4x4 Evolution 2: Dreamcast

Discussion in 'Unreleased Games Discussion' started by FuzzyFish, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. FuzzyFish

    FuzzyFish Rising Member

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    I've been running a project over at www.4x4evolution.com for awhile now, which has been focused on updates on mostly the PC version, with some early executable updates to 4x4 Evo 1 on the DC that I had accomplished last year. Due to some recent interest once again, and now that I've had over a year of experience playing with this engine, I'm confident I can tackle it.

    While I can't freely discuss what I do have, I'm 99% certain I can get a majority of 4x4 Evolution 2 running on the DC. I can not confirm if Terminal Reality had planned on releasing this on the Dreamcast, but there seems to be some indication that they may have at least started it. Working around some of the CPU/RAM limitations will make it interesting, but it should be entirely possible to get a large portion of it ported over. And possibly some improvements while I'm at it.

    Obstacles:
    -Conversion of a large quantity of files (Models need to be converted from plain text to binary)
    -Conversion of large quantity textures (TIFF textures need to be more PVR friendly, or reduced down to Evo 1's 256 color format)
    -I want to implement LAN / BBA support, only code I can find is some old code from DCload-IP. Not sure I have the time/hardware understanding to get it working. Might need outside help to get this working on the WinCE SDK
    -Most DC programmers won't touch the WinCE SDK with a 20 foot pole
    -Processing power/RAM limitations, DC has half the amount of RAM that the lowest end systems used in the final build. There are a lot of under the hood additions to the physics system that may pose issues (Per-polygon track object collision, improved vehicle physics, working winch to name a few)
    -Debugging/testing is slow, with out a Katana debug info has to be dumped to the screen.

    Cliffnotes: Work on finishing/porting 4x4 Evo 2 to Dreamcast has started. I'll post more information on this as progress is made.
     
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  2. Blai

    Blai Enthusiastic Member

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    Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. wombat

    wombat SEGA!

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    I'm very exited to hear that you are working on getting 4x4 Evolution 2 running on Dreamcast. Mad respect for even trying to such a mammoth job! Hopefully some other talented Dreamcast developers will help you achieve this goal.
     
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  4. MBMM

    MBMM Powered by Pied Piper

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    Kudos for the dedication. Best of luck. I'm very excited to see how this progresses. Make sure to keep us posted. Also getting in touch with -=FamilyGuy=- might not be a bad idea. He's rather skilled with DC related programming/coding.
     
  5. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    That's a nice project!

    I actually don't know much about programming for Dreamcast beside circumventing some copy protection, but I can certainly help with the selfbooting and crafting of the cdi/gdi.
     
  6. zouzzz

    zouzzz Site Supporter 2013

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  7. Esppiral

    Esppiral Enthusiastic Member

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    This is really cool.
     
  8. speedyink

    speedyink Site Supporter 2016

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    So stoked for this! I've always liked 4x4 evolution games.
     
  9. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    All I can say is thank you for giving it a try! This will make people very happy to get a real game like this ported over! Respect and thanks again for giving it a try!
     
  10. FuzzyFish

    FuzzyFish Rising Member

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    Did some work today, nothing too much mostly trying to free up resources:
    -Disabled auto-reboot on crash/show errors
    -Bumped player count to see why it crashes, turns out it is due to a lack of texture memory
    -Disabled loading of high detail tire models, DC is set to never render them.
    -Disabled loading of right-side tire models, used left-side tire models/textures and rotated 180 degrees.
    -Enough texture memory available to load 5 players without crash.

    I'll likely have to leave the player count locked to 4, as I need all the texture memory I can get at the moment.
     
  11. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Hey, I think we can all live with that. 4 players is more than enough to feel like it is a good amount of racers. That is genius what you did with the tires. If it can't render the full thing it can't render them. I think that is what you are going to have the biggest issues with is just being able to render all that other higher detailed stuff on the DC.

    I suppose you are using the PC version of Evo 2 to port assets correct? I can understand why but I wonder if any of the ports were dumbed down more so than even the PC version on lowest if any of the stuff in them might work on the DC port? I know that doesn't sound very practical but just wondering. I am thinking like physics and stuff. Perhaps the PS2 physics might be able to work on the DC with some clever hacking?

    I am no coder, so that is your department.

    Anyways, thanks a lot for the update I love to read change logs and progress reports.

    If you make any more progress let us know.
     
  12. Esppiral

    Esppiral Enthusiastic Member

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    I am pretty sure the Ps2 version is dumbed down compared to the PC/Xbox version, it should be easy to port from there, but it all depends on which version the source code came from.
     
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  13. FuzzyFish

    FuzzyFish Rising Member

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    I have a pretty good list of all the differences/nuances. Some of this might be inaccurate as it's all off the top of my head.

    Dreamcast: (Evo 1)
    -Track texture is one large twiddled RGB565 file, vs. individual 256-color tiles.
    -Models are stored in a binary format, vs. plain text. (Faster loading)
    -Various graphics options toned down
    -Locked to 4 players vs. 8 (Will force online games with PC players to 4)
    -Lower-res terrain textures (Not really an issue at 640x480)
    -Dial-up online support, multi-platform
    -Downloadable track support (DLC before DLC was cool & something you paid for)

    PS2: (Evo 2)
    -No online support
    -Lowest quality of all versions of Evo 2

    XBox: (Evo 2)
    -Highest visual quality, this includes PC version (Not resolution)
    -Model bump mapping enabled
    -Distance terrain texture 1024x1024 (Was 256x256 on all other versions)
    -High detail shadows
    -More random vegetation rendered, almost double.
    -No online support (Might be able to fix this, but I have no hardware to test it with)

    PC: (Evo 2)
    -Somewhere between PS2, and XBox visually (Excluding screen resolution)
    -Online support
    -Full mod support

    Gamecube: (Evo 2)
    -Final build of the game (Supercedes PC build)
    -Graphically similar to XBox build
    -Different menus color
    -Different UI art
    -Start with $100,000
    -Mud tires can be purchased (No performance difference)
    -In-game map is a square Alpine GPS unit
    -4 extra trucks, and 5 extra tracks
    -No online support
    -Purchased trucks came with parts
    -Single player tracks had to be unlocked
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  14. pato

    pato Resolute Member

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    Wait, so the Xbox version of Evo 2 is better than the PC one?
     
  15. FuzzyFish

    FuzzyFish Rising Member

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    It's subjective, the Xbox version has most in the way of special effects (In theory, I don't have an Xbox to play it). However, the PC version can support considerably higher resolutions/draw distances to offset this. Despite the bumpmaps being available and loaded into memory they are forced off on the PC, high-detail shadows are broken for a reason I haven't been able to fix yet as well.
     
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  16. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Yeah Xbox used some special effects that even PC didn't use. You notice it a lot in games like conkers.
     
  17. Blai

    Blai Enthusiastic Member

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    Nice to see this going
     
  18. Esppiral

    Esppiral Enthusiastic Member

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    Visual reference.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Yeah it is clear that the water, shaders and textures are best on the Xbox version. I always liked how the machine did many early Depth of field tricks and certain other nice effects I really never seen used on the PC versions of the same games. I guess it is a case of maximizing the potential of that particular GPU on the Xbox to get the most out of it. Where as many PC gpu's would lack those features even though technically PC is superior hardware wise.
     
  20. FuzzyFish

    FuzzyFish Rising Member

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    A lot of people don't recall the standards wars that were going on at the time. Glide (3dfx), PVR, Rendition, D3D, OpenGL, and quads vs. triangles (NV1/Saturn) all had differing ways of handling things, and the dust was just settling in 2000. If you were programming something on one console, it was almost guaranteed it would work on all of them. On PC you had to deal with so many variations on hardware, that an effect that worked on one PC might not work on the next, or any others for that matter.

    On the note of progress, attempting to apply the updated physics. However this will be a lengthy/difficult task, have a lot of fixing to do.
     
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