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Old 01 October 2015, 09:55   #102
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: san francisco/usa
Posts: 165
Well... ok, you got me there - I admit vanity-googling myself every now and then :-)

Yeah I do have fond memories of those years, I guess what I meant is that I don't mind people saying some of my games aren't super-fun to play because I honestly never thought many of them were super fun to play myself - although you definitely lose perspective when writing something (playing a game a million times over when building/fixing it really sucks the fun out).

I didn't write many original (non-conversion) titles, and I think it's fair to say that the majority of really playable 80's/90's home computer games were original ones*; something about being able to play to the strengths of the machine technically and "be done when it's done" - rather than "done in time to duplicate & ship for xmas" makes a big difference. You really do lose perspective on what's fun or not fun at the time though; there's a whole skill in being able to see your game through fresh eyes near the end - which is when so many ultra-critical yet technically trivial gameplay tweaks need to get made.

So yeah, I think I got most of my jollies out of doing technical things (e.g. there's some bits of "Line Of Fire" which I remember really enjoying coding but it was always doomed as a conversion) so I'm very sympathetic to the "not fun to play" comments.

I dearly wish I'd managed to directly run the arcade PCB's gameplay code on Amiga Final Fight for example (which I did look at for a good while, but it was just too risky a path to sink any more time into) because it'd have been great to just leave that exactly as it was - not that I personally was a huge fan of the arcade board - it'd have ultimately saved me a lot of work and left people less to be unhappy about...

Nowadays with IDA and MAME as tools to aid the process it's probably just about manageable but it's fair to say the Amiga spent maybe 85% of the cpu/bus/ram managing+drawing graphics pixels compared to the CPS board 68k spending at a guess maybe 10%.

So... many people hatin' on FF as a game but I remember being most satisfied getting stuff like the realtime sprite loading+decompression working (it used cooperative multitasking for loading+decompression and was constantly moving everything around in memory to defrag it incrementally; as stuff was deallocated the 'holes' bubbled to the top of memory - everything happening in small chunks to not affect the frame rate).
If I recall correclty, when you play that game on a 1MB machine you actually get slightly different sequences of enemies because it decided on the fly whether to reuse an existing baddie in RAM or if there was enough memory reclaimable - and time for disk loading - to pull in the one it was intending to give you to fight... Oh and Codetapper reminded me it if you have 1MB RAM it generated a 128KByte lookup table to make the X-flipping of the sprites that much faster.

...oh and I had to complete the ST version at the same time - that got about as much love as the ST chipset deserved; glorified Spectrum that it was... :-P

So yeah, FF was a technical win, playability fail.


*Except maybe Amstrad CPC Shinobi... that actually turned out pretty well all around..

Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
And just to clarify, by "raw footage" I meant just taking the existing video that was filmed and simply saving as MP4
Heh, the camera guy today said he shot ~50GB of video this morning (on a fancy canon SLR, not sure what res he was shooting, maybe 4k). I actually should've got a copy before he left but I guess I'm not that vain :-)

Last edited by TCD; 01 October 2015 at 10:01. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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