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Special features of each platform's scene

category: general [glöplog]
Every platform seems to have some kind of weird characteristics that gets much more attention on that platform's scene than on other platforms. Maybe it's because of some special restriction compared to other platforms (of the time) that has caused some sort of an inferiority complex, or maybe the hardware almost lets you do some trick, but not entirely. I'm sure this will irritate some people, but I'll try to be nice. ;)

** C64 **
- Borders! People are still very interested with getting stuff shown in the freaking border area. If you're an outsider, you'll need to be explained stuff about "opening the borders".

** Amiga **
- Chunky-to-planar conversions. Copper chunky, blitter chunky, etc. When the stinking PC scene (which was looked down upon by Amiga sceners) started creating demos that utilized chunky pixel modes and the raw CPU power particularly Pentiums had, it was tough for Amiga sceners who had to work really hard to do that sort of stuff. Eventually the Amiga just stopped getting power updates because Motorola abandoned the 68k line and Commodore went tits up etc. and some of the most ambitious 68k Amiga 3D effects just try too hard, the frame rate just is not enough.

** Early PC/DOS **
- Sound. Before GUS became widespread and before MIDAS and other such multi-soundcard music systems were there, the Amiga's multi-channel PCM sound was looked at with jealousy on the PC side. To even get the basic Amiga level MOD playback was considered an achievement on the PC. It must have looked pitiful from the Amiga scene's point of view. (well, until increasing CPU and memory capacity blew away all limitations, and the Amiga became the sound capability underdog)
- Copper and screen interrupts. Amiga and even C64 had all these nifty vertical blank and line interrupts, but the PC didn't! Maybe some of the original IBM cards did, but the clones (that everyone had) didn't.

** MSX **
- Smooth scrolling. Still today, people are discussing and building ways how to do smooth scrolling in various screen modes. It's kind of sad. ;) Only on the MSX, people get so excited when someone has found a new way to do smooth scrolling that could be used in a shooter game. I think it originates from the times of the MSX1, where practically all games had blocky scrolling, and it was kind of embarassing. The games were actually very good (Nemesis, Salamander, F1 Spirit etc.), but the scrolling just looked dumb, and MSX sceners still haven't fully recovered from the mental trauma.

** Amstrad CPC **
- The CRTC tricks. They seem to be endless. Don't you think it shouldn't be that exciting anymore to watch yet another way to do a weird sine wobbler thing that changes the display parameters for every scanline? Yeah, they did those on the Amiga OCS, but not _that_ much. ;)

What would you say about other scenes. Spectrum? Atari ST? Atari 8-bit? Modern PC/Windows? Something else about the ones I listed?
added on the 2014-04-14 19:22:24 by yzi yzi
** Atari ST **
Overscan, multicolour and digitized sound were the trend in the days: all this was easily done on Amigaaaaah but needed a lot of hackery on the Atari. Last couple of years some people still investigated on the multicolour subject, with good improvements:circus and antiques.
added on the 2014-04-14 21:36:00 by baah baah
** Acorn Archimedes **
The video controller had severe palette limitations in 256 colour mode, basically you chose 16 colours and the others were derivative of those, ugly as hell. So doing decent palettes was an incentive for some.
added on the 2014-04-14 21:38:33 by baah baah
** ZX Spectrum **
Coping with and trying to hide the color clashes caused by 8x8 attribute blocks using carefully timed CPU loops and quite ingenious construction of effects.
added on the 2014-04-15 06:57:27 by Marq Marq
** c64 **

if Amstrad CRTC tricks are mentioned, c64 VICII tricks should be too, there are a crazy number of ways fooling the chip with cycle exact register fiddlings into doing undocumented things. There are several dozens of software modes and tricks. btw I'm 64er and Im bored of border stuff.

also Drive coding. c64 has a disk drive with its own 6502 and memory. you can use it as a co-cpu if you are tricky enough.
added on the 2014-04-15 08:36:45 by Oswald Oswald
** Atari VCS 2600 **

- Size coding. Even though there had been larger cartridges back in the day, many of them were 4k only, and now the scene is obsessed with size coding and can discuss endlessly how to code the optimal routine size-wise, even if not always needed. Every time someone does a demo which uses more than 4k, some people respond with "now do this in 4k!" or complain about the wasteful use of tables and unrolled loops.

- Hi-res graphics and horizontal positioning. Because the VCS has only extremely limited hi-res capabilities and also no framebuffer, which makes variable horizontal positioning a pain, hi-res effects and horizontal movement (>8 pixels) get special attention.
added on the 2014-04-15 09:03:25 by Kylearan Kylearan
** Atari Falcon030 **
Using the powerful but tricky DSP for at least something productive. Requires syncing with the CPU, learning another instruction set, and all in all a different mindset when thinking of the effects.
added on the 2014-04-15 09:51:52 by Marq Marq
Showing hires and/or custom graphics. Normal HW only allows textmode display withbuilt-in-character set. Some trickery is needed to get any user-defined graphics at all.
added on the 2014-04-15 10:46:36 by Sdw Sdw
** Oric **
- Understanding the serial attributes video system
- Having to deal with the fact there's normally no way to sync with the video
- Having to deal with the fact that you can't normally do video page flipping
- Using the floppy disk system to get access to the full 64k of memory and faster irqs
added on the 2014-04-15 11:15:27 by Dbug Dbug


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