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Old 20 December 2018, 14:59   #41
Shatterhand
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This expertise being clearly reflected even in the general japanese HW platform design.

So you don't need to go as strong (and expensive) as a X68000, when a good PC-Engine game using a 7,15MHz 6502 deriverate already delivers a superior action gaming experience compared to most OCS/ECS Amiga games.
I never owned a NES back at the time, but now I own a NES clone.. so sometimes I play some of its classics I never tried back at the time (Finished Super Mario Bros 3 for the first time in my life last year)

I was playing Megaman 2 and while I played it, I was thinking all the time "This could *easily* be made on an Amiga with slightly better graphics and no flickering and it would be one of the best games on the Amiga library". But even if it was exactly the same game, with the same graphics and same flickering, it would STILL be one of the best games on Amiga.

There are lot of NES games that would be awesome Amiga games. Unfortunately all we got were those shitty Bart Simpson games and that HORRENDOUS port of Battletoads

EDIT: And McDonald's Land which was a brilliant port on Amiga. But now thinking about it, all of those games were already Western games anyway even on NES.
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Old 20 December 2018, 16:01   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacon View Post
It can't be a carbon copy, as the CPS systems use different ASICS, memory layout, and even the register mapping of the CPS custom chips are vastly different from the X68000.
The register mapping is different, but very similar.

Quote:
Other important details as VRAM management aside, you simply can not run the same code on both platforms.
if the hardware accesses are not modified, i agree.

Quote:
Yes, in bitmap mode (a mode which the CPS doesn't have). This is why I wrote CLUT entries. Therefore, in tile based graphics mode (and this is the only mode which matters here), the CPS surpasses the X68000.
No CPS game use the full 3072 colors on screen. Basically, SF2 opens 2 layers with each 256 colors, plus a sprite layer using 128 (64 colors for each fighters).

the X68000 do exactly the same, and display the same amount of colors.

the sign 512 in the guile stage indicates that the stages are using 512 colors (2 x 256 colors).

Quote:
As I pointed out earlier, both systems also have vastly different ways of VRAM management. The X68000 needs storage of all tile map, graphics & sprite gfx in VRAM, while the CPS, being a ROM based system, only stores the tile maps and sprite attributes in VRAM.
I agree with this. it's exact that the CP system is always checking the VRAM for tile metadatas/sprites metadatas and is doing an automatic display.

Quote:
Simplified: to switch from Cammy to Zangief requires just a single change in the sprite attribute table on the CPS2, while the X68000 requires re-loading all the graphics data by memory copying into the VRAM.
Ok.

[quote]CPS is a different hardware platform, plain and simple, no matter how many video game articles you cite (which is, for sure, a questionable source of information for a developer).


Quote:
The X68000 does not have a Z80, nor is the 68000 clocked at 16MHz (it's 10).
Sorry, but you're fully wrong here. I own an X68000 XVI.

this beast has a 68000 clocked at 16mhz, downgradable to 10mhz via a switch, and the sound board has a Z80 and an YM 2151 !

So this mean that you're talking with me about a computer you don't even own. You don't even know that the CPU clock is switchable from factory, and that there is a Z80 inside it.



Quote:
Wrong again. What is your point here?
You should buy an X68000 instead of bragging out on things you don't know jack off !

PS : "This expertise being clearly reflected even in the general japanese HW platform design.

So you don't need to go as strong (and expensive) as a X68000, when a good PC-Engine game using a 7,15MHz 6502 deriverate already delivers a superior action gaming experience compared to most OCS/ECS Amiga games."

worse crap i've read so far. The PC engine strength doesn't lie in its CPU but its 16 bits Chipset. the 6502 is a poor 8 bits CPU.
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Old 20 December 2018, 16:23   #43
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Just to illustrate, here is the I/O sound board from an X68000 XVI :




Now please tell me what's in red in the left part of the PCB
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Old 20 December 2018, 16:30   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
Just to illustrate, here is the I/O sound board from an X68000 XVI :




Now please tell me what's in red in the left part of the PCB
It is a serial interface controller (SCC). You know, zilog also makes peripheral chips...

There is no Z80 in your X68000.

Your point again?

I'll leave you some time now to reconsider some of the other funny things you have written here.

Last edited by dmacon; 20 December 2018 at 16:35.
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Old 20 December 2018, 19:16   #45
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Indeed. The picture was not clear enough. My bad.
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Old 21 December 2018, 14:08   #46
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So, time's up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
The register mapping is different, but very similar.
Even if we focus on the sprites only, the attribute register mapping, and the way how sprites are defined, is quite different:

Code:
X68000:

0xeb0000 - 0xeb07ff - Sprite registers (up to 128)
       + 00 : b9-0,  Sprite X position
       + 02 : b9-0,  Sprite Y position
       + 04 : b15,   Vertical Reversing (flipping?)
              b14,   Horizontal Reversing
              b11-8, Sprite colour
              b7-0,  Sprite tile code (in PCG)
       + 06 : b1-0,  Priority
                     00 = Sprite not displayed

0xeb8000 - 0xebffff     Sprite VRAM (= 32k)                         

CPS:

Custom chip register base differs per game

0x00-0x01     OBJ RAM base (/256)

Sprites are represented by a number of 8 byte values
    xx xx yy yy nn nn aa aa
    where xxxx  = x position
    yyyy        = y position
    nnnn        = tile number
    aaaa        = attribute word
        $0001  colour
        $0002  colour
        $0004  colour
        $0008  colour
        $0010  colour
        $0020  X Flip
        $0040  Y Flip
        $0080  unknown
        $0100  X block size (in sprites)
        $0200  X block size
        $0400  X block size
        $0800  X block size
        $1000  Y block size (in sprites)
        $2000  Y block size
        $4000  Y block size
        $8000  Y block size
The most obvious differences being:

-> CPS has variable sprite attribute memory base (X68000 is fixed register mapping)
-> CPS supports variable hor/ver sprite size *per entry* (16x16 - 256x256)!! (X68000 only supports fixed 8x8 or 16x16 global size)
-> CPS supports 32 CLUT entries per sprite (X68000 only 16)
-> CPS supports up to 65536 sprite character table enties (X68000 only 256!! -> sprite VRAM limit of 32k)

That alone is sufficient to claim that CPS has a much superior sprite hardware, which needs to some degree be compensated by the CPU of the X68000.

But yeah, on a most basic level of understanding, one can claim that both platforms have somewhat similar means how to define the position and shape of a moving object.

For some people, this apparently qualifies as 2 platforms being a "carbon copy" of each other...

Quote:
No CPS game use the full 3072 colors on screen.
It might not be.
But it easily could, and that is the only point which matters.

I'll re-quote myself:

Quote:
CPS is a different hardware platform, plain and simple
Both platforms share a common set of features, but even those are different enough to say, with confidence, that Capcom CPS is its own, distinguished hardware platform.

This should be pretty clear by now (at least for some people).

Quote:
You should buy an X68000 instead of bragging out on things you don't know jack off !
I'll let you into some secret: there are actually people out there making their living on writing drivers, applications and even operating systems for platforms which only exist on paper as written design spec, or a virtual model.

But I guess I have to take your authority on technical matters here, because you quote japanese video game magazines, know where the 16MHz button is on your later, expanded X68000 model and post pixelated web images from your hardware whose functionality needs to be explained to you by other people.

And it seems you are not only an X68000 expert:

Quote:
worse crap i've read so far. The PC engine strength doesn't lie in its CPU but its 16 bits Chipset. the 6502 is a poor 8 bits CPU.
Firstly, the 6502 core is part of the PC-Engine chipset.

Then, yes I can imagine that you are the type of guy who prefers a "cozy" CPU environment.

On the other hand, we are not talking about operating system development here but rather "simple" action games / platformers.

So, what you mostly need is a CPU which can do quick mem<>mem operations & perform 8 & 16-bit logic / arithmetic operations with a reasonable degree of performance.

For such use-case, a fast clocked 6502 (or in the case of PC-Engine, a slightly expanded derivative) is a most fitting design choice.

It is the kind of informed design choice which allows the system architecture design team to put the cost emphasis on the graphics, evidence being the extensive library of fast & colourful action games, running on this tiny, CD case-sized box.

After all, we are saving ~55.000-60.000 transistors (2x the size of Agnus!), and spare the need of using expensive 16-bit ROM chips.

But, what do I know?

From now on, I'll let you handle the rest of the "expert" discussion.

Last edited by dmacon; 21 December 2018 at 14:57.
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Old 21 December 2018, 15:20   #47
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Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
"So you don't need to go as strong (and expensive) as a X68000, when a good PC-Engine game using a 7,15MHz 6502 deriverate already delivers a superior action gaming experience compared to most OCS/ECS Amiga games."

worse crap i've read so far. The PC engine strength doesn't lie in its CPU but its 16 bits Chipset. the 6502 is a poor 8 bits CPU.
To be fair here, the 6502 in the PC-Engine has been changed quite a bit from the base design, though - it has quite a few extra features (such as block copy, easy memory banking and improved loop support).

Setting that aside, while the 6502 is indeed a rather old 8 bit CPU known to be slow, it does use a very low number of clock cycles per instruction which makes it's slowness a bit deceptive. The main reason it's perceived as being so slow is the low clock speeds it's usually ran at (1 to 2MHz vs the much higher 4-8MHz of the competition).

Running it at 7MHz makes most of that problem go away. Having programmed for both, I'm actually pretty confident it'll be faster than a 7MHz 68000 at quite a few tasks (especially if these tasks do not need many different variables). For more complicated tasks, the 68000 most likely still wins though - but not by as big a margin as you might expect here.
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Old 21 December 2018, 15:45   #48
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Ouch.
I have not any knowledge whatsoever of both machines but if dmacon is right, then the french wikipedia article on the CP-S claiming that "CP System is based on X68000 architecture" and the article on the X68000 saying that "the CP-S is a stand alone derivative of the X68000 which explains the pixel perfect conversion of Final Fight and Ghouls'n'Ghost"" are both deeply wrong.

By the way, these french wikipedia articles are sourced by that web site : http://arcadehacker.blogspot.com/201...s1-part-2.html

Maybe you should post them a comment, dmacon.

Last edited by sokolovic; 21 December 2018 at 16:08.
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Old 21 December 2018, 18:50   #49
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Final Fight on X68000 is not even "Pixel Perfect". Expert players of the arcade game can point a fair number of differences on the X68000 port.
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Old 21 December 2018, 20:03   #50
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We all agree that the X68000 was a mammoth of a computer with amazing specs for its time and - as far as I'm concerned - the only 16bit home computer to be actually better than the Amiga before 1990 (yes, I'm counting the Mac and the NeXT computers). The X68000 is still the undisputed champion of the 16bit world, IMO, and stands on a class of its own.

It's interesting to re-read all this technical stuff about it and even to learn a new thing here and there but how about we get back on topic? I do agree with Shatterhand: Japanese developing teams were much better than the rivalling European and even North American game developers. Basically every NES and MSX platform game and even some SHMUPs were feasible (and improvable) on the Amiga, so it serves as an example of how good the Japanese Amiga games could have been if they would have fully supported our beloved machine.

To the person who said that Commodore and Sharp should have teamed up to combine the best of the Amiga and the X68000 onto a "New Amiga": That, my friend, would have been absolute Heaven.
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Old 21 December 2018, 20:24   #51
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n/m

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Old 21 December 2018, 20:29   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
I never owned a NES back at the time, but now I own a NES clone.. so sometimes I play some of its classics I never tried back at the time (Finished Super Mario Bros 3 for the first time in my life last year)

I was playing Megaman 2 and while I played it, I was thinking all the time "This could *easily* be made on an Amiga with slightly better graphics and no flickering and it would be one of the best games on the Amiga library". But even if it was exactly the same game, with the same graphics and same flickering, it would STILL be one of the best games on Amiga.

There are lot of NES games that would be awesome Amiga games. Unfortunately all we got were those shitty Bart Simpson games and that HORRENDOUS port of Battletoads

EDIT: And McDonald's Land which was a brilliant port on Amiga. But now thinking about it, all of those games were already Western games anyway even on NES.

Interesting thing about megaman 2. It only has horisontal scroll. when the levels move vertically its basically a flickscreen game with the same sort of in between screen scroll that the first zelda has. Same goes for castlevania. Even rondo of blood on pc engine is like this. Levels only scroll in two directions. No 8 directional scroll to be seen.


Very few euros would make a game like that.



If a prominent japanese developer would make an amiga game. I think they would set the bar low, technically. 16 colors, 2 directional scroll etc. Things that work. A setting that gives head room for everything else.
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Old 21 December 2018, 22:58   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokolovic View Post
Ouch.
I have not any knowledge whatsoever of both machines but if dmacon is right, then the french wikipedia article on the CP-S claiming that "CP System is based on X68000 architecture" and the article on the X68000 saying that "the CP-S is a stand alone derivative of the X68000 which explains the pixel perfect conversion of Final Fight and Ghouls'n'Ghost"" are both deeply wrong.

By the way, these french wikipedia articles are sourced by that web site : http://arcadehacker.blogspot.com/201...s1-part-2.html

Maybe you should post them a comment, dmacon.
Isuke, strider's dad in arcade has said in an interview that the CPS system was based on the X68000 from sharp.
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Old 22 December 2018, 12:59   #54
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On the topic of Japanese developers, didn't Sega release their own version of Afterburner/Afterburner II?

But overall I think having Japanese developers might have helped a great deal actually. Plenty of the 'all time great' games were made by Japanese developers and many of them would've fit the machine well. They might even have gotten us to use 2 button sticks

Some games I feel could've seen a perfectly fine port from the 16 bit consoles (note, I'm not saying equal in every way, just copying gameplay 100% and getting close enough graphically) would include pretty much all of the 16 bit Castlevania games, some JRPGs (oh how I'd love a version of FF VI even without the mode seven antics) and stuff like Megaman and many of the platformers. Or some nicer ports of classic shoot em ups: I'd love a good version of U.N. Squadron or any version of Salamander.

Though in retrospects, many of the non-Sega/Nintendo platformers did see a release on the Amiga and some of those are rather good.
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Old 22 December 2018, 23:51   #55
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Ok, one thing though make me wonder if japanese programmers would have really squeezed out the most from Amiga: do japanese coders do extreme beam-riding as coding style? Do they use multiplexers? That is an essential part of western style game coding AFAIK
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Old 23 December 2018, 04:28   #56
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They use all the tricks in the book.

For instance, they were incredibly strong to protect their software.

for instance, i got headaches to deprotect games like King of Dragons or 3 wonders.

This last one has 350 protection routines of all kind to crack ! And each time they issued a new program code revision, hop let's move all or some of the routines !

KOD aka King of Dragons is a bitch, they even did a code change between the World and the Japan release.

This one has checksums, and the worst and most apocalyptic is the catch game series Muscle Bomber/Saturday Night Slam Master and its sequel Muscle Bomber Duo.
The protection is interconnected between each parts of the program : Checksums by torrent falling from the sky, copylock style routines, multiple software and hardware checks, specific encryption word check on the sound program. A nightmare, 10 times worse than Jurassic Park Amiga, which is a walk in the park aside those 2 !
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Old 23 December 2018, 06:04   #57
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Quote:
Same goes for castlevania.
And Amiga version is a joke. I am not much into remaking games, but if I had the time, I'd love to do a proper port of Castlevania on Amiga. It's *so* easy to do it on Amiga, but Novatrade butchered it in ways I can't even understand.

Quote:
On the topic of Japanese developers, didn't Sega release their own version of Afterburner/Afterburner I
Published by Sega of America, developed by another team. It's much like Konami also published games for Amiga but none of them were developed by any of the studios of Konami in Japan.


Quote:
Though in retrospects, many of the non-Sega/Nintendo platformers did see a release on the Amiga and some of those are rather good.
Japanese ones? Which ones?

Quote:
Ok, one thing though make me wonder if japanese programmers would have really squeezed out the most from Amiga: do japanese coders do extreme beam-riding as coding style? Do they use multiplexers? That is an essential part of western style game coding AFAIK
The MSX could only draw 4 1-color sprites per scanline, and background graphics were "big" 8x8 blocks that couldn't scroll. Think of it as a blitter which can only blit 4 colours 8x8 chunks at 8x8 positions.

Look at Konami's Soccer moving a shitload of colorful stuff on screen by clevering mixing sprites and background characters as soccer players.

Look at what Konami did with Gradius games, Salamander and Parodius with JUST 4 ONE-COLOR SPRITES PER SCANLINE.

Or Knightmare. Look at Knightmare.

Look what Compile did with Zanac. That game has no slowdowns and barely any flicker, look at the ridiculous amount of stuff flying on screen while the game carefuly NEVER lets more than 4 enemies ever be at the same line to avoid flicker, WHILE having random enemy attacks, waves that attacks depending on your weapon choice and screen position AND having an amazing level design, boss design, pace, rhythm, weapom balance, it's such a well crafted game made by a ridiculous small team which was churning out classic after classic on such a small timeframe.

Yes. I think japanese developers could handle Copper+Blitter just fine. And if they couldn't, they would still be able to design games around their limitations.

-

I just want to add that there's one european MSX game that actually makes me go awe on how its so well designed around the hardware. It's an amazing shoot'em up named "Hype", which is incredibly fast, smooth, also moves a shitload of stuff on screen with minimal flicker (using similar tricks that japanase games do) and it's a freaking awesome game.

It was programmed by Ronald Pieket Weeserik, who did the AMAZING ports of Silkworm, Ninja Warriors and Rodland on Amiga, and also did the great SWIV.

So I guess there were good European devs who could design good games around the hardware instead of against it. At least on Netherlands
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Old 23 December 2018, 06:11   #58
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Look at this:

[ Show youtube player ]

Japanese devs could make a game work well, being smooth, well designed and fun to play with fucking COLORFUL BLOCKS on a system that was NEVER INTENDED TO PLAY GAMES.

And this was coded by DEMPA it was basically a bunch of just-graduated japanese programmers being underpaid to do overtime jobs porting games by themselves. (Most if not all DEMPA releases were made by a single guy).


This Space Harrier port looks like shit but it plays better than lots of european ports of the same game running on much superior hardware.

YES, I think Japanese devs could handle the Amiga hardware all right indeed
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Old 23 December 2018, 14:17   #59
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Japanese ones? Which ones?
Just to avoid some confusion here, I did not mean developed in-house by the Japanese companies originally releasing them, merely that good ports of Japanese platformers exist. And obviously, good does not mean 'perfect'

With that in mind, here are a few examples (all IMHO of course): Rod-Land, BC Kid/Bonk's Adventure, Toki, The New Zealand Story, Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars.
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Old 23 December 2018, 16:49   #60
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Playing through Policenauts right now (Saturn fan translation),

And it strikes me that the PC98 version would have been a good example of what you could do on Amiga if a HDD and some extra memory was used expected as baseline.

...And also, great game
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