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Dig Dug (1983) - Graphic Improvements


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#1 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:33 AM

Preview version of initial edits.

 

Changes so far:

1. All Pooka and Fygar sprites / animations

2. All vegetables and fruits

3. Numbers fonts (score and bonus points)

4. Digging tool (more pointed)

 

Changes planned:

1. Playfield graphics

2. Player sprite animations (possibly)

3. Various colors adjustments (possibly)

4. Title screen

5. Version for the Atari 5200

 

Thanks to Daniel "Dan" Śniegoń for his Dan Casper Editor, for editing player missile animations.

 

Attached File  dig dug 9-10.rom   16KB   168 downloads

 



#2 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:56 AM

Pics or it didn't happen.



#3 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:14 AM

Is there a link to the Dan Casper editor?  That page is in Polish or some other language. Even translating it, I'm not sure where the link is. I would like to try that. 

 

It has been a long time since I played A8/5200 Dig Dug so the changes are subtle to me.  I think the veggies look different. Not sure if the characters look different , again it is subtle if so.

 

 dig dug 9-10 pic3.png dig dug 9-10 pic2.png dig dug 9-10 pic1.png



#4 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:35 AM

Is there a link to the Dan Casper editor?

http://atari.dan24.pl/index.php



#5 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:47 AM

It has been a long time since I played A8/5200 Dig Dug so the changes are subtle to me.  I think the veggies look different. Not sure if the characters look different , again it is subtle if so.

 

Some changes are subtle, many are not.

 

The Pooka's general shape is the same, but his animation (jumping) and death/inflation sequence are quite a bit different.

 

Fygar's are pretty much different all around.

 

I'll try to do a little sprite comparison sheet later, to give a little side-by-side of the old and the new.


Edited by MrFish, Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:49 AM.


#6 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:49 AM

To me the Pooka's always seems to be squished.  They look more like squashed ovals than round balls.  Is there any way to fix that?



#7 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:07 PM

To me the Pooka's always seems to be squished.  They look more like squashed ovals than round balls.  Is there any way to fix that?

 

Yeah, that's true. There's no way to fix it in this version without revamping the graphics engine -- where you could raise the height of the tunneled out areas, or alternatively allow the characters to have more than a single color.

 

I did try a version where I thickened him up a bit vertically. But I thought it made him look overweight. icon_mrgreen.gif  Part of the problem there is that it's a single color sprite, so if you add more vertical space to the character, you just have a lot of one color with a couple of eye dots sitting in the middle. So with that type of design restriction it actually looks better for them to be a little on the thin side. Also, you then have less space for animating the legs, which poses it's own problems. I can post a version where he's thicker vertically if you'd like to check it out. It isn't bad at all, but I preferred leaving him with the same vertical thickness.

 

My focus was on the animations (how they move around -- and in the Pooka's case jumping / pursuing) and the death sequences (which I thought the original version was lacking in emulating what the arcade does).


Edited by MrFish, Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:06 PM.


#8 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:21 PM

I just played a round of 5200 Dig Dug, then your new version. Yes, I see the improvements.  The pooka's swing their little legs a lot more now , and I like their "eyes" when they are getting exploded now. And you added more detail to the veggies, which in the 5200 version were usually solid one-color images. You added black bg pixels which adds detail.  Nice job! 



#9 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:57 PM

I do think it is great job you are trying to do, and I welcome to see such hacks as such.

I never liked the Atari home versions of Dig Dug and thought they could be better, with the right programmer behind it.

So called multi-coloured sprites are desirable - and if possible should be used, hence reprogramming as such, or rather, start from scratch all over again.
But if bad flicker is present - then software sprites seem the only other option.

If you had the availability of the editor(s) for any game - would you jump at the chance to create your own levels etc in which you have full control over the graphics?

I would ask this of any other persons who are keen on graphics design as such. Should new homebrew games - have such an option available? Would programmers welcome such input into projects they have completed.

Maybe some new homebrews could be started that way - in which the graphics are a WIP - yet to be designed?

Well maybe, maybe not?

Harvey

#10 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:57 PM

I just played a round of 5200 Dig Dug, then your new version. Yes, I see the improvements.  The pooka's swing their little legs a lot more now , and I like their "eyes" when they are getting exploded now. And you added more detail to the veggies, which in the 5200 version were usually solid one-color images. You added black bg pixels which adds detail.  Nice job! 

 

Thanks. Yeah, if you look at the arcade version, the Pooka's bring their legs forward, up, and their feet are at a slight angle. In the original Atari version they just pumped up and down, and actually out of sync with when they should be doing it. You can see in the comparison sheet below that mine are shortened when theirs are lengthened and visa versa. The way the eyes look is important too since it gives them more of an appearance of being in pain or being stunned. A small detail, but it makes a difference in the overall impression. Yes, the vegetables and fruits were pretty plain looking in the original. Just adding a few extra pixels here and there can make them a look better, although in some cases they needed a little bit more than that. This is one of the reason why I thought it was a good candidate for improvements.

 

Dig Dug - Comparison.png


Edited by MrFish, Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:58 PM.


#11 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:03 PM

I do think it is great job you are trying to do, and I welcome to see such hacks as such.

I never liked the Atari home versions of Dig Dug and thought they could be better, with the right programmer behind it.

So called multi-coloured sprites are desirable - and if possible should be used, hence reprogramming as such, or rather, start from scratch all over again.
But if bad flicker is present - then software sprites seem the only other option.

 

Thanks. They cut some corners on what is otherwise a quite good game. So I figured I'd hack at 'em a little bit and see what could be done. I also like the challenge of working with 1-bit graphics sometimes. Makes you a little more aware of what kinds of challenges go on in the 2600 community.

 

You have to remember, there are already two completely different versions of Dig Dug available on the Atari 8-bits. The other one actually uses bitmapped playfield graphics for the enemies, and P/M graphics for when they turn in to ghosts (or whatever they are) and float across the dirt. Whereas this version uses P/M's only for the enemies at all times -- although the flames and pump hose (except when the pump hose is used vertically, in which case P/M's are used) are both playfield graphics.

 

[Note: Why they didn't use the same color for the pump hose when it's rendered as a player as when it's rendered using the darker red playfield graphics, I have no idea. Screw up?]

 

Yes, something better is surely possible using either character or bitmapped soft-sprites, and using the P/M's for static coloring and the enemy ghosts.

 

 

If you had the availability of the editor(s) for any game - would you jump at the chance to create your own levels etc in which you have full control over the graphics?

I would ask this of any other persons who are keen on graphics design as such. Should new homebrew games - have such an option available? Would programmers welcome such input into projects they have completed.

Maybe some new homebrews could be started that way - in which the graphics are a WIP - yet to be designed?

Well maybe, maybe not?

 

It all depends on the game. If I don't care for the game then I wouldn't care to spend time and effort on the graphics. I do think it's a good idea to leave things open and even provide the necessary tools if you think there's a chance someone might be able to do some improvements later. The tools are often needed to begin with -- such as level editors.


Edited by MrFish, Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:46 PM.


#12 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:32 AM

5200 version with the same changes:

 

Attached File  dig dug 9-10 (5200).bin   32KB   205 downloads

 



#13 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:35 AM

Thank you for fixing the Fygar getting hit by a rock graphic.  I always hated the original, even back in the day.

 

I may be biased but I like the original Fygar ghost graphics.  Just a personal thing. :)



#14 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:27 PM

I agree about the ghost graphic, but in true purist spirit.... how do they look compared to the original arcade



#15 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:54 PM

but in true purist spirit.... how do they look compared to the original arcade

 

There was an arcade version of this game??

 

Whoa, I better go check that out! This was copied from the C64. icon_razz.gif



#16 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:29 PM

omg it was the center attraction at the arcade for a year and a half!... People slapped the crap out of the cabinet when they got fried!



#17 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:36 PM

http://www.arcade-mu...d=7581#ytplayer

 

http://www.ebay.com/...Ads=&rmvSB=true

 

20,504 upright units were produced by Atari. There were also 1,219 cocktail units and 505 cabaret units produced.



#18 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:38 PM

I had to 'test' the repairs (sometimes for hours ;)) to the battered controllers and buttons... lol



#19 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:00 PM

You're right... and a very popular one at that, it seems.

 

Let's see, I was 15 years old at the time it was released... how could I have missed it??  icon_confused.gif

 

Maybe I was still spending too much time playing Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Galaga... or sometime after that... dare I say... the mighty Mr. Do!  icon_twisted.gif  (alright, it was a copy of sorts, but weren't a lot of them back then, in some form or another?).



#20 a8isa1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:55 AM

5200 version with the same changes:

 

attachicon.gifdig dug 9-10 (5200).bin

 

Would you be able to make these changes to the XEX version which we patched back in July?



#21 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:03 AM

Would you be able to make these changes to the XEX version which we patched back in July?

 

Yeah, I forgot to mention that. I would actually only be adding a title screen to the XEX version, along with all the other changes of course.



#22 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:46 AM

Here you go:

 

Attached File  Dig Dug (1983) 9-11.xex   16.15KB   207 downloads



#23 a8isa1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:46 PM

Here you go:

 

attachicon.gifDig Dug (1983) 9-11.xex

Thank you!

 

Really nice touches to the game.



#24 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:44 PM

Updates to the playfield/objects this time:

 

1. Flowers

2. Rock + Animation

 

dig dug - flowers & rocks.png

 

Attached File  Dig Dug (1983) 9-20.xex   16.15KB   142 downloads

 



#25 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:46 PM

Hard to compete with digitized boob games, yet Dig Dug moves on... icon_mrgreen.gif

 

A few more improvements to the playfield graphics:

 

1. Rock sprite shape and animation (matched better to arcade)

2. Large flower (matched better to arcade)

3. Smaller number font (experimental)

4. Tunnel ridges (matched better to arcade -- on pre-drawn ones only)

 

dig dug - rock, flower, numbers, tunnels.png

 

Attached File  Dig Dug (1984) 9-21.xex   16.15KB   257 downloads


Edited by MrFish, Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:12 PM.





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