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-   -   Dynamic screen splitting/joining in a game: Was it possible on Amiga? Did it exist? (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=49547)

lilalurl 16 December 2009 16:02

Dynamic screen splitting/joining in a game: Was it possible on Amiga? Did it exist?
 
Back in the days, when I played games like Chaos Engine and Alien Breed with friends, we always thought something like:

"Man, it would be great if the game would go into split screen as soon as the characters start to get away from each other. And then, when they are close again, the game would come back to a single screen mode".


I just thought about this again recently and was wondering if some Amiga games actually did this.

Was it even technically possible? Or would it have been too much of a strain on the hardware to do that and have at the same time a decent frame rate/smooth scrolling?
I can't think of any Amiga game that does that and I have not enough technical knowledge to have any idea on the possibility of the matter.


The only other games on another platform that implemented this and that I know of would be some of the Dragon Ball Z games on SNES (I think there was also one on PSX that did this? I am not much into these games so I don't know).
Check from 0:27 to see a bit about it if you don't know the games:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBZ4H4qLrU8

Since those are "simple" face to face figthing games, perhaps it is "easier" to do (limited background area, no interaction other than with the other character) than in a multi-scrolling game with other sprites than the two characters such as Chaos Engine or Alien Breed?


Any explanation and/or example is welcome. Amiga examples of course, but if you have examples on other platforms, please mention then and I'll try and list them in this post.


List of Amiga games doing dynamic screen-splitting/joining:
- Gravity Power
- Dogfight (Richard Ling)

Other platform games:
- some Dragon Ball Z games (SNES)
- Toejam & Earl (Sega Megadrive)

Graham Humphrey 16 December 2009 16:19

Pretty sure Gravity Power can do this. When the two players come near each other it switches to a full-screen display, and as soon as they move away from each other it reverts to split-screen again. Admittedly there isn't much going on, it only scrolls vertically and apart from the odd gun placement there's no other moving objects on screen.

lilalurl 16 December 2009 16:37

Thanks. Tested quickly and added to the list.
I think there was a discussion here about cave shooters. I'll try to dig that up and see if there are other examples in this category (unless of course someone does it before me ;)).

Leffmann 16 December 2009 20:22

In brief, vertical splits are trivial and don't put much strain on resources, but horizontal splits are very demanding.

Anything is doable of course, it just depends on how big performance penalty you can take.

gimbal 16 December 2009 21:57

Quote:

Any explanation and/or example is welcome. Amiga examples of course, but if you have examples on other platforms, please mention then and I'll try and list them in this post.

Well, I know for a fact that Toejam & Earl (Sega Megadrive) does exactly what you describe :) When you are close together it is a single screen, when you get too far apart it becomes a horizontal splitscreen.

lilalurl 16 December 2009 22:44

Thanks Gimbal.

Also thanks Leffmann for the brief explanation.

TCD 16 December 2009 22:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by gimbal (Post 625305)
Well, I know for a fact that Toejam & Earl (Sega Megadrive) does exactly what you describe :) When you are close together it is a single screen, when you get too far apart it becomes a horizontal splitscreen.

I wonder where you heard of that excellent game... ;) I think we had another MD game that did that, but I can't remember the name :s

gimbal 17 December 2009 00:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCyberDruid (Post 625335)
I wonder where you heard of that excellent game... ;) I think we had another MD game that did that, but I can't remember the name :s

Hmmm... Zombies Ate My Neighbours?

TCD 17 December 2009 00:54

I thought the same, but neither the SNES nor the MegaDrive version does it :( Memory isn't what it used to be ;)

Cammy 17 December 2009 02:34

Dogfight, programmed in Amos, has sideways splitting screens when the players move away from each other. I wonder if it's harder to do 8-way scrolling that splits up.

http://hol.abime.net/3695/screenshot

lilalurl 17 December 2009 03:06

Thanks Cammy. Tested (took quite a few tries to understand how to correctly take off) and added.
The transition from/to split screen to/from single screen is very smooth in this one. The kind of thing I would have wished for a Chaos Engine/Alien Breed with split screen.

Cammy 17 December 2009 07:13

Yeah, I've been wishing the same thing for a while, that there was a way to split these two player games into two screens when the characters separate. Imagine if they did it in Yo! Joe, Dalek Attack, or Allo, Allo! You could go your separate ways for a while, performing tasks that you'd normally both be going back and forth doing.

skateblind 17 December 2009 10:57

I'm sure a couple of beat em ups did this, don't ask me which though. :confused
Maybe that street fighter clone made in AMOS? :help
I doubt amos is powerful enough to do something like that though.

gimbal 17 December 2009 13:45

doesn't Dithel In Space (amos game) have a 2 player splitscreen mode?

lilalurl 17 December 2009 14:24

If you replied to skateblind, yes it has.

However, Dithell in Space requires to select at the main menu whether you will play a 2-player game in a single screen mode or in split-screen mode and hence the choice will last the whole game session (nothing dynamic).

gimbal 17 December 2009 15:52

Ah yes, I forgot the "dynamic" part :)

Predseda 17 December 2009 16:08

Check Roketz as well. Nice horizontal splitting with rendered graphics. If I remember well, screen joinz if both players are close.

http://hol.abime.net/1274/screenshot

lilalurl 17 December 2009 21:04

Nothing dynamic in the Roketz, unless I missed something. I tried with the version available on whdownload.
As can be seen on the HOL screenshots, you can indeed have either a single screen when playing against the CPU or split screen when playing against another human, but there is no dynamic joining/splitting taking place.

Nonetheless, thanks for the suggestion Predseda.


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