MSX Top Ten - A great little computer to sit alongside your Amstrad

Started by ukmarkh, 10:59, 19 January 23

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TotO

Finally, the MSX looks very limited compared to the CPC when it require to scroll.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

ukmarkh

Quote from: TotO on 12:10, 19 January 23Finally, the MSX looks very limited compared to the CPC when it require to scroll.
I would agree, but display on average is much larger, CPC has tiny screen. Saying that, CPC with 128K and double buffering craps over most things.  

TotO

Quote from: ukmarkh on 12:44, 19 January 23I would agree, but display on average is much larger, CPC has tiny screen.
The MSX is limited to 256x192 pixels. If the picture is too small on the screen on CPC, it is because the resolution is biggest.
Switching the Gate Array clock to 24MHz should allow to display a 256x256 MODE 0 in full screen. ;D
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Gryzor

Cue discussion on the "high resolution ZX gfx" 😀

That said I love the MSX, thanks for the video! 

TotO

Of course, the MSX has great games that we would have loved to play on CPC.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

abalore

My feeling is that MSX games focused on playability, my experience with MSX games is having a lot of fun despite the graphical limitations. In the CPC there are a lot of games with beautiful graphics but unplayable.

Disclaimer: there are unplayable games in MSX too, and there are beautiful and funny games in the CPC.

TotO

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

Skunkfish

I think that the all of the Japanese developed games make the MSX interesting for me.  I notice that @SyX made a really interesting post back in 2014 about porting MSX games to the CPC:

https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/programming/from-msx-to-cpc-101/
An expanding array of hardware available at www.cpcstore.co.uk (and issue 4 of CPC Fanzine!)

zhulien

I'm not sure if what I say here is exactly related to what Abalore means.  For me I have had MSX or MSX like machines since the 80s and CPC just after it came out too and I think the lack of hardware sprites on CPC and the inclusion of underpowered hardware spirtes on MSX caused MSX games to look horrible and CPC games to look quite beautiful when done right (note speccy ports).  Software sprites although slow allowed full flexibilty of colours and number on horizontal lines (aside from game slowness etc) - whereas not that many people worked around the limitations of the MSXs lack of colours in hardware sprites - there are some companies that did, and gradius is a good example of one with a really good youtube video on how they used tiles for most part with a mixture of sprites to get around limitations.  

Makes me wonder about 6128 Plus hardware sprites whether they are easily multiplexed and overlapped to give more colours and more sprites at the expense of some CPU time but still faster than software sprites.

I know these are stereotypes but stereotypes are for good reason - rightly or wrongly the majority of things stick to the stereotypes even though they shouldn't necessarily:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFRf87SqWrw&t=578s

Likewise, I think AY-3-8912 sounds fantastic with an unbeatable clarity when compared to other computers of the time - such as C64's SID.  But then SID does have some sounds that are hard to achieve on CPC - but still, when there is a software SID on CPC with digidrums and CPC sounds in stereo as in some demo's it really blows the C64 away.  I'd love to see a propper rendition of the Sanxion or Task 3 music on CPC with softsid or even 6128 Plus DMA Sid in stereo with a bit of CPC flair too.  Not like the crappy warhawk music on CPC.
  

zhulien

Just another note, I think MSX has some better hardware support or at least it was better a few years back until CPC started getting some debatably better hardware than MSX.

What I would recommend on MSX though if you don't have already is the fantastic GR8NET card which has inbulit ethernet, RAM and mass storage - not unlike the MX4.  Unfortunately it is expensive and when I asked why not Wifi instead of Ethernet, the developer mention it has something to do with being made in Russia.

The GR8BIT computer also seems to be the best of the best MSX computer currently available also.  However I'd like an Aleste personally because of the CPC functionality.

zhulien

I wonder if an MSX or 6128 Plus could achieve famicom performance with both graphics and music?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8GEESZV5HU

On paper, the 6128 Plus looks better specced than the NES:

Technical specifications (of the NES):
CPU Type: modified 6502 8-bit (NMOS)
Clock Speed: 1.773447 MHz (PAL) or 1.7897725 MHz (NTSC)
Processor: 8-Bit PPU (Picture Processing Unit)
Colors Available: 52
Colors per Sprite: 4 (including transparency)
Maximum Colors on-screen: 25 (4 sprite palettes, 4 background palettes)
RAM Memory: 2 KB
Video RAM: 2 KB
Game Program Memory: 128K, 32K, 16K or 8K Bytes, 1 Meg, 256K, or 64K Bits
Game Character Memory: 128K, 32K, 16K or 8K Bytes, 1 Meg, 256K, or 64K Bits
Scrolling: Horizontal and Vertical
Sound: PSG sound (2 Square Waves, 1 Triangle Wave, 1 White Noise)
Sprite Size: 8x8 or 8x16
Maximum Sprites: 64 (8 per scanline)
Minimum Cart Size: 16 KB
Maximum Cart Size: 512 KB
Picture Resolution: 256 x 240 pixels

TotO

Recca is an amazing and not well known shooter from naxatsoft.
The MSX can't. The MSX2 may be. The Amstrad Plus, probably.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Prodatron

Quote from: zhulien on 22:34, 01 February 23I wonder if an MSX or 6128 Plus could achieve famicom performance with both graphics and music?
For me this is looking like if someone is on hard drugs :D

An upgraded MSX can at least perform this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2iSGXSs5b4

GRAPHICAL Z80 MULTITASKING OPERATING SYSTEM

andycadley

Quote from: zhulien on 17:29, 01 February 23Makes me wonder about 6128 Plus hardware sprites whether they are easily multiplexed and overlapped to give more colours and more sprites at the expense of some CPU time but still faster than software sprites.  
The Plus hardware sprites are difficult to multiplex, simply because changing the image in them requires reloading all 256 registers that make up a sprite image and that limits how quickly you can reuse them (unless both uses are sharing the same image of course)

But you don't really need to. Unlike other systems the sprites have their own palette and any pixel in them can be any of the 15 colours, so there is very little to be gained by overlapping sprites (short of gaining a little detail by overlapping an unmagnified sprite over another to add fine details)

andycadley

Where the NES wins out is the ability to add mapper chips and other enhancement chips to effectively add graphics capabilities that the stock hardware just couldn't ever pull off.

TotO

Quote from: Prodatron on 22:47, 01 February 23An upgraded MSX can at least perform this
Well, it is no more an MSX. It require a 8MHz CPU, a V9990 VDP, Moonsound, ... In fact, it is not a great result compared to the required hardware to run that.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

asertus

Quote from: abalore on 14:08, 19 January 23My feeling is that MSX games focused on playability, my experience with MSX games is having a lot of fun despite the graphical limitations. In the CPC there are a lot of games with beautiful graphics but unplayable.

Disclaimer: there are unplayable games in MSX too, and there are beautiful and funny games in the CPC.
I agree with this in many games, just the one by Juan, Knight Night.., but recently just saw a "counter example" of this.., an MSX2 game with very nice graphics but rather "unplayable".., if you are able to make it run..





Prodatron

Quote from: TotO on 23:18, 01 February 23
Quote from: Prodatron on 22:47, 01 February 23An upgraded MSX can at least perform this
Well, it is no more an MSX. It require a 8MHz CPU, a V9990 VDP, Moonsound, ... In fact, it is not a great result compared to the required hardware to run that.

It is written in C and not optimized at all. MiChi was a big fan of programming in C even on 8bit machines, see WiOS for the MSX :) I agree regarding the graphics, but regarding the CPU a 4Mhz Z80 would be more than enough. Sound was an add-on, not necessary for the game play.

GRAPHICAL Z80 MULTITASKING OPERATING SYSTEM

Prodatron

Quote from: asertus on 23:46, 01 February 23I agree with this in many games, just the one by Juan, Knight Night.., but recently just saw a "counter example" of this.., an MSX2 game with very nice graphics but rather "unplayable".., if you are able to make it run..

"Sales Discontinued" was one of the biggest project for the MSX during the last years.
What I really like about this, is that it is not only supporting but requiring a MoonSound (OPL4) wavetable soundcard and a mass storage with a capacity of several megabytes. It gives a shit on "64K and a tape drive should be enough for everyone", it is something which just demonstrates, that not only a PC but also an 8bit machine can be expanded in a great way as well without loosing its spirit, so why not using this?
It is like a DOS game from the mid/late 90ies, and this is possible with our machines without any problems, what is really cool. It is based on a quite complex scripting language, probably similiar to SCUMM.

I was talking to Maarten, the author, last year (he did the MOD-player-plugin for SymAmp/SymbOS as well some years ago) and I am looking forward to meet him and the NOP team again this march in NL as usual.

The game itself: I am not so much a point'n'click guy. I can only talk about the technical part.

GRAPHICAL Z80 MULTITASKING OPERATING SYSTEM

TotO

Quote from: Prodatron on 03:18, 02 February 23It is written in C and not optimized at all. MiChi was a big fan of programming in C even on 8bit machines, see WiOS for the MSX :) I agree regarding the graphics, but regarding the CPU a 4Mhz Z80 would be more than enough.
The original question was if the MSX or CPC can do something like Recca. The NES can display 64x 2-bit sprites per frame and all the background tiles / animations are displayed from the ROM memory / bank switch. The other system allowing that is the Neo Geo.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

TotO

Quote from: andycadley on 23:02, 01 February 23The Plus hardware sprites are difficult to multiplex, simply because changing the image in them requires reloading all 256 registers that make up a sprite image and that limits how quickly you can reuse them (unless both uses are sharing the same image of course)
But most of the ennemes and bullets into Recca do not require to update too much the sprites, and not all during the same frame.

A nice topic and POC from @Overflow is show here:
https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/programming/how-do-plus-hardware-sprites-work/
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

andycadley

I'd love to see someone try. There is an awful lot going on most of the time and it'd require some pretty hardcore multiplexing to pull it off. Even if you use the classic NES trick of not actually displaying every sprite on every frame.

Individually each bit seems doable, but mixing e.g. the background effects, the sprite multiplexing and still running the game logic might be a stretch for our little GX.

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