Alpine Games for Lynx

This game only exists because we got a so called BLL-Kit from 42Bastian Schick.

He asked us if he could use those morphing green intro credits blobs from our Jaguar Native for his SIMIS Lynx card. He then sent us this excellent Devkit as a gift. We played a little around with it and found it nice enough to start developing a game we intended to finish in 3 months

I still remember buying a Lynx around 1990, it wasnīt exactly cheap but because it was from our favorite company, we needed to have it anyways.

The Lynx has a 65C02 processor running at 4 Mhz, itīs basically the same chip that is used in a lot of machines of this time, like the C64, VCS etc. It also has a sprite processor which feels more like a blitter, this device is running at a very fast (for this time and the nature of the machine beeing a handheld) 16 Mhz. The Lynx has the ability to scale sprites and display 16 colors from a palette of 4096.

The main problem in Alpine Games development was that it doesnīt use an engine, all disciplines are very different so that they are all done from scratch.

Sound has always been one of the problems for the homebrew Lynx stuff, the original tools were running on an Amiga and a special Lynx Board, nothing easy to use. We opted to develop a 4 voice MOD player as there are a lot of trackers available and we didnīt want to develop a sound driver and a tracker to create the music. The game uses a set of samples that is reused throughout the whole game to save cartridge memory. Biggest problem for this MOD routine wasnīt even the processor but the little available Memory, you can only use around 48 kb if you need to have a double buffered screen display (like if you want to have some moving sprites) 48kb is not a lot of space for samples. Unfortunately it's not as easy on the Lynx as using the cartridges to put the samples there and just play them without transfering them into the main memory. This may only work for single samples. This is the main difference between the Lynx and devices like the GBA or GG, on those machines you have very little main memory, but you can display stuff directly from the cartridge without having to use the system memory.

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Copyright Đ 2012 by Duranik

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