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Jim Pez

Did any games push the limits of the Intellivision

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Didn't USCF Chess? The had to add memory as well. I read somewhere the computer move calculation on the highest level could take hours.

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Listen to the programmer interview with Joe Zbiciak on the Space Patrol episode of The Intellivisionaries. He explains how he squeezed every last ounce of juice out of the Intellivision in that game. I'm sure there are others, but that one really sticks in my mind.

 

http://intellivisionaries.com/episode-35-space-patrol/

 

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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Listen to the programmer interview with Joe Zbiciak on the Space Patrol episode of The Intellivisionaries. He explains how he squeezed every last ounce of juice out of the Intellivision in that game. I'm sure there are others, but that one really sticks in my mind.http://intellivisionaries.com/episode-35-space-patrol/

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Thanks I will definitely have to listen to it.

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MOTU is the first and maybe the only Mattel cartridge that runs at 60fps. Worm Whomper also runs at 60fps and fills the screen with moving objects, Dreadnaught Factor is 30fps but scrolling is very smooth. Auto Racing scrolling by comparison is only 15fps but still looks good. Treasure of Tarmin packs a lot of RPG gameplay for an 8k cartridge. Commando does a trick to get more than eight moving objects by animating bullets in background in all 16 directions. Thunder Castle pushes the limits of the sound chip. I thought there were some homebrews that got digitised speech out of the standard sound chip (no intellivoice). The recent roms from Kai Magazine might be the largest with hundreds of KB of code.

Edited by mr_me
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Baseball worked the chips pretty good as well. That's why it was used as the test game on the MTE 201 test cart.

 

Graphically, I'd say Microsurgeon used just about much of if not the whole color palette.

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World Series Baseball pretty much used everything. It used two sound chips for music, intellivoice for speech, memory banking for the largest cartridge of the day. It used the extra ram in the computer adapter to calculate ball baths in a virtual 3D playfield, scaled player graphics, and displayed multiple camera views at the same time. It can save and load games and rosters using cassette tape through the computer adapter.

 

Edit:

Overall I'd say very few of the original cartridges pushed the limits of the intellivision. It's unfortunate that most programmers at Mattel Electronics stuck with the exec system. The exec was necessary at first but limited what could be done.

 

And if you look at Tower of Doom, specifically the walking down the steps at the beginning, you'll see colours that don't exist in the intellivision 16 colour palette.

Edited by mr_me

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(...)

And if you look at Tower of Doom, specifically the walking down the steps at the beginning, you'll see colours that don't exist in the intellivision 16 colour palette.

and how could they do it? I've never heard of this before

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If you alternate two standard colours at 60hz you trick your brain into seeing a third colour. They used this trick for the colour of the player character as well.

Edited by mr_me
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Didn't Swords & Serpents push it ot the limit to where they were unable to give a slain dragon or any payoff?

 

 

They just ran out of memory.

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That was a game that I will always consider a "could have been" game.

 

What a terrible ending... BPD.. the whole game is a fight to an Easter Egg.

 

😐

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Carol vs Ghost. The animations, the music/sound effects, graphics but above all the sweet controls. I thing that this game pushed the limits in many departments. Cheers. 

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Beamrider has some impressively unrolled kernels in its ISR (including using R6, the stack pointer, as a general-purpose auto-incrementing pointer) to blast graphics into GRAM during retrace.

 

Treasure of Tarmin actually blanks out the top row of the display to get an extra 20 words of RAM for game variables.  I always thought Defender looked and sounded awesome, even if I could never get the hang of it.

 

Most of the original games pushed size limits on what they could afford for ROM chips.  As mr_me notes upthread, the EXEC enabled more gameplay in 4K or 8K of ROM, but it held back the games themselves from really pushing the rest of the hardware to the limit.  Nowadays, ROM cost is not the limiting factor, and so we can push the rest of the chips harder.

 

Heck, when I did Space Patrol, I was hitting both ROM and cycle limits.  Once ROMs got larger than 16Kx16, though, ROM stops being as much of a limit on this system.

 

Another thing homebrews have going for them vs. games "back in the day" is that the development timeline is much more generous.  It isn't "Get this game in a ROM by September to meet an October ship for Christmas."

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