Which games really pushed the Speccy?

General software. From trouble with the Banyan Tree to OCP Art Studio, post any general software chat here. Could include game challenges...
User avatar
ZXDunny
Dizzy
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by ZXDunny » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:39 pm

Pegaz wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:46 pm
btw, has anyone already mentioned Knight Lore?
He always has to be on the list, when we talk about this topic.
Did Knightlore really push the Spectrum hardware? I mean, really? No, it did not. It pushed back the boundaries of what was considered possible, yes, but games like HoH and Batman came later that expanded the genre massively - hence proving that KL did not push anything anywhere.

It only really deserves an accolade for being the first of its type, nothing more than that.
0 x

zxbruno
Berk
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:13 am

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by zxbruno » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:58 am

As far as graphics, and it looks like they haven't been mentioned in this topic yet: Savage, Extreme, Dandare 3
As far as blowing people away: Thanatos?

I thought Voice Chess was pretty impressive, but I know I'm alone on that one. :) I was easily impressed back in the day I even liked Final Fight.
0 x

User avatar
Pegaz
Microbot
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:44 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by Pegaz » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:18 am

ZXDunny wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:39 pm
Pegaz wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:46 pm
btw, has anyone already mentioned Knight Lore?
He always has to be on the list, when we talk about this topic.
Did Knightlore really push the Spectrum hardware? I mean, really? No, it did not. It pushed back the boundaries of what was considered possible, yes, but games like HoH and Batman came later that expanded the genre massively - hence proving that KL did not push anything anywhere.

It only really deserves an accolade for being the first of its type, nothing more than that.
Yes, I think it definitely is, especially at the time of the release.
Making such a game in 1983 or four years later is not the same thing.
Does "pushed to the limits" means, that we just need to list titles from the late Spectrum period, when the games were technically superior?
If we look at it that way, then freescape games are at the top of each list, because they have brought a full solid 3d world in first person.
I think that all the circumstances need to be considered and taking all this into account, KL cant be ignored, in any way...
0 x

User avatar
Ast A. Moore
Manic Miner
Posts: 672
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:16 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:17 am

ZXDunny wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:39 pm
It only really deserves an accolade for being the first of its type, nothing more than that.
Well, I agree that there’s an inherent ambiguity in the way the title of the thread is phrased. But then, how do we define “pushing the limits” in this context? Knight Lore, Rex, and a great many other visually impressive titles used off-screen buffering; their frame rates dropped as more objects moved in a scene. Indeed, they weren’t really pushing the Speccy in any technical sense of the word. Should we then only count games that drew directly to the screen? Limit those even further to only include the titles that ran at a steady 50 fps? These would be objective criteria, but they’d hardly measure the actual quality or novelty or impact of a game.

I think it’s safe to broaden the criteria to include the more subjective “blew my socks off when I first saw it” definition of “pushing the limits.”
1 x
Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

User avatar
ZXDunny
Dizzy
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by ZXDunny » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:46 pm

Surely that was pushing the limits of what the public expected, not what the Speccy was capable of. After all, the Speccy was capable of running Freescape games as soon as the 48kb version was released, and it was certainly capable of running games with multicolour engines that we have today. The fact that nobody really bothered to push the limits back when KL was released doesn't mean that KL actually did that.

After all, we're almost at the edge of what an unenhanced Speccy can do right now - I doubt we're going to see Quake with full texturing at 50fps now, are we?

So no, KL was... possibly... innovative (isometric 3D was nothing new, and I recall being pretty unimpressed when it came out) but nothing more than that.
1 x

User avatar
Ast A. Moore
Manic Miner
Posts: 672
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:16 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:15 pm

ZXDunny wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:46 pm
Surely that was pushing the limits of what the public expected, not what the Speccy was capable of. . . . The fact that nobody really bothered to push the limits back when KL was released doesn't mean that KL actually did that.

After all, we're almost at the edge of what an unenhanced Speccy can do right now . . .

So no, KL was... possibly... innovative . . . but nothing more than that.
Okay, I think you need to clarify your standpoint then, because from where I’m standing, you seem to be contradicting yourself. Unless, of course, you specifically argue that Knight Lore was not impressive. Which circles us back to the point I made in my previous post: How exactly do we judge impressiveness or “pushing the limits”?

Was Tim Follin’s music pushing the limits of the beeper? According to your logic—no (again, forgive me if I misinterpret your reasoning), because the Speccy was technically capable of that “as soon as the 48kb version was released.” Were Pete Cooke’s Micronaut One, Tau Ceti, or Academy pushing the limits of the Speccy then? No, because “3D was nothing new.” Perhaps Joffa Smith’s Cobra and Terra Cresta? Well, they were the first games to use the floating bus trick, but could hardly be called impressive on the gameplay or innovation front.

So, what games would you deem to be worthy of being the showcase for “pushing the limits of Speccy’s hardware”?
0 x
Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

stupidget
Dizzy
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:09 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by stupidget » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:36 am

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:15 pm
So, what games would you deem to be worthy of being the showcase for “pushing the limits of Speccy’s hardware”?
Yep, that's what I was thinking when I made the post. Not so much as what games used all the available memory, be that 48 or 128, but something that pushed the h/w. Were there any games that had impressive graphics, impressive tunes that played constantly and was actually a good game.

Like Pegaz posted Dynamite Dan 2 was impressive.

I remember Road Blasters being almost unplayable on the 48k but when I played the 128k version the game played faster, there were good sound effects and some good tunes. So, does that mean that the 48k Road Blasters version was reaching the limit of what that machine could do?
0 x

User avatar
ZXDunny
Dizzy
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by ZXDunny » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:28 am

Yes, games that pushed the hardware to do things it wasn't supposed to be able to do. KL was not one of these. But even if we were to include games that pushed people's expectations of what could be done then KL still won't make the grade - Isometric 3D was really nothing innovative by the time it came out, whereas Freescape was innovative; it hadn't been done before on the Spectrum to that degree.

3D Deathcase could be considered innovative, for example, if we're allowing games that pushed people's expectations to be classed as "pushing the Speccy" which they didn't.

Generally speaking then, I'd consider optimal code to be "pushing the speccy" to do more things per frame than was accepted. Achieving smooth scrolling or many colours onscreen or huge numbers of sprites.

And not KL, by any stretch.
0 x

User avatar
1024MAK
Microbot
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:52 pm
Location: Sunny Somerset in the U.K. in Europe

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:36 am

Technically, you could only consider a game that used all available hardware resources (all RAM used, full screen used, colour used, all sound hardware used and absolutely no time delay loops, or HALT instructions) as pushing the Speccy to the limit. So then there would be separate classifications for the 16K, 48K, 128k and +2 grey, +2A and +2B, and finally the +3 (in it's own classification due to the disk drive).

But such a game using all available hardware resources, does not automatically mean it is any good...

So I think the more sensible definition (which will always be subjective) is to define it as which games appeared to push the Speccy to the limits compared to other games available at the time. Hence yes, some Ultimate titles may well be considered.

Of course, as programmers learn better ways to do things, both their own learning and learning from others, and as graphic artists and musicians got involved, so the quality improved. And competition further drove things. So in hindsight, earlier games maybe were no longer so impressive. But that does not mean that outstanding titles of the time should not be considered.

Mark
1 x

User avatar
1024MAK
Microbot
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:52 pm
Location: Sunny Somerset in the U.K. in Europe

Re: Which games really pushed the Speccy?

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:59 am

ZXDunny wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:28 am
Yes, games that pushed the hardware to do things it wasn't supposed to be able to do.
But no one ever defined what the hardware was supposed to be able to do apart from the memory size (ROM size, RAM size), screen size and resolution, CPU speed etc.
I don't believe Sinclair or the magazines at the time of release of any Spectrum model ever saying that games should be able to run at any specified value of FPS. Or have x number of sprites.

So the only way to decide will be subject to comparison against other games available at the time. And yes, this will be subjective.

When the first steam locomotive broke the 100 MPH 'limit', no one then said that the Rocket steam engine was rubbish. Same for when the HST 125 Intercity diesel trains set the world record for being the fastest ever diesel trains in the world. In between these events, there were many other trains/locomotives that were noteworthy at the time, because they were better than the current, at the time competition. But not necessarily due to speed alone.

The same applies to cars and other road transport... No one says that the Ford Model T is rubbish. Even though the cheapest production car available today beats it in nearly every way...

Mark
0 x

Post Reply