Games that could do with running faster, without affecting the timer, the music or the controls

edited May 2006 in Games
Regarding the topic on the emulation forum, what Spectrum games do you think would benefit from a speed boost? Nowadays, most of us play Spectrum games using emulators rather than on real Spectrums, and since most PCs nowadays are capable of running the emulated Spectrums at a much faster speed than real Spectrums do, we can set the emulated Spectrums to run at twice the speed, or three times the speed, or whatever of a real Spectrum, and watch the games fly.

But this has some real drawbacks. If the game has a timer, for example, then the timer will countdown much faster. Plus the music will play much too fast. And when you press a key, the "Spectrum" will think the key has been pressed for longer than you intended, and so will react wrongly to your input. And so on.

But it is possible for a normal Spectrum program (game, demo, whatever) to switch the speed of the host emulator from real Spectrum speed to the maximum that the host PC that runs the emulator can run the emulator at, and to switch back to normal Spectrum speed again. This requires the Spectrum game (demo etc) to contain the instructions that the emulator recognises as "set speed to normal", and "set speed to maximium", and that the emulator running the game supports these instructions.

So far, no emulator supports this function, to my knowledge, although Dunny has said that he has implemented it into a non-available Spin core, and hopefully future releases of Spin will have this feature. And no games as yet contain these instructions, but any games that require the speed boost could be hacked to contain the two bytes or so for each instruction, at critical points in the program, so that, for example, The Sentinel would run at the same speed as normal as regards sound, the rotation of the Sentinel, and so on, but the screen drawing would be far faster, and so turning would be much smoother, as just the screendrawing routines would be speeded up.

In the same way, Freescape games such as Driller and Total Eclipse would move fluidly, and without the huge turning arcs that you get by turning the speed up to several hundred percent on a current emulator.

There'd be no waiting whilst the computer thinks, in games such as Chess, Scrabble or mined out. Starstrike II would be much smoother. And so on for other games that might benefit.

So which games could do with a speed increase?

Fairlight springs to mind, as does Knightlore. These (and other games) could be given a constantly smooth frame rate. I don't know if Outrun would benefit.

Post edited by ewgf on

Comments

  • edited April 2006
    Ping Pong
    Xeno

  • edited April 2006
    Match Day 1 and 2.
    Trap Door. Out Run for sure. At double speed on X128 it's not bad, and the 128K music doesn't speed up, which is a bonus.
    THE RETRO GAMER IRC CHATROOM. EVERY SUNDAY AT 9PM BST. LOG ON USING THE LINK BELOW:
    https://discordapp.com/invite/cZt59EQ
  • edited April 2006
    Plenty of Spectrum games run better when you crank the speed up slightly within the emulator. Ones that spring to mind, and which I usually speed up myself, are:

    Batman the Movie
    Chase HQ
    Renegade
    Target Renegade
    Robocop
    Trap Door
    Popeye


    On the other hand, there are a few games where speeding things up wouldn't be recommended. Manic Miner for example is ruined if you mess with it, and who'd need to speed up 3D Death Chase? Only some crazy fool, that's for sure.
  • edited April 2006
    The Sentinel at 200% is very playable.

    Dave
  • edited April 2006
    Saboteur 2. It's too slow normally, but feels just about right at 150% normal speed or thereabouts.
  • edited April 2006
    DaveNI wrote:
    The Sentinel at 200% is very playable.

    Dave

    The music plays too fast, the proposed solution (just speed up certain parts of the program) would avoid this, if it's ever implemented.
  • zx1zx1
    edited April 2006
    What about Buggy Boy? The slowest game ever made! (Nice main sprite though!).
    Space Gun is also a bit slow, also your gun sight tends to get lost in the mayhem!
    We must perform a quirkafleeg
  • 48K48K
    edited April 2006
    Not sure if I quite followed the description of the speed-stepping - but what i would like to see is some way for the emulator to speed up based on CPU load so that optimum (and/or user-selceted) frame rates are maintained.

    For example: Rex and Cybernoid play just fine when there is little going on, but once a hundred bullets/baddies/expolosions kick in, the emulator slows to a crawl just as it did on a real Spectrum. Speeding up the emulator in these CPU overloaded circumstances would be really interesting.
  • edited April 2006
    ewgf wrote:
    Regarding the topic on the emulation forum, what Spectrum games do you think would benefit from a speed boost? Nowadays, most of us play Spectrum games using emulators rather than on real Spectrums, and since most PCs nowadays are capable of running the emulated Spectrums at a much faster speed than real Spectrums do, we can set the emulated Spectrums to run at twice the speed, or three times the speed, or whatever of a real Spectrum, and watch the games fly.

    But this has some real drawbacks. If the game has a timer, for example, then the timer will countdown much faster. Plus the music will play much too fast. And when you press a key, the "Spectrum" will think the key has been pressed for longer than you intended, and so will react wrongly to your input. And so on.

    But it is possible for a normal Spectrum program (game, demo, whatever) to switch the speed of the host emulator from real Spectrum speed to the maximum that the host PC that runs the emulator can run the emulator at, and to switch back to normal Spectrum speed again. This requires the Spectrum game (demo etc) to contain the instructions that the emulator recognises as "set speed to normal", and "set speed to maximium", and that the emulator running the game supports these instructions.

    So far, no emulator supports this function, to my knowledge, although Dunny has said that he has implemented it into a non-available Spin core, and hopefully future releases of Spin will have this feature. And no games as yet contain these instructions, but any games that require the speed boost could be hacked to contain the two bytes or so for each instruction, at critical points in the program, so that, for example, The Sentinel would run at the same speed as normal as regards sound, the rotation of the Sentinel, and so on, but the screen drawing would be far faster, and so turning would be much smoother, as just the screendrawing routines would be speeded up.

    In the same way, Freescape games such as Driller and Total Eclipse would move fluidly, and without the huge turning arcs that you get by turning the speed up to several hundred percent on a current emulator.

    There'd be no waiting whilst the computer thinks, in games such as Chess, Scrabble or mined out. Starstrike II would be much smoother. And so on for other games that might benefit.

    So which games could do with a speed increase?

    Fairlight springs to mind, as does Knightlore. These (and other games) could be given a constantly smooth frame rate. I don't know if Outrun would benefit.
    Trying to tweak the emulation of the games goes against the whole idea IMHO.
  • edited May 2006
    Freescape games do run excellently at faster speed. I've been playing both Total Eclipse and Castle Master under spectrum emulation on the Sam Coup? with the Mayhem Accelerator, and they run very smoothly at 20MHz.

    With Total Eclipse for example, the clock and heart beat seem to be timed off the 50Hz interrupt so are at normal pace, but the main game is running at pelt.

    Quite a few other spectrum games i've tried do have varying degrees of success, all on the way they are written. Treasure Island Dizzy times everything by interrupt so the game is no faster whatsoever. Auf Wiedersehen Monty runs fast with fast music too - no sync to the interrupt. And another example is New Zealand Story - very, very fast game, but music timed by the interrupt so plays normally. (I have a video of New Zealand Story at 20MHz to upload soon, but there is one currently of Total Eclipse at www.samcoupe.com )
    Quazar - Celebrating 23 years of Developing for the SAM Coupé
    Hardware, Software, Magazines and more for the SAM Coupé
    Website: www.samcoupe.com
    Twitter: QuazarSamCoupe
  • edited May 2006
    Tubecube is vastly improved if run at 400% speed.

    Laser Snaker, on the other hand, needs to be run at 20% (10% on the higher screens) in order to be playable at all -- at least with my aging reflexes. :)
    I never make misteaks mistrakes misyales errurs — oh, sod it.
  • lords of midnight - run it at 1000% on an emulator to get rid of the annoying night time wait.
    however a full military victory that would take hours takes 10 minutes: the game is suddenly not so "epic"

    run for gold, had a frame rate of about 1/2 frame per second, which was ridiculous.
  • Football management games, especially the 'calculating league positions' bit.
    Cheeky Funster (53)
  • Shackled
  • Zagreb wrote: »
    Saboteur 2. It's too slow normally, but feels just about right at 150% normal speed or thereabouts.

    There is modded speedup version that have some bugfixes too.
    Heavy on the disasm
Sign In or Register to comment.