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Devalaous

PSX Heretic: What would it have been like?

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As we all know, the Playstation was home to the best port of our beloved game, with an entirely new take on pretty much the entire game. Darkness, coloured lighting, and new sounds and music, all combined so well to make one terrifying game out of something that never really was that scary

As a near-launch game, the limitations probably could have been bypassed in time, given some of the games that came out on the system later (Like you know, a port of Quake 2 that wasn't that bad)

What do you think Heretic would have been like, especially if it had gotten the Midway/Aubrey Hodges treatment? Hexen made it onto the system, albeit by a different team that didnt seem to know what they were doing, given the crap PSX port and good Saturn port, so Heretic defeintely could have. (I absolutely loved that Hexen port btw, back when I had no clue it was the Doom engine and that there was a PC version, even bought a bloody dedicated memory card for it)

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True, but it also would depend on the team and the time it was made. I think the Hexen port was developed primarily for Saturn, given its performance.

I also wonder if a PSX Strife would have made the game even a bit more well known. Its fun having a game 99% of people have never heard of.

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Heretic would probably work well with colored lights. And its texture palette is already small enough that none of them would have needed to be cut.

Now Heretic has generally more complex architecture than Doom, so on the geometry front, it would have suffered more from the limitations of the hardware. The loss of verticalness would also have been felt I think (remember, Raven added looking up and down).

I don't know about Aubry Hodge-like ambient music. It'd probably sound a bit like some of the Hexen tracks, where the music itself is kinda muffled so most of the soundscape comes from the ambient sounds.

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I don't think Heretic's maps would have suffered the same amount of simplification as Doom's. Notice how PSX Doom 1's maps are the most simplified as compared to Doom 2, Final Doom, etc. This is because Williams used the Jaguar maps for Doom 1, most likely because they didn't want to have to simplify each map one by one when they could use a mapset that had already been simplified.

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The biggest problem is that the PSX just wasn't very well suited for raytracing games.

If you really think about it, none of them ran terribly well. Doom only ran well because it was kept simple, shorting all of the taller sectors really helped a lot. But even then, some levels, like Perfect Hatred, ran pretty horribly. And when you move up to Final Doom the frame rate really drops due to the more complex maps there.

Hexen, Duke Nukem 3D, Star Wars: Dark Forces; all of them run bad on the PSX; it's as much a hardware problem as it is a software problem. I could explain in more detail how each of these engines handles rending a scene if anyone is interested. It's a bit more complex than a standard raytracing engine on the PC (or the Saturn, for that matter).

The Saturn version of Hexen ran better because it was a better system for these types of games. It could have even run better actually, it's just that Probe was always a fairly mediocre developer to begin with. The fact that it runs so much better than Saturn Doom really goes to show how awful a port Saturn Doom really is.

There also Duke 3D on the Saturn, but it doesn't use a raytracing engine (it used the Slave Driver engine that powered PowerSlave/Exhumed) so it can't be compared.

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I don't know how much the Heretic maps would need to be simplified. In general the map layouts look less complex in the editor than Doom's map (with some exceptions like E1M7). I could definitely see a loss in vertical though if the exact engine from PSX Doom was used.

Nuxius said:

raytracing

That is slow even on modern computers. :P

You mean the 1D version of that, ray casting, which Doom doesn't do. Only Wolfenstein 3D class games are ray casters. It turns out ray casting is really slow too so when porting Wolf3D to the SNES, id swapped in a BSP renderer.

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Thanks for that Nuxius, I was hoping you'd pop up, given your posts on PSX Doom in the Lost Levels project

With the height level culling if the PSX Doom engine was used again, the looking up and down feature would be axed, not that I've ever used it. Was it ever really needed? Hexen kept heights, at least enough to keep the OH SHIIIIIIT deathpits, wonder if they could be kept to a certain degree while keeping the look up and down thing.

I also wonder how the inventory could have worked. The dualshock was never that great till the PS2 days, so if it used that, it would be very limited use.

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I always remember PowerSlave and Quake II running well on PSX, granted two different engines that the other games ran on, though the PSX/Saturn versions of PS used a completely different engine than the PC version. Maybe if Heretic was made around that time, or Doom. Maybe if a more customized engine was used.

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I got quake 2, exhumed ( also known as powerslave in the states) and hexen 1 for the ps1 on my shelf. I have only played exhumed and it run smoothly on ps1. I dont have any experience with quake 2 and hexen. I have heard that the hexen for ps1 wasn't as good as it was for n64 but I dont know, gotta try hexen on summer when I got time. I think that if they had released heretic for ps1 it would have run quite smoothly because its not as heavily modded as hexen

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hmm interesting fact. Where ps1 hexen failed compared to n64 hexen it gained in quake 2 for ps1. N64 quake 2 run smoothly but it was ugly even with the upgrade ram pack

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Clonehunter said:

Well it could be that Q2 and PS/Exhumed run on true 3D engines for the PSX whereas HeXen and Doom did not.

By "true 3D engine" I assume you mean hardware renderer, and yeah, Doom did. Carmack helped optimize it himself:

Aaron, the programmer, worked closely with John Carmack to optimize the code for both the PSX and N64 platforms.

http://5years.doomworld.com/interviews/harryteasley/

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Aha, Carmack. That explains why PSX Doom runs as good as it does for an early PSX game while Hexen had all those flaws.

He'd probably be able to squeeze Heretic out of the PSX with higher limits, being the technowizard he is

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