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Graphic mode advice for new game

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Hi!

 

I am making a version of the game "Sword of Ianna" for Atari 8-bit computers, and I need advice on which graphic mode would be the most suitable.

 

Currently, the game has a Spectrum version (monochrome with color attributes in multiple character positions) and the MSX version (16 colors per pixel).

The version of MSX I can take without problems to the Atari 16 bits, but the question is for the 8 bits.

 

Is it better to use the monochrome version, or redo the graphics for four colors + background, reducing the resolution of them?

 

The version for Amstrad CPC in mode 1 (320 × 200 pixels with 4 colors) is being made, but the horizontal resolution is twice that of the Atari.

 

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It won't be easy but you could use graphics mode 8 for 320x192 with 2 colours. (or mode 0 as it is character based)

 

That will then need an extra 8 scanlines to take it up to 320x200.

 

For additional colour, you can use carefully placed player missile graphic underlays. It will not be easy.

 

Here is an example.  

 

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It certainly wouldn't be easy to convert all the graphics to 160. It would get more of that Atari feel though. I also think that using Spectrum graphics as is would be the best. The color isn't that important in this game anyway.

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The complexity of the levels means doing hires with PM underlay would be a real chore.

I think multicolour character with 160x200 pixels might be the way to go though then some of the big workload becomes converting the graphics.

 

That music/gameplay reminds me a bit of Conan though this looks to be a much bigger and better game.

 

For another example of a recent release using 320x200 and attribute levels of none, PMG and VBXE refer to Monty on the Run ported from the C16.

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I don't know if there are any long range jumps or attacks, but if not, going for 160x100 in 4 colors with a smart scrolling window could be a viable option. You could even allow overscan to increase the depicted area.

The CPC graphics could be used directly for that.

Screens would have a little bit more sense of exploring tho.

 

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Humm... Is there anywhere a map with all the screens? It maybe all not difficult like Sabouteur, Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy 2019,... though not exactly but I certainly would go for hi-res.

Just think that first of all you take ZX version that all guys (hero and enemys) are white so other colour is black and you have your problem solved.

Don't worry has first you have it all black&white because then and after there maybe a solution using A8 PMGs to colour it. I don't know of Mariuszw lately but I, him and maybe Tezz can give you the colourings help you need.

Just convert, port whatever you wanna do in black&white hi-res that for sure on A8 will need to be better a Bitmap mode GR.8 320x then for sure colours will come...

I'm sure 😉.

👍

Edited by José Pereira

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It's a definite candidate for 256 (320) x200 Mode. 

32 Byte width allows more cpu speed, and colors definitely can be enhanced with PM overlay. 

 

 

 

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Found the map just need someone to cut me screen per screen 256x pixels ZX version:

SwordofIanna.thumb.png.5a987a51d5e597e0343142944196cdd9.png

Probably not all exactly but if Memory permits something sure would come in...

So that's it and now I have to agree with Emkay that is GR.8 Bitmap mode hi-res 256pixels/32Bytes wide Narrow screen mode and just get game working in black&white with the most Memory you can get free than give others to put there the best way PMGs for colourings.

👍

Edited by José Pereira
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Thanks guys.

 

The game maps are no problem because they are built based on tiles defined in maps created by the Tiled program and I can pass them without problems to assembler.

598474506_Seleccin_107.thumb.png.7e36122d587a6f65bb1a62cb5b710f13.png

 

I had already thought that the solution would be to use the narrow version of the screen to work at 256 pixels, but since the A8 have hardware scrolling, I thought about the possibility of moving from a set of individual screens to one of continuous map, but almost I better leave it for later.

 

The question was to decide whether to use the monochrome version of ZX or a reduction of the MSX version for the graphic part. With what you have told me it is clear that the best is that of the ZX.

 

All material is available on Github:

 

Now I have found another problem: the music is in Arkos Tracker format. I can export it to YM format, but I can't find a way to take it to POKEY except by copying note by note in the RMT.

 

I'll see ... For now I will create the main graphic engine.

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Excellent idea to convert that game for Atari !

 

I would say your options based on converting complexity would be like this:

 

1. Pure hires mode, don't think much about colors, just change them from screen to screen for atmosphere (atari palette is pretty rich).

 

2. Hires + PM color underlay... That could work if you can make some automatic converter that would analyse each screen and allocate quadruple PMs bit values, xpos changes and colors for each char line. Other option is that someone goes through all screens and hand pixels each pm combo... Huuuuuuge task.

 

3. Something like Draconus and take CPC version as gfx source.

Four colors background, easy to make software sprites too. You can add some color if you make player sprite from PMs.

Maybe just make playfield 2x2 screens wide and scroll that around (easy on atari), or make a full blown out scrolling entire level.

 

4. Something radical which has never been done :)

Use palblending with color changes each scanline that produce kind of 160x100 x 16 colors screen.

Examples here 

 

 

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 9:59 PM, explorer said:

 

The question was to decide whether to use the monochrome version of ZX or a reduction of the MSX version for the graphic part. With what you have told me it is clear that the best is that of the ZX.

 

 

I would be interested in doing the sprites, if you decide to go multicolor ;)

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8 hours ago, TIX said:

I would be interested in doing the sprites, if you decide to go multicolor ;)

hehe... :thumbsup:

 

Examples with the hero, for ZX version:

 

anim_caminar01.gif

 

and for MSX2 version:

 

barbaro01.bmp

 

The position of all the graphics is always a multiple of character, so there is the (remote) possibility of being able to do it in some text mode (well, the characters used in the tiles are 1024 per map, so it may not be possible).

 

 

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It's depending on the coding skills. 

Using the hires character mode would offer a lot tricks to do speedups. 

Seeing the Spectrum version is using only crossing of the moving objects in white.

Byte boundaries were given.

Flames, water, and fire animations could be done, reusing the same characters.  

And ANTIC offers a lot features, just like changing ranges on the screen to do a partly double buffer... 

But is this expense needed ?

 

As it seems, the game doesn't really use the characters. It's just the byte boundaries.

The 32x24 resolution fits well to the frames per second in movement. 

5 Bytes width for 2 steps. 

The ZX Version is very cleverly done. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, explorer said:

hehe... :thumbsup:

 

Examples with the hero, for ZX version:

 

anim_caminar01.gif

 

and for MSX2 version:

 

barbaro01.bmp

 

The position of all the graphics is always a multiple of character, so there is the (remote) possibility of being able to do it in some text mode (well, the characters used in the tiles are 1024 per map, so it may not be possible).

 

 

Textmode is imho a must for game like this. When it's already designed like that, it's most of the work done. 1024 chars is no issue, as long as they are not on the screen at the same time, on the same line. Game like this does not need to refresh every frame, so there is plenty time.

The character is rather well done and small though, I wonder if it could be done in half resolution. That's where the Spectrum version is easier.

 

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Looking pretty good in 8 pixels width, 2 +1 colors (I used the palette from Wonderboy  :P),

now for the wider frames.. we must be creative !

 

spectrum.gif.4dbdfbd6ccf7816e35080bf5670b7fa8.gifbarbar-walk1.gif.94e101a352bea3733a7ada59f347e215.gifbarbar-walk4.gif.7814e83ac41eed531c5bbb41693278c9.gif

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7 hours ago, R0ger said:

Textmode is imho a must for game like this. When it's already designed like that, it's most of the work done. 1024 chars is no issue, as long as they are not on the screen at the same time, on the same line. Game like this does not need to refresh every frame, so there is plenty time.

The character is rather well done and small though, I wonder if it could be done in half resolution. That's where the Spectrum version is easier.

 

 

There are not much moving objects on the screen. So Textmode could be used. But the expense in handling several charsets, and the additional DLI Code could waste more CPU than actually writing the 7 additional lines per software.   

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TIX said:

Looking pretty good in 8 pixels width, 2 +1 colors (I used the palette from Wonderboy  :P),

now for the wider frames.. we must be creative !

 

spectrum.gif.4dbdfbd6ccf7816e35080bf5670b7fa8.gifbarbar-walk1.gif.94e101a352bea3733a7ada59f347e215.gifbarbar-walk4.gif.7814e83ac41eed531c5bbb41693278c9.gif

 

Do you really believe in Unicorns?

 

On the technical side, if you use 160 pixel width, the game has to be 40 bytes wide, not 32. 

Particular Crownland shows how things can be spoiled. The Demo promised the game of the century, and ended up in 32 bytes width, killing a lot of details and gaming fun.

Till today I have not seen a game running on a stock Atari, using "your" Sprite-solution, 40 bytes wide screens  at a reliable framerate. 

Using hires at 32 bytes width allows the needed details, saves a lot CPU cycles and so on. 

 

The Speccy version is what is possible. 

The MSX2 Version, well, the MSX2 has far better Sprites than the C64.

 

Also, you have to take care a lot of using the needed colors. That Wonderboy Hoax in the other thread shows all possible mistakes that could be done without even a single working game screen is there.  

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, emkay said:

 

Do you really believe in Unicorns?

 

Blah blah

 

Take it easy man.. I don't "propose" anything, and I don't give a shit about the technicalities !!

I just draw what I feel like it  ;)

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 7:59 PM, explorer said:

The game maps are no problem because they are built based on tiles defined in maps created by the Tiled program and I can pass them without problems to assembler.

598474506_Seleccin_107.thumb.png.7e36122d587a6f65bb1a62cb5b710f13.png

Where are the Tiled .tmx and .png of the tiles? Can't find them at GitHub.

 

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Yes, and how I can I download the .tmx of the levels?

P.s.- I already opened an account but entering there is only th ecode listen and no download button...

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mapa_nivel01d.thumb.png.5f23612365a975e706561a1717bef814.png

@explorer how can I remove these colourings, anotations, etç... and just show the map as real looking screens that is using the tiles just like they are?

 

P.s.- I'm used to create the chars/tiles using A8's G2F then with the .png I just simply build the map and coders so the rest:

222939687_nivel4_3and7_1.thumb.png.088a6416a67eb5f963c54f719c75bc0d.png

Why I'm asking is that I just wanna try to turn and post how it'll look in 2colours for a later possible or not see if the PMGs colourings could look anything good screen per screen...

 

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52 minutes ago, José Pereira said:

@explorer how can I remove these colourings, anotations, etç... and just show the map as real looking screens that is using the tiles just like they are?

You can hide/show individual layers (click over eye) and left the "Fondo" layer visible:

1203144299_Seleccin_108.png.e835a3981afb70290ddb27b0d0a0d9c0.png

 

52 minutes ago, José Pereira said:

 

Why I'm asking is that I just wanna try to turn and post how it'll look in 2colours for a later possible or not see if the PMGs colourings could look anything good screen per screen...

 

 

What graphic mode would be?

 

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