived through it.....feelings of disbelief and dissapoint coming to the fore.

 

 

Then the ST started to finally get some much needed coverage, neglected far, far too long and whilst the versitile nature of the hardware was brought across, you'd see some classic foot in mouth gaffs..like claims Defender Of The Crown was released on ST 1st...yet anyone who really knew the ST, knew just how it had struggled to gain a foothold in USA, compared to Europe, and thus Cinemaware would support Amiga and C64 before looking to ST conversion, if at all.

 

Atari 8 bit range finally looked at after long period of absence, but daft claims that things like Panther (Mastertronic) made C64 owners jealous..it was a fantastic title, very cleverly coding, great Pokey music etc, but reading as someone who went from A8 to C64, owned that and things like Feud, Starquake, Gauntlet, Druid, Spellbound, Green Beret, Arkanoid, Rampage etc, you sadly knew the A8 versions were weaker and hardware struggling to 'hold it's own'.....

 

 

 

The 7800 was covered..unrealistic suggestion implied that majority of games ran in it's highest resolution mode, rather than pointing out the nature of the hardware saw games running at lower resolution, but the higher resolution mode was still used for things like high score pages, title screens etc,.

 

You'd see it claimed the 7800 was technically on par with the Sega MS, despite fact it's GPU creator had admitted himself MS had the edge

 

It was just  utterly bizzare to read and whilst had been run through spell checker, proof read for grammar etc as you'd expect in a proffessional magazine, the historical accurracy seemed unimportant.

 

 

 

And it's this element i find myself rolling my eyes at time and time again.


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#24 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:04 AM

@nosweargamer:

 

 

As a lowly researcher, the key aspect when looking into say The Panther console, was to try and get as many differing viewpoints on possible, to get a balanced view on the hardware from those who'd worked with it.

 

 

Prior to that i'd always read the claims IF ONLY Atari had released it, delayed Jaguar, things would of been so different, it was a SNES killer, uber powerful, look at the games in development, ST was strong by time Jaguart launched etc etc....

 

 

I'd seen a few comments from forum posters etc online describing the hardware as awful, botched job, starved of Ram etc, but theyy'd never coded on it...so i couldn't really go with these.

 

 

Jeff Minter, talking to Edge about it, seemed very keen on the hardware, ditto Guildo H when i spoke to him..so i could of drawn a line under it there and then, gone with the flow that Atari were a bit foolish to cancel it, it could bought them a degree of breathing space to fix bugs in Jaguar chipset, get some money in etc...

 

 

 

However i then contacted a few Ex-Atari corp sources, 1 who does not wish to be quoted and it became clear there was an equally strong view the Panther was awful to code for and would of done nothing to 'save' Atari...then Jim Gregory of HMS came forward, detailed his experience of hardware (which sounded like a nightmare) and dealing with Atari itself (ditto).....

 

 

Plus discovering likes of Domark were not supporting it....

 

 

 

 

And you get a much clearer picture of what was going on behind the scenes, but i felt it was crucial to put all the viewpoints/finds out there, let people decide for themselves, just as i have with coders, artists talking of A8/7800/ST/Jaguar/Lynx.

 

If writer is going to say: "Depending on who you ask' i'd like to know just who was asked and why they felt that way and where ever possible, an alternative viewpoint is given.

 

 

If writers would like myself to support their work, it has to be of a standard where i feel it's deserving of my time and money, i don't think that's being unfair or asking too much....

 

 

 

The Lynx was too big to be a portable like the GB, a key strength of it was it's greatest failing..colour screen=poor battery life compared to the GB, Atari's treatment of developers like Epyx did it no favours and it's standing within the UK development community meant a lot loved the hardware, but had no faith in Atari's ability to market and support it properly, Nintendo and Sega had the resources to secure the key developers, buy and convert the Triple-A name games...list of reasons goes on and on, so it's kinda sad to see writers just pluck a single reason and run with that.


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#25 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 01:15 PM

@Fergojisan:For likes of your goodself and others perhaps not so familar with the Lynx history:

 

 

Back in late summer of '89, Sam Tramiel was over here in the UK to promote launch of a stack of ST software, talk about latest Atari hardware etc, which of course meant The Lynx...

 

Sam started talking about Atari's aim to "Kill off Nintendo and Dominate the handheld market" via the Lynx and how they'd shift some 2,000,000 Lynx units within the 1st 12 months...

 

Then few months later, Atari UK PR department saying once Lynx had been released here, it'd be 1 of the fastest selling items come Xmas....

 

Strong talk, but even after Lynx, Falcon, STE etc had all arrived and for numerous reasons performed poorly, he was back again detailing how Jaguar would rip the guts out of it's 16 bit rivals and he wasn't going after Commodore etc, but Sega and Nintendo.

 

 

And Atari's realationship with UK high street chains wasn't all it could be....

 

 

Likes of John Menzies, which had been stocking the ST for years had dropped it, only to re-stock it with the Discovery Pack....

 

 

Nor was it in favour with publishers who felt Atari had taken them by surprise with the launch of the 1040 and 520STE, as they'd not had sufficient time to recode STFM games for the STE, so big name titles like Operation Wolf, Newzealand Story, Strider, Ghouls N Ghosts either didn't work or were having to be recoded once alarm was raised.....

 

It's probably due to PR gaffs like this, the press go after the failures in the way they do.

 

 

So much was promised, so little delivered and so much potential squandered.

 

 

Thought i'd include the PR quote from Lynx as it's something that seems over looked when people write on Lynx here in UK, instead we get same Ex-Atari Uk people asked same Q's 4th or 5th time around :)


Edited by Lost Dragon, 29 August 2016 - 01:58 PM.


#26 nosweargamer

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:03 PM

So even though I had the Lynx very early on it felt like very long stretches of time before any games would come out, at least in my area.  I also got a Game Gear, so should I go to Target and find a huge selection of games - none of them were Lynx.  I would have to have someone take me to one of two places that carried Lynx games, Toys R Us (totally out of the way) or Electronics Boutique (even more out of the way).  This same pattern happened during the Jaguar.  I found my self getting more Game Gear games only because it was more accessible in my area.   For what it's worth. 

 

Yeah, I can see that for your area. I'm not claiming the Lynx was a mainstream smash. I just don't understand why it is called a horrible failure?  To me, such a failure wouldn't even last a year at a Toys R Us, yet I recall it being at TRU for multiple years. Most companies would be thrilled TRU carried their product so long. According to some reports, the Lynx had a longer life than the Colecovision, Vectrex, 3DO and Sega Dreamcast! Did it ever lose money for Atari? Maybe, but I never heard it did.

 

 

FYI - Cost Comparison

Lynx  in 1989 - $179.99 (or about $349.99 in today's dollars)

Game Boy in 1989 - $89.99 (or about $174.99 in today's dollars)

 

On a side note, did TRU even carry the Jaguar? I only recall seeing it at my Babagges.


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#27 Clint Thompson

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:42 PM

Yeah, I can see that for your area. I'm not claiming the Lynx was a mainstream smash. I just don't understand why it is called a horrible failure?  To me, such a failure wouldn't even last a year at a Toys R Us, yet I recall it being at TRU for multiple years. Most companies would be thrilled TRU carried their product so long. According to some reports, the Lynx had a longer life than the Colecovision, Vectrex, 3DO and Sega Dreamcast! Did it ever lose money for Atari? Maybe, but I never heard it did.

 

 

FYI - Cost Comparison

Lynx  in 1989 - $179.99 (or about $349.99 in today's dollars)

Game Boy in 1989 - $89.99 (or about $174.99 in today's dollars)

 

On a side note, did TRU even carry the Jaguar? I only recall seeing it at my Babagges.

 

I remember the interviews with Sam Tramiel talking about the Jaguar getting into TRU but I never saw it myself. My parents purchased my Jaguar at a local Venture before they went out of business and Venture is also where I picked up my Lynx about a year later. Had it not been for the Jaguar, I wouldn't have even known about the Lynx and if memory serves correctly, in 1994 the Lynx was selling bundled with 4-games for either $99 or $129 new. I thought it was an awesome deal and actually played it quite a lot, despite not having very many games for it.


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#28 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 04:09 PM

It does make me wonder just what the critera for a system to be considered a failure is....

 

The N64 is often refered to as a failure, just because the Playstation beat it in sales.

 

Ditto the 7800 beaten by the NES, yet itself sold more than the Sega Master system in the USA.

 

The Mastersystem, often refered to as Sega's unloved console, not here in UK it wasn't

 

The Sega Megadrive, did great guns in USA, UK, but beaten hands down by PC Engine and SNES in Japan

 

 

And when people start quoting region-specific figures, do these include hardware variations?

 

Looking at the Genesis/Megadrive, would figures for the UK for example inc units sold as the Amstrad Mega PC ?.

 

 

Whilst i doubt the figures were huge, they must of accounted for something...

 

 

Ditto the sexy Sega Multimega, Wondermega, Megajet, JVC X'Eye, Genesis 3, Teradrives, Laseractive add-on units... etc

 

 

PC Engine, you have what? PC Engine, Duo, Duo R, Duo X, CoreGrafx, Shuttle, LT etc

 

 

Also why is the TurboExpress never seen as a failure then? Japan only release i assume? but figures of 1.5 Million units sold...high price appeared to put it out of reach of most gamers.....

 

 

The GBA Micro, which i love, supposed to only of sold 2.5 Million units, that puts it in same league as the Lynx then?

 

Nintendo admitted it was a dissapointment, saying :"we failed to explain it's value to our customers"


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#29 nosweargamer

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 04:58 PM

 

 

Also why is the TurboExpress never seen as a failure then? Japan only release i assume? but figures of 1.5 Million units sold...high price appeared to put it out of reach of most gamers.....

 

 

It was released in the states, but was pretty expensive. It did have a neat TV tuner accessory.  My guess is the Lynx both outsold and outlasted it in the states.


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#30 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:30 PM

Much appreciate the info No Swear, sadly never having owned a PC Engine myself (waited for that official UK release, which sadly never came, so went for the Mega Drive instead), i'm not clued up on which models were released where, just recal Games Magazines of the era reporting on latest model.

 

Do remember UK Magazine GO! from C+VG reviewing it's games but been years since i read the Turbo Express side of them, so did wonder if it saw a release elsewhere other than Japan.

 

 

 

Would it be 'fair' to assume then because of the high price/lower expectations and perhaps fact, it like the Nomad was basically a portable version of the Home Console, it gets away with the spotlight not being shone on it, the way the Lynx does?

 

 

The hardware wars' are usually viewed between a select few formats..

 

 

C64 VS ZX Spectrum Vs Amstrad CPC over here (with likes of A8, C16, BBC/Electron/MSX etc being too niche to really count)

 

ST VS Amiga, later adding PC into the mix..no one really thinks of the Acorn A3000

 

 

Mega Drive VS SNES (UK wise)

PS1 VS Saturn VS N64 etc.



#31 Justin

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:31 PM

Also why is the TurboExpress never seen as a failure then? Japan only release i assume? but figures of 1.5 Million units sold...high price appeared to put it out of reach of most gamers.....

 

 

 

It was released in the states, but was pretty expensive. It did have a neat TV tuner accessory.  My guess is the Lynx both outsold and outlasted it in the states.

 

 

 

Those are both really good points. TurboGrafx-16 in general lost out to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, yet people still avidly collect TG-16 games and speak of it fondly.

 

Why is it no discussion can be had about Atari without first apologizing and having to sit through buzzwords like "dismal failure", "worst game ever" and talk of E.T. causing the collapse of the industry? Why must everything revel in negativity and the tragic side of something that has brought so many of us so much happiness throughout our lives? We're not going to do that here.


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#32 nosweargamer

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 06:07 PM

FYI - The Turbo Express launched here for at least $249.99 in 1991 (or $440 in today's dollar) Some reports say it actually launched at $299.99 (Or $530 today) while other say it launched at 249, raised to 299 and they reduced again to 249. This was the Neo Geo of portables, another system that is highly regarded, but probably sold less units than the Lynx.

 

And it seems that being a fan of Atari comes with a lot of baggage. Whether it be the archaic look of 2600 games, ET, the 5200 joysticks, the lack of awareness of the 7800, the flip flop sized Lynx or the "utter failure" Jaguar. 

 

Nintendo on the other hand seems to get a lot of the benefit of the doubt despite the poor design of the NES (blinking screen), the hard ot see green and black Game Boy screen, the slowness of the SNES on sport games, the fog of the N64 and the lack of 3rd party support and DVD playback of the Gamecube.

 

By the way, I like both Nintendo and Atari. I'm just trying to show how you can be positive or negative of just about any system.


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#33 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 06:59 PM

From a purely observational point of view, it is...curious..to see ATARI singled out in the manner it so often is.

 

Yes, 2600 Pac-Man was a crushing dissapointment and the stunning Pac-Man 4K has shown what was possible, but history is littered with dissapointing conversions, simply rushed or farmed out, bloody hell, i've bought enough of them to know that... :)

 

C64: Commando,Road Blasters, Chase H.Q , Carrier Command....yet same hardware gave me Ikari Warriors (UK version far better than USA version), Turbo Outrun, S.C.I, Turbo Charge..... 

 

ST:Menace,  R-Type...latter being rushed out for Xmas, yet Blood Money proved what was possible.

 

Playstation 1... Duke Nukem 3D, Hexen...yet you look at Shadow Master, Life Force Tenka and Quake 2 to see how it could of handled the 1st 2, if a different coding team had been used.

 

 

Sony made the PS2 and then the PS3 far more complex to code for than the PS1 (and decide which side you want to believe, they were either responding to developers asking for more freedom to code to the metal or...they honestly did only want the bigger software houses to be able to code for it..either way the limited Ram was an utter mistake on both systems and i say that as a PS1,PS2,PS3 and PS4 owner over the years).....but hey, brand name and some deep pockets saw them able to push both systems to be a major contender each generation, PS2 espically.

 

 

The whole PSN hack, at the time? OMG it was doom and gloom time, the end was nigh, apparently..no-one would ever trust Sony again.

 

 

Remind me how PS4 is doing and PS4 VR pre-orders.....

 

 

People say the ST sound chip and awful scrolling were 'unaceptable' on a 16 bit machine...poor yes, but given ST was designed to combat the Mac and get a head start before the Amiga hit, i'd say it was something of an engineering feat they achived what they did....

 

 

Then you read how stores should of had AVP running on demo, rather than Cybermorph...well true, AVP was a far more visually impressive game, espically if you didn't understand what Cybermorph was doing compared tpo the visually impressive, but on-rails Starfox on SNES...but were Atari giving stores AVP carts for that purpose?

 

 

It is often amazing what 'sins' people will over look....

 

 

As a original GB and GBA owner, i hated those machines as the screens were a fecking nightmare, cue giving away pair of them and getting a GBA Micro+GB Player for GC at the time...

 

 

As a PS3 owner, OMG early years..NIGHTMARE, inferior versions of:Fallout 3, Bioshock, The Darkness etc on the supposed 'superior' machine...yet i stuck it out as PSN was FREE....

 

 

Now look at me, PS4 owner (but in fairness for games like Until Dawn+Bloodborne) now PAYING Sony to play online, yet servers just as bad.

 

 

 

I dunno about you guys, but just about every machine i've owned has had a hardware flaw or over sight....

 

 

Even the mighty Amiga (as i much prefered the SID chip to Paula and the much hyped HAM mode, pffff what games used it? Pioneer Plague?).

 

 

The SNES, which i had after owning a MD, sure more colours, Mode 7 and far better soundchip, but it was newer technology and was it 'acceptable' to put in a slower CPU then Internet?

 

 

3DO takes flak for it's price..right remove the extra 1Mb Ram and the CD drive, see if it can churn out likes of Need For Speed etc which streamed assests off disc, in a cheaper, cut down form...

 

ATARI messed up more times than i can recal, but then again they are in bloody good company....

 

 

 

Sinclair, Sony, Nintendo, Commodore, 3DO, Sega,SNK, Amstrad, NEC,  etc etc all fell foul of arrogance, cost cutting, you name it, yet ATARI seems to be wearing the bullseye far more often.

 

 

Never quite grasped why.



#34 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:24 PM

The other thing people often give Atari grief for, regarding Jaguar is lack of texture-mapping abilty compared to 3DO, yet look at:

 

 

CD32:Guardian, Alien Breed 3D, Liberation (Captive II) not really up there, visually with Battlemorph/Skyhammer, IS II, AVP are they?

 

How about NEC's attempt at Next-Generation hardware?

 

"iron Man" boasted 5 seperate co-processors, a 25 MHz RISC chip, 2 Mb Ram, had highly advanced 2D abilities, 24 bit colour playback...this ends up being canned....

 

 

The 5 seperate co-processors apparently end up being streamlined into a single chip and they retain it's streaming pre-rendered footage and behold the NEC PC FX...

 

 

It was 'offically' classed as a "Direct Memory Access Machine" as it channelled information directly to the video-out port, via a sequencer, rendering chip and video encoding processor...

 

 

Is Iron Man not the equiv.of Atari's Panther then it that respect? and the FX it's "Jaguar"?

 

 

So come on all you jurno's out there, lets have an article on how the much hyped FX Fighter for the PC FX or Star Soldier for Iron Man could of made a difference, if only heads were removed from sand...

 

 

Or does the fact both games shown to the press 'cheated' by displaying 3D objects over a pre-rendered backdrop (Star Soldier) or in FX fighter's case, just streaming images off CD, rather than hardware itself generating them?.

 

 

At least the Jaguar let me play a bloody superb version of Doom at fraction of the price and none of the fuss, of a PC back then.

 

And when praising latest Apple device....just remind me what happened with the Pippin once again?

 

 

Any sand spotted at Apple HQ back then?

 

:)



#35 Yo-Yo

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:33 AM

Was AVP running in a different graphics mode or with an added chip? To me AVP looks better than most stuff on 16-bit consoles short of FX chip games. Seems like it would be another story where the game required an extra chip that Jack Tramiel wouldn't have wanted to pay for.

Also, Carl Williams did post honestly about Coleco Chameleon and his article on AVP was ok but could have done w/ out the immature pot-shots at Atari. Seems like the past 10 years (since social media?) it's been non stop in articles covering Atari. Some people are fascinated by failure I guess.
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#36 Lost Dragon

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 07:51 AM

AVP runs on stock hardware, Jaguar games don't use any form of extra 'maths chips' to generate visuals, although there were rumours at the time Atari was 'considering' adding something to Jaguar CD to assist with texture-mapping as this was a weaker area compared to 3DO/PS1/Saturn etc, which it found itself competing agains't....

 

 

Mentioned this in The Jag Bar thread, but Rebellion used:

 

 

"A 24 bit colour intro sequence, character models digitized from models, rather than drawn by hand (ok, blocky, but no worse than Probes motion-captured sprites for PS1/Saturn Alien Trilogy), textures on walls formed by developers creating 'panels' which were then digitized and turned into bitmapped graphics for the game."

 

Add to that sensible use of the hardware, get Blitter to handle A.I etc, GPU to draw the panels....

 

 

So many developers simply ported Amiga/MegaDrive code to the 68000 as it was fastest way to get a title out, hence so many dissapointing games that looked little different to MD/SNES versions...

 

 

Dragon:Bruce Lee story, Fever Pitch, Pitfall:Mayan Adventure etc etc.


Edited by Lost Dragon, 30 August 2016 - 07:54 AM.


#37 Yo-Yo

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 08:53 AM

Was AVP running in a different graphics mode or with an added chip? To me AVP looks better than most stuff on 16-bit consoles short of FX chip games. Seems like it would be another story where the game required an extra chip that Jack Tramiel wouldn't have wanted to pay for.


I'm asking about AVP for the Lynx which is what this thread is about. Thanks!
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#38 Lost Dragon

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 09:03 AM

Sorry YO-YO, got crossed wires there as article mentioned Jag.

My bad ;-)

I'm not aware of any Lynx Games using any extra chips, usually developers had to fight to get he bigger sized carts, Ram wise as it was, let alone battery back up for saved games.
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#39 Lost Dragon

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 09:30 AM

Luchsentein was a very impressive FPS Engine on Lynx, no idea if it ever got past stage of 2 level tech demo.

Plus wasn't John Carmack meant to of been quoted about how he'd of used the Lynx hardware vertically,to make efficient use of it's Scaling hardware? Something to do with column stretching?

If you've ever seen Tyrannosaurus Text running on the lowly GBC you'll know just how impressive results can be via clever coding on most primitive of hardware..

 

http://www.google.co...dPphgmAmMxbej3g

 

Now given that's running on a Z80 (well variation of ) processor but at 8 Mhz, but as far as i'm aware it has none of the Lynx's Graphics hardware, so NO Blitter, Nothing like Suzy, no Maths co-processors etc, that's bloody amazing.

 

Game was sadly never released :(

 

Cart size wise, biggest carts Atari had on Lynx were 512K were they not?

 

Pitfighter, Ninja Gaiden 3 and Jimmy Connor's Tennis, with Eye Of The Beholder being the planned 4th?

 

Do we know planned cart size for AVP?.


Edited by Lost Dragon, 30 August 2016 - 09:41 AM.

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#40 Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 10:24 PM

Thank you!
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