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snicklin

Seamless Multi-Disk Games

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Hi,

 

I'm not really an expert on multi-disk games on the Atari and I would like to know a little bit more.

 

I've seen some multi-disk games, but they always seem to want you to put your disk into disk drive 1.

 

Now if I'm correct, can't the Atari daisy chain up to 8 drives?

 

I appreciate that most people don't have more than 1 drive, but was there any software that really used D2: upwards?

 

It seems like that the games that I've tried have always wanted you to put disk 2 into drive 1 after removing disk 1. This seems wasteful if you have the extra drives.

 

I appreciate that this is down to how the programmer coded their game, but what games did actually allow seamless disk reading by find disk 2 in drive 2 and just reading it?

 

Ta!

Steve

 

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Well, first comes to mind are the adventure games Mindwheel, Essex, and Brimstone.  These games REQUIRED 2 drives and would read both at the same time to play the game.  The games just didnt get me going like Infocom's (I thought they were way to easy), but they definately set your drives to jumpin.

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Don't forget that in multi-disk may mean that there are 2 sides to each disk, so Disk 1 Side 1, Disk 1 Side 2, Disk 2 Side 1 etc

 

Even for a 2 side game you'd flip that disk in the same drive it was inserted into, so one drive is enough.

 

Certain a good programmer would be clever and poll the available drives and remember which disk/side is in which drive.

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Thanks all. I was daydreaming earlier about a different type of game.

 

Essentially a game of "life" where every action that you make has an effect on a lot of other things, like in real life.

 

I figured that it'd need several disks to be used as almost virtual memory. Combined with xBios, the game could continue while still dragging data from disk.

 

I then thought of how cumbersome it would be to be swapping disks all the time and then thought of multiple disks.

 

As for flipping disks, this could be overcome by just not using the reverse side of the disk. Yes, it doubles the costs, but not many games are commercial now.

 

I know someone will mention extended memory... but that's a little pet dislike of mine.

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Did any games ever load on the fly, |I can't remember any that truly did it as there was always a stop in the game while it pulled data from the drive.

 

Could they have done it or was the read speed buffer size etc too limited then?

Edited by Mclaneinc

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Seven Cities of Gold, Ultima series loaded from disk on the fly didn't they?

On the topic of large games, why not support a 16mb disk? So many people now have large disk support, but not many are going to plug in multiple disk drives to play your game.

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I think Seven Cities of Gold brings in the parts of world map it needs as you travel around but in such a way it doesn't interfere too much

 

(oops Shawn beat me too it ;))

Edited by Wrathchild

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