[Coco] Games that don't fit on floppies (was Super IDE vs. Drive Pak)
mmarlette at frontiernet.net
Wed Nov 16 08:06:49 EST 2011
The bandwidth of our devices are of DRAM/RAM disk speeds. The TC^3 is twice as fast as the SuperIDE(S-IDE) but the S-IDE is still really fast.
John Linville could speak to this more as his video player is based upon the critical bandwidth of the player on the S-IDE.
You where the author of MyRAM?
----- Original Message -----
From: "gene heskett" <gheskett at wdtv.com>
To: coco at maltedmedia.com
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:38:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Coco] Games that don't fit on floppies (was Super IDE vs. Drive Pak)
On Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:02:44 PM Aaron Wolfe did opine:
> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 10:02 PM, Brian Blake <random.rodder at gmail.com>
> > data throughput increases; the making of very large games with lots
> > of digitized and sampled sounds only makes sense to me - I could be
> > WAAYYYY off on this...
> This recalls a topic that was recently discussed on the CoCo IRC
> channel. We were talking about a new CoCo game that would benefit
> from mass storage, possibly only be practical with some form mass
> storage. Some folks felt a CoCo game should run from standard CoCo
> floppies, or it wasn't a true (pure/proper/faithful/??) game. Not
> sure what the proper word would be.. basically if it didn't run on a
> stock CoCo with FDD, it was sort of cheating.
> I wonder how other folks feel about that. Where do you draw the line
> on what is right and what is not I guess. It's a concept I struggle
> with in DriveWire a lot, where we can often do things either on the
> CoCo side or the PC side (and it's usually a lot easier to do them on
> the PC side, but it feels wrong). There have to be some lines drawn
> somewhere I guess.
> Personally, I think a game that requires mass storage is OK and "true"
> since there were mass storage options available in the CoCo's heyday,
> even if they never gained much popularity. However, I can see the
> point that there have to be some limits or what you have isn't a
> "coco" anymore. It would have been impractical to release a game
> requiring anything beyond FDD back in the day I think, since the
> installed base was far to small to support software requiring anything
> more.. so maybe I'm wrong. Anyway I thought there might be some
> interesting opinions on that in this group.
Aaron, I might throw out that for os9 games at least, and admittedly only
for coco3's with 1/2 meg or more of memory, something like myram could
smooth the playing of bigger games by allowing the whole 360k floppy, or
even a 720k floppy if your machine has the memory, to be read into myram
and then 16 to 24k pulled from that into os9 space in order to play the
game without the often lengthy disk reads that go with paging it in from
the floppy. The actual paging in operation isn't any faster, but the drive
spinup time and seek times are essentially subtracted, which would allow
big games to switch levels at the same speeds you can get out of megaread,
but in little 16 to 24k, maybe even 32k pieces with careful game design.
Since that is around 11 to 13 seconds for a megaread, depending on
os9/nitros9 on a 6309, the level change read from myram would be under .05
seconds in such a situation, and hardly a factor in game play at all. With
a full 2 megs in a coco3, it would be feasible to write a 1.7 megabyte
game, which would have to be initially loaded from something bigger than a
floppy obviously. Whether from S-IDE, drivepak, a TC^3 scsi setup or
drivewire is more or less moot, and once loaded, totally moot. So the
bigger game potential is there. It remains for the enterprising game
writer to take advantage of the 'tools' we have developed in the last 2
I have no experience with the S-IDE but I was pleasantly surprised to get
the same megaread times from /dd as from /r0 on my 6309, 2 meg equipt
coco3, 11 seconds. I would assume the S-IDE is capable of similar speeds
from rotating EIDE media unless the 512-256 depacking is slower but I see
no fundamental reason it should be slower.
As far as using myram in a game, I wrote it to share with other coco3/os9
users. All I'd like for an acknowledgment is a copy of the game as
Musings from the campfire on a windy, rainy night in the WV hills. :)
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