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potatohead

Games and other software written with accelerator cards or the //c+ in mind?

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Title really says it all.

 

These computers are an entirely different experience at higher clock speeds.  Some devices go to 16Mhz.  The //c+ went to 4Mhz, I believe.  The Stock GS was 2.8?  And some GS computers are running a lot higher than that.

 

In this way, Apples are kind of neat, similar to the PC in how the lack of custom hardware basically left the machine simple enough to enable running the CPU faster without actually breaking much of anything, given some logic to slow down things like disk access, maybe reading the game port.

 

So, what software makes sense, and or was there software written with these things in mind?  I really have never looked into this part of things having only recently run any Apple at more than 1Mhz.

 

One title that makes seriously good sense to run fast, right of the top of my head, is RAD WARRIOR.  On a 1Mhz machine, this title looks pretty great and takes advantage of the Double High Res 16 color screen pretty well, but is otherwise just a bit too slow.  Playing this one at a few Mhz is a good experience.

 

Flight Simulator rocks.  Pretty much the faster the better.

 

Are you running an Apple at more than 1Mhz?  If so, what and how fast, and what do you like to run on it when it's running fast?

 

Here is an Apple //e running an Applesoft BASIC program to display filled rectangles.  16Mhz.

 

 http://www.golombeck.eu/index.php?id=48&L=1

 

Edited by potatohead
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I can also only think of these two games. Otherwise I guess that applications like AppleWorks benefits the most from an accelerator.


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A few years ago I wrote an .lz4 Dbl Hi-res graphics compressor on the Apple II.  It takes over 40 minutes to compress the DHR screen at 1 Mhz.  I use an emulator at 100 Mhz to do the compression now.  I haven't use GSPort much but it emulates at 250 Mhz.  Still, a 16 Mhz processor on a real machine would be a real boon.

 

Decompression is quite fast, even at 1 Mhz.  And the compression of the DHR screen was very good and one of the goals was to convert some of the DHR games like Kings Quest or Black Cauldron to use .lz4 graphics instead of Graphics Magician style graphics to draw the background.  Which are slow at drawing the background.

 

BC's screens were compressing down to 7-10 blocks from the original 33.  I think Graphics Magician graphics were about 10-14 blocks.

A floppy of 144 blocks would hold from 14-18 backgrounds.  I don't think the game would fit on one double-sided disk.  But I was going to try.

 

 

Got off topic a little, but any of the DHR games using Graphics Magician routines to draw the background would benefit from a much faster processor.

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That is a fun idea!

 

One I am thinking about is actual frame locked games.  Software sprites can look amazing when drawn that way.

 

 

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On 1/19/2021 at 10:09 PM, doug0909 said:

Perhaps that slow Mario Bros. on the Apple II would benefit from an accelerator... 

Playing deathmatch in Mario Bros. at IIgs speeds is a blast!  Finding another player is the problem...

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On the IIc+ anyway, anything with disk access or sound output is automatically dialled back to 1 MHz.

 

A great example of seeing this is the new Nox Archaist splash screen which combines complex sound output with Double-Hi-Res graphics animation.

You can clearly see changes in animation speed when the sound is output (at 1MHz) and when the sound output stops and it reverts back to 4 MHz.

 

With games like Genius from Daniele Liverani you can't tell the speed difference at all because every move the main character makes is accompanied by a sound, so the gameplay is mostly at 1 MHz as a result.

 

The end result is that it's generally pointless to play action games that have sound output on a IIc+ in accelerated mode.  And most ofter games are way too fast if played in accelerated mode.

That said, I have bene playing a bit of NOX Archaist in accelerated mode and it's tolerable, mostly.

 

 

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Hmm, FastChip will run at speed during sound events, depending on the setting.  Some titles need that. Nox pretty much doesn't.  But, if I ran a Mockingboard, I would imagine that needs 1Mhz too, or it would be crazy.

 

Nox start screen sounds hilarious at 5Mhz!  

 

I play it at that speed and it is great!  

 

I am also not using floppy disks.  Those would have to run at stock speeds.  But an emulator, in my case a CFFA 3000, runs full clock.  The game just flows!

 

And it is fun!  I have had a great time with it.

 

But, now on a pause too.  Working on some plain Applesoft at higher clocks.  Just BASIC can deliver nicely.  Maybe I will end up with something fun.

 

All that said, Nox runs great at 1Mhz!  Great work showing what could have been back in the day.  Sure is fun now.

 

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