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Descent 1 and 2 stars on Iyonix

By Chris Williams. Published: 29th Jul 2003, 02:44:12 | Permalink | Printable

May all your droid blasting be XScale powered

Gaming R-Comp Interactive have this week finalised and released 32 bit "enhanced" versions of their RISC OS ports of Descent 1 and 2. The 32 bit versions are available primarily as an upgrade from the originally sold 26 bit versions.

Screenshot from Descent

Another screenshot from Descent
Descent 1 and 2 are 3D action games found previously on PC and Sony Playstation platforms. They essentially involve the player screaming around a Total Recall style planetry mining installation in a personal figher ship. Your near suicidal mission is to eliminate mindless, out of control mining and security robots and shut down the installation's power systems - like Mad Professor Mariarti but better and not in 256 colours.

Making Descent 1 and 2 Iyonix compatible opens up various graphical features now possible on the faster XScale processor - R-Comp claim there's improved lighting, bi-linear filtering so textures look smooth up close and not so pixellated, smoother gameplay and new transparency effects. The Descent 2 cut scene movies also work, which is ace. Dave McEwen, the programmer who worked on Descent 1 and 2, recently posted some rough FPS values to the newsgroups. According to Dave, Descent 2 running at 640x480 in 32k colours on the Iyonix gives 36fps, compared to a StrongARM RiscPC's 13fps in the same resolution.

Additionally this week, R-Comp announced support for the MicroDigital Alpha in a new version of UniPrint, R-Comp's printing-via-Windows software.


R-Comp Interactive

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Hmmm, UniPrint on Alpha - so does that mean that proper networking works? If so then I want, nay, demand to buy the emulator software seperate from the laptop.

 is a RISC OS Userdansguardian on 29/7/03 8:24AM
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Sadly no, it doesn't mean proper networking. The VA/Alpha/PC card version(s) of UniPrint work on a single machine, rather than using networking (which would be overkill for a single machine!)

It works a treat though!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 29/7/03 10:08AM
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I hope they will make a IYONIX version of HOMM2. This game is one of the few that I really like :p)

 is a RISC OS Userdfeugey on 29/7/03 10:22AM
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You've forgot to mention Chris that they should work on StrongARMS as well for people who don't have Iyonixes. Great news! - God Save the Queen

 is a RISC OS UserA.W. on 29/7/03 3:42PM
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Well i've got the 26 bit version and for some reason it keeps crashing at level 6 (of Descent) - does this mean if i get te 32 bit versions it will work on my Kinetic???

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 29/7/03 7:37PM
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The update is very comprehensive and will work on ARM 710 machines all the way through to the Iyonix (OK slower hardware probably will work as well, but its not worth mentioning). I'm not aware of any remaining bugs in the game and its generally faster even on old hardware. The sound system is much improved ande provides better atmosphere - and it will use the higher sample rate samples (in Descent 2) if the are installed. Basically everything is better. If you upgrade and you *still* have a problem (unlikely) then pass info along to RCI and I will sort it out - unfortunately I can't provide such support for the old version any more as so much has changed. Upgrade you know you want to :-)

 is a RISC OS Userdavidm on 29/7/03 7:49PM
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This comment is probably off topic, but I want to thanks David for it's long time work (I would certainly say the same for David P.). Really you make a great job, and I hope someday you'll manage to do it full time... I really think that when Cineroma will work great on IYONIX, you should sell it : I will be the first to buy it (I even dont have an Acorn computer at home :).

 is a RISC OS Userdfeugey on 30/7/03 9:28AM
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Cineroma is going to be free, btw. And under GPL, I'm told.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 30/7/03 1:51PM
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GPL does not mean free :)

I would just suggest to disitribute the source code in GPL but to sell the precompiled binary. That's a good deal. And if David can make little money, this will be good for him and us too.

 is a RISC OS Userdfeugey on 30/7/03 4:50PM
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Better if the basic version was free, and then if wanted a version with fancy stuff could be charged for. Otherwise the same argument of "you need to pay extra for stuff built into other OSes" comes up again.

It's not going to be widely used by other authors if it'll only work for customers who've bought it.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 30/7/03 4:54PM
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Diomus: we know!!!

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 30/7/03 7:58PM
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Nah we didn't.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 30/7/03 8:17PM
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more important:

when is the release?


it seems to be a magic app

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 30/7/03 11:36PM
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It will be released when its ready. Hopefully not long - but really its down to how much time I can spend on it. And yes it is magical :-)

As I've said before (I'm fairly sure I have unless I'm going mad) Cineroma will be released under the GPL (maybe LGPL...) and will be free. I am mulling over various options... but either way it will be possible to get a version that is free - maybe without support. We shall see... its hardly the most important area for me to think about atm.

 is a RISC OS Userdavidm on 4/8/03 10:14AM
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