Game oriented machines of '80

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Par sd_snatcher

Prophet (3367)

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23-04-2017, 03:15

Quote:

I found the Amstrad CPC to be the better machine for colourfull games. Times better than MSX1, C64, ZX.

I forgot to ask: would you mind to share what games are those? I'm not a big connoisseur of the CPC games.

Par PingPong

Prophet (3556)

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23-04-2017, 03:36

Louthrax wrote:

Mmmm, my guess is that for shmups like Aleste that approach would have been way too slow (too many VDP commands to issue). The Ys or Xak series were using software sprites (also scrolling), but you can't say the animation is really smooth. Trying to remember an action game with SW sprites and smooth animation but nothing has come to my mind yet...

no aleste is not on my mind.
i'm not telling you ALL games, but some where there is no scrolling involved have better graphics with sw sprites.

Par PingPong

Prophet (3556)

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23-04-2017, 03:39

sd_snatcher wrote:

Oh, yes: Bombaman is an action game that uses only the blitter for all the "sprites".

Exactly, and proves my point sw sprites were better when possible. My guess is that because msx had hw ones programmers find to easy to use hw without exploring sw ones.
But all games where there is no scrolling involved should be considered with sw sprites.

Par PingPong

Prophet (3556)

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23-04-2017, 03:41

gdx wrote:

Also on MSX2 the vertical scroll function is missing. That is what most lacks in fact.

there is vertical function what is missing is horizontal one.
but i mean games without scrolling

Par santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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23-04-2017, 07:06

I think for some game genres, software sprites might be more flexible. For instance, for isometric games where objects can be hidden by other objects arbitrarily, etc. perhaps software sprites would work better. An example is the "Hire Hare" game that was built for CPC last year for the CPC retro dev competition ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRti2K8FsXs ). Another thing where software sprites excel is when doing little particle effects. For example, games like the ZX Spectrum game Rex ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tJvu_l-U3Y ) have lots of very small sprites, but have many of them, which might be a stretch with hardware sprites, since we would quickly reach the limit of number of sprites.

But in any case, I guess it depends on the game genre.

Par AxelStone

Prophet (2765)

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23-04-2017, 14:22

Wlcracks wrote:

Who cares? All systems had(have) there advantages and disadvantages. Just get them all!

Totally agree. CPC has a very good use of color and a suprisingly good palette for only 27 colors, but MSX has a lot of advantages. I think that hw sprites are a very good feature since you can choose to use or not use them. There are a lot of games using SW sprites for MSX, but I don't think that are allways the best option: if you plan to make a shooter, use HW sprites with no doubt.

Par PingPong

Prophet (3556)

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23-04-2017, 19:54

AxelStone wrote:

I think that hw sprites are a very good feature since you can choose to use or not use them.

the problem is here, to me it does appear that developers used them too much.

AxelStone wrote:

There are a lot of games using SW sprites for MSX, but I don't think that are allways the best option: if you plan to make a shooter, use HW sprites with no doubt.

For example ?

Par AxelStone

Prophet (2765)

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23-04-2017, 22:50

Practically all JRPG: all Microcabin RPGs, all Falcon RPGs, SD Snatcher and much more. Action games like Valis 2 fails using SW in my opinion since action games requires speed, and SW sprites are slow so Valis 2 is muchs slower than Valis 1. Other action games with speed problems like Topple Zip uses preciselly SW sprites.

Par Timmy

Expert (128)

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24-04-2017, 00:31

PingPong wrote:

What do you think? If msx2 was programmed like the CPC (that has to manage 16K of Video RAM entirely via CPU and no blitter) the overall quality of games could have been better?

Back to your main question, I'd say you would get more CPC ports of Spectrum games ported to the CPC.
Would they look better than Spectrum ports? Maybe (many CPC games are just direct monochrome ports from the Spectrum, but there are colourful ports too. Smile

Would it be easier to make faster games using direct memory access instead of using output ports? Definitely. Writing to graphics memory directly is always faster than using a output port command (when properly designed).

I remember when I first looked at the VDP access (of the MSX1) and wonder why video memory access is so much slower than the Spectrum, and I was suprised that everything needs to be go through a slow data port, and that only sequential data writing was quick enough, and you have to write colours on a second run... Compared to a memory mapped system with squares per 8x8 pixels, this VDP chip seemed to be 8x as slow. And it is, if you want to write to memory directly.

Now that I know more about the MSX 1 (2 not good enough yet), I would say that MSX1 graphics can be quick too, but it has to be done in a completely different way, and you will have to use its hardware abilities instead of fighting against it, and use hardware sprites over software sprites.

Par RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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24-04-2017, 01:58

Timmy wrote:

Now that I know more about the MSX 1 (2 not good enough yet), I would say that MSX1 graphics can be quick too, but it has to be done in a completely different way, and you will have to use its hardware abilities instead of fighting against it, and use hardware sprites over software sprites.

Agree. But this also means that what a programmer can do is limited by the VDP's design & abilities. Programmer's have to 'go with the VDP flow' to reap maximum benefit from it.

With fast access to VRAM (and using sw sprites) those limits are a programmer's ingenuity. Which can go well beyond what hardware designers imagined. ZX Spectrum's design supports that approach pretty well. And as a result some pretty amazing/interesting games have been done on the ZX.

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