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Comments on: Intersellar Flames Hits the Palm OS

Interstellar Flames, one of the most visually acclaimed and best-selling games for Pocket PC, has been released for Palm OS 5 devices. It also marks the first Palm OS title from Xengames.
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Great game

abosco @ 1/12/2004 6:01:04 PM #
Pfft, the tipper gets no respect. What a scam!

I saw this game in action for PPC a while back, and I turned green with envy. I've tried the demo, and I've become instantly hooked. Kudos to MW for the music engine. Ardiri was totally right when he said some good techno music really heightens the experience.

I wonder if the landscape HVGA would work on a TT3. Don't they use the same OS 5.2.1 API for HVGA? And Garmin? Hmm..

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Great game
Bartman007 @ 1/12/2004 6:13:39 PM #
Regardlesss of whether or not they use the same Virtual Graffiti/HVGA API, both devices you mentioned lack the ATI Infineon graphics chip and the Yamaha audio acceleration.
Too bad... Oh well, hopefully games like this help Tapwave gain ground in the PDA industry. I think I'm going to buy a POS6 Zodiac, if/when they come out, to replace my T|T


Peace,
-Bartman007

RE: Great game
Altema @ 1/12/2004 6:22:06 PM #
Nope, no 320x480 support on the T3, at least with the demo. Music is LOUD... guess I should know better than to sneak a try at the office!

RE: Great game
Verteron @ 1/12/2004 6:37:55 PM #
Considering this game pushes the 400MHz XScale processor in a PocketPC running at 240x320, I feel that HVGA would be almost impossible without graphics acceleration on either platform. Hence it'll run full screen on the Zodiac but not on CLIEs, the T3 or the iQue.

RE: no 3d processor
acorntree @ 1/12/2004 6:41:20 PM #
I don't know what overhead are in doing landscape,
asside from the extra resolution. However the Zodiac
has a dedicated video processor.

RE: Great game
DevPOV @ 1/12/2004 6:59:28 PM #
The Zodiac also has special libraries for rending 2d/3d graphics. These are proprietary to the Z.

But the Z will never gain ground until they fix that flimsy cradle. Feels like it's going to break off. Their Palm Desktop also clobbers the more "recent" TE/T3 desktop which is really sad.

RE: Great game
kevdo @ 1/12/2004 7:06:58 PM #
>But the Z will never gain ground until they fix that flimsy cradle.

The typical Zodiac user probably won't be using a cradle (cradles are most typically used in office environments).

That said, I have the cradle and it is actually pretty good. The Zodiac isn't perfect but among the things that need to be fixed the cradle ranks pretty low, IMHO.

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Great game
Impartial @ 1/12/2004 8:48:37 PM #
What things do need to be fixed? I have a Z2 and the only issue I could come up with is the analogue joystick. The cradle is pretty darn good, and the Z is WAY more steady than my T|T ever was on it. The audio is superb, the screen is the best ever, and I've actually come to like the way the stylus attaches. What's not to like?
RE: Great game
Hal2000 @ 1/12/2004 10:12:59 PM #
I agree, and have pushed my Z2 to eat a T3 for breakfast.......why wait for anything else.

Pro>Prism>TG50>Zodiac2/T616
RE: Great game
DevPOV @ 1/13/2004 1:33:50 AM #
Sorry... Meant to say the Z "1"'s cable connection (not cradle). It sucks big: flimsy. And for us that have multiple devices, being forced to uninstall newer desktops (and newer conduits for the PIMS) for theirs sucked.

RE: Great game
ardiri @ 1/13/2004 5:03:52 AM #
Pfft, the tipper gets no respect. What a scam!
thats because i tipped as well - probably well before you *g*

Kudos to MW for the music engine. Ardiri was totally right when he said some good techno music really heightens the experience.
beleive it or not, thats MIDI being played back there - yes, even DOOM used midi; and, its not limiting as some people may say; you can do more with MIDI than you can with something like XM or MOD - hell, we can even use custom samples in our MIDI playback engine :)

we love to showcase our MIDI engine - it really makes a difference to any game. so, if you think a game needs better music - get them in touch with us. *g*

I wonder if the landscape HVGA would work on a TT3. Don't they use the same OS 5.2.1 API for HVGA? And Garmin? Hmm..
while we were not responsible for the main application development; i know for sure that landscape mode on the TT3 and Garmin are not optimized sufficiently to get decent playback. i believe the generic PalmOS version runs at 320x320 or 160x160 - depending on the device; no HVGA support; except on the Tapwave Zodiac itself (and, there is a special version for that)

---
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer
aaron_ardiri@mobilewizardry.com
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/members/aaron_ardiri.php

RE: Great game
ardiri @ 1/13/2004 5:09:06 AM #
Music is LOUD... guess I should know better than to sneak a try at the office!

there is an option to turn it down *g*


---
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer
aaron_ardiri@mobilewizardry.com
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/members/aaron_ardiri.php

RE: Great game
kevdo @ 1/13/2004 10:47:55 AM #
>And for us that have multiple devices, being forced to uninstall newer desktops
> (and newer conduits for the PIMS) for theirs sucked.

Again, think of the target market for the Zodiac. In this case, because their version of the Palm Deskop adds a considerable amount of functionality for their device I am okay with this (though I do understand your point). It'd be nice if they built in a "compatibility mode."

I find the cable connector fine. I locks in pretty good and I can even pick up the Zodiac by the cable.

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Great game
helf @ 1/13/2004 1:31:12 PM #
its ok...

RE: Great game
Altema @ 1/13/2004 2:12:58 PM #
"there is an option to turn it down *g*"

Yeah, but not before you run it the first time!

RE: Great game
Altema @ 1/13/2004 2:16:30 PM #
"we love to showcase our MIDI engine - it really makes a difference to any game. so, if you think a game needs better music - get them in touch with us. *g*"

Speaking of better music, maybe you should make an offer to the developers of Shatterd Worlds Space Combat. The intro music is ok, but it's just a short loop that gets repetitive. No music during gameplay, so I usually just run an MP3 in the background which can get annoying when you go between missions and have two tracks playing at the same time.

It's kind of an odd situation, as Interstellar Flames has the best music and more interesting graphics, but Space Combat has better gameplay and smoother framerates (related to the detail, of course). You can control your speed, manuever in any direction, lock targets, pick weapons, control shields and firepower, all while in the middle of a dogfight. In my opinion, this is much more interesting than just steering. Another oddity is that several devices have as many as nine controls on the keypad, but Flames ignores the whole collection, even at the menus.

RE: Great game
abosco @ 1/13/2004 2:48:19 PM #
>>thats because i tipped as well - probably well before you *g*

Yeah, but your words weren't plagiarized like mine were! ;) Walkout!! WAALK-OUT!!

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Great game
just_little_me @ 1/13/2004 3:19:49 PM #
Just to elaborate on Altema's point... I really hate apps that don't honour the chosen user preferences - like sound volume!! If I say "game sounds off" I damn well mean it! As a developer I know it's not hard to do this either... in fact it almost takes a conscious effort to ignore the user settings!!


JLM

RE: Great game
just_little_me @ 1/13/2004 3:26:31 PM #
Ardiri wrote: "beleive it or not, thats MIDI being played back there"

Errm, so what's with all the WAV data in the app then...? That sure ain't MIDI...


JLM

RE: Great game
Tungstenman @ 1/13/2004 9:02:11 PM #
but...

with the tungsten T, it has to run in low resolution mode which really bugs me. It is still a great game though, I suppose I will buy the next OS6 handheld if it is enough of a "revolution" for me. It would definately run wll then.

A Palm in one hand is worth 2 PocketPCs
: )
-Steve B.

RE: Great game
ivo_jager @ 1/14/2004 3:33:37 AM #
> Errm, so what's with all the WAV data in the app
> then...? That sure ain't MIDI...

You're right. There are a couple of small WAV samples we use as instruments on devices that don't have wavetable hardware. Hell, we could synthesize them on the fly, but this just sounds better. :)
For the software synth, we take a MIDI file then play the notes using these samples, much like a MOD/XM file. The only difference is the huge flexibility the MIDI format offers. MIDI isn't *THE* industry standard for nothing...
Ever heard a MOD/XM file with reverb/chorus/filters/unl.polyphony/panning effects ? Software Fidelity does it all :) You'll notice some subtle reverb and panning FX in IF.
Then, ofcourse there's the speed advantage of MIDI on devices with dedicated hardware.



Ivo Jager
Deity3D/Dolphin3D/Fidelity lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com

RE: Great game
rsc1000 @ 1/14/2004 4:44:10 PM #
>>The Zodiac also has special libraries for rending 2d/3d graphics. These are proprietary to the Z.

Yeah but does Intersteller Flames use these? I mean - the game plays well on a T3 (its kind of crap on slower ARM devices like the T1, T2, and Zire71 - it drops to low-res) but that's at least in part because these devices don't have adequate dynamic ram. Would these guys do seperate code to use fathammer when its clear they already have there own engine? I doubt it - but maybe im wrong.

RE: Great game
allemande @ 1/14/2004 11:46:49 PM #
They have their own graphic engine, that's why they can do cross platform port so fast. They have their game proted on all 5 handheld OSes now. Linux, Symbian, PPC, Smartphone, and now POS.
Average game
JonathanChoo @ 1/15/2004 3:01:20 PM #
Played it on PPC a year ago on the StrongARM processor. Don't see why they can't get it to 320x480 on XScale.

Generic Casio > Psion 5/StarTac > Vx > m505 > Sony N770C > Sony T625C/Ericsson T39m > Sony NR70V > Toshiba e310 > Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m > HP h2210 > Tungsten T3/Ericsson T610

PIC's lying headline

mikecane @ 1/13/2004 11:34:27 AM #
"Intersellar Flames Hits the Palm OS"

-- geez, it's only about a GAME?

And here I was waiting to see the response from Rumsfeld!

RE: PIC's lying headline
abosco @ 1/13/2004 2:49:21 PM #
Oh man, of all the cheesy lines I've heard this week, this one easily takes the cake!

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616
RE: PIC's lying headline
mikecane @ 1/13/2004 6:02:09 PM #
What kind of cake?

RE: PIC's lying headline
abosco @ 1/13/2004 9:23:51 PM #
Fruit cake. At least you sure as hell are! :D

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616
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