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Andrew Davie

VCS Paint

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Well, @Nathan Strum asked if the type of graphics used in my Sokoban title screen would allow a paint program to be written for the '2600.  The short answer is "yes". The image would be 40 (wide) by about 60 (tall) pixels, each row of pixels being a uniquely definable 8-colour set, the 8-colours being formed from combinations of 3 "primary" colours + BG. It's screwy, but in principle I can see a "drawing" screen on which you have your image, and then perhaps using "select" you toggle to a "tools" screen where you select appropriate tools such as pixel colour, paintbrush size, paint mode (pixel/line/fill), and perhaps others.

I see the single image you draw being saved/loaded to SaveKey memory, so you would use your SaveKey to transfer from Atari to your PC and back. I could provide a utility (already mostly written, actually) to convert an image to this weirdo paint format so you could use that too.

So, it's definitely do-able. I wonder how much demand there is - if it's worthwhile. And if so, this seems like a perfect "subscription" type release - that is, you might (for example) pay 50 cents for a new release which has perhaps another tool or more capability. Or, buy a permanent upgrade for (say) $15 where you get all future releases at no extra charge.

Here are some screenshots using the "interleaved chronocolour(TM)" type graphics which this paint program would/could use... Note that only the first one is changing the palette between pixel rows; the other two are using a single palette for the entire screen.

So, whaddyareckon?  Something you'd be interested in supporting?




 

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 2.05.47 am.png

Screen Shot 2019-08-04 at 1.22.06 am.png

Screen Shot 2019-08-04 at 1.05.31 am.png

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Wow! That is a trip! I'm impressed with the quality of those images. I would never have guessed something like that could appear on the 2600!

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Well, I'd support it. :) 

 

A possible addition: be able to support a series of images, to use it as a screensaver/display of sorts.

Edited by Nathan Strum

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Subscription release? Can't say I like that idea..for many reasons beyond the scope of the thread.

 

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While there may be a limited audience I must admit that the idea is very cool.  I too am impressed with the sample images.  Can these images be generated with normal 6507 code or is an ARM processor required?

 

A way to increase the value of a paint program beyond a novelty would be a way to either save the images (on cart or to some sort of external device) or allow the image to be exported for use as a title screen for a game.

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Wow these images have a lot of depth! Are they constructed from the character graphics set like Sokoban?

 

What a cool and unusual paint package this will be!

 

Here's a cool feature idea already present in the Sokoban engine:

 

Add the ability to edit an image larger than the screen and have one console switch be a viewing switch to pan the portrait!

 

Regarding cool and unusual paint packages and equally unusual subscription marketing models I wrote a paint package in the 80's with a subscrition marketing model you'll definitely appreciate and also some colorful functionality reminds me of yours! :)

 

The unusual paint package allowed the creation of 9 color vertically scrolling 20xN portraits 1/3  the size of the screen; semigraphics portraits right on the disk directory.

 

Initially this paint package was used internally by my company Saint John Gallery Software to make our disc offerings more alluring with our signature "disc image graphics", literal  signatures like this one or colorful scrolling banner scapes and scenes by pixel artists.

 

Later I sold the package not once but twice (subscription marketing to subscription marketers?) to T&D Subscription Software appropriately enough, a company that sold excellent quality games and utilities shipped on tape or disc every month to users by subscription, an early electronic magazine.   

 

The second time I sold it to them it was in the form of a patch "DPFIX" that eliminated the consumption of disc space by the images since they were stored entirely in the FAT with zero bytes required for the image storage (the allocation table is not unlimited so it was possible to break a disc with too large a panoramic but that would be a really long image). 

 

It was a good lesson for modern programmers too that hasn't changed - work hard to build something interesting, and you'll often get paid at least as much to work on it again, and again. 

Directory_Picture_in_action.jpg

Edited by Mr SQL

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20 hours ago, awhite2600 said:

While there may be a limited audience I must admit that the idea is very cool.  I too am impressed with the sample images.  Can these images be generated with normal 6507 code or is an ARM processor required?

 

A way to increase the value of a paint program beyond a novelty would be a way to either save the images (on cart or to some sort of external device) or allow the image to be exported for use as a title screen for a game.

 

Thanks for the feedback. The code does not require an ARM processor - it's just stock 6507, but with RAM of course, for the bitmap.

I have suggested in the OP that images could be saved on SaveKey, so I've thought of that :)

 

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2 hours ago, Andrew Davie said:

 

Thanks for the feedback. The code does not require an ARM processor - it's just stock 6507, but with RAM of course, for the bitmap.

I have suggested in the OP that images could be saved on SaveKey, so I've thought of that :)

 

Thanks for the additional info.  I'm impressed that you can render these images with a stock 6507.  You mention needed RAM - which makes sense for a paint program.  Could a completed image be rendered from ROM, or is on-the-fly "manipulation" of the data required?

 

I now see that you had mentioned SaveKey and other details.  Sorry that I missed that.

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1 minute ago, awhite2600 said:

Could a completed image be rendered from ROM, or is on-the-fly "manipulation" of the data required?

ROM works fine for this technique. You only need RAM if you want to modify the image :)

 

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