What game would you like converted to the Next?

The Speccy's spritely young offspring. Discuss everything from FPGA to ZX
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R-Tape
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by R-Tape »

I'd like to see a version of R-Type with smooth sprites (including bosses) and starfield (the landscape scroll is already fine), with graphics similar (or heavily inspired by) to the Speccy original. Maybe a few graphical tweaks here and there: fix Dobkeratops's ambiguous looking head; some extra mood-colours.
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by Alcoholics Anonymous »

Lethargeek wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:22 am
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:11 am
a new spectrum would have had to attack colour clash and limited colours. Those limitations were a function of 1982 costs and technology and would not reflect anything new or competitive made in 1990+.
Cost - yes, technology - no. Dozens of colors in home computer is late 70s, hw sprites is late 70s. Even EGA and blitter are mid-80s...
Sinclair was depending on a brand new technology to make its ULAs (programmable logic) which allowed the cost reductions necessary to make an inexpensive computer. The capacity of these early devices would limit how much integration you could achieve. Other competitors like Commodore and Atari made asics which was out of reach and too risky for a company like Sinclair with limited capital. Contemporary examples using msi parts cost a lot more in part because they weren't integrated into a single ic.
Anyway, you're wrong in both statements about the ULAX. Its concept isn't complicated at all, basically it is just a dumb framebuffer+DSP+blitter (planned as the main feature). The PPU's complexity is projected to be comparable to the Z80 (wider, but more regular). The main limiting factor is RAM speed, not the FPGA capacity. Also bigger screen area with 15-bit color depth independent pixels with a blitter able to refresh it completely several times per frame just cannot be "more limited" by default :)
It's still more complicated (and that means in gates, not necessarily in concept) :) A lot of performance in gaming systems comes from hardware acting in parallel. This is why sprites, layers, etc, were mainstays in 2D hardware. Anyway I think it's a worthy project and look forward to seeing how it turns out!
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Lethargeek
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by Lethargeek »

Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:54 pm
Sinclair was depending on a brand new technology to make its ULAs (programmable logic) which allowed the cost reductions necessary to make an inexpensive computer. The capacity of these early devices would limit how much integration you could achieve. Other competitors like Commodore and Atari made asics which was out of reach and too risky for a company like Sinclair with limited capital. Contemporary examples using msi parts cost a lot more in part because they weren't integrated into a single ic.
Sinclair could always use more than one ULA if he wasn't such a cheapskate.
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:54 pm
It's still more complicated (and that means in gates, not necessarily in concept) :) A lot of performance in gaming systems comes from hardware acting in parallel.
And that's why tile-sprite engines need a lot of gates as well. Definitely more than simple blitters. Probably even more than ULAX PPU, it's hard to tell about the logic gates. It is, however, easy to count that PPU will need less internal memory.
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:54 pm
This is why sprites, layers, etc, were mainstays in 2D hardware.
No, because back then the RAM was too slow and/or too costly, that's why.
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:54 pm
Anyway I think it's a worthy project and look forward to seeing how it turns out!
Thanks. I don't hate the Next as a whole either. Only the gfx part of it (and the associated ridiculous CPU "extensions") :mrgreen:
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Lethargeek
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by Lethargeek »

smurphboy wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:46 am
My I respectfully suggest we keep this topic to games you'd like converted to the Next and perhaps move the semi-religious war on the Next itself to another thread?

I'd love to a Next re-implementation of Dandy / Gauntlet on the Next. We should have a speed and tilemode to really let the gameplay and mechanics shine.
Now speaking of games, i'm genuinely interested in how Flying Shark port remake could be made and then how much will remain of its gfx engine code logic. Especially as
SpoilerShow
it doesn't do any real scrolling and doesn't output it's software sprites directly either
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by toot_toot »

I have a Next and I have to agree with those that are disappointed with the "look" of Next games, but I think that does come down to it not really being focused enough as a product design. It's called the Spectrum Next, but what does that mean? Is it supposed to be like the Sinclair Loki, which would have been in about 1986/87 or should it be like the original Spectrum but with just some enhancements like removing Colour Clash? You could say the original Spectrum Next was the SAM Coupe, but that was really just like a cut down Atari ST. Having too loose a product design or vision and the flexibility of the FPGA has just made the Next too unfocused and that's why you get an inconsistent look for Next games. It's unlike the MEGA65 which is at least trying to replicate a specific piece of hardware, albeit one that was never officially released.

When it comes to games being converted to the Next, I'd love to see original Spectrum games that are improved further with the Next which could be removing colour clash for those games that suffered from it, speeding up the game due to processor limitations or even adding in some basic additional spectrum colour to those monochrome games.
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by stupidget »

I've not got a h/w NEXT but have been playing about with ZEsarUX and have to admit that I have been slightly disappointed with the first slew of games. But when I think back to the early games of the Speccy and compare them with releases 3-4 years later then I'm hoping that as people learn more and more tricks on the NEXT then we'll be in store for some amazing games.

With regards to what games I'd like to see converted then I'd say:

Another World
Gynoug (my all time favourite Mega Drive smhup)
Speedball 2 - Brutal Deluxe
Fairlight (more colour and less slow down)
Ghosts and Goblins


I think Melkhiors Mansion (https://www.spectrumnextgames.uk/melkhiors-mansion)is a great example of what's possible with NEXT as it looks stunning, has some nice features and yet still manages to look like it was released in the 80s.
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by Pegaz »

Melkhiors Mansion is great, but from the published games, I have to mention Rite of the Druid.
I tried it a couple of days ago and I can say that this is the best Next game so far.
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by PeterJ »

Agreed @Pegaz, the @sunteam games are excellent.
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stupidget
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by stupidget »

Pegaz wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:22 am
Melkhiors Mansion is great, but from the published games, I have to mention Rite of the Druid.
I tried it a couple of days ago and I can say that this is the best Next game so far.
Yep, finished it a few weeks ago. The images for each location were excellent.
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Re: What game would you like converted to the Next?

Post by RMartins »

redballoon wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:21 am
Join meeee! It’s its palette that gives the Spectrum it’s identity. ...
I think you actually nailed it, on how to defined the essence or identity of the Spectrum.

For me, just needed:
- a faster CPU
- more memory

Bonus features would be something very basic:
- be able to scroll/clip the memory buffer by hardware (saves CPU and would keep the color blocks/clash aligned within scroll offset).
- have a second video layer (by default transparent), capable of each pixel having it's own color, so no color clash on this layer.
- having a Z8410 DMA compatible feature.

The only useful thing besides this, would be a multiply operation for the CPU, but this would already be a stretch goal, which can be implemented by just by having a faster CPU.

The next brought some, but not all of this, as far as I know:
- Scroll, not exactly as described above
- Don't think there is an extra video layer, only sprites
- DMA is supported
- There is a multiply D, E on the ZX80N

NOTE: Still haven't explored the full manual.
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