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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:51 am 
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I looking to play some old atari games that are in a top down style similar to the following:

Adventure
Berzerk
Dark Chambers
Haunted House
Sword Quest
Venture
Front Line
Indiana Jones

Basically any games that are like 4 bit and in this perspective style. I just like these types of games and want to get into more of them.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:36 am 
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Erockbrox wrote:
4 bit

It's a common misconception that the 2600 is a 4-bit machine, because it came before the most famous 8-bit console, but it's also 8-bit. In fact, it uses almost the same CPU as the NES, only slower.

The only 4-bit machines I'm aware of are calculators. If a system can play games, you can be pretty sure it's at least 8-bit.

BTW, the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube are not 128-bit, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii are not 256-bit, and the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U are not 512-bit. This bit counting system was a silly thing invented during the 16-bit era to show everyone how superior the new consoles were. This remained a selling point for a few years, but CPUs generally maxed out at 64 bits. Look at the Nintendo 64, for example: being 64-bit was it's novelty, but games hardly ever used the 64-bit instructions.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:14 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
The only 4-bit machines I'm aware of are calculators. If a system can play games, you can be pretty sure it's at least 8-bit.

True. But don't some of the MCUs in handheld LCD games, such as Game & Watch or Tiger, run on 4-bit MCUs?

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BTW, the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube are not 128-bit

How wide is their data bus? That's what's 64-bit about the Atari Jaguar. (The AMD Jaguar in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is 64-bit for a different reason.)

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Look at the Nintendo 64, for example: being 64-bit was it's novelty, but games hardly ever used the 64-bit instructions.

The N64 also has a fast but narrow bus due to RDRAM architecture, which throws the Jaguar data bus theory away.

Now to the original question:

Do you also mean to include games for the Odyssey2, Intellivision, and the TMS9918 platforms (CreatiVision, ColecoVision, SG-1000, Adam, and MSX)? Together with the 2600, these are generally considered the "second-generation" video game consoles: early microprocessors, usually 8-bit, paired with simple, largely off-the-shelf video chips. But the capabilities of the TMS9918 video chip put systems using it half a generation above the 2600, O2, and INTV, with the same relationship to the NES that the Dreamcast has to the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. The NES can be thought of as a CreatiVision with hardware background scrolling, 2-bit tiles on external memory, and more audio waveforms.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:08 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
BTW, the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube are not 128-bit, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii are not 256-bit, and the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U are not 512-bit. This bit counting system was a silly thing invented during the 16-bit era to show everyone how superior the new consoles were. This remained a selling point for a few years, but CPUs generally maxed out at 64 bits. Look at the Nintendo 64, for example: being 64-bit was it's novelty, but games hardly ever used the 64-bit instructions.

hahaha I used to think this exact thing about consoles, that the bit count of the processors just doubled each generation.

I also thought, once I learned about color depth and what "bits" were, that since the NES is always described as having "8-bit graphics" it had 256 colors.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:51 pm 
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Most people had no idea what those bits were... Normally, the number referred to the CPU's word size, but a lot of people thought it had to do with graphics. That theory would quickly go down the drain if you realized that the Intellivision was 16-bit and the Sega Master System 8-bit, and that consoles with the "same number of bits" often had radically different graphical capabilities.

Companies weren't exactly consistent with the numbers they used either... The PC Engine/TG-16 was marketed as a 16-bit console, but its CPU was 8-bit (the GPU was 16-bit though). The Jaguar was marketed as being 64-bit, apparently because it had 2 32-bit CPUs. Those were weird times. These days it's all about monster GPUs, more RAM and more CPU cores.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:37 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
. That theory would quickly go down the drain if you realized that the Intellivision was 16-bit and the Sega Master System 8-bit

Wasn't the CPU in the Intellivision not even clocked at 1Mhz :lol:

tokumaru wrote:
The PC Engine/TG-16 was marketed as a 16-bit console, but its CPU was 8-bit (the GPU was 16-bit though).

Even though the GPU is generally what defines a video game console (as long as it isn't the Sega Genesis).

tokumaru wrote:
These days it's all about monster GPUs

I think this is the most justified out of the 3 you mentioned. I still refuse to believe that the XBone or the PS4 need 8GB of ram. It's not a PC. (Or at least that's what people aren't supposed to think...)

Actually, you know what, after seeing how unbelievably terrible this looks, I can totally see why 8GB of ram is necessary. I'm not even sure as to how people lived without 8GB of ram.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:20 pm 
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In 1985, 8Gb RAM would be the ravings of a lunatic.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:34 pm 
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Erockbrox wrote:
I looking to play some old atari games that are in a top down style similar to the following:


How about Quest Forge? I'm not super up on all the 2600 but I only know about that one because people talking about it on here.


tokumaru wrote:
Most people had no idea what those bits were...

I didn't really get it until I started doing assembly. I'm curious though, that if a processor has say, a 64-bit word length, does that mean that every data word it processes is processed as 64-bit? I know some of the processors can run in a 32-bit mode but I don't know if that's just emulated. My buddy was talking about some kind of 128-bit processor the other day, and I was saying that unless the workload was entirely encryption or something like that, having a 128-bit word length would only drastically slow down your processing. I'm also slightly curious if something like a modern 16-bit processor would be faster than 64-bit if you were only working with 16-bit data, or mostly 16-bit data. Not that I plan to actually do anything with the information; I'm just curious.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:14 pm 
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(Edit, I don't know)

I would imagine that 16-bit processing would be faster than 64-bit, but I have no proof, so...empty words

(I mean a hypothetical 16-bit processor with the same frequency and same dimensions as present day 64-bit processors)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:33 pm 
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I imagine the difference could be made up or reversed by 64-bit SIMD instructions designed for 16-bit bulk processing, though you might have trouble with granularity and branch handling. Not sure any modern processor bothers... and I'm a bit behind on processor architectures anyway; I understand the 65C816 (and by extension the 65xx family) pretty well, I have some theoretical knowledge of the Super FX and SPC700, and I have some idea of how the 68000 family works, but all this superscalar VLIW OoO nonsense is a little beyond me...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Sega could have easily claimed the Genesis as 32bit. From a software engineering perspective - the 68k is 32bit. From a hardware engineering perspective, it's 16bit because the ALU is 16bit. What does that makes the SNES, with an 8bit cpu data bus?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:53 pm 
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This is the way I always thought of it. If the SNES is 8 bit, then the Genesis is 16 bit. If the SNES is 16 bit, then the Genesis is 32 bit. However, I don't think using 32 bit operations will help too much in a 2D game, save moving objects using sub pixel precision. Using only 8 bits for a scrolling 2D game does seem pretty difficult though.

You know though, I felt like doing some math to see how many textures you could store in 8GB of ram, and this is what I got.

1024 x 1024, 24 bit color + 8 bit alpha channel: 2048 textures
1024 x 1024, 24 bit color: 2738 and 2/3 textures
512 x 512, 24 bit color + 8 bit alpha channel: 8192 textures
512 x 512, 24 bit color: 10922 and 2/3 textures

I feel like people now a days just completely dismiss how large a gigabyte really is.


Last edited by Espozo on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:54 pm 
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I think the idea of comparing bits can be blamed on Sega's marketing team, along with things like "Blast Processing". When I was a kid, I remember no one really knowing why "16-bit" was better, but if it was double the NES, so it must be better! Welcome to the next level!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:08 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
This is the way I always thought of it. If the SNES is 8 bit, then the Genesis is 16 bit. If the SNES is 16 bit, then the Genesis is 32 bit. However, I don't think using 32 bit operations will help too much in a 2D game, save moving objects using sub pixel precision. Using only 8 bits for a scrolling 2D game does seem pretty difficult though.


Not necessary for 2D games, but sometimes it's faster to do 32bit operations on the 68k. All address vectors (registers) are 32bit in length, unless you're accessing 32k of the 64k ram with short addressing mode (and the first 32k of rom, because the 16bit address is signed). Stuff like 24bit fixed point stuff (16:8) is faster as a single 32bit operation. And of course moving data is faster with 32bits at a time. So you tend to use more 32bit operations on the 68k because of its design. Indexing (offsetting) the address register on the the 68k is slow, so it's often faster to add the offset to the base address. That's a 32bit operation. Stuff like that.

Movax12: Yeah. Bits is totally misleading, but getting something the public will understand, at the time, was probably difficult. How does the human brain understand 1.79 million cycle per second vs 7.6 million cycles per second. They're such large numbers. People can more easily related to smaller numbers that are closer to every day life. Numbers like 8 and 16 are relatable to the human experience. It's why we have unit conversions of measurements (1 light year, etc).

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Last edited by tomaitheous on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:12 pm 
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The Super NES S-CPU's data bus is narrower but faster. In fast ROM mode, it runs at 3.58 MHz, accessing memory on every cycle. The 68000 in the Genesis runs at 7.67 MHz (15/7 of Super NES fast ROM speed), but its CPU accesses memory once every four cycles, giving it only 15/28 = 53.6% of Super NES data bus clock speed. N64 also took the narrow but fast approach with its 8-bit RDRAM, simplifying board design and contributing to the legendary Tonka Tough reliability of Nintendo hardware.

Ms. Pac-Man and Hack 'Em/Hangly-Man are top down. So are Asteroids and Centipede and Pong for that matter. But more toward the style of games you're talking about are E.T. and Halo 2600.


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