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General Category => Programming => Topic started by: keith56 on 14:02, 24 December 16

Title: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 14:02, 24 December 16
Ok, So I've been developing my current Retrogame to allow for 64 and 128k versions, but I want to do a sequel with new and improved features, and it's going to limit my options if I support 64k and 128k platforms.

Is 64k a big thing for you, or should I be aiming for "Bigger and better?" and 128K only?
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: reidrac on 14:24, 24 December 16
There's a missing option in that poll: Do whatever you want, is your game.

I personally own a 464 and I've been happy making 64K games, but that's what I choose for my games. 128K only is cool too.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Carnivius on 14:30, 24 December 16
yeah, up to the developer.  I only have a 464 and no expansions and that isn't gonna change anytime soon as I can't afford to get anything for it so I'm always grateful for new 64k games and I play the 128k stuff in emulators.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: ||C|-|E|| on 14:59, 24 December 16
In my case,  if I think that the 64KB version is going to be too much of a compromise, I am happy making a game for 128KB only  :) I appreciate a game that has the two versions, though, although I personally do not use any 64KB machine  :)
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: andycadley on 15:17, 24 December 16

I'm a great believer that the 64K machines were a bit of a mis-step, going to 128K just opens up a lot more of the CPCs potential (more so than say a 128K spectrum over a 48K model). And in this day and age, getting a 128 or suitable memory expansion is pretty cheap too.


Obviously 64K "support" is necessary for the GX4000, but a cart release can very easily utilize memory in a 128K like fashion if you arrange your memory layout suitably.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: EgoTrip on 15:41, 24 December 16
There's a missing option in that poll: Do whatever you want, is your game.

I personally own a 464 and I've been happy making 64K games, but that's what I choose for my games. 128K only is cool too.

Same, although my 464 is broken :( I make games that are intended to be playable on all CPC's, at least when they don't crash due to the millions of bugs they contain.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Carnivius on 15:48, 24 December 16
I'm a great believer that the 64K machines were a bit of a mis-step, going to 128K just opens up a lot more of the CPCs potential (more so than say a 128K spectrum over a 48K model). And in this day and age, getting a 128 or suitable memory expansion is pretty cheap too.

Your definition of 'pretty cheap' is not necessarily the same as everyone elses.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: andycadley on 16:36, 24 December 16

Your definition of 'pretty cheap' is not necessarily the same as everyone elses.
Well I've seen 6128s on eBay for around £20, which is about as low as they'll ever get. And for the budget conscious, I don't think there has been an emulator in years that didn't default to a full complement of memory.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: EgoTrip on 17:12, 24 December 16
Well I've seen 6128s on eBay for around £20, which is about as low as they'll ever get. And for the budget conscious, I don't think there has been an emulator in years that didn't default to a full complement of memory.

They were probably that cheap because they were not working, missing components, in terrible condition, or pick-up only from some hard to get place. A fully working 6128 in good condition will never sell that low.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: andycadley on 17:17, 24 December 16
I got a 6128+ a few years back (with monitor) in excellent condition for £45 and at various points have seen perfectly workable 6128s for very low prices. I'm sure the increased popularity of Retro gaming has probably bumped things up in places and there are always some chancers of eBay trying to flog things at massively over-rated prices, but genuine bargains are there if you want one. If not, local flea markets or jumble sales are often worth a perusal.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Nich on 17:35, 24 December 16
Is 64k a big thing for you, or should I be aiming for "Bigger and better?" and 128K only?

I have mixed feelings about this. I think the majority of CPC fans nowadays own 128K machines so I don't mind if a new CPC release requires 128K of memory.

On the other hand, I have a lot of respect for programmers like @reidrac (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1504) who write CPC games for 64K machines. After all, the vast majority of games released for the CPC back in the 1980s and early 1990s were made to fit into 64K, so writing such a game now is in keeping with the spirit of that era.

I'll repeat a quote from a message I posted in August 2015 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/games/what-new-game-do-you-want-developed-for-the-amstrad-if-the-option-was-there/msg106493/#msg106493):

I see nothing wrong with writing a new game that will work on 64K machines. If our favourite CPC games from the 1980s and early 1990s ran in 64K, then there's no reason why today's CPC fans should somehow be prevented or discouraged from doing so.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: EgoTrip on 18:43, 24 December 16
Its ultimately down to the individual programmer what they want to make their game for. This is a hobby, and criticising other people's choice of platform is just childish (yeah I know, coming from me) really. If you want to make games 128k then go ahead and do it but don't put down someone who wants to make 64k games. None of us have to do what we do, there's no need to be elitist.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: TotO on 19:53, 24 December 16
Don't be limited to 64K if your game experience require more to be acheived. It will be a mistake.
RAM expansions are affordable and many users own a CPC with 128K and more.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: andycadley on 20:58, 24 December 16

None of us have to do what we do, there's no need to be elitist.
Indeed, do whatever fits you best. It's certainly not a criticism of people writing 64K games - that is seriously hard work. It's more that quality can go up substantially if you can, for example, afford extra memory for double buffering etc. Finding that in a more space constrained machine is tricky, I still think more titles suffered from the constraint of 64K than ever because they're Speccy conversions. Obviously, YMMV.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: AMSDOS on 21:30, 24 December 16
It doesn't matter to me, though it's good to have the real hardware to test on when writing an 128k game. 64k games are a little bit safer to code on emulators in that regard.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 01:41, 25 December 16
Thanks for all the comments, they are really interesting to see!
The reason I have been trying to keep 64K support in my game were for "nostalgia" reason really,

I used to own a 464+Disk drive back in the day, and with the exception of Trivial pursuit, and a missing level of the game Hostages, I never saw a game that didn't work on my system.

For this development I wanted to see if I could create my own game of the standard of the ones I used to play, and that meant it being able to run on 64K - the trouble is with my current game it means writing (and whats worse - testing) two "Loaders" for the levels and game data - which is why the first version is going to be 128k only - I need to get the game playable beore getting clever!

I will be interested to see the outcome of the poll!
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: dodogildo on 09:52, 25 December 16
Well, as the whole retro-computing thing is based on love rather than logic, I found it amusing trying to over-rationalize one's decision to drop 64k machines to be able to design better games.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: ||C|-|E|| on 18:09, 25 December 16
Well, as the whole retro-computing thing is based on love rather than logic, I found it amusing trying to over-rationalize one's decision to drop 64k machines to be able to design better games.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That is so true  :) . However, love is a difficult thing  :D For example, I have always had a CPC 6128. For me, that machine is "the Amstrad" because when the 464 hit the market I was too small. The summary is that nowadays I still feel very attached to that particular model and I guess that you tend to develop for the computer that was part of your childhood  :) . Maybe that is the reason why we only have a little bunch of CPC+ only games, most of them from the old days.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: 1024MAK on 22:20, 25 December 16
I think it comes down to what you want to achieve. Is your objective to make a good CPC game in 64k bytes, or is it to make a good CPC game, but need a bit more space, so are instead aiming for the 128k byte machine?

For some, it is the strict limitation and the need to think carefully about how you construct the game, that is, the challenge of fitting a good game in 64k bytes, that they want. For others, it's about making the best game they can, that runs on a 128k machine.

From a game players perspective, things are slightly different. As in part, it depends on what hardware you have (if you want to play on a real CPC). There are a lot of members here who have a machine with 128k bytes. So it will not matter to them. Indeed, they most probably would prefer development of more 128k byte titles.

Of course, those without a 128k byte machine would want as many games as possible to be able to run on a CPC464. So for the widest user base, the aim is for 64k byte titles...

Mark

 
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: AMSDOS on 23:08, 25 December 16
^^ I would of thought everyone would of had one of those 2Mb Memory Expansion add-ons, so if anything I'm holding people back with my 6128 because I cannot expand it.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Sykobee (Briggsy) on 00:31, 26 December 16
If it's the difference between your game being decent and not being decent, then definitely go for the 128K solution - I'm thinking of double buffering, loadsagraphics, loadsalevels type games.


But it is always great to see people using interesting techniques to compress a large game down into a small amount of memory.


One thing that was a relative rarity on the CPC were large disk games full of multiload - larger RPGs, etc, that the C64 saw on disk but was never ported despite the hardware being more than capable (and the disks a lot faster).


Today, I think it would be nice to target 64KB (but could work from cassette), and 128KB with disk. One interesting combo is the 64KB+Cart option which is effectively 64KB RAM+512KB ROM - which most 128KB games could work with, but would need modification to not just treat the ROM as a filesystem as current cart ports do.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 04:25, 26 December 16
Thanks for all the comments

>> Today, I think it would be nice to target 64KB (but could work from cassette), and 128KB with disk.

I think you hit an important nail on the head - The game will be 64k on Disk - I don't know how many people really own this configuration!
In theory a Tape version could be made, but I don't think I have the willpower to do it as the game is a heavy multiloader

>> I found it amusing trying to over-rationalize one's decision to drop 64k machines to be able to design better games.

It's a tough one, there's a fine line between being silly and developing for something excessvely dated, and having an totaly unrealistic spec like "Runs on REAL CPC (FGPA eZ80 + 2mb required) "
I certainly won't require Plus features for that reason, no one I knew ever owned a PLUS, the first time I saw one 'in the plastic' was when I got mine.

Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Axelay on 06:37, 26 December 16
As the first reply said, I think you're missing the voting option for 'your project & spare time, up to you'.  That's what I'd be voting.
Do whatever you think works for your game, whatever goals appeal to you.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 09:57, 26 December 16
As the first reply said, I think you're missing the voting option for 'your project & spare time, up to you'.  That's what I'd be voting.
Do whatever you think works for your game, whatever goals appeal to you.

Well, I was genuinely in "two minds" about it, so was looking for other peoples thoughts!

Seeing peoples comments, and thinking about the extra potential '128k only' will give, I think the next game will probably be 128k only - I will start developing with that intention and see how things progress.

as far as 'your project & spare time, up to you' goes - I certainly agree, the GX4000 owners are probably going to be out of luck!

Thanks for the feedback from everyone!
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: TotO on 10:54, 26 December 16
the GX4000 owners are probably going to be out of luck!
GX4000 owners have 64K RAM, but up to 512K ROM... So, I don't see the problem.  :)
While the game is properly build to store only static data into the extended memory, it should work in the same way as 128K+ RAM machines.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Sykobee (Briggsy) on 15:45, 26 December 16
Thanks for all the comments

>> Today, I think it would be nice to target 64KB (but could work from cassette), and 128KB with disk.

I think you hit an important nail on the head - The game will be 64k on Disk - I don't know how many people really own this configuration!
In theory a Tape version could be made, but I don't think I have the willpower to do it as the game is a heavy multiloader


I do have a 464 with a DDI-1 and no memory expansion (yet), although for a disk game I don't think it's too much to expect a person with a disk drive to also have at least another 64KB expansion these days.


Multiloaders should be disk IMO! I don't think anyone enjoyed cassette multiloaders. If the game will fit in 64KB because of that, and 128KB won't add anything, then go for it.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 08:25, 27 December 16
GX4000 owners have 64K RAM, but up to 512K ROM... So, I don't see the problem.  :)
While the game is properly build to store only static data into the extended memory, it should work in the same way as 128K+ RAM machines.


The only problem is that I don't fancy writing code and testing for the two people who actually think the GX4000 is a good machine  :P :P :P


Yes, I do own one, and I was stupid enough to spend good money for games for it, but it's no mystery why it failed commercially!


In all seriousness though, I will bear in mind the abilities of the Plus Cart when I redesign my game engine next time, so there is the potential for a cart only version
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: AMSDOS on 08:32, 27 December 16
Am I one of those two people?
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: andycadley on 11:28, 27 December 16

Am I one of those two people?
Maybe. I know I definitely am, it's a lovely bit of kit and much unappreciated. Have been having a surprisingly productive xmas doing some GX coding, so maybe one day I'll finally persuade other people it's worth looking at again!
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: reidrac on 12:07, 27 December 16

The only problem is that I don't fancy writing code and testing for the two people who actually think the GX4000 is a good machine  :P :P :P


Oh, come on :D

Although to be fair I looked into the GX4000 to make a special edition of Magica and looks like is more involved than I was expecting and... I gave up (sorry). And I don't have a GX4000, so I'm not one of those two ;)

I wanted to add to the conversation that, at least in my case, I can't really afford the time to fill the extra memory that those 128K provide, specially as a solo developer.

I rather make 2-3 games a year than just one super-production that, at the end, is still a CPC game that has limited audience. I'm OK with putting 2-3 months of my free time on a 64K game that people may (or may not) play for a week, but it would depress me a bit in a 6+ month project :)

Some people around here will always ask you to use 128K, use extensions, put more content, more time, go bigger! like that was the sole objective of making games for a 30+ years old machine :)

So I still think is up to the developer; do whatever you want with you game!
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: andycadley on 12:16, 27 December 16

I wanted to add to the conversation that, at least in my case, I can't really afford the time to fill the extra memory that those 128K provide, specially as a solo developer.
This is a good point, it's why I don't really see the benefit in massive 4MB expansions and such, producing that much content is a significant extra effort. I do still think 128K is a sweet spot though, it doesn't have to mean any additional content as the extra memory can be put to good use to make development easier and take a little pain out of some of the more awkward aspects of the CPC hardware. Of  course if you can fit everything in 64K without struggling for memory, then go for it. If I can spend two months to get something working in 128K, rather than six to cram it all into 64K then it's a no-brainer at this point. YMMV.

Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 13:21, 27 December 16
Am I one of those two people?


Yeah, I know I'm being bitter... ;) I just cry that some of the better games on the system are things like Batman and Op Tbolt which have no real improvement over the cheapo disk version :'( - it could have been a good system, if the devs had been better onto it.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Carnivius on 15:03, 27 December 16

Yeah, I know I'm being bitter... ;) I just cry that some of the better games on the system are things like Batman and Op Tbolt which have no real improvement over the cheapo disk version :'( - it could have been a good system, if the devs had been better onto it.

though it did get a really good port of Pang which the regular CPC's did not... and that in itself annoyed me back then.  Would have loved Pang on my 464.

These days though the GX4000 is a fun machine when you get one of those C4CPC's on it.
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: zhulien on 04:58, 06 January 17
that's funny.  I was thinking about whether there is a market for 128MB games for CPC given that 128MB DOMs are now quite cheap.  10 128MB DOMs for about $100 is not bad...

Can be totally full of sound samples, lots of images, lots of music, hopefully a game that is more than a glue... but think of it, you could make Myst for CPC
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: keith56 on 11:00, 06 January 17
The Pc Engine console did something similar
Spec wise it was below the Snes, it had an 8 bit cpc and 16 bit GPU


towards the end of its life, They slapped a CD drive on it, and a 2 megabyte memory upgrade, and started porting NeoGeo games to it!


it didn't save the system, but it's really something to see huge well animated sprites on a system that really shouldn't have been up to the job!
Title: Re: 64K support in newly developed games - Does it matter to you?
Post by: Munchausen on 17:26, 06 January 17
I got a 6128+ a few years back (with monitor) in excellent condition for £45 and at various points have seen perfectly workable 6128s for very low prices. I'm sure the increased popularity of Retro gaming has probably bumped things up in places and there are always some chancers of eBay trying to flog things at massively over-rated prices, but genuine bargains are there if you want one. If not, local flea markets or jumble sales are often worth a perusal.

I agree, I've bought two 6128s and paid less than £30 for each. The prices on ebay have skyrocketed in the last 3-4 years, so I think you need to be lucky now (try to find an auction ending at an odd time for example).

Back on topic, personally I don't think 64K support is that important, but it's up to the developer(s). There are still a lot of 464s out there after all.