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Old 16 December 2009, 16:02   #1
lilalurl
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Question Dynamic screen splitting/joining in a game: Was it possible on Amiga? Did it exist?

Back in the days, when I played games like Chaos Engine and Alien Breed with friends, we always thought something like:

"Man, it would be great if the game would go into split screen as soon as the characters start to get away from each other. And then, when they are close again, the game would come back to a single screen mode".


I just thought about this again recently and was wondering if some Amiga games actually did this.

Was it even technically possible? Or would it have been too much of a strain on the hardware to do that and have at the same time a decent frame rate/smooth scrolling?
I can't think of any Amiga game that does that and I have not enough technical knowledge to have any idea on the possibility of the matter.


The only other games on another platform that implemented this and that I know of would be some of the Dragon Ball Z games on SNES (I think there was also one on PSX that did this? I am not much into these games so I don't know).
Check from 0:27 to see a bit about it if you don't know the games:
[ Show youtube player ]

Since those are "simple" face to face figthing games, perhaps it is "easier" to do (limited background area, no interaction other than with the other character) than in a multi-scrolling game with other sprites than the two characters such as Chaos Engine or Alien Breed?


Any explanation and/or example is welcome. Amiga examples of course, but if you have examples on other platforms, please mention then and I'll try and list them in this post.


List of Amiga games doing dynamic screen-splitting/joining:
- Gravity Power
- Dogfight (Richard Ling)

Other platform games:
- some Dragon Ball Z games (SNES)
- Toejam & Earl (Sega Megadrive)

Last edited by lilalurl; 17 December 2009 at 03:07.
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Old 16 December 2009, 16:19   #2
Graham Humphrey
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Pretty sure Gravity Power can do this. When the two players come near each other it switches to a full-screen display, and as soon as they move away from each other it reverts to split-screen again. Admittedly there isn't much going on, it only scrolls vertically and apart from the odd gun placement there's no other moving objects on screen.
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Old 16 December 2009, 16:37   #3
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Thanks. Tested quickly and added to the list.
I think there was a discussion here about cave shooters. I'll try to dig that up and see if there are other examples in this category (unless of course someone does it before me ).
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Old 16 December 2009, 20:22   #4
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In brief, vertical splits are trivial and don't put much strain on resources, but horizontal splits are very demanding.

Anything is doable of course, it just depends on how big performance penalty you can take.
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Old 16 December 2009, 21:57   #5
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Quote:
Any explanation and/or example is welcome. Amiga examples of course, but if you have examples on other platforms, please mention then and I'll try and list them in this post.
Well, I know for a fact that Toejam & Earl (Sega Megadrive) does exactly what you describe When you are close together it is a single screen, when you get too far apart it becomes a horizontal splitscreen.
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Old 16 December 2009, 22:44   #6
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Thanks Gimbal.

Also thanks Leffmann for the brief explanation.
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Old 16 December 2009, 22:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimbal View Post
Well, I know for a fact that Toejam & Earl (Sega Megadrive) does exactly what you describe When you are close together it is a single screen, when you get too far apart it becomes a horizontal splitscreen.
I wonder where you heard of that excellent game... I think we had another MD game that did that, but I can't remember the name :s
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Old 17 December 2009, 00:47   #8
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Originally Posted by TheCyberDruid View Post
I wonder where you heard of that excellent game... I think we had another MD game that did that, but I can't remember the name :s
Hmmm... Zombies Ate My Neighbours?
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Old 17 December 2009, 00:54   #9
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I thought the same, but neither the SNES nor the MegaDrive version does it Memory isn't what it used to be
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Old 17 December 2009, 02:34   #10
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Dogfight, programmed in Amos, has sideways splitting screens when the players move away from each other. I wonder if it's harder to do 8-way scrolling that splits up.

http://hol.abime.net/3695/screenshot
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Old 17 December 2009, 03:06   #11
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Thanks Cammy. Tested (took quite a few tries to understand how to correctly take off) and added.
The transition from/to split screen to/from single screen is very smooth in this one. The kind of thing I would have wished for a Chaos Engine/Alien Breed with split screen.

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Old 17 December 2009, 07:13   #12
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Yeah, I've been wishing the same thing for a while, that there was a way to split these two player games into two screens when the characters separate. Imagine if they did it in Yo! Joe, Dalek Attack, or Allo, Allo! You could go your separate ways for a while, performing tasks that you'd normally both be going back and forth doing.
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Old 17 December 2009, 10:57   #13
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I'm sure a couple of beat em ups did this, don't ask me which though.
Maybe that street fighter clone made in AMOS?
I doubt amos is powerful enough to do something like that though.
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Old 17 December 2009, 13:45   #14
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doesn't Dithel In Space (amos game) have a 2 player splitscreen mode?
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Old 17 December 2009, 14:24   #15
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If you replied to skateblind, yes it has.

However, Dithell in Space requires to select at the main menu whether you will play a 2-player game in a single screen mode or in split-screen mode and hence the choice will last the whole game session (nothing dynamic).
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Old 17 December 2009, 15:52   #16
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Ah yes, I forgot the "dynamic" part
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Old 17 December 2009, 16:08   #17
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Check Roketz as well. Nice horizontal splitting with rendered graphics. If I remember well, screen joinz if both players are close.

http://hol.abime.net/1274/screenshot
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Old 17 December 2009, 21:04   #18
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Nothing dynamic in the Roketz, unless I missed something. I tried with the version available on whdownload.
As can be seen on the HOL screenshots, you can indeed have either a single screen when playing against the CPU or split screen when playing against another human, but there is no dynamic joining/splitting taking place.

Nonetheless, thanks for the suggestion Predseda.
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