Reply 20 of 81, by Jo22
Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-05-07, 01:14:Jo22 wrote on 2022-05-06, 23:15:
Hi there ! 😀 Speaking of time frames.. To be fair, I had similar thoughts on the DOS gaming scene in the 1990s already. "320x20 […]konc wrote on 2022-05-06, 13:03:
Try to think of them in the correct time frame: compared to what exactly would someone consider the C64 a toy for kids in 1982-83? The first IBM PC? 😂
Hi there ! 😀 Speaking of time frames..
To be fair, I had similar thoughts on the DOS gaming scene in the 1990s already. "320x200 pels? Are you kidding me?"
That really felt like home computer territory to me. In the 90s.
Not something that's worth a Macintosh or PC/AT.
- Please let me elaborate: Back then (mid 90s) I had a 286, like ThinkpadIL,
but enjoyed both DOS shareware games and Windows 3.1 games - which also used 640x480 pels resolution.
The Windows games were from the desktop games category, I think.
Atari ST and Macintosh had them too, years before Windows was mainstream.
So 640x480 seemed "normal" to me, at least for the view-port.
Now let's feel my confusion when, by the turn of the century and thanks to more internet access,
I found out about the majority of commercial DOS games running merely in a mediocre 320x200 pels (MCGA) resolution.
It was a huge disappointment to me.
As if the PC platform was turned into a C64 or an Amiga.
Or was degraded to "toy computers", to use the wording of ThinkpadIL.
And to make matters worse, at the time, all those "retro" games turned up out of nowhere, glorifying the 320x200 cult.
I was confused and I really didn't understand why no sophisticated DOS games with "real" VGA (Standard VGA) were made anymore.
You know, games in the spirit of Flight Simulator, SimCity, Gateway, Spellcasting 101 or ST: A Final Unity.
320x200 (and 320x240 to a lesser extent) was the lowest common denominator on PC platform for DOS games because early SVGA was a mess supporting around until VESA came around much later. Still the CPU has to do almost everything to draw something into the screen and there were inconsistencies with VESA implementations on many video cards which is why UniVBE was created.
The lack of skilled programmers at the level of John Carmack and Michael Abrash also didn't help.
Yes and no. I mean, you're not wrong. You're thinking of 256c stuff an VBE, I guess.
But I think of Standard VGA, mode 12h, as used by DOS applications in general.
640x480 in 16c was supported way down to 1987.
Also, Super VGA in 800x600 in 16c was a very popular mode, predating VBE a bit.
It even has two mode numbers in VBE (6Ah and 102h) which is unique.
The only "issue" was detecting the correct mode number of the SVGA - the memory layout was the same among OAK, Trident, Paradise etc cards.
I believe, that's why it was possible that there was a single 800x600 16c SVGA driver in Windows 3.10 already:
It wasn't much trouble to implement. No palette or memory issues.
To get things like Wonderland (Magnetic Scrolls) running in SVGA on non-supported cards is a matter of modifying the executable with a hex editor.
That being said, the VGA CRTC was very flexible.
People reprogrammed the EGA/VGA drivers of older OSes like Windows 1.0 or GEM to use a VBE mode number.
That works, as long as the default settings don't require much alteration.
Anyway, that being said, the lack of commercial Standard VGA games did put me in the odd situation
that foreign PC-98 games in 640x400 16c did look more sane or used to me than our low-res DOS games that we had.
Edit: I'll soon add some screenshots of the 640x480 DOS games that I remember.
Edit: I forgot. I already mentioned some of these in another thread.
Re: VGA games with only 16 colors
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel
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