Why wasn't Quake ported to the PlayStation?

I was reading the wikie article about Quake and saw this bit:

" A Sony PlayStation version of the game had been planned, but was cancelled."

What gives? I would have have loved a PlayStation version of Quake similar to how Doom was ported to the PS1. I mean Quake 2 was ported, so why not the original Quake?

EDIT: Also on a rather unrelated note, wasn't there some mod for Quake that re-created the N64 version for the PC similar to how PSX Doom re-created the PSX version of Doom?

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Wow, I'd never heard of this... My mind is rushing with the possibilities. Was a developer already planned before they cancelled? [It's unlikely even hypothetically, but] imagine if we had got something like the reimagining of Doom on the N64 instead of a straight port. PSX-Quake might've been something really special. I guess we'll never know.

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Too bad Lobotomy went under like it did. They had some good tech with the Slave Driver engine, though they probably should've got that for the PC version of PowerSlave too as opposed to an older build engine. Also PowerSlave 2 could've been alright.

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I always thought that a Quake port would suffer a lot on the Playstation, even more than Doom did: don't forget that, behind the cool visual effects afforded by the PlayStation's 3D hardware (in an era where "3D acceleration" on PCs was nonexistent/a joke), there was a very real struggling with a ridiculous amount of 2MB of RAM, which in turn led to compromises (animation frames, level size, detail, etc.). Could a game that barely functioned with 8 MB on the PC be made fully functional on a platform with 1/4th of that amount?

Despite that, the engine itself would probably be faster than on the majority of contemporary PCs, simply because the Playstation had 3D acceleration, and probably faster than Doom on the PSX, again because it was better suited to 3D acceleration.

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Maes said:

I always thought that a Quake port would suffer a lot on the Playstation, even more than Doom did: don't forget that, behind the cool visual effects afforded by the PlayStation's 3D hardware (in an era where "3D acceleration" on PCs was nonexistent/a joke), there was a very real struggling with a ridiculous amount of 2MB of RAM, which in turn led to compromises (animation frames, level size, detail, etc.). Could a game that barely functioned with 8 MB on the PC be made fully functional on a platform with 1/4th of that amount?

Quake 2 worked ok.

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I'm not sure but I think it had to do with their base levels sucking so hard or something.

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schwerpunk said:

COLOURSSSS

Yeah. They've implemented a different lighting system for PS1 port.

I wonder how it would work for Quake 1.

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To make a fair comparison, you'd need side-by-side comparison screenshots of the same areas and the such. Just the geometry information contained in some of the models and levels would exceed the total RAM capacity of the playstation, so it's unlikely that they managed to cram everything without some major compromises.

Certainly, an architecture and a single enemy such as the ones in the screenshots were well within the capabilities of the Playstation, but unless a comparison is made with what was possible on the PC, one can't judge whether that's "on par", "good enough", "best possible given the limitations", etc.

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If I recall correctly, the PlayStation version of Quake II was chopped to shit, with maps cut into two or three pieces sometimes. It was pretty enough, sure (although arguably not as 'pretty' as OpenGL mode on PC). Also for some reason, it had the first level from the N64 version tacked on.

I never finished it, I had a PS2 that refused to save games to the memory card.

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Yes, the levels are pretty small... maybe it had fewer enemies, too. But in terms of gameplay you're essentially getting the same experience. It's not like vast, sprawling architecture was the main strength of Q2's engine.

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Yeah, the PSX version was pretty impressive, especially when compared to the N64 version, if you didn't mind having to wait for the next chunk of level to load every few rooms.

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Maes said:

2MB of RAM


Plus the 1MB of VRAM. I believe in the PS version of Doom that all the graphics are stored there. None of the MAPSPR**.IMG and MAPTEX**.IMG files exceed 1MB in combination. Obviously though a lot would have to be removed compared to the PC version of Quake.

Maes said:

levels would exceed the total RAM capacity


The Quake BSP files contain the textures used for the level, which is really inefficient. With that cut and moved to VRAM, the actual level data would probably fit in alright.

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So, the very least it represented a fair challenge porting while adapting to the limitations of the PSX -a challenge which was also present while porting Doom, supposedly a "technologically inferior" title. Unlike a title specifically developed for the PSX's strengths and weaknesses, PC titles like Quake would need too much cutting down or other design compromises (e.g. frequent loading).

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How did Quake N64 work out so well? It was a damn good console port.

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Technician said:

How did Quake N64 work out so well? It was a damn good console port.

Still, it has eye-raping texture quality and the lighting is completely static (even if it's colored).

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Da Werecat said:

Still, it has eye-raping texture quality


The N64 has a 64x64 texture limitation along with forced texture filtering. I prefer the Playstations jagged pixels over the N64s pixel barf.

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Well, unlike today (where they'd just cross-compile the original SC of whatever current hit-title), those were essentially remakes of the original engines, and the artwork/resources had to be heavily reworked to even get the final result a change of executing on hardware designed with very different philosophy in mind (PCs: lots of "dumb" CPU power, relatively abundant RAM, cheap storage, but not much in the way of specialized audio/video hardware. Consoles: CPU, RAM and storage cut to the bone, but lots of deceivingly powerful dedicated hardware to play with).

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I forget where, but I read that the N64 could only dedicate 4 kilobytes of RAM to textures.
Heh.

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Bucket said:

I forget where, but I read that the N64 could only dedicate 4 kilobytes of RAM to textures.
Heh.

How in God's name... Man, modern game developers are spoiled in this respect. Almost too much, I sometimes think. Where do you draw the line when you've got as much freedom as we do now...

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schwerpunk said:

How in God's name... Man, modern game developers are spoiled in this respect. Almost too much, I sometimes think. Where do you draw the line when you've got as much freedom as we do now...


Atari 2600 developers thought that C64 developers were spoiled -65536 bytes of RAM to play with (instead of 128), AND the ability to form an image ENTIRELY in RAM before displaying it, without chasing after scanlines and TV refresh timings?! Total pampering!

Still, it's weird to see how a console designed in the late 90s could have so many apparently arbitrary restrictions -but then again that plagued the Jaguar, the Saturn, the Dreamcast etc. and even the PS3 to some extent, so in the end it seems that the most successful systems were the ones that were easy to develop decent titles on. E.g. Jeff Minter may have cummed over how insanely complex the Jaguar was, and how many of his weird programming mumbo-jumbo he could pull off with Tempest 2000, but it certainly didn't attract many others....

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Bucket said:

I forget where, but I read that the N64 could only dedicate 4 kilobytes of RAM to textures.
Heh.


it was a misprint in the specs that wasn't caught until wafers were being cut and SM64 was almost done. the E3 demos looked a little better than the finished product due to this.

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Bucket said:

I forget where, but I read that the N64 could only dedicate 4 kilobytes of RAM to textures.


You can use as many textures as you cram into RAM. The 4KB limit is the texture cache, so I guess changing textures was a very expensive operation.

That's similar to very early PC 3D cards where having more than a few state changes or a texture larger than 256x256 caused the frame rate to plummet.

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Quake1 is the least ported id game, oddly enough. The reason why I never played it till a few years ago.

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Speaking of this, why was Heretic 1 & 2 or Hexen II never ported?

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CacoDoomer said:

Speaking of this, why was Heretic 1 & 2 or Hexen II never ported?


Not enough interest maybe? Though HeXen was ported a few times. Though, none of the ports were that great, minus the N64 port maybe. Maybe they were sick of trying to port Doom and Quake games only ever to get low framerates.

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...I smell a new community project, PSX Heretic...

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Da Werecat said:

Yeah. They've implemented a different lighting system for PS1 port.

I wonder how it would work for Quake 1.


I've noticed from videos it looks different. In some ways the lighting seems more aesthetic than the PC version, I think because everything had smooth shading that offered a lot more contrast than the original. I don't think there are light maps in this version.

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Da Werecat said:

Still, it has eye-raping texture quality and the lighting is completely static (even if it's colored).


I'm still waiting for someone to port Q264's maps to the PC.

@Maes: You know as a kid I always used to wonder what those black bars down the left hand side of the screen were in most of the games. Now I know that it's because the old crate was too busy handling other functions to be able to draw anything :P

On-topic: Quake II had the advantage of the fact that even the PC original already had loading corridors, so chucking in a few more was never going to hurt the game too much. Incidentally, I have Q2 for the PS1 and the loading times are pretty damn fast if I'm honest. Porting Q1 may have required similar compromises, but they may not have gone down as easily with players.

TBH The Saturn does an admirable job of running Quake (better than it runs Doom anyway), what drags the game down for me is the controls. Even with the Saturn's analogue pad it's a mess. Unless you play southpaw, of course. That said, I did buy a PS mouse to play Q2 with, due to game game seemingly consciously sidestepping the most obvious controller layout.

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