Roll Eyes
Lips Sealed
1 page
List results:
Search options:
Use \ before commas in usernames
Edit history:
Lum: 2022-04-22 03:00:28 pm
Lum: 2022-04-22 02:58:59 pm
Lum: 2022-04-22 02:57:26 pm
I'm interested in running games on some older home computers (e.g. Commodore Amiga and BBC Micro). I've read the rules which are more console focussed and it gives the PS2 HDLoader as an example of something you can't do, so I'd assume WHDLoad games on the Amiga are banned, only games that were officially installable to HD could be run in that way. Most Amiga games were strictly floppy only, which is a bit of an issue as the disks for some of the games I want to run are now going to be up to 40 years old and unreadable.

A search for "gotek" on these forums turn up zero results so tldr summary: A gotek drive replaces the 3.5" or 5.25" floppy drive on a device, connecting to its original floppy ribbon cable and then lets you mount a disk image saved on a USB stick (e.g. an adf file on the Amiga). All data transfer is at the same speed as the original floppy drive.

I'd argue that this is functionally closer to a flashcart rather than a HDLoader, since the data is getting in via the original floppy interface, going through the same drive controller etc. For the purposes of video game preservation it's pretty much the closest you can get to the original disk as supplied in the 80s. Some people even mod the gotek with a little speaker so it can make floppy-like sounds as it loads!

The main point of contention I can think of is physically switching disks at the "Insert Disk 2" prompt if it happens mid-game. That can be done faster on a gotek as you just press a button. I'm not sure if SDA timing rules include the time taken for the player to physically swap a floppy disk. Obviously this is a non-issue for single disk games, or games where the disk switch only happens during initial loading.

Pic of a (badly) Gotek'd Amiga 1200 for reference
Thread title:  
When you say that games for the Amiga (and other computers from that era) are difficult to come by, are you referring to the original games or are even blank floppy disks (to which games could be copied) failing?

(To my knowledge) In the case of the Amiga, it's going to be indistinguishable if you're playing the original game or a copied version.

Are you aware of any previous speedrun discussion about Gotek or any tests of the performance of games played via Gotek vs original games? It sounds like it should be comparable to flashcarts, but would be interesting to see if anyone had compared the performance directly.

I can't recall any speedruns submitted to SDA that have required swapping disks (someone might be able to correct me on that though), so I don't think there is a precedence for how it's timed. If a speedrun requires swapping disks, it could be argued that it should be removed from the timed portion of the speedrun (but still be done "quickly" and without stopping the recording). Let's see if someone else has more information on this though.
Edit history:
Lum: 2022-04-23 06:26:22 am
Both really. The original disks are often from the 80s and are likely to have developed problems. Even working blank floppy disks are difficult to come by now, and that's before we get into finding a floppy drive that still works. The drive that was in the Amiga pictured above was very dead.

I'm not aware of any previous discussion and zero search results on this forum about it. Logic tells me that it's impossible for a gotek to improve the performance of the underlying computer, just like how unplugging the floppy drive in a PC and replacing it with an LS120 or Zip drive won't make your games play any faster.

I think I'd argue that any disk loading should be removed from the timings even without disk swapping, as even if you were using real disks speeds can vary and the drive may have to make multiple attempts to read the disk. A good example of this would be Shadow of the Beast 1 on the Amiga, just before the first boss fight (and in a few other places) the game freezes while it loads in data.

I'm using the Amiga as a more well known example. The game I'm actually interested in running is a BBC Micro game from 1985. It was released on cassette and 5.25" floppy both of which have the same issue of being 40 year old magnetic media. This run also brings up the issue of capturing audio from a computer that has a built in speaker and no line out but that's question for another thread! Cheesy
"Some people even mod the gotek with a little speaker so it can make floppy-like sounds as it loads!"


The discussion had internally has so far produced nothing by way of strife or opposition to allowing this. I think you make good arguments for why loading times should indeed be ignored and actually, disk-swapping times already were. I'm looking forward to whatever you come up with for runs btw. Don't often get to talk about... BBC Micro... games... what even is that?
Edit history:
Lum: 2022-04-23 02:50:07 pm
Lum: 2022-04-23 02:34:59 pm
Lum: 2022-04-23 02:34:20 pm
Lum: 2022-04-23 02:33:51 pm
Lum: 2022-04-23 02:14:59 pm
Quote from LotBlind:
BBC Micro... games... what even is that?

It was British home computer from 1981 made by Acorn, the company that went on to create the ARM processor (in fact the first ever ARM processor came out in 1986 as an external CPU you could connect to your BBC Micro). 32kb RAM (16kb if you bought the cheaper Model A), 6502 processor running at 2MHz. It was really popular in UK schools (as it was sponsored by the BBC) but basically flopped in the rest of the world. They did make an NTSC variant for the US but it did really badly, most of the PAL software wasn't ever converted and by the time they launched over there it had to compete with the C64 and Apple II. The majority of them ended up being shipped back to the UK, factory retrofitted to become PAL machines and sold on.

The most notable game that originated on the system was Elite. I doubt I have to explain what Elite is here. These days this computer has a spiritual sucessor - the Raspberry Pi, which was inspired by the beeb, and retains the same naming scheme, with its Model A and Model B variants.
Quote from Lum:
I doubt I have to explain what Elite is here.

Well, to me you don't (though I've only seen footage of its various versions instead of playing it) but then there's all these console peasants I have to suffer on an almost daily basis.