Interesting Skeleton Warriors Programming Notes

Discussion in 'Sega Saturn Programming and Development' started by Edge-`, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Edge-`

    Edge-` Active Member

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    Not sure if anyone has seen this before. Yesterday I was browsing around for some new Saturn Development stuff (as things tend to pop up randomly) and I found this page:

    http://cowboyprogramming.com/2010/06/03/1995-programming-on-the-sega-saturn/

    It contains notes from Mick West of then Neversoft about programming Skeleton Warriors for the Sega Saturn using the PSY-Q Development system. I found it to be an interesting read as it even has some code snippets.
     
  2. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

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  3. Twimfy

    Twimfy Site Supporter 2015

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    Wow, thanks for that, a really nice insight into the life of a developer living with a Saturn dev kit.
     
  4. Edge-`

    Edge-` Active Member

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    Thanks. This type of thing is really cool to me. For the Saturn specifically, a majority of the SDKs and documentation can be found floating around. The developer's experience, history and how they actually used it is what I find to be very intriguing. Though unlikely, I'd love to see more source from some of the commercially developed games for the Saturn. Most certainly more developer accounts would be insightful!
     
  5. Alchy

    Alchy Illustrious Member

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    "Currently we only use the Master SH2, the slave SH2 will be used when we get around to figuring out how."
    I wonder at the percentage of the Saturn's catalogue for which this is true.
     
  6. Edge-`

    Edge-` Active Member

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    I remember a topic about this at SegaXtreme. You could find out yourself by using SSF:

    Source: http://segaxtreme.net/community/topic/16854-use-of-slave-cpu-in-comercial-games/
     
  7. Rogue

    Rogue Intrepid Member

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    Oh, that's so cool!

    I still have to play this game, though. =/
     
  8. Piratero

    Piratero Peppy Member

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    Jesus... the code is terrible
     
  9. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  10. Yakumo

    Yakumo Pillar of the Community *****

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    How about Zero Divide? they seem to make a big deal of of using the Saturn by actually writing SH-2 on the games cover.
     
  11. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  12. Anthaemia.

    Anthaemia. The Original VF3 Fangirlâ„¢

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    A lot of Probe's conversions were single-processor efforts, or at least two are for definite. Alien Trilogy is often mentioned as an example of a game using just one of the Saturn's VDPs, plus I seem to recall a former programmer with the same team confirming that Die Hard Trilogy was similarly a one-chip game. I've often suspected that Mortal Kombat II was ported directly from the 32X code, but I'm not sure if it's another guilty title. One thing I do know about this one is that it only uses roughly 20MB, which is terrible when you consider all that leftover space could have been allocated to CD quality music tracks.

    On the other hand, later in-house Sega productions including Burning Rangers, Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force III (or was Camelot a third party by 1998?) made full use of the SCU DSP. Actually, I once read the latter employs the audio processor to help stream data faster between map and fight sections, which at least would explain a lot of the problems with sound dropout that regularly happens. There's also a rumour that AM2 was experimenting with the DSP to render basic polygonal data for the backgrounds in its unreleased Saturn version of Virtua Fighter 3... but that's a proverbial can of worms you certainly don't want me of all people to open in a hurry!
     
  13. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  14. Anthaemia.

    Anthaemia. The Original VF3 Fangirlâ„¢

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    Druid II, thanks as always for your insightful responses (not to mention clearly superior technical knowledge)... and yes, I did mean that Alien Trilogy uses just one of the SH-2s as opposed to the VDPs - that's what you get for not proof reading your own rants in advance of posting them! On the subject of Shining Force III employing the sound chip to help with streaming data between sections, this was briefly covered in an interview with a former programmer at Camelot Software Planning. I forget the exact source of this information, but it was definitely confirmed as being the cause of the many audio problems the game is known to have.

    As for the rumours about Virtua Fighter 3, I do agree that it seems odd AM2 would change from its planned course of then-recent titles not using the SCU DSP. Then again, apart from Digital Dance Mix and the backgrounds of its fighting games, AM2 was also turning its back on displaying its software in the Saturn's high resolution mode so that more features such as real time lighting and Gouraud shading could be enabled instead. There's a possibility VF3 may have seen a combination of these directions, though of course any further discussion of this would be purely conjecture on my part so I'll refrain from heading down that route for now. On the other hand, would anyone who has seen the various late-era Saturn tech demos care to provide their more educated observations and opinions?
     
  15. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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