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AuthorTopic: Lets talk: Alien Breed  (Read 5870 times)

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Offline Kesa

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Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2010, 12:43:50 PM »
Quote from: Karlos;590470
It was no lower resolution than existing doom clones of the same period, most of which were far less polished.

I originally finished that game on a basic A1200. Whilst some of the later levels had moments that were interactive slide shows*, a bit of tenacity goes a long way. Maybe you just sucked at playing it :lol:

*when I got my first accelerator card, it was a completely different story. Completely fluid at all times.

Rubbish. Doom was far superior. But it has certain traits that annoy me though. When i tried to get around the back of the demons to see what they looked like from behind i got really frustrated because i couldn't do it. 2 years later i figured it out. The demons were only 2D and not 3D and they rotate to match your view head on. It took me that long to figure it out. What a waste of 2 years    :madashell:  

I'm sorry but for me Alien Breed 3D will always be the game that put the nails in the coffin for amiga. This is the game that made me sell my cd32 for next to nothing in 1996 and buy a playstation one and ironically introduced me to doom  :rolleyes:

You don't think i can play well? I'm the best doom player i have ever seen!   :cool:
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 12:47:34 PM by Kesa »
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Offline jj

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Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2010, 12:59:07 PM »
Think you need to re-read the post. Doom CLONES
“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Karlos

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2010, 01:17:21 PM »
Quote from: JJ;590476
Think you need to re-read the post. Doom CLONES

Quite.

Quote
I'm sorry but for me Alien Breed 3D will always be the game that put the nails in the coffin for amiga. This is the game that made me sell my cd32 for next to nothing in 1996 and buy a playstation one and ironically introduced me to doom

Ironic indeed, since after the release of AB3D1, suddenly every man and his dog was out to better it on the platform. AB3D1 showed that fully textured 3D FPS games are possible on a modest amiga, despite the long running belief that a lack of chunky pixel mode made it impossible. It ran on 14MHz 020; Doom, OTOH doesn't even get out of bed on a 16MHz 386. After it's release, we started to see games that actually required accelerator cards to run respectably since people were interested in pushing the envelope. With a bit more CPU power, C2P was possible and with it, full screen 1x1 Doom clones. Eventually, doom itself, the game that John Carmack himself insisted was "impossible" on the Amiga was ported (but not until Quake already had been).

Of course, these wouldn't have ran on your CD32, not without a CPU upgrade at least. IIRC, DoomAttack runs very respectibly on CD32+SX32.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 01:33:04 PM by Karlos »
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Offline Amiga_Nut

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2010, 01:35:16 PM »
My personal opinion on the 2D Alien Breed games was that they were nice enough but no match for the Sega Alien Syndrome coin-op on which these games were based initially.

Never played any 3D FPS games on the Amiga including the AB 3D series, and not likely to given the cost of accelerator cards on ebay :)

I would be interested to know two things.

What is the best Amiga specific FPS, is it actually AB 3D v1?
What is the best Doom engine to run Doom WAD files on Amiga A1200?
 

Offline Karlos

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2010, 02:37:11 PM »
Quote from: Amiga_Nut;590482
I would be interested to know two things.

What is the best Amiga specific FPS, is it actually AB 3D v1?

Personally, I'd say it was one of the most ground breaking of the "first generation" of amiga "chunky copperscreen" doom clones (said games all used various copper tricks to fake a chunky pixel display, later games just used chunky to planar conversion which by the time you get to 68040 takes no more time than plain writing data to chip RAM). Pitted against the likes of gloom and fears, it stands right out, both technically and in terms of atmopshere.

Technical highlights of AB3D1 included (but are not limited to):

Arbitrarily angled zones
Contrast with Fears, which was largely "rectangular" (even later titles like Breathless and Genetic Species followed the simpler wolfenstein-esque "by blocks" method of laying out maps).

Variable height zones, with lifts, stairs etc.
Contrast with Gloom (and later, Genetic Species) in which each level was completely flat.

Vertically split zones
Allowed for two levels in the same zone. Doom itself didn't have this. I think only Duke Nukem 3D had a similar feature.

Shaded texture mapping
Of all contemporary amiga doom clones, this was pretty much unique to AB3D1 and improved in AB3D2. As well as being textured, walls and floors were Gouraud shaded from vertex to vertex to produce smoother lighting effects. Doom-style sharp changes in lighting between zones were still possible.

Transparent water / refraction
As above, no other amiga doom clone had water effects to match. It was a shame that the water ripple texture animated per frame, which made it look a bit too fast on quicker machines, but overall the effect was very nice indeed. To be honest, it's only since the advent of "refraction shaders" in modern 3D that I've seen it done significantly better. A nice touch was that once you went under the water, the palette was subtly modified and the audio filter enabled. The liquid effects in Doom were frankly rubbish in comparison, nothing more than animated floor textures that you didn't even sink into to any depth. Quake's were better, but still lacked any transparency (pre OpenGL at least) and while the screen-space refraction effects under water were cool, they were totally unrealistic. Refraction only happens at the interface between materials like air and water.

Polygon models
Like Doom and the various amiga doom clones, the game mostly 2D used sprites for enemies, collectables etc. However, it was capable of using models too, though the only examples to be seen are the various wall lights and the mid-game boss, a grenade lobbing robot walker.


Pseudo RGB rendering
Probably not unique to AB3D1 as a "chunky copperscreen" engine, the hardware banging display code allowed it to basically render all the visuals using 4096 colours, essentially giving you a pseudo RGB 12-bit mode. The benefits of this are a bit subjective as the colour resolution is only 12 bits but no doubt it helped with the shading effects.

Beyond all these, it just had the right atmosphere. Tense and uneasy with the prospect of a sudden and violent death round the next bend...

I should point out that you can't criticise Gloom for it's gameplay however, it was enormous fun, especially in two player mode.

AB3D2 was likewise technically very impressive. As a 1x1 pixelmode capable C2P based renderer, it went back to 256 colours only but thanks to a careful palette selection (and the fact the palette entries are 24-bit) and the use of dithering (which I never noticed until getting a proper monitor), it looked very nice. The shading had been improved allowing for realtime lighting effects from weapon shots, explosions etc. Polygon models featured a lot more, including all weapons and several enemies. Even the 2D sprites were given light maps to make them fit better. There was also a greater freedom of view using the same sort of look up/down technique that was used by Duke Nukem 3D.

Unfortunately, the game seemed somewhat rushed. It probably didn't help that not enough people were working on it. Frankly you need a 68060 (or emulator) to play it to it's full potential, on my 040 it had moments where it was very slow. A lot of the sprites seemed hurried and didn't really have enough animation or directional views. Unlike sprites in Doom, which typically had up to 8 unique views for each animation frame (for viewing at different rotational angles), there were only 4 views. The level design just wasn't as interesting as the first, either.

For all the technical feats, there was a definite sense of let down. I still enjoyed it but felt a bit sad that it could have been that much better as a game too.

Quote
What is the best Doom engine to run Doom WAD files on Amiga A1200?

I haven't played in a long time but on my old 68040, DoomAttack was easily one of the most fully featured, including a lot of features not present in the original version of Doom, such as being able to look up and down with manual aim (as opposed to simply facing the general direction of the enemy and firing), jump etc.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 02:44:07 PM by Karlos »
int p; // A
 

Offline fishy_fiz

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2010, 09:19:04 AM »
Has anyone ever played with the AB3D2:TKG editors ? Would be fun to recreate some AB3D1 levels with the sequels engine.
Also, has anyone tried any of the various patches for AB3d2 ? I've used the RTG one, but no others. Do the speedup patches for custom chipset amigas make much of a difference ?
It seems there's a bit of potential there for inclined people to have a bit of amiga specific fps creative fun, but Ive seen very few attempts. I assume there's a reason for this ?
Near as I can tell this is where I write something under the guise of being innocuous, but really its a pot shot at another persons/peoples choice of Amiga based systems. Unfortunately only I cant see how transparent and petty it makes me look.
 

Offline Karlos

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2010, 09:45:34 AM »
Quote from: fishy_fiz;590697
Has anyone ever played with the AB3D2:TKG editors ? Would be fun to recreate some AB3D1 levels with the sequels engine.
Also, has anyone tried any of the various patches for AB3d2 ? I've used the RTG one, but no others. Do the speedup patches for custom chipset amigas make much of a difference ?
It seems there's a bit of potential there for inclined people to have a bit of amiga specific fps creative fun, but Ive seen very few attempts. I assume there's a reason for this ?


I have, but they're not terribly friendly. I did make some weapon/pickup models, reintroduced some of the sprites that were left out and modified the existing levels a bit. I did think about redoing the original game but never got around to it.

If I can find that old mod, I might upload it somewhere. For some reason, it crashes the RTG patch badly though.
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Offline runequester

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Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2010, 07:56:48 PM »
Quote from: Karlos;590487
Personally, I'd say it was one of the most ground breaking of the "first generation" of amiga "chunky copperscreen" doom clones (said games all used various copper tricks to fake a chunky pixel display, later games just used chunky to planar conversion which by the time you get to 68040 takes no more time than plain writing data to chip RAM). Pitted against the likes of gloom and fears, it stands right out, both technically and in terms of atmopshere.

Technical highlights of AB3D1 included (but are not limited to):

Arbitrarily angled zones
Contrast with Fears, which was largely "rectangular" (even later titles like Breathless and Genetic Species followed the simpler wolfenstein-esque "by blocks" method of laying out maps).

Variable height zones, with lifts, stairs etc.
Contrast with Gloom (and later, Genetic Species) in which each level was completely flat.

Vertically split zones
Allowed for two levels in the same zone. Doom itself didn't have this. I think only Duke Nukem 3D had a similar feature.

Shaded texture mapping
Of all contemporary amiga doom clones, this was pretty much unique to AB3D1 and improved in AB3D2. As well as being textured, walls and floors were Gouraud shaded from vertex to vertex to produce smoother lighting effects. Doom-style sharp changes in lighting between zones were still possible.

Transparent water / refraction
As above, no other amiga doom clone had water effects to match. It was a shame that the water ripple texture animated per frame, which made it look a bit too fast on quicker machines, but overall the effect was very nice indeed. To be honest, it's only since the advent of "refraction shaders" in modern 3D that I've seen it done significantly better. A nice touch was that once you went under the water, the palette was subtly modified and the audio filter enabled. The liquid effects in Doom were frankly rubbish in comparison, nothing more than animated floor textures that you didn't even sink into to any depth. Quake's were better, but still lacked any transparency (pre OpenGL at least) and while the screen-space refraction effects under water were cool, they were totally unrealistic. Refraction only happens at the interface between materials like air and water.

Polygon models
Like Doom and the various amiga doom clones, the game mostly 2D used sprites for enemies, collectables etc. However, it was capable of using models too, though the only examples to be seen are the various wall lights and the mid-game boss, a grenade lobbing robot walker.


Pseudo RGB rendering
Probably not unique to AB3D1 as a "chunky copperscreen" engine, the hardware banging display code allowed it to basically render all the visuals using 4096 colours, essentially giving you a pseudo RGB 12-bit mode. The benefits of this are a bit subjective as the colour resolution is only 12 bits but no doubt it helped with the shading effects.

Beyond all these, it just had the right atmosphere. Tense and uneasy with the prospect of a sudden and violent death round the next bend...

I should point out that you can't criticise Gloom for it's gameplay however, it was enormous fun, especially in two player mode.

AB3D2 was likewise technically very impressive. As a 1x1 pixelmode capable C2P based renderer, it went back to 256 colours only but thanks to a careful palette selection (and the fact the palette entries are 24-bit) and the use of dithering (which I never noticed until getting a proper monitor), it looked very nice. The shading had been improved allowing for realtime lighting effects from weapon shots, explosions etc. Polygon models featured a lot more, including all weapons and several enemies. Even the 2D sprites were given light maps to make them fit better. There was also a greater freedom of view using the same sort of look up/down technique that was used by Duke Nukem 3D.

Unfortunately, the game seemed somewhat rushed. It probably didn't help that not enough people were working on it. Frankly you need a 68060 (or emulator) to play it to it's full potential, on my 040 it had moments where it was very slow. A lot of the sprites seemed hurried and didn't really have enough animation or directional views. Unlike sprites in Doom, which typically had up to 8 unique views for each animation frame (for viewing at different rotational angles), there were only 4 views. The level design just wasn't as interesting as the first, either.

For all the technical feats, there was a definite sense of let down. I still enjoyed it but felt a bit sad that it could have been that much better as a game too.



I haven't played in a long time but on my old 68040, DoomAttack was easily one of the most fully featured, including a lot of features not present in the original version of Doom, such as being able to look up and down with manual aim (as opposed to simply facing the general direction of the enemy and firing), jump etc.

Another nice touch in AB3D is that the sound of your foot steps varies depending on the surface you walk on.
AB3D is also true 3D in its maps. You can walk under walkways and platforms etc, which is not possible in the Doom engine.

In the end of course, any of the nay sayers can prove me wrong. AB3D is playable on a stock 1200, and runs really well on even a modest 030.

Dig up an old PC with no more than 14 mhz and 2 megs of ram, and when you get doom to run off floppy disks, we'll talk.

Pictures or it didn't happen :)
 

Offline mailman

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2010, 01:25:13 PM »
Quote from: runequester;590265

Which was your fave of the series?


Each installment has its beauty. "Alien Breed" has a great atmosphere but it was too buggy and sometimes too difficult but beatable. When you managed to do it, you came to the conclusion that it was too short. The player needed something more and there wasn't.

"Special Edition 1992" enhances the game by a set of new levels and new adventure waiting for you. It is decent follow-up or rather an extra disk to the original game.

"Alien Breed 2" for me was too colourful and by that the atmosphere in it was killed. The game was a bit too artificial, though there were many good ideas which were expanded later.

"Alien Breed Tower Assault" was the best in the whole 2D series. It has a great atmosphere and what is not common, the non-linear gameplay. There were 276 routes you could take to complete the game!

"Alien Breed 3D" was also a very good game. Graphics were a bit pixelated but the game again had that something that you just did not mind the way it looked.

"Alien Breed 3D 2" by many people was laughed at. They did not like it but it was also great. A very good successor of "AB3D".

Quote

Which ones have you beaten (no cheats or trainers)?


I have beaten all the 2D "Alien Breeds" without any cheats or trainers. I could not beat 3D editions.

Quote

Fave weapons?


In 2D rebounders of course. Flame throwers were useless. 3D changed the meaning of weapons. Rockets and grenades were good for guardians and a blaster was good as a regular weapon. I missed rebounders in 3D versions.
 

Offline mailman

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2010, 01:29:42 PM »
Quote from: Franko;590314

If you have to cheat at a game to play it then your missing the point of playing it in the first place... :)


By constant failure people become frustrated and irritated. Some people just enjoy the game simply playing it. They do not take it as a synonim of struggling with it. Trying harder does not work for everybody. They use trainers and cheats to enjoy while others might enjoy trying harder.
 

Offline mailman

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2010, 01:35:10 PM »
Quote from: RMK305;590380
I liked, and completed, Tower Assault. The problem was that by playing Tower Assault first, going and playing the earlier games where you couldn't backup and shoot was annoying as hell.


Yes, this is true. It is not recommended playing Tower Assault first when you haven't played and wish to play AB, ABSE'92 and AB2. You can easily get accustomed to the reverse walking and shooting.
 

Offline Karlos

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2010, 01:51:28 PM »
Quote from: runequester;590787
Another nice touch in AB3D is that the sound of your foot steps varies depending on the surface you walk on.


True, that was a nice touch. I always felt the underwater "walking" was a bit silly though, should have swam, instead.

Quote
AB3D is also true 3D in its maps. You can walk under walkways and platforms etc, which is not possible in the Doom engine.


Well, that's not actually true. It's very much a 2D map extruded vertically into 3D (like Doom etc) but walkways and multilevel stairs were achieved with the "vertically split zones" I mentioned above. Basically, every zone had the option of a lower room / upper room combination.

Suppose you had 3 adjoining zones, A, B and C, as seen from above:

Code: [Select]

+-----+---+-----+    
|     |   |     |
|  A  | B |  C  |
|     |   |     |
+-----+---+-----+


Imagine zones A and C have lower rooms only, starting at height 0 and are 200 units tall. Imagine that zone B has lower and upper rooms. The lower room starts at 0 has height 95, the upper room starts at 105 and also has height 95. The end result is that the entire space from A to C appears to be crossed by a central walkway 10 units thick (where zone B is) which crosses the room midway along and halfway up the walls.

Hope that makes sense :)
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Offline runequester

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Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2010, 05:28:18 PM »
That does make sense, thanks!

From the players perspective it was still pretty cool though :) Like a whole new world had opened.
 

Offline Karlos

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2010, 10:04:52 PM »
Quote from: runequester;591207
That does make sense, thanks!

From the players perspective it was still pretty cool though :) Like a whole new world had opened.


It was used to good effect in several levels in the game, as I recall. The computer core level (level 5 IIRC) used it quite a lot.

I remember experimenting with a third party level editor for AB3D2 and made a level that had many gantries. By placing faux "support" columns (self contained zones) in strategic places, such as where gantries may cross, you could create the illusion of many stacked vertical layers, since the column actually raised the floor of the zone it defined to a gantry either side but left the upper room area free to be the crossing point for a tangental walkway even higher up:
Code: [Select]

+-------+---+-------+
|       |   |       |
|   A   | B |   C   |
|       |   |       |
+-------+---+-------+
|   D   | E |   F   |
+-------+---+-------+
|       |   |       |
|   G   | H |   I   |
|       |   |       |
+-------+---+-------+


Imagine that zones A, C, G and I are all lower rooms with their floor 0 and ceiling at 300 units. B and H also have a lower room with their floor at 0 and ceiling at 95 units but also an upper room starting at say 105 all the way up to 300, thus defining a walkway similar to the earlier example. Likewise, D and F have a lower room with a floor at 0 and a ceiling at 195. They also have an upper room with a floor at 205 and a ceiling at 300, thus creating a walkway even further up at right angles to the one made by B and H. To complete it, zone E has a lower room with a floor at 105 and ceiling at 195. It then has an upper room with a floor at 205 and ceiling at 300.

The end result is that you get the effect of one walkway crossing another, the cheat is that the lower walkway just happens to have a support strut where they cross.

Of course, the above is just one such junction, the actual level had lots of them. I got really ambitious and tried to design ones where the support column appeared to run all the way up to the ceiling with access holes cut though it. If you imagine four smaller zones immediately on each corner of E, which simply are solid from floor to ceiling, you get the effect.

Unfortunately, I never could get the hang of proper AI path layout in the editor, so the level was never populated with any nasties.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 10:07:19 PM by Karlos »
int p; // A
 

Offline XDelusion

Re: Lets talk: Alien Breed
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2010, 10:19:52 PM »
Do the original top down version support Strafing/Running, or two or more button joypads for that matter?
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