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TxK, Tempest 2000 Remake for PS Vita Demoed

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the test-of-free-software-faith dept.

Classic Games (Games) 41

If you happen to be one of the other five people who own an Atari Jaguar, you've probably played the excellent Tempest 2000. As chance would have it, a few months ago Llamasoft announced they were approached by Sony to write TxK, based "...on the essence of the original T2K. ... . We're not going to overload you with ultra psychedelia, but we will make it fluid and colourful and awesome-looking ... We're going to give you a perfect treat for your eyes, ears and thumbs with a modern extrapolation of one of the best shooters ever made on hardware that's just perfectly suited for it, and in a way that retains the purity of the original design." A couple of weeks ago, a working version of TxK was demoed at Play Expo. Read below to see the video. It really seems to retain the aesthetic of Tempest 2000 enhanced by modern hardware and a full color range, with a touch of Space Giraffe tactics (you can kill enemies at the rim somehow at least).

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Tempest in a Teapot (2)

GTRacer (234395) | about 8 months ago | (#45300319)

I bought (and still have!) a Jaguar just for Tempest 2k. Great gameplay of the original with a trippy, addictive soundtrack!

Too bad the union of Jag owners, Tempest fans and Vita owners is likely quite small ^^

Minter (1)

Baggypants (177822) | about 8 months ago | (#45300347)

Makes me buy hardware, Sony's shrewdest step in over 10 years.

Llamasoft announced THEY were approached (1)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#45300357)

So they approached both Jeff Minter and his sheep Flossie?

Re:Llamasoft announced THEY were approached (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45300545)

Llamasoft is more than one man and a sheep these days.
http://minotaurproject.co.uk/frontpage.php

Re:Llamasoft announced THEY were approached (1)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#45301039)

Good for them.
I've enjoyed Minter's work ever since playing Revenge of the Mutant Camels back in the '80s. Glad to see Llamasoft is still going strong.

That is Fake Tempest (3, Informative)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 8 months ago | (#45300417)

REAL Tempest fits entirely memory locations 0x9000-FFFF, its lines are ONE pixel wide (but it's a BIG one!) and it does not have whiny buzzy switching power supply. It has a large throbbing step-down transformer and a whopping thirty-two thousand microfarad capacitor in the power supply. It has a flyback transformer feeding a CRT that bristles with actual electricity terror death.

Real Tempest machines go out with a real BANG.

What is shown is some Fisher Price low voltage plastic computing device, obviously meant for children, whose level completion screen is full of whoopy flashes and dancing bears distracting artifacts and eye candy as in, deer-meets-headlights.

The Real Tempest, when a level is complete it launches you into the middle and flies you through the tunnel, this was the COOLEST damned thing we ever saw when we first sawed it, and gets back down to business. No goofy crap.

THIS IS WHAT A REAL TEMPEST IS. IT CAN HURT YOU. [kfu.com] .

If the NSA tunes their TEMPEST receiver towards you and the signal resolves into a TEMPEST game, would they chuckle at the irony? If a bear shits in the woods and laughs because shit got on his 'bear' hands would he laugh hysterically and change brands of toiley paper?

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45300553)

what do you mean with pixels?

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 8 months ago | (#45300889)

what do you mean with pixels?

Real Trinitron Pixels of red, green and blue writ by slap-happy vector beams that danced and played 'round the screen to actually draw the thing just as you would. Using angles 'n stuff.

Pac Mans and other computer mens and wimmins make the poor beams trace out this dreary left to right up and down on but mostly offey and horizonta-blinkey thing where the beam travels a mile and a half just to say "GAME OVER" in the middle.

In a Real Tempest the beams do not travel a thousand miles. They draw what needs to be drawn and draw it again. Until the machine explodes, because it is dangerous and has high voltage inside.

Pixels on a Real Tempest are tiny little holes from which you may gaze directly into electrons, not some I'm a little crystal short and stout, turn me over and the oh-so-safe light can't get out, kind of thingie.

When you play Real Tempest real particle beams are slapping electrons through those pixel-hoies right in your face. Ten thousand volts is yearning to scream in direct arc through you and your sweaty sneakers to ground. It restrained only by prickly glass. It is whispering, "Go ahead... piss on my anode cup. I dare ya! You know you want to."

It is difficult to communicate to younger readers the level of excitement and danger we experienced as we were growing up.

Re:That is Fake Tempest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45301591)

Are you high? Your ranting is near incoherent. ...and they certainly weren't Trinitron displays.

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 8 months ago | (#45305897)

...and they certainly weren't Trinitron displays

Shadow mask, I used the word Trinitron for its retro big science effect ...as in "Son... it's Atomic".

You're right ...but that's all you are.

More on the XY Monitor tube [jmargolin.com] that was used in the Real Tempest [arcade-museum.com]

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 8 months ago | (#45300569)

REAL Tempest fits entirely memory locations 0x9000-FFFF, its lines are ONE pixel wide (but it's a BIG one!) and it does not have whiny buzzy switching power supply. It has a large throbbing step-down transformer and a whopping thirty-two thousand microfarad capacitor in the power supply. It has a flyback transformer feeding a CRT that bristles with actual electricity terror death.

As I remember "Real Tempest" it was a vector-graphic display. And it had a real spinny knob. I sure liked the spinny knob better than the thumbpad thing on the Jaguar that I tolerated solely for Tempest 2k. The Jag did have great graphics and sound -- at least for its time. Mine's long since been sold off, so hard to say exactly how it would look and sound compared with current hardware, which I also don't have . . .

Re:That is Fake Tempest (2)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | about 8 months ago | (#45300603)

I'm trying to get off his lawn as fast as I can!!!!

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45300639)

Given the damage that Minter's ruminants would do to the garden, I can't blame him.

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45300615)

You have no idea who Jeff Minter is, do you?

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

andrewa (18630) | about 9 months ago | (#45307259)

The first game I ever bought with my own pocket money was Gridrunner on the Vic 20. Been following his career ever since, he's truly a unique guy in this industry. There's just one thing.... that BASIC listing of ROX 64 in C&VG back in... 1984? I never could get that to run. Damn.

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45343483)

Glad to see there's somebody with a sense of history. ;)

Re:That is Fake Tempest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45300865)

Re:That is Fake Tempest (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 8 months ago | (#45301201)

If the NSA tunes their TEMPEST receiver towards you and the signal resolves into a TEMPEST game, would they chuckle at the irony?

Thinking about that statement just made my brain pop. The statement is even funner than it seems! Due to the lack of horizontal and vertical trace with synchronizing blanking intervals, the Real Tempest would have probably thwarted a standard Van Eck Phreaky NSA TEMPEST device [slashdot.org] .

You could say Real Tempest used a form of visual encryption.

It's a fresh angle of looking at it, a matter of a pinion, this "What's our vector, Victor?" versus raster, frigid polar coordinates failing to pinpoint warm Cartesian wells, the difference between Playfair and elliptic curves kind of thingie.

I like all kinds of thingies.

Re:That is Fake Tempest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45322583)

so... let's see...
it's Sony, not Fisher Price.
And there are no dancing bears.

It looks just like Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar - which is a GOOD THING. So far as I can see, it's not supposed to be a clone of the ancient before-we-were-born Tempest, but an implementation of t2k for PS Vita.

Having nostalgia for old consoles is great and all, but what exactly are you rooting for? That devices like PSP shouldn't be made and sold? That they should be made and sold, but we should ignore their capabilities and write games that only rage advantage of 1960s technology? I mean...

Exciting news for me! Vita needs good games (1)

KatchooNJ (173554) | about 8 months ago | (#45300515)

Tempest 2000 and Aliens vs. Predator are the games worth having a Jaguar for. Tempest 2000 being THE better game of the two. Being a Vita owner, I am completely thrilled to hear this news. The Vita has some great titles, but MORE, MORE, MORE!

Laugh all you want about the Jaguar (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#45300519)

The Atari Jaguar was awesome and stands as my all time favorite console. One of it's biggest problems was it essentially had the first GPU (in a round about way). Almost no one wanted to program those chips, citing the difficulty. Consequently, programmers wrote most of the games to run off of the 68000 chip which was originally intended only for booting the machine. The next problem was that almost none of the games were finished, but got released anyway - despite being unfinished many were still fun. Also, I won't deny that many of the few games that came out were in fact crap. But the best titles, that were finished, made the console worth having: Cybermorph, Battlemorph, Iron Soldier, Iron Soldier 2, Tempest2k, Alien versus Predator, Best Rayman implimentation and a few other awesome titles I can visualize but not remember. If you are lucky, you are one of the very few that got a copy of Battlesphere.

IMHO Battlemorpth is one of the all time greatest games ever made.

I recall there was a hardware bug that required a workaround, but I don't remember the details.

Citation needed that most Jag games ran on 68K (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#45300627)

Consequently, programmers wrote most of the games to run off of the 68000 chip which was originally intended only for booting the machine.

I know there were two overall structures for Jaguar game programming: graphics and game logic on Tom and input processing on 68K, and graphics on Tom and input processing and game logic on 68K. I understand developers with Genesis, Neo Geo, Amiga, or Atari ST experience might prefer the latter. But did an emulator author really go through "most of the games" and find them to use the latter structure?

I recall there was a hardware bug that required a workaround

The big one, if I remember correctly, had something to do with Tom's instruction cache and required small methods and a far smarter linker than most PC programmers are used to.

Re:Citation needed that most Jag games ran on 68K (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#45300775)

This is a blurb from the Wikipedia article:

Design specs for the console allude to the GPU or DSP being capable of acting as a CPU, leaving the Motorola 68000 to read controller inputs. In practice, however, many developers used the Motorola 68000 to drive gameplay logic.

I guess I wasn't quite right, what can I say, it's been a couple of decades : )

Re:Citation needed that most Jag games ran on 68K (2)

adisakp (705706) | about 8 months ago | (#45304479)

The fast co-processors (Tom and Jerry) didn't have instruction caches (as you would think of them today anyhow). They did have a small amount (4K) of directly mapped local memory. They were originally designed to run programs either in this memory or in normal memory. However, due to bugs in the chip, you could only reliably run code from the 4K internal memory. Since this was directly mapped, that meant all your code had to run in 4K. If you wanted to run larger programs, you needed a small amount of resident code that swapped functions or chunks of larger code into memory and did fixups on them and then ran them on the GPU. Most developers didn't have the expertise to do this themselves so indeed, a lot of game code ran on the 68K with certain heavy lifting functions (graphics transforms or blitter programming) happening on TOM and then usually just Audio/DSP (software mixing) on JERRY.

FWIW, the hardware was quite buggy as well. I think I averaged finding around one undocumented hardware bug per week in the various coprocessing chips while working on the system.

Re:Laugh all you want about the Jaguar (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | about 8 months ago | (#45300843)

Cybermorph

Where did YOU learn to fly?
Where did YOU learn to fly?
Where did YOU learn to fly?
Where did YOU learn to fly?
Where did YOU learn to fly?

Re:Laugh all you want about the Jaguar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45301015)

Oh boy, Cybermorph!

Where did YOU learn to fly? [youtube.com]

T2K Fix (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#45300587)

If reading this has got you all riled up to play some Tempest, Torus Trooper is an excellent high speed, heart pounding alternative. As far as I know it only runs under Linux.

Re:T2K Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45301215)

Windows version: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/windows/tt_e.html
The original platform for it, as a matter fo fact.

Re:T2K Fix (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 8 months ago | (#45301987)

Looks like it would be a fun game. Do you know if anyone is maintaining it for current Linux systems? I found this [sourceforge.net] , but it is from 2005 and both the D language and OpenGL have evolved quite a bit since then. I was hoping to play it on a GL ES device (GCW Zero).

Re:T2K Fix (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | about 8 months ago | (#45304195)

Or just download Dio's Jag emulator, and the freely legally available T2K ROM.

Re:T2K Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45306425)

Also Typhoon 2001.

Re:T2K Fix (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 9 months ago | (#45309421)

I strongly second this one. It's an amazing remake that clearly had a lot of effort put into it and it's an insane amount of fun. I used to play T2K in DOS and Typhoon 2001 is good enough to make me never really want to go back. For some extra fun, you can turn on camera rotation...it'll blow your mind.

Gee Thanks (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about 9 months ago | (#45322573)

I was skeptical at first, but then I realized who wrote it and ... there went a few hours of my life this weekend. After I hacked the source to read the right buttons for my dualshocks [sourceforge.net] (pesky eight button limit, oh well remap 0-3 to 11-14 && debuild) it stole some neurons from a few friends. Really nice in 1920x1080 / 50" glory (I knew I got that fancy graphics card for something). Kind of like playing tempest 2000 inside of speedmine [kfish.org] (happens to be one of my favorite xscreensavers).

Sweet! (1)

mrPalomar (3397) | about 8 months ago | (#45302079)

Tempest 2000 was also released for DOS in the mid 90s. It was awesome. I'm still bitter about getting ripped off by an eBay seller a few years later when I paid for a copy that I never received.

Wheres Oscar....Not Tempest withth the Spinner!! (1)

b_dover (773956) | about 8 months ago | (#45303057)

Its not Tempest without the Oscar Vortex Spinner!!

Tempest X3 - Playstation (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 8 months ago | (#45304379)

It's worth noting you didn't have to be "one of the 5 people with an Atari Jaguar" to play the original game. High Voltage Software did a port of the game to Playstation titled Tempest X3. I even did a very tiny amount of work on that project although I don't remember if I received a formal credit or not.

One of the 5 people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45322599)

Uhm... around 250,000 units is not 5. It's one thing to overflow what you are saying, but the numbers are about 50,000 times off!

Space Giraffe (1)

slim (1652) | about 9 months ago | (#45324115)

I love what Minter did with Tempest to create Space Giraffe - Xbox 360 and later PC.

Lots of people don't get it, but that's because they haven't taken the time to understand it properly. I urge you to try it out, with the "missing manual" http://minotaurproject.co.uk/SpaceGiraffe/walkthrough.php [minotaurproject.co.uk]

I'm not sure I can love a simple Tempest any more.

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