Steve Turner|GRAFGOLD)Games - Auteurs
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Steve Turner, was the team leader for Grafgold on the Spectrum version of Ironman. Steve has been programming on the Spectrum from the year dot and la known in the industry for his fanatic knowledge of Z80 machine code which is the of the staple diet of the Spectrum Central Processing Unit (or CPU). His being clued up in Z80 shows in titles that he's worked on; 3D Space Wars, Seiddab Attack, Lunattack, Avalon, Dragontorc, Quasatron and Ranarama are all fiendishly good Spectrum games.

<< STEVE TURNER (1990)

With such a host of good games behind him, it seems that Ironman could only be a success. After reviewing the game it seems that It will be -but the project wasn't without its problems.

Steve: 'Most of the problems on the Spectrum were memory problems and I didn't want to use a multi load system so I had to redesign the packing (or compressing of the graphics) of the track data. It's a 30 terrain which all has to be defined. The arcade machine uses 9K of data par track and with 8 tracks this would taka up 72K of memory.

There's was no way we could use all this on the Spectrum.

SU: So what happened?

Steve: We had to invent a way to get all this data into the Spectrum. We eventually got it down to 4K. The other massive problem was that the arcade machine uses over 400 sprites. That too we managed to reduce to 112.

SU: Wouldn't It have saved a lot of work to make It 128K only?

Steve: It's essential to get the games down to 48K because publishers want a product that everyone can use. There Is a 128K version, but
the memory is used mainly for music and effects.

SU: Now Ironman Is finished. how do you feel?

Steve: I'm very pleased with the overall result. It's far faster than I believed was possible. The collision detection is quite precise - each wheel is calculated for separately. It s position In space, collision or not and then the car body is replaced to give the best effect.

SU: You're now moving onto 16 bit programing. What do you think of the Spectrum?

Steve: It's a very Important machine because it allows people to explore different formate. Even the ST nowadays has a very small CPU screen size ratio. How fast your CPU is in relation to the size of your screen memory Is important when writing games. The Spectrum Is actually very good in this respect and beats all other games computers except the Amiga because of the blitter.

SU: Ah. but Isn't that a hardware cheat to speed up the CPU?

Steve: Well yes. but we re now moving towards hardware solutions to the fact hat CPU's aren't fast enough to cope with the size of screen memory that they're being asked to push around. Now if I were to fit a blitter to a 128K Spectrum.......

At this point, Steve Mr Spectrum' Turner, went glassy eyed and started mumbling away in machine code so we decided to leave him....

Sinclair User


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GAMELIST Rainbow Islands 1989
GAMELIST Flying Shark 1988
GAMELIST Ivan'Ironman'Stewart's Super Off Road Racer 1990
GAMELIST The Dragontorc Of Avalon
Dragontorc: the Lost Of Realms
1987, 1990


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.