Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

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fafadou
chill
Posts: 303

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#91 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:32 am

Hope fans will be able to improve this game for dreamcast a new release of an unrelease is still a fantastic new :-)

thedoctor45
lithium
Posts: 37

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#92 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:45 am

Ian Micheal wrote:Have 512mmu page virtual addressing on wince

http://archiv.sega-dc.de/munkeechuff/ha ... emory.html

Can even send textures using SQ if you chose wince that's one of the benefits of it VQ compression you get 64 meg textures
If used right between loading take AES4all can load 100meg roms that's homebrew


Well alright, but that obviously didn't suffice to enable the Dreamcast to properly load the more complex 2D Maps of HoMM3 either, so it's still not good enough.

thedoctor45
lithium
Posts: 37

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#93 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:58 am

megavolt85 wrote:play buggy beta?
will be like with agartha or Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator
download, look and forget :mrgreen:


If you want perfectly 100% playable games then you should forget about Heroes III on Dreamcast altogether, since the original developer clearly stated that the game never really worked to a satisfactory level, so there‘s no chance a perfectly playable build exists out there, not here and not at Ubisoft HQ.

I'd recommend we just stay optimistic and trust the expertise of the community to figure out a way to make the game run more stable.

thedoctor45
lithium
Posts: 37

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#94 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:58 am

I took the time to properly translate the report of the german developer so everyone here can get a better idea of what was actually going on:

If I'm allowed to say something about HoMM3, since I was one of the original developers of the DC version;

HoMM3 was not canceled because the DC was discontinued or anything, but because it failed due to the technical limitations. HoMM3 was technically too big for the DC. And since 3DO / NewWorldComputing and thus Ubisoft only wanted to see it published as a 1:1 conversion on the DC, eventually a point was reached at which the DC was basically just technically overwhelmed.

HoMM3 was ... I guess probably 99% converted to DC, or should I rather say completely rebuilt! It took us almost 12 months to rebuild the game to get it somewhat playable on DC at all.

How did it ultimately fail? It failed because the DC's main memory was too small. Larger maps did not quite fit into memory when you completely explored them. The culprit here were the gigantic 2D graphics sets, which required more memory compared to simpler 3D graphics.

You could probably play HoMM3 easily for about an hour if the map wasn't too big. But after a while a point was always reached where the DC would just crash: "OutOfMemory"

Well ... it's a shame about this ingenious game, especially because we spent 12 months on redesign alone. We had e.g. the complete mouse control reworked to hotspot technology - i.e. to joypad operation - which was not provided in the PC version at all. And that was just a smaller part of the redesign ... we were also joking around that we could probably have developed a completely new game instead, since we had to modify so many aspects specifically for the DC version. : D



The crux of the matter are the 2D graphics and the data structure of the maps, may sound strange to some now, BUT fact of the matter is that even the DC (which could handle Shenmue without problems) failed in this case due to the complexity of the 2D graphics.

For example, Quake for the Saturn is far from being as complex as HoMM3. Quake is a joke compared to HoMM3 in terms of data structure. I think that is also reflected in the gameplay ... it's just that the player does not notice that.

Back in the day, I had written a detailed report about the whole problem, it should actually appear on Vidgames. Unfortunately, this report has not yet been published. I hope I'm able to find it in my records, then I will publish it on PlanetSEGA so you can see why console games usually largely differ from PC games, because it is also due to the games data structure.



The battle screen was not messed up ... it may well be that it came across like that on the DreamOn video. But we just had no other option than to make the combat screen scrollable. This screen was not the only one that was rebuilt, there were about 20 other bitmap screens that had to be reworked. Replacing the mini PC font with large TV fonts alone required all orig. PC screens to be redesigned. A lot of the elements were made scrollable, a lot of them were split up between two screens etc. A pretty insane amount of work we did there. I was actually employed as a coder, but I had to use Photoshop as a second tool (next to the C ++ compiler) for the first 6 months of development since everything was being rebuilt mercilessly.

I'd have to say that THIS game was probably one of the few where a proper attempt was made not to sell any port garbage to console players.

As for the 1:1 conversion: it was justified, albeit technically problematic. It should have had support for online gaming (where DC players would be also able to play against other PC players on the Internet.) o_O So pretty awesome stuff actually!

We completely removed the online mode after 6 months (it was implemented, but untested), which means HoMM3 would have ben published without online support for the time being!
Ubisoft had plans to publish an online version of the game later on.


User avatar
Ian Micheal
Developer
Posts: 1759
Contact:

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#95 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:35 pm

Because of the 1.1 demanded the dreamcast is a 3d powerhouse not a pc could of there been a proper port i think so 2d graphics structures.. Saying after a while you run out of memory means you just not clearing and you have a memory leak

beanboy
Vagabond
Posts: 714

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#96 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:35 pm

@Ian and others

What programming language was the dreamcast version of this game written in?

User avatar
Ian Micheal
Developer
Posts: 1759
Contact:

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#97 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:47 pm

beanboy wrote:@Ian and others

What programming language was the dreamcast version of this game written in?


I dont even know.. but saying not enff ram i think is not correct they wanted 1 on 1 port that not how you port things to consoles of this time nothing was a one on one port..

thats just setting your self up to fail..

You think there's 1 on 1 ports on ps1 or n64 check quake 2

cloofoofoo
killer
Posts: 268

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#98 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:14 pm

Ian Micheal wrote:
beanboy wrote:@Ian and others

What programming language was the dreamcast version of this game written in?


I dont even know.. but saying not enff ram i think is not correct they wanted 1 on 1 port that not how you port things to consoles of this time nothing was a one on one port..

thats just setting your self up to fail..

You think there's 1 on 1 ports on ps1 or n64 check quake 2


This reminds me of what titanium studios said about stupid Invaders of the Dreamcast when they were hired to Port it from pc . While they didn't have to quarter the Rez of the 2d assets like the estimate of the people who hired them said they had to completely rework how the DC handled the assets while keep track of all the background processes. In the end gdrom read speed did better than the HDD access time of those days.

. Being a unique title, Stupid Invaders made use of a number of novel streaming and compression strategies. We needed to rework all of these techniques for the Dreamcast version to meet the console capabilities. We were also required to fit the game on half as many disks. The original developers had planned on quartering resolution for the Dreamcast version but we were able to retain the original detail.

One challenge on this project was the massive amount of content: over 10,000 runtime assets and millions of source and intermediate files to manage. We built several automated tools to process and manage this data. One, which analyzed all of the AI scrips for asset usage was also used to optimize disk layout. This yielded Dreamcast optical disk load times that outperformed the PC version on hard disk.

thedoctor45
lithium
Posts: 37

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#99 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:03 pm

2 dumps of the game have just been released and uploaded on the obscuregamers forum fyi:

https://www.obscuregamers.com/threads/h ... post-12441

moi
fire
Posts: 78

Re: Heroes of Might and Magic III Dreamcast unreleased community fundraiser

Post#100 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:55 pm

Has anyone checked whether it works with gdemu? Dump 2 seems to freezing on my gdemu clone, once the main menu is loaded. the fps counter seems to update from time to time but i cant move the cursor until it finally freezes.

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