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MrFish

Atari Pole Position - Car Detail Enhancement Ideas

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Alright... so, carrying over from TIX's "Modest Sprite Hack" thread, I'm opening

up a new one to keep from polluting his thread too much with other hack ideas.

 

This is the idea that Rybags proposed in order to get some more resolution

available for the cars.

 

"An idea to increase the fidelity of the cars though whether it'd work or look good ?

Change the screen layout where the track is to alternating scanlines of track and playfield to augment the cars.

The player's car could be kept on in a constant state where only the bytes required for whatever animation is wanted are changed. The computer cars could be rendered as softsprites.

The rendering requirements shouldn't be too high as only half the lines are shown.

A couple of PF colour registers would need to be changed, I think that should be doable as they'd likely just be immediate load+stores."

Using that idea, here's another mockup of how the car and background

could look. I've changed some of the PM colors in this one, in order to

get some extra color using 3rd color overlap. I've also added the Namco

font and changed a few other playfield colors.

post-6369-0-31298500-1543094762_thumb.png

Edited by MrFish
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Here's how the playfield and PM data look for the car above, when separated.

 

post-6369-0-73071600-1543093109.png

Edited by MrFish
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Here it is in Graph2Font, for NTSC and PAL.

 

I did it in normal width to make things easy on myself (the mockup above was in widescreen -- same as the original Atari Pole Position).

 

PAL version is missing the or'ed PM car color (purple, on the upper half), because PAL colors don't range dark enough to use reddish-brown

for the tires and border without looking bad. So, I just made them black. Still looks fine though.

 

post-6369-0-28263600-1543101122_thumb.png

 

post-6369-0-50623900-1543101129_thumb.png

 

Interleave 2a - ntsc.xex

 

Interleave 2a - pal.xex

Edited by MrFish
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Actually, there are a couple of colors that can work out for the or'ing on PAL; I just hadn't experimented enough.

This one looks pretty good. It doesn't give the purple color in the top of the car, but more like a brown.

 

post-6369-0-93464900-1543103396_thumb.png

 

Interleave 2a - pal.xex

 

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Amazing.

 

Just had a look at the C64 version. That one has better car graphics, but the rest of the graphics are actually a lot worse than the official A8 version.

 

Geez, the art above looks delicious ! Can the other cars be made looking (about) the same ?

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Can the other cars be made looking (about) the same ?

 

All the other cars would be constructed the same way as the player's car, and have their own PM colors. They would all have the same playfield

colors: dark red (tires), blue, grey, and light orange.

 

[Edit] So, yes, they would all have the same resolution and general look. They could be made to look slightly different in design, aside from just

the colors, too.

Edited by MrFish
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This is fantastic! Since the "mountain" area could be replaced with city graphics, we could have different locations ala Great American Cross Country Road Race! Different weather up in the sky. Make it so - should only be a week or two work :)

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Amazing.

 

Just had a look at the C64 version. That one has better car graphics, but the rest of the graphics are actually a lot worse than the official A8 version.

 

The mindscape version was a bit of an improvement except for the sound.

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The mindscape version was a bit of an improvement except for the sound.

 

The Mindscape version was Pole Position II, though.

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This is fantastic! Since the "mountain" area could be replaced with city graphics, we could have different locations ala Great American Cross Country Road Race! Different weather up in the sky. Make it so - should only be a week or two work :)

 

Here, we can steal the 7800 Pole Position II mountains, which are an improvement; but let's not make them quite so purple as they are in that version.

 

post-6369-0-98672800-1543118418_thumb.png

Edited by MrFish
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Just had a look at the C64 version. That one has better car graphics, but the rest of the graphics are actually a lot worse than the official A8 version.

 

That's par for the course with Atarisoft games on other systems. They weren't terrible, but they were never great,

in fact...

 

When I was living in Sunnyvale before, I talked to a guy who used to work for Atarisoft BITD. He jokingly made it

clear that Atarisoft didn't make anything for other platforms that had much care put into it; or rather, they had

something put into them, but it was something that kept the Atarisoft employees laughing.

 

I can see it, after having gone through most of their titles for the C64. They knew what they were doing... :D

Edited by MrFish
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Here, we can steal the 7800 Pole Position II mountains, which are an improvement; but let's not make them quite so purple as they are in that version.

 

attachicon.gifInterleave mockup 3 - fuji (scaled).png

Wonders how I could borrow(steal) time from my current job for this. DAMN - success for me, would be finding a way to make 60-80 hours a week coding A8 pay my bills!!!!!!!!!!

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Yep - that time was past almost 30 years ago. I reckon today even if you could pump out a quality production every 6 weeks and sell it for $30 profit per copy you'd be worse off than the guy packing supermarket shelves.

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Yep - that time was past almost 30 years ago. I reckon today even if you could pump out a quality production every 6 weeks and sell it for $30 profit per copy you'd be worse off than the guy packing supermarket shelves.

 

Yeah, but I'll bet you'd be a hundred happier than him...

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O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

 

Yeah that's the color of distant mountains.... and some days the hazy mist of the mountains win out as well. Gotta have us some purples...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

 

Yeah that's the color of distant mountains.... and some days the hazy mist of the mountains win out as well. Gotta have us some purples...

 

The 7800 version mountains are just a little too purple, like something out of a Prince movie, or a Commodore 64 nightmare. :D

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Some purple is nice, but too much starts encroaching on Barney territory. (Ugh)

:)

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In the Atari 8-bit version of Pole Position, they use some purple mountains, but they balance it out with some blue ones (it's split about half and half). I left them that way in all the interleaved designs I did, here and in the other Pole Position hack thread (except the one here, where I used the 7800 mountains).

 

In the original 7800 version Pole Position II, they use all shades of purple (except for the white peaks). In the above rendering (that uses the 7800 mountains), I toned down the purple by shifting all the colors towards blue (so, kinda blueish-purple, but valid colors from the 8-bit palette).

 

In the arcade version of both Pole Position I & II, the mountains are brown and green, which is what I've been using in my renderings in GTIA 10, as below.

 

post-6369-0-20107500-1543196383_thumb.png

Edited by MrFish
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Some of Atari's colour selections are woeful - I don't know if it comes down to being lazy, trying to cater for NTSC and PAL, having machines setup the wrong way, or just having some desire to have as many different colours as possible onscreen with purple mountains as a result of that. Or maybe some weird desire to be sufficiently different from the game being ported.

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Most likely any one of those reasons at any given time.

 

But, if you have a PAL machine, I'm afraid there's the additional reason: that it would be designed with NTSC in mind only.

Based on the screenshots on places like Atarimania, I'd say this last reason holds for a fair number of titles. Although, if

you're talking specifically about software that Atari made themselves, they may have been a little more PAL aware, than

say, some 3rd party developer.

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Damn - that looks great. I was happy with the original PP release on the 8bit, but if the above could've been done then what a pity it didnt look that good.

 

Would love to see this running on the real thing to see how well it performs.

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Utterly brilliant !

 

Now ....

...add the missing speech...

...add the correct (Stereo) music...(incl. high score music)

...add driving controller support... (so we can build a steering wheel with a reason ;))

...add a separate shifter support....

 

and we're getting very close ;)

 

What I've also always hated was that even the slightest bump makes your car crash. This is not like the arcade...small bumps don't make the car crash in the arcade version...which makes sense....

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