Using DivIDE/MMC for new games

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Uto
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Using DivIDE/MMC for new games

Post by Uto » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:18 am

Hi All,

After playing the incredible Sword of Ianna you realize using additional and fast storage options can improve games a lot.

I had been thinking a lot on that, cause although the Spectrum got a disk unit in the +3, it never become a mainstream device, as the C64 disk unit become in the US.

The question is: ¿Is DivIDE/MMC avaliable enough today to be considered mainstream?

I'd say with a lot of units sold along the years, plus about 1,000 ZX-Uno units sold, and plus the incoming about 3,000 units of Spectrum Next, maybe it has come the time where there will be much more people having a DivMMC ready Spectrum (or clone) than those not having one, ¿so should developers start thinking on ways to use them for games more often as Sword of Ianna does?
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Re: Using DivIDE/MMC for new games

Post by RMartins » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:26 am

It's definitely a possibility.

I'm using my own NOXROM cartridge, to develop P.O.W.

And as a proof of concept, I ported an 8 level original game, with help from it's original author, so that it loads seamlessly from cartridge, removing the need for long loading of levels from tape.
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Re: Using DivIDE/MMC for new games

Post by Alessandro » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:12 pm

Judging from what I read from various sources, many of those who still use, even occasionally, real hardware own such interfaces. My games from Seto Taisho Vs Yokai on have been designed with the DivIDE/DivMMC in mind. First I emulated it through a CF card and SpecEmu, then a couple of years ago I purchased a DivMMC EnJoy! from Ben Versteeg and tested the games on that as well. I make them available as TAP files (single language) and TRD disk images (multi-language) for that purpose as well.
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Re: Using DivIDE/MMC for new games

Post by Uto » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:08 pm

I belive having extra storage does not only allow developers to have more levels in their games without the pain of loading them, or more languages, what is definitively good, but also to make each level look different by replacing resources (different sprites, colors, etc.) or very different (using different code).

Also, I wonder if having a DivMMC using Spectrum 128K extra RAM for anything other than a disk cache makes sense. I have not tested that , but there is a chance you can create a a level with more sprites that those you would be able to fit in 128K, while they are not all used at the same time. Or don't use caché, but let the final boss per each level be a completely different experience by loading that final boss separatedly.
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Re: Using DivIDE/MMC for new games

Post by RMartins » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:37 pm

Not only having more of sprites, music, etc... but also being able to have quick access to them.

Some of this new hardware, can mimic ROM using Flash or RAM, allowing us to have quick access to large amounts of this resource, specially, when there is some quick paging mechanism.

In particular, having a game in ROM, means all resources are available in the fastest form, i.e. in memory.
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