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#ActualDaaark

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:12 AM

Content is made to suit the hardware that it runs on.

We all have 32 bit graphic cards these days with 32 bit frame buffers. So the best format to store graphic data in is usually images with 32 bits per pixel. This creates a nice 1:1 mapping. Even if not using the alpha channel, it's better to waste some memory instead of using 24 bits per pixel for better memory alignment.

Back in the day, memory was expensive and processors were super slow. Those old machines had much less bit depth in their frame buffers, and the sprites were small 8x8 or 16x16 images with 8 bits per pixel or less on the NES.

1 8 bpp pixel = 1 byte
1 32 bpp pixel = 4 bytes

Sound was done differently. It usually wasn't recorded directly, and was stored as instructions for a chip to follow. MIDI files were very compact, and people used to say you could store ~48 hours of it on a 1.44mb floppy disc! The quality of the midi playback was entirely up to the quality of the MIDI synthesizing hardware. All the sounds were already on the hardware. A midi type file simple wrote down which voices/instruments to play, at what pitch, for how long.

We do sound in CD quality now (16 bits @ 44KHZ Stereo). That's 16 bits of data, 44,000 times a second! What a 1X CD drive used to stream at. (which is 150kb.. you'd get ~10 seconds on that floppy, instead of 48 hours!) Some people also go above that and do 96khz or more.

As for text, as in your long storyline example. That was usually simple ASCII text, which was 8 bits/1 byte per character. It was good for it's day, but it is limited to 256 unique glyphs because of that. We often use different sets of wide characters now, which could be 16 or 32 bits.

Cartridges were very expensive, and only available in a few select sizes.

Nowadays, space is cheap, and the machines don't have as many restrictions. So use as much space as you need. :-)

#1Daaark

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:09 AM

Content is made to suit the hardware that it runs on.

We all have 32 bit graphic cards these days with 32 bit frame buffers. So the best format to store graphic data in is usually images with 32 bits per pixel. This creates a nice 1:1 mapping. Even if not using the alpha channel, it's better to waste some memory instead of using 24 bits per pixel for better memory alignment.

Back in the day, memory was expensive and processors were super slow. Those old machines had much less bit depth in their frame buffers, and the sprites were small 8x8 or 16x16 images with 8 bits per pixel or less on the NES.

1 8 bpp pixel = 1 byte
1 32 bpp pixel = 4 bytes

Sound was done differently. It usually wasn't recorded directly, and was stored as instructions for a chip to follow. MIDI files were very compact, and people used to say you could store ~48 hours of it on a 1.44mb floppy disc! The quality of the midi playback was entirely up to the quality of the MIDI synthesizing hardware. All the sounds were already on the hardware. A midi type file simple wrote down which voices/instruments to play, at what pitch, for how long.

We do sound in CD quality now (16 bits @ 44KHZ Stereo). That's 16 bits of data, 44,000 times a second! What a 1X CD drive used to stream at. Some people also go above that and do 96khz or more.

As for text, as in your long storyline example. That was usually simple ASCII text, which was 8 bits/1 byte per character. It was good for it's day, but it is limited to 256 unique glyphs because of that. We often use different sets of wide characters now, which could be 16 or 32 bits.

Cartridges were very expensive, and only available in a few select sizes.

Nowadays, space is cheap, and the machines don't have as many restrictions. So use as much space as you need. :-)

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