Discussion

original lowres vs NX

4

SilverDragonBlade 2020-12-11 05:24 (Edited)

what was the original lowres like and how is it different from NX?

and what does NX stand for?


qwaffe 2020-12-11 09:03 (Edited)

the original lowres visibly gave more freedom. it had a pixel buffer, which meant there are commands to draw shapes directly on the screen (fill, line, box, bar, etc.) it had actively changeable controls and screen size (but restricted to square sizes, 16x16 (i think?) up to 128x128.) but it isn't as close to a fantasy console as nx is. it didn't have emulated rom and no peek or poke (no virtual memory.) no raster gimmicks (as the drawing commands and copy/paste commands had more than enough power for that.), but there were sprites (forgot if there were tilemaps.)

NX is much closer to a real machine. it may have restricted features such as the lack of a pixel buffer and limited memory/features, but compensates with direct memory manipulation, emulated rom, and raster gimmicks which makes it more authentic to old hardware. but lesser freedom does not equal less fun or power. in fact, the virtual memory manipulation alone makes it very powerful.

oh, and as for the things they had in common, they both had a community feature (one of the main points of nx). in the original lowres, the community feature was built in, but sadly, due to apple's weird restriction (apps aren't supposed to share any executable code [i don't remember well]) it wasn't really allowed in nx. timo had some trouble dealing with it in the original lowres and i think it's one of the main reasons why lowres coder was pulled out and nx uses a forum instead. the forum is surprisingly robust though.

NX I believe is a pun on "next" (if you say "NX" quickly) as it is the successor of the original lowres coder.


Timo 2020-12-11 11:31

All correct. The original LowRes Coder didn't have a virtual hardware, all features were only accessible using specific commands.

From my perspective the problem of LowRes Coder was, that I didn't have a clear vision: I started with the idea of really big pixels and simple BASIC programming. I thought more about simulating a screen with 16x16 LED lights.

But then I mixed it with the idea of retro computers. I was mostly inspired by the Commodore 64 and the Amiga. Although I programmed for the Amiga, I never got very low level, so I didn't really know how it worked internally. And I had no idea how game consoles worked.

So LowRes Coder had a lot of features but also a lot of quite arbitrary limitations. Some of the later added features were never used and some very simple things were very complicated (no built in tile map system).

With NX I wanted to create a system where everything fits together and makes sense. And to differ from the other fantasy consoles I decided to be much more authentic to old game consoles, so I really read a lot of technical documentation about them. This of course meant to remove the pixel buffer, which was the reason why lots of old LowRes Coder users didn't switch to NX as it seemed more complicated.


Timo 2020-12-11 11:33

And yes, "NX" is something like "next", but it's not 100% defined. Just before I released LowRes NX, Nintendo renamed their NX project to Switch, so I thought cool, I will take their old name ;)


was8bit 2020-12-11 14:17

The neat thing is that had you downloaded the original when it was up, you can keep using it even after it was removed from the apple store.. all my favorite apps that i still use have since been removed from the store, but i still use them :) ... most are old abandoned ones that no longer work with the lates ios but i keep those on my older devices ;)

In the past 3 months i have posted 65 programs for the original lowres, mostly screensaves though, very few games... HERE I try to post mostly games, and very few screen savers..


SilverDragonBlade 2020-12-11 14:40 (Edited)

thanks for all the answers :)


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