Re: [stella] BAStella Language Reference V0.000000001

Subject: Re: [stella] BAStella Language Reference V0.000000001
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 09:08:00 -0800
A 11:13 AM 11/21/2001 -0500, you wrote:
 I mean if we want a "real" sprite system you might as well
program for the PC

Technically speaking, I don't think PC graphics cards have true hardware sprites in the classic sense of the word (unless you count the cursor), although it doesn't really matter from a practical perspective.

Not only that, but when you open up the debate of whether to write for the 2600 or the PC, the big issue has nothing to do with platform comparisons, it has to do with the limitations of 1-man projects.

If you write a game for the PC, people are going to compare your game against shrinkwrapped software that took dozens of developers and artists years and millions of dollars to create. Having all the power in the world at your fingertips is meaningless unless you have the man-hours to use it.

This is true also for art programs like Lightwave. I've got a copy of Lightwave 6 but while it's capable of outputting Toy Story qualitiy work, it might take me the rest of my life to produce 30 minutes at that level of quality.

There is certainly a niche out there for simple shareware games for the PC, but I don't think there is a heck of a lot of money or accolades there. PC gamers are a fickle crowd.

Humans are always going to be the limiting factor. Working in a minimalistic platform at least is in scale with a single person's resources, and people respect the differences. It would be nice if minimalistic gaming were more respected on powerful platforms, but although Java and Shockwave games are popular, they don't really impress anyone. Nobody is going to expect Final Fantasy on the 2600, but a lot of PC gamers are going to insult you if you try to sell them a port of Oystron for Windows. Gameplay takes a back seat to graphics.

BTW, the big deal right now on the basket-case next generation Amiga project is that all they've been able to achieve so far with a software base has been a lot of simplistic games.

Glenn Saunders - Producer - Cyberpunks Entertainment Personal homepage: Cyberpunks Entertainment:

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