Author Topic: what good are the plus features?  (Read 4823 times)

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Offline steve

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what good are the plus features?
« on: 15:42, 13 June 13 »
The Phortem demo shows a CPC and a PLUS apparently doing (almost) the same thing.

Maybe the plus features were not really exploited so that the CPC could keep up?

So can anyone imagine a game using all the plus features that could not run on the CPC or at the same speed?

The sound DMA and sprites should mean more CPU time for other things, but how much time would be saved?, is it enough to make a much more complex game?

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #1 on: 16:04, 13 June 13 »
The Phortem demo shows a CPC and a PLUS apparently doing (almost) the same thing.
Phortem only uses the plus colour palette I believe, it doesn't use other plus features.
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Offline steve

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #2 on: 18:09, 13 June 13 »
Yes, that's what I thought, but it set me wondering if the plus features would really make that much difference, do they make up for not having a 16 bit processor?

Offline steve

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #3 on: 18:19, 13 June 13 »
If a game used a standard graphics mode, could the plus hardware put text or small graphics in the border without using overscan?

I am thinking here of startrek's viewscreen which has a few numbers below the screen IRC.
« Last Edit: 18:21, 13 June 13 by steve »

Offline TFM

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #4 on: 18:21, 13 June 13 »
For a much more complex game you'll need:
- 4 MB of RAM
- 20 MB (or more) of hard-disc space
- and maybe a ROM card
 
The Plus features add new things, may speed up things, but don't allow necessarily to make bigger / more complex games.
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Offline steve

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #5 on: 18:22, 13 June 13 »
For a much more complex game you'll need:
- 4 MB of RAM
- 20 MB (or more) of hard-disc space
- and maybe a ROM card
 
The Plus features add new things, may speed up things, but don't allow necessarily to make bigger / more complex games.

So you are saying they are totally useless?

Offline steve

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #6 on: 18:24, 13 June 13 »
For a much more complex game you'll need:
- 4 MB of RAM
- 20 MB (or more) of hard-disc space
- and maybe a ROM card
 
The Plus features add new things, may speed up things, but don't allow necessarily to make bigger / more complex games.

You've gone overboard there just a bit, just add a 512KB cartridge and maybe 128KB ram.

Offline TFM

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #7 on: 18:35, 13 June 13 »
So you are saying they are totally useless?
No. Not at all. I was answering regarding complex games (and 128 KB RAM is really not enought, I have serious trouble with that with some of my games...).
The Plus features can make things more beautiful, sound and smooth. So they are perfect for "polishing" a game.
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Offline steve

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #8 on: 18:41, 13 June 13 »
No. Not at all. I was answering regarding complex games (and 128 KB RAM is really not enought, I have serious trouble with that with some of my games...).
The Plus features can make things more beautiful, sound and smooth. So they are perfect for "polishing" a game.

I wonder if the CPC+ is fast enough to run 2-4MB of code, if most of the ram is filled with data you could load it from disk when needed.

Offline fano

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #9 on: 19:06, 13 June 13 »
I wonder if the CPC+ is fast enough to run 2-4MB of code, if most of the ram is filled with data you could load it from disk when needed.
Nope, the interest to have a lot of ram is not only for data, you can use precompiled stuff to speed up your code.I'd say most interesting features are (obviously) RGB palette, harware scrolling and sprites.Programmable interrupts are very interesting but vectorisation of theses is useless as it is bugged.DMA list are usefull too but limited to main 64K RAM =(
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Offline steve

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #10 on: 19:38, 13 June 13 »
Nope, the interest to have a lot of ram is not only for data, you can use precompiled stuff to speed up your code.I'd say most interesting features are (obviously) RGB palette, harware scrolling and sprites.Programmable interrupts are very interesting but vectorisation of theses is useless as it is bugged.DMA list are usefull too but limited to main 64K RAM =(

Yes, that was my question, is the CPC fast enough to plough through 2-4 MB of code?
If we say the Z80 in the CPC+ can execute 500,000 instructions per second it would take 8 seconds to run through a 4MB program, what kind of program would that be?

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #11 on: 19:50, 13 June 13 »
Nope, the interest to have a lot of ram is not only for data, you can use precompiled stuff to speed up your code.I'd say most interesting features are (obviously) RGB palette, harware scrolling and sprites.Programmable interrupts are very interesting but vectorisation of theses is useless as it is bugged.DMA list are usefull too but limited to main 64K RAM =(
there is lots of discussion... who will be the first to make a game that pushes the plus like Pang or Robocop 2 or Navy Seals????
Then they can say how much better or not the plus is...

So far I have used the extra palette and sprites in a couple of games (one of which is in development) and in my 16kb game you can use the plus analogue sticks for full analogue control ;)

I haven't used the dma/interrupts yet fully yet.
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Offline fano

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #12 on: 20:20, 13 June 13 »
Yes, that was my question, is the CPC fast enough to plough through 2-4 MB of code?
If we say the Z80 in the CPC+ can execute 500,000 instructions per second it would take 8 seconds to run through a 4MB program, what kind of program would that be?
Was not thinking to a full linear program but for example you can precompile tiles (R-Type used this for some) or sprites (Axelay could confirm but afaik he used this in his games)


there is lots of discussion... who will be the first to make a game that pushes the plus like Pang or Robocop 2 or Navy Seals? ???
Yep , Plus have been underused from now.Sadly, i must admit we need prefer to get the largest audience possible (on original machines) so making games for CPC is more interesting than making only for Plus.
Btw , good idea to try analog controller, i never used this type of device , that could be interesting.
About doing great things with Plus, i'd say it requires serious coding tasks as it is not easy to compensate its flaws.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #13 on: 10:50, 14 June 13 »
512K of RAM has been available for the CPC since the 80's. Nobody ever wrote a game that used it though.

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Offline fano

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #14 on: 11:28, 14 June 13 »
Sure, the problem for me is not the reality of a such extension but its popularity.It is a bit like 64K extension on 6128, it has been used because there are enough to be an interesting target for people who devellops games.
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Offline TFM

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #15 on: 00:41, 15 June 13 »
512K of RAM has been available for the CPC since the 80's. Nobody ever wrote a game that used it though.

Bryce.
Nope, a lot of games / apps use more than 128 KB RAM.
 
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Offline Bryce

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #16 on: 14:02, 15 June 13 »
Really? Which ones? I don't remember any game or app that required or made use of additional (above 128K) RAM.

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Offline Gryzor

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #17 on: 19:10, 15 June 13 »
Me neither, this should be interesting to know.

Offline TFM

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #18 on: 19:18, 15 June 13 »
You can find it in the Wiki:
For 4 MB stuff take a look here:
Category:4 MB RAM Software - CPCWiki
 
For more than 128 KB stuff (actually your question), check out this:
Category:Extended RAM Software - CPCWiki
(Most of them are able to use up to 512 KB RAM or even more).
 
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #19 on: 20:43, 15 June 13 »
The 4MB category is all your stuff :D


The "Extended RAM" category also includes lots of your stuff and newer releases, leaving very few to wonder about - how did North and South use more than 128KB, for instance?

Offline TFM

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #20 on: 21:10, 15 June 13 »
Well, if you want I can create a 128KB+ category, which f.e. contains RDOS, Discology and so on... but maybe that would be too much.
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #21 on: 03:40, 16 June 13 »
Would APB fall into this Extended RAM Category? I know with the Disc (and maybe the Tape) version of the game if you only have 64k, the game does a lot more loading compared to if you've got 128k, though I don't know if the game needs any more than that. It's nice to see that the game makes use of the extra 64k if you've got it.  :)
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Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #22 on: 12:54, 16 June 13 »
The wiki page with the extended ram apps only shows games what use 128k.

I never saw Orion Prime using 512k or so... It always uses 128k AFAIK.

You can add "Robocop" there, too. It provides speech samples when run on 128k machines.
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Offline TFM

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #23 on: 00:54, 18 June 13 »
You also can do it  ;)
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Offline pacomix

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Re: what good are the plus features?
« Reply #24 on: 00:57, 18 June 13 »
Any games that makes a difference between the non plus and the plus versions? For what I have seen so far... most of them are the same even Pang compared to Zapt'n'Balls and Prehistorik. But it is quite understandable. How would be the games market actually if there are two different versions of the PS3? One with 128MB of ram and another with 512? Not many I guess... Only storage room...