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Why are (some) Jaguar fans so critical of the commercial Jaguar coders?

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#1 Lost Dragon

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:03 AM

In all my time following the wider Jaguar scene, as it were, the 1 thing (other than the blatant lies told about lost games at times..) that really, really does my head in, is this seeming unwillingness to accept the Jaguar hardware had shortcomings, but several more vocal 'voices' out there online...



From comments on YT claiming Rebellion were hardly pushing the Jaguar's 3D abilities with Skyhammer..ohh really? so, rather say that than praise them for creating a visual benchmark for the system, despite 3D coder leaving during project, having to be called back to finish it....



Jeff Minter slated for Tempest 2000 using the 68000 chip too heavily (hmnn, 1st Jaguar title, used GPU backwards, Blitter for dreaml-ike bonus stages etc, Saturn version cannot replicate all the special FX as it used custom Jaguar chips..)...yet Defender 2000 which used 'more' of the hardware, is a far weaker game.


Probe described as lazy for Jaguar CD Primal Rage (small sprites, long loading times..no fault of Jag only having 2Mb Ram then?)...bloody hell no-one has actually spoken to coders to get full story, to me it was a contractual obligation title, nothing more.



Rebellion slagged for not having watched any Aliens films prior to developing AVP..erm, look at SNES and Genesis Alien 3, both bloody fantastic, very different games as was Sega's Coin-Op Alien 3;The Gun, but true to film? i think not..



Nor was Konami's Aliens Coin-Op.



Dave Taylor slagged for Doom having no music, described as not very good at his job..WTF? the Jaguar DSP shortcomings been pointed out by Taylor, ATD (when coding Cybermorph), reason Native Jag CD had no sound, DSP maxed out uncompacting graphics data...



Has anyone, homebrew coding wise ever come close to coding anything 2D wise as close as Primal Rage?


Done a FPS to match Doom and had music?


A Polygon 3D game pushing more  texture-mapped polygons at better frame rate than Skyhammer?



Managed a rolling demo of Magic carpet with texture-mapped landscape? thus shaming Mike Diskett for giving up on his attempt?


Updated an Atari coin-op better than Tempest 2000?



It's really starting to p*ss a lot of us who attempt to discover what became of certain Lost Atari Games, right off as likes of Bobby Earle (Toki Goes Apeshit), Mike Diskett (Syndicate, Theme Park, Magic Carpet), Jonathan Court (Gotcha) etc who at 1 point were exchanging emails with likes of GTW, 



And why don't the critics do what rest of us have done? simply reach out and ASK the people WHY...


If you can post on a forum or YT, you can reach people via a contact email, skype, FB, Twitter etc etc.


I wasn't at all happy with the A.I in AVP on PS3, so i asked Rebellion WTF happened, got an answer.


It's that simple... 

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#2 TeddyGermany


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Posted 23 June 2017 - 08:34 AM

The bad reputation of Jaguar and Atari makes it so easy to bash the platform. The majority of people had done it back in time. It is a funny fact, that they mostly haven't played a single Jaggame. It is a partnership of ignorance and arrogance. In my eyes a dangerous mix, but i let them live in their small and rudimentary world.

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#3 Lost Dragon

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 11:11 AM

The Jaguar shouldn't be treated any differently than anything that came before it, yet it has a small number of very ..vocal..people who refuse to accept it needed more Ram, espically for PC conversions and CD Games....


The DSP simply wasn't as powerful, as that in the earlier Falcon Hardware and this caused developers very real issues...


It wasn't suited to texture-mapping compared to the 3DO or saturn, let alone PS1


So rather than say, hey you know what, it was a pretty balanced system, better 2D than the 3DO (which itself was out-gunned by the SNES in this area), better 3D than Sega's SVP Genesis Chip or the SFX Chip Mk II on SNES....


It just needed better bug testing, documentation etc...


They try and blame commercial coders for being poor or lazy or not pushing the system.


Why not simply celebrate the fact the Jaguar was doing Doom better than:32X, Saturn+3DO?


Had an Aliens game that atmosphere wise knocked the later Alien trilogy into the proverbial hat?


Had the 'better' (in terms of feel, but not visuals) Mech Game over 32X Metal Head?


Was doing G-Police long before PS1 in terms of Skyhammer?


Then simply point to titles like Black ice/White Noise which could of been the GTA of it's day...



by making poor excuses for the hardware, i feel all they are doing is feeding those who write it off without giving it a chance.

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#4 TeddyGermany


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Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:04 PM

I agree with you and a fair criticism is always all right and desirable.


There never was a perfect system and it will never be. It is all right to appoint the weak points of a system. But many people had bashed the Jag - and still do - without playing the system and knowing the weaknesses. There were many articles and reader's letters in the old magazines and today in the web.



Just as i said in another context: One idiot makes the pitch and the parrots sing the fool's anthem!

Edited by TeddyGermany, 23 June 2017 - 04:08 PM.

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#5 atarilbc


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Posted 23 June 2017 - 08:21 PM

You folks know that I love the Jaguar, but I'm far from a Jaguar apologist. The commercial developers did what they could given the limited budgets, documentation, tech support AND hardware. Could more have been done? Possibly. Has any homebrew development come close to achieving a game on the level of the best commercial developers? Not at all. And I say that as someone who is a supporter of homebrewers.

To my mind, the closest we have to a commercial caliber home release is Another World. It is excellent and much better than the contemporary ports of that game. That said, it isn't necessarily asking the Jaguar to do more than it could. I would love to see a homebrew developer make a truly excellent 3D game on par with Skyhammer, Zero 5, MC3D, AVP or Battlemorph.

Edited by atarilbc, 24 June 2017 - 11:41 AM.

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#6 Lost Dragon

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 06:18 AM

I think at this stage in the game, it IS fair to say more COULD of been done with Jaguar.


Carmack has openly talked of how we could of seen Jaguar Doom running in higher resolution, better lighting and frame rate, had he coded it from scratch for the Jaguar hardware, instead he had to cut the PC code into chunks as it were for the Jaguar RISC Chips...



Battlesphere coders talked of a rewrite increasing the polygon count slightly...


WTR Coder Lee B.has talked of a improved WTR Engine, better frame rate etc so there would of been slight improvements had the hardware stuck around, plus the 2D aspect should of been pushed a lot harder at the time.


Rebellion feel they pushed the hardware pretty damn close to what they'd learnt with Skyhammer.


But Coders would of needed to of known all the work arounds people have found, Atari would of had to of allowed them to have the cart sizes they needed etc for this to happen.



That's not making excuses, it's a reality..


I think the chances of anyone in the homebrew scene doing anything close to Zero 5, AVP, SDkyhammer etc simply isn't going to happen.


There are vague suggestions of Songbird seeing if (and it's a bloody BIG IF) Rebellion can find the 25% complete code of Legions Of The Undead, If they still have it, want to share it, it'll take years for a small team to develop it further and for what? a very limited collectors market?



For people to make illegal copies of and sell on Ebay?


I've not really followed the Doom-to-Hexen conversion on Jaguar, only my understanding is..



A)It could never be commercially released?


B)It's running on emulation, so faster?


C)The in-game music is just a looped sample?


D)PC Levels had to be chopped down to fit into Jaguar's limited Ram?



Unless someone like DML decides once his tinkering with Quake II on Falcon is done, Jaguar deserves a shot, i cannot honestly see things changing.


Lot of good coding experiments done with Road Rash on Jaguar-Possible? but will it actually lead to a real world game?

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#7 TeddyGermany


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Posted 26 June 2017 - 06:32 AM

Very good dissection of Jag's situation. And exactly that depresses me. :(

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#8 Lost Dragon

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 02:59 PM

It's bleak, but reality often is.


It's like CONSOLE:


Doom:Sure if some crack coders rig up a version with Midi out or stream music off CD, improve lighting etc...it's not going to change FACT PS1 Doom rocks due to it's CUSTOM lighting, transparency effects and atmospheric Music, then you have Final Doom, Quake 2..Jaguar coders going to match all these?


Road Rash...Something resembling 3DO game? if you want 3DO R.Rash buy a 3DO or go for slightly inferior PS1/Saturn versions.


Say Jaguar CD Return Fire was found, finished...we know it's visually not on par with 3DO version so why wait? why not buy a 3DO with it and Maps Of death or again, go for PS1/Saturn versions?


Quake? take your pick... Saturn or N64 or again Quake 2 on PS1 or better yet Dreamcast and Quake with KEYBOARD/Mouse support?



Tomb Raider? May i interest Sir/Madam in PS1/Saturn for Original? PS1 for TR 2, 3 etc?


Daytona USA? Normal or CE? Saturn awaits you.


NFS? 3DO or PS1?


Wipeout? PS1/N64 or Saturn?


You pays your money takes yer choice.The Jaguar versions would be curio's and of interest to a few, but would they justify huge tasks involved to even attempt?


I personally doubt.

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#9 TeddyGermany


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Posted 28 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

As Yoda would say: "Right you are again!"
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#10 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 04:50 AM

Sorry to go on but...


I really just don't get why som,eone would bother hacking Jaguar Doom just to add music to it.


Even after i moved on from PS1 Doom/Final Doom i was playing it on GBA, then PSP, then it turned up as an easter egg on Doom 3 HD collection on PS3 etc, so i've basically played original Doom on:


Jaguar, 32X, GBA, SNES, PC, PSP, PS3 and PS1..i'm spoilt for ruddy choice what format to play Doom on, with what type of control set up...that's before i factor in the reskin of Doom on N64.


Wouldn't time be better spent coding exclusive Jaguar games that play to it's strengths and fill gaps inon it's libary where it's lacking key titles? it's very short of RPG's for example..i'm sure Jaguar owners would love a 2D RPG along lines of Zelda or story Of thor.



How about a 2D Run N Gun to match say MD Mega Turrican?



Plus we now have yet another Knobber popping up causing enough trouble as is, without giving folks false hope Lost game code will be found.


Speculates Jaguar CONAN code might turn up..yeah it might and at same time it might also be eaten by a dragon...




In the meantime folks can seek out likes of Soul Fighter  (Dreamcast) Capcom's Dungeon And dragons on Saturn or PS3 etc.


Or better still Dragon's Crown on PS3.


All of these were finished, playable games.


Conan by comparison wasn't even 1st level done, it lacks end of level boss, so you'd have what? 5 mins gameplay?



Hoping to find code to some pretty bloody awful unreleased Jaguar code and finish that off is 1 option, but offering Jaguar owners slighty better versions of games they already own/can find superior versions of elsewhere already, i just don't see the sense in myself.

Edited by Lost Dragon, 29 June 2017 - 08:14 AM.

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#11 TeddyGermany


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Posted 01 July 2017 - 06:01 AM

You' re right again.

Oh yes, a zeldaesque game on Jag! A dream would be fulfilled!

And yes, a good Run'n Gun title, which makes use of the 2D capabilities of the Hardware makes sense even today.

Beside Towers II another RPG would be nice. The Jaguar certainly could deliver isometric graphics. Something like Landstalker on Mega Drive/Genesis.

#12 Lost Dragon

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 08:56 AM

Team 17's Witchwood would of been closest Jaguar came to Zelda at the time, though no-one at team 17 seems able to confirm work was even started on Jaguar version, though the usual suspects think code will 1 day appear by magic.


It'd be great IF Piko Interactive bought and released Genesis Hardcore on Jaguar..as that was unreleased on Genesis and i loved the look of:



Game 99% finished, wouldnt of pushed Jaguar, is blatant Turrican clone, started life on Amiga, but as SONY hold the rights to it....


But even with the bug still present, i think it'd be a superb addition to Jaguar and fill a gap.


Isometric 3D RPG's? something like Gremlin's Hero Quest/Space Crusade or The Immortal (E.A), Domarks Shadowlands/Shadow world would also of been ideal...

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