Atari vs C64 // was: 8-Bit Computer Poll

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

Locked

Best 8-Bit

ZX Spectrum
109
41%
Commodore 64
121
46%
Amstrad CPC 464
25
10%
BBC Micro
8
3%
 
Total votes: 263

User avatar
neuromancer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: /dev/null
Contact:

Post by neuromancer » Tue May 08, 2007 11:14 am

TMR wrote:
gury wrote:
oswald wrote: the c64 can animate and move BIG sprites using its hardware, no color clashes, no cpu power needed for it, 50fps straight. To do animation / movement/ colors you just set up 7-8 registers and they there are.
Atari 8-bit is doing the same/similar thing.
It's not doing anything near the same. C64 sprites are 24 hi-res pixels across (12 multicolour), Atari players are 8 multicolour, there are eight on the C64 and five if the missiles work in unison so that's 96 multicolour pixels versus 40 - less than half and the C64 sprites are in three colours whilst the Atari is only doing one per player so if you want to match colour depth it goes down to a mere 20 multicolour pixels wide as they pair off.

Animating a sprite on the C64 is a matter of one write to it's data pointer, moving it vertically is similarly one write to it's vertical register. Doing these jobs on the Atari requires the old image to be cleaned out of the player RAM and a new one written in, so assuming both jobs are combined, that's 42 memory transactions per sprite compared to one on the C64 and 210 bytes written compared to a mere 16 on the C64 - so it does require CPU power.
This thread is really giving value for money. I for one am really enjoying the technical info being given out - the reason I'm learning assembler now (which let's face it is only going to help marginally in my job if I need to check the IL for some C#) is that I've always wanted to know how certain things were achieved on the 8 bit machines (which, to my chagrin I only coded in variants of Basic)

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5529
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Post by Matt_B » Tue May 08, 2007 11:16 am

TMR wrote:Which scrolls ridiculously fast because the hardware can't move it any more finely (the CTRC steps through in two byte increments i believe?) - from what i gather, Fres Attack was written more as a proof-of-concept for the scrolling than as an actual game and it's not the most playable title on the CPC because of the speed it moves and the amount of time the player spends hammering into the landscape. Which is a shame, i quite liked it apart from how bloody difficult it is...
I certainly wouldn't hold it up as a perfect game by any means, but the fact that it's chief flaw is that it's a little on the fast side makes it a good counterexample to the idea that the CPC's mode 2 was too slow for action games. Anyway, keep practising; it does get more playable with a bit of perseverance.

Sideways scrolling has pretty much the same natural speed in all modes on the CPC. You're just moving more pixels in proportion to the width of the screen chunk. So games that scroll slower than that tend to look a bit stuttery as a result, whatever the mode.
The C64's bigger brother the C128 has it's VDC display that can match the highest resolution on the BBC or CPC but attribute maps it like the Spectrum. And it's character-based and has hardware scroll. =-)
Yep, the C128 was certainly a very powerful machine. However, I guess it was just too late onto the market (the Atari ST was launched at around the same time for reference) that it never really gained much specific support. I guess Commodore were mostly intending it to do a holding job whilst the Amiga was being prepared for the market.

There were a whole bunch of other super 8-bits that easily outstrip the machines in the poll. The BBC Master 128, SAM Coupe, Amstrad CPC+ and MSX Turbo R also spring to mind. Still, I'd guess the thing with all of them was that there were already 16 bit machines on the market by then and they were pretty much doomed from the start.

User avatar
TMR
Posts: 5756
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Leeds, U.K.
Contact:

Post by TMR » Tue May 08, 2007 11:24 am

neuromancer wrote:The fact that the Atari came out c. 3 years earlier means it didn't have as up to date hardware as the c64 (obviously), so what it can do in comparison to the c64 is even more impressive, imho
That's not entirely the case; the examples you offered like bump mapping and so forth (and you might want to check more C64 demos... =-) don't work on the 1979 issue A8 machines, they need the GTIA video hardware which was late 1981 if memory serves.

User avatar
Darran@Retro Gamer
Posts: 6773
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Bournemouth
Contact:

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue May 08, 2007 11:26 am

I can't believe we have 22 pages of this. Everyone knows that 8-bit computers are rubbish.
Image

User avatar
TMR
Posts: 5756
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Leeds, U.K.
Contact:

Post by TMR » Tue May 08, 2007 11:31 am

Matt_B wrote:I certainly wouldn't hold it up as a perfect game by any means, but the fact that it's chief flaw is that it's a little on the fast side makes it a good counterexample to the idea that the CPC's mode 2 was too slow for action games. Anyway, keep practising; it does get more playable with a bit of perseverance.

Oh, i've played it quite a bit; i've always liked difficult shoot 'em ups as long as they're fair. =-)

But i'd say it's fair comment that moving a decent-sized object in that mode is a pain (not talking scrolling for the moment, purely software sprites) but the biggest flaw in the CPC to my mind was having such a vast screen RAM.
Matt_B wrote:Sideways scrolling has pretty much the same natural speed in all modes on the CPC. You're just moving more pixels in proportion to the width of the screen chunk. So games that scroll slower than that tend to look a bit stuttery as a result, whatever the mode.
Unless you have a bit of RAM and double or upwards buffer the display... i don't think anyone has tried that yet, in the lowest res it should give a scroll rate that'd be playable?

User avatar
TMR
Posts: 5756
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Leeds, U.K.
Contact:

Post by TMR » Tue May 08, 2007 11:32 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I can't believe we have 22 pages of this. Everyone knows that 8-bit computers are rubbish.
If you get sacked for saying that, can i have your job? =-)

User avatar
neuromancer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: /dev/null
Contact:

Post by neuromancer » Tue May 08, 2007 11:34 am

TMR wrote:
neuromancer wrote:The fact that the Atari came out c. 3 years earlier means it didn't have as up to date hardware as the c64 (obviously), so what it can do in comparison to the c64 is even more impressive, imho
That's not entirely the case; the examples you offered like bump mapping and so forth (and you might want to check more C64 demos... =-) don't work on the 1979 issue A8 machines, they need the GTIA video hardware which was late 1981 if memory serves.
I've seen C64 demos with bump mapping - what I'm comparing in that case is the Atari using multiple luminescent colour scales (albeit not in the highest resolution) vs the C64 demos using cross-hatching to give a similar appearance.

As I've said there's some very impressive C64 demos showcasing certain effects that are very difficult to match on the Atari - the C64's hardware is newer, and faster (6502C vs 6510 CPU, not to mention customer video and sound chips)

Personally I think the bump-mapping demos I've seen on the Atari 8bit look better than ones I've seen on the C64, purely as a result of the smooth colour shading the Atari offers. I'm not using this to claim that this automatically means that the Atari is better than the C64.

User avatar
neuromancer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: /dev/null
Contact:

Post by neuromancer » Tue May 08, 2007 11:35 am

TMR wrote:
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I can't believe we have 22 pages of this. Everyone knows that 8-bit computers are rubbish.
If you get sacked for saying that, can i have your job? =-)
:D

User avatar
TMR
Posts: 5756
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Leeds, U.K.
Contact:

Post by TMR » Tue May 08, 2007 11:51 am

neuromancer wrote:I've seen C64 demos with bump mapping - what I'm comparing in that case is the Atari using multiple luminescent colour scales (albeit not in the highest resolution) vs the C64 demos using cross-hatching to give a similar appearance.
Some C64 demos run in Half FLI using the seven luminances of colour available (in fact, 4x4 mode effects were pretty much invented on the C64 and OCS Amiga if memory serves, in order to get "newschool" routines going). Y'should check out Larch by Resource and Breeze in fact, the part with the face in particular... and Oswald over there was one of the coders on that one. =-)
neuromancer wrote:...the C64's hardware is newer, and faster (6502C vs 6510 CPU, not to mention customer video and sound chips)
Except that the Atari 6502C is clocked faster than the 6510 and the GTIA video hardware is about the same age as the VIC-II... and don't forget that a lot of the Atari demos are using expanded RAM and filling it with precalculations, tables, move lists... the C64 has to do a lot more "live" most of the time.

User avatar
neuromancer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: /dev/null
Contact:

Post by neuromancer » Tue May 08, 2007 11:56 am

TMR wrote:
neuromancer wrote:I've seen C64 demos with bump mapping - what I'm comparing in that case is the Atari using multiple luminescent colour scales (albeit not in the highest resolution) vs the C64 demos using cross-hatching to give a similar appearance.
Some C64 demos run in Half FLI using the seven luminances of colour available (in fact, 4x4 mode effects were pretty much invented on the C64 and OCS Amiga if memory serves, in order to get "newschool" routines going). Y'should check out Larch by Resource and Breeze in fact, the part with the face in particular... and Oswald over there was one of the coders on that one. =-)
neuromancer wrote:...the C64's hardware is newer, and faster (6502C vs 6510 CPU, not to mention customer video and sound chips)
Except that the Atari 6502C is clocked faster than the 6510 and the GTIA video hardware is about the same age as the VIC-II... and don't forget that a lot of the Atari demos are using expanded RAM and filling it with precalculations, tables, move lists... the C64 has to do a lot more "live" most of the time.
I'll be checking those demos later, thanks for the suggestions. I thought Oswald had to be a demo coder given his depth of knowledge on this stuff...

Regarding the 6502C vs 6510, I'll have to look into this as I hadn't realised that the C64 was clocked slower (as I've said I never owned as C64 and have never had reason to research this stuff before)

I assume there must be other facilities in the 6510 which make up for the lower frequency. The '64s hardware sprite capabilities, as has been covered in some detail elsewhere on this thread, obviously allow a lot more to occur on-screen in fewer cycles than the Ataris.

User avatar
felgekarp
Posts: 9351
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 11:47 am
Location: Earth 3

Post by felgekarp » Tue May 08, 2007 12:03 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I can't believe we have 22 pages of this. Everyone knows that 8-bit computers are rubbish.
What even Amstrads :D
Splink!

User avatar
neuromancer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: /dev/null
Contact:

Post by neuromancer » Tue May 08, 2007 12:05 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I can't believe we have 22 pages of this. Everyone knows that 8-bit computers are rubbish.
_________________
One day the Amstrad will take over the world...
A non 8 bit Amstrad is going to take over the world? Isn't that a PC then? :wink:

[edit - just beat me to it Felgekarp, it's all in the timing as they say!]
Last edited by neuromancer on Tue May 08, 2007 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

psj3809
Posts: 19049
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Post by psj3809 » Tue May 08, 2007 12:06 pm

Is it jut me but i'm just not a fan of demos at all. Back in the day i wanted games games games. I first discovered tons of demos on the Amiga, they were impressive but i just wanted to play games and not load up some disc which had some amazing graphic (often soft-porn) and some great tune. Yeah the tunes and graphics half the time were impressive but i never was personally into demos myself, just games.

User avatar
neuromancer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: /dev/null
Contact:

Post by neuromancer » Tue May 08, 2007 12:07 pm

psj3809 wrote:Is it jut me but i'm just not a fan of demos at all. Back in the day i wanted games games games. I first discovered tons of demos on the Amiga, they were impressive but i just wanted to play games and not load up some disc which had some amazing graphic (often soft-porn) and some great tune. Yeah the tunes and graphics half the time were impressive but i never was personally into demos myself, just games.
Personally I've always liked a bit of both; demos always give coders something to aspire to (and, in my case, make me feel very humble!)

- I did start a new thread specifically about demos in anticipation of all the demo discussions being deemed 'off topic'

User avatar
TMR
Posts: 5756
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Leeds, U.K.
Contact:

Post by TMR » Tue May 08, 2007 12:11 pm

neuromancer wrote:I assume there must be other facilities in the 6510 which make up for the lower frequency. The '64s hardware sprite capabilities, as has been covered in some detail elsewhere on this thread, obviously allow a lot more to occur on-screen in fewer cycles than the Ataris.
Generally, the VIC-II is the "magic" and the 6510 doesn't add anything to to the pot by itself, in fact it's only a few minor tweaks away from being a stock 6502. What gives the C64 a speed advantage over the BBC, CPC or Spectrum is the character-based screen modes; most scrolling games run in character mode because it takes 2,000 bytes for a screen compared to 10,000 for multicolour bitmap, 6,912 bytes for the Spectrum screen and about 16K for the CPC (i forget for the BBC, 16K again i believe...?).

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests