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Monster Bash - Arcade Conversion

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Hey Russ, check the Pletter compressor, though you'll need to understand a little of assembler.

 

It does an amazing job to compress graphics, way better than RLE.

 

I've used it successfully in Zombie Near for Colecovision.

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Hey Russ, check the Pletter compressor, though you'll need to understand a little of assembler.

 

It does an amazing job to compress graphics, way better than RLE.

 

I've used it successfully in Zombie Near for Colecovision.

 

Coool info! If it's a small amount of assembler, maybe i can sort that out then?! Where can i get info on Pletter compressor? I just did a google search and found nothing! By the way, amazing work you did on Zombie near and Princess quest!!!! You set the bar pretty high with those!

 

Also, if it's not to difficult to just do bank switching, if you or someone could supply me with a working example of moving from bank to bank (even if each bank just wasts alot of space on some char set data) and move a few values (score, level, lives ) to the new bank to retain player data as example then i can take it from there and retool monster bash to work that way! If i can sort that out, that i can go back to my original idea of adding 1 or 2 new levels with new monsters as i originally wanted to.

 

Take care,

Russ

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Coool info! If it's a small amount of assembler, maybe i can sort that out then?! Where can i get info on Pletter compressor? I just did a google search and found nothing! By the way, amazing work you did on Zombie near and Princess quest!!!! You set the bar pretty high with those!

 

Also, if it's not to difficult to just do bank switching, if you or someone could supply me with a working example of moving from bank to bank (even if each bank just wasts alot of space on some char set data) and move a few values (score, level, lives ) to the new bank to retain player data as example then i can take it from there and retool monster bash to work that way! If i can sort that out, that i can go back to my original idea of adding 1 or 2 new levels with new monsters as i originally wanted to.

 

Take care,

Russ

 

someone get this man some bank switching knowledge. :)

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Coool info! If it's a small amount of assembler, maybe i can sort that out then?! Where can i get info on Pletter compressor? I just did a google search and found nothing! By the way, amazing work you did on Zombie near and Princess quest!!!! You set the bar pretty high with those!

 

Also, if it's not to difficult to just do bank switching, if you or someone could supply me with a working example of moving from bank to bank (even if each bank just wasts alot of space on some char set data) and move a few values (score, level, lives ) to the new bank to retain player data as example then i can take it from there and retool monster bash to work that way! If i can sort that out, that i can go back to my original idea of adding 1 or 2 new levels with new monsters as i originally wanted to.

 

Take care,

Russ

 

I think it would be a good thing for you to get acquainted with the MegaCart. However, all games made so far with the MegaCart were coded in assembler. I don't think it's ever been done in C language, so you'd be the first one to try, and at this point, I don't know if it's even possible with the available compiler features and parameters.

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Coool info! If it's a small amount of assembler, maybe i can sort that out then?! Where can i get info on Pletter compressor? I just did a google search and found nothing! By the way, amazing work you did on Zombie near and Princess quest!!!! You set the bar pretty high with those!

 

Thanks!

 

Here is it: http://home.wanadoo....jn/pletter.html

 

As Colecovision has very small RAM, you should uncompress directly to VRAM.

 

Also, if it's not to difficult to just do bank switching, if you or someone could supply me with a working example of moving from bank to bank (even if each bank just wasts alot of space on some char set data) and move a few values (score, level, lives ) to the new bank to retain player data as example then i can take it from there and retool monster bash to work that way! If i can sort that out, that i can go back to my original idea of adding 1 or 2 new levels with new monsters as i originally wanted to.

 

Take care,

Russ

 

It´s not so difficult, ask to Opcode (Eduardo) for programming info. I believe Mario Bros is written in C and it is Megacart, so you could ask also Retroillucid (J-F)

Edited by nanochess

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Thanks!

 

Here is it: http://home.wanadoo....jn/pletter.html

 

As Colecovision has very small RAM, you should uncompress directly to VRAM.

 

 

 

It´s not so difficult, ask to Opcode (Eduardo) for programming info. I believe Mario Bros is written in C and it is Megacart, so you could ask also Retroillucid (J-F)

 

Thanks for the info! I see there is a unpack.asm in the .zip file. I'm guessing that is what you modified in your games to decompress? or did you roll your own assembly routine to decompress? I would need a month or two to get myself caught up onassembler to be good enough todo anything with that info, but any additional info / help is always appreciated! Either way, thanks again for all the info on the subject, it's great to see there is a very powerful compressor available!!!

 

Russ

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You can also try Daniel bienvenu Dan0 compression routine in C. I use them always at the end of each of my project to have 'fresh air' to complete them.

 

I code always using the basic Rle compression and then when i have no more space , i know it is time to stop to add features... and I switch to Dan0 routines and i recover generally between 2 and 4k of free space! (compared to RLE)

 

The other thing i do to save roms space (as i'm Mr 32k :) i don't want go to the Dark Side... ) ... i force me to use only the screen_mode2_text (not the Bitmap one).. in that mode, you can use only 256 patterns for your entire screen (instead of 768 in Bitmap mode)... so result you save 2/3 of rom space for patterns and color table.

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You can also try Daniel bienvenu Dan0 compression routine in C. I use them always at the end of each of my project to have 'fresh air' to complete them.

 

I code always using the basic Rle compression and then when i have no more space , i know it is time to stop to add features... and I switch to Dan0 routines and i recover generally between 2 and 4k of free space! (compared to RLE)

 

The other thing i do to save roms space (as i'm Mr 32k :) i don't want go to the Dark Side... ) ... i force me to use only the screen_mode2_text (not the Bitmap one).. in that mode, you can use only 256 patterns for your entire screen (instead of 768 in Bitmap mode)... so result you save 2/3 of rom space for patterns and color table.

 

Awesome info! I'll look into Dan0 compression. I do use RLE already, but Dan0 might do the trick. I'll also have to look what screen_mode I'm using. I only use 256 tiles anyways, so i wonder if i've been using the wrong screen mode all along??? can i use Sprites in screen_mode2_text? I wont have time to test this till the weekend.

 

Take care,

Russ

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Awesome info! I'll look into Dan0 compression. I do use RLE already, but Dan0 might do the trick. I'll also have to look what screen_mode I'm using. I only use 256 tiles anyways, so i wonder if i've been using the wrong screen mode all along??? can i use Sprites in screen_mode2_text? I wont have time to test this till the weekend.

 

Take care,

Russ

I don't think you will be able to use screen mode 2 as you have a lot more colour information in your tiles. You can only have the same colours set per 8 tiles. But yes sprites are available. It depends on whether you can optimize your tile set.

Another thing if you can fit your whole tile set in 256 characters then all you have to do is copy the same tile set to the three locations in video ram. That should reduce your usage by 1/3 right there.

 

Still working on some tools (for Windows) that will allow you to grab various bits of graphical data, split them up and compress them. Plus making some C libraries of a couple of the compression routines for unpacking. Still a bit busy at work, but might get some time later in the week.

 

Regards

Tony

Edited by Electric Adventures

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I don't think you will be able to use screen mode 2 as you have a lot more colour information in your tiles. You can only have the same colours set per 8 tiles. But yes sprites are available. It depends on whether you can optimize your tile set.

Another thing if you can fit your whole tile set in 256 characters then all you have to do is copy the same tile set to the three locations in video ram. That should reduce your usage by 1/3 right there.

 

Still working on some tools (for Windows) that will allow you to grab various bits of graphical data, split them up and compress them. Plus making some C libraries of a couple of the compression routines for unpacking. Still a bit busy at work, but might get some time later in the week.

 

Regards

Tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

I talk about Mode 2 .... i think to talk about mode 1....

 

the Mode 2 'Text' is an undocumented mode of the TMS. you can use sprite , you have same color depth than Mode 2 'bitmap'. But you can use only 256 pattern. And you don't have to copy 3 times in the tile set in VRAM only once. :)

 

Look graphism of my 3 published games, they are all in mode 2 'text' , and 32k.

 

http://www.atomicfe.com/forums/index.php?topic=1231.0

 

http://www.atomicfe.com/forums/index.php?topic=1941.0

 

http://www.atomicfe.com/forums/index.php?topic=1724.0

 

:)

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Hi Tony,

 

I talk about Mode 2 .... i think to talk about mode 1....

 

the Mode 2 'Text' is an undocumented mode of the TMS. you can use sprite , you have same color depth than Mode 2 'bitmap'. But you can use only 256 pattern. And you don't have to copy 3 times in the tile set in VRAM only once. :)

 

Look graphism of my 3 published games, they are all in mode 2 'text' , and 32k.

 

http://www.atomicfe....hp?topic=1231.0

 

http://www.atomicfe....hp?topic=1941.0

 

http://www.atomicfe....hp?topic=1724.0

 

:)

Yeah I know what you mean (I am used to numbering the modes from 0 not 1 - I'm from the original Spectravideo camp :)) with the mode numbers, but you can only have one colour combination for each block of 8 characters and I think Monster Bash will need a bit more colour information than this mode will give. Actually when I first converted Meteor Swarm I was having all sorts of problems with the colours as I did not realise I had selected Mode 2.

 

What I suggested was for him to use the same 256 characters for each of the three tile sections you have in the normal graphics mode (Mode 3). If he is just loading the data as saved from one of the tools, it will potentially have the tiles repeated three times. So by copying the same set of tiles to each of the three areas you save just as much room as using Mode 1, but you don't lose the amount of colour information you have.

 

By the way love the look of that Ghosts & Goblins game, will have a better look later.

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Yeah I know what you mean (I am used to numbering the modes from 0 not 1 - I'm from the original Spectravideo camp :)) with the mode numbers, but you can only have one colour combination for each block of 8 characters and I think Monster Bash will need a bit more colour information than this mode will give. Actually when I first converted Meteor Swarm I was having all sorts of problems with the colours as I did not realise I had selected Mode 2.

 

What I suggested was for him to use the same 256 characters for each of the three tile sections you have in the normal graphics mode (Mode 3). If he is just loading the data as saved from one of the tools, it will potentially have the tiles repeated three times. So by copying the same set of tiles to each of the three areas you save just as much room as using Mode 1, but you don't lose the amount of colour information you have.

 

By the way love the look of that Ghosts & Goblins game, will have a better look later.

 

I think we have a problem in mode numbering lol...

 

So to clarifiy. From : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_TMS9918

 

 

There are 4 different screen modes available in the TMS9918A (as mentioned before, the TMS9918 lacks mode Graphic II):

 

Mode 0 (Text): 40×24 characters monochrome. As the display is 256 pixels width, the character set is only 6 pixels wide. This mode doesn't support sprites.

 

Mode 1 (Graphic 1): 32×24 characters. Each 8 characters in the character set has a foreground and background color. The chars "0"-"7" for example all have the same color attributes.

 

Mode 2 (Graphic 2): 32×24 characters or 256×192 bitmap, with a 2-color limitation for each 8 pixel wide line inside a character. Popular hybrids exist.

 

Mode 3 (Multicolor): 64×48 mode, very blocky and rarely used. Each 'pixel' can have its own color defined though, hence the name.

 

 

I talk about one of the popular hybrids mode 2 described here. It is the mode where you have the more color possible.

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Thanks for the info! I see there is a unpack.asm in the .zip file. I'm guessing that is what you modified in your games to decompress? or did you roll your own assembly routine to decompress? I would need a month or two to get myself caught up onassembler to be good enough todo anything with that info, but any additional info / help is always appreciated! Either way, thanks again for all the info on the subject, it's great to see there is a very powerful compressor available!!!

Yep, I modified the unpack.asm routines for unpacking to VRAM.

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I wish I knew at least 1/16th of what you people are talking about so I could follow along....It's sounds very interesting, but you might as well be speaking Chinese!!

 

I'm very jealous....

 

P.S. Do you ever stick your VRAM in the compressor? ;)

Edited by Bartsfam

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If it hasn't been mentioned before, C based decompression functions for Dan0 and Pletter and even Bitbuster are all included in comp.h that comes with Daniel's NewColeco development tools. The compressors are available seperately I suppose.

 

Well Bartsfam, some of it makes sense after reviewing the documentation for the development library from Daniel.

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Any updates?

Yes and No. Yes meaning i'm still going to finish the game and i'm now focusing back on coleco games after by 1 year away from the scene! no meaning I'm working on Rip Cord as of this week and want to get that game done by december so i can finally get the game done (I've wanted rip cord for 30 years). Once Rip cord is done I will absolutly focus on monster bash and finally get it done! Sorry for the so movement on it, but i'm back!!!!!

 

Not to mention with all the good info in this thread from the others on back switching and better compression techniques i'll be reviewing those off and on during rip cord development so if i have a breakthru sooner i'll let everyone know!

 

Take care,

Russ

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Not a big update but from a new lesson learned while working on Rip Cord tonight, i applied the change to the Monster Bash code and saved another 0.3k so the new rom build comes in at 24.8k which is probably just about enough to get the game done as is (hopefully at least)! I'll still look to improve a few other places to save space but i hope to find other rom saving techniques while working on rip cord.

 

Take care,

Russ

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Not a big update but from a new lesson learned while working on Rip Cord tonight, i applied the change to the Monster Bash code and saved another 0.3k so the new rom build comes in at 24.8k which is probably just about enough to get the game done as is (hopefully at least)! I'll still look to improve a few other places to save space but i hope to find other rom saving techniques while working on rip cord.

 

Take care,

Russ

 

Any updates on this Russ?

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Any updates on this Russ?

 

Just checking my subscriptions, Russ hasn't been on since September '15, too bad, this looked like a really great game...

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Last I heard, Rip Cord and Monster Bash (both being worked on by Russ) were still in the works to be released by CollectorVision. Both games were pretty far along, so I gotta believe that they will enventually be finished and released.

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I believe they will. Russ is obviously a great guy with amazing coding talent. It's apparent to me that "life gets in the way" with these projects, but his intentions are to finish it. Side-Trak came through, and it's amazing!

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Last I heard, Rip Cord and Monster Bash (both being worked on by Russ) were still in the works to be released by CollectorVision. Both games were pretty far along, so I gotta believe that they will enventually be finished and released.

 

 

I believe they will. Russ is obviously a great guy with amazing coding talent. It's apparent to me that "life gets in the way" with these projects, but his intentions are to finish it. Side-Trak came through, and it's amazing!

 

Thats great news, thanks for the info.

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Thanks for the interests guys!

 

Indeed, we're going to release both Rip Cord & Monster Bash

But right now, we're still busy making our very first modern console game: Sydney Hunter & The Sacred Tribe

Wich is scheduled to be released at the end of 2016

 

Then, we'll resume works on those CV games :)

 

 

Cheers

 

 

J-F

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J-F thanks for confirming; what system(s) is the other game you are working on?

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