Author Topic: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?  (Read 5244 times)

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Offline ukmarkh

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THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« on: 23:09, 13 January 10 »
I imagine back in the day, porting Speccy games to the Amstrad CPC was big business, but how important were they to the success of the CPC? Was this a selling point for people that bought a CPC??

I actually thought they were quite important. The Speccy was such a dominating computer, that if a game didn't get converted over to the CPC it might have made Amstrads machine look somehow inferior. 
« Last Edit: 23:45, 13 January 10 by ukmarkh »

Offline fano

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #1 on: 08:40, 14 January 10 »
I actually thought they were quite important.
I think this importance is different for each country.For UK , country of the speccy , i think so but for Spain for example , Spanish productions should have more importance.Same thing for France were speccy were not very known (my daddy owned a C64 and changed for a CPC 6128 :D ) and have some great national productions.

For my personnal case (France) , the first game i've played on a CPC was R-Type.Before 2008 , i was not aware about speccy ports and always thought it was a deliberate design.But , expect few exceptions like R-Type or Saboteur 2 , i always considered this type of games as crappy.

This is funny but i wanted first to own a CPC for its graphical habilities and speccy ports didn't show theses habilities.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #2 on: 13:30, 18 January 10 »
I think you're mixing two different things here. As the 'new boy on the block', it was crucial for the CPC to have the same titles as more established platforms had.

But this is talking about ports marketing-wise, not programming-wise! Sure, initially it helped sales, of course, but that was before the consumers knew any better. Once they (and the mags) caught up with the despicable act of underusing the power of the CPC through speccy code, it started hurting the platform...

Offline MacDeath

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #3 on: 19:38, 19 January 10 »
At this time in europe, the 3 main platforms were C64 (as in the rest of the world) speccy and...CPC.

But the main CPC markets were mostly France (héhéhé...c'est nous les meilleurs) and Spain.

The rest...well.
smaller countries (in population) so smaller market.
Or CPC wasn't the best selling 8bit at all.

As a result I remember of this time when every games were ported on C64, speccy, CPC, Atari ST, Amiga and PC.
Those were mostly the 6 Computers in Europe.

(yeah, MSX was too...Japanese...)

lot of English games developpers, mostly speccy related, so a lot of speccy ports from there.

In France and spain, the speccy port concept wasn't well known, And to be honnest even if sometimes it was hinted in magazines that "graphics looking like spectrum" or "graphic inherited from spectrum" I don't remember any article on the matter of the speccy ports as such.

If those magazines were more critical, and talked more about this phenomenon, consumer would have complain more about it.

But hey, would Briton bother about french teenagers ?


The problem is that the borderline between Cross development and lazy speccyport was thin.

If CPC could have benifit from the American developpers, they may had more C64 ports...concerning all those "pseudo mode0" games.


In France, we had our local glory : the Thomson computer range (please, stop LoLing...)

the latter range was quite like the Amstrad Plus in pure graphical modes.

It was indeed a 4096 palette computer with the 3 cpc modes... and an aditionnal 16 attribute coloured mode1.
As a result many games were in fact cross developped for CPC and Thomson (To8) concerning game design and graphics in france.

Exemples ?
Mach3, Sapiens (no, it wasn't speccy, it was MO5...) or Bivouac.

As the Thomson range was...well, had different models, the first ones were more speccy than CPC in graphics...
This may also explain why some french games are that Mode1"ed".
But Thomson range was a pure failure.
Not Z80 based (more xpensive and harder to programm), and bad bad sound generator (1 voice channel...lol. even our "humble" AY was Sid vicious in comparison.)

Yet Thomson wasn't as cheap on Ram as Amstrad, but those machines were also a lot more xpensive as CPCs.

Same graphics, easier to programm and better sounds, for a far more reasonnable price ? Amstrad Wins !

Also, some Mode1 games may also be Atari ST ports/cross dev, because this allows the re-use of the graphics or even sounds.

And, well, some developpers used a lot the mode1 because of the globale portability as only few computer features a pseudo Mode0 in the late 80's..

Zombi anyone ? we should remember that the first UBIsoft product was first CPC game ansd was then ported on other platforms.


 As most games company relied a lot on their national market AND nationnal coders.
This explain also why France and Spain was so well placed in CPC market.
In 1987, more young coders (semi amateurs) were equipped with CPC there while poor 3rd worldish Britons were beloving their Speccy...

This makes me believe British can't see colours.
And were even cheaper than Alan sugar.

Most british Retro fans alway wonder at marvellous graphics on Speccy games.
Well, I just can't stand it.

Look at the realocomaniac Youtube's 8 bit war.

(should put an entry in CPC wiki with all videos).
He put emulators on Speccy 48...
I allways find graphics not good at all, sound are even inferior to CPC.
Yet he tells those are exellent because it was his computer.

I even teach him the lazy Speccy port concept on R-Type and other games.
He just didn't knew the games he compaired were the same programm run on a speccy emulator on a CPC...
(which is also emulated, lol)

And wasn't really choked by those games.

The fact is, speccy ports cannot be seriously taken in such 8 bit war as it handicaps CPC too much.
This should even count as speccy games.

So yeah, the speccy ports were a good way for British games devlopper to screw their home market...while it helped Spanish and French company to gain a good reputation.

Infogramme (now Atari) and Ubi soft still exist and are at the top of the industry.

Ubi soft first release was a CPC product (zombi).

So yeah..

Ocean wasn't really into lasy speccy ports, yet their last products showed bits of it.
Space gun for exemple...
But they relied more on Crossdev in fact. As they were a serious company.

Also an interesting fact :
Doctor who's Daleck attack was meant to be a speccy port and was finally vapowared.
As it was the last commercial game on speccy...we had the satisfaction it wasn't a last insult to CPC !

What was the last released commercial Amstrad game ?
(I mean, during the commercial era...we all know that Orion Prime of those modern games are available almost commercially...)


Also I always wondered.

Amstrad owned speccy technology.

What if the Amstrad Plus included a real speccy 100% compatible mode ? (like the 16 colours character attributed mode from thomson computers...)
It may have sold better thx to speccy fanboyz, yet this would have even more killed the "CPC" games production so it was a good thing this wasn't the case.
« Last Edit: 11:38, 20 January 10 by MacDeath »

Offline fano

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #4 on: 20:32, 19 January 10 »
This makes me believe British can't see colours.
And were even cheaper than Alan sugar.
"If the British can survive their meals, they can survive anything" even the speccy colors (org. quote:George Bernard Shaw)
(warning : stupid joke inside , i like our english m8 , really  ;) )
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #5 on: 13:48, 21 January 10 »
Actually, I lived in Wales and I didn't find the food to be so bad (though, naturally, nothing to write home about). I did avoid the "ewe leg with mint sauce" kind of dishes, of course (really - this was on a menu my class was offered at the City Hall!), but overall I can't say I starved - far from it!*

Anyhow, back on track, it's interesting, what MacDeath says: maybe the Brittons did not care much about the French kids... On the other hand, though, quite importantly, the brit mags did run specials on French software, and ooh'ed and aw'ed about titles coming from the other side of the channel...


*That said, I'd take brit food ANY time over frog legs. Really, not one recipe springs to mind that I'd care to eat :D

Offline redbox

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #6 on: 16:02, 21 January 10 »
"If the British can survive their meals, they can survive anything"

Well if the Brits worked the same day as the French (start at 9am, have 3 siestas and then go home at 1pm) then we would have enough time to cook better food  ;D

Offline Bryce

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #7 on: 16:16, 21 January 10 »
That's the spanish your refering to, who have siestas, the french just call a strike and don't come in at all  ;D

Offline ukmarkh

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #8 on: 16:42, 21 January 10 »
My family brought me up to hate the French... and nearly every British person I've ever met thinks the same way. But damn, they made good games. Quite like the Spanish, and have the uptmost respect for the Germans. The Greeks are the salt of the Earth.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #9 on: 17:37, 21 January 10 »
I see what you're doing there.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #10 on: 18:21, 21 January 10 »
Frog's legs (with butter and garlic) is actually a decent dish.

So are Snails (with garlic and butter too).

To be honnest, it's just like any sea food : clams or shrimps...
without the sea taste.

And those dishes (Frog and snails) need a good amount of RedWine and French bread too.


So, english magazines made special article on french Gaming industry ?
do you have some exemples / sources ?

In france, we somethimes got special interview/articles from games company, but not that nationnalistic themed.

And to be honnest, I don't remember any German game. Were there some ?

Mostly Brits, French and Spanish.

But many Briton games were good.

Code master was great in Mode1.
And OCEAN did amongst the best arcades/movies stuff.

Yet US gold was sometimes shit-tier ports.
But like every ones, they could be as great as badly bad.

« Last Edit: 18:23, 21 January 10 by MacDeath »

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #11 on: 18:39, 21 January 10 »
Frog's legs (with butter and garlic) is actually a decent dish.

So are Snails (with garlic and butter too).

To be honnest, it's just like any sea food : clams or shrimps...
without the sea taste.

And those dishes (Frog and snails) need a good amount of RedWine and French bread too.


So, english magazines made special article on french Gaming industry ?
do you have some exemples / sources ?

In france, we somethimes got special interview/articles from games company, but not that nationnalistic themed.

And to be honnest, I don't remember any German game. Were there some ?

Mostly Brits, French and Spanish.

But many Briton games were good.

Code master was great in Mode1.
And OCEAN did amongst the best arcades/movies stuff.

Yet US gold was sometimes shit-tier ports.
But like every ones, they could be as great as badly bad.
Turrican was a German game I believe.

Amstrad Action did a couple of pages special covering French and German games including Iron Lord. I think it was around 1990, possibly September.
It was close to the time I went on a week school trip to Germany.

I agree with you MacDeath, generally Ocean games were mostly good, but also there were some poor efforts (New Zealand Story could be better!!!!).
US Gold was always a mixed bag.

I think the French, Spanish and German games were very nice. Lots of attention to graphics and gameplay.. and more made use of the extra 128k.
I am sorry i don't know about games from other countries.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #12 on: 20:18, 21 January 10 »
Don't remember exactly when, I'm afraid... but I've read at least two, and I think one was titled "The French connection".

Offline redbox

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #13 on: 21:48, 21 January 10 »
Don't remember exactly when, I'm afraid... but I've read at least two, and I think one was titled "The French connection".

You can see that copy of AA here, which talks about the CPC across France and Germany.

I remember associating French CPC games with usually being original (i.e. not an arcade conversion), having really good MODE 0 graphics and interesting back stories (such as Infogrames games etc).
« Last Edit: 21:50, 21 January 10 by redbox »

Offline MacDeath

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #14 on: 13:09, 22 January 10 »
Nice one, i'm reading it atm.

But "zut alors" is not typically french, we would say "putain de bordel de merde" instead... ;D

the wiever seems to bug a lot.


Well, concerning the "budget" stuff...
It right we didn't have this.
But cassette games were less expensives.
Also how fun AA couldn't understand why we prefered discs in France ?

Well, waiting 30minutes to play is no fun !
3" disc were fast and solid.


As 3" discs were expensive as hell, it was harder to sell those in Budget.
But the lot of compilation was the sort of Budget thing in fact.

instead of waiting for a budget release, we waited for a compilation release.
As Disc are expensives, why put only one game on it when you can fill it with 3+ games...

And, well...loved all the tackles against speccy.

Quote
I remember associating French CPC games with usually being original (i.e. not an arcade conversion), having really good MODE 0 graphics and interesting back stories (such as Infogrames games etc).
This explain why Infograme (now Atari) and UBISoft are still leaders.
« Last Edit: 13:44, 22 January 10 by MacDeath »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #15 on: 14:46, 22 January 10 »

This explain why Infograme (now Atari) and UBISoft are still leaders.

What, programming in mode 0?

:D

Just kidding, I agree with those points.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: THE BIG DEBATE... Speccy ports?
« Reply #16 on: 22:06, 23 January 10 »
No : eating frogs and snails.