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Old 09 March 2016, 13:58   #348
CaptainM68K-SPS France
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- That Rainbow Arts would have sold 500,000 copies of the Turrican series had they marketed it properly (wouldn't that mean that just about every CPC owner in France would have bought the original? Laughable! Were there no pirates on the CPC in France?)
Hi There were 1,2 millions of CPC owners in France. Of course there was piracy. But since most owners of this machine were adults and not kids, many parents were buying games.

As said earlier, in 1990, in UK, the market was shared between the c64 and zx spectrum as far as 40% of the market.

The CPC in France at the same time was 60% of the market (softwares sold). The CPC was very profitable for the game companies.

But in the case of Turrican series, the two formats on which Rainbow Arts enforced their advertisement were the Amiga and the c64.

Problem : while the Amiga was our star computer for the 16 bits, the c64 was a dead and non-existant computer. That's why it was a commercial strategy mistake from rainbow arts from the start. Even the ST had a bigger cover and, ho well, they failed big time and they loosed a truckload of money. Really shamefull for such a great title.

- That French people prefer "vibrant" colours on a crap computer that runs games in postage stamp size windows updating on average at about 5fps with flick screen or jerky scrolling rather than enjoying silky smooth 50Hz C64 scrolling with state of the art sound and music!
That's absolutely exact What we got before the amstrad were computers with rubbish display and color scheme. The c64 was not an exception. Not only the CPC render it obsolete due to its very expensive price, but it had the oldish kind of color scheme of the 80-83 computers.

The CPC offers nice colors and a lots of other applications for which the c64 could never match up. As explained, in overall, you don't choose a computer just because it has a sound synthethizer and a 50 fps scrolling, but for the overall abilities. The CPC had those, and the whole thing for a price that commodore could never reach themselves.

Both the Spectrum and c64 failed here, the Amstrad CPC just killed them like mosquitoes with the flat of its hands.

Alan Sugar wanted Amstrad France to sell more Zx spectrum, the director of the French subsidiary told him basically "go to hell with this junk, it will never sell here. For 100 zx i sell 30000 CPC per day. Send me instead more CPC to sell, we're lacking stock!".

- That Turrican 2 uses the Amiga assets and everything is retained. This is simply incorrect. The first map I checked (level 1-2) has a lot of blocks changed around in the top left section alone. A section of water is missing. Blocks to jump up are missing. The Amstrad has similar levels, but that's as much as you can say.
The CPC version lacks the bonus as explained earlier. But nonetheless, the CPC versions of turrican I and II are great games. Not only they are in 16 colors, but they also have parallaxes, and good animation speed.

It's not my opinion, that's what they put in the game.

- To say every CPC game that was naff was due to poor coders and otherwise they would have been better than the C64 versions - there were equally poor C64 coders and so a lot of the mediocre C64 stuff would have been much better too!
I have been looking for many games and the why it is slow.

Barbarian for instance is emulating the c64 behaviour, because the developers of this game instead of converting the original c64 assets in CPC graphic format just stored the c64 graphics on the CPC disk, and they are converted them on the fly. this fact was confirmed by a known z80 coder. Of course, such a thing can only lead to slowdown because instead of running the game logic and pull the graphics on screen, the CPC is losing uselessly CPU cycle to do the on-the-fly conversion. Pretty easy to say then : "ah the CPC is damn slow".

There are other examples available too about speccy ports as well.

- The loading times stuff is just crap. Almost all my C64 game disks had the Action Replay 5 or 6 block "LOADER" file that loaded any single file game in about 10 seconds flat, without any cartridge!
The c64 floppy drives as well as the tape drive are extremely slow. This even with the epyx fast load cart connected on the c64.

The CPC floppy drive is even compared to a C64 with cart for speeding loading time faster from the start.

On tape loading, same again, i did some tests, i can load a game at 6500 bauds without any hardware mod or any speeding cart.

I did the compare with both my c64 and CPC side by side. the c64 is 10 rank behind .

That beats any CPC loading times for sure.
Even the slowest CPC games loads faster than the slowest c64 games.

There's loads of conversion comparison pages on the net including some that measure loading times (disk and tape) and the CPC is faster on some games and slower on far more.
the slowest CPC games are 1000 bauds, which is anyway faster than even some c64 games using custom protection schemes.

The fastest game i processed for amstrad is recorded at 3500 bauds, a speed that no c64 game on tape is achieving. It's a german game called Bad Cat. When they ported the game from the c64, they took advantage of the higher loading speed of the CPC.

- To say the CPC only had 6% of it's capability is just nonsense. The amount of physical time you had to refresh the screen is the biggest bottleneck. This 6% argument implies coders just wrote incredibly poor routines and the hardware was sitting there doing nothing most of the time!
the main bottleneck is that the code base for many games was the spectrum version. The spectrum is using 2bpp graphics taking a lot less room in RAM when the CPC process 4bpp graphics, taking more space in ram and needing more appropriate routines. Rhino, the batman forever demo stated this because indeed, almost no CPC commercial games used its abilities. All the very latest games no only mostly run in 16 colors mode 0, but they have great animations, and great playability. You can do many things with a CPC, and there are ways to get speed as good sound (the CPC is wired in stereo and not mono like the ST for example), by the way of soundtrackers.

Along with most others in this thread, the C64 was by far and away the best 8 bit computer, and by a long way!
It was an unbalanced machine, with oldish conceptions from early 80's.
The CPC was a balanced machine with a very large overall possibilities, which made its success everywhere it has been sold. And it's the only machine who has killed within a year of its release the zx spectrum and the c64 the 2 big contenders of the english computer market. Hand flattened !
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