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Comments on: Astraware Releases High Res GTS Racing Game

Astraware and Pazzazz Games have released an update to their popular game, GTS Racing Challenge. The new version includes high resolution graphics and enhanced audio.
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yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....

navomaal @ 6/11/2003 5:27:00 PM #
Yep...the first one....and I have been waiting for this game for the longest time.........

RE: yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....
micho @ 6/11/2003 5:39:14 PM #
would someone care to comment on the game playability? does it have smooth playing? animation? etc.

Micho
Cassiopeia E11 -> Aero 1550 -> iPAQ 3150 -> Toshiba e310 -> Clie SJ10 -> Palm Vx -> Clie SJ30

RE: yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....
kevdo @ 6/11/2003 6:08:59 PM #
I can't tell you how gorgeous this game looks in hi-res (it looked great in low-res too!).

As for playability it seems to have the same level of performance - meaning it plays great! It had pauses when using the Graffiti area for steering but I don't think that's the most effective way to steer, so I don't care.

The new feature where it saves the game actually makes the game whole lot more "playable" in that you won't love your game if you need to get back to work, heh heh.

Am waiting for the version with better sounds. As it is, this thing takes up 1175k of RAM. That's a down-side albiet a minor one given the quality of the game.

Astraware rocks!


-Kevin Crossman

RE: yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....
Thunderball @ 6/12/2003 1:15:21 AM #
New era?

You seem to have forgotten Race Fever by Digital Fiction for PalmOS 3. That game blew everything else away when it was released, and I am still unsure whether this game beats it or not.

Does this one have:

* Silky smooth framerate regardless of number of cars on the screen?
* Analogue steering?
* Two player IR mode?

I haven't read much about this one, but to me, Race Fever is in a class of its own on the Palm. And remember, they managed it on a 17mhz 68k CPU!

RE: yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....
hkklife @ 6/12/2003 9:21:28 AM #
Rave Fever *was* an outstanding game. So much that I seem to recall Sony bundling it with some of the early Clies--the S300 or so, I think. But like all too many titles (especially entertainment ones) for Palms, the developer never saw fit to continue updating the softwre for newer devices/OS's. Ever since I registered a heap of titles by Ludisoft/Gameloft and none of them were ever updates to be OS5-compliant, I've been very hesitant to register anything from a small-time developer-I'd rather stick with someone like Astraware and know that I will get reasonable support and at least one update to the title.

What I'd like to see is an updated Palm version of the classic Atari top-down arcade racer Super Sprint-I think there was a version a few years ago for OS 3-4 devices but I am sure it won't run on any of the newer machines. An official Palm version of Marble Madness would also be killer!

RE: yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....
Thunderball @ 6/12/2003 3:28:53 PM #
Well... I don't know if Digital Fiction is a small time developer or not, but if you look at their homepage, they have released a Gameboy Advance title and are about to release a Playstation2 game...

My guess is that the success of Race Fever got them into the "real" game business. Well deserved too.

I know I will write to them when I get an OS6 device, if Race Fever won't work on it.

RE: yet a new era in palm gaming begins.....
ardiri @ 6/13/2003 10:09:11 AM #
> I don't know if Digital Fiction is a small time developer

in 2000/2001 a few bigger game companies tried out the PalmOS platform to test the waters and see how 'successful' they could be - and, Digital Fiction was obviously one of these companies. probably due to a lack of response/not meeting expectations; they have put their PalmOS projects on the back burner and focused on other platforms (GameBoy Advance et al) where there is a lot more money to be made.


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

And...

abosco @ 6/11/2003 5:39:53 PM #
Let me voice my opinion for the 30th time that I am disatisfied with its slow performance, even on doubled framerates. Looks great, but it could benefit from some speed ARMlets.

Also...

"The 3D engine has been updated to provide both 320x320 and 320x480 high resolution graphics in 256 colors."

On my NX, it isn't 320x480. You can use the graffiti area for steering, but it's not space used for racing and graphics. It's still a graffiti area.

-Bosco
Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods

RE: And...
Admin @ 6/11/2003 5:47:22 PM #
thx abosco I'll fix that
RE: And...
IanJD @ 6/11/2003 6:28:54 PM #
On the T|C it runs very smoothly, though the sound is awfully crude; on the T|T the frame rate is noticably slower but it's still playable, and the sound is somewhat curiously, noticably better. Not just louder, it seems like sampled sound on the T|T rather than beep-beeps on the T|C.

RE: And...
twizza @ 6/11/2003 6:44:14 PM #
There was a note in the readme file that sounds for the TC and Z71 are beeps because the sound enhancements didnt not make it into this version for PalmOS 5.2.1. It is said that that will be fixed soon. Hopefully soon is like a few weeks so that I can join the ranks of wondersful sounding games with my z71.

Which device play it ok?

epall @ 6/11/2003 7:49:27 PM #
It seems that some palms can play the hires version well while others are way too slow. Let's see if we can come up with a list of devices that can play this game effectively. For the first data point, my T665C is way too slow.

RE: Which device play it ok?
htomlinson @ 6/11/2003 8:55:32 PM #
While the game will run on lower end hi-res devices, we've found that 66MHz is the realistic cut-off for having the game play really well in hi-res. Its your choice between looks and performance. If you have a 33MHz hi-res device, you'll probably get a better game experience by playing the low-res version.


If you get to play the game on an OS5 ARM device, GTS will use ARMlets to make the road surface render more smoothly. The screenshots above are taken from the simulator, and don't look as sharp as they do on the real devices!

We're pleased with the effect of GTS in Hi-Res, and of course also with the enhanced sound! (T|C and Z71 owners, we haven't forgotten you!)

Regards,
Howard. ( CEO, Astraware. )



RE: Which device play it ok?
Altema @ 6/12/2003 1:17:01 AM #
"If you get to play the game on an OS5 ARM device, GTS will use ARMlets to make the road surface render more smoothly. The screenshots above are taken from the simulator, and don't look as sharp as they do on the real devices!"

Howard, great to see you out and about! I know exactly what you are talking about regarding the difference between the simulator and a real OS 5 device. Having already loaded and played the game, I thought the screen shots here on PIC were of the low res version. Everything is much sharper and clearer on the actual device... the cars almost look photo-realistic. The game plays well on the T|T, but with the game speed set to double it is almost too fast to be playable. I guess that's to be expected though :)

Glad you implemented the game save feature which is common on most of your products. I'll feel more comfortable going for a championship now. The sound is nice, I assume those are sampled engine revs and tire squeals? Much better than the original. I had a little problem with a "tickertape" sound after the first few plays, but I'll reload the game, as it's probably something funny on my device. I'm having so much fun racing, I won't even mention anything about an updated version of Zap... oops, too late!

Paul

RE: Which device play it ok?
hkklife @ 6/12/2003 9:13:22 AM #
Well, I've played it extensively on my T|T and briefly on a T|C. On "normal" speed mode, it's a touch slow on the T, but perfect on the C (probably the best compromise of playability and speed, IMHO). On "double" speed mode (on either device) it really is almost too fast to be really playable. I hope to give the game a whirl on a Z71 in the next day or two so I can report on that when I get around to it. Overall, a major and much-needed improvement to the game, even though it seemed like I waited ages for the high-res update since I registered GTS 1.00. Kudos again to Astraware!

Now all we need is a high-res update for Zap 2016...


RE: Which device play it ok?
edyaw @ 6/12/2003 11:10:14 AM #
I just purchased the game and it works fine on my NR70V Clie. It's kinda scary though, it's the first real game I have on my PDA. (not counting solitare)

RE: Which device play it ok?
Altema @ 6/12/2003 11:26:05 AM #
"I just purchased the game and it works fine on my NR70V Clie. It's kinda scary though, it's the first real game I have on my PDA. (not counting solitare)"

My first real game was Zap!2000 for my old IIIe. I've carried it on all my devices since then, and still have Zap!2016 on my T|T now. I guess I went kind of crazy when I was recovering from foot surgery, and have about 30+ registered games. I rarely play them during the day, mostly a few minutes while relaxing at home. I'm always on the lookout for something new though, but it does not stay on my device unless it is either really good, or really small and mildly interesting.

RE: Which device play it ok?
epall @ 6/12/2003 12:53:14 PM #
You guys say it's playable on 66Mhz devices? I beg to differ. On my 66Mhz T665C, the game is too choppy to be fun at normal, double, or automatic speed.

RE: Which device play it ok?
Altema @ 6/12/2003 2:25:00 PM #
"You guys say it's playable on 66Mhz devices? I beg to differ. On my 66Mhz T665C, the game is too choppy to be fun at normal, double, or automatic speed."

I originally registered this game after trying it on a 33Mhz M515, but that was the low res version. It was a little slow, but still very playable. What may be affecting the performance (if you are using the hi-res version), is that your device has 2 times the CPU speed of the M5xx, but is doing 4 times the work due to the hi res. Low res is 25,600 pixels, hi res is 102,400 pixels.

RE: Which device play it ok?
volcanopele @ 6/12/2003 3:03:33 PM #
I find the hi-res version to be quite playable on my NR70V. It is a tad slower than the low-res version but not at all choppy. My times are about the same if not a tad better than what I had with the previous low-res version.

RE: Which device play it ok?
ardiri @ 6/13/2003 3:34:18 AM #
> Low res is 25,600 pixels, hi res is 102,400 pixels.

when running on 68k devices and you are doing fullscreen updates - if your not using hand built assembler routines; your going to have the app run *slow*. using WinCopyRectangle() just isn't going to cut it for doing full screen updates with speed. palm's API's are built to be idiot-proof, and, you can easily remove a lot of checks/optimize your algorithms to give ultra-fast screen updates (ie: 5-6x faster than WinCopyRectangle())...

this of course does make the possibility your app wont run on newer devices - but, thats why you check the hardware to make sure you can do these types of things.. (also, you wont get Certification on your app if you do direct screen access - unless you really beg for an exception).

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

RE: Which device play it ok?
fujifilm @ 6/22/2003 5:11:53 PM #
My Zire71 plays it very good - much better than the racing games on my iPAQ3660.

Zire71 + iPAQ3660 + some older PDA's

Promo code for GTS Racing

TennMan @ 6/11/2003 8:13:04 PM #
I found this promo code on the boards over at ClieSource if anyone is interested in a 25% discount off GTS Racing. The promotion is good until the end of June. http://www.astraware.com/shop2-5/?promo=PTSJ3

RE: Promo code for GTS Racing
edyaw @ 6/12/2003 3:25:39 PM #
Thanks TM, I used it. My wife will be pleased that I saved money on the game!

Weird Sound on T|T

Fahad429 @ 6/13/2003 1:45:41 AM #
The game seems really nice the way it looks and all, but I think there is some problem with the sound; I hear sort of like a tapping/rattling sound while playing the race. It gets really annoying after a while. If the graphics of the game weren't as nice as they are, I would have deleted the game just because of the sound, long time ago.

Does anyone know why this sound could be? I went to Astraware.com to look more into the issue. The website says that there is free sound upgrade for registered users. Does that mean all those stupid sounds will transform into nice music and SFX once I buy the software?

Any comments!?

RE: Weird Sound on T|T
Trandor @ 6/13/2003 2:57:18 AM #
I get the same problem on my T|T aswell. It sounds like the sound samples are being clipped for some reason.

I'm yet to find a solution, though admittedly I haven't put a lot of effort into it yet.

Has anyone figured out how to fix this?

Aside from the sound problem, it's a very nice game.

RE: Weird Sound on T|T
ardiri @ 6/13/2003 3:25:16 AM #
> I hear sort of like a tapping/rattling sound while playing the race.

unfortunately, in our experiences with playing audio on the new devices - there is a serious bug with the SndPlayResource() API call. we have never had good sound come out from it - and, after you call it a couple of times the sound can stop altogether.

in our latest lemmings update (http://www.ardiri.com/palm/lemmings) we now have MIDI music and enhanced sound effects (Sony and OS5 enhanced). the clarity of the sounds and music are very clear - mainly because we wrote our own music and sfx callbacks to avoid the use of SndPlayResource(). check it out.

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

RE: Weird Sound on T|T
Pathdoc @ 6/13/2003 8:12:38 AM #
There are conflicts between GTS and the Palm keyboard drivers older than 1.5, CaseToggle, and Slidefree.

To eliminate the clicking with the keyboard driver, disable it if it is enabled. If it is not enabled, enable it and then disable it. Unfortunately, the next time you shut off your TT and turn it on again, the clicking will come back. Simply repeat the steps above.

With regard to how to correct this with CaseToggle or Slidefree. I do not know.

According to exchanges I am having with Astraware support, they are working on it.

RE: Weird Sound on T|T
Altema @ 6/13/2003 2:03:44 PM #
"To eliminate the clicking with the keyboard driver, disable it if it is enabled. If it is not enabled, enable it and then disable it. Unfortunately, the next time you shut off your TT and turn it on again, the clicking will come back. Simply repeat the steps above."

Although a workaround in the game would be nice (Kickoo did a fix for a conflict with this driver and Breakout the same day), Palm needs to fix this driver. I've never seen a keyboard driver cause this many problems, in addition to the battery drain when active... even when not on the keyboard. Does it leave the serial port hanging open all the time or something?

Cornering is not realistic

garyduke @ 6/13/2003 2:19:39 AM #
The problem with GTS is that the corners are not curvy, but rather made of a few straight lines positioned to approximate a circle. I guess this has to do partly with the fact that the ground is not really 3D, but a distorted quadrangle a la that old dos game Wacky Races.

Anyhow, unlike Race Fever, in which you can hold the wheel in a position and sail smoothly thru a corner, GTS and its jagged zigzaggy corners make for a very unrealistic driving experience.

Finally, I find that it runs way to fast in Automatic mode.... Isn't there a timer in place to make sure its running at the same relative driving speed across all Palm devices?

RE: Cornering is not realistic
ardiri @ 6/13/2003 3:28:16 AM #
you didn't expect a true 3D engine to come from astraware did you gary? :)

this game pretty much uses a flat course engine rendered as you said 'whacky wheels' style and bitmaps are overlayed as the engine decides it should. technically speaking, this game is of lower-difficulty (programming wise) when compared to race fever and vrally (both good games).

as with every astraware product, the graphics look nice and they fool you to think that there is something cooler going on under the surface. when we get speed bumps, hills (gradual) and a real 3D feel to the game, then - hats off to astraware. but right now, its just another 2D game made look 3D. some interesting more realistic 3D stuff you can find here
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=139

i should put getting a little racing game demo out a higher priority :)

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

RE: Cornering is not realistic
hkklife @ 6/13/2003 9:30:36 AM #
Hey Aaron, good to see you posting some more tidbits for us. I agree with the sentiments of everyone else that the game's not that realistic but since VRally and RaveFever reached the end of their development lives long ago, what other choice do we have for some Palm racing action? That is, unless you guys come up with something for us down the road...

On a semi-related note, is there going to be another update to MT3D anytime soon or is that up to Cascata? Also, have you heard any more rumblings about someone going after id for permission to do an "official" Doom port to Palm OS?

RE: Cornering is not realistic
ardiri @ 6/13/2003 10:05:21 AM #
> Hey Aaron,
> good to see you posting some more tidbits for us.

i lurk on occasion :)

> I agree with the sentiments of everyone else
> that the game's not that realistic but since
> VRally and RaveFever reached the end of their
> development lives long ago, what other choice do
> we have for some Palm racing action? That is,
> unless you guys come up with something for us
> down the road...

in the short term? not much :)

you could try to contact the developers of VRally or RaceFever and have them update - or, propose some suggestions to astraware directly; maybe they can make adjustments to suit your needs in their application?

> On a semi-related note, is there going to be
> another update to MT3D anytime soon or is that
> up to Cascata? Also, have you heard any more
> rumblings about someone going after id for
> permission to do an "official" Doom port to Palm OS?

MT3D will have a new level pack soon.

we got distracted lately with 'paying' projects (you will see some of it soon) so, our 'fun' development has slowed down a bit - but, it is still in the works! as for Doom? no progress, and, all you have is the screen shots we posted unfortunately.


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

games..

greentruck15 @ 6/13/2003 8:22:48 AM #
I do not think that this game is fun. It gets pretty boring after something like 10 min., I am glad that I didn't purchase it because for the price Iwould have paid for this, I could have pumped quarters in the crazy taxi game at Walmart everyday for the next couple weeks. Tell me when Project Gotham comes out for Palm OS - right..

Swiss Cheese
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