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zzip last won the day on February 2 2018

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About zzip

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  1. I was never a fan of the elongated pixes of the GTIA modes. Although Mode 9 could do some amazing gradient effects that no other computer of the era could touch, like the Rescue on Fractalus loading screen showing the space station exterior, or the Walking Robot demo.
  2. I play it on an emulator and use the turbo toggle frequently to skip past the time-wasting sections. I can finish a game in about 15-minutes :)
  3. Had to look at the popular games list on Atarimania to decide 1. IDK, maybe Bruce Lee? I've played most of the other games 2. I'm over 40 now, I'm not really ashamed of my guilty pleasures anymore. Plus unlike other platforms, the 8-bit didn't have a whole lot of "embarassing" games from what I remember. I guess I'll go with "Slinky" a Q*bert type game from Cosmi 3. Seven Cities of Gold - I love MULE, this is from the MULE guys, and everybody raves about it so it should be great, right? Yet it never held my attention for long. So I don't know if I'd call it shameful, but overrated for sure.
  4. MULE was ugly BITD too, but once the gameplay clicks, it is one of the best games on the A8. Used to play it with friends all the time When this came out, it was mind-blowing. We had never seen much like it. Has it aged poorly? Absolutely!
  5. I don't think the Supercharger changed the 2600s video capacity, but it gave more memory, which allowed programmers to do more detailed graphics. The 2600 is a weird beast in that it has no fixed graphics modes, but the developers are creating the graphics on the fly as the TV draws the image (aka chasing the beam)
  6. It boils down to this: The Atari has a number of pre-defined graphics modes that all have annoying limits, but none generally exceed 8K RAM in screen memory But it also has: Player missile graphics (sprites) that can add colors, but they are only 8-bits wide, but run the length of the screen (8x240 basically) Up to 5 players, with 5 unique colors Display List: Each line of your display can easily be reprogrammed to be a different mode than the previous line, this allows interesting mixed modes ok, but even with that it is still a bit limiting. Here are the coding practices used to enhance the colors: Display-list interrupts: These allow you to run a small amount of machine code in-between the time lines are drawn on screen. You can use this to change the entire color palette for the next line, or reposition a Sprite horizontally (giving the impression that there are more than 5 sprites) Vertical Blank Interrupts: Allow you to run code in between screen draws-- you could point the display at a new memory location each one, flashing between two different images rapidly to give the illusion of more colors cycle counting: Neither of the above interrupts allow you to change the palette in the middle of a line draw, but with carefully timed machine code, you can do just this and put more colors on a single line, or make a sprite appear in two places at once. This is probably the hardest technique of the three. Clever people mix the above techniques to create innovative approaches to graphics. I remember in the 80s, I always felt limited by the 8-bit's graphics capabilities. But we also had very limited graphics tools. If we had something like Rasta back then, it would have blown my mind.
  7. 1. The hardware itself allows 4 playfield colors + border + 5 P/M colors in bitmapped CTIA modes or up to 5 playfield colors + border + 5 P/M colors in that one character mode (I forget the name) or up to 16 playfield colors with restrictions in GTIA mode (or 9 without restriction) some people have timed mid-scanline palette changes to give more apparent colors, but this consumes CPU 2 + 3. There can be 128 colors on screen in CTIA modes and 256 on screen in in GTIA modes at once, but this will require some technique to change palettes while the screen is being drawn on TV (such as Display list interrupts). Otherwise the hardware limits are as described as in #1 Now a lot of new graphics modes have popped up since the 80s such as HIP, TIP, etc. These promise greater color freedom. But from what I can tell they mostly use one of two techniques to trick the eye: 1) flip the screen really fast between two slightly different pictures and palettes. In the best cases this really does give the impression of more colors and smoother gradients. Worse case is it looks flickery. It consumes more memory and maybe CPU 2) Alternate graphics modes in a display list. One line may have gradient values while the other has color value. Again it tricks your eye, but if you look closely it's easy to see how this was done.
  8. I used to use RAMbrandt a lot. It allows you to use the GTIA modes, easy DLIs for extra colors and supports the touch tablets. Not sure about ST mouse though.
  9. Digital- mainly because physical these days still requires the disc to be inserted even though 100% of the code is still installed on your hard drive, and you still need to download many gigs of patches.
  10. This is one reason there will be much resistance to an all-streaming future, because it will erode consumer rights. Companies don't care about 95% of old games, just the handful that are still profitable to include in flashback collections. If you are someone who only cares about new games, doesn't use mods, doesn't care about have bragging rights about having the latest hardware, and has a very fast and reliable internet collection, then streaming is for you. But there are tons of people who don't check all those boxes and are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a streaming future.
  11. Unless the Mega STe is different from the regular STe, then parity doesn't matter. The STe ignores the parity bit, if present.
  12. I started to get into mobile gaming after I got my first Android phone and tablet. Here's what turned me off: * Battery drain. Some of these games went through a full charge in what felt like 20 minutes * Microtransaction-based models- sure the game is cheap up front, but then you pay forever ever after * Obnoxious ads * The incentives to check in every day or miss out. This got tedious * The "share your score on facebook". No, I am not doing your advertising for free nor giving you access to my private data! * touch screen "joysticks". Maybe it's just me, but I feel the controller when I play, I don't look at it. So my fingers are constantly slipping off the buttons when the joystick is on screen, and it gets old fast. About the only games I will still play on mobile are Sudoku or some puzzle type games. Nothing more involved.
  13. True, but I do have to say that Pinball FX2 in VR is on another level.. closest you can get to an actual pinball machine on a videogame system
  14. I don't think an 800XL is capable of telnet, because that implies a TCP/IP stack, and those have a large memory footprint. (well much larger than 64K anyway) But it could definately be used as a serial terminal to a Linux system. My friend an I did this in college in the early days of Linux with my ST, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work with an 8-bit terminal program
  15. to a point, but there are also stark differences. Consoles are still tightly controlled, have fixed specs (to make optimization easier, and reduce the number of variations so that things are more likely to work out of the box). That's the reason I stopped gaming on PC, I was tired of things not working and spending more time tweaking than playing. To me subscription means "We get your money whether we continue to produce quality content or not". It erodes the power of the consumer. I also buy most games on sale and would not save money with subscriptions.
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