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Old 29 February 2016, 15:57   #156
SyX
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Brasil
Age: 43
Posts: 127
First, i am not going to say that CPC is better than computer X; because under specific circumstances even a zx80 can beat an x68000 :P

Then i should add that as usually happens with every system, the best games are the exclusive ones for that system.

In the case of the CPC, the most part of those games are out of the radar in an "UK centric" view of the 8 bits computer games history; or because they are budget games or mainly because they came from France, that means all the nice adventures are out the reach if you don't know French; and the rest of games are very different of the usual UK games, in my opinion a lot of those games are crazy and funny at the same time (Birdie, Billy La Banlieue, La Formule, Robbbot, Sapiens, ...).

Oh, that you don't like adventures or crazy games, well that is your problem, i love them and i like the CPC because is different. No, it's not a excuse for less technique games, not every game needs to be a demo fx and go to 50Hz; and looking the "TOP 40 Games" in Lemon64 aside of 3 or 4 games, the rest are not "demo fx/50 hz" games, they are fun and very playable games, because that it's the really important thing in a game.

Neither of those games appear in the typical game comparatives, where always are games that exist for the 3 systems (c64, cpc and zx) and the cpc versions are super lazy direct zx ports.

You can see "amazing techniques" as the GFXs are converted in real time from zx format to cpc (R-Type, Pacmania, Last Ninja, ...) in the moment of drawing in a hidden buffer using the zx spectrum screen format (using the same zx sprite routines xDDDD) that is later dumped to the real video ram in cpc format (sometimes they don't skip the attribute printing xDDDD), instead of using a double buffer that only takes 4 lines of code and save the dump of 12 KBs every time the screen is updated.

The 12 KBs is because they are using an speccy screen size (stamp size screen of 256x192 pixels in medium res or 128x192 pixels in low res), the usual justification was that saves 4 KBs of RAM; but the real one is saving an artist and not redraw all the GFXs for CPC screen size (320x200 in med or 160x200 in low) and not writing exclusive CPC print routiner for sprites and tiles, that it would be a lot faster.

Sometimes they are not even hardware resizing the screen to the speccy size and even if the screen is 320x200, they are only drawing in 256x192, the rest remains black and the 4 KBs excuse doesn't exist anymore :P

You have games as Pacmania where in their copy & paste of their zx code, they forgot to "update" the call to use the PSG and one of the SFXs is played using the ZX code that is outing bytes to the beeper i/o port, it's only a miracle that the CPC doesn't crash because that i/o port in the cpc can go to any hardware device.

Or games as Last Ninja where they simulate the zx beeper using one AY channel and that is the only sound that you get during the game.

Other fun trivia, in the zx spectrum you can not use the Z80 interrupt mode 1; in that mode when you receive one interrupt the PC goes to $0038, that in zx is the ROM. Instead it's used the mode 2 that means you need to create a 257 bytes table in ram for redirect the interrupt jump to another ram place. In CPC you have ram in $0038, because that you need to make that double jump and save 257 bytes of ram, that can be used for an sprite mask table for example; but as you can imagine the usual speccy port use that slower and wasteful interrupt handler routine.

And we are not going to speak about the zx only has one interrupt by frame and the cpc has 6, that is very useful for using similar to racing the beam sprite techniques, splitting the game screen in a few zones that you only updates after its interrupt happened...

Games like Bionic Commando are not more than a zx emulator running in the poor cpc.

Those games are so BAD coded that it would be similar to convert an Acorn Electron game to C64 using exclusively the C64 bitmap mode and one sid channel for simulating 1 bit DAC, and that is all, no tiles, no sprites (neither sprite multiplexing), no rasters interrupts, no cia, no sid, no nothing!!!

And there is a big difference between make a game in 3 months for reaching the deadline, that making a CPC version in one evening by pasting a routine for dumping the screen from the zx vram address to the cpc one (it's well documented that the record of a spanish company in making zx2cpc port was 5 minutes after finishing the zx one). In this forum, everybody and his dog can see a bad ST port, but they can not see a bad zx one xDDDD

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcat666 View Post
";; The effect relies on the reaction of the monitor to the horizontal sync from
;; the CRTC so it is only guaranteed to work properly on a real Amstrad CPC
;; with an Amstrad monitor."

I know a lot of people that use non-Amstrad monitors on their CPC's (myself included), so this scrolling doesn't work for me and those people. Useless...
Funny thing, my C64 (and any classic computer) can not make an horizontal smooth scroll in any of my tft/led/flat TVs, that means C64 can not make smooth scroll because is not working in my TVs?!?!?!?

Sorry, but this is so wrong is not fun, this "smooth" hardware scroll technique works in every cpc attached to a CRT (CPC monitor or tv using scart or rgb input), and we should not give a shit about anything is not the CPC monitor, because every CPC was sold with its monitor (Green or Colour), but we tested this a lot and worked in every CRT TV we can get, and for example, i prefer to use my CPC in a Sony Black Trinitron by scart.

And for people speaking about the cpc can not scroll, there is a few games showing the scroll capabilities of the CPC. There is old games as Ultima Ratio, Prohibition, Titan, Mission Genocide, TLL, Killer Cobra, Skate Ball, ... and modern games, for example i love the Axelay's ones as Relentless, and he has converted a few C64 games to cpc and nobody can say those versions are slow/have bad scroll/small screen/(write your favourite cpc joke here)/...

Making good cpc games requires time, dedication and a design that uses the strong points of the CPC (64 sprites simultaneously or tile animation is not a good idea :P), that is all and Orion Prime is a fantastic demonstration of this.

But at the end of the day, old people can not change his mind any more, and i could make a much better conversion of Cobra or Uridium or another classic C64/ZX game and we would continue reading the same "blocky graphics", "too vivid colours", "not smooth", ... there is not way of changing that opinion, but it looks that a lot of guys would sell their soul before to say there is a good cpc game :P
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