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Thoughts on "Sprite Flicker?" Love it? Hate it? Don't care?

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#1 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:32 AM

Thoughts on "Sprite Flicker?" Love it? Hate it? Don't care? Watch the three games in this video. On the left is what a normal CV system looks like and on the right is an F18a upgraded system that removes most of the sprite flicker. Which do you prefer?



#2 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:41 AM

I really hate the flicker and mainly because it creates headaches when programming.

 

I don't mind the look of it that much and have had to tolerate it but I really appreciate being able to program the f18a version and not worry about the 4 sprites per line issue anymore. 

 

The colour bleed problem is a close second. 

 

Still a great graphics chip but I wonder what othe VDP was available at the time that may have been a better choice.



#3 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:00 AM

I hate sprite flicking .  I prefer monochrome sprites than multicolor sprites + flickering.

 

That's terrible that 4 sprites limitation on the Colecovision.  It reallly limit what kind of game you can make on coleco to me.

 

Mainly concerning horizontal shooter, beat them all  etc...  



#4 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:00 AM

I'm with digress.  I hate sprite flicker and love what the F18A has given us.



#5 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:06 AM

While I'm sure there are purists out there who want everything as "authentic" as possible, give me the Special Edition with all the bad stuff removed (and nothing new added in)!

 

The new Atari Flashback volumes on PS4 and Xbone have an option to remove this kind of flickering from Atari 2600 games like Asteroids. It really changes the look of those old games for the better in my opinion. 



#6 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:52 PM

I hate sprite flicking .  I prefer monochrome sprites than multicolor sprites + flickering.

 

That's terrible that 4 sprites limitation on the Colecovision.  It reallly limit what kind of game you can make on coleco to me.

 

Mainly concerning horizontal shooter, beat them all  etc...  

You should look into doing a game that takes advantage of the F18a's capabilities. The smooth scrolling, extended color palatte,  and removing the sprite limitations can really make a nice looking horizontal shooting game.



#7 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:23 PM

I guess this issue has two sides:  as a player or developer.

 

As a player sprite/tile overload flickering is usually acceptable.  I notice it more on the NES than the Coleco.

 

As a video game developer it drives me mad.  My first Sega Genesis game would go over the sprite/tile limit per horizontal line when playing 2 player.  Never figured out a good technique to mitigate that.



#8 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:33 PM

Are those both with the F18a? The one on the left with the sprite limitation jumper removed? The picture looks too nice for standard CV to me.



#9 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:51 PM

I don't mind at all
As long as it's not so bad, like slowdown

#10 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:03 PM

You should look into doing a game that takes advantage of the F18a's capabilities. The smooth scrolling, extended color palatte,  and removing the sprite limitations can really make a nice looking horizontal shooting game.

 

The F18a is a very impressive chip , but taking advantage of the F18a on a coleco , it is no more coding on a colecovision for me.  (I have the same issue with the SGM).

 

If i want have smooth scroll , more sprite, more color , more ram , better sound... i will change the target console and develop for instance for a master system.



#11 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:17 PM

Are those both with the F18a? The one on the left with the sprite limitation jumper removed? The picture looks too nice for standard CV to me.

 

The one on the left is actually captured with CoolCV.



#12 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:43 PM

A shame flicker exists at all, but when it comes to the games of yesteryear on the 2600, I can overlook it most of the time. But anytime there's a fix or workaround (especially when extra hardware isn't needed) for flicker, I say go for it! 



#13 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:49 PM

When I added the enhanced features to the F18A, I basically implemented features I always wanted on my 99/4A (which was heavily influenced with the early 80's coin-op games).  IMO the F18A enhancements (other than maybe the 100MHz GPU) are not out of balance with the systems that used the original VDP.  It is amazing how much difference just having 3 colors for sprites makes vs. 1 color, etc.  And old tricks like having to waste CPU cycles managing sprite rotation to avoid flickering is a pain for the developer, and looks bad for the person playing the game.  I hoped developers would see the enhancements as features making their life easier and their games more fun, not as some sort of unusable sin because the original VDP did not offer such features or because later consoles far surpassed even the F18A.

 

The next generation of systems with more video memory, more colors, full-on bitmap displays, etc. are definitely beyond what the F18A was designed to do, and I don't think using the F18A's enhanced features puts you at that level.  I just wanted the F18A to make it fun and easy for the developer to implement the features that everyone seemed to want from the 9918A already, which was mostly hardware supported pixel scrolling, all sprites on a line, a few more colors, and some additional tile flexibility.



#14 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:16 PM

I never really minded sprite flicker on the ColecoVision with the exception of a few games where it can really affect game play at the higher levels by losing tack of enemies that are on top of one another or next to one another. The biggest culprits that come to mind are BurgerTime, Roc'n Rope and Tapper which are all some of my favorite games on the CV.



#15 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:48 PM

I've always hated flicker. Even when I was a kid, I remember being annoyed with the flicker in Roc 'n Rope. I was also very annoyed by the insane flicker in Mega Man 2 when you fight the dragon in Wily's castle.

#16 ColecoDan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:21 AM

I think the only time flicker pissed me off was tapper.  But that might be because I loved the game so much and was mad that it was not perfect.



#17 Rey OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:12 AM

Hate the flicker which is why I went with the F18A where aside from pretty much eliminating sprite flicker, the overall picture is just gorgeous. 



#18 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:40 AM

 I hoped developers would see the enhancements as features making their life easier and their games more fun, not as some sort of unusable sin because the original VDP did not offer such features or because later consoles far surpassed even the F18A.

 

 

I'm just talking for me , i guess other developers did not have the same view.  Your chip is really impressive and if a new console is created around the F18A i  think would be very motivated to develop for that console.

 

But as "retro-developer"  what i like it is fighting with console original limitation. Even if , sometimes, it is really frustrating .   It is more challenging and more satisfying when you manage to do what you want.

 

It make no sense for me to specifically develop for SGM or F18A on a colecovision today.

 

As opposite , in 1982-1983  i would have been the first one to buy a SGM or chip and develop for it!!!.  

 

A side that, i will surely buy one day a F18A to put it on one of my colecovision , but just as replacement of a old VDP and have better support for modern screen. 

 

Another thing if you want promote development around your chip for colecovision, it would really help  if one CV emulator emulate it.

 

If an emulator does that, i think you will see new games using the chip.   Does CoolCV support it?



#19 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:47 AM

I know the request has been made to add F18a support for coolcv. The developer of the Ti99 emulator JS99'er (Asmusr on these boards)has implemented F18a functionality and has provided source for how to implement it if someone knows another emulator developer who would be interested in adding support.



#20 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:09 AM

for sure. I feel a little guilty if I didn't support the original vdp as well. So mine is selectable. You can play in original mode or on any colecovision or enhanced f18a mode by selecting from the startup screen. So you can play in original colecovision graphics even on an f18a colecovision.

 

I'm just talking for me , i guess other developers did not have the same view.  Your chip is really impressive and if a new console is created around the F18A i  think would be very motivated to develop for that console.

 

But as "retro-developer"  what i like it is fighting with console original limitation. Even if , sometimes, it is really frustrating .   It is more challenging and more satisfying when you manage to do what you want.

 

It make no sense for me to specifically develop for SGM or F18A on a colecovision today.

 

As opposite , in 1982-1983  i would have been the first one to buy a SGM or chip and develop for it!!!.  

 

A side that, i will surely buy one day a F18A to put it on one of my colecovision , but just as replacement of a old VDP and have better support for modern screen. 

 

Another thing if you want promote development around your chip for colecovision, it would really help  if one CV emulator emulate it.

 

If an emulator does that, i think you will see new games using the chip.   Does CoolCV support it?



#21 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:20 AM

for sure. I feel a little guilty if I didn't support the original vdp as well. So mine is selectable. You can play in original mode or on any colecovision or enhanced f18a mode by selecting from the startup screen. So you can play in original colecovision graphics even on an f18a colecovisio

 

Yes, it is of course the ideal solution.  But as many of you know , i'm Mr 32k... it is already difficult to deal with the 32k limit , so in that 32k i have to manage both case... and if you want very use feature of F18a the graphic data will use lot of rom....   Of course with bankswitching and 128k cartridge...  but not my cup of tea. :)



#22 alekmaul OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:52 AM

And also Youki, f18a, as SGM, are not compatible with our SCART console ;)



#23 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:41 AM

Are there any theories yet for why the F18A doesn't work in a PAL console? It seems strange... I tried to snag a console on EBay to see, but they don't go cheap. Does a 9928 work in the PAL console (at least as far as it can) or experience similar issues?

#24 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:55 PM

Are there any theories yet for why the F18A doesn't work in a PAL console? It seems strange... I tried to snag a console on EBay to see, but they don't go cheap. Does a 9928 work in the PAL console (at least as far as it can) or experience similar issues?

Our Scart Consoles are not PAL , but SECAM.



#25 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:26 PM

Our Scart Consoles are not PAL , but SECAM.

 

I would kill to have a Scart console!

Well.... maybe not 'kill' .... but hey, you get the point







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