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Jaguar Homebrew VS Megadrive / Genesis Homebrew


mdkdue
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Hi everyone 

 

Let me just start by saying that I am not a programmer myself and that I have nothing but respect for all the homebrew efforts that we receive on the Jaguar and I fully support them and send my thanks to all the developers.

 

I just wanted to ask a question to the community.

 

I was watching this video tonight 

which is highlighting upcoming Megadrive / Genesis homebrew in 2023, and some of the work looks seriously impressive, especially The Simpsons Arcade port at the end.

 

It just made me wonder. The Megadrive is based on the same 68000 also present in the Jaguar if I am not mistaken? And surely the Jaguars extra chips make it even more powerful? 
Is there a reason why we are not seeing titles of this graphic quality on the Jaguar as homebrew games?

Is it purely down to the console being so hard to program?

 

If this has already been asked then I am sorry, and please don’t flame me, this is just a genuine wondering on my part.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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We do:

 

 

 

 

 

The disparity in numbers?  I believe, although I may be wrong, that the megadrive sold a tad more units than the Jaguar. Do the math.

 

As to The Simpsons, that might be down to the fact that there are a small minority of so-called Jaguar "fans" who would rather call the copyright cops than enjoy new games, who regularly ruin it for others.  It just takes one idiot to sell a copy of such a title on ebay to trigger things ...

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What graphical quality are you referring to, exactly? I'd say none of those Genesis/MegaDrive homebrews can match the number of colors on-screen that you get in Jag homebrews like Gravitic Mines or Last Strike, or the voxel graphics of Fallen Angels. Having said all that, there are certainly a good number of talented homebrew devs on the Genesis side, considering its far larger fanbase, so you're bound to get a lot more variety of games than you'll see on the Jag.

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Posted (edited)

Ok, maybe this is more down to opinion then.


In MY opinion I have not yet seen anything on the Jaguar homebrew wise that looks as good as say, Final Fight, Robocop, Metal Slug or Strider in that video, and as I previously said The Simpson’s looks seriously impressive.

 

The sprite sizes, numbers on screen etc, I can’t think of any similar games on the Jaguar that compare? 

 

I have a complete retail and AtariAge collection by the way, plus all the other usual suspects like Aircars, Asteoite etc…

 

That’s interesting to know that you guys think that The Simpson’s would be doable on the Jaguar. I’m not really up with all the politics on this board so can’t comment on the consequences of such a release.

 

Thanks for the input guys. I’m not here to say anyone is right or wrong, it really was just a general wondering on my part.

Edited by mdkdue
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The Mega Drive scene is surely impressive, there are lot of teams that operate on a semi professional level. The Jaguar community is much smaller. 

In terms of arcade ports, Iam pretty sure they violate copyrights using original gfx assets, but probably a lot of those devs are operating from a country where this is not a big issue. 

So technically a lot of those ports would be possible but must be ruled out for legal reasons. In terms of quality, jaguar homebrews surely show more color detail. 

Iam not sure if Jumping at shadows or Gravitic would be possible on MD, at least it is an apples and oranges comparison. BTW ports of MD homebrews to Jaguar would be a nice opportunity! 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

The Mega Drive scene is surely impressive, there are lot of teams that operate on a semi professional level. The Jaguar community is much smaller. 

In terms of arcade ports, Iam pretty sure they violate copyrights using original gfx assets, but probably a lot of those devs are operating from a country where this is not a big issue. 

So technically a lot of those ports would be possible but must be ruled out for legal reasons. In terms of quality, jaguar homebrews surely show more color detail. 

Iam not sure if Jumping at shadows or Gravitic would be possible on MD, at least it is an apples and oranges comparison. BTW ports of MD homebrews to Jaguar would be a nice opportunity! 

Lots of good points, thank you.

I guess you are basically saying that YES the Jaguar could technically do all these, but mostly for legal reasons we are not seeing them.

So another question would be, has anyone thought of doing a 'clone' of any of these titles?...not using any copyrighted material of course.

Edited by mdkdue
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It is not impossible but Paprium took like 10 years to develope, funded by Kickstarter campaigns to pay the team. If you can find 2 or artists capable of drawing all those sprites and animation frames, pay them, keep them motivated for 3 or 4 years and recoup all investments with 200 or 300 sold copies.... ;)

So, not impossible but very unlikely to happen anytime soon. 

The other problem is that the Jag is not an attractive platform. Not technically, but there's is the burden of bad reputation and entrenched biases towards anything released on it. Nothing will be ever good enough and ironically the whole discussion about contesting with semi professional products shows the rather frustrating reward of putting any effort into this platform. 

Edited by agradeneu
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Yeah that makes sense. 

 

Interesting to hear that you guys think the Jaguar is easily capable of this stuff though. Would be nice if the ST was a better games machine, then a lot of the ports would be more attractive.

 

I think the ST had a decent enough version of Double Dragon 2...now that would be great on the Jaguar, we need a game like that! 😊

 

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The main reason the Mega Drive gets a lot more games these days is the existence of SGDK, and since it's a very popular console, a lot of people want to develop for it. Remember that the Jaguar gets more homebrew games than the SNES for instance, so there's nothing to be "ashamed" of.

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6 hours ago, mdkdue said:

 


In MY opinion I have not yet seen anything on the Jaguar homebrew wise that looks as good as say, Final Fight, Robocop, Metal Slug or Strider in that video, and as I previously said The Simpson’s looks seriously impressive.

 

The sprite sizes, numbers on screen etc, I can’t think of any similar games on the Jaguar that compare? 

 

 

I wonder on which objective facts your opinion is based on?

 

Here are some technical specs on recent games I coworked on:

 

- Gravitic Mines draws an 1200x1000 pixels sized sprite for the level, 144 colors, multidirectional smooth scrolling, additionally scrolls 16 bit backgrounds with thousands of colors, draws big animated sprites for waterfalls (4-6 frames), draws player and enemy sprites with up to 32 animation frames, draws end boss with 128x128 sprite size with 5 frames for animation data, while you listen to 12 channel stereo sound and music

 

- in terms of color detail and animation frames, the Jaguar shows off its potential, IMO superior to Genesis games

 

- "Jumping at Shadows" draws and smoothly scrolls tilemaps with over 100 unique tile graphics per map, 32x32 pixel tiles, draws and scrolls 2 background parallax layers, draws animated CRY sprites for "lighting" effects

(flexible sizes, 4-5 frames animation data), all running 60FPS in 16 bit mode

 

- Last but not least, the bulk of graphics assets and animation were done from scratch, not using assets form SNK or Capcom acrade titles, that were made using high production values by professional teams!

  The engine/gameplay logic was built from scratch.

 

 

 

What impresses me most about the (best) Genesis homebrews is the use of parallax backgrounds and line scrolling to create tilting effects 3D backgrounds, great inspiration and def. something to investigate for future Jaguar games!

Some of the originals, like Demons of Asteborg, would be great picks for ports from Genni to Jag. Very feasable!

 

However, like I said, we are limited in manpower and time, not so much by hardware.

 

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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27 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

I wonder on which objective facts your opinion is based on?

 

Purely my eyes...as i stated in the beginning, i am not a programmer so i don't understand the technicalities..

 

 

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38 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

Here are some technical specs on recent games I coworked on:

 

- Gravitic Mines draws an 1200x1000 pixels sized sprite for the level, 144 colors, multidirectional smooth scrolling, additionally scrolls 16 bit backgrounds with thousands of colors, draws big animated sprites for waterfalls (4-6 frames), draws player and enemy sprites with up to 32 animation frames, draws end boss with 128x128 sprite size with 5 frames for animation data, while you listen to 12 channel stereo sound and music

 

- in terms of color detail and animation frames, the Jaguar shows off its potential, IMO superior to Genesis games

 

- "Jumping at Shadows" draws and smoothly scrolls tilemaps with over 100 unique tile graphics per map, 32x32 pixel tiles, draws and scrolls 2 background parallax layers, draws animated CRY sprites for "lighting" effects

(flexible sizes, 4-5 frames animation data), all running 60FPS in 16 bit mode

 

- Last but not least, the bulk of graphics assets and animation were done from scratch, not using assets form SNK or Capcom acrade titles, that were made using high production values by professional teams!

  The engine/gameplay logic was built from scratch.

 

 

 

What impresses me most about the (best) Genesis homebrews is the use of parallax backgrounds and line scrolling to create tilting effects 3D backgrounds, great inspiration and def. something to investigate for future Jaguar games!

Some of the originals, like Demons of Asteborg, would be great picks for ports from Genni to Jag. Very feasable!

 

However, like I said, we are limited in manpower and time, not so much by hardware.

 

 

 

Interesting stuff, thank you!

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

Hm, haven't I seen you in the Jagstudio forum? ;-)

Yes you probably have! And if you did you would have seen me say multiple times that I know nothing about programming.

 

In fact I think I said it again only a couple of days ago.

 

Trying out Jagstudio doesn’t make me a programmer. Everyone keeps saying how it’s supposed to make programming accessible to anyone so I thought I would give it a go, that’s all.

Edited by mdkdue
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11 minutes ago, mdkdue said:

Yes you probably have! And if you did you would have seen me say multiple times that I know nothing about programming.

 

Dito, I am responsible for the art and design, I gave you my point of view, a programmer might say something different.

 

For anyone working with Jagstudio, I assumed some basic understanding of game graphics, at least?

 

Edited by agradeneu
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4 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

Dito, I am responsible for the art and design, I gave you my point of view, a programmer might say something different.

 

For anyone working with Jagstudio, I assumed some basic understanding of game graphics, at least?

 

Nope. Zero experience of anything to do with programming, on any platform. I just wanted to give it a try.

 

I work in IT as an Infrastructure Engineer so probably have very slightly more of a head start than some though 😀

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I am surprised to hear that so many people does not understand graphics!

It's all about the artists. For example if my 3 year old child draws a simple character using MS. Paint, it will not look better because I display the image on more powerful PC.

I also don't understand the statement that the art should not look as good just because the Jaguar has some reputation of being hard to program. I would actually claim that the Genesis/Megadrive is harder to program for today, because of less colors, having to manage pseudo color visuals using color lookup tables etc. The Jaguar on the other hand has plenty of libraries, so newbies do not need to bother with the hardware specific stuff at all.

 

The real reason is that Genesis/Megadrive is a much larger market, thus it's easier to attract better artists. If you anticipate to sell a certain number copies of your game, you may even pay professional artists to help your game look better. Unfortunately the Jaguar's market is not big enough for this yet. (I am not impressed at all by projects that use copyrighted graphics without proper permission)

 

So if you want to see more professional artwork on the Jaguar, start buying more homebrew games! This will help the handful of programmers (that many times use their own programmer's art) to be able to recruite professional artists.

 

What has helped the Jaguar homebrew scene to get a little bit out of the 8-bit looking art is some emerging artists like: @Eternal-Krauser, @agradeneu and @SlidellMan who are willing to support the Jaguar homebrew scene just out of pure dedication.

Edited by phoboz
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I've been paying for graphics and music for a long time now, its not all free.  And I am still going to release games for free occasionally, even if they contain purchased assets.

 

The last few reboot titles and the ones in progress have put a significant dent in my bank, every sale counts! I would never bankrupt myself, but I'm more than happy to pay for quality assets, even if the game breaks even or makes a loss, for the good of the game, the pride in the title, and the enjoyment of the people playing it.

 

If you are making games for the Jaguar purely to make cash, then...

 

1. You are either wasting your time or churning out shite hoping people don't notice before they order.

2. Just leave, please.

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On 1/6/2023 at 11:17 AM, mdkdue said:

In MY opinion I have not yet seen anything on the Jaguar homebrew wise that looks as good as say, Final Fight, Robocop, Metal Slug or Strider in that video, and as I previously said The Simpson’s looks seriously impressive

It's all in the eye of the beholder, some say that they like what they see in Hammer of the Gods (WIP):

We will get the coolest looking games for the Jaguar, just wait...

 

Again, they use copyrighted assets to make their games look good (you cannot neglect the number of man-years it takes to make graphics like that by artists) This is unfair competition, and remember what happened to AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), it was banned by Nintendo even if it was a free game. Because it used so much copyrighted graphics, and it was a no brainer to get it banned.

Edited by phoboz
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