Intellivision programmers have to deal with a lot of color restrictions when writing programs. Each backtab card can only contain 2 colors, and each sprite can be only one color. Working around these limitations is part of the challenge of programming the Intellivision.
But, there is a mode in the Inteiilvision hardware called "Color Square" mode. In this mode the programmer can set any pixel to one of 8 colors. Using bitmap graphics techniques, the programmer has complete freedom to create multicolored sprites and backgrounds.
What's the catch? There are three....
1. Only 8 colors available (instead of the 16 available in other Intellivision modes...)
2. It's a pain in the neck to program.
3. Color Square mode pixels are 4 times bigger than regular Intellivision pixels - this mode is EXTREMELY blocky.
The Intellivision's regular modes have a screen resolution of 160 by 98 - which is considered blocky (Keith sells T-Shirts and buttons proudly proclaiming "Still blocky after all these years!".) But the Color Square mode is only 40 by 24. Can anything worthwhile be done with such huge pixels?
(As far as I can remember, the only Color Square games done at Mattel were Snafu and Takeover. Mattel in 1982 decided that Takeover with its blocky screens was too crude looking to release as an Intellivision game...)
Sooo. inspired by Bob's "SplATTR" game for the spectrum ,
but not wanting to just clone it,
I wrote some clipping and animation routines, and now I have some simple animations moving on the screen. (It is difficult to make animations that are detailed enough to be interesting, but not so big that they fill up the whole screen...)
I was hoping to do some kind of scramble/nemesis type game, but it's looking like with the big sprites only a shooting gallery type game (similar to Bob's game) is really practical.
This is what my test screen looks like today:
What do you think? Does this mode have potential? Is it just too blocky to endure?
P.S. If we do come up with a good gameplay for this mode, the game could probably be ported easily to the Aquarius, which has 40 by 25 character resolution...