NoRecess - Axelay (author of Star Sabre, Dead On Time and Sub Hunter) interviewed !

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Nworc

Quote from: etoWhen I came (back) to the CPC scene 2 years ago, this was not the case. Yes, I had the impression, that this group could deliver exceptional stuff, with immense love to detail and quality. But even if this was definitely extremely impressive, it was always clear that Batman Group is just one of many groups and individuals that create amazing stuff.

For sure a lot a work went into the production of PD, which is an excellent port of the original Amiga game, a 1:1 conversion which couldn't be more identical to the original. It really looks, feels and plays like the original, also the music is a very clever recomposition of the original soundtrack.

However, as such, the only part of the game which is truely original, is the introduction logo of the Batman Group (that was cool!).

The main idea that lead to the conversion, in my opinion, is the rendering engine that uses a CRTC hardware trick to retarget the screen address on each raster line. This trick which is widely used in demos of todays time, if not the first, it surely is the second thing you would learn nowadays if you start to learn doing demos. It was maybe just a matter of time that this demo effect would be used in a game - if one could still hope for games to be newly developed for the CPC - but which is the case as we all know.

The original game is so brilliant - it is still one of the most playable games even today on various systems including the PC - this brilliance now shines on the CPC through the brilliant conversion of BG. Just don't forget, that most of what you see and what you like was invented by The Silents.

I want to add that among the lamest things I ever saw and heard in the scene is that TSL didn't approve that PD could be sold. That's fore sure a minus on the reputation of TSL.

MaV

Quote from: rexbeng on 13:57, 27 June 22@MaV
Well, I don't know if I ever want to get involved into such an argument. It's not an ideological matter; a 'sprite', either hardware or software, is what it is. It doesn't change based on peoples' feelings. ;D
It is not about feelings or ideology at all, rex. Sprites are always in hardware. The term has been washed down to include "software sprites", and suddenly there are multiple ways to define something on the screen as a sprite because there is no agreed definition for something like a "software sprite". Very unfortunate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprite_(computer_graphics)


Quote from: rexbeng on 13:57, 27 June 22OMG I just remembered how frustrated I was with some dude who did a video some time ago (Pinball Dreams was the reason for that as well) arguing how he 'felt' the CPC shouldn't be considered as to having scrolling abilities, because those weren't inline with his concept of how the world should work.
Well, hopefully we are arguing at a different level because that is just non-sense.


Quote from: Nworc on 13:51, 27 June 22
QuoteI don't like the term software sprite at all.

Well, what better name do we have for that, instead of software sprite, any idea?
On the Amiga it's even more confuse, they have three kinds of ways to do that: hardware and software sprites and blitter objects.

I'm not the one making the calls here.
The current term would be Shapes. It is used profusely in modern tools to differentiate them from sprites. I'm not happy with it but it would do if people ever came to an agreement.

Aren't blitter objects called BOBs for short on the Amiga?
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eto

Quote from: Nworc on 14:22, 27 June 22I want to add that among the lamest things I ever saw and heard in the scene is that TSL didn't approve that PD could be sold. That's fore sure a minus on the reputation of TSL.
I thought it was quite kind of them, to agree to the unofficial publishing without a risk for BG to expect legal actions. There were no official statements, but what I read, to me it sounded like "We'd like to support you, but we unfortunately can't agree that you sell it. But go ahead and release it for free, we will not take actions against it."

And this is (imho) a really great and generous behaviour. In my experience, licensing is trickier than we "normal human beings" expect. They might have some contracts related to PD and simply don't want to deal with these 30 years old contracts, buried deep in their archives. Putting anyone on this task need a lot of time and effort - and finally money. Just to then have the risk, that they overlooked something. Even a supportive company would then just say "sorry" and that they still accept the release is much more than anyone could ever expect from a corporation.


TotO

Quote from: rexbeng on 13:57, 27 June 22I just remembered how frustrated I was with some dude who did a video some time ago (Pinball Dreams was the reason for that as well) arguing how he 'felt' the CPC shouldn't be considered as to having scrolling abilities, because those weren't inline with his concept of how the world should work.
Don't waste your time with trolls. Don't use social networks. Ignore toxic peoples. Just do what you like! :)
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

rexbeng

@MaV Well, I am totally fine with the term 'software sprite' and can understand what it is when talking CPC, but also when talking contemporary computing (see: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/Sprites.html). But for the sake of the initial argument, let me rephrase. I only see one object freely moving around the screen. Are we good? :D

Also, no comparison to the scrolling guy's thing.  :-[

rexbeng

Quote from: TotO on 15:32, 27 June 22Don't waste your time with trolls. Don't use social networks. Ignore toxic peoples. Just do what you like! :)

Sure, but that guy's argument was on another level! :D

TotO

"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Nworc

Quote from: eto on 15:21, 27 June 22I thought it was quite kind of them, to agree to the unofficial publishing without a risk for BG to expect legal actions. There were no official statements, but what I read, to me it sounded like "We'd like to support you, but we unfortunately can't agree that you sell it. But go ahead and release it for free, we will not take actions against it."

And this is (imho) a really great and generous behaviour. In my experience, licensing is trickier than we "normal human beings" expect. They might have some contracts related to PD and simply don't want to deal with these 30 years old contracts, buried deep in their archives. Putting anyone on this task need a lot of time and effort - and finally money. Just to then have the risk, that they overlooked something. Even a supportive company would then just say "sorry" and that they still accept the release is much more than anyone could ever expect from a corporation.

Okay, seeing it from that perspective puts a different light on it. I didn't knew these details behind, so you might be right.

MaV

Quote from: rexbeng on 15:37, 27 June 22Are we good?
Ah, of course we are good! I was just confused initially about the one sprite thing. :)
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MaV

I just realised that the link in the original post is broken, so here's the current one (as of June 2022).

NoRecess - Interview with Axelay
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rexbeng

@MaV Ooooh! I happened to stumble upon this thing also. I'm not sure what it is so please keep it a secret!!




MaV

Manuals aren't always right, there's plenty of examples that contain errors. :P I stand by my view that the term "software sprite" causes confusion. (And Wikipedia beats the CPC manual, of course!) :P
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TotO

I prefer to read sprite (hard or soft is not a problem) than "CPC plus" / "CPC old", that really kill my eyes.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

eto

Quote from: MaV on 10:31, 28 June 22Manuals aren't always right, there's plenty of examples that contain errors. :P I stand by my view that the term "software sprite" causes confusion. (And Wikipedia beats the CPC manual, of course!) :P


This is the first time, that I hear, that someone argues sprites can only be called sprites, if they are hardware supported sprites.
If a system has sprites, of course, then it's meant it has hardware sprites. But if a program has sprites, who knows if the are only using hardware sprites?

Limiting the name "sprites" to hardware supported sprites only would lead to some weird scenarios:

With your definition, nobody would be allowed to talk about the "sprites in the game" as long as they don't have full information about the system and how the "shapes" in this particular game are implemented. What if a game mixes hardware and software sprites? I can already imagine the game review saying "Lots of action is going on, a heavy 8 sprites and 24 shapes are constantly on the screen."

Or: When you combine 8 hardware sprites to have e.g.an endboss, is that then one sprite or will it be 8? I would say it's one sprite. With your definition, you would still have to say "look at those fascinating 8 sprites on that screen".

Imho sprites are defined by the players perception of an active object on screen, not if the hardware is displaying it.



Axel


rexbeng

Quote from: MaV on 10:31, 28 June 22(And Wikipedia beats the CPC manual, of course!) :P

From Wikipedia:
Sprite is a (colorless, lemon and lime-flavored) soft drink

:D

TotO

A mystery solved. Now, we can come back to the topic. :D
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

MaV

Don't overthink it, eto. The term sprite is being used for software implementations since the early 80s. I'm not going to change the usage but if I can make people aware that its original meaning was meant for hardware only, then I'm good with it. It isn't my definition (see the wikipedia page), and the term with this meaning is from the 70s.

IT should have successfully made the distinction between software and hardware sprites back then, I recognise now it is too late, and superfluous since it'll die with the 80s computers. The other questions of your post would also have been solved back then.

Just, so you know where I'm coming from:
Compare it to the term "hackers". You're not a criminal if you're hacking around with an Arduino or your choice of hard-/software, are you? Yet it is used that way. Yes, there's the term "maker" now, but it never caught on outside of the small groups that call themselves so.

Is it 1024 or 1000 for a kilobyte? Marketing twisted a totally clear term to mean something that produces bigger numbers for their advertisement (and supposedly to help people who can't count numbers), and you have to second guess if it is actually a kilobyte now or if people mean kibibite. (Anyone who mentions kibibyte can royally fuck off, IMO.)


Or another example, one that in my book looks similar to rexbeng having to argue with a moron in regards to scrolling on the CPC:
Have you ever heard of the "social end of the pandemic" during the Delta virus surge (Die Diskussion war auf Deutsch, also "soziales Pandemieende.")? It's a euphemism for "We don't care anymore, let people die." There is no "social" end of it. The end of a pandemic is either the virus becoming endemic (we're close to it.) or it disappearing altogether.

The examples above are more serious issues than a discussion about sprites, really. As I said I know now where rexbeng is coming from. The PD discussion confused me a bit, that's all.

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MaV

Quote from: TotO on 11:52, 28 June 22A mystery solved. Now, we can come back to the topic.
I wanted to by posting an updated link to Axelay's interview but people are ignoring it. :D

Quote from: TotO on 11:06, 28 June 22I prefer to read sprite (hard or soft is not a problem) than "CPC plus" / "CPC old", that really kill my eyes.
Good point! I'll call them 'classic' from now on. ;)

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MaV

Quote from: rexbeng on 11:43, 28 June 22
Quote from: MaV on 10:31, 28 June 22(And Wikipedia beats the CPC manual, of course!) :P

From Wikipedia:
Sprite is a (colorless, lemon and lime-flavored) soft drink

:D
I'll buy a crate, cover it in ice, and we'll meet at the beach to drink it all!  ;D
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BSC

Quote from: MaV on 12:04, 28 June 22IT should have successfully made the distinction between software and hardware sprites back then,
There! You did it yourself!  ;)

HAL6128

Technically spoken it doesn't matter if hard- or software. Whereas software sprites runs with the help of the CPU, a hardware sprite run with support of a special circuit? But both processes seems to be the same: save screen / RAM content, overlay with another (bitmap) and restore. Am I right?
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eto

Quote from: HAL6128 on 14:48, 28 June 22But both processes seems to be the same: save screen / RAM content, overlay with another (bitmap) and restore. Am I right?
no. hardware sprites will not be copied to screen ram. 

When preparing a pixel to be sent to the monitor the graphics chip identifies if a sprite is at that position and takes the pixel information from the sprite if it's the case. If not, it takes the information from the screen ram. 

MaV

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