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Comments on: Cascata Releases 3D Action Game: Master Thief

Cascata today announced the launch of Master Thief, a new Palm OS game. Master Thief is the first totally original 3D game created for the Palm OS platform, and was produced in conjunction with MobileWizardry using a modified version of their advanced 3D Deity Engine. The game will run in either grayscale or color on Palm OSŪ 3.3+ and 4.x. A modified version will be subsequently released for OS 5 XSCALE devices.
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Could get this to work on my 665

Draven @ 10/29/2002 4:16:40 AM #
This game looks really good and I was eager to try it out but when I tried to run it, it told me my PDA did not meet the minimum requirements. I have a Sony Clie T665. I emailed Cascata about the problem. If anyone else has experienced this problem and figured out how to fix it please let me know. Thanks.

Draven

SuperVZ bug
ivo_jager @ 10/29/2002 4:24:39 AM #
Sorry about all this. We've found a bug that prevents it from running on SuperVZ equipped devices. A new version should be up in 48h (gotta wait for the webmaster to return, grrrr).

Ivo Jager
MT3D lead developer

RE: Could get this to work on my 665
IanJD @ 10/29/2002 4:27:39 AM #
Same problem on my NR70V, have emailed their support without reply.

RE: Could get this to work on my 665
kozmos @ 10/29/2002 5:33:15 AM #
Ivo, thanks for a great game... this THE 3d game for palm OS.

anyway, how's that when playing with hardware buttons the speed is aboutt 5fps slower than when using graffiti area to navigate? with overclocking to 45 mhz I get abou 10 fps using the buttons and 15fps using the graffiti area. FX set to HIGH. :) Thanks for any insight you may provide.

RE: Could get this to work on my 665
Draven @ 10/30/2002 5:47:15 AM #
Is the fix in for the Dragonballs Super VZ yet? :)

RE: Could get this to work on my 665
ivo_jager @ 10/30/2002 6:42:58 AM #
Yes. (yay !:)
The SuperVZ bug has now been fixed and a new version is available for download at www.cascatagames.com

Ivo Jager
MT3D lead developer


This game sucks!

zhamilton @ 10/29/2002 5:43:10 AM #
I have a visor pro.
The graphics of this game on my visor pro were nice and crisp although I found it to dark even when the contrast was set. Even in 16 grays you could see quite a view.

But what bothered me was the game play.
I found it very frustrating.
You think they would go the doom way, you know where there is no up/down but no, they make you actually target the enemy which I found absolutly frustrating!
Try using the graffiti and keys together. Its impossible!

The graphics are OK, but if the game-play sucks, who will play this!
I think I am going to be sick...

RE: This game sucks!
formerlyanon @ 10/29/2002 9:47:35 AM #
maybe u should be able to tap where u want to shoot, maybe also turn and look up/down, although that is probably only done well with mice and move with the keys. like the keyboard and mouse combination on pc shootemups.

i couldnt try it, my palm 3 is dead. fell down when painting wall.

__________________________________________________________________
My palm III was 50p from a charity shop, and introduced me to pdas

RE: This game sucks!
jcmorganstein @ 10/29/2002 1:17:54 PM #
Holy smokes! Your PalmIII paints walls!!! I was just stoked if my backlight came on!

-jcm
RE: This game sucks!
rsc1000 @ 10/29/2002 1:36:39 PM #
>>You think they would go the doom way, you know where there is no up/down but no, they make you actually target the enemy which I found absolutly frustrating!
Try using the graffiti and keys together. Its impossible!

NO, no, no - use it like Doom - just use the keys! It works fine that way. If the crosshair is above or below what yr trying to shoot then you will strill hit it - just like Doom. The only reason you need to use the stylus is a) to look around and enjoy the scenary, and b) to take out / look for hidden cameras (and other things i guess) on the ceiling - none off which are even to be worried about on the demo level.

As for the game play 'sucking' - play it liuke Doom! There is no other / better way that they could do the controls on a Palm device. Treat it liuke Doom BUT with the added bonus of being able to look up and down.

RE: This game sucks!
Tomcatt1 @ 10/31/2002 12:44:47 AM #
The game looked pretty good on a friends IIIxe after I beamed it to him. Wouldn't work on my Handera however. The web site says "Master Thief runs on all Palm devices?
Yes, " Maybe it should say "most", or am I way off base and doing something wrong?



RE: This game sucks!
ardiri @ 11/1/2002 2:33:46 AM #
> Wouldn't work on my Handera however.

MT3D uses advanced blitting technology and accesses the screen directly (hence, the speed). the demonstration version supports 160x160 natively, and, works in 320x320 using compatibility mode (ie: Sony).

We also have a native 320x320 version, which, we could modify to be 240x240 :) however, it is not available yet (this is the release specific to the tungsten unit).

MobileWizardry/ardiri.com has supported the Handera 330 unit previously, however, our market research showed that it wasn't a 'gaming' platforn; hence, our reluctancy to support it :) the extra work required to have the applications compatible just dind't pay off with registrations :) With enough nagging, i am sure we'll support it :P


// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

New version for OS5? Why?

EdH @ 10/29/2002 9:35:15 AM #
Other than hacks, I thought all OS 4.x software was supposed to run on OS 5 in PACE. Is this not correct?

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
big_raji @ 10/29/2002 9:39:14 AM #
I think it's because the 3D engine bypasses the OS, and takes complete control over the graphics processing and rendering. OS 5 probably doesn't allow that.


---
George W. Bush at his best!
http://raj.phangureh.com/foolme.html

That's why !
ivo_jager @ 10/29/2002 9:56:43 AM #
MT3D was written in pure 68K assembler, whilst still adhering to the rules of PalmOS.
It actually DOES run on PACE (but we disabled it), approx. as fast as a 33Mhz dragonball device.
To take advantage of the extra speed the ARM core offers, we ported the 68K assembler to C so we can build native ARM code (or ARMlets if you like).
You'll be getting pure ARM native code, no emulation. That's why !
I can tell you the speed increase is staggering. (20+ FPS @ 320x320 resolution)



RE: New version for OS5? Why?
Admin @ 10/29/2002 9:58:00 AM #
I believe they are optimizing this game for specific processors to get the most they can out of each set of hardware.

Yes most, 90-75%, of OS 4 apps will run on Palm OS 5. The ones that have issues are typically graphics intensive apps that break PalmSource's programming guidelines.

I have seen it in person on the Tungsten T and it is *very* smooth and fluid, something like ~30 frames per second...

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
ardiri @ 10/29/2002 9:59:55 AM #
> Other than hacks, I thought all OS 4.x software was
> supposed to run on OS 5 in PACE. Is this not correct?

PACE will run 4.x applications; but, keep in mind that MT3D is a complex 3D engine, written entirely in 68k code (very few API calls were made) - so, it'll run like ultra-crap under PACE :)

our tests have shown it runs around 80% the speed. we have been working on an ARM version, which, was demonstrated worldwide (i demonstrated it in sweden and the uk, neil+chip demonstrated it at NYC event). it doesn't run at a 10-15 fps rate, it runs at well over 40 fps. we slowed it down to 20 fps, as, then its playable :) and, it also allows us to do some "cool" things with the extra processing power.

migrating the code from 68k -> ARM is not an easy task, mainly cause the 68k code is pure assembly :) the reason for a seperate release is simply due to the fact that the ARM version is not ready yet :) the demo version shown at the Tungsten announcements was a conversion of an older 68k version.

we have been working with Palm for a few months now, and, of course - we are focusing on bringing kick-ass titles to PalmOS, and, MT3D is the first of many :)

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
kozmos @ 10/29/2002 10:53:19 AM #
I am reposting my previous comment, since it seems mobilewizadry folks missed it before:

thanks for a great game... this THE 3d game for palm OS.

anyway, how's that when playing with hardware buttons the speed is aboutt 5fps slower than when using graffiti area to navigate? with overclocking to 45 mhz I get abou 10 fps using the buttons and 15fps using the graffiti area. FX set to HIGH. :) Thanks for any insight you may provide.

FPS counter
ivo_jager @ 10/29/2002 11:51:58 AM #
It's a quirk in the FPS counter (really a debugging feature for us when optimizing).
Whenever you use the stylus on the screen, the FPS counter gets screwed up. Disregard the values when you use the stylus.

Ivo Jager
MT3D lead developer

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
EdH @ 10/29/2002 12:16:20 PM #
Cool. Thanks for the explanation. :-)

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
rsc1000 @ 10/29/2002 1:44:27 PM #
Ivo / ardiri - amazing job! MobileWizardry seemed to have tweaked the engine somewhat since the original Deity demo - no? I have been looking at this thing for a few days now (playing it on an overclocked Vx and on the POSE emulator w/m515 ROM) - i can't believe you've sqeezed this out of a Palm. It totally leap-frogs anything out there by a magnitude. Keep the good stuff coming!

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
rsc1000 @ 10/29/2002 1:50:15 PM #
One question - why do i get the 'device incompatibilty' dialog using the OS 5 simulator?

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
ChipKerchner @ 10/29/2002 2:04:49 PM #
> One question - why do i get the 'device incompatibilty' dialog using the OS 5 simulator?

The reason is PalmSim reports the CPU as a x86 processor. For the demo, it is looking for a 68k. I have a native x86 version of the MasterThief3D demo. It is blazingly fast.

Chip Kerchner
Co-Founder MobileWizardry


RE: New version for OS5? Why?
ChipKerchner @ 10/29/2002 2:13:36 PM #
Some additional comments why a separate version is needed for the new OS5/ARM devices...

The OS5 version will include features only available for ARM based units. The new Tungsten T units are so fast we were able to supply the user will an increased resolution - 320x320 from previously 160x160. In addition, we added "Super Quality Mode". This is twice the resolution for the raycasting engine and also twice the resolution for the sprites. We are going to add enhanced sounds (aka WAV and MIDI). The Tungsten adds a nice five-way D-pad which is very powerful for games like ours. Movement is much easier (in fact die-hards may want to play the game with one hand). A native ARM game application has so much CPU to spare, we are coming up with new features to use this excess power all the time. Look for even cooler things in the Deity3D II (2) engine.

BTW, 68k Palm user will still be able to enjoy one heck of game. A colored 3D raycasting game on a Palm, oh my!

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
hkklife @ 10/29/2002 3:06:29 PM #
Chip:

Can't wait to play it on the T|T !
Now, when all is said and done, with ALL the bells'n whistles running on a Tungsten T, will the framerates still be reasonable? Even at 320*320?

Are you going to continue optimizations for OS 4/Dragonball units or will all efforts henceforth go into ARM/OS5?

If y'all are still looking for some challenges (or more stuff to add) down the road, how about a landscape mode option, kinda like with a widescreen effect? ;-)
As you said yourself, the purists could still play it in that orientation with just the d-pad.

Any tidbits of future releases on the way (after MT3D is totally polished off, of course)...my GBA is really going to start collecting dust now!

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
ChipKerchner @ 10/29/2002 3:52:48 PM #
> Now, when all is said and done, with ALL the bells'n whistles running on a Tungsten T, will the framerates still be reasonable? Even at 320*320?

Yes, 30-40 FPS Super Quality Mode at 320x320. So higher screen resolutions are a possibility. BTW, Super Q-Mode is totally awesome. The detail level is amazing. Once I get the ARM engine up-to-date, maybe Ryan/PIC will run a few of the new hi-res screenshots.

> Are you going to continue optimizations for OS 4/Dragonball units or will all efforts henceforth go into ARM/OS5?

Maybe. There are limits to how much you can get out of a 68K processor and Ivo (with a bit of help from me) has done a wonderful job. I know of a few areas to "investigate".

> If y'all are still looking for some challenges (or more stuff to add) down the road, how about a landscape mode option, kinda like with a widescreen effect? ;-)
As you said yourself, the purists could still play it in that orientation with just the d-pad.

Reminds me of the Doom screenshot I saw for the EPOC/Symbian Psion.

> Any tidbits of future releases on the way (after MT3D is totally polished off, of course)...my GBA is really going to start collecting dust now!

Possibly multiplayer... Lots of new mission situations. I'm sure the engine can have similar capabilities as Quake, given enough time. We're always open to suggestions.

Chip Kerchner
Co-Founder/Chief Programming Officer (CPO)
MobileWizardry
chip_kerchner@mobilewizardry.com


RE: New version for OS5? Why?
kozmos @ 10/29/2002 4:24:51 PM #
thanks for the comments, Chip!

and btw folks, am I the only one who would like to see a doom mod for deity3d engine?? :-) that would be awsome. anyway, keep up the good work!

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
ardiri @ 10/30/2002 3:16:26 AM #
> am I the only one who would like to see a doom mod for deity3d engine?? :-)

the deity3d engine works in a different way than the doom engine, so, right from the word go, it will not be possible to have a 100% 'compatible' mod for such a thing. but, what i can tell you is this - you should expect a doom port coming to OS5 devices :) wait, and, see *g*

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
ardiri @ 10/30/2002 3:18:20 AM #
> ... running on a Tungsten T, will the framerates still be reasonable? Even at 320*320?

i think its very clear for us to point out our strategy here. we are not a puzzle/hack up a game in a few days/weeks for you to play with. there are a lot of gaming companies for PalmOS claiming "things" they do, but, i dont need to mention any game company names here :)

320x320 display, with OMAP processor, running deity3D engine - we will guarentee 20-30fps. heck, our team managed to pull of the gameboy emulator on a 16Mhz processor, and, the deity3D engine runs with around 10 fps on older 68k units. we also have lemmings running on palmos units at full speed - and, its so fast, we didn't even have to arm'ize it for the tungsten device *g*

if there is CPU power for us to squeeze, be prepared that we will do it - thats the fun of the whole job.

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
PDAinHand @ 10/30/2002 4:07:35 AM #
Hi All

I just wanted to let you know that I have seen Master Thief played on the new Tungsten T and this game with cool sound was great, it is very much like on the desktop computer and to operating was easy, I seen this at the launch in Toronto, Canada an I have photos of the product launch on my website www.pdainhand.com under NEWS.

I have also played this game on my m505, the only problem I have found is that of not being able to change the weapons.

Brett
www.pdainhand.com

PDA in Hand
www.pdainhand.com

RE: New version for OS5? Why?
kozmos @ 10/30/2002 5:17:31 AM #
You can change weapon by pressing starfe and then fire button. Of course you must have mre than one weapon available.
RE: New version for OS5? Why?
hkklife @ 10/30/2002 10:18:06 AM #
AAron, you're KILLING us here with your teasers...;-)but I'm gonna believe them 100%, because I remember the hints you dropped about the Deity3d engine months ago on this board...and look at the masterpiece it's become even on lowly OS 4 handhelds.

I sat around for years waiting for someone to do a decent Doom port to a handheld. The GBA one is ok except for the damned dim screen. PPC Doom sucks battery life waay too fast. Probably the best hope remaining is for someone to pull off a Palm-ized Doom (or even a reasonably good clone).

(I'm also anxious to see Lemmings, btw)
Glad to hear you guys are still so comitted to quality and squeezing everything possible out of the Palm platform!


deity3d benchmark

kozmos @ 10/29/2002 4:35:50 PM #
Chip, or someone from mobilewizardry:

would it be possible to include a standard 3d benchmark test into the deity3d engine (Master Thief), which woul show fps and maybe some other details? That way we could check how much speed do we gain by overclocking palm processor.

RE: deity3d benchmark
swan2925 @ 10/30/2002 4:32:51 AM #
This is a cool idea!!

Experience on a m505

asiayeah @ 10/30/2002 7:58:16 AM #
I've tried the game on a m505. I am only able to play smoothly under the low-quality rendering mode with no over-clocking.

I think the game engine is a good work, but with a 160x160 display, the game is barely playable.

I am looking forward for a ARM version, as another compelling reason to get a Tungsten T.

Tony

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

Couldn't get it to work

hudsonhawk @ 10/31/2002 1:10:47 AM #
Looks fantastic in POSE - but that's the only place i could get it to run. It doesn't seem to like my PalmPersonal (w/ upgrade) very much.

Too low of a resolution perhaps?

RE: Couldn't get it to work
ivo_jager @ 10/31/2002 3:56:16 AM #
MT3D needs a Palm with at least 4-bit (that's 16 shades) grayscale capability. Your upgraded Palm personal only can display 2-bit graphics (that's 4 shades) Sorry...

Ivo Jager
MT3D lead developer



RE: Couldn't get it to work
hudsonhawk @ 10/31/2002 4:42:39 PM #

No worries - I've had it 6 1/2 years, maybe its finally time to upgrade. Those IIIc's are awfully tempting for 100 bucks....



100$ ? Get one !
ivo_jager @ 11/1/2002 3:51:06 AM #
I own a IIIc, i got a state of the art multimedia powerhouse PocketPC with integrated phone.
Guess which one is gathering dust here... ;)
IIIc's are great. (IMHO ofcourse)

Ivo Jager
MT3D lead developer

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