Have you ever worked with the Motorola 68000. I really like that CPU. In your opinion do you think assembly language is still best for super low level hardware or do you think C is on par with assembly code?
Ironically, I just added 68K Assembly to my list of languages to learn soon! I have a TI-89 calculator (Motorola 68000), and dearly want to play with it.
Up to this point, my assembly work has been largely limited to the X86 and X64 languages, in the context of Intel and AMD processors.
C is actually further up the stack than people think, and it isn't always the best choice for a given architecture. If you need total control, Assembly will always give that to you far and beyond any other language.
However, Assembly is also a pain in the butt (if an endearing one to certain classifications of nerds such as myself). If you have access to a higher level language that is reasonably optimized for that platform, and you don't need ultimate control, use it instead of Assembly.
In other words, "just because we can doesn't mean we should." If you can't make a reasoned argument for the language you're using, you're probably using the wrong language. :)
Ooh, this is an interesting question and reply! I've been increasingly curious about the 68k since I learned of its inclusion in the CPS1, CPS2, and 90's Macintosh systems!
I'm really curious as to how they developed games for the two former and how development was done in the latter, which I believe was mostly Pascal.
Thank you for the reply, I always value getting a second opinion. The reason I'm asking this question is because I am building a game on the Sega Genesis and I've been using A C compiler to do it.
So far it hasn't been an issue because the C compiler was built for the Sega Genesis and it has a lot of nifty features to take advantage of the hardware features such as DMA. More importantly it has sound drivers which are incredibly useful because I do not want to go around writing my own Sound Driver because I am not experienced with writing such a program.
I have recently run into a few short comings with the compiler. First and foremost being that the routines I've written in C don't seem to load as fast onto the screen as compared to Assembly.
I think I will compromise by writing my screen drawing routines in Assembly and then including them in my C code. I think that would be best for me because then I would have access to features in the C compiler as well as having access to the speed of Assembly. The problem is that I am not experienced with Assembly code. Fortunately for me, 68k assembly seems to be the easiest Assembly to learn.
By the way the C compiler I'm using is called SGDK (Sega Genesis Development Kit)
What do you think about mixing languages, is it something to be avoided?
It really depends on the languages!
There's no trouble combining C and Assembly; ultimately, C is compiled down to Assembly, at which point any Assembly code you wrote outright is just inserted in. Then, the whole thing is assembled down to binary on that particular platform.
However, you can run into varying degrees of performance issues when mixing other languages. It has to be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Bravo on making a game for Sega Genesis! Keep us posted on dev.to how that goes.
I highly recommend picking up "Game Engine Architecture" by Jason Gregory. It addresses many of the issues you're facing, and hundreds more besides, from a C and C++ perspective. He even talks about console development.
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