Keen 5 CGA found!!!

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I thought it was exclusively released by some shovelware company, so it could've been just episode 1. But I guess there's no way to be sure unless somebody locates a copy of it.
Last edited by IMA3HDDMNKY on Mon Mar 23, 2009 19:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Litude »

Well not really a shovelware company, the publisher of the game in the United Kingdom (Precision Software, so anyone who ordered the game from them in 1992 or thereafter would be able to tell us the answer). As it was mainly the ordering information that was changed, the possibility of it not existing is there. Then again there were some other changes like the more interesting loading screen and I'm hopeful that id put together a 1.34 of Keen 3 that fixed some of the sloppy bugs that got through 1.31.

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Post by Lava89 »

A CGA version of Keen....You know what this MEANS?!?

This means that Romero, Tom Hall, Adrian and John Carmack can finally go back and work at SoftDisk!

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Post by Apocalypse Gohan »



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Post by Calvero »

Litude wrote:
KeenRush wrote:The CGA versions seem quite a mad thing to do, especially since they didn't make ones of Keen 1-3 which were even earlier games.
The reason why no CGA version of Keen 1-3 was ever made was probably primarily because John Carmack didn't know how to do smooth scrolling on CGA setups at the time, the "trick" he had discovered only worked on EGA cards. Obviously he did figure out how to achieve this on CGA cards before the Galaxy duo of games came.
The CGA version doesn't scroll smoothly horizontally, it scrolls per 4 pixels.

Trixter wrote:Keen 1, Romero told me, was actually somewhat crappily-programmed: It repaints the entire screen every frame. The "trick" was that most of the memory transfers were videoram-to-videoram, as the memory didn't have to travel through the PC bus to get to the card. The only hardware scrolling was horizonal pixelpan which can offset the screen from 1 to 7 pixels, and start address which is for vertical. And split-screen for the status display. So it's a good engine, but not a great one :)

Keen 4 through 6 is a different engine, and much smarter, in that everything happens on a virtual screen in system RAM and only what is absolutely needed to be repainted is repainted. Meaning, when you scroll left, only the sprites are drawn/erased and only the new landscape/background coming in on the left is painted. Then the virtual screen is blasted to video ram as fast as possible.

Which is better/faster to implement? Depends on the game. If you have simple 16x16 tile backgrounds and small sprites, like Keen 1, then the first way is usually best. If you have complex layered backgrounds, the second way is best.

I talked to some guys at Quicksilver a decade ago for a project that never materialized, and Karnov was written the same way as Keen 4-6 (before Keen was written, obviously), which is why it is also playable on CGA+8088.

So Keen 1-3 uses a different engine than Keen 4-6. And I guess it was easier to adapt the engine of Keen 4-6 to display on a CGA screen, than it was to adapt the engine of Keen 1-3.
I don't know what Trixter means by split-screen for the status display.

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Post by tgies »

Calvero wrote: I don't know what Trixter means by split-screen for the status display. ... l#Heading1

The existence of this on EGA and not on CGA is why the Keen 4-6 status display (the one you get when you press Enter) slides into the screen from the top on EGA Keen, and is just an ordinary boring box on CGA Keen.

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