Jump to content

Photo

Rastaconverter - Practical Usage

rastaconverter practical

18 replies to this topic

#1 snicklin OFFLINE  

snicklin

    River Patroller

  • 2,123 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:24 PM

Other than loading screens and for looking at nice pictures, has anyone put Rastaconverter to a practical usage?

 

By this, I mean has anyone used it to create part of a screen for a game?

 

Using the features to switch off specific PM usage on specific lines, you could run a game on the screen with some really nice background graphics.

 

Has anyone done this? Or has anyone thought of other good uses for it?

 

Imagine Space Invaders with a nice background, like in Galaga '88 or something similar to this.



#2 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

Synthpopalooza

    Stargunner

  • 1,472 posts
  • Location:knoxville, TN

Posted Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:22 PM

The only problem I see, is that constantly redrawing the screen and stuffing registers would eat into a heck of a lot of the CPU and cycles.  Could it be done?



#3 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

Synthpopalooza

    Stargunner

  • 1,472 posts
  • Location:knoxville, TN

Posted Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:43 PM

At the risk of sounding like Emkay here: :)

 

Would things improve if we used Graphics 7 here, with double-line res on the PMG's?  Could this be used to cut down on the cycles?  Also, do this in 128 pixel-wide mode as well.

 

Or, use an Antic 5 screen, with about 4k for char memory down the screen perhaps, which would give you an extra color register to play with.  Maybe switch every second scan line into GTIA 10, which would give you 9 colors (with limitations - 7 colors per char cell, can't have PM2 or PF2 in the same cell as PM3 or PF3) ... there would some dithering and striping on the screen, but you would still maintain the basic 128 pixel resolution across, maybe?



#4 Rybags ONLINE  

Rybags

    Quadrunner

  • 15,758 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:57 PM

Gr. 7 with RC would just confuse things a whole lot.

Register changes need to happen on both scanlines and they're often time critical.  Having big DMA one line and small DMA the next throws that timing requirement out so the same code couldn't be used on each scanline which would negate most of the memory saving by using lower resolution - in fact the overall memory usage would probably be more for less pleasing result and no CPU savings.

 

The CPU consumption really isn't an enormous hurdle.  There's plenty of demos and a few games that use intensive screen DLIs/kernals and still leave sufficient time for the relevant processing to still take place.

Project M Wolf3D lookalike - uses Timer IRQs instead of DLIs which frees up some time but it's still a good example of a game engine which devotes significant CPU to creating a better screen layout but can still function as a game.

 

Possible hurdles I see mostly - PM graphics, we need some/most of these to be free, not letting RC use PMs would probably impact on the quality of image it can create.

- reserved playfield colours.  I don't know if it's possible but having RC leave a particular PF colour alone so that it could be used for game objects would be desirable.



#5 snicklin OFFLINE  

snicklin

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,123 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:26 PM

Perhaps if only a 1/4 of the screen is used, this could be practical cpu-wise.

 

As for not letting RC use PMs, we might allow it to use PMs in some cases and in some cases perhaps only allowing certain PMs to be used.

 

An example may be that an unreachable part of the screen has some beautiful background graphics. You may even allow PMs to be used by RC in this case as long as no other PMs were needed in that area.



#6 Rybags ONLINE  

Rybags

    Quadrunner

  • 15,758 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:14 AM

A good practical example where free usage would be feasile is an adventure with graphics window.

 

e.g. recent release "The Adventure" as seen http://atarionline.p...l&id=1447718577

 

Though I suspect with that game that the graphics might be procedurally generated, doing so that way saves lots of storage but wouldn't lend well to RC.  Nice use of DLI colour changes though.



#7 ilmenit OFFLINE  

ilmenit

    Moonsweeper

  • 411 posts

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:09 AM

Here is a quick conversion of a picture from the other thread without use of PM. Not as good as the one with PM layer but still not bad for an adventure game - text based/point & click: king's quest or goblins style.

output.png

Attached File  output.xex   22.08KB   148 downloads


Edited by ilmenit, Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:10 AM.


#8 pirx OFFLINE  

pirx

    Moonsweeper

  • 437 posts
  • Location:Poland

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:51 AM

two words: strip poker



#9 MARIO130XE OFFLINE  

MARIO130XE

    Chopper Commander

  • 181 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:55 AM

two words: strip poker

:-D  :D  :D



#10 MARIO130XE OFFLINE  

MARIO130XE

    Chopper Commander

  • 181 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:02 AM

Here is a quick conversion of a picture from the other thread without use of PM. Not as good as the one with PM layer but still not bad for an adventure game - text based/point & click: king's quest or goblins style.

attachicon.gifoutput.png

attachicon.gifoutput.xex

i also had the idea to reduce the use of PMs inside of the pics, so we could use one or two PMs as mouse pointer or actor for a point n click adventure like monkey island, maniac mansion or indy. (just dreaming)  :sleep:



#11 ilmenit OFFLINE  

ilmenit

    Moonsweeper

  • 411 posts

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:28 AM

In fact RastaConverter and Quantizator earlier were done for strictly practical reasons: I had no graphic converter for my Adventure Studio framework.


Edited by ilmenit, Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:29 AM.


#12 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

Heaven/TQA

    Quadrunner

  • 10,883 posts
  • Location:Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:14 AM

well... Rastaconverter pics basicly are kernals "racing the beam" so in theory... your game could use VBL time to compute stuff/game logic...



#13 snicklin OFFLINE  

snicklin

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,123 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:15 AM

Ahh yes, I remember this now. Did you have any luck with this studio in the end? I seem to remember that you didn't get much interest. It look(ed/s) like a good project.

 

Was it easy enough to place the RastaConverter display routine into your normal code? How did you cater for other graphics over-laid onto the main screen (I see that you have a creature standing up which is laid over the top).



#14 ilmenit OFFLINE  

ilmenit

    Moonsweeper

  • 411 posts

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:32 AM

Indeed there was not much interest at the time. The reason could have been that the framework itself was not "point and click" but required knowledge of C language. I thought that C is popular enough but Atari users may prefer to have BASIC-like scripting language...

The graphic modifications were much easier in case of Quantizator that just did DLI changes of colors. For replacement of graphics you needed to guarantee that the palette in the lines is the same. For RastaConverter pics it wouldn't be possible. The only options are to have PMG overlay, reserve one color for making some changes on the picture or replace the pics with a modified ones. The way how pics are generated disallows modifications of the parts of the pics making them very static.



#15 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

Kyle22

    River Patroller

  • 3,512 posts
  • Call my BBS! telnet://broadway1.lorexddns.net
  • Location:McKees Rocks (Pittsburgh), PA

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:45 PM

Imagine a game that displayed RastaConverter pictures and uses PMG for a lightgun target crosshair. A single line of text displaying time and accuracy percentage.

 

Lots of possibilities.

 

My game would be called "Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies".  The object would be to shoot the fly that landed on Obama's face. :)



#16 snicklin OFFLINE  

snicklin

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,123 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:31 PM

I thought that C is popular enough but Atari users may prefer to have BASIC-like scripting language...

 

I remember that with "Adventure Creator" (I think it was called) that it was based not on scripts but having big massive lists of data. I think that there were variables lists and so forth (this is remembering back over 20 years though). It was easy to use though very tedious to put together. Could yours use something like this, but with some added lists for graphics which the original creator didn't have?

 

I really think that you have a top quality product here and I was quite shocked at the lack of interest shown, even if it was in 'C'. I think that there a few more people now using CC65.



#17 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

Kyle22

    River Patroller

  • 3,512 posts
  • Call my BBS! telnet://broadway1.lorexddns.net
  • Location:McKees Rocks (Pittsburgh), PA

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:51 PM

This would be great for Leisure Suit Larry, another big one on the wish list.



#18 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

Synthpopalooza

    Stargunner

  • 1,472 posts
  • Location:knoxville, TN

Posted Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:10 PM

I don't know if this is of use or not ...

 

... but there was a game that Itay Chamiel wrote in 1994 called "The Wall", it was a Tetris clone, and I hacked and remixed it to use an ICE mode called CIN lo-res.  A kernal which constantly changed the scanlines between GTIA normal and GTIA 11 on top of an Antic 4 screen to get 60 colors, formed most of the program, and the actual game code itself ran in a DLI.  I wonder if some similar technique could be used with Rastaconverter.



#19 emkay OFFLINE  

emkay

    Quadrunner

  • 9,451 posts
  • What's up?
  • Location:Holy Grail ;)

Posted Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:31 PM

To be honest. A "practically usable" Rastaconverter would do calculations without, or a chosable amount of , PMGs AND uses the charactermode, as this gives some better colour resolution by default. Changing a colour at "byte" resolution at a scanline is not possible with software...





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: rastaconverter, practical

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users