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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:31 am 
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If only the Master System were actually popular in North America though...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:00 pm 
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mikejmoffitt wrote:
Super fat wide pixels

In 2bpp mode. But I'll give you that one, somewhat. Then again, it's like some people think you cant have hi-res and multi-colour pixels on the same frame...
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a single button on the controller

Controllers were pretty much entirely 3 party driven (I snigger when people refer to the Competition Pro as 'the C64's joystick'). If one of them wanted to design a 2+ button controller then they were more than welcome to.
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a pansy sound chip with 3 channels

3 fully programmable channels with four mixable waveforms, 8 octaves and pulse width control that is epochs above the 2a03.
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and no individual gain control

Okay, I'll give you that. :wink:
BUT... Lets not forget the per channel ring modulators, the per channel ADSRs, oscillator sync and most of all the extremely powerful multi mode analog filter, which can be applied to any combination of the SID's channels AND an external analog audio input.
To paraphrase the SID's designer, audio chips of the time were designed with an engineer's mindset. The SID was designed with a musician's.
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complete balls for character banking

In what respect? The VIC-II can see 16K of memory at any time. This memory is further divided into 8 character banks of 256 8x8 (or 4x8 for 2bpp) characters. That same bank is also two bitmapped screens at 8KB each, sixteen 1KB character mapped screens or 256 sprite blocks. The video bank can be changed at any time during a frame. Can the NES execute native code from CHR-RAM without a complicated mapper? The C64 certainly can.
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and a blanking region that is 10km wide

Displaying sprites in the borders has been something in the C64 coder's toolbox for decades now. Another reason why PAL is superior, more border space to display our large sprites in! :mrgreen:
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Sixteen entire colors, as saturated as a worn 1960s educational film.

Sixteen was still more than some of the C64's contemporaries of the time and as for the colour selection? Purely a 'Marmite' situation... you either love them or hate them. If you hate them then you can always just turn your colour dial up the the max.
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Yes, surely this'll stomp out the NES.

I could be wrong, but isn't the C64's commercial homebrew market just a bit more healthy than the NES'?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:18 pm 
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tepples wrote:
If only the Master System were actually popular in North America though...

That's kinda how people in many parts of the world feel when North Americans talk about the C64, TG16 and Atari systems other than the 2600... As far as I am concerned, the Master System won the 8-bit war! :mrgreen:

I don't think the Master System is anywhere halfway between the NES and the SNES though, the only real advantage it has over the NES (it is a big one, though!) are the 4bpp tiles, everything else is either at the same level or inferior to the NES (e.g. no sprite flipping, no mid-screen vertical scroll changes).

Hojo_Norem wrote:
I could be wrong, but isn't the C64's commercial homebrew market just a bit more healthy than the NES'?

A prolific homebrew market has hardly anything to do with technical superiority of a system, but with its popularity/availability. Ease of distribution is also a big factor, and computers will usually have the edge on that over gaming consoles. It wasn't until fairly recently that new parts for cartridges became more accessible.


Last edited by tokumaru on Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:06 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
everything else is either at the same level or inferior to the NES.
Eh, I'd count the fixed VDP windows on the top and/or right in its favor also. (Yes, you can use timed code or sprite 0 hit or an IRQ to fake a top or bottom fixed window, but not having to is better, and there's nothing like the status window on the side)

Really a shame about the sound chip, though. While I've heard some modern music composed for the SN76489 that shines, almost nothing in the commercial library really works.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Hojo_Norem wrote:
Controllers were pretty much entirely 3 party driven (I snigger when people refer to the Competition Pro as 'the C64's joystick'). If one of them wanted to design a 2+ button controller then they were more than welcome to.

Enjoy jacking up the game price to cover the non-recurring engineering cost of producing a controller to bundle with each copy of the game.

Hojo_Norem wrote:
To paraphrase the SID's designer, audio chips of the time were designed with an engineer's mindset. The SID was designed with a musician's.

A harpsichordist's, perhaps. Any other musician would have wanted an instrument that can play both p and f.

Hojo_Norem wrote:
Another reason why PAL is superior, more border space to display our large sprites in! :mrgreen:

Enjoy having to translate your game for the major written languages of the European market. An NTSC game can more easily get away with being English-only.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:46 pm 
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Virtually every C64 game published in Europe since the 1990s is already English-only.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:00 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Sprite coverage does kinda suck on the NES.

Sprite and background coverage both, I think. (Well, MMC5 Ex maybe solves the background problem.)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:14 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Are you kidding me? With those fat pixels? Unless you mean the 2-color mode, but Spectrum-like graphics are hardly competition for the NES.


This was drawn in "Spectrum Mode", so I'm willing to say that the C64 is superior. Two colors per tile.
Attachment:
101528.png
101528.png [ 24.31 KiB | Viewed 710 times ]


Source:
http://csdb.dk/release/?id=101528


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Localized games always struck me as odd/needless even back in the day. The flavor text on my brothers' magic the gathing cards taught me some rudimentary english before school did, while things like shadowgate etc were just poorly translated. We'd been better off with the english version. And since the 80s/early90s, non-english europeans have generally gotten a lot better at reading/listening/talking english due to the increased exposure from podcasts, forums, news sites, "tv" shows being less stilted in dialogue, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:36 pm 
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Alp wrote:
This was drawn in "Spectrum Mode", so I'm willing to say that the C64 is superior. Two colors per tile.

Looks cool, but... I don't think the NES would stay much behind trying to render a similar scene, if a competent artist was behind it. I'm definitely not giving it a try, though... too much work and I'm only good with stylized graphics anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Alp wrote:
tokumaru wrote:
Are you kidding me? With those fat pixels? Unless you mean the 2-color mode, but Spectrum-like graphics are hardly competition for the NES.


This was drawn in "Spectrum Mode", so I'm willing to say that the C64 is superior. Two colors per tile.
Attachment:
101528.png


Source:
http://csdb.dk/release/?id=101528


This is a static screen. Very little content from "demo works" will find its way into a fully featured homebrew game.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Alp wrote:
This was drawn in "Spectrum Mode", so I'm willing to say that the C64 is superior. Two colors per tile.
Attachment:
101528.png

I could swear someone made a very similar NES screen of an old mill at some point. I thought it was by bisqwit demonstrating an automatic nametable+sprites screen generator he had made, or maybe it was thefox...? It was a long time ago though and I'm having difficulty finding the thread (if it was even in a thread).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:54 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Enjoy jacking up the game price to cover the non-recurring engineering cost of producing a controller to bundle with each copy of the game.

Exactly! When your input port is essentially 5 bits of GPIO in the Atari standard and two ADCs, you blame the market for not evolving the controller, not the computer. Three buttons were possible with some cheap electronics to abuse the ADCs, but that would have made the controllers more C64-centric and less 'works on anything that a Atari stick will'. The digital I/O lines on the C64's game ports can be switched to output. I dare say that NES style serial shifted controllers could be made to work without any extra electronics at the computer side.

Actually, come to think of it, Ocean software came up with their own cartridge bank switching system (which is uesd by the Easyflash) and used it to produce their own carts. Back then the big software houses had some real clout. If somebody like Ocean, Domark or Thalamus came along and said "We're making our own enhanced joystick and all our games from now on will use it" then it wouldn't have taken long for the others to reverse engineer it and add compatibility to their own games and/or produce their own compatible controller.

They could have, but didn't. One button and a board of keys was (most of the time) all we needed!
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Any other musician would have wanted an instrument that can play both p and f

Honest question from somebody whose musical theory is close to non-existant, what do you mean by this and is it something that the stock NES can do?
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Enjoy having to translate your game for the major written languages of the European market. An NTSC game can more easily get away with being English-only.

Back then, the devs and software houses targeted their domestic markets and their dominant language. Foreigners either had to translate stuff or like it or lump it.

tokumaru wrote:
It wasn't until fairly recently that new parts for cartridges became more accessible.

The Easyflash has been around for a few years now and some people are really beginning to use the potential. Case in point here. No co-processors, no DMA, just pure 6502!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:58 pm 
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mikejmoffitt wrote:
This is a static screen.

You're right. How well a system represents that static scene is in no way representative of what actual games can look like.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:07 pm 
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Hojo_Norem wrote:
tepples wrote:
Any other musician would have wanted an instrument that can play both p and f

Honest question from somebody whose musical theory is close to non-existant, what do you mean by this and is it something that the stock NES can do?

p is the musical symbol for piano or soft.
f is the musical symbol for forte or loud.

The software-defined volume envelope of NES pulse and noise channels is versatile enough to allow sound drivers on NES to play soft, loud, or anywhere in between. Super NES S-DSP has both channel volume and either ADSR or software-defined ("gain mode") envelope control. Scaling a volume envelope is a bit trickier on Game Boy with its piecewise-linear envelopes though.

Hojo_Norem wrote:
Back then, the devs and software houses targeted their domestic markets and their dominant language. Foreigners either had to translate stuff or like it or lump it.

The market has changed since then. Because the whole market for retro games has become smaller, those developing a game of larger scope than 1000 man-hours must consider foreign markets.


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