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The most used resolution in games

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Basically, part of the register settings lets you specify masks that control how large the pattern and color tables are, ranging from a mere 8 characters (total!) up to 768 characters (proper bitmap).

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1 hour ago, Elia Spallanzani fdt said:

is there a way to have a resolution of 128 x 96 (2x2 pixel) with 16 freely chosen colors?

That would be great, but no. 😞

On the F18A you can have 256x192 in 4 colors or 128x192 in 16 colors. Both modes fit into 12K RAM, so in theory the 9918A could have provided those modes without expanding the RAM. Instead we have the 64x48 multicolor mode that nobody uses.

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4 hours ago, Asmusr said:

the 64x48 multicolor mode that nobody uses.

Unexplored land of opportunity?

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6 hours ago, Asmusr said:

That would be great, but no. 😞

On the F18A you can have 256x192 in 4 colors or 128x192 in 16 colors. Both modes fit into 12K RAM, so in theory the 9918A could have provided those modes without expanding the RAM. Instead we have the 64x48 multicolor mode that nobody uses.

Yeah, but remember we only got bitmap mode at all as a tiny revision (2 transistors or something silly like that?) to the 9918. They weren't really looking at new and improved graphics modes yet.

 

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5 hours ago, Tursi said:

remember we only got bitmap mode at all as a tiny revision (2 transistors or something silly like that?)

Either, I forgot to remember... or I never knew in the first place!:roll:

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17 hours ago, GDMike said:

It truly is. Really.

There was a Mandelbrot set generator that was a good match for multicolor. it balanced time required for 64x48 image computation and having full screen. 
 

I recall one game with dragon sprites and multicolor mode scenery. 
 

also a nice kaleidoscope in TI FORTH demo. 

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Convert9918 will output multicolor mode assets.  Not that anyone's likely ever used it for that before :P

 

But I'd think if one were using Convert9918 to generate assets for a graphic adventure, Bitmap mode would make more sense.  Since it greatly simplifies working around attribute clash in large images. 

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1 hour ago, Elia Spallanzani fdt said:

Where can sprites also be used?

 

Sprites can be used in all modes except Text mode.

 

...lee

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18 hours ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

Either, I forgot to remember... or I never knew in the first place!:roll:

I thought I got that from one of the chats with Karl Guttag, but I can't find it now. 

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2 hours ago, pixelpedant said:

Convert9918 will output multicolor mode assets.  Not that anyone's likely ever used it for that before :P

 

But I'd think if one were using Convert9918 to generate assets for a graphic adventure, Bitmap mode would make more sense.  Since it greatly simplifies working around attribute clash in large images. 

Yeah, my experience with using Convert9918 for multicolor mode (as I often run a bunch of them together to compare the modes), there's just not enough resolution to make the small color palette look good when converting images. You need very cartoony graphics, and probably want to draw them specifically for the mode.

 

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6 hours ago, pixelpedant said:

Convert9918 will output multicolor mode assets.  Not that anyone's likely ever used it for that before :P

 

But I'd think if one were using Convert9918 to generate assets for a graphic adventure, Bitmap mode would make more sense.  Since it greatly simplifies working around attribute clash in large images. 

The Missing Link Graphics Adventure (TMLGA) is a version of The Missing Link that has been modified for graphics adventures.

Programs are written in Extended BASIC. The top two thirds of the screen is for bit mapped images, which can be loaded from disk. The bottom third is for text. You can both print and enter text in this area, and word wrap happens automatically when printing text. The text uses 5x7 characters, giving 48 columns per line. (This can be changed) If desired, sprites can be used as well.

TMLGA is menu option 8 on XB 2.8 G.E.M. and it is also available for standard XB. When using G.E.M. you can chain programs together and retain all the variables. It will be possible to compile programs written for TMLGA, although I probably won't work on making the necessary changes until I see that someone is actually using it.

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The Missing Link Graphics Adventure (TMLGA) is a version of The Missing Link that has been modified for graphics adventures.
Programs are written in Extended BASIC. The top two thirds of the screen is for bit mapped images, which can be loaded from disk. The bottom third is for text. You can both print and enter text in this area, and word wrap happens automatically when printing text. The text uses 5x7 characters, giving 48 columns per line. (This can be changed) If desired, sprites can be used as well.
TMLGA is menu option 8 on XB 2.8 G.E.M. and it is also available for standard XB. When using G.E.M. you can chain programs together and retain all the variables. It will be possible to compile programs written for TMLGA, although I probably won't work on making the necessary changes until I see that someone is actually using it.
Super cool

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I'd certainly considered the appeal of doing a graphical adventure with T40XB or T80XB, in the way those fairly inherently invite. 

 

Where you've got your graphics on the (full colour) G32 screen, and switch back to it to display "scenes", in between text interactions on the (mono) T40/T80 screen (with enough patterns for some thematic monochrome "interface" graphics outside the text scroll on the T40/T80 screen).  Like in my "Still TI" demo (which is T80XB):

 

image.thumb.png.51444158e126ab00c8c71f79a09a7971.png

 

But TMLGA presents a potentially even more tempting alternative to that. 

 

Where instead, you use the Return to Pirate's Isle model, and have "scenes" displayed all the time, during text interaction.  With bitmap mode as a huge perk. 

 

Though bitmap and standard mode graphics suggest pretty opposite approaches to asset creation (for "scenes").  Where in the Return to Pirate's Isle model taken whole cloth, you just create art assets from scratch that navigate around standard mode attribute clash by design.  But where in bitmap mode, and thanks to convert9918, you've actually got the potential to design or source "scene" assets without pixel by pixel consideration of attribute clash at the design stage, and convert to bitmap assets after the fact. 

 

 

I don't know which approach I like better.  There's something tremendously satisfying and nostalgic about seeing a well-designed scene that navigates around standard mode attribute clash, after the Return to Pirate's Isle fashion.  But it's certainly tempting to just lean on Convert9918's ability to create acceptable bitmap graphics from assets not originally created with attribute clash in mind (at least on a pixel by pixel and tile by tile basis). 

 

 

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On 4/17/2021 at 1:20 AM, Tursi said:

Yeah, but remember we only got bitmap mode at all as a tiny revision (2 transistors or something silly like that?) to the 9918. They weren't really looking at new and improved graphics modes yet.

 

I think it's plausible that for the 9918 they wanted all modes to fit into 4K RAM. Why else would they come up with a multi-color mode with am almost useless resolution? The fact that they did add the mode means that they thought it was desirable with a mode for plotting graphs etc.

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Oh wow.  That multicolor mode Space Harrier is glorious.  And it actually makes pretty good sense, for the game.  Looks like it plays quite a bit better than MSX Space Harrier II. 

 

Always love to see a good Space Harrier port, to whatever platform from before the game's own time, with nothing resembling the game's own tech. 

 

Unsurprisingly, given my avatar. 

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On 4/18/2021 at 10:03 AM, Asmusr said:

I think it's plausible that for the 9918 they wanted all modes to fit into 4K RAM. Why else would they come up with a multi-color mode with am almost useless resolution? The fact that they did add the mode means that they thought it was desirable with a mode for plotting graphs etc.

I agree with that... I never heard any theories but I assumed the 64x48 character mode was just there because the Apple 2 shipped with a low res mode too (40x40, IIRC). ;)

 

 

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In an interview (from https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/hardware/new-tech-info-creator-tms-vdp) Karl Guttag says:

 

"A: [...] The original 9918 was designed for 4K DRAMs because we figured that they would become cheap soon for Video game. Supporting 16K DRAMs was almost an afterthought. But what happened is that 4K DRAMs became so cheap that everyone stopped making them, so all the systems ended up using 16K. I don’t know/remember, but this may have influence the Home Computer designers to use the 9918’s RAM for main memory."

 

"Q: [...] can you discuss why the 9918 has multicolor
mode? (Is there a story there?)

A: We had the luxury of DRAM and thus a lot of storage relative to previous graphics chips. Unfortunately, as stated above we did not have enough bandwidth to support full bit map graphics. So the other modes were a way to give a compromise between resolution and numbers of colors."

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