English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 18 August 2019, 02:42   #761
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,382
I cut some parts from your and am only responding to stuff where I think we're still adding something. This is getting far too long for single posts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
I said the A1200 was comparable to a Megadrive in power and by that I meant 2D power and I still stand by that. ...snip...
I've agreed with you on this point several times already. I was getting at the whole '50Hz/smooth/many objects' thing.
Quote:
Thats fair enough but why only Mega Typhoon manages this? That makes no sense for me if it's easy to achieve a lot of objects on screen while scrolling on the Amiga. ...snip...
It doesn't. There's a whole bunch of 50Hz games on the Amiga. Many of those feature quite a few objects on screen.
Quote:
Dave Jones method uses a lot more memory and blitter time and was made obsolete by the new version. ... Also I'm not sure how to expand his horizontal hardware scroll method into a 8-directional one. Is it even possible?
It does use more memory and Blitter time. But having to blit one tile a frame vs blitting two tiles a frame is hardly going to make a real world difference. We're talking less than 1/2 of a percent of available raster time per tile blit here. But yes, you can do this 8-way as well. Though I'll freely admit that memory will be 'rather tight' at that point.
Quote:
Also I am talking about 8-directional hardware scrolling over a large map. I don't remember all these games that did that before Exile. Games like Kick Off - sure.
Most multi-direction scrolling 16 bit console games also have a smaller map that Exile though

Anyway, that wasn't clear to me. If you mean big multi-scroll games, then yes, Exile is probably the first. Might even be the first even if we include early Mega Drive games from 1988/1989.
Quote:
I read Andrew Braybrook when developing Fire and Ice (a more recent Amiga game) and he said he asked the Turrican programmers for advice on how to do his scrolling (not sure if it was hardware or software) because he couldn't get it fast enough. He said he couldn't have done it without their advice. It doesn't sound that easy to me and he had a strong C64 background
Well, I simply look at the results. There are quite a few multi-scrolling games on the Amiga. If it was too hard for programmers to do, IMHO we simply wouldn't have seen many. The Andrew Braybrook blogs are an enigma for me here. He came from the C64 where it is objectively harder to get a full screen scroll. I genuinely don't understand how he had so many problems.
Quote:
I just feel you are ignoring the history, pre-internet. I read so many Amiga magazines and so many programmers say "We are not using sprites in this game because we don't have time or we haven't used them before" or "This is our 4th game now and this is the first time we are using hardware scrolling. It was really tough to get it working but after ____ months it was worth it"
I don't recall magazine articles like that. I do recall grumbling about things not working, but nothing like a scrolling routine taking multiple months. Note: I'm not saying these definitely didn't exist, but if I've seen them, I haven't remembered them.

But, I did have access to better documentation and concede that would shorten the time required to learn. But then again, I'm not convinced this by itself would change the time as drastically as you're saying here. As much as the Internet can help, it never actually writes the code for you nor gives you 'understanding'. In programming, you learn by doing - not by reading.
Quote:
Well I had an A500 at the time and now own a CD32 and my experience is and was that most games arent full screen and when they are full screen at 50hz, the screen is usually pretty empty or there were certain obvious compromises made in their design.
My experience is similar: most Amiga games were not full screen. But, a good number still were (note that this thread only counts full overscan games). As for how busy those games are, lets to agree to disagree as I don't think most full screen games on Amiga were 'pretty empty' or showed 'clear compromises'.

As great as the MD and it's games were (I truly and genuinely like the machine)... MD games never ran full screen for me as I live in a PAL country. Now, if we were both in NTSC countries, we'd have had a full-screen experience on both machines for many more games.
Quote:
I think the greatest test would be if the Amiga had an arcade conversion that runs full screen at 50fps. Because then it's not a game that makes compromises in it's design just so it runs smoothly on the Amiga. Can you think of any?
That's an interesting question as many Arcade games ran in a resolution that would either not actually be full screen for a PAL Amiga, or would be too big to fit to begin with. Anyway, here's a few picks that spring to mind.

PacMania is a good starting point. Full Overscan & 50Hz. Space Harrier and the US version of Afterburner also spring to mind. Dragon Breed is also 50Hz and full screen (IIRC). Ghosts and Goblins might qualify, but I don't know if it's 50Hz. There's probably more of them, but I don't feel like going to look them all up

Last edited by roondar; 18 August 2019 at 03:09. Reason: Rewrote parts
roondar is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 02:49   #762
vulture
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Athens , Greece
Posts: 1,088
Dragon Breed is 25hz (albeit with smooth scrolling) and Ghosts 'n' Goblins is 50hz.
And here's an incomplete list for anyone interested:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=80207

Edit: I can see roondar had already linked it

Edit2: I think the shmup and boss levels of Jim Power, the later levels of Apidya, Starrush and shmup bosses of Blastar, among others, are fine examples of full screen, 50/60fps, parallax scrolling and big objects at the same time for OCS.

Last edited by vulture; 18 August 2019 at 05:53.
vulture is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 09:56   #763
NorthWay
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Grimstad / Norway
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
say you have 20 BOBs - thats 20 screen areas you have to remove and restore.
No? What's your definition of "remove and restore"?

If you trade some cpu time and chipmem you can more or less get rid of the "restore" part:
I'm assuming you're double-buffering (so 2 buffers there).
Keep an extra buffer (#3) that is an untouched copy (or rather the 'original' buffer that will be copied from to the two buffers you show on screen).
Keep a data structure (array of linked lists?) for each of the double buffers to keep track of where bobs have been pasted.
Build a new data structure when you update your buffer - if bob to blit has no overlap in new struct then cookie-cut background from buffer#3 but store to work buffer. If overlap then cookie-cut from work buffer, and any non-overlap as already said. Update new struct, clear from old struct. Repeat.
Loop through what is left in old struct and copy from buffer#3 to work buffer. Set your new struct as the struct in use for your work buffer.

Summary:
Instead of copying data from an untouched buffer to restore the parts of the work buffer where you paste in bobs you use the inherent copy nature of a cookie-cut but use different source and destination backgrounds.

(You can optimize parts of the process by having bobs with empty data above and below them (you only really need 'between' if they are all after one another in memory), and then make them 1 pixel higher and start 1 line earlier/later. This when moving in Y direction.))
NorthWay is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 16:06   #764
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,382
You know, it seems to me that I may have a problem communicating here. Time and time again I get drawn into long exchanges over fairly small points and apparently somehow leave the impression that I'm trying to make the Amiga a flawless or superior computer compared to all things.

This isn't what I think, nor at all what I'm trying to say.

More frustratingly, even when I think I'm actually saying 90% the same as the people who disagree with me, it still seems that they think I'm saying something radically different. The whole smooth scrolling discussion is a prime example of that. All I wanted to get across is that scrolling on the Amiga is not nearly as difficult as on many other platforms and that calling it hard is therefore a bit odd to me. I also agreed it was easier to do on consoles.

Yet, a discussion spawned in which it was eventually implied by several people I was essentially more or less lying, even though I already mostly agreed with them and supplied outside sources and examples that backed me up. One even went so far as to ignore some of my (short) posts on that issue and then quote someone else and claimed he got it right (apparently implying that I didn't) - even though the quoted person said 100% the same as what I already had said at that point.

I genuinely don't understand it. The only thing I can think of is that my point was about the conceptual differences and not the -to my mind- relatively irrelevant implementation details. Or perhaps I come across in a different (i.e. negative) way than I think I do when I'm discussing how stuff works. But if that ends up with this kind of discussion... Well...

It's probably best I leave this thread from now on and refrain from discussing these kind of topics in the future. It apparently just isn't working when I post this kind of stuff.

Last edited by roondar; 18 August 2019 at 16:22.
roondar is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 16:25   #765
vulture
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Athens , Greece
Posts: 1,088
@roondar

Yet, you're one of the few in this long thread who actually provides hard evidence and valid arguments, rather than generic impressions of what is and what's not. I'm not saying others don't, but most ppl (not all) seem to go by hearsay rather than facts.

@Gilbert
I think Parasol Stars is a good example of a conversion. Technically not from an arcade, it's from PCE, but one that isn't designed around Amiga's strengths or weaknesses and does full frame, many objects, full screen and smooth scrolling.

Last edited by vulture; 18 August 2019 at 17:24.
vulture is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 20:16   #766
Gilbert
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by vulture View Post
@Gilbert
I think Parasol Stars is a good example of a conversion. Technically not from an arcade, it's from PCE, but one that isn't designed around Amiga's strengths or weaknesses and does full frame, many objects, full screen and smooth scrolling.

TBH I've always thought that it is a game that plays to the Amiga's strengths because it scrolls over such a small fixed area you can just store the area in memory and smooth scroll over it. But yes you are right, it is a great conversion and plays superb on the Amiga with a lot going on.
Gilbert is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 20:19   #767
Gilbert
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthWay View Post
No? What's your definition of "remove and restore"?

If you trade some cpu time and chipmem you can more or less get rid of the "restore" part:
I'm assuming you're double-buffering (so 2 buffers there).
Keep an extra buffer (#3) that is an untouched copy (or rather the 'original' buffer that will be copied from to the two buffers you show on screen).
Keep a data structure (array of linked lists?) for each of the double buffers to keep track of where bobs have been pasted.
Build a new data structure when you update your buffer - if bob to blit has no overlap in new struct then cookie-cut background from buffer#3 but store to work buffer. If overlap then cookie-cut from work buffer, and any non-overlap as already said. Update new struct, clear from old struct. Repeat.
Loop through what is left in old struct and copy from buffer#3 to work buffer. Set your new struct as the struct in use for your work buffer.

Summary:
Instead of copying data from an untouched buffer to restore the parts of the work buffer where you paste in bobs you use the inherent copy nature of a cookie-cut but use different source and destination backgrounds.

(You can optimize parts of the process by having bobs with empty data above and below them (you only really need 'between' if they are all after one another in memory), and then make them 1 pixel higher and start 1 line earlier/later. This when moving in Y direction.))

I'm going to have to give that some thought, it sounds very complicated. Does it work on a large map you are scrolling using hardware scrolling . Because won't you have to keep copying new data to buffer 3?
Gilbert is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 20:37   #768
Gilbert
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
I've agreed with you on this point several times already. I was getting at the whole '50Hz/smooth/many objects' thing.
It doesn't. There's a whole bunch of 50Hz games on the Amiga. Many of those feature quite a few objects on screen.
I have always agreed it is possible on Amiga but like I said I don't agree it's commonplace. Even that list is a very small subset of the total number of games available for the Amiga. Games like Assassin for example - impressive but not a lot going on. I was an Amiga owner at the time and there were some great games and I played all sorts of demo disks. But I immediately noticed the difference when I got my SFC and then later when my brother got a Megadrive. Just the fact that that you finally had big characters on screen rather than small ones, and also that there was a lot more moving around in general.

Maybe Mega Typhoon also uses dual playfield mode too to speed up blitting? Not every game has the choice to use that depending on design. Also we all liked Amiga games with lots of colours and that is not good news if you want to move lots of objects.

Purely from a geeky point of view. I woud love to see a pure benchmark on A500 and A1200 test of fast 16 colour continuous scrolling background with a different set of 16 colour objects overlaid. It would be interesting to see how many objects it would max out at before it slowed down. People must know all the fastest routines to display bobs and sprites now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
Anyway, that wasn't clear to me. If you mean big multi-scroll games, then yes, Exile is probably the first. Might even be the first even if we include early Mega Drive games from 1988/1989.
Well it doesn't have to be a huge map. I just mean maybe at least twice as large than the Amiga can store in memory. Otherwise you could just smooth scroll over what you already have in memory without having to draw new tiles. That's why I said a large map. Also I specifically meant using hardware scrolling not software scrolling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
Well, I simply look at the results. There are quite a few multi-scrolling games on the Amiga. If it was too hard for programmers to do, IMHO we simply wouldn't have seen many. The Andrew Braybrook blogs are an enigma for me here. He came from the C64 where it is objectively harder to get a full screen scroll. I genuinely don't understand how he had so many problems.
He did a great job with Rainbow Islands but technically it could have been better. Maybe it was because of the ST version again.I'm sure Fire and Ice was after Paradroid 90 and Uridium update on Amiga too. They weren't multi-directional though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
I don't recall magazine articles like that. I do recall grumbling about things not working, but nothing like a scrolling routine taking multiple months. Note: I'm not saying these definitely didn't exist, but if I've seen them, I haven't remembered them.
I'm really into old magazines I am still reading them now (even today) A lot of developers - Team 17 and the Banshee developers said AGA wasn't powerful enough. They were like - you can do cool effects like transparency on the AGA but it's not powerful enough for moving objects aroundout of the box. The Skeleton Crew preview was basically the developers saying it was much easier to make on the Megadrive but hard on the A1200 for similar reasons. I mean that was early days in the A1200 life but still...

Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
PacMania is a good starting point. Full Overscan & 50Hz. Space Harrier and the US version of Afterburner also spring to mind. Dragon Breed is also 50Hz and full screen (IIRC). Ghosts and Goblins might qualify, but I don't know if it's 50Hz. There's probably more of them, but I don't feel like going to look them all up

I think really you need a scrolling 16 bit aracde game like Dragon BReed would be ideal for proper comparison. It needs to be moving a fair number of objects around too. Ghosts N Goblins is quite an old game. Pacmania and Space Harrier are quite unique games. Space Harrier does look impressive though. Although I think they missed out the raster ceiling on one of the levels - unless i missed it.

What about a game like Final Fight? Would that have been possible on the Amiga at 50fps with the big sprites in 32 colours. Obviously memory might be a problem for decent animation but I mean just displaying them and moving them around? I would really like to know this. The official conversion is very choppy
Gilbert is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 20:39   #769
lmimmfn
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Mullingar
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
You know, it seems to me that I may have a problem communicating here. Time and time again I get drawn into long exchanges over fairly small points and apparently somehow leave the impression that I'm trying to make the Amiga a flawless or superior computer compared to all things.

This isn't what I think, nor at all what I'm trying to say.

More frustratingly, even when I think I'm actually saying 90% the same as the people who disagree with me, it still seems that they think I'm saying something radically different. The whole smooth scrolling discussion is a prime example of that. All I wanted to get across is that scrolling on the Amiga is not nearly as difficult as on many other platforms and that calling it hard is therefore a bit odd to me. I also agreed it was easier to do on consoles.

Yet, a discussion spawned in which it was eventually implied by several people I was essentially more or less lying, even though I already mostly agreed with them and supplied outside sources and examples that backed me up. One even went so far as to ignore some of my (short) posts on that issue and then quote someone else and claimed he got it right (apparently implying that I didn't) - even though the quoted person said 100% the same as what I already had said at that point.

I genuinely don't understand it. The only thing I can think of is that my point was about the conceptual differences and not the -to my mind- relatively irrelevant implementation details. Or perhaps I come across in a different (i.e. negative) way than I think I do when I'm discussing how stuff works. But if that ends up with this kind of discussion... Well...

It's probably best I leave this thread from now on and refrain from discussing these kind of topics in the future. It apparently just isn't working when I post this kind of stuff.
While I'm lurking in the thread, don't stop posting, you're providing a balanced view and I agree with you, scrolling on the Amiga is completely trivial and how to have large multi directional scrolling is just obvious in terms of how to achieve it.

It really boils down to the throughput of the MD vs Amiga in terms of sprites, nothing more and nothing less. The MD did have excellent per scanline scrolling which was rare on the Amiga but games like Elf and SotB 1 did do the same.

My own opinion in general on Amiga vs Console is that the carts had instantly accessible memory so limitations were less pronounced vs Amiga and trying to linearly load levels and across multiple discs.
lmimmfn is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 21:22   #770
NorthWay
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Grimstad / Norway
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
I'm going to have to give that some thought, it sounds very complicated. Does it work on a large map you are scrolling using hardware scrolling . Because won't you have to keep copying new data to buffer 3?
It is complicated in that you need to keep track of bobs and where they overlap. That will cost some cpu time. (Or if you can design it so bobs never overlap you can simplify it a lot.)

And you need to update buffer#3 in the same way as the other buffers when you are scrolling. Technically you could at any time change the display pointers to buffer#3 and you would just see an empty background.
NorthWay is offline  
Old 18 August 2019, 22:30   #771
Gilbert
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
Hmm.. R-Type? Rodland? Pang? Indy Heat? Rainbow Islands? Pacmania? Ghosts 'n' Goblins? Commando?


I am not sure if Toki or Silkworm runs at 50 fps. I have the feeling Mortal Kombat also does, everytime I play that on my A600 I am surprised on how smooth it feels.

I don't think R-Type and Rainbow Islands run at 50fps. I didn't think Silkworm did either but maybe I am wrong about that. R-Type and RI are both excellent conversions though. Toki is a great example if it's 50 fps. I know that one uses 32 colours too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
No one will convince me we couldn't have a proper Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, Black Tiger, Mega Twins or Wonderboy in Monsterland on Amiga. Some of those games got GREAT versions on hardware that was clearly inferior to the Amiga.
I would love to see someone write a decent Ghouls n Ghosts conversion on the Amiga. I'm sure it could be done although maybe with less colours. Unpopular opinion I know but I'd also like to see the original music restored. It's not the same without it.
Gilbert is offline  
Old 19 August 2019, 00:20   #772
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
I have always agreed it is possible on Amiga but like I said I don't agree it's commonplace. Even that list is a very small subset of the total number of games available for the Amiga. Games like Assassin for example - impressive but not a lot going on. I was an Amiga owner at the time and there were some great games and I played all sorts of demo disks. But I immediately noticed the difference when I got my SFC and then later when my brother got a Megadrive. Just the fact that that you finally had big characters on screen rather than small ones, and also that there was a lot more moving around in general.
A small note to start: that list is not a complete list, it is merely the only list that keeps track of such games as and when reported. I honestly don't think anyone knows the total number of 50Hz games on the Amiga. It's likely going to be quite a few more games than on the list, but obviously far less than all games.

As for how commonplace it is, I think we'll never agree on this point. The (known to be incomplete) list of games I showed you contains 194 games as is. Which is not exactly a low number. Same thing with number of objects (or 'busyness'), really. It's all down to comparing the A500 to a MD and expecting parity. And to me that is, well, rather a strange expectation.

So, just to get my views on this 'public' once more and (hopefully) for the last time:

OCS machines are not going to equal the Mega Drive or SNES except in exceptional circumstances. No one should expect parity here, as the MD/SNES are several years newer. This alone makes a huge difference. Case in point: there's three years and three months between the launch of the first Amiga with the OCS chipset and the first MD, but only two years and one month between the launch of the MD and the SNES. Yet nearly everyone understands the SNES will do many things much better than the MD (and predictably, it does).

So why is it that so many people expect (near) parity between A500 and MD? It doesn't make sense to me on any level.

(Note: it is well known AGA does not normally manage to outdo the consoles in numbers of objects on screen either, even though it's much newer - it's one of the reasons many people were so disappointed after all. But still: looking at AGA only games, you will often see better results in numbers of objects/colours/framerate than for OCS games.)
Quote:
Maybe Mega Typhoon also uses dual playfield mode too to speed up blitting?
It does use Dual Playfield mode.
Quote:
I woud love to see a pure benchmark on A500 and A1200 test of fast 16 colour continuous scrolling background with a different set of 16 colour objects overlaid.
I don't have one for you at the ready, but a really rough estimate for a 32 colour A500 screen is around 14 objects@32x32, or about 40@16x16. On the A1200, you should be able to get closer to 29 objects@32x32, or about 85 objects@16x16. This is assuming 320x256x5 on the A500 and Dual Playfield on the A1200. Both figures don't use super special 'tricks' to boost the numbers. These number will also not really change for scrolling vs non-scrolling as the overhead for scrolling is actually minimal.

Edit: note that the numbers above can be deceptive, both because they don't use hardware sprites (which can improve things considerably if you can manage to use them well) and because there are several tricks that can be used to improve them quite a bit, more so if you're using Dual Playfield mode. I excluded such tricks because they are not always usable and thus harder to quantify. The numbers also assume all you're interested in is showing objects. Adding game logic will lower them.
Quote:
Well it doesn't have to be a huge map. I just mean maybe at least twice as large than the Amiga can store in memory.
I think you might be overestimating just what can fit in the Amiga's memory. An A500 will struggle to keep much more than a double buffered 640x512 screen in 16 colours in memory and still have the memory to actually do a game. At 640x512x4x2 it's already using 320KB for just the display. That only leaves 192KB for the game code, data, music/samples and any objects that need to be drawn. At a guess, I'd say there are probably more games that qualify your 'challenge' than you might think.
Quote:
I'm sure Fire and Ice was after Paradroid 90 and Uridium update on Amiga too. They weren't multi-directional though.
Someone who has coded multi-directional scrollers on the C64 already knows a lot of tricks and knows to try many different strategies. Some of the C64 tricks can be applied to the Amiga. Won't be as efficient as the 'Factor 5 method', but they'll get the job done. I'm puzzled he didn't manage precisely because of how hard it is to get a fluid multi-directional scrolling game working on the C64. It really is harder than any form of Amiga scrolling out there.
Quote:
A lot of developers - Team 17 and the Banshee developers said AGA wasn't powerful enough. They were like - you can do cool effects like transparency on the AGA but it's not powerful enough for moving objects aroundout of the box. The Skeleton Crew preview was basically the developers saying it was much easier to make on the Megadrive but hard on the A1200 for similar reasons.
With all due respect, this is called "moving the goal posts". We were talking about developers allegedly publicly claiming it took them months to get hardware scrolling to work. I said I thought that sounded like a pretty big exaggeration. The above has absolutely nothing to do with that and is on a completely different subject.
Quote:
I think really you need a scrolling 16 bit aracde game like Dragon BReed would be ideal for proper comparison. It needs to be moving a fair number of objects around too. Ghosts N Goblins is quite an old game. Pacmania and Space Harrier are quite unique games. Space Harrier does look impressive though.
And again, this is also "moving the goal posts". You asked for (and I quote): "if the Amiga had an arcade conversion that runs full screen at 50fps".

I and others provided several examples of just this. And now, you change what you find an acceptable answer and more or less simply say "well, yeah, but not those full screen 50Hz arcade ports". IMHO, that's not the correct way to go about this.
Quote:
What about a game like Final Fight?
Check the Final Fight AGA thread on the board.

Last edited by roondar; 19 August 2019 at 11:04.
roondar is offline  
Old 19 August 2019, 01:06   #773
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,382
Double post, apologies for that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vulture View Post
@roondar
Yet, you're one of the few in this long thread who actually provides hard evidence and valid arguments, rather than generic impressions of what is and what's not. I'm not saying others don't, but most ppl (not all) seem to go by hearsay rather than facts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmimmfn View Post
While I'm lurking in the thread, don't stop posting, you're providing a balanced view and I agree with you, scrolling on the Amiga is completely trivial and how to have large multi directional scrolling is just obvious in terms of how to achieve it.
Right, I have decided to give it one last try, where I’ll do my best to avoid falling in the same trap again. We’ll see how it goes.
Quote:
It really boils down to the throughput of the MD vs Amiga in terms of sprites, nothing more and nothing less. The MD did have excellent per scanline scrolling which was rare on the Amiga but games like Elf and SotB 1 did do the same.

My own opinion in general on Amiga vs Console is that the carts had instantly accessible memory so limitations were less pronounced vs Amiga and trying to linearly load levels and across multiple discs.
Yup, I agree. The Mega Drive & SNES could display more objects without tricks. Loading was also an issue on the Amiga, it may have more RAM but everything was much larger than on consoles and disks are slow.
roondar is offline  
Old 19 August 2019, 03:13   #774
Bruce Abbott
Registered User

Bruce Abbott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
Posts: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmimmfn View Post
My own opinion in general on Amiga vs Console is that the carts had instantly accessible memory so limitations were less pronounced vs Amiga and trying to linearly load levels and across multiple discs.
True, and it came at a cost - literally.

You Might Not Believe How Much Games Cost Back in the '90s

The ROM and PCB must have been a significant part of the cost, and while mask ROMs were much cheaper than EPROMs the setup costs were enormous. So a cart had to sell 100,000 or more to be profitable. Cartridge games could have been produced for the Amiga too, and they would have benefited from the extra memory and speed of ROMs (no slowdown due to chipram contention). But they would have cost a fortune because the market was too small.

OTOH, since floppy disks were cheap and easy to duplicate a greater variety of Amiga games were able to be produced by smaller developers. For those of us who had moved up from taped-based machines, floppy disk load times weren't much of an issue (even less if you had a hard drive). And as a bonus we got all those awesome loading screens, cracktros and demos that otherwise would never have been produced! IMO that easily outweighs the technical disadvantages of floppy based games.

This discussion of Amiga vs console graphics is interesting, but to rate the A1200 on this one metric only is wrong. A Megadrive might be able to push more objects around the screen at 50Hz, but many games don't need that kind of performance to be enjoyable. OTOH, something as simple as saving a high score on the Megadrive meant having extra hardware in the cartridge - and a correspondingly higher price.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	sega cart.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	354.0 KB
ID:	64147  
Bruce Abbott is offline  
Old 20 August 2019, 00:18   #775
Gilbert
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
A small note to start: that list is not a complete list, it is merely the only list that keeps track of such games as and when reported. I honestly don't think anyone knows the total number of 50Hz games on the Amiga. It's likely going to be quite a few more games than on the list, but obviously far less than all games.

As for how commonplace it is, I think we'll never agree on this point. The (known to be incomplete) list of games I showed you contains 194 games as is. Which is not exactly a low number. Same thing with number of objects (or 'busyness'), really. It's all down to comparing the A500 to a MD and expecting parity. And to me that is, well, rather a strange expectation.

So, just to get my views on this 'public' once more and (hopefully) for the last time:

OCS machines are not going to equal the Mega Drive or SNES except in exceptional circumstances. No one should expect parity here, as the MD/SNES are several years newer. This alone makes a huge difference. Case in point: there's three years and three months between the launch of the first Amiga with the OCS chipset and the first MD, but only two years and one month between the launch of the MD and the SNES. Yet nearly everyone understands the SNES will do many things much better than the MD (and predictably, it does).

So why is it that so many people expect (near) parity between A500 and MD? It doesn't make sense to me on any level.

(Note: it is well known AGA does not normally manage to outdo the consoles in numbers of objects on screen either, even though it's much newer - it's one of the reasons many people were so disappointed after all. But still: looking at AGA only games, you will often see better results in numbers of objects/colours/framerate than for OCS games.)
It does use Dual Playfield mode.
I don't have one for you at the ready, but a really rough estimate for a 32 colour A500 screen is around 14 objects@32x32, or about 40@16x16. On the A1200, you should be able to get closer to 29 objects@32x32, or about 85 objects@16x16. This is assuming 320x256x5 on the A500 and Dual Playfield on the A1200. Both figures don't use super special 'tricks' to boost the numbers. These number will also not really change for scrolling vs non-scrolling as the overhead for scrolling is actually minimal.

Edit: note that the numbers above can be deceptive, both because they don't use hardware sprites (which can improve things considerably if you can manage to use them well) and because there are several tricks that can be used to improve them quite a bit, more so if you're using Dual Playfield mode. I excluded such tricks because they are not always usable and thus harder to quantify. The numbers also assume all you're interested in is showing objects. Adding game logic will lower them.
I think you might be overestimating just what can fit in the Amiga's memory. An A500 will struggle to keep much more than a double buffered 640x512 screen in 16 colours in memory and still have the memory to actually do a game. At 640x512x4x2 it's already using 320KB for just the display. That only leaves 192KB for the game code, data, music/samples and any objects that need to be drawn. At a guess, I'd say there are probably more games that qualify your 'challenge' than you might think.
Someone who has coded multi-directional scrollers on the C64 already knows a lot of tricks and knows to try many different strategies. Some of the C64 tricks can be applied to the Amiga. Won't be as efficient as the 'Factor 5 method', but they'll get the job done. I'm puzzled he didn't manage precisely because of how hard it is to get a fluid multi-directional scrolling game working on the C64. It really is harder than any form of Amiga scrolling out there.
With all due respect, this is called "moving the goal posts". We were talking about developers allegedly publicly claiming it took them months to get hardware scrolling to work. I said I thought that sounded like a pretty big exaggeration. The above has absolutely nothing to do with that and is on a completely different subject.
And again, this is also "moving the goal posts". You asked for (and I quote): "if the Amiga had an arcade conversion that runs full screen at 50fps".

I and others provided several examples of just this. And now, you change what you find an acceptable answer and more or less simply say "well, yeah, but not those full screen 50Hz arcade ports". IMHO, that's not the correct way to go about this.
Check the Final Fight AGA thread on the board.

You keep think I'm arguing with you when I'm not For the record you're the one who said I was spreading false information when I wasn't.

I wasn't moving the goalposts because I wasn't arguing with you. I don't have an article to hand where they say anything about hardware scrolling! I can't just produce it. I know one where they said that for sure was in Exile but I don't have the article here with me. I know that because I actually emailed the guy who wrote it to find out how it was done. So instead I told you what *actual* A1200 developers said at the time as a way of furthering the discussion. Not as a way of arguing with you. I did that because that's the whole point of this thread - it's about the A1200.

My original post that you answered was in a response to a guy who claimed that joypads were terrible and the Megadrive was useless (something like that). It wasn't addressed to you. I was responding to it because when we got a Megadrive it was like an upgrade on the A500 for arcade games. We wouldn't have bought it otherwise! But yes the A500 was better for certain types of games and for creative stuff like programming.

But I was never arguing that originally - I made this thread because I wanted to get a A1200 at the time but found it to be underpowered and disappointing. But yet the general opinion I had picked up on among Amiga owners was that it is a great machine. I think thats probably true if you were an Amiga owner looking to upgrade but not so much if you were someone who wanted and expected the A1200 to be the same distance ahead of the 16bit consoles as the A500 was to the 8 bit consoles

Btw I loved the bit on how many objects you can get moving over a scrolling landscape. I have wanted to know that for years. Thank you. I think more people should do benchmarks on systems just to see how they compare in a fairer way. That's interesting the A1200 is effectively double the performance of the A500 for 2D objects.

As for me asking about if the Amiga had an arcade game that ran at 50fps fullscreen, you have a point. But what I really meant (given what we had been talking about) was a scrolling one over a map with lost of sprites moving around. Not a simple one and not an 8 bit one. That's why I said Dragon Breed is a good example and Toki too. I just thought that would be obvious what I meant.
Gilbert is offline  
Old 20 August 2019, 00:56   #776
mcgeezer
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Sunderland, England
Posts: 1,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
The Andrew Braybrook blogs are an enigma for me here. He came from the C64 where it is objectively harder to get a full screen scroll. I genuinely don't understand how he had so many problems.
I don't recall magazine articles like that. I do recall grumbling about things not working, but nothing like a scrolling routine taking multiple months.
Totally agree with this here.... to make a C64 do a full screen scroll is very easy.

To part scroll it though is a bit more tricky. An example is here... [ Show youtube player ]
mcgeezer is offline  
Old 20 August 2019, 03:59   #777
ruinashiro
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 40
Wait, did I read someone saying the OCS machines were somehow on par with the MD/genesis? That's crazy. The sega console can do things AGA machines cannot do. I'm not even a big MD/genesis fan, but only in the odd circumstance where some effect really relies on the uniqueness of the amiga's hardware would the amiga machines have anything at all on the sega console (tho I like the amiga sound hardware better).

Like I mentioned before as one example, try getting any amiga to do 320x448 @ 25fps with 60+ colors, like Sonic the Hedgehog 2. One more example off the top of my head: No OCS or AGA amiga could do a game like Thunder Force IV. You might say it could get close but it's all in the details: overlapping parallax, huge sprites, 8-way scroll, hundreds of colors, and on and on. And if you think that's a bad example, check out Alien Soldier. Technically blows every amiga game ever made away.
ruinashiro is offline  
Old 20 August 2019, 04:36   #778
vulture
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Athens , Greece
Posts: 1,088
Errrr....Reshoot-R
vulture is offline  
Old 20 August 2019, 05:03   #779
Shatterhand
Warhasneverbeensomuchfun

Shatterhand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rio de Janeiro / Brazil
Age: 36
Posts: 3,430
Quote:
And if you think that's a bad example, check out Alien Soldier. Technically blows every amiga game ever made away.
In spite of the VISUALSHOCK! SPEEDSHOCK! SOUNDSHOCK! NOW IS TIME FOR THE 68000 HEART ON FIRE! , I really don't think Alien Soldier is pushing the hardware at all. The game does exactly what the hardware was made for (And yes, it shows how much "proper" for action games the MD is), but it's just a lot of sprites working together to make some amazing bosses. That's what Treasure was REALLY good at, joining a lot of different sprites to make a big boss. Gunstar Heroes did it incredibly well too.

But the big thing there is not the hardware, is the amazing sprite work of Treasure. The way they make a lot of different sprites work together has always been amazing
Shatterhand is offline  
Old 20 August 2019, 05:09   #780
ruinashiro
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 40
Shatterhand, I agree in a way, and I am a huge Treasure fan, but I am framing this in terms of what the amiga could and could not do. There is no way an OCS or AGA machine could do Alien Soldier - that's my point.

That sprite work is both the hardware and Treasure. But the game has other aspects - see the fog, rain and lightning in the outdoor attack, the pseudo-3d floors later in the game, the colors, amount of objects, speed.
ruinashiro is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A1200 RF module removal pics + A1200 chips overview eXeler0 Hardware pics 2 08 March 2017 01:09
Sale - 2 auctions: A1200 mobo + flickerfixer & A1200 tower case w/ kit blakespot MarketPlace 0 27 August 2015 19:50
For Sale - A1200/A1000/IndiAGA MkII/A1200 Trapdoor Ram & Other Goodies! fitzsteve MarketPlace 1 11 December 2012 11:32
Trading A1200 030 acc and A1200 indivision for Amiga stuff 8bitbubsy MarketPlace 17 14 December 2009 22:50
Trade Mac g3 300/400 or A1200 for an A1200 accellerator BiL0 MarketPlace 0 07 June 2006 18:41

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:20.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.10518 seconds with 14 queries