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Hi,

 

I'm happy to present (on behalf of the team: Xeen, stRing and myself) the preview of our little game "Assembloids XE" which is being prepared for ABBUC Software Contest 2013.

 

It's a reflex/reaction game based on C64 "Assembloids" published by RGCD last year (http://www.rgcd.co.u...s-c64-2013.html), which in turn was based on flash game "Quartet" by Photon Storm (http://www.photonsto...m/games/quartet).

 

What could be interesting for you, it is the first Atari game that uses a combination of GR9 and GR8 (changed every second line). So we have low resolution graphics mode with 16 luminances and we mix it with hires mode (adding PMG underlayer) which jointly gives quite unusual graphical effect. Hope you like it :)

 

Programming: Marek "Xeen" Cora / Agenda

Graphics: Adam Wachowski

Music & sound effects: Michal "stRing" Radecki / Agenda

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjzV_DzKW_w

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What could be interesting for you, it is the first Atari game that uses a combination of GR9 and GR8 (changed every second line). So we have low resolution graphics mode with 16 luminances and we mix it with hires mode (adding PMG underlayer) which jointly gives quite unusual graphical effect. Hope you like it :)

 

That looks awesome! It's that kind of outside-the-box thinking that keeps these old machines fresh. Well done.

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Reminds me of the title screen to 'The Chaos Engine' for the 16 bits. An idea for a conversion perhaps... :grin:

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Indeed looks great!

I also have the game on the C64 but I have to say, that I like this graphics mode a little more than the C64 version. Awesome work!

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Back when I was doing my ICE experiments of blending modes, I always wondered how it would look if you changed modes on every scanline. Great results. Shows there are still a lot of unexplored possibilities out there.

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...What could be interesting for you, it is the first Atari game that uses a combination of GR9 and GR8 (changed every second line). So we have low resolution graphics mode with 16 luminances and we mix it with hires mode (adding PMG underlayer) which jointly gives quite unusual graphical effect. Hope you like it :)

We like it!

 

Looks like it will be a great year for GTIA modes :D

 

Waiting to see it on a real thing !

 

ps. Thumbs up for no flickering :)

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Thanks for your comments :)

The combination of those modes is quite tricky (I needed some time to learn how to merge pixels 1x1 and 4x1 with good results), not so easy - especially considering that no dedicated graphical tool is/was available (fortunately, Ilmenit is now upgrading his PicMixer). But after putting some effort one can combine the advantages of both modes: the depth of 16 luminances and the precision of high resolution (and yes, no flickering! :-D).

I hope that it's not going to be the first and the LAST game that is using such mode... ;)

Edited by +Adam+
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It looks terrific.

 

I'd like to see what results could be gotten if people tried other GTIA modes ... 8+10 would give a nice Spectrum look to things.

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Synth 8+10 may seem O.K. but probably may end K.O. because same Registers in GR.10 are PFs and PMGs...

But it's possible... PAL Blending with GTIA9 grays and a colour just turn the display in a 256 where non GTIA 9 or 11 can only display 128colours/luminances.

Tricky is that one. Blend with colours/luminances others than the traditional white/grays/black and get an infinite possible combination like blending 'opposite rainbow colours' and we way end up with more than the A8 128 or GTIA 256colours/luminances...

;)

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Synth 8+10 may seem O.K. but probably may end K.O. because same Registers in GR.10 are PFs and PMGs...

But it's possible... PAL Blending with GTIA9 grays and a colour just turn the display in a 256 where non GTIA 9 or 11 can only display 128colours/luminances.

Tricky is that one. Blend with colours/luminances others than the traditional white/grays/black and get an infinite possible combination like blending 'opposite rainbow colours' and we way end up with more than the A8 128 or GTIA 256colours/luminances...

;)

 

 

 

I've come up with two possible ways to do 8+10 ... based on experiments that I did in PCIN 0 (or PC0), a Super IRG style flicker mode. The implementation is different because we're dealing with scanline changes instead of full frame flicker.

 

First off, set up the scanlines so that the first line is Graphics 8 and the second line is Graphics 10.

 

Method #1 uses PM0 (704) as the BG color in Graphics 10, so you will need to change PM0, PF1, PF2, and BAK every scanline like this:

 

Graphics 8: PM0 (Color Player 0), PF1 (Gr. 8 luminance), PF2 (GR. 8 BG), BAK (BG color to prevent banding on the border)

Graphics 10: PM0 (Same BG color as BAK on mode 8.), PF1, PF2, BAK (all extra colors).

 

In this method, PMG's will only work on the mode 8 lines.

 

Method #2 uses BAK as the BG color on both modes.

 

Graphics 8: PF1, PF2 (luminance and BG color)

Graphics 10: PF1, PF2 (extra colors)

 

On the mode 10 lines, use color pattern #1000 as your BG color.

 

This enables PMG's to work on the whole screen but creates a band in the border with the color of P0 (704)

 

Also, due to the Graphics 10 pixel shift (HIP bug) you need to plot your Graphics 8 pixels one color clock (two hi-res pixels) right. This decreases your horizontal resolution to 318 pixels instead of 320.

Edited by Synthpopalooza
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I'd like to see what results could be gotten if people tried other GTIA modes ... 8+10 would give a nice Spectrum look to things.

 

I'm not sure if one would achieve anything close to "Spectrum look" using GR.8+10 (assuming that we are still talking about changing graphics mode every second line).

 

In hi-res we got very limited possibilities of using colour, so we would have to use black and some kind of grey, right? The colour must come from darker luminances (in high luminances the colour saturation is very low), so we would have to "waste" most of the colour registers of GR.10 just for that (in this case, GR. 11 would be a better option, we would have 15 independent dark colours). At the same time, hi-res pixels cannot be too bright ($0A, $0C, $0E), because the colour effect of merging with those 4x1 dark pixels would almost disappear.

 

So it seems to me that GR.8+10 graphics would have to be quite dark, with no similarity with bright Spectrum colours.

 

Plus you got limited possibility of using PMG there, as PMs' colours are already used for pixels. Generally I think that GR.8+11 (and GR.8+9 of course, as you have seen in "Assembloids XE" preview) looks potentially more promising than GR.8+10, but none of those modes would look "ZX Spectrumish" I'm afraid :)

 

Oh, and here's a link to an old discussion on atarionline.pl about GTIA modes: http://atarionline.pl/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=314#Item_44

Gonzo sent a XEX file with a picture in GR.8+10, so we could see an example of that kind of graphics: http://atarionline.pl/forum/?PostBackAction=Download&AttachmentID=132

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And err,

 

if anyone is interested to see how Gr. 8 + Gr. 11 looks like, it has already been done with the Colour-JPEG-Viewer (and converter) by Raphael Espino:

 

http://rjespino.trip...g/colrjpeg.html

 

Just a brief overview (quoted from his webpage):

CpegView has 5 different display modes:

 

80x200 in 256 colours: 16 colours x 16 levels of grey (APAC)

160x200 in 64 colours: 16 colours x 4 levels of grey (CIN)

320x200 in 32 colours: 16 colours x 2 levels of grey (C8)

160x100 in 480 colours: 16 colours x 30 levels of grey (TIP)

160x200 in 144 colours: 9 colours x 16 levels of grey (RIP)

 

The so-called "C8" mode is Gr.8 combined with Gr. 11, I already tried this mode many times - it does not look good ! Many colours but only two luminances looks almost always awful... -Andreas Koch.

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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if anyone is interested to see how Gr. 8 + Gr. 11 looks like, it has already been done with the Colour-JPEG-Viewer (and converter) by Raphael Espino

 

Thanks :), but... I don't see any examples of "C8" mode pictures there?

 

The so-called "C8" mode is Gr.8 combined with Gr. 11, I already tried this mode many times - it does not look good ! Many colours but only two luminances looks almost always awful...

 

I realise that "C8" is just slightly "upgraded" GR.11 mode (which indeed almost always looks quite awful), but I think that automatic conversion may not show advantages of this mode (if there are any ;)). Besides there is still possibility to improve the graphics by using PMG.

 

Adam

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No,

there aren`t any examples of C8 pictures there, but one can easily download the CPEGview program, download / grab some JPG pictures and convert them with CPEGview into C8 pictures and see how they look like (16 colours, 2 lum. - you will be disappointed for sure by the result)...

 

To make things easier, here are two ATR images with CPEGview and lots of JPG pictures. All you have to do now is to load / convert some JPG`s into C8 or one of the other gfx modes...

 

-Andreas Koch.

JPEG_examples.zip

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OK, I checked that and converted some pictures.

 

Firstly, "C8" mode is NOT the mode GR.8+11 we are talking about in this thread. The thing is not about changing the modes very fast on the whole screen (interlace with flickering) like in "C8", but about changing graphics mode every second line (stable view, no flickering).

 

Secondly, automatic conversion of random photos cannot show best results that are possible in such "difficult" modes. The best way I think is the process of trial and error, not only by converting many pictures, but mainly by drawing some graphics from scratch, correcting it many times and so on.

For example the logo in upper part of "Assembloids XE" title screen (seen in the first message) is pure GR.11 with some DLI and PMG and I think it looks quite decent, although - like we both agreed - usually pictures in GR.11 look dreadful ;) The key is knowing how to use advantages and hide disadvantages of specific mode (or specific combination of modes).

Edited by +Adam+

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Didn't emkay (as he liked to point out), do something similiar in a game he wrote to display multi-color hires text? I believe he was mixing gr.8 and gr. 15 in that case though.

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OK, I checked that and converted some pictures.

 

Firstly, "C8" mode is NOT the mode GR.8+11 we are talking about in this thread. The thing is not about changing the modes very fast on the whole screen (interlace with flickering) like in "C8", but about changing graphics mode every second line (stable view, no flickering).

 

Secondly, automatic conversion of random photos cannot show best results that are possible in such "difficult" modes. The best way I think is the process of trial and error, not only by converting many pictures, but mainly by drawing some graphics from scratch, correcting it many times and so on.

For example the logo in upper part of "Assembloids XE" title screen (seen in the first message) is pure GR.11 with some DLI and PMG and I think it looks quite decent, although - like we both agreed - usually pictures in GR.11 look dreadful ;) The key is knowing how to use advantages and hide disadvantages of specific mode (or specific combination of modes).

 

The best way to convert pictures, is if you use Floyd Steinberg or Positioned dithering on the Hi-res Graphics 8 part of the display. This can be easily done in the Gimp by resizing the picture to 320x96 and then converting to 1-bit resolution using one of the dithering options. I did similar to this with my ICE PC0 and C0 graphics experiments:

 

http://atariage.com/...50#entry2804567

 

This is full frame flicker, but the technique would also work when changing to Graphics 10 every other line as well, you'd just be resizing to 96 scanlines instead of 192.

 

It also helps, if most of the colors in mode 10 are no more than 2 or 3 chroma steps different from the PF1 color in Graphics 8. So, you'd set the PF1 color to 14, alternate PF2 so that it is the BAK color on the mode 8 lines, set PM0 to the BAK color, and alter the BAK register so that you get an extra color on the mode 10 lines.

 

Also, for mode 10, the Gr. 8 bitmap needs to be shifted one color clock right to correct for the Graphics 10 shift error.

Edited by Synthpopalooza

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Didn't emkay (as he liked to point out), do something similiar in a game he wrote to display multi-color hires text? I believe he was mixing gr.8 and gr. 15 in that case though.

 

He was probably talking about Admirandus (1990). Yes, some of the captions (like SPIELER 1-4) must be a mix of GR.8 and GR.15 changed every second line, it's the same technique applied to another combination of modes.

Edited by +Adam+

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@Synthpopalooza:

Thanks for useful tips. But still, in my opinion, the GR.11 mode and its combinations with other modes & DLIs & PMG are so specific that they need very specific, "tailor-made" graphics, not only conversions :)

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Enthusi (Dr. Martin Wendt), the guy who coded C64 original "Assembloids", is working on Atari 2600 version of the game. As he writes on AtariAge, his goal is to fit the game in 4KB.

Look here

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Here is a video from the contest version of “Assembloids XE” and some details about the game. The results of the ABBUC Software Contest 2013 will be announced on October, 26th.
Code: Marek "xeen" Cora / Agenda
Graphics: Adam Wachowski
Music & sound effects: Michał "stRing" Radecki / Agenda
Support: Ooz, Gorgh, Ilmenit
DESCRIPTION:
The goal is to assemble faces using the quarters of faces which are appearing in the central window, moving them to the adjacent windows by pushing the joystick in the corresponding direction. All this should be done before the time runs out - the timer is represented by the bars on two sides of the centre. There are four different faces (red, blue, grey and green) consisting of four elements (tiles) each, and the better the matching of tiles is, the more points can be achieved.
The player starts with 9 lives and every time the time runs out, one life is lost. And the game gets faster and faster...
"Assembloids XE" is the first game in the history of 8-bit Atari which uses a combination of low resolution graphics mode (16 luminances in pixel ratio 4x1) and high resolution mode. Graphics mode is changed every second line.
ORIGIN:
The game is based on "Assembloids" (16KB) on Commodore 64 by RGCD. Code: Enthusi (Dr. Martin Wendt); gfx: iLKke (Ilija Melentijevic); msx: Conrad (Owen Crowley).
The original game: "Quartet" by Photon Storm. Code: Richard Davey; the idea, gfx & msx: iLKke (Ilija Melentijevic).
There also exists a free iPhone conversion of "Quartet" and an Atari 2600 4KB version is currently in development (by Enthusi).
SCORING:
- completely mixed face - 10 points
- partly mixed face (2 matching elements) - 40 points
- partly mixed face (3 matching elements) - 100 points
- full face (4 matching elements) - 300 points + speed down
- clearing the board (no elements left) - 400 points + an extra life (but there is 9 lives limit)
GAME CONTROLS:
- use joystick to choose correct direction from the centre to the corresponding window
- FIRE during game - pause on/off
- SELECT during game - music on/off
HIGH SCORE:
- joystick UP/DOWN - select another letter/character
- joystick LEFT/RIGHT - change letter/character position
- FIRE - confirm your high score entry
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
Standard Atari XL/XE configuration (PAL system only) with at least 64KB of memory and GTIA chip working properly.

 

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That looks very, very polished.. Love the new graphics technique.

 

Good luck in the contest, I'm looking forward to the public release for this one.

 

When you say 'PAL system only', do you mean the code checks for PAL GTIA or will this run on an NTSC machine with a PAL ANTIC swap?

Edited by adam242

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