Could "Turrican" be made better today for the CPC?

Started by Axel, 17:33, 07 August 22

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Axel

I have always thought, that "Turrican" for the CPC wasn't that bad. Really nice graphics, reasonable speed, but maybe a bit too jerky and no music during the game.


With today's knowledge, could a CPC-Version of "Turrican" get any better?

Gryzor

Turrican was never my cup of tea, but I always thought it was pretty good on the CPC. 

SkulleateR

Quote from: Axel on 17:33, 07 August 22With today's knowledge, could a CPC-Version of "Turrican" get any better?
Yes  :P

Devlin

Quote from: Gryzor on 17:43, 07 August 22Turrican was never my cup of tea, but I always thought it was pretty good on the CPC.
I really quite enjoy Turrican on the CPC but the small view always bothered me.
Amstrad fan! | CPC464 + USIfAC II | Administrator of Amstrad Discord : https://discord.gg/ksWvApv

Carnivius

I always preferred the CPC versions over the more celebrated C64 versions.  Just had a more satisfying chunky feel and bolder colours which I found more appealing.  And it always surprised me that the C64 versions didn't actually have much in-game music either.  In fact in-game music only seems to play on the 'gimmick' levels.  Such as the floating about level on the first game or the spaceship level on the second.

But yes of course the CPC versions could be made better today with the all the coding knowledge and tricks that have been shared over the years.  A larger game window for one.  I never did understand why the Turrican sprite was green on the CPC version of Turrican II though.  Especially when it has all those blues it could use instead. :P
Favorite CPC games: Count Duckula 3, Oh Mummy Returns, RoboCop Resurrection, Tankbusters Afterlife

GUNHED

Quote from: Axel on 17:33, 07 August 22I have always thought, that "Turrican" for the CPC wasn't that bad. Really nice graphics, reasonable speed, but maybe a bit too jerky and no music during the game.


With today's knowledge, could a CPC-Version of "Turrican" get any better?
Absolutely, but the time may not even be the point. Back the day it was a commercial game, so they had death lines and all that.

Today it could be done way better, especially using 6128plus features - just pinch the Amiga ;-)
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lmimmfn

Muzzy is recreating the Amiga version of Tirrican 2(as far as I know in C), if releases the source code(not sure if he has but I think he has) it's the best place to start!!! - https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106735
6128 for the win!!!

rexbeng

A wise man would say, "why make the actual game when you can create a hypothetical 3 seconds video of it"

TotO

Quote from: lmimmfn on 03:33, 08 August 22Muzzy is recreating the Amiga version of Tirrican 2(as far as I know in C), if releases the source code(not sure if he has but I think he has) it's the best place to start!!! - https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106735
The Turrican 3 source code was released around 8/10 years ago, and nobody to improve it, based on the Mega Turrican assets in AGA. May be the next step for him.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Axel

What tricks could you try to enlarge the game window with the same or better framerate?

rexbeng

It is not a matter of 'tricks'. To make any game on the CPC, you should use an engine that is build to take advantage of the CPC and design the game from scratch. Using engines made for Spectrum will always end up giving a 'yeah, ok, but' result, no matter how hard the effort to 'hack' or 'patch'. Both Turricans on the CPC are spectrum ports, no matter how polished to hide it.

andycadley

There's probably a lot that could be done. Rewriting the engine to be CPC specific, rather than a rework of the Speccy code would help. As would going for 128K only, I'd expect.

Dealing with the viewport size might be tricky, although I think it would honestly play a lot better if you didn't have to be quite so close to the edge before it started scrolling.

Carnivius

Quote from: andycadley on 19:08, 08 August 22Dealing with the viewport size might be tricky, although I think it would honestly play a lot better if you didn't have to be quite so close to the edge before it started scrolling.

Yeah it's kinda like that even on the Amiga and C64 versions though they have a larger window so a lil bit more heads up to anything coming on screen. The CPC version's game window is 112 wide pixels (equal to 224 square pixels) while the C64 has is 152 wide pixel (equal to 304) and the Amiga is 304 square pixels but yeah I'd rather even though versions had a smaller box around the player before the screen scrolls.
Favorite CPC games: Count Duckula 3, Oh Mummy Returns, RoboCop Resurrection, Tankbusters Afterlife

abalore

Turrican can be greatly improved by doing a cartridge version (for all CPC including 464). That would allow compiled sprites= more performance= bigger screen. And full in-game soundtrack.

kawickboy

Considering 64ko and tape context, Turrican 1&2 on CPC are masterpieces. I played them with pleasure.

Considering floppy release, Turrican 1&2 could be improved using 128ko. Or a 64ko cartridge release. Turrican 1 title screen could be improved. The 2nd one was really better to my opinion.

The Turrican 2 sprite was blue at the beginning, several years ago i post here Amstrad Action preview of Toki GX4000 and Turrican 2 and the sprite shown at this time was far better.

Carnivius

Quote from: kawickboy on 12:35, 10 August 22The Turrican 2 sprite was blue at the beginning, several years ago i post here Amstrad Action preview of Toki GX4000 and Turrican 2 and the sprite shown at this time was far better.

Ok cool I found the tiny screenshot in Amstrad Action 67. But the best example I could find was very blurry but yeah I could see the player sprite was blue/white rather than the greens of the finished game.  Can anyone provide a higher quality shot perhaps from the real magazine itself?  I'm just curious to see it. :)
Favorite CPC games: Count Duckula 3, Oh Mummy Returns, RoboCop Resurrection, Tankbusters Afterlife

kawickboy


GUNHED

Quote from: rexbeng on 09:54, 08 August 22A wise man would say, "why make the actual game when you can create a hypothetical 3 seconds video of it"
Jup, they call it '8 Bit Cinema' - lots of funny youtube vids there.
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Update: 2022.03.09)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.12.26)

GUNHED

Quote from: Axel on 14:28, 08 August 22What tricks could you try to enlarge the game window with the same or better framerate?

- Use screen 64 byte in width (32 x 32 characters in MODE 1, but here MODE 0 would probably look more nice)
- Use CRTC characters only 4 scanlines high, or even better only 2 (instead of 8 like usually), this will make the scrolling more smooth, also gives extra time, because less V-RAM needs to be moved.
- instead of having sprites as data, use something like CoData (I use that for Filmemacher). Basically a program which draws the sprite or graphic element on screen. That's more quick compared to copy data.
- Use more RAM, this enables to unroll routines which contain loops. Also a speed up.

And finally: Do a complete rewrite instead of patching / enhancing / bettenering / etc. of an existing program. Alcon 2020 may serve as a well example for that ;-)
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Update: 2022.03.09)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.12.26)

Devlin

Quote from: Carnivius on 15:41, 10 August 22
Quote from: kawickboy on 12:35, 10 August 22The Turrican 2 sprite was blue at the beginning, several years ago i post here Amstrad Action preview of Toki GX4000 and Turrican 2 and the sprite shown at this time was far better.

Ok cool I found the tiny screenshot in Amstrad Action 67. But the best example I could find was very blurry but yeah I could see the player sprite was blue/white rather than the greens of the finished game.  Can anyone provide a higher quality shot perhaps from the real magazine itself?  I'm just curious to see it. :)

I thought I had it in my little stash of magazines, but I don't, sadly.
Amstrad fan! | CPC464 + USIfAC II | Administrator of Amstrad Discord : https://discord.gg/ksWvApv

lmimmfn

#20
Quote from: GUNHED on 17:37, 10 August 22
Quote from: Axel on 14:28, 08 August 22What tricks could you try to enlarge the game window with the same or better framerate?

- Use screen 64 byte in width (32 x 32 characters in MODE 1, but here MODE 0 would probably look more nice)
- Use CRTC characters only 4 scanlines high, or even better only 2 (instead of 8 like usually), this will make the scrolling more smooth, also gives extra time, because less V-RAM needs to be moved.
- instead of having sprites as data, use something like CoData (I use that for Filmemacher). Basically a program which draws the sprite or graphic element on screen. That's more quick compared to copy data.
- Use more RAM, this enables to unroll routines which contain loops. Also a speed up.

And finally: Do a complete rewrite instead of patching / enhancing / bettenering / etc. of an existing program. Alcon 2020 may serve as a well example for that ;-)

Excuse my ignorance but on
"Use CRTC characters only 4 scanlines high, or even better only 2 (instead of 8 like usually), this will make the scrolling more smooth, also gives extra time, because less V-RAM needs to be moved."
How does that make scrolling smooth? The CRTC has a fixed number of cycles to read the ram separately to the Z80, so how does reducing the character scanlines improve performance if its still a full screen(32x32)?
The CRTC is still working outside of the Z80 for screen refresh so I don't understand the comment.
6128 for the win!!!

Carnivius

Quote from: Devlin on 01:14, 11 August 22I thought I had it in my little stash of magazines, but I don't, sadly.

Thanks for looking though. :)

I ended up doing a couple very quick mock ups where I recoloured (and did very minor tweaks) to the Turrican sprite to see how it might have looked.  I think the blue/grey colours give him a bit more depth. I left the green one in there for comparison.  Also did a quick palette swap of one of the enemies in that first shot too.



Favorite CPC games: Count Duckula 3, Oh Mummy Returns, RoboCop Resurrection, Tankbusters Afterlife

Sykobee (Briggsy)

Quote from: Axel on 14:28, 08 August 22What tricks could you try to enlarge the game window with the same or better framerate?


I believe Turrican redraws the screen each frame - as it was derived from the Spectrum port.

Assuming this is true, then using hardware scrolling - however chunky as the existing game scroll is chunky nothing is lost - and a raster split for the scoreboard, might give a lot more clock cycles to do other work, and allow a larger screen. Smoother vertical scrolling can be achieved with the smaller character height as mentioned above, and there's the R9 trick perhaps for horizontal scrolling smoothness but might not work on this engine.

Nich

Quote from: Carnivius on 15:41, 10 August 22Ok cool I found the tiny screenshot in Amstrad Action 67. But the best example I could find was very blurry but yeah I could see the player sprite was blue/white rather than the greens of the finished game.  Can anyone provide a higher quality shot perhaps from the real magazine itself?  I'm just curious to see it. :)

I've taken a photo of the screenshot from my own collection of AA magazines, and the player sprite does indeed appear blue instead of green.

Carnivius

Quote from: Nich on 22:02, 11 August 22I've taken a photo of the screenshot from my own collection of AA magazines, and the player sprite does indeed appear blue instead of green.

Thank you! Hm, it's more different than I thought. Smaller shoulder pads. Red elbow pads. Slightly different helmet. 
Also it's from before they added the fonts and also the code that makes the bridge segments dip as the player walks over them. Cool.  I like stuff like this.  Seeing earlier work in progress shots of some of my fave games. :)   Thanks again for taking a photo of it. :)
Favorite CPC games: Count Duckula 3, Oh Mummy Returns, RoboCop Resurrection, Tankbusters Afterlife

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