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alfredtdk

obsolete feature used in old atari games

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The random change of the color palette in some games of the atari when they were static, especially those of Activision, in the current games or homebrews, as they are defined today, I no longer see being used.
It is obvious that with the evolution of modern TV this feature that was once used to prevent the stain tube of the static image is no longer necessary.
But in my opinion that was one of the charms of the atari games.
I always wondered if there was a way to activate these changes in the color palette and select one of them from a kind of menu created within the game to eventually play in the changed colors. 

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That is called "attract mode" and it's built into the 2600 itself.  Almost every game will do that, if it is not intentionally disabled.  It's in the Atari 8-bit computers too, though often disabled there for certain reasons.

 

Since it's not a feature of the "game" per se, it's not possible to play that way, unless you hack the ROM and change the palette inside it.

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4 hours ago, alfredtdk said:


The random change of the color palette in some games of the atari when they were static, especially those of Activision, in the current games or homebrews, as they are defined today, I no longer see being used.
It is obvious that with the evolution of modern TV this feature that was once used to prevent the stain tube of the static image is no longer necessary.
But in my opinion that was one of the charms of the atari games.
I always wondered if there was a way to activate these changes in the color palette and select one of them from a kind of menu created within the game to eventually play in the changed colors. 

20210426_211734.jpg

20210426_211016.jpg

20210426_210949.jpg

20210426_210935.jpg

 

I used to watch the colors cycle at the end,  and always wondered that too!   At very least,  I always liked it when the programmers would change the color palettes as the game advances...

 

 

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8 hours ago, alfredtdk said:

It is obvious that with the evolution of modern TV this feature that was once used to prevent the stain tube of the static image is no longer necessary.

It's not totally obsolete.   Some display technologies are still susceptible to burn-in.   I notice modern consoles like the Switch will dim the picture after some inactivity.

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21 minutes ago, zzip said:

It's not totally obsolete.   Some display technologies are still susceptible to burn-in.   I notice modern consoles like the Switch will dim the picture after some inactivity.

True. Burn-in is still an issue with modern tech. When I got a new cell phone, I kept my old one. The old one sits turned off most of the time, but you can see the burned-in icons that I had on the home screen for years

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8 hours ago, glurk said:

That is called "attract mode" and it's built into the 2600 itself.  Almost every game will do that, if it is not intentionally disabled.  It's in the Atari 8-bit computers too, though often disabled there for certain reasons.

 

Since it's not a feature of the "game" per se, it's not possible to play that way, unless you hack the ROM and change the palette inside it.

AFAIK it's not built into the 2600, it was in the games themselves, similar to how the color/bw switch has no hardwired function, the palette change is part of the game program.

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

It's not totally obsolete.   Some display technologies are still susceptible to burn-in.   I notice modern consoles like the Switch will dim the picture after some inactivity.

Interestingly, I didn't even know that new technologies were still susceptible to this kind of problem. I also have the PS3 and PS5 and both enter a rest screen, darkening the image or entering some animation.

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9 hours ago, glurk said:

That is called "attract mode" and it's built into the 2600 itself.  Almost every game will do that, if it is not intentionally disabled.  It's in the Atari 8-bit computers too, though often disabled there for certain reasons.

 

Since it's not a feature of the "game" per se, it's not possible to play that way, unless you hack the ROM and change the palette inside it.

It would be necessary to create a menu, similar to what Omegamatrix has been doing with some classic games (Warlord, Combat, Outlawn), but in this case it would be to choose one of the static scenarios.

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8 minutes ago, alfredtdk said:

Interestingly, I didn't even know that new technologies were still susceptible to this kind of problem. I also have the PS3 and PS5 and both enter a rest screen, darkening the image or entering some animation.

yeah,  in OLED displays, supposedly the blue LEDs have a much shorter lifespan than the others, so you may notice burn-in areas where the color starts fading.

 

LCD can have temporary burn-in issues where an image will ghost, but will resolve itself over time or when the TV is restarted.   I have one TV that has this issue, but haven't seen it on other LCD TVs or monitors.

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Older plasma TVs can have burn in too.  My basement TV is a 55" Samsung plasma and I am very careful not to keep the screen static for too long.  I don't think anyone makes plasma TVs anymore (I believe due to high power consumption), so I'll be keeping that one for as long as I can.

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Hey, that "obsolete feature" is still essential for those of us retrogaming on CRTs, as God, Al Alcorn and Jay Miner intended. :)

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5 hours ago, joeatari1 said:

Older plasma TVs can have burn in too.  My basement TV is a 55" Samsung plasma and I am very careful not to keep the screen static for too long.  I don't think anyone makes plasma TVs anymore (I believe due to high power consumption), so I'll be keeping that one for as long as I can.

My parents Panasonic plasma has a screen wipe. A bright white 3" wide bar rolls across the screen for 10 to 15 minutes.

Had to use it a couple times - leaving the tv on SVU with the TNT logo on the bottom for 6 hours a day really does leave a mark.

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My Atari 2600 emulator on my Wii has a.color palette swap option (swoption?) so I could play that way but I don't. 

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10 hours ago, RJ said:

Meu emulador Atari 2600 em meu Wii tem uma opção de troca de paleta de cores (troca?), Então eu poderia jogar dessa forma, mas não faço. 

Why? :?

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19 hours ago, joeatari1 said:

Older plasma TVs can have burn in too.  My basement TV is a 55" Samsung plasma and I am very careful not to keep the screen static for too long.  I don't think anyone makes plasma TVs anymore (I believe due to high power consumption), so I'll be keeping that one for as long as I can.

I think it was the fact that OLED TVs were on the way, and they have the deep blacks that you used to need a plasma for.   Plus OLED screens are much lighter and use much less power.

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Posted (edited)

Edit function acting up

Edited by RJ

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56 minutes ago, alfredtdk said:

Why? :?

Así es la vida 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/27/2021 at 6:20 AM, GoldLeader said:

 

I used to watch the colors cycle at the end,  and always wondered that too!   At very least,  I always liked it when the programmers would change the color palettes as the game advances...

 

 

You see how a child's mindset works, I really thought that by making a combination of the Atari keys I would be able to access secret game menus or activate any of those static screens. 

Little childhood disappointments.

Edited by alfredtdk

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On 4/28/2021 at 12:41 PM, zzip said:

I think it was the fact that OLED TVs were on the way, and they have the deep blacks that you used to need a plasma for.   Plus OLED screens are much lighter and use much less power.

The main thing with plasma TVs was that they would lose about 50% of their brightness during their use.  The cheaper ones had about 30,000 hours of use, and the upper ones about 60,000, before hitting that 50% loss threshold.

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On 4/27/2021 at 7:52 AM, KaeruYojimbo said:

AFAIK it's not built into the 2600, it was in the games themselves, similar to how the color/bw switch has no hardwired function, the palette change is part of the game program.

It's certainly built into the Atari 8bit.  You can leave a screen sitting on the READY in basic, and it'll start to do it.  The early equivalent of a screen saver.

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     It's not a hardware thing - it is definitely in the software.  The programming guide specifically mentions it.  2600 games had the foreground/background color changes in all games cartridges that did it.  With more memory, came better attract screens like demos and high scores.

 

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3 hours ago, leech said:

It's certainly built into the Atari 8bit.  You can leave a screen sitting on the READY in basic, and it'll start to do it.  The early equivalent of a screen saver.

 

1 hour ago, Harry_Dodgson said:

     It's not a hardware thing - it is definitely in the software.  The programming guide specifically mentions it.  2600 games had the foreground/background color changes in all games cartridges that did it.  With more memory, came better attract screens like demos and high scores.

 

Software on both machines.  The Atari 8-bit computer OS runs a routine in the vertical blank interrupt which checks for keyboard presses.  If none happen in roughly 7 minutes, the brightness is dropped and random colours are chosen.  This feature was definitely taken from 2600 software, which did it first (obviously per game, as there is no OS on that device).

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1 hour ago, Stephen said:

 

Software on both machines.  The Atari 8-bit computer OS runs a routine in the vertical blank interrupt which checks for keyboard presses.  If none happen in roughly 7 minutes, the brightness is dropped and random colours are chosen.  This feature was definitely taken from 2600 software, which did it first (obviously per game, as there is no OS on that device).

So is it a function built into the OS, and hence something that needs to be disabled in software, or is it something that just happens to be included in BASIC as well (and hence it wouldn't work on say the 400/800's memopad?)  Always sort of wondered about that.  I don't think I ever saw it on the 2600 as we wouldn't let that thing alone fir more than 7 minutes.  😜

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41 minutes ago, leech said:

So is it a function built into the OS, and hence something that needs to be disabled in software, or is it something that just happens to be included in BASIC as well (and hence it wouldn't work on say the 400/800's memopad?)  Always sort of wondered about that.  I don't think I ever saw it on the 2600 as we wouldn't let that thing alone fir more than 7 minutes.  😜

It's a function of the OS, completely independent of BASIC.  To see this, you can for example, boot into DOS with the cart disabled and wait the appropriate time and it will still kick in.

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