DEMOs

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By Pentarou

Champion (472)

Pentarou's picture

03-10-2022, 21:31

PingPong wrote:

Cost/time constraints? MSX is not an incredibly cheap machine

Yes it was, at least in Japan. Why do you think the cheap CASIOs sold as much?

Quote:

The main limit on msx1 is exactly the hw sprite support.....

Good games are written taking into account the limits of the machine.
Konami games have better ports on FC, PCEngine, MD etc. This doesn't mean that the MSX
versions are rubbish.

So you can blame Nishi, Guttag or whoever you want, or you can repeat ad nauseam that the
VDP sucks and nothing will change.

TLDR: We got a lemon and we're going to do lemonade.

By bore

Master (147)

bore's picture

03-10-2022, 22:03

PingPong wrote:

take the screen 3 mode: multicolor... almost useless.

It is a great mode if you want as few pixels as possible and want to render things vertically.
Almost ideal for a Wolfenstein 3D-style game.

It should also be perfectly possible to make a good pinball game on MSX2 with vertical hardware scrolling.
You might need a line IRQ somewhere to extend the height over 256 pixels but that should be fairly painless.

By PingPong

Prophet (3976)

PingPong's picture

03-10-2022, 22:28

[quote=bore wrote:
PingPong wrote:

take the screen 3 mode: multicolor... almost useless.

It is a great mode if you want as few pixels as possible and want to render things vertically.
Almost ideal for a Wolfenstein 3D-style game.

I find hylarious that one complain for the 160x200 fat pixels resolution of amstrad CPC and say about screen 3 (It's a great mode..... blah blah. with a ridiculus 64x48 pixels resolution)
Again, this mode is here because of the need to adapt existing screen 1/2 address generation logic to a multicolor gfx requirement with few transistors as possible, a thing were the stingy Karl Guttag (the vdp designer) was insuperable. Unfortunately, as proven by a lot of games no one used it.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10032)

wolf_'s picture

03-10-2022, 22:50

I think MSX could've used a mode in which pixels are 2x1, each with its own color. That'd be 4 KB for 256 tiles, 12 KB for a whole screen... sounds familiar? Wink

By syn

Prophet (2106)

syn's picture

04-10-2022, 01:32

imo just accept the things we have, not what it should have been. its 30+ years ago already..

By Parn

Paladin (809)

Parn's picture

04-10-2022, 07:41

It would be wise to remember the original VDP was designed for a minimum of 4kB VRAM. RAM was expensive at the time and the VDP doesn't require much in terms of complementary circuitry. All the usual limitations are perfectly fine for a chip of its time: it can do 40 column text cheaply, it can do colored high resolution graphics with sprites even with just 4kB VRAM (albeit in a very limited fashion), it has 15 colors, and it also has a low resolution mode without color restrictions. What was there at the time? The ZX80? Commodore PET? Those don't come even close.

By AxelStone

Prophet (3176)

AxelStone's picture

04-10-2022, 08:32

From my point of view this comparison between MSX VDP and CRTC: MSX VDP is faster in gaming because it works in tile mode. CPC CRTC is more colorful because it can apply 1 color per pixel.

For special tricks in demos, I really think that CRTC is much more capable than VDP9918, there are several demos in CPC that are impossible to get on MSX1 (and probably in MSX2?)

By Parn

Paladin (809)

Parn's picture

04-10-2022, 14:04

Thing is, the CRTC is very flexible because it isn't intended to be a complete video generation solution. Its capabilities depend very much on the circuitry around it, and it's a tradeoff game, too. It can be especially powerful on the CPC because of the custom ASIC there, but if you want to use all that power you'll have to use some time to figure it out. So you are trading off time you could be using developing the meaningful parts of your software (for example, game logic or whatever) to extract performance from your highly specialized hardware, time you can't use for any other platform (if you intend to develop for multiple platforms, of course). Meanwhile, Konami did a lot of fun MSX1 games in the late 80s without going beyond vanilla TMS capabilities.

Also, looking at what systems using the CRTC were capable of at the time the MSX was launched, I'm not too terribly impressed. Look around and you'll see what I mean: the TMS gives them a run for their money, except maybe in the high resolution territory. But then, that came at a considerable performance cost (and if they had more VRAM, they were also way more expensive).

By PingPong

Prophet (3976)

PingPong's picture

04-10-2022, 22:00

[quote=Pentarou wrote:
PingPong wrote:

Cost/time constraints? MSX is not an incredibly cheap machine

Yes it was, at least in Japan. Why do you think the cheap CASIOs sold as much?

Casio sold sooo much because they sold 8KRam machines.
The price of an MSX1 is far more higher than a Spectrum and comparable with a competitor like the C64.

Quote:
Quote:

The main limit on msx1 is exactly the hw sprite support.....

Good games are written taking into account the limits of the machine.
Konami games have better ports on FC, PCEngine, MD etc. This doesn't mean that the MSX
versions are rubbish.

And there are a lot of games when you cannot take into account vdp limits so have the usual crappy alternative: slow monochrome gfx. At least the competitors have on vdp the faster vram I/O.

Quote:

So you can blame Nishi, Guttag or whoever you want, or you can repeat ad nauseam that the
VDP sucks and nothing will change.

the same apply to you. you can try to overestimate the TMS vdp, but nothing changes: the chip itself is extremely limited and already obsolete when compared with the gfx level of a machine born in 1983.

By PingPong

Prophet (3976)

PingPong's picture

04-10-2022, 22:05

Quote:
wolf_ wrote:

I think MSX could've used a mode in which pixels are 2x1, each with its own color. That'd be 4 KB for 256 tiles, 12 KB for a whole screen... sounds familiar? Wink

would be a good compromise instead of crappy useless 64x48 multicolor mode, but probably uncle karl would been gone crazy for the pain with a hundred of transistors extra

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