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How come there hasn't been any new Apple II games in like 10+ years?


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#1 PDog OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:21 PM

Or if there has, where are they hiding? The computer was massively popular wasn't it?

#2 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:01 PM

This has to be the most freqently asked question in this forum. The reason is partly to do with the Apple II being a simplistic machine compared to other 8 bit computers, and it being easier to get impressive results out of a C64 game instead. You're not going to see Newcomer on an Apple II for instance. Some of it has to do with the community itself, being mostly based on USENET, and not quite as helpful as the folks on AtariAge are. This leads into a third reason, which is the Apple II community hasn't preserved as much literature as the Atari and C64 communities have. So there's less to learn from.

#3 PDog OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:22 PM

This has to be the most freqently asked question in this forum. The reason is partly to do with the Apple II being a simplistic machine compared to other 8 bit computers, and it being easier to get impressive results out of a C64 game instead. You're not going to see Newcomer on an Apple II for instance. Some of it has to do with the community itself, being mostly based on USENET, and not quite as helpful as the folks on AtariAge are. This leads into a third reason, which is the Apple II community hasn't preserved as much literature as the Atari and C64 communities have. So there's less to learn from.

How can simplicity be a reason against making games? The 2600 was just as simplistic and well, I won't even talk about the homebrew scene there. And didn't the Apple II use the 6502?? So assemly language knowledge should be pretty easy to apply. I agree the machine is far inferior to the likes of a c64, but damn, 0 new games in over a decade...

#4 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:36 PM

http://www.armchaira...m/neo/node/3713
and...
http://www.deater.ne...b1/tb_6502.html
and
http://apple2.org.za...persAtWork2.htm
(Search for MazezaM and Sparks on that page)

desiv

Edited by desiv, Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:42 PM.


#5 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:54 PM

How can simplicity be a reason against making games? The 2600 was just as simplistic and well, I won't even talk about the homebrew scene there. And didn't the Apple II use the 6502?? So assemly language knowledge should be pretty easy to apply.


Well, its not quite that simple; many 6502-based machines have a lower clock speed but sprites and/or hardware scrolling that help make up the difference, someone adept at doing interesting things with an Atari 8-bit or even the 2600 doesn't necessarily have the skillset to get an Apple 2 singing and dancing. And then there's got to be an interest on the part of the coders...

I agree the machine is far inferior to the likes of a c64, but damn, 0 new games in over a decade...


Off the top of my head i can think of five, three in BASIC for the Retrospectiva competition (Surf Shooter, Deadly Orbs and Double Deadly Orbs) and the other two are Structris and Escape from the Home Computer Club (video of the latter over 'ere).

#6 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:28 PM

there has been more than a handful of them

and I still dont get the hate to the apple II community, they have been nothing but extremely helpful to me, and anyone else with a question, and since its such a simple machine every single little thing about the computer is more than well documented... you just might have to (gasp) look for it, or (oh noes) ask

just google comp.sys.apple2, the Usenet is available within google groups, not hidden away on some pirate BBS in Argentina

#7 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:39 PM

http://webpages.milw.../silverncastle/

#8 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:10 PM

I've been doing some coding on my Apple //e

I really love the system, built in monitor, mini-assembler, etc... In that respect, it's fun to code for. Lots of cross-development was done on Apple ][ series machines and I can understand why now. IMHO, there are some display tricks possible too, though I've not seen them exploited much yet. Could be I've just not seen it either. Happens.

IMHO, a big obstacle is the basics are convoluted. Want to make a fast double low res software sprite renderer? That requires understanding the addressing and it's not trivial. Same for double high res and just the ordinary hi res screens.

The book that was scanned in recently actually details how those things are done and provides some nice template code to work from. Because the Apple has 7 pixels per byte, and it uses NTSC artifact color, just moving a shape on the screen while keeping it the same color takes some thinking through. Compare that with Atari / C64 and rather simple bitmap graphics and the various sprite capabilities and getting something to happen fast is much easier on those computers.

Once somebody decides to push it and do something great, I think all the machines are hard, and they are hard in different ways.

#9 Tanrunomad OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:55 PM

Escape from the Home Computer Club alone should make up for the lack of games :-D
If BASIC games count, there's always my game Double Deadly Orbs! They're back and they're more circular than ever before!



#10 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:44 AM

We need more Apple ][ games! XD

I wonder how hard it would be to port Bombuzal, that game was always a "blast" =P

*ducks and runs*

#11 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:44 AM

. I agree the machine is far inferior to the likes of a c64


Oh I really don't think so, the C64 didn't start the computer revolution, and as for programming, the A][ floors the C64 thanks to Woz. He knew his stuff.

#12 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:00 AM

The Apple II was more popular for business and school than for gaming, remember Visicalc.

As far as I can remember, very scarce arcade games were ported to Apple.

#13 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:24 AM

Oh I really don't think so, the C64 didn't start the computer revolution


That's not really relevant when talking about if a machine is "inferior" or not of course (in quotes because anyone who programs knows that it can be subjective), but the C64 can be said to have made at the very least a comparable impact since it helped move home computing into more actual homes than the Apple 2 did.

and as for programming, the A][ floors the C64 thanks to Woz. He knew his stuff.


i can't even think of a context where this would be the case to be honest; granted i've only had a quick prod at the Apple 2 under emulation but from what i've seen there's nothing that's easier or better than on the C64; latching onto the vertical blank, waiting for specific rasterlines, refreshing or scrolling large areas of the screen at speed, moving objects over background... that's all easier to do and faster to refresh on the C64.

Presumably you had specific things in mind that you've tried on both to make this claim, would you care to expand a little with your source code?

#14 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:25 AM

As far as I can remember, very scarce arcade games were ported to Apple.

Actually, there are a LOT of arcade games on the Apple II.. LOTS... Really.. Whole bunches.. ;-)
Including the Atarisoft stuff...

As for the Apple II and the C64, the C64 should have the edge. It was designed many many years after the Apple II.
But the Apple II has some great games, in spite of some of those issues. That's what gives it most of it's charm, in my opinion. ;-)

Both great fun machines..

desiv

#15 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:42 AM

If you ask me, its because the Apple II is less well-documented than say, the C64. There also seems to be less of a dev community presence, and less of a community presence in general. There are some decent Apple II programming books you could use to make goofy little games, but I've noticed most Apple II users seem to be content just yammering about hardware and dicking around.

You don't see much of anything for the Apple II. No demos or anything.

If this stuff is out there, they sure have done a great job of not being forward facing about it.

#16 Tanrunomad OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:03 AM

The issue with programming on the Apple II is the lack of speed and hardware sprites, although there were workarounds such as building shape tables and loading them into memory, but it was all software driven. The hardware was incredibly simple, no custom chips really and only a toggle circuit to click the built in speaker! Want multiple voice or speech sytnhesis? You had to program all that or buy program extensions that later came out, but again, all software-driven. But worth mentioning is that everything is extremely well documented by Woz himself who from the start wanted to make a machine that people could open up and mock around with and expand on. This of course led to dozens of Apple II compatibles being built, but that's another topic...

But it's greatest weakness is, in my mind, also it's greatest strength. It's simplicity requires very clever programming and exploiting little tricks to make a great looking game like Prince of Persia, or a well-executed one like Robotron. A computer like the c-64 required less knowledge of advanced programming tricks and techniques to accomplish equal or better results and so naturally more people, especially newbies, will want to learn to program on it. The active Apple II community, although relatively small, is extremely helpful and approachable though, despite the criticiism I've heard on this site.

#17 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:09 AM

You don't see much of anything for the Apple II. No demos or anything.
If this stuff is out there, they sure have done a great job of not being forward facing about it.

And google says...
http://chipflip.word...-ii-forgive-me/

desiv

#18 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:13 AM

Yeah. There's, like, almost NO demos for the ][.

Lots of games. I made a set of over 150 single-load games of varying quality some time back.

I'd like to see if there's some stuff that exists both on the C64 (same cpu arch and clock) and Spectrash could be ported over, like Cybernoid =P

#19 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:39 PM

The Apple 2 series has no custom chips, back to that again.. I'll always say the Apple is closer to a single-board COSMAC VIP or TTL computer/terminal than it is to a 2600.

Demos make use of custom chippery & trickery. Some are programmed entirely within the co-processor itself I'm sure. And pretty much any game that has to attract attention today needs some bits of flashy graphics. And remember the Apple 2 cannot do any sort of multi-tasking like a 2600 or C-64 can. I mean on the level of keyboard input, sound, graphics, disk access. On the Apple it all happens one tedious clock-cycle after another. You either move a pixel, or click the speaker. If you have to make a tone, all the CPU cycles go to pushing and pulling the speaker.
  • jhd likes this

#20 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:48 PM



#21 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:58 PM

That's not really relevant when talking about if a machine is "inferior" or not of course (in quotes because anyone who programs knows that it can be subjective), but the C64 can be said to have made at the very least a comparable impact since it helped move home computing into more actual homes than the Apple 2 did.



i can't even think of a context where this would be the case to be honest; granted i've only had a quick prod at the Apple 2 under emulation but from what i've seen there's nothing that's easier or better than on the C64; latching onto the vertical blank, waiting for specific rasterlines, refreshing or scrolling large areas of the screen at speed, moving objects over background... that's all easier to do and faster to refresh on the C64.

Presumably you had specific things in mind that you've tried on both to make this claim, would you care to expand a little with your source code?



Something I read Jordan Mechner quoted in RG about the Apple ][, I have to look it up. Along the lines of 'you could squeeze things out of the A][ like you couldn't from any other 8 bitter'

#22 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:59 PM

But that is on a IIgs, which is not a 2 series. Completely different machine. Respectfully disagreeing.

#23 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:00 PM

The Apple II was more popular for business and school than for gaming, remember Visicalc.

As far as I can remember, very scarce arcade games were ported to Apple.


I have to post my favourite page from EG May 1985 again:
Posted Image

#24 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:02 PM

And google says...
http://chipflip.word...-ii-forgive-me/

desiv


Yeah, that stuff is all old news. 2005-2007 wasn't exactly recent.

Also that kind of stuff isn't what you'd yknow, spread around and fire up on your Apple IIs and show off to people.


... and the fact that this is basically what you get out of Google demonstrates my point. There's not much out there.

#25 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:51 PM

Yeah, that stuff is all old news. 2005-2007 wasn't exactly recent.
There's not much out there.

Well, the subject is about "10+ years."
And we're talking a computer released in the late 70's, so you could argue that 2000's is recent. ;-)

I will agree tho that there isn't as much homebrew on the II series as some other systems tho.
It's not 0, but it's not a lot..

desiv

Edited by desiv, Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:52 PM.




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