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#126 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 10:17 AM

Well, I have read that in order to keep the screen updated in 40 columns - and they had a prototype version of that chip - faster SRAM chips than what they had in stock were required. I put custom in quotes because it would not be custom per se, but just that the existing chips could not be used, at least not for the video part. The 40 column version eventually got finished as the 6562/63 chip after the VIC-20 had already been on the market for a while, and there was a lot of speculation that Commodore would release 40 column upgrade kits called the VIC-40. Whether those had required a RAM change as well I don't know, but at the same time the VIC-30 project with a DRAM based VIC-II which became known as VIC-64 and Commodore 64 was gaining ground and the 6562/63 upgrade never became a reality. Prototype chip(s) exist though.



#127 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 7:20 PM

In the 1977 to 1979 era of text computers - I can't recall the computers having much in the way of graphics?  Was it the Pet and the TRS-80s the popular computers at this time?  Then the Apple II appeared - was this the first to have some half-way decent graphics?  But with an expensive price tag for it.  While the Atari 400/800 computers were announced in 1979?  I'd guess they were on sale from 1980?  And probably widely available from 1981?  Then the question becomes - what games did they have - that would have sold the computer?  Atari did have Star Raiders available - and anyone who saw this running - would gasp and say - Why it's Star Trek (or rather Star Wars) with 3D graphics and played in real time.  What was running on the Apple II - that showed it could do arcade games?  I think it's about 1983?  That a decent number of outstanding titles did show up for the Atari 400/800 computers that did show what this computer was capable of.  When the C-64 first went on sale - I don't think there were that much of titles that showed the power of this computer -  A football game, Impossible Mission and maybe a Jeff Minter game were available in the first year?  Exactly when did a lot of titles start appearing - 1985 was when Way of the Exploding Fist appeared - so maybe around 1984?

 

Harvey



#128 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 7:24 PM

I know when my dad bought an Apple II, games were not even on the list, he bought a computer to do work with, he already had a colecovision for games



#129 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 7:35 PM

The Color PET page says 1MHz is fast enough for 40 columns (which makes sense).  80 columns requires faster RAM or alternate RAMs for odd and even addresses.  
http://www.6502.org/...ects/colourpet/
 



#130 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 9:26 PM

In the 1977 to 1979 era of text computers - I can't recall the computers having much in the way of graphics?  Was it the Pet and the TRS-80s the popular computers at this time?  Then the Apple II appeared - was this the first to have some half-way decent graphics?  But with an expensive price tag for it.  While the Atari 400/800 computers were announced in 1979?  I'd guess they were on sale from 1980?  And probably widely available from 1981?  Then the question becomes - what games did they have - that would have sold the computer?  Atari did have Star Raiders available - and anyone who saw this running - would gasp and say - Why it's Star Trek (or rather Star Wars) with 3D graphics and played in real time.  What was running on the Apple II - that showed it could do arcade games?  I think it's about 1983?  That a decent number of outstanding titles did show up for the Atari 400/800 computers that did show what this computer was capable of.  When the C-64 first went on sale - I don't think there were that much of titles that showed the power of this computer -  A football game, Impossible Mission and maybe a Jeff Minter game were available in the first year?  Exactly when did a lot of titles start appearing - 1985 was when Way of the Exploding Fist appeared - so maybe around 1984?

 

Harvey

The TRS-80 Model I, PET, and Apple II (the "trinity") all came out the same year.
There were games, but some companies even wrote them in BASIC, and most were even all text.

The intro machines came with as little as 4K, so you aren't going to do a lot with them.
It's pretty easy to see why Star Trek was so popular in the early microcomputer years.

You also have to remember that arcade games were pretty simple in the early 8 bit years.
Arcade games were Pong, Breakout, Gunfight... and Space Invaders didn't even come out until 1978.
The Atari VCS didn't even come out until 1977, and what were the early titles for it?  Basketball, Baseball, Football, Combat...
Space invaders clones started hitting computers in late 1978 or early 1979. 
Asteroids and Tail Gunner hit the arcades in 1979 and started making their way onto computers shortly afterwords

I think it was about 1980 when the glut of arcade games started to hit.

Star Raiders was revolutionary at the time, but titles with out the cockpit views started to appear on other machines within a year.
Project Nebula appeared on the CoCo in 1981 and it's a blatant ripoff of Star Raiders.  
I'm sure Star Raiders continued to sell Ataris, but the game play wasn't as exclusive anymore, and games like Donkey Kong, PacMan, Frogger, etc... started to be more important.

 

The Apple II had Space Invaders, Asteroids, Galaxians, and a lot of arcade like titles from companies like Sirius Software in the early 80s.
 


Edited by JamesD, Sat May 6, 2017 9:28 PM.


#131 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 9:27 PM

The Apple II had Space Invaders, Asteroids, Galaxians, and a lot of arcade like titles from companies like Sirius Software in the early 80s.

 

 

dont forget breakout, one of the motivations for making an apple I



#132 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 11:29 PM

I ooh'd and ahh'd over the Apple II graphics as the machine evolved from 1976 through 1981. There was no one specific title that I saw as a killer app (like Atari Star Raiders). Instead it was fun watching the progression and improvement in programming make better and better games.

 

Vector games like Bill Budge's Space Album and Trilogy, SubLogic's A2-FS1, and other wire-frame graphics announced that the computer age was upon us. It was futuristic, and unlike anything on the VCS or Intellivision.

 

What else was cool was all the Applesoft Basic art programs that drew recursive shapes and lines and circles and stuff. That was real computer art! Something I didn't see outside my bedroom.



#133 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 11:47 PM

Never having had a Vic-20 in its heyday, it still created good times though. The games were different enough from the VCS and Intellivision, and the mystique of a keyboard hooked to a bunch of chips was still a fresh concept. My buddy seemed to have loads of fun programming on it, in the upper bunk, while I was content to play Lunar Lander on the Apple II (or TRS-80 Pocket Computer) in the lower bunk. We had made this rotary table thing that we could pass stuff up and down easily and often sent the Pocket Computer and our astronomy books up and down on it. All the screwy stuff we did, all of it, revolved around space astronomy and the electronic things we know today as classic computers.



#134 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 12:27 AM

One cannot give enough praise to Star Raiders - that it was squeezed into 8K - that the numbers on screen do mean something - and are to be used.  Especially when your computer is damaged during battle - and you have to manually locate your starbase - that as you leave hyperspace - you switch over to the long range scanner as your ship slows down and line up to the starbase - then you can manually search the screen for the starbase visually - and when you think you've found it?  You slowly advance towards it for docking.  It was thoroughly playtested - and not rushed out.  The game does not use hi-res graphics - but a medium? resolution.  I'm not really a big Star Raiders player - and say it does immerse you - into it's gaming universe.  I liked the stars rushing by effect - that I would leave it running like that - with no shields activated - and there was always the possibility of getting struck by a stray asteroid.

 

Space Invaders - was the game that really stood out as being very special.  Pong and Breakout really doesn't get one's heart racing and emotions swelling...

 

Harvey



#135 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 12:02 PM

...

Space Invaders - was the game that really stood out as being very special.  Pong and Breakout really doesn't get one's heart racing and emotions swelling...

 

Harvey

Space Invaders has something that Star Raiders does not.  Anyone can learn it in a few minutes.
Star Raiders is an awesome game, but there is a lot more to learn to really play it.



#136 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 12:17 PM

Yes.... I consider Invaders to be an arcade game (Kids walking through an arcade, pump in a quarter, start playing)

Star Raiders is much more of a strategy game (D&D, Flight Sim, etc)

One is good wholesome mindless fun, the other requires some level of immersion.

I love them both.

#137 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 12:18 PM

Who loves Space Shuttle on the VCS?

That is another very immersive and strategy-oriented game.

#138 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 10:14 PM

Coin-op games I particularly would have been keen on would have been - Galaga, Zaxxon and Xevious.

I guess that the only close version of Galaga appeared for the NES console? Because they purchased the license for it?  Though the BBC got a good clone of it - called Zalaga. The only good quality Zaxxon was for the C64.  I did not think much of the other versions done - that they are disappointments to fans of the game.  And while Xevious did appear for the C64 - it did look awful.  I don't think the later 2 games are easy conversions for the home market - that they do require someone of considerable programming ability to do them justice.  Nintendo probably does an excellent job with conversions generally - as was the case with Galaga and Xevous.

 

Harvey



#139 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 8, 2017 1:14 AM

I guess that the only close version of Galaga appeared for the NES console? Because they purchased the license for it?

MSX and NES, and I think they were ported directly by Namco.

 

I heard the Apple ][+ port of Xevious wasn't bad for what it was.



#140 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 8, 2017 8:06 AM

Tiny Xevious for the NEC PC-6001 and PC-6001 mk II is really good.

One thing about owning at least one computer that was popular in Japan, you can play some arcade titles that didn't appear on other machines.
Door Door, Chack'n Pop, etc...
 



#141 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 8, 2017 2:08 PM

Well, I have read ... and there was a lot of speculation that Commodore would release 40 column upgrade kits called the VIC-40. Whether those had required a RAM change as well I don't know, but at the same time the VIC-30 project with a DRAM based VIC-II which became known as VIC-64 and Commodore 64 was gaining ground and the 6562/63 upgrade never became a reality. Prototype chip(s) exist though.

Based on what I've read, the chip was to be a drop in replacement for the old VIC chip.
As near as I can tell, the real problem is the machine doesn't have enough built in RAM, and the new chip cannot access external RAM expansions.
Prototypes came with 16K, and 16K of SRAM would be kinda pricey at that time.  An upgrade board with 16K of internal RAM would be even worse.
However, we could do that now easy enough with an FPGA and a 16K SRAM.  :D
It might be interesting to play with and I think the ROM mods required have already been taken care of with the Color PET work.
There's no software for the 40 column mode except what you might port from the C64 or TED, but it sounds kinda interesting.






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