shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby DarkLord » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:48 pm

I've never cared for, or desired, the concept of "just like the Amiga"...

What has always made me happy, is when I see a game, or any app
for that matter, that takes full advantage of what the ST/STe/Falcon
can do.

Too often, that has not happened... :(
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby keops » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:04 pm

punkrulesok wrote:I think at this point it could be good to compile a list of all "beast" style Intros, Demos or Games


"Kill the Beast" fullscreen in Vodka demo By Equinox

vodkademobeast.gif
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby christos » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:24 pm

keops wrote:
punkrulesok wrote:I think at this point it could be good to compile a list of all "beast" style Intros, Demos or Games


"Kill the Beast" fullscreen in Vodka demo By Equinox

vodkademobeast.gif


So keops, in my "expert" opinion, SOTB could have been done way better on the ST (of course not the same as on the amiga). What's your expert opinion? And do you think they could actually fill a game in the demo?
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby birdy-scc » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:21 am

Shadow of The Best more like... hur hur.

I'm amazed that it was the best selling game over 2 years - unless those years were 2008-09

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:48 am

birdy-scc wrote:Shadow of The Best more like... hur hur.
I'm amazed that it was the best selling game over 2 years - unless those years were 2008-09


pseudo-3D... parallax scrolling :lol:
It's like a 3D game back then, that's why.
Of course in 2008-09 we are talking about real 3D like Crysis.
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:02 pm

DarkLord wrote:What has always made me happy, is when I see a game, or any app
for that matter, that takes full advantage of what the ST/STe/Falcon
can do.
Too often, that has not happened... :(


Don't it use hardware scrolling??
I remembered this game, my friends like it but I never liked platform games.
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby DarkLord » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:48 pm

wongck wrote:
DarkLord wrote:What has always made me happy, is when I see a game, or any app
for that matter, that takes full advantage of what the ST/STe/Falcon
can do.
Too often, that has not happened... :(


Don't it use hardware scrolling??
I remembered this game, my friends like it but I never liked platform games.


Hey. I liked SOTB, don't get me wrong - it just makes me feel sad when I see things
like unreleased and now forever gone 1 meg (vs 512k) versions were done that
played so much better... :(
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby ozy2000 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:25 am

Well personally I would say yes the ST version could be better even in 512k but it would never be the same as the Amiga version for obvious reasons.

32 colours per scanline
4096 colour palette
28khz 4 channel DACs for sound
Copper (which can actually do more than just palette switches btw)
Blitter (now I will assume these are more or less the same speed given the ST uses 1 less bitplane)

All in a trade off for 12.5% less 68000 speed.

The truth is Beast 1 Forest level is designed around the Amiga hardware, the Sega and Nintendo 16 bit versions do not look or sound anywhere as good as the Amiga version let alone any hockum about using the original unchanged 32 colour Amiga graphics which is magically possible due to an extra 512k of spare ram. Also notice it is a hit and run post someone did and never came back to validate.

I call bluff on that comment because unlike rubbish like Xenon II on Amiga which DID use the same 16 colour graphics on both, Beast 1 needs 32 colours per scanline to use those graphics. So even if you have 4mb it will not look and sound as good. It doesn't have the sound hardware to match the Amiga, it doesn't have a full width screen mode due to C64 style border around screen and the Amiga version uses more than 200 pixels down via the 256 vertical resolution full screen PAL mode. So even a Mega STE could not match the A500 version to be fair.

However at the same time I do also believe Beast to be the coding work of an 'average' coder. It certainly could have been better. At no time did I play this game versus other 512k ST games and think wow this is excellent because Factor 5 worked greater miracles IMO with just 512k on a stock Amiga. It could and should have turned out nicer, some of the colour reduced graphics could also have been drawn better IMO (but that's down to the artist not coder) and the YM tune is better turned off at the volume switch IMO.

As to the game? People moan about the gameplay, why? What is wrong with the gameplay? Beast is an arcade game, do people go into arcades and then expect Ultima IV style RPG stats and missions and other crap after inserting their coin into Rastan Saga II machine? No they don't. And Shadow of the Beast looks better than some mid 80s coin ops with it's 1983-84 designed custom chips, now that is pure technical genius of RJ/Jay/Dave in full force right there. The game plays fine unless you are a wet blanket RPG freak IMO. If we had more Beast 1 looking and playing games and less rubbish like Xenon II or ChaseHQ (those two also apply to ST as bad games btw) then both companies may have lasted longer. ALL Megadrive games were the best they could possibly be ALL the time. 95% of the time we got less than genius coding and sometimes pretty damned incompetent coding on the Amiga and half the time on the ST too looking at what TCB managed in a game.

It's not all bad though, the best version of Gauntlet is still Gauntlet 1 on the Atari ST so custom chips or not, being first is sometimes all it takes to get the best version :) There are quite a few games that didn't make it onto the Amiga due to that period when only the A1000 was for sale. Imagine even converted Slapfight to the ST and also Tai-Pan and US Gold also did Road Runner too (another excellent ST exclusive I owned)

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby calimero » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:33 am

DarkLord wrote:I know that marketing is marketing, and you have to go to where the sales are, but
how many times have we come to regret writing to the lowest common denominator!

:(

they could look otherway arround:

SOB was no.1 seller for two years for Atari ST -

- if it would be 1MB game only with even better graphics/scrooling how many people would buy memory expansion only becouse of SOB? :)
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby dml » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:31 am

I remember similar battles trying to get STE enhancements past publishers. The easiest way was to do it without anyone knowing, but that meant adding quite a bit of risk to the project so it wasn't a wise thing to do unless you were absolutely sure it would not cause a problem. It was also a bit pointless doing something behind the scenes if it didn't stand out in an obvious way - which would then cause a different kind of problem when it got noticed!

After much discussion and many attempts by me to get STE stuff done, the place I worked for just decided not to deal with STE because it made the contracts more complicated and the publishers didn't want to upset the apple cart with the Amiga being the intended lead platform. etc. etc. it was just all too much trouble for everyone involved. Fun eh?

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby nativ » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Bit of a poor show really, If you consider that Atari consoles created the home market for video games, and it was the ST that got the 16 games attention before the a500. Sounds like they painted themselves into a corner.

I did like Cisco Heat for the STe enhancements Mirrorsoft were one of the few do STe games, Ocean was abysmal leaving it till the last releases !

Might have thought there would have been a good budget release scene from all the back catalogue, but that never happened. Obviously a few flaws with the 16 bit era...
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby FedePede04 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:00 pm

i do understand it from a money point of view, if not many had the STE, when it would take much longer to do, it would nearly be to different version. and the longer it took the more money it would cost.

but two fast things, they could have done, was use the STE palette, and it sample sound, it should not have taken much time to put that into the game.
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby Stefan jL » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:17 am

ozy2000 wrote:As to the game? People moan about the gameplay, why? What is wrong with the gameplay? Beast is an arcade game, do people go into arcades and then expect Ultima IV style RPG stats and missions and other crap after inserting their coin into Rastan Saga II machine? No they don't. And Shadow of the Beast looks better than some mid 80s coin ops with it's 1983-84 designed custom chips, now that is pure technical genius of RJ/Jay/Dave in full force right there. The game plays fine unless you are a wet blanket RPG freak IMO. If we had more Beast 1 looking and playing games and less rubbish like Xenon II or ChaseHQ (those two also apply to ST as bad games btw) then both companies may have lasted longer.


Bad because it is a arcade game? No it is bad because of the gameplay and funny you mention Rastan Saga 2 as an example of arcade game because that game is also having crap gameplay :D

I do think Xenon 2 is a good game, not a masterpeice though and just like Shadow of the Beast so does it get extra points for the faboulus graphics :)
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby DarkLord » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:32 am

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like Xenon II? That was a very cool game with
a nice soundtrack...
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby ryo » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:58 pm

nobody has programmed in a beautiful conversion of ST ? A STOB competition ?

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby joefish » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:02 pm

Personally, I think SotB on the ST could have been a lot better, if simply the same resources that had obviously gone into the Amiga version had gone into the ST version.

The Amiga version had the graphics designed specifically for its dual-playfield mode, with 8 colours in each plane. From the trees that whizz past behind the titles, you can see the designers could have just as easily rendered things in a reduced palette; with the trees in 3 colours (maybe a palette change part-way down) and the background mountains in 3 colours, the ST could have pulled off the parallax scrolling using its four bitplanes in pairs. That way it would only have been about scrolling, not masking layers.

Better yet, if the background was just done in 2 colours (with a palette switch between clouds / mountains / grass / fence) and a rasterised sky, that would have left four colour indexes unused and available to change dynamically for all the sprites that need to be drawn, much like the sprite palette varies along the way in the Amiga original.

It may not have acheived 50fps (the demos that do cheat a lot in confining sprites to narrow regions of the screen), but it could have been better than it was.

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby Stefan jL » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:52 pm

Just noticed the story scenes between levels is in medium resolution, never though of that before :)
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby DarkLord » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:47 pm

Hmm, does that mean the opening screen and following story is probably in med
res as well? They look pretty sharp. (ending screens as well?)
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby Stefan jL » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:59 pm

It is the screens with the scrolling text that is in medium resolution... or well.. the screens is squeezed are STEEM wich i guess means it is medium res :)

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby Cyprian » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:11 pm

ozy2000 wrote:32 colours per scanline
4096 colour palette
28khz 4 channel DACs for sound
Copper (which can actually do more than just palette switches btw)
Blitter (now I will assume these are more or less the same speed given the ST uses 1 less bitplane)

All in a trade off for 12.5% less 68000 speed.

just to precise, 12.5% is valid for 4 and less bitplane mode. In case of 32 colour mode (6 bitplane mode) it is about 32.5% less 68000 speed
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby dlfrsilver » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:34 am

when did you got these numbers ?
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby Cyprian » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:21 pm

just calculated how many free memory slots are left for CPU in ST (4bitplans) and in Amiga 4 bitplanes and 6bitplanes
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby dlfrsilver » Thu May 14, 2015 11:32 pm

Cyprian wrote:
ozy2000 wrote:32 colours per scanline
4096 colour palette
28khz 4 channel DACs for sound
Copper (which can actually do more than just palette switches btw)
Blitter (now I will assume these are more or less the same speed given the ST uses 1 less bitplane)

All in a trade off for 12.5% less 68000 speed.

just to precise, 12.5% is valid for 4 and less bitplane mode. In case of 32 colour mode (6 bitplane mode) it is about 32.5% less 68000 speed


Just for the record, 4 bpl is 16 colors, 5 bpl 32 colors, and 6 bpl 64 colors (amiga half-bright mode).
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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby lostdragon » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:32 pm

Wowza.I totally missed this interview until now.

Bloody superb stuff and just the sort of insight i longed to see from likes of Edge/RetroGamer and Gamestm as a magazine subscriber, whenever they covered either the ST or SOTB, but sadly the ST version was so often over looked.

You've made my day by sharing this post.

Might be an old 1, but it's bloody great.

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Re: shadow of the beast ST (Mark mc cubbin here)

Postby dlfrsilver » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:56 pm

You're welcome :)
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