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Author Topic: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday  (Read 7305 times)

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Offline Carnivius

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #50 on: 13:55, 17 March 14 »
Reality?  What are you on about?
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #51 on: 13:58, 17 March 14 »
Reality?  What are you on about?
May be you are the ONE to not see the flickering so...  :-\
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Offline Carnivius

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #52 on: 14:05, 17 March 14 »
Yeah a bit of sprite flickering?  Big deal.  The point I was making was that it seemed from the review that the reviewer couldn't understand why anyone would make a game for 64k?   Unless I was misreading the review...    And for someone like myself who just has a standard 464 I appreciate that it does run on the 464 because it means I have been enjoying playing that game when so many other new titles I cannot run on my CPC.    A lil bit of sprite flicker is far better than not having the excellent game at all.
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Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #53 on: 14:48, 17 March 14 »
Sorry, but is not "a bit of flickering" but "a lot of flickering"... And when you made a serious game review, you have to considerate to speak about that.
Then, like said, that not made it a bad game. It's one of the best CPC games with or without this default.

What you don't understand is that you can manage simple or double buffering by detecting if your CPC got 64K or 128K and simply use the C3 mode.
And that, since close to 25 years from the game release.

So, I agree with the test... Today, it's not acceptable to not take care about the 6128 for those sort of improvements...
(in all cases, it will work on your 464/664... Hey, all are CPC)

« Last Edit: 15:00, 17 March 14 by TotO »
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #54 on: 15:02, 17 March 14 »
I have taken a look at this C3 configuration. It will not help me.
But correct me if I am wrong?

Problems:
1. It's not supported on all memory expansions.

2. I think, or I thought I saw a problem with C3.

Think of a game that is graphics heavy and double buffered. We store the extra graphics in extra ram pages 0, 1,2 and 3.
Because we need to page in these banks to draw, &4000-&7fff is "reserved" at drawing time to page in the appropiate banks. &4000-&7fff in main ram can also contain graphics, or we page in 0,1,2 or 3. We also be careful that no sprites go accross more than one bank. We then need to use &8000-&bfff and &c000-&ffff for our double buffering in main ram.

We then leave &0000-&3fff for the sprite drawing functions (AND STACK) (so we can copy out of &4000-&7fff into the appropiate buffer).

What I describe here is a real scenario.

How does C3 fit into this? I don't think it does.

C3 moves &c000-&ffff in main ram to &4000-&7fff in main ram. The potential here is that we can have &4000-&7fff and &c000-&ffff for double buffer and by using c3, we can optimise our sprite code so it always draws to &4000. That's nice, but in reality I think it doesn't make that much of an impact.

We only have access to extra ram page 3, 1 out of 2 frames also (the time when it's needing to make our "invisible" screen at &4000). So we can't store graphics in page 3 because we can't access it always.

So where is the point of C3 other than to have double buffering with potentially faster drawing of sprites.

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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #55 on: 15:05, 17 March 14 »
So how can C3 help us?

It could be useful when rom is activated. &c000-&ffff is now lost, but it's moved to &4000-&ffff.

But again, what is the point. If we are storing graphics in rom, and using double buffer it's still only useful 1 out of 2 frames.

Please somebody tell me what real use is c3 for.
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Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #56 on: 16:03, 17 March 14 »
Pacman Emulator and Phortem use C3 as double buffer and don't use ROM storage.
I don't know exactly what is the process, but I suggest something like that.

CPC 464:
0 1 2 3 (C0, access bank1 / screen written while displayed)

CPC6128:
0 P 2 3 (C7, write buffer2 / buffer1 displayed)
0 1 2 3 (C0, access bank1 / buffer1 displayed)
0 3 2 P (C3, write buffer1 / buffer2 displayed)
0 1 2 P (C1, access bank1 / buffer2 displayed)

« Last Edit: 16:06, 17 March 14 by TotO »
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #57 on: 16:29, 17 March 14 »
I understand.

I will describe how I understand the memory can be used.

key to the diagrams:

0,1,2,3 are base.

0 -> &0000-&3fff
1 -> &4000-&7fff
2 -> &8000-&bfff
3 -> &C000-&ffff

4,5,6,7 are extra ram.

C = code
S1 = screen 1
S2 = screen 2
G = graphics
C/G = code or graphics

S1<>S2 for double buffer

My current setup:

C/G G S1 S2

G can be C0,C4,C5,C6,C7. Extra ram can be used for graphics storage.

C3 possibilities:

C/G S1 C/G S2

We use C3 so we can always write to &4000-&7fff. Now, we can't store graphics in C4,C5,C6,C7 because we need to access it at any time for S1 and S2.

It's not useful for me because I need to put graphics into C4,C5,C6 and C7.

EDIT: My example here didn't show your example.

Yours was same layout. But when you write to &C000-&FFFF you use C7 config, when writing to &4000-&7ffff you use C3 config. At both times page 7 is visible but at a different place.

C1 possibilities:

C/G S1 S2 G

Graphics can be in base &c000-&ffff and c7. We can't store graphics in C4,C5,C6. C1 seems more flexible than C3 for using extra ram.

Do you see my point?



« Last Edit: 16:50, 17 March 14 by arnoldemu »
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #58 on: 16:32, 17 March 14 »
Gryzor, please move my last few posts to programming section. Thanks.
I went off-topic.


On-topic:

I made a sudoku game but it's not on homebrew website???
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Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #59 on: 16:42, 17 March 14 »
I made a sudoku game but it's not on homebrew website???
I suggest that you read the website introduction.
As you can see, each week a new homebrew game is added. Your and others may come a day. :)
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #60 on: 17:03, 17 March 14 »
I re-read norecess' article. I see how it can work but it's not as flexible as I have setup my configuration.
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Offline Carnivius

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #61 on: 00:08, 18 March 14 »
Sorry, but is not "a bit of flickering" but "a lot of flickering"...


That's not a lot at all.  I barely even notice it.  But then I've played a lot of NES games many of which are notorious for far worse sprite flickering to the point where sprites become pretty much invisible at crucial points (damn you, Airman stage of Mega Man 2).
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Offline iXien

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #62 on: 22:04, 18 March 14 »
Hi everybody,

I couldn't answer to all the messages before today. So here are explanations about some subjects you introduced here :

Neil79, you ask for CDT or Wav files. Have you seen that the subject of my website is to review the games for which I've created a cover dedicated to 3' floppy discs ? So of course you will never see any tape related file on Homebrew.AT. But like said McKlain, you can easily download CDT files on numerous websites like the excellent CPC-Power. And each review offers the existing links to the developers website on which you will find your precious  :P

Carnivac, thank you for your comment about the design of Homebrew.AT. It was the main idea to gather modern and retro styles. I really appreciate a compliment about that from a graphician like you  :)

Now about the flickering problem in BB4CPC : I play on a CPC6128 since 1987 and I always had the painful feeling of being a victim of the 464 limitations. A lot of games was truncated just because they had to work on a 64k CPC using tapes. The expanded capabilities of the 6128 and the flexibility of the floppy discs were rarely used. Now we are in 2014 and once again I have to deal with the 464 limitations? It's really annoying... especially when we know that it is indeed possible to identify the model of the CPC and provide content that takes part of the expanded capabilities of the 6128 without injuring 464 users. BB4CPC is a fantastic game and CNG already made an extraordinary work on it. But when I load it on my 6128 and see the flickering on the characters, sorry but I think it's a pity.

Homebrew.AT is for everyone but I want to dedicate it to all CPC lovers enjoying floppy discs and that have to settle for tape versions when a game is published. Of course I bought Phantomas Saga, Dead On Time and a lot of other homebrew games. But only for the item and to congratulate the developers. What is the interest for me in loading these marvellous games on a tape ? Like said Axelay, there is no tape version of  Star Sabre 128k but I don't want to discover the time necessary to load it on such device  8) . Be sure I know it is really difficult to release a game on floppy disc nowadays, so I hope that my little work offers nice floppy disc packagings for all the wonders of retrogaming on CPC.


Offline TFM

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #63 on: 22:56, 18 March 14 »
I play on a CPC6128 since 1987 and I always had the painful feeling of being a victim of the 464 limitations. A lot of games was truncated just because they had to work on a 64k CPC using tapes. The expanded capabilities of the 6128 and the flexibility of the floppy discs were rarely used. Now we are in 2014 and once again I have to deal with the 464 limitations? It's really annoying... especially when we know that it is indeed possible to identify the model of the CPC and provide content that takes part of the expanded capabilities of the 6128 without injuring 464 users.


Can't agree more! Same story here! Same feeling here! You're totally right!  :)
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #64 on: 23:44, 19 March 14 »
Quote
Be sure I know it is really difficult to release a game on floppy disc nowadays, so I hope that my little work offers nice floppy disc packagings for all the wonders of retrogaming on CPC.
cough...cyb..cough...erchicken..coughcough...


gotta admit that to release an official 3" thing was bold and courageous.
le prix s'oublie, la qualité reste.

Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #65 on: 09:15, 20 March 14 »
Around 1 floppy game for 10 tapes release.  :'(
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #66 on: 23:01, 20 March 14 »
So if I understand well, Spanishes and Englishes killed the CPC with their Tape fetichism ? ::)


anyway, it is an interesting fight... some would prouve tape can be good enough, other would prouve 6128 is clearly better, but the only winner is the CPC. :)

Offline TFM

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #67 on: 17:09, 21 March 14 »
IMHO Tape and 64 KB are clearly outdated! Today everybody can get a 6128 at ebay for cheap. So why shall I stick with limitations that cut the balls off? (However I don't mind to make a 64 KB Version of a game f.e., but the 128 KB Version has priority).
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Offline redbox

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #68 on: 18:55, 21 March 14 »
If you had a CPC 464 (and maybe even with a green screen) in your youth then I think it's totally rational that you might want to write something that would work on the system you once owned.

And furthermore, it demonstrates that it would work on any CPC and some might relish the additional challenge just for the sake of it.

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #69 on: 19:02, 21 March 14 »
Have said it before.  I have no sentimental attachment to a 6128.  I do for my 464 which I still own to this day and use often.   I don't have any strong desire to purchase a 6128 off ebay and clutter up my desks more (I really do not like owning too many things).   And in that case why bother even using an Amstrad CPC at all when clearly they're all hugely out of date and been superseded by more powerful hardware and faster, higher capacity storage devices. 

So yeah it's a nice to find a brand new game (or in Bubble Bobble's case a new improved port of an old arcade game) which will run on my actual 464 and I haven't go on ebay and purchase things I don't really want to.
« Last Edit: 19:03, 21 March 14 by Carnivac »
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #70 on: 19:36, 21 March 14 »
I had a 6128 with colour screen. I had very few disc games because the disc games were expensive.
Same with my friends they mostly had tape games, some had 6128's some had 464s. One had a 464 with a DDI-1. Few had disc games.

Also, blank discs were expensive!

Before the 6128 the family had a BBC micro with disc drives and that was fast at loading too. So I knew about discs first, but these discs were cheap.

On the CPC, I mostly had tape games which i then converted to disc - I also did this for my friends.

So i was used to the longer loading times. Gave me more time to read AA magazine, watch tv, have something to eat.

It was also not obvious if a game did use extra memory (I would only know if the game said it did and it took longer to load). Most games used Speedlock or a fast loader so were not too bad.

If a disc game offered more, I didn't know, because I hardly saw disc games. Also if you went to a shop, there were mostly tape games, but sad there were far more spectrum and c64 tapes on the shelves than cpc games.

I make games for CPC. I like to make it work on 64k because of the challenge and so more people can play it.

I want to say that I am working on a 128k game. It is 128K because it uses a lots of graphics and it would never fit in 64k.
 
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Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #71 on: 12:58, 28 July 14 »
A BIG UP for this growing website dedicated to the CPC homebrews.
It continues to add, each week, a review in english and french linked with all needed to build your own floppies collection.

Since it was online, more than 50 games are now available. Proof that peoples like to support our computer 30 years later. :)

So, if you don't know it and love games made by the community...
You know where to go: Homebrew.AT

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Offline TFM

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #72 on: 21:44, 29 July 14 »
Yes. Right. Especially very old games get reviewed too, it's not only new stuff which everybody knows actually.  :)  Great work.  :)
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #73 on: 08:32, 31 July 14 »

Now about the flickering problem in BB4CPC : I play on a CPC6128 since 1987 and I always had the painful feeling of being a victim of the 464 limitations. A lot of games was truncated just because they had to work on a 64k CPC using tapes. The expanded capabilities of the 6128 and the flexibility of the floppy discs were rarely used. Now we are in 2014 and once again I have to deal with the 464 limitations? It's really annoying... especially when we know that it is indeed possible to identify the model of the CPC and provide content that takes part of the expanded capabilities of the 6128 without injuring 464 users. BB4CPC is a fantastic game and CNG already made an extraordinary work on it. But when I load it on my 6128 and see the flickering on the characters, sorry but I think it's a pity.


I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting here, I'm guessing it's about using extra 64k to store screens before being displayed? I've seen examples of switching screens, though they don't seem to be terribly fast. I'm guessing because when a software company has written one, they are using Minimal Graphics and if no graphics are detected, the routine for drawing gets bypassed?
BB4CPC has to deal with lots of graphics on top of a background, I can see the size of the screen has been reduced, though there's still lots of information on it, I'm not sure how the game would go if all that information was suddenly transferred from extra memory to the main screen, if that's what you're suggesting, but then perhaps the commercial companies made it possible?


Quote
Homebrew.AT is for everyone but I want to dedicate it to all CPC lovers enjoying floppy discs and that have to settle for tape versions when a game is published. Of course I bought Phantomas Saga, Dead On Time and a lot of other homebrew games. But only for the item and to congratulate the developers. What is the interest for me in loading these marvellous games on a tape ? Like said Axelay, there is no tape version of  Star Sabre 128k but I don't want to discover the time necessary to load it on such device  8) . Be sure I know it is really difficult to release a game on floppy disc nowadays, so I hope that my little work offers nice floppy disc packagings for all the wonders of retrogaming on CPC.


Tapes maybe all that's left for anybody to record their program to if Disc Media is vulnerable to demagnetise, yes we might get away with it if we all get SD device to plug to our Printer Port, that might drum up a bit of business for those developing it.  :D  The SD stuff IMO is weird though, for example I have a SD MP3 player, I cannot use it because it only supports up to 1Gb cards and I found out that shop weren't selling those Cards anymore and I'm just surprised by when you buy these readers they more or less come with that restriction, who knows you can probably get 1Tb SD card these days - could put your whole Amstrad collection on that and the technology has moved so fast.
* Using some of the hardly used Amstrad compilers :D
* I use Firmware in my Assembly code :P
* Have interpreted some BASIC 1.1 programs for BASIC 1.0. :)

Offline TotO

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Re: Birth of a new website : Homebrew.AmstradToday
« Reply #74 on: 10:01, 31 July 14 »

As already answered, it is possible to detect 64K or 128K CPC and use bank switching for making a double buffer display to avoid flickering.
We can only hope that peoples will do like that in the future, because 464 with DK-Tronics/X-MEM boards can benefit of that! :)

About tapes... Most of those homebrews are already available in this format.
So, better to buy them to support the community work, like he does. :)
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