Jaguar vs Falcon

All about games on the Falcon, TT & clones

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leech
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Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by leech »

I'm curious, and maybe this should go into the 'Hardware' category, but throwing it in here since it's specifically about Games and capabilities between these two systems.

I was watching some videos about Falcon specific games, and Moongames came up. This really reminds me of Hoverstrike on the Jaguar.

While the Jaguar was released about a year after the Falcon, and it seems to me the R&D was probably from different teams, but how far behind is the Falcon from the Jaguar as far as capabilities? It's been many years since I had known all the specs on the Jag, but it seems to me both had a DSP, Jag had dedicated Graphics and Sound chips in them, while the 68k was meant for 'boot up'. And I know there have been efforts to port games from the Atari ST to the Jaguar, but could we see something like the Falcon versions of Ishar ported to the Jag? or maybe see the opposite, Rayman ported to the Falcon?

I feel, with the exception of the beautiful demos out there, the Falcon never really got pushed to it's limits. Granted I suppose the same could probably be said of the Jaguar. Especially the JagCD. I also feel that maybe Atari could have saved more face if they'd just slapped the Jaguar Tom/Jerry into the Falcon040 case and released it in a similar setup to the XEGS (console+computer). Granted they were already cutting too many corners here and there, and even the magazines at the time were picking up on that fact (I remember when the Falcon was released, it was blasted for having a slower processor than Atari's previous king, and a slower bus, etc). If they'd either skipped the Falcon030 release, or released it at the same time as the 040, and hadn't dropped all computer support in favor of releasing a console....

But then again, I think the writing was on the wall with their computer line, but they hadn't released a dedicated game console since the 7800, and that was two years too late to be relevant. I just kind of find it odd, yet fascinating how such a huge initial success was swallowed up by a corporation that complete destroyed the video game market through their greed, only to make one of the greatest innovators in the industry just fade away into something that currently has very little to do with what it used to be.

Don't get me wrong, I think Infogrames made so great games.. they just didn't make some of the best ones ever like Atari did, not to mention some of their fantastic hardware.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by 1st1 »

There was the idea to integrate the Jaguar chipset into a future Falcon, but this was not realized. But one thing on Jaguar chipset is unclear to me: Does it support higher resolutions than TV set modes (PAL/NTSC). like Videl does (800x600 and many others)? Without higher VGA resolutions such a Falcon with Jaguar chipset would have been incompetitive with the PC. Falcon still was in 1992 when it appeared.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by mfro »

Never had a Jag myself, but when reading through the docs available, it appears to me that the Jag chipset was nailed together in haste and contained a huge number of serious bugs that didn't allow it to really show its capabilities and made it a pain to code.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by Eero Tamminen »

leech wrote:I feel, with the exception of the beautiful demos out there, the Falcon never really got pushed to it's limits.
I think Douglas actually did that with BadMood. Better late than never! :-)
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by leech »

I still need to try that, my Falcon has been flaky lately... I need to replace the NVRAM again, I think I messed it up somehow.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by calimero »

Jaguar have much more bandwidth for moving sprites around than Falcon.
3D wise, Jaguar also can push more pixels than Falcon... You have Doom on both now so you can compare ;) On Jaguar Doom is supersmooth and on Falcon despite ultrahigh level of optimization and DSP utilisation it is still 3-4x time slower.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by christos »

calimero wrote:Jaguar have much more bandwidth for moving sprites around than Falcon.
3D wise, Jaguar also can push more pixels than Falcon... You have Doom on both now so you can compare ;) On Jaguar Doom is supersmooth and on Falcon despite ultrahigh level of optimization and DSP utilisation it is still 3-4x time slower.
The framerate on jaguar doom is about 15-17fps. It's around 12 for the falcon. I wouldn't call it 3 or 4 times faster.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by EvilFranky »

Jaguar Doom isn't 3-4x faster than BadMood.

And you have to take into account BadMood is running the full Doom WAD with nothing missing, music, plus enhancements and the fact Doug has mentioned that a FULL rewrite (BadMood is based off the old code from 1997??) would extract further performance but would have been too much work.

Jaguar Doom is smoother, but at the expense of quality.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by dml »

Yeah its hard to compare Doom on the two systems because they aren't really 1:1. Jag game code was rewritten by ID to make it run fast on a console - the Falcon one uses ported PC code with F030 bandages applied and tickrate throttled. The maps are also quite different, and vary dramatically in expense. The jag ones were selected down to work well on it.


For the record - this is the Falcon version running the full game code, but with the AI 'paused' to kill some of the expense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkW_W3u3Q-s

The window is not full size, but it is using full resolution pixels (not chunky columns, like the Jaguar) so the rendering width is a good bit larger than the Jag- while height is smaller. I don't have a video of it using chunky columns at full size but the speed is similar. The raw viewer runs faster still - since it's doing nothing but drawing and isn't capped at 12hz.


The Jaguar really has the edge since it can hardware-blit textured spans and columns in a single shot (or GPU them direct to the framebuffer). The Falcon can't do either of those things. Still they aren't *so* far apart in performance despite this.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by christos »

dml wrote:Yeah its hard to compare Doom on the two systems because they aren't really 1:1. Jag game code was rewritten by ID to make it run fast on a console - the Falcon one uses ported PC code with F030 bandages applied and tickrate throttled. The maps are also quite different, and vary dramatically in expense. The jag ones were selected down to work well on it.
Is it possible to run the jag wads on the falcon?
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by TXG/MNX »

nope not directly I think the Jag wad file is not 1:1 compatible with other wads.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by calimero »

christos wrote:
calimero wrote:Jaguar have much more bandwidth for moving sprites around than Falcon.
3D wise, Jaguar also can push more pixels than Falcon... You have Doom on both now so you can compare ;) On Jaguar Doom is supersmooth and on Falcon despite ultrahigh level of optimization and DSP utilisation it is still 3-4x time slower.
The framerate on jaguar doom is about 15-17fps. It's around 12 for the falcon. I wouldn't call it 3 or 4 times faster.
really?!?
I never saw it in person, but I got impression (from magazines, youtube, interviews...) that it runs at 30FPS all the time: "best console doom ever"...!

So Doom on Jaguar is not even 320x200 but it use double resolution on X axis?!? :)
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by leech »

Doom on Jaguar is also missing the music in game, right? Many reviews had said that it would have been the best version of Doom if it had the music and the last level had been the same. The levels (as I recall them) were almost completely the exact same as the PC version, except for the last one or two were different (and if I recall, one of those levels was actually a bit better than the level in the PC version) I'd have to look that up though, since that's memory from almost 20 years ago...
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by Omikronman »

Crown of Creation 3D pushed the Falcon to its limits too! :)
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by soviet9922 »

The jaguar doom use the DSP to do graphic processing.
This was implemented by Romero himself.
That is the reason because theres no music in the game, also i suppose that when i imagine a jaguar based falcon it should have a 68030 and the jag have just a 68000.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by leech »

soviet9922 wrote:The jaguar doom use the DSP to do graphic processing.
This was implemented by Romero himself.
That is the reason because theres no music in the game, also i suppose that when i imagine a jaguar based falcon it should have a 68030 and the jag have just a 68000.
Oops, I guess I forgot to mention in my original post that the build out of the Falcon040 was what I was thinking should have had the Tom/Jerry in it.

So yeah, an 040+ would have been in this imaginary / kick ass TOS machine.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by Hazzardus »

edit: was too off topic. Moved my original post to chat instead:
http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 17#p323517
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by mikro »

soviet9922 wrote:The jaguar doom use the DSP to do graphic processing.
This was implemented by Romero himself.
John Romero is a designer. Maybe you're confusing it with the statement that he had to redesign some of the levels to fit Jaguar architecture/limits.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by leech »

Yeah, I thought Carmack was the engine guy.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by soviet9922 »

mikro wrote:
soviet9922 wrote:The jaguar doom use the DSP to do graphic processing.
This was implemented by Romero himself.
John Romero is a designer. Maybe you're confusing it with the statement that he had to redesign some of the levels to fit Jaguar architecture/limits.
I believe reading that from some interview i found on the web, but my memory could be wrong.

Here is the DSP thingy history
http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Atari_Jaguar

The Jaguar version is the only console port that does not feature any music during gameplay. This is because Jaguar's mathematics co-processor DSP chip also handles playing music. As Doom uses the DSP for most of the collision detection and other things, the DSP does not have enough free cycles to process music while running the other game functions. The port does, however, have music for the title and intermission screens. Possibly due to lack of music in the maps, the intermission screens feature renditions of selected tracks from the PC version soundtrack instead of a dedicated intermission track.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by leech »

Omikronman wrote:Crown of Creation 3D pushed the Falcon to its limits too! :)
I played a bit of this on my PowerPad! It is seriously awesome, but wow am I terrible at it. Second mission, got hit a few times and my flight control was damaged so I just kept wandering around and couldn't hit anything after that.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by Cyprian »

Falcon's DSP is 32MHz and in the best case can run two (three?) instructions in one cycle. Jaguar's DSP/GPU is 26MHz and max is 1 instruction per cycle.
Therefore in case of raw power, Falcon is the winner.

But there is one important factor, Jaguar has much efficient main RAM. And GPU/DSP has direct access to the main RAM (GPU 32bit wide, DSP 16bit wide) I'm not sure - 5 or 6 cycles per the main memory access. Also data can be moved with the blitter.
In case of Falcon, DSP has access to the main RAM through DMA (IIRC 800KB/s) or through the 8bit Host Port to the 68030.
In terms of the amount of data transferred, Jaguar is the winner.
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by marss »

An informative thread about an enhanced version of doom on Jaguar... https://atariage.com/forums/topic/29564 ... /#comments
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Re: Jaguar vs Falcon

Post by mrbombermillzy »

Ive been trying out some graphics routines on the TT for a while, but some of what I have discovered also seems to apply to the Falcon/Jag.

As far as I can see, the planar modes for sprite based games are the main speed problem when using an 030 at over 4bpp. The Falcon and TT both lack any graphical acceleration so suffer when using 8 bitplanes for this. The F030 has a packed pixel mode which would have sped things up in this instance, but unfortunately its high colour only, which is a speed penalty so not as effective as it could have been.

However, there are a few geniuses here who can harness the 56001 to take some of the burden. Thats the way the Falcon can better the Jag in certain circumstances.

On the other hand, I dont think there were many cases of the Jag being properly utilised.

The best person to ask that I know of would be Doug Little, as he has done some phenomenal work for both systems.

I know he posted above, but it would be interesting to hear his view from a sprite 2D game perspective.
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