2-player games common on the Speccy, rare on the PC, keyboard as the cause?

edited July 2006 in Hardware
Hello everyone

Does the Spectrum have an edge over semi-modern (from the 90's) computers, when it comes down to keyboard input speed? I've always found it strange, making my transition from the world of the spectrum to the one of the PC, that comparatively so few 2-player games could be found for this new, more advanced, supposedly superior platform. The spectrum seemed, most of the time, to have no serious problems handling multiple input (although I do remember one fighting game where sometimes one player would interfere with the other, freezing him a bit). Is it the PC keyboard that communicates much more slowly with the CPU, than the corresponding speccy one? This is just a wild guess, so please tell me what you think, and if I'm talking nonsense.

BTW, does anyone know if there were any commercial games written with "White Lightning", and if there ary any pdf versions of its manual?

Also, is it possible to send programs created in emulators to the dos environment, as text files?
Post edited by torstum on

Comments

  • edited July 2006
    torstum wrote:
    Is it the PC keyboard that communicates much more slowly with the CPU, than the corresponding speccy one? This is just a wild guess, so please tell me what you think, and if I'm talking nonsense.

    I don't think that's the case at all. I guess it's just that the PC went far beyond the 2-player mode to the multi-player domain (playing over a network to be precise) and so most games went for the latter than the former. However, there were numerous games that also offered the former, like Road Rash, Fifa, NFS, etc, so it doesn't have anything to do with the keyboard but perhaps more to do with the technology and concept of multi-player gaming.
  • edited July 2006
    Even before the "discovery" of the networking capabilities of the PC's ... one plausible possibility is also that the PC was supposed to be more for the "thinking user" and business oriented while the Sinclair went straight to being utilised as a games machine (that's the day when Unca Clivey went "Alas, all I want is for people to take me seriously. Wah! Wah!") in the fullest understanding of that term (i.e. "games machine").

    The Sinclair was used to its fullest (and all the add-ons available at the time) and eventually the focus of the market, and gaming trends, shifted over to the mighty PC (though obviously not directly ;-) , i.e. most of us here at WoS went through the chain with an assortment of Ataris, Amigas, and various consoles since). *

    So, even though the PC eventually dominated the "gaming world" it started off a lot slower than the story we know of the good old rubber Speccy.

    Yes? No?

    Skarpo
    :-)

    *BTW WoS rules! Here we can re-live and re-invent our Speccy dreams ;-)
  • edited July 2006
    torstum wrote:
    BTW, does anyone know if there were any commercial games written with "White Lightning", and if there ary any pdf versions of its manual?

    there's a copy up for grabs on ebay at the moment

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sinclair-ZX-Spectrum-White-Lightning-Graphics-v-rare_W0QQitemZ260008365510QQihZ016QQcategoryZ50223QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
  • GOCGOC
    edited July 2006
    There's nothing wrong with the PC keyboard when it comes to simultaneous 2-player gaming. As with pretty much any electronic phenomena, the input speed is way faster than your reflexes so that's not a factor. AFAIK, both keyboards suffer from matrix effects so there is a limit to how many keys can be pressed simultaneosly without the machine becoming confused as to exactly which keys are down.

    I remember playing various racing games (Lotus, Death Rally, etc.) on my old PC, in split-screen mode with my brothers. They worked very well, there were never any control problems.

    Those were the days, man.
  • edited July 2006
    GOC wrote:
    AFAIK, both keyboards suffer from matrix effects so there is a limit to how many keys can be pressed simultaneosly without the machine becoming confused as to exactly which keys are down.

    Many PC keyboards can't register more than 3 or 4 simultaneous keypresses. PC keyboards contain a microcontroller that does the matrix scanning and sends key-up and key-down codes to the PC, so PC keyboards are not just a matrix.
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