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Oopsatron 2.0: The accident continues...

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#1 catsfolly OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:39 AM

Our story so far -

 

I tried some experiments with IntyColor, and one of them produced this image:

 

shot0007.gif

 

Intvnut saw the image and said:

 

You know, if you could animate that, say, rotating around, with the light blue areas shifting around, as if on a separate plane, it would have a very TRON feel to it.   (I'm thinking "Flynn, just as he's about to rez up in the computer world" here.)

He created a demo, which produces an animation like this:

 

intvnut1.gif

 

(Click image to animate)

 

This was a cool animation, but in his description he talked about areas of the graphic being on "a separate plane" which to me meant that they should scroll at different rates. I wanted to see the red parts and the cyan parts scrolling at different rates...

 

Of course, the Intellivision only has one background and one set of scroll registers, so the only way to get two or more rates of scrolling is to "fake" the extra layers by sequencing gram cards or using motion objects.

 

The "Match 5" logo was too complex to animate with sequenced gram cards, so for my experiment I replaced it with a vertical column of red dots. I also added a Light-cycle-ish car.

 

I couldn't match the frantic nature of Joe's flickering squares, but this is what it looks like so far...

 

oopsatron1.gif

 

(Click image to animate)

 

 

What do you think?

 

Catsfolly


Edited by catsfolly, Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:41 AM.


#2 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:53 AM

That is a very good demo, I like it. Personally, I'm not too fond of the blocky blue squares on the background, but I suppose that was merely to price the concept.

If you could turn those blocks into a sort of stylized cityscape, then... well, you got yourself a game. :)

dZ.

#3 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:16 PM

Our story so far -

 

I tried some experiments with IntyColor, and one of them produced this image:

 

attachicon.gifshot0007.gif

 

Intvnut saw the image and said:

He created a demo, which produces an animation like this:

 

attachicon.gifintvnut1.gif

 

(Click image to animate)

 

This was a cool animation, but in his description he talked about areas of the graphic being on "a separate plane" which to me meant that they should scroll at different rates. I wanted to see the red parts and the cyan parts scrolling at different rates...

 

Of course, the Intellivision only has one background and one set of scroll registers, so the only way to get two or more rates of scrolling is to "fake" the extra layers by sequencing gram cards or using motion objects.

 

The "Match 5" logo was too complex to animate with sequenced gram cards, so for my experiment I replaced it with a vertical column of red dots. I also added a Light-cycle-ish car.

 

I couldn't match the frantic nature of Joe's flickering squares, but this is what it looks like so far...

 

attachicon.gifoopsatron1.gif

 

(Click image to animate)

 

 

What do you think?

 

Catsfolly

 

Nifty!  I half expected to see Flynn or Tron to hop out and wave to us.  ;-)  (queue up some 8-bit-ified Tron Scherzo in the background.)



#4 nanochess ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:19 PM

It looks cool. :)

 

DZ-Jay it's right with the buildings landscape. I also could suggest a bridge in the background, a kind of mountains background, beach and even a road in the night. (well, now you have ideas for 5 levels :D)

 

You could make a kind of road with painted lines and race with computer cars, or maybe shooting other cars and enemies.



#5 wolfy62 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:42 PM

Our story so far -

 

I tried some experiments with IntyColor, and one of them produced this image:

 

attachicon.gifshot0007.gif

 

Intvnut saw the image and said:

He created a demo, which produces an animation like this:

 

attachicon.gifintvnut1.gif

 

(Click image to animate)

 

This was a cool animation, but in his description he talked about areas of the graphic being on "a separate plane" which to me meant that they should scroll at different rates. I wanted to see the red parts and the cyan parts scrolling at different rates...

 

Of course, the Intellivision only has one background and one set of scroll registers, so the only way to get two or more rates of scrolling is to "fake" the extra layers by sequencing gram cards or using motion objects.

 

The "Match 5" logo was too complex to animate with sequenced gram cards, so for my experiment I replaced it with a vertical column of red dots. I also added a Light-cycle-ish car.

 

I couldn't match the frantic nature of Joe's flickering squares, but this is what it looks like so far...

 

attachicon.gifoopsatron1.gif

 

(Click image to animate)

 

 

What do you think?

 

Catsfolly

I think this looks very cool and has great potential!



#6 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:38 PM

It looks cool. :)

 

DZ-Jay it's right with the buildings landscape. I also could suggest a bridge in the background, a kind of mountains background, beach and even a road in the night. (well, now you have ideas for 5 levels :D)

 

That is a very good demo, I like it. Personally, I'm not too fond of the blocky blue squares on the background, but I suppose that was merely to price the concept.

If you could turn those blocks into a sort of stylized cityscape, then... well, you got yourself a game. :)

 

I think the initial goal was to get a "TRON-like" feel to it.  At least, that was what my original Match-5-TRON mashup was aiming at.  :)

 

The demo above reminds me a bit of when the light cycles bust out of the game grid.

 

I guess it's all about what sort of theme you're going for, and whether you want it to work with the 3-D Glasses.  :-o

 

 

EDIT: Maybe it'd look better with the light cycle in light blue and the background in dark blue, to give a greater feeling of depth?


Edited by intvnut, Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:43 PM.


#7 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:22 PM

What about the lesbians?!?!?

#8 catsfolly OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:34 PM

It looks cool. :)

 

DZ-Jay it's right with the buildings landscape. I also could suggest a bridge in the background, a kind of mountains background, beach and even a road in the night. (well, now you have ideas for 5 levels :D)

 

You could make a kind of road with painted lines and race with computer cars, or maybe shooting other cars and enemies.

Unfortunately, with the graphics tricks I am using, the background can only consist of solid colored 8 by 8 squares.

The squares can be any of the 16 colors, but I think limiting the color palette helps to give it a Tron feel...

 

I'll try a skyscraper background, but it might look more like a bar graph than a cityscape...

 

Thanks for checking it out...



#9 Rev ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:41 PM

What about the lesbians?!?!?

 

We need double-ended light cycle cars!



#10 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:17 AM

Unfortunately, with the graphics tricks I am using, the background can only consist of solid colored 8 by 8 squares.

The squares can be any of the 16 colors, but I think limiting the color palette helps to give it a Tron feel...

 

I'll try a skyscraper background, but it might look more like a bar graph than a cityscape...

 

Thanks for checking it out...

 

Why is that?  Are you using pre-shifted blocks and cycling GRAM for the background?  Are you out of GRAM already?

 

Don't get me wrong, I like the effect, and it looks sorta kinda TRON-ish.  However, those blocks... they are just distracting.



#11 catsfolly OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:34 AM

 

Why is that?  Are you using pre-shifted blocks and cycling GRAM for the background?  Are you out of GRAM already?

 

Don't get me wrong, I like the effect, and it looks sorta kinda TRON-ish.  However, those blocks... they are just distracting..

The game is done in Foreground-Background mode. The background is created by setting the background color of various backtab cards. They are moved by scrolling the whole screen.

 

The red columns ( there will be more than one) are the foreground bits. I am currently using 2 gram cards to sequence the columns. Since the columns are moving 8 times faster than the screen scrolling they quickly move through every card on the screen.

 

If I wanted to have some other foreground bits set in the background image, the pixels would have to also be red, and I would have to work them into the gram sequencing, taking into account the scrolling motion of the background and of the columns. So, it might be possible, but it isn't trivial...

 

You didn't seem to mind the flashing squares in Joe's animation. Any idea why that might be? Was it because there were fewer of them and they flashed faster?

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Catsfolly



#12 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:44 AM

I really like the Tron look to it



#13 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:23 AM

The game is done in Foreground-Background mode. The background is created by setting the background color of various backtab cards. They are moved by scrolling the whole screen.

The red columns ( there will be more than one) are the foreground bits. I am currently using 2 gram cards to sequence the columns. Since the columns are moving 8 times faster than the screen scrolling they quickly move through every card on the screen.

If I wanted to have some other foreground bits set in the background image, the pixels would have to also be red, and I would have to work them into the gram sequencing, taking into account the scrolling motion of the background and of the columns. So, it might be possible, but it isn't trivial...

You didn't seem to mind the flashing squares in Joe's animation. Any idea why that might be? Was it because there were fewer of them and they flashed faster?

Thanks for your input.

Catsfolly

Hi, Catsfolly,

I now understand the limitations of the effect, thank you for the explanation.

As for your question, I don't think I have a precise answer, for it is a very subjective notion. Joe's "blinky" artifacts reminded me of those stylized "virtual-reality" displays included in movies whenever they are trying to depict "traversal" through a computer, for instance in TRON, when flying over the "game field," or in Explorers, during the dream sequence over a circuit board. That sort of thing.

The solid blocks for some reason do not invoke the same imagery to me. Perhaps it could be a more stylized pattern. I wouldn't expect a realistic cityscape, but more like something giving the impression of city lights or building windows at night. I don't know.

dZ.

#14 catsfolly OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:05 AM

Hi, Catsfolly,

I now understand the limitations of the effect, thank you for the explanation.

As for your question, I don't think I have a precise answer, for it is a very subjective notion. Joe's "blinky" artifacts reminded me of those stylized "virtual-reality" displays included in movies whenever they are trying to depict "traversal" through a computer, for instance in TRON, when flying over the "game field," or in Explorers, during the dream sequence over a circuit board. That sort of thing.

The solid blocks for some reason do not invoke the same imagery to me. Perhaps it could be a more stylized pattern. I wouldn't expect a realistic cityscape, but more like something giving the impression of city lights or building windows at night. I don't know.

dZ.

Yeah, I know it's hard to explain why subjectively one animation "works" and another one doesn't. Thanks for giving it a try...

 

Here are a couple of quick experiments:

 

1. The blocks without the blinking. I think I could make them look like a giant punched card...

 

blinkfree.gif     <--- Click to animate.

 

2. Plumbing - maybe I could have a square of a different color moving along the plumbing path...

 

 

plumbing.gif    <--- Click to animate.

 

 

Any thoughts...



#15 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:28 AM

I will say that either one of them seem better, to me, than the original. As I watched the first test, I was thinking "perhaps with dots to evoke city lights, instead of full blocks."

Then, watching the second one, I thought, "wow! That looks like the skyline if a city, all it's missing is the, er, windows..."

So, could they be combined? ;)

In any case, both of them show an improvement. Perhaps you could get some feedback from a pixel artist? There may be some particular tropes that automagically turn a "simple blocky scene" into "stylized TRON cityscape."

dZ.

#16 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:29 AM

By the way, a third option could be, keep the blinky blocks, but make them considerably more sparse.



#17 nanochess ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:58 AM

Yeah, I know it's hard to explain why subjectively one animation "works" and another one doesn't. Thanks for giving it a try...

 

 

Any thoughts...

 

Ok. I understood your explanation. I liked more the option 2.

 

The part above the turquoise line could be all turquoise and then you would have a sky :), also you could turn it into blue so it looks like night.

 

Then you'll reduce the margin between "buildings" and making some of these higher.



#18 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:37 PM

Sorry, but unfortunately I don't like any of them. In my opinion, it needs something to add depth to the scene. Maybe have animated things flying past at a higher speed that are bigger and closer to the "camera". Or add some parallax and sound effects too. Shrinking the active screen to a smaller window might work as well because there is just too much empty space that kinda drowns out the central "character".

#19 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:42 PM

I think a higher vanishing point (aka. horizon line) might help make the scene look "deeper", and maybe switching the light blue to dark blue.


Edited by intvnut, Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:43 PM.


#20 catsfolly OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:16 PM

Thanks for all the input!

 

Using the foreground bits for the red columns leaves me only 8 by 8 blocks for the background. This seems to be a very severe restriction.

 

I was hoping that doing a game based inside a computer would free me up to do more abstract backgrounds.

 

But from your comments, it sounds like what people really want is a "Space Patrol" style parallax cityscape background with a Tron theme...

 

I'll keep experimenting with it a bit...

 

Catsfolly



#21 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:49 PM

Thanks for all the input!

 

Using the foreground bits for the red columns leaves me only 8 by 8 blocks for the background. This seems to be a very severe restriction.

 

I was hoping that doing a game based inside a computer would free me up to do more abstract backgrounds.

 

But from your comments, it sounds like what people really want is a "Space Patrol" style parallax cityscape background with a Tron theme...

 

I'll keep experimenting with it a bit...

 

Catsfolly

 

 

I like the first one the best.



#22 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:54 AM

I was hoping that doing a game based inside a computer would free me up to do more abstract backgrounds.


So this experiment forms the main scene in "the game", or is it an intermission in a game or is it just an old school tech demo? 
 

But from your comments, it sounds like what people really want is a "Space Patrol" style parallax cityscape background with a Tron theme...


Not as all. Finding something that both works and looks aesthetically pleasing, given the limitations of the Inty, is always going to be tough.
 

I'll keep experimenting with it a bit...


Yep! Don't give up on it just yet.

#23 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:26 AM

So this experiment forms the main scene in "the game", or is it an intermission in a game or is it just an old school tech demo? 
 

Not as all. Finding something that both works and looks aesthetically pleasing, given the limitations of the Inty, is always going to be tough.
 

Yep! Don't give up on it just yet.

 

Yeah, the reason I liked Joe's demo was because it looked cool--perhaps as a title screen or intermission scene.  I wouldn't expect it to be the game itself.  For that, there are many other considerations apart from visual appeal; like GroovyBee mentioned, sound effects, more motion objects, etc.

 

To respond to your previous comment, catsfolly, I was not looking for "Space Patrol with a TRON theme."  Putting apart that I wasn't really looking for anything, TRON has a distinct visual style, and if you were trying to capture that, you're close--but not there yet.

 

If you were just trying to come up with an interesting visual effect that would form the basis of a game play-field (be it TRON-ish or not), then I say keep on trying and add more game-play elements to it.  So far, the parallax effect is interesting, but mostly from a technological perspective (we're mostly programmers here).

 

Personally, I like to work backwards:  I start with a concept, then build a story, and then try to see how I would depict it in an interesting way.  Experience tells me that if you manage to capture the audience with your story and game-play, they really won't care if your game looks like a Pengo clone, or is mostly a black background with red dots. ;)

 

     -dZ.



#24 catsfolly OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:16 AM

 

Yeah, the reason I liked Joe's demo was because it looked cool--perhaps as a title screen or intermission scene.  I wouldn't expect it to be the game itself.  For that, there are many other considerations apart from visual appeal; like GroovyBee mentioned, sound effects, more motion objects, etc.

 

To respond to your previous comment, catsfolly, I was not looking for "Space Patrol with a TRON theme."  Putting apart that I wasn't really looking for anything, TRON has a distinct visual style, and if you were trying to capture that, you're close--but not there yet.

 

If you were just trying to come up with an interesting visual effect that would form the basis of a game play-field (be it TRON-ish or not), then I say keep on trying and add more game-play elements to it.  So far, the parallax effect is interesting, but mostly from a technological perspective (we're mostly programmers here).

 

Personally, I like to work backwards:  I start with a concept, then build a story, and then try to see how I would depict it in an interesting way.  Experience tells me that if you manage to capture the audience with your story and game-play, they really won't care if your game looks like a Pengo clone, or is mostly a black background with red dots. ;)

 

     -dZ.

Sorry if I misinterpreted your comments - it seemed to me like most comments were arguing in favor of a cityscape background with higher resolution elements than the technique I am using will allow.

 

I must admit in this case I had no plan - it really was an accident that Joe turned into a cool animation, and I turned into a tech demo.

 

Since the car is already using up 4 motion objects, the only type of game I could imagine doing with it would be some kind of infinite runner thing (infinite driver?) . Maybe hitting the disk would cause the car to jump, and this would be the only control...

 

I'm not giving up - although I will be too busy to do much with it for a few weeks. My current plan is to clone the code and continue with the low res backgrounds in one version, and in the other version experiment with regular Intellivision resolution background graphics (In this version I might try making the column that passes in front of the car with two very tall motion objects (like the lasers in "Blast It")). Either I will eventually come up with a cool look, or I will learn some things in the process.

 

Thanks again for your input...

 

Catsfolly



#25 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:54 AM

Sorry if I misinterpreted your comments - it seemed to me like most comments were arguing in favor of a cityscape background with higher resolution elements than the technique I am using will allow.

I must admit in this case I had no plan - it really was an accident that Joe turned into a cool animation, and I turned into a tech demo.

Since the car is already using up 4 motion objects, the only type of game I could imagine doing with it would be some kind of infinite runner thing (infinite driver?) . Maybe hitting the disk would cause the car to jump, and this would be the only control...

I'm not giving up - although I will be too busy to do much with it for a few weeks. My current plan is to clone the code and continue with the low res backgrounds in one version, and in the other version experiment with regular Intellivision resolution background graphics (In this version I might try making the column that passes in front of the car with two very tall motion objects (like the lasers in "Blast It")). Either I will eventually come up with a cool look, or I will learn some things in the process.

Thanks again for your input...

Catsfolly


No worries. I believe that the reason the feedback was converging towards a cityscape, or a "TRON-ish" style was because your demo evoked that imagery to some extent--which I consider a good thing. :)

I like the idea of an infinite runner. I loved Mirror's Edge, and there are some very interesting similarly styled games for the C=64.

dZ





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