Change one thing?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: NickThorpe, Darran@Retro Gamer

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Luton
Contact:

Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:52 am

So, we know that the designs for pretty much all computers and consoles had to compromised somewhere.

But if you could change just ONE thing about your favourite system what would it be?

For example a faster CPU in the SNES, more colours on screen on the Mega Drive or no colour clash on the Spectrum.

Be interesting to hear your thoughts!

User avatar
outdated_gamer
Posts: 2597
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:14 pm

Re: Change one thing?

Post by outdated_gamer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:45 am

I'd like to see PC hardware become cheaper, so that a "GTX 1080" wouldn't cost 800 bucks but 80... :wink:

This was always the general problem with PC gaming - the hardware was there but it was inaccessibly expensive.

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Luton
Contact:

Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:56 am

outdated_gamer wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:45 am
I'd like to see PC hardware become cheaper, so that a "GTX 1080" wouldn't cost 800 bucks but 80... :wink:

This was always the general problem with PC gaming - the hardware was there but it was inaccessibly expensive.
You've kind of missed the point completely really.

User avatar
outdated_gamer
Posts: 2597
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:14 pm

Re: Change one thing?

Post by outdated_gamer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:07 pm

The Laird wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:56 am
outdated_gamer wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:45 am
I'd like to see PC hardware become cheaper, so that a "GTX 1080" wouldn't cost 800 bucks but 80... :wink:

This was always the general problem with PC gaming - the hardware was there but it was inaccessibly expensive.
You've kind of missed the point completely really.
I wouldn't say so, you asked what we'd like to see different about our favourite system and cheaper hardware prices is exactly what I'd like for my system of choice.

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Luton
Contact:

Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:11 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:07 pm
The Laird wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:56 am
outdated_gamer wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:45 am
I'd like to see PC hardware become cheaper, so that a "GTX 1080" wouldn't cost 800 bucks but 80... :wink:

This was always the general problem with PC gaming - the hardware was there but it was inaccessibly expensive.
You've kind of missed the point completely really.
I wouldn't say so, you asked what we'd like to see different about our favourite system and cheaper hardware prices is exactly what I'd like for my system of choice.
If I said I wished my ZX Spectrum cost £2.50 that would sound stupid right?

Same thing. No company would have sold hardware at such a loss, especially not computers.

User avatar
outdated_gamer
Posts: 2597
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:14 pm

Re: Change one thing?

Post by outdated_gamer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:13 pm

The Laird wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:11 pm
outdated_gamer wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:07 pm
The Laird wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:56 am


You've kind of missed the point completely really.
I wouldn't say so, you asked what we'd like to see different about our favourite system and cheaper hardware prices is exactly what I'd like for my system of choice.
If I said I wished my ZX Spectrum cost £2.50 that would sound stupid right?

Same thing. No company would have sold hardware at such a loss, especially not computers.
Probably, but wanting a PC part to cost 100 bucks instead of 1000 bucks is not too far fetched as a wish.

It's not like it's worth more than that in terms of production. R&D has its costs, but if something is produced and sold in mass amounts, smaller prices are to be expected.

User avatar
paranoid marvin
Posts: 14263
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:28 pm
Location: 21st Century Earth

Re: Change one thing?

Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:37 pm

Taking away a bad things can affect a good one. Lose colour clash on the Speccy and you miss out on lots of ace monochrome graphic games. And anyway, in the right hands the Speccy could have bright colourful games with little or no clash.

Back on topic, I would have made the C64 and A8 disc-drive only machines. Also given the Speccy a built in twin joystick port.
Mr Flibble says...
"Game over , boys!"

User avatar
ncf1
Posts: 1235
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:04 am
Location: Australia

Re: Change one thing?

Post by ncf1 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:51 pm

The Apple II had this colour blend thing which I don't know the technical name for which made graphics unsightly at times, if only that were removed the sun would have shined just a little bit brighter in those days. :D

NorthWay
Posts: 1554
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Grimstad, Norway

Re: Change one thing?

Post by NorthWay » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:18 pm

Three possibilities for the C= 64 then
- 2MHz cpu that halts when memory is busy (i.e. done like the A8) (so effectively max 1.54MHz compared to effectively 0.95MHz today)
- Modulo functionality to the character map addressing
- Full 16 bits address for the screen address

A few for the Amiga too:
- 68010 instead of 68000 (would probably have helped on many compatibility problems later)
- Half the memory as fastmem instead of chipmem (to help compatability and speed/stability)
- 32-bit wide chipset (not too unreasonable update considering original 1979 design)
- Double speed memory/chipset and hence twice as many memory accesses per scanline (1979 design, same memory as the BBC B AFAIK - 250ns (or is it 150ns?))
Last edited by NorthWay on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
shiftytigger
Posts: 2965
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:53 pm
Location: East London

Re: Change one thing?

Post by shiftytigger » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:45 pm

Oddly , i wouldnt change a thing on the speccy - losing colour clash may improve a few things but some amazing things were still done on the spectrum.

I could agree on the MD though. Just a bit more colour on screen could have edged it for me though again , i think it was good to have the differences between the different formats.

Change one thing ? Really ultimately , making a success of the Dreamcast - maybe by having a DVD drive , better controller and support. I love the 'cast though i feel indifferent to its spiritual successor the Xbox , at least it kept some IP's alive for a bit longer. Making more of the NGP link up , VMU use and online stuff.
Image

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5171
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:16 am

Losing colour clash on the Spectrum basically means losing colour entirely, since it's only the system of 8x8 attributes that causes the clash that allows it to be there in the first place. If you wanted to add colour back by some different means you'd be looking at another machine entirely. If you're going to fix anything on the machine, sort out the bugs in the ROM or let Nine Tiles finish the special version of BASIC they were going to write rather than just have them hack over the ZX81 code and add a few features.

Much the same goes for the Apple II. Its colour system is a magnificent construction of NTSC hacks that, like any good Heath Robinson device, would break if you were to change a single thing about it. Of course they did change it with the Apple IIe and IIGS, and lots of things duly broke on both occasions.

You could improve the C64 a bit by sneaking a faster CPU in there, that being basically what they did with the C128. However, it would still suffer quite badly due to contention with the VIC chip because there are relatively few free cycles on the bus, and about the only time you'd get the extra speed would be during the frame flyback.

The Amiga already benefits from the same trick used in the BBC Micro, in that the RAM is double clocked so that the bit plane data can be fetched on alternate cycles to the CPU. Unfortunately, the chipset needs to make extra accesses on top of that for things like the sprites and the blitter and they're necessarily going to halt it. You'd need RAM that was four time as fast, and that would have been a ludicrously expensive option in 1985 for little benefit, although they eventually went down that route, along with having a 32-bit bus, with the AGA chipset in order to support extra graphical modes. Partitioning the RAM so that there was always some fast RAM would be a double edged sword, as you'd reduce the amount of graphics and audio data that the chipset could see, necessitating a lot of copying back and forth. Pretty much all the business-oriented Amiga models had both fast RAM and chip RAM though, so I suspect it was mostly just a cost saving measure.

User avatar
Sel Feena
Posts: 3506
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:38 pm

Re: Change one thing?

Post by Sel Feena » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:28 am

Whatever it would take to give the N64 decent textures. Goodness, they were absolutely dreadful, and really let some games down imo
Image

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5171
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:38 am

Sel Feena wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:28 am
Whatever it would take to give the N64 decent textures. Goodness, they were absolutely dreadful, and really let some games down imo
Increasing the size of the texture cache would probably have helped a bit, especially in the early days when developers tended to see the 4K as a hard limit.

It was possible to work around it though, by copying textures from the cartridge memory - which is one of a number of good reasons why it's a good job that they didn't use optical media despite the disadvantages - and a lot of later games indeed have better looking textures on account of this. I doubt too many would be complaining about them if every game for the machine looked like Perfect Dark, for example.

User avatar
Sel Feena
Posts: 3506
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:38 pm

Re: Change one thing?

Post by Sel Feena » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:36 pm

Yeah, fair point about later games, just a shame that starting out there was a lot of fugliness
Image

User avatar
mrmessy
Posts: 303
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:06 am
Location: The middle of England
Contact:

Re: Change one thing?

Post by mrmessy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:44 pm

Built in joystick ports on the Spectrum, Spectrum Plus and Spectrum 128. But only if they still got to be called "Kempston".
'79:Micro5500> '83:Spec(48K)> '84:Spec+(kit)> '86:Spec128> '88:ST> '90:A500> '93:A1200> '93:SNES> '95:PS1> '99:PC> '02:PS2> '05:Xbox> '12:X360> '14:PS4... XboxLive:messy73, PSN:mrmessy73, YouTube:mrmessyschannel

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests