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N64, 3DO, Atari Jaguar, and PS1 Game Engines

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I need engines for the consoles listed in the title. I am making games for emulator users and retro gamers but I can't find any engines for those consoles. Do you guys know any?

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Back in the days when these consoles were big the engine wasn't really a thing.

Every platform had unique hardware, different cpu architectures, different graphics capabilities and wildly varying storage mediums from cartridge to cd etc.

This made it more sensible to write games from scratch or just using in house collections of native routines. Writing games in assembly language or at best using a macro assembler was very common and even in the ps1 era if you wanted to use C you had to use the hardware vendors own compiler and toolchain a lot of the time that came with the Dev kit. These compilers often had odd restrictions and strange memory models that again hindered the development of universal engines.

If anyone else has better information about this than I please chime in!

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Some games of that era had "engines" in the sense that the studios making those games would reuse large portions of the code, tool and processes from a prior game when building a new one, even as far back as the NES.

 

None of those engines are commercial available products. You will need to write your game code from scratch.

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Yep, pretty much all code for those consoles were written to suit the particular game -- Studios would possibly re-use modified versions of what they had written before if their next game was a sequel, or similar enough -- I've heard of a few times where engines were licensed from other companies who had done similar games (in particular, I'd read that the Southpark N64/PS1/PC game was essentially a mod of Turok, which never appeared on PS1, but did appear on PC), but I don't know how much truth there is to it.

 

Consoles of that era were so specific and different from one another in ways that go well beyond using different CPUs or GPUs that any common abstraction--like an engine--would be virtually guaranteed to throw away big performance to get there, and none of those consoles had any to spare. cross-platform engines just wouldn't have made any sense.

 

Even the needs of different games were so pushing these machines to the limit that an engine suitable for multiple kinds of games on just one of the systems would be pretty hard to pull off. That's why what little code reuse there was, was so often limited to the same studio making the same kind of game (or direct sequels).

 

Truth be told, I'd say half or more of AAA development is still that way -- all in-house, or heavily-modified in-house -- especially for those high-end (often-exclusive) games. Its only been two console generations or so where the idea of a off-the-shelf engine was reasonably viable for AAA titles. Currently, lots of flashy titles get made with those engines too (though, again, often modified in-house) but I bet its not a majority. But for sort of "standard", not-relly-pushing-the-boundaries console games and more casual console games, certainly engines like Unreal, Crytek, Source, and Unity have made serious inroads.

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But for sort of "standard", not-relly-pushing-the-boundaries console games and more casual console games, certainly engines like Unreal, Crytek, Source, and Unity have made serious inroads.

I think the engines such as unreal and source have made major inroads in a lot of big AAA releases. A large number if xbox 360 releases used unreal engine 3, modified a bit or vanilla. Valves big hits of that generation, left for dead 1 and 2 and portal 1 and 2, were built in the source engine.

They have become very pervasive even in biggest budget AAA titles.

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I don't disagree -- there's a sort of in-between AAA class of games that's biggish-budget, might be a biggish name from a biggish studio, but don't really push boundaries of performance or design; You do see a good amount of licensing there (Usually unreal, some Unity as you get further from bleeding edge) that's where commercial engines make a really strong showing.

 

But few of the highest-end or most-unique games get made with commercial engines -- I'm talking your Metal Gear Solids, your Halos, etc -- for whatever reason. I do discount the games that come first-party from the engine vendors from consideration though -- its not really the same thing to say that all of Valves games are made with Source Engine, or Epic's with Unreal engine and those are all very high-end AAA games so engines must dominate; that's not the same kind of endorsement as when outside companies license those engines and make things.

 

Its certainly become more prevalent and the trend will continue until until it is the majority of games at all levels I'm sure. I don't think we've reached that just yet though. There's the most pressure to adopt commercial engines on cross-platform games, where its most difficult to make something in-house that exceeds commercial offerings across platforms, but I think we tend to expect less of those titles in terms of boundary pushing, you can't avoid compromise when you go cross-platform.

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The first "commercial game engine" that comes to my mind that supported multiple platforms and used by several AAA titles that remotely gets close to the modern concept of game engines was RenderWare. It wasn't even a game engine, it was a rendering engine. And it wasn't for PS1 / N64 gen.

 

Licensing it costed several tens of thousands of dollars AFAIK. Wikipedia has a list of its competitors (Unreal Engine & Frostbite). Doesn't matter who came first, none of them were for the era you're looking for because, like others already explained, it was all handcrafted and kept in house; occasionally having their stuff licensed to other studios.

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Ok. I didn't think there would be engines for them except for the fact that I found a Sega Saturn engine yesterday. I can program them from scratch, I just need to know how. Are there any coding programs for those consoles? I would just switch OS but it's not technically my computer I'm working on.

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