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Old 02 June 2013, 15:02   #42
Retired 1337
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Paris / France
Age: 45
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Ermh, no. Music is important for games, true. But the main reason why the C64 wins in the game category so easily is simple. It was designed as a video game console, and later Tramiel ordered to extend it to a full computer. Hardware scrolling, Hires sprites AND the good sound chip. All that things, that are important for creating good arcade games, lacked the CPC.
This is a programmer's, not a player's viewpoint. Although 50 fps is perfect, 25 fps remains a decent speed for most games, and less than that can be ok for certain games, depending on the concept. As you say, better scrolling on the C64 is a fact, due to the console/hardware design. But there was a range of good games on the CPC which also made good use of proprietary hardware scrolling capabilities through CRTC double-buffering. Plus a lot of good games didn't require any scrolling at all, and not only adventure/rpg - or they just needed slow scrolling for walking characters i.e. for instance, Commando.

In addition a better palette was initially good for all games, not only the ones with scrolling, and also it could be improved on the CPC through hack/tweaks, like on the C64. So both platforms had their strengths & weaknesses you could work around on the graphics and animations' side, and there was no gap serious enough to make a big difference here. At last don't forget that many arcade ports were simply better on the CPC as compared to the C64.

So, the real thing here is attactiveness. In a way that some teens/young adult players would convert to demomakers thanks to '¤wow¤ the music is so good it gives me inspiration'. That's how the demoscene started.

ps: I'm not spanning out of nowhere. I cracked dozens of games and programmed various stuff on the CPC (incl. full-screen 1 px scrolltext in Basic, and auto-generated code in Basic, both using only few Assembler ROM built-in undocumented stuff). Then, I've been an active and sometimes leading part of more than 15 elite groups on the Amiga for years. A lot of the 'scene stars' back in the time were my friends or just contacts and I've heard so many testimonials about what motivated them to do cracks or demos.

Definitely, music was the differentiating factor. Music vibrates with our soul. Music drove crowds of hysteric people to concerts, while neither paintings nor even movies did.

Plus, a good game with bad music is still a good game, while good code/graphics in a demo with bad music doesn't make a good demo.

Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
I agree. If the French gaming freaks would have had the choice....
Yes, probably they would have become French demo-makers sooner than late.

Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
True, but the C64 also sufferd from some ports that looked like running a Spectrum emulator on the C64.
First this has generally nothing to do with the computers' programming, gfx and music features. Also both CPC 464 and C64 received ports from the Atari ST and they were great.

So it's mainly due to England, where Spectrum had the largest market share, and where most large video games vendors originated from (except for France, the only competing country on this side). Plus Sinclair and Amstrad were English companies. Commodore and Atari were American.

With some simplification you had the following picture: Spectrum leading in the UK. Amstrad CPC leading in France, Italy and Spain. C64 leading in the Northern part of Europe, including Germany.

There were too few large video game producers in Germany and Northern Europe at that time. Thus you had a lot of English VG companies developing for Spectrum first then porting to other platforms. Arcade ports were often done from the source to the three platforms, with Spectrum and Amstrad (largest customer base was just across the Channel) benefitting first from direct ports, and sometimes C64 having just the port of a port. Most French companies on their side were bound to the Amstrad CPC, often ignoring the other platforms and countries.

Funnily, taking the same simplified picture of Europe based on platforms' market shares, you can also retrace back the history of the demo scene.

Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Another good point, also some nice graphic/text adventures. But were they all that good? I know that especially French magazines overhyped games tremendously.
Yes they were. I played them all. Take Zombi for instance, the first game released by Ubi Soft. It went out on Amstrad CPC in 1986 then was ported to other platforms (Amiga, C64, Spectrum) only in 1990. For a 1990 game it was average but for a 1986 game it was just great! Fer et Flamme was an excellent RPG for a personal computer. L'Île (also Ubi Soft) was a clever graphic/text adventure game. Cobra Soft released a lot of detective adventure video games which were for the most part quite well made. See also Erebus by Titus (their first game), Alphakhor by Loriciel, Les Passagers du Vent by Infogrames. Another very good graphic/text adventure was "Les Passagers du Temps" by Ere Informatique. Etc.

Would you like to see with your eyes? Check these links, using or not using Google Translation:

Last edited by n00w; 02 June 2013 at 15:09. Reason: Bad English + small precisions
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