"Cheating" Question


nathanielbabiak 2020-12-11 03:45 (Edited)

So it's been almost 1-1/2 years since I discovered LowRes, and I'm finally ready to make my first game! But, I want to include a few pieces of artwork, and that would far exceed the 32 kB ROM limit. So I started thinking...

Recently, I learned that the VAL command can take hexadecimal data (prefixed with "0X"), so I'm considering using DATA commands to store hex in 40-byte (80-digit) strings, then reading them 2 bytes (4 digits) at a time into RAM. For every 1024 tokens used by this scheme, I'd get 13.32 kB of storage.

This could be much more storage then intended, but maybe not.

So what does everyone think? It's obviously pushing the system's limits, but is it "cheating" or just being creative?

(If I were using LowRes as a "substitute PC" and writing a tool with some weird or complicated algorithm, I wouldn't mind at all, but for a game I think it's a valid thing to discuss.)

was8bit 2020-12-11 04:25

It is creative..

Check these out...



Timo 2020-12-11 11:16

At one point I had the idea of removing the length of all strings in the source code from the ROM size to avoid exactly this kind of "cheating". But then I decided it's too strict and probably annoying.

I still think it's more interesting to try to fit all graphics etc. in the ROM. This usually means you cannot fit a lot fullscreen bitmap graphics into it, but when you create them manually you can reuse characters, use different palettes for parts of the screen etc. Of course this is not easily possible if you convert BMPs.

Anyway, this is only my personal opinion. On the other hand, old consoles could do bank switching to get more ROM space. If LowRes NX was real, you could have the same advantage. Also technically it's also cool that you managed to convert BMPs, so why not using it :)

nathanielbabiak 2020-12-11 12:16 (Edited)

Then I'm thinking I'll use it pretty sparingly, only to impact user experience, not any core game mechanics... Similar to how old games were released for multiple platforms with just some graphics variations.

It's still much slower than ROM, and only sequential access.

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