Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

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afritz1
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Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby afritz1 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:01 am

I discovered Terminator: Rampage a couple months ago. It's one of Bethesda's games that came out before Arena.

Honestly, it's kind of a hard game to watch. It looks like it runs at 15 FPS? Maybe it was good at the time? Anyway, I brought this game up since its engine seems to have a lot in common with Arena's (just as Daggerfall's does with Terminator: Future Shock's). I guess it was made around the time where developers were just figuring out real-time 3D and texture mapping in games, so it was still an ordeal to get things running smoothly.

I don't really have a lot of interest in this game myself, but maybe someone in the future might want to do an open-source engine for it. If so, then they could probably reuse a lot of my project's code for reading the data formats (CFA, FLC, IMG, MIF, VOC... the list goes on). Just a thought, anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEOnR_2-ohc
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epicurius7
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby epicurius7 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am

It looks like Bethesda's early 3D texture map engine lineage goes:

Terminator: Rampage [Wolfenstein with floor textures] -> Arena [added variable height ground] -> Daggerfall (Early prototype)

'XnGine' games: Daggerfall / Terminator Future Shock (Concurrent development?) -> Terminator Skynet [High res support, also planned for Daggerfall but dropped] -> Battlespire [16 bit colour support, transparencies]
-> Redguard [Hardware acceleration support. 3d geometry for characters by this point] -> Morrowind was going to in the very early stages, then dropped.
Last edited by epicurius7 on Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:57 am, edited 4 times in total.
Al-Khwarizmi
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby Al-Khwarizmi » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am

afritz1 wrote:Honestly, it's kind of a hard game to watch. It looks like it runs at 15 FPS? Maybe it was good at the time?

(Disclaimer: I've never played this game, I only found about it now and am talking about it based on the videos).

There were much smoother games, but probably it was a compromise between graphic quality and animation smoothness at the time. This game is from 1993. If you look at Wolfenstein 3D (1992), it runs much smoother, but also the graphics are much more basic. Of course, a few months after this game came Doom, which achieved very good graphics for the time and smooth animation... but then, Doom is considered one of the best FPSs of all time and a milestone for the genre, the average game at the time was definitely not like it (I still remember the amazement at those graphics, animation, sounds... when it came out). From my experience with games of that time, I think this would be considered par for the course... not one of the games that would receive especially great praise for their technical aspects, but not one of the bad ones either.

The 90s were an exciting time for gaming, from 1992 to 1998 or so the evolution was so staggering that many early 90's games look nigh unplayable right now while late 90's games have aged much better in general. Take Quake (1996)... yeah, it has low resolution for today's standards (not even that, as there are modified versions, but let's assume the original package), low-res textures, low-poly models, but the playability and controls are basically up to date and fine for 2017 and any FPS lover will enjoy it. In fact, in my view, it has never been exceeded in some aspects. While Doom (1993) is nostalgic but quite less enjoyable due to 2.5D and not being able to look up and down, and Wolfenstein 3D (1992) is, well, entertaining for a while but simple and monotonous for today's standards.
charlieg
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby charlieg » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:36 pm

People forget about Ultima Underworld which predated Wolfenstein 3D and actually was 3D (UU came out March '92 and W3D in May '92).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sh_DY28wl4
Al-Khwarizmi
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby Al-Khwarizmi » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:58 pm

I don't forget, in fact I played a lot of Ultima Underworld, it's one of my favorite games of all time, second only to Daggerfall and a few more and I think Interkarma should start working on Ultima Underworld Unity after finishing this one! :lol: Just kidding, what he's doing is an achievement of a tremendous scale and he should enjoy a good rest in a paradise island afterwards.

And yes, it was true 3D, but the graphics are very very simple for today's standards and the controls also look very dated now, even though the game was quite cutting-edge at the time in terms of UI.

Full 3D games have been around for quite long really, I remember playing Total Eclipse in an 8086 PC with no HDD back in 1988 and it had almost no textures but it was full 3D, with looking up and down and all (challenging game too!). And the Star Wars arcade with 3D vector graphics (and others of that era) were also pure 3D in the early 80's.

My point is that from early to late 90s there was huge evolution in game graphics that made them go from looking very dated now to basically "like 2017, but low-res". 3D is one of the components of the equation, it was already invented in the early 90's but you couldn't have full 3D, smooth movement and non-crappy graphics at the same time. In 4 years we went from this

http://www.abload.de/img/uw1_02gtypn.png

to this

https://downloadcentral.dk/upload/screenshot560-1.jpg

Night and day! Not only the graphics, but the controls and smoothness, which can't be seen there. And I love Ultima Underworld, but credit where credit is due.
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epicurius7
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby epicurius7 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:21 am

IIRC Underworld cut levels into 'cubes' that could have a single slope to allow for faster hidden surface culling. But yeah, I think it was the first fully texture mapped game that didn't use raycasting.

It ran like a dog compared to Wolfenstein and DOOM though. I think Wolfenstein's techniques (and it's immediate predecessors) were partially inspired by John Carmack thinking 'how can we do this at a decent framerate'? :lol:
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Nystul
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby Nystul » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:05 am

Al-Khwarizmi wrote:In 4 years we went from this

http://www.abload.de/img/uw1_02gtypn.png

to this

https://downloadcentral.dk/upload/screenshot560-1.jpg

Night and day! Not only the graphics, but the controls and smoothness, which can't be seen there. And I love Ultima Underworld, but credit where credit is due.


imho, the first looks better than the second (good artstyle vs no artstyle) - i know people will disagree with me - but just to throw in a different opinion
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Arl
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby Arl » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:55 pm

Nystul wrote:
Al-Khwarizmi wrote:In 4 years we went from this

http://www.abload.de/img/uw1_02gtypn.png

to this

https://downloadcentral.dk/upload/screenshot560-1.jpg

Night and day! Not only the graphics, but the controls and smoothness, which can't be seen there. And I love Ultima Underworld, but credit where credit is due.


imho, the first looks better than the second (good artstyle vs no artstyle) - i know people will disagree with me - but just to throw in a different opinion


I think he's refering to the technical jump between both games. Of course, you can paint a "lower" quality piece of art in a new and more advance medium, specially when the medium is that new/recent/fresh in the scene of things.
My Deviantart page, I have some Daggerfall stuff in there.
Al-Khwarizmi
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Re: Arena's engine also used in Terminator: Rampage

Postby Al-Khwarizmi » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:31 am

charlieg wrote:Ultima Underworld

And a couple of weeks afterwards, here I am, spending the (little) free time I have replaying Ultima Underworld like mad. I shouldn't have come into this thread, lol.

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