Change one thing?

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The Laird
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:14 am

The ST should have hardware scrolling and sprites from day 1.

The Mega Drive should have had hardware scaling, it was being used in Sega arcade games at the time so there was no excuse here really!

The Master System needed more hardware sprites.

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outdated_gamer
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by outdated_gamer » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:58 pm

^ System 16 was still an expensive Arcade board though, the MD design was still considerably cost-reduced, with a lower colour output, no sprite scaling and so on.

Let's not forget that the ability to output a lot more colours, bigger and more sprites and scale them is what basically made the difference between the MD and the Neo-Geo.

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The Laird
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:17 pm

The Atari Lynx was a handheld and had hardware scaling and rotation with 4096 colours in 1989. I'm sure the Mega Drive could have had it too as it was only a year earlier.

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Bluce_Ree
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Bluce_Ree » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:23 pm

Dreamcast - make it not sound like a jetplane taking off.
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Sephiroth81
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Sephiroth81 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:55 am

Bluce_Ree wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:23 pm
Dreamcast - make it not sound like a jetplane taking off.
Yeah, the Dreamcast and 6th gen did seem to herald the era of the noisy consoles! Dreamcast pioneered and won though, even noisier than the monolith PS2-phat, both on disc reading and cooling.

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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Bluce_Ree » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:37 pm

:)
Last edited by Bluce_Ree on Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WaveRacer
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by WaveRacer » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:09 pm

NorthWay wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:18 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?))
Biggest improvement for the Amiga, and any Home compute for that matter would be the ability to use a 2nd fire button, and use 2 button joysticks.

All those games hampered by shitty one button control schemes.

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Re: Change one thing?

Post by WaveRacer » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:11 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:58 pm
^ System 16 was still an expensive Arcade board though, the MD design was still considerably cost-reduced, with a lower colour output, no sprite scaling and so on.

Let's not forget that the ability to output a lot more colours, bigger and more sprites and scale them is what basically made the difference between the MD and the Neo-Geo.
I think the differences were a little more than that.

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Hiro
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Hiro » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:11 pm

A slighly richer colour palette on the C64, and two more sound channels on the Amiga. That's about it :)
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:00 am

WaveRacer wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:11 pm
outdated_gamer wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:58 pm
^ System 16 was still an expensive Arcade board though, the MD design was still considerably cost-reduced, with a lower colour output, no sprite scaling and so on.

Let's not forget that the ability to output a lot more colours, bigger and more sprites and scale them is what basically made the difference between the MD and the Neo-Geo.
I think the differences were a little more than that.
No, that's pretty much it as far as the graphics hardware went. Mind you, we are talking a heck of a lot more sprites and colours. It's about as far ahead of the MD in that respect as the latter is over the Master System.

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lavalyte
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by lavalyte » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:54 am

NorthWay wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:18 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?))
16 sprites on the c64, 32 sprites on the amiga
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Matt_B
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:11 am

Getting more sprites out of the C64 is an interesting one. It's already possible to re-use ones that have already been drawn further down the screen, so 8 isn't a hard limit for the screen as a whole; there are some games that use as many as 32 this way, even. What is a hard limit is that you can only use 8 per scanline, and it would be impossible to add any more than that because you'd run out of bus bandwidth even after halting the CPU. You'd essentially be looking at a different machine entirely for it to be capable of more, as the designers had already pushed that aspect of the hardware to the max.

In contrast, I don't think the Amiga needed hardware sprites at all. Rendering sprites into a framebuffer using the blitter is a far more flexible solution and allows for a much greater effective number of sprites without any restrictions upon sizes. As such there are Amiga games with literally hundreds of sprites on screen that still hit 60fps without even touching the hardware sprite capabilities at all. That's not to say that it's a perfect solution, as you'll run out of bus bandwidth well before you get to Neo Geo levels of sprites, but it definitely wasn't lacking compared to machines like the MD and SNES.

A couple of things that might have been nice would have been the ability to add tilemap layers, and a chunked mode where all the data for one pixel was in the same word rather than spread out through multiple bitplanes. The former, although not strictly necessary for native games, would have helped immensely when it came to porting console and arcade games, while the latter allows for more efficient rendering of 3D graphics. Mainly though, it was great hardware for the mid-80s, but didn't get the upgrades it needed to keep up with developments elsewhere by the early 90s.

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Re: Change one thing?

Post by WaveRacer » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:40 am

Matt_B wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:00 am
WaveRacer wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:11 pm
outdated_gamer wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:58 pm
^ System 16 was still an expensive Arcade board though, the MD design was still considerably cost-reduced, with a lower colour output, no sprite scaling and so on.

Let's not forget that the ability to output a lot more colours, bigger and more sprites and scale them is what basically made the difference between the MD and the Neo-Geo.
I think the differences were a little more than that.
No, that's pretty much it as far as the graphics hardware went. Mind you, we are talking a heck of a lot more sprites and colours. It's about as far ahead of the MD in that respect as the latter is over the Master System.
He did'nt just say Graphics hardware though, he said that was all the difference between them. I disagree, there are far more differences.Even if the Megadrive could output more sprites and colours, there is the issue with the CPU speed, on board ram, the ability to store more information etc.
Its not as simple as just saying if the megadrive had more colours and more sprites. The memory needed to store and display the full animation on games like King of fighters would be miles beyond the ability of the megadrive, even with a few tweaks.
Even the Saturn needed a memory card to have the sort of animation in fighting games that the NEO Geo had,

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Arnie
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Arnie » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:57 am

WaveRacer wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Biggest improvement for the Amiga, and any Home compute for that matter would be the ability to use a 2nd fire button, and use 2 button joysticks.

All those games hampered by shitty one button control schemes.
The Amiga most certainly could use more than one button, just plug a CD32 pad in any Amiga and all buttons are usable. The problem was not many games made use of the feature. I think one of the James Pond or Zool or some other platform game did use more than one button when a game pad was used but I can’t remember which. Maybe gloom did as well but again I’m not 100% certain without setting up an Amiga and trying, it’s been a long time and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be but I do know that it was possible.

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Matt_B
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:22 am

WaveRacer wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:40 am
He did'nt just say Graphics hardware though, he said that was all the difference between them. I disagree, there are far more differences.Even if the Megadrive could output more sprites and colours, there is the issue with the CPU speed, on board ram, the ability to store more information etc.
Its not as simple as just saying if the megadrive had more colours and more sprites. The memory needed to store and display the full animation on games like King of fighters would be miles beyond the ability of the megadrive, even with a few tweaks.
Even the Saturn needed a memory card to have the sort of animation in fighting games that the NEO Geo had,
The CPU in the Neo Geo is obviously clocked a bit faster, but I don't think that makes a massive amount of difference to their overall capabilities; we're only talking about a 50% advantage rather than a fivefold one which is about what the sprite disparity comes to. Also, at least so far as 2D games with sprite graphics go, the CPU doesn't have to do much other than shuffle memory about and handle the gameplay logic.

So far as RAM goes, they're actually very similar in the totals. The Neo Geo does benefit from extra dedicated palette RAM and a small amount of fast Video RAM - which are part of what give you those extra colours and sprites and to my mind part of the graphics hardware - but other than that there's no major disparity.

Machines like the Saturn required extra memory to play games ported from the Neo Geo mainly because the latter machine had the ability to stream data straight from the cartridge ROM at high speed, and this wasn't possible to replicate with optical storage due to the much higher latency. With the Megadrive also being cartridge based it wouldn't have this problem, although it'd be fair to say that you wouldn't be able to have the larger cartridges of the more lavish Neo Geo games at Megadrive price points so that's perhaps a moot point.

Anyway, don't get me wrong. I'd think that the Neo Geo is a clear class above machines like the MD and SNES, like a comparative Rolls Royce versus a Ford Focus. It's just that they're all based on relatively similar technologies and their capabilities are pretty much defined by the video chips with the rest of the hardware in something of a supporting role.

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