Jump to content

Remake of those old Loading screens

José Pereira

Recommended Posts

As most here sure know the A8 isn't the best Machine to have colourful Loading screens.

With todays G2F it's possible to get them in many colours but because of heavy use of PMGs and DLIs. But with this isn't possible to use them when loading (that's why the recent games load and show that screens and them they 'disapear' and it's only when the game really starts to load).



To have a screen during the loading normally (from what I read) it's best you don't have any DLIs so this almost limit all possible ways to get more colour:

-> The screen can only be in Bitmap Mode 4colours because:

- Other scanlines new colours you'll need DLIs

- Use the ANTIC4 charset Mode to have a 5th colour you can't have a picture because you're limited to 128chars per charset (more charlines new charsets needs a DLI)

- You can only use one time each of the PMGs (if you start using one at a xPos it has to be always at the same xPos all screen high and also the same colour, width, resolution,... because if you change these registers then you'll need DLIs)





So, the only way and simple it's to have a picture at 4colours in Bitmap Mode GR.15. Then you add the PMGs.

Clever position of the PMGs and some pictures that can iuse the 'Oring' of PRIOR0 and we can get, not those many colours of G2F but better than the 4colours only old ones like Spellbound, Mirax Force, Last Guardian, Richard Mumms Tagalon,Captain Crumble,...




Today with Emulators and 'speed loading' it seems not worth to remake those screens... It seems so but I think we can remake them.

They are just a Load block at the begining of the Tape and it's just go thee and change the picture the new remaked one.

My idea is I am ofering to use take those screens and remake them.

My remaking still use the same GR.15 4colours Bitmap Mode and I just add the PMGs with no DLIs anywhere on screen so that it's just changing the data on the Tape for the new 21st Century one.


But for this I would need some (or one) of the programming guys here.

I think that just changing the data on the Tape isn't so hard to do and it's a quick thing, right?

Anyone is interested in taking this with me?




O.k. just to show one of them that I remaked this Night, Spellbound.

On the past they normally done the Loading screens (and the in-game also) as one colour in 3luminances. That was a thing that we can see a screen Miles away and just know it was an A8 screen.

Today we aren't no more in that ways of things on A8 (of course some screens look better that way and each case it's a single case biut others we can have the colours and luminances other way.

With and without PAL Artifacting (indeed, for the PAL Land guys it can get some nice new colours and luminances...):



Now compare this with the old 'Brownish' one:




That's what I said, of course it's not a masterpiece because there's no possible DLIs. The idea is just to have the screen on the Tape during the Loading like if was them that had done it on the past.



This show better... First I redone some of picture pixels where I know I will put the PMGs (and decide the PRIOR number I'll use):


So, this is the same 4colours picture as the Mastertronic original one (that looks so uggly, but only by now...)




Next you had the PMGs... Because there's no PF3 in GR.15 I always try to use the 4Missiles as 5th Player so that I can have one colour more (here it's the 8pixels wide of the Green on the left)

The other 4 blocks are P0->P3, the 4Layers 8pixels wide the A8 has.

Now you can see that I could only use them one time because if I re-use them in other part of the screen or with a new colour then DLIs would be needed:





For me the time isn't a problem so:

"Is it a hard work or taking much time to replace those old Loading screens?"

If it isn't then why not!... Could you, for eaxmple in a week or an weekend replace those screens (and they aren't really nuch... The most knowing/beter game are how many? 20 or so...)

What do you say?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with loading screens is floppy turbo speed loading.


IDE type devices will generally get by with much less CPU devoted to them and just operate at reduced speed.


Standard SIO you can have a custom loader which could operate interleaved with heavy colour changing and still work but that means you're restricted to real disks or ATR images only.


Less colourful screen with not too many DLIs that execute swiftly should work OK with most SIO turbo modes except the very quickest.


But as you said, load screens are kinda superfluous when you're dealing with fast I/O devices or emulation.


One lesser explored option though is that load screens could be had but give the user the option to disable and/or have the game time a section of the load. By doing that you can roughly guess how the program is being loaded.

If the section loads particularly slowly or very quickly then it likely means standard SIO or IDE which can tolerate a higher amount of interruptions.

Edited by Rybags
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jose, as Gary's says above a short dli is no problem with ordinary sio disk/cassette rates and longer dli's are possible with sio procedures taken care of within the dli, I was writing a custom loader a couple of years back for the sake of it. As said it's pretty much redundent now with modern storage devices although I do like a good loading picture personally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Additional problem I forgot to add - smaller # of DLIs or interleaved SIO means building the screen by hand. I'm not totally familiar with the various modes of G2F so maybe there is some mode where greatly reduced CPU usage could be had.


Possibly the best solution is just have the IO speed test then show a static screen with loading paused, give the user the option to continue loading with or without the screen displayed, otherwise continue loading with that option determined by the speed test.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea is have the same as the original game.

Original it's 4colours GR.15 so is the new one (just the PMGS added but PMGs are PFs like the others 704->707 more the 711 if 5th Player enabled).

I only want to know if you guys would waste so many time in replacing the loading picture on the tape version file.


Of course I can only do this using G2F but probably we can get the G2f cleaned of unecessary stuff and just have the 'cleaned' file to replace the old one on the Tape.

I don't want nor waste time in re-done these pictures to modern looking. I want to preserve the original Author one with small pixels changing just because of the PMGs and only if I really need it.


Keep the original but with the possible PMGs they don't did on the past. It's just this I want nothing more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, if he add the picture then it's time to be 'cracker number two'.

For the other games that indeed has a Loading screen it's like a cracker, like if using the original picture you add your name there or any other thing...


Because today we have G2F it's then the simpliest way to re-done the picture. It's just clean the not needed stuff and use it in the same way as the original ones.

Anyone here ever saw one of those pictures?

Are all them done the same way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one hasn't a Loading picture but just a GR.1 words screen.

Because I discouver yesterday a remake of the game for the MSX done in 21st century with a nice castle/house Hi-Resolution I decided to see what it could like on A8 like this with no DLIs.

And also because the Introduction/after the game loads is also in Hi-Resolution it sures 'matches the spirit':



Edited by José Pereira
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one hasn't a Loading picture but just a GR.1 words screen.

Because I discouver yesterday a remake of the game for the MSX done in 21st century with a nice castle/house Hi-Resolution I decided to see what it could like on A8 like this with no DLIs.

And also because the Introduction/after the game loads is also in Hi-Resolution it sures 'matches the spirit':

That's a good choice there for an actual usable loading picture José and the correct thinking :thumbsup: It was for this intention that I was writing the custom loader a couple of years back.


Just a couple of small fixes though attached, you had a few unnessasry dli changes left in there and you've forgotten to set blank scanlines on all the empty rows.

I might resurrect the loader tonight and put it to use or better still make use of xxl's xbios.


EDIT> I've tweaked the logo a little and set the grey down a level.

I'm getting back to work now


Edited by Tezz
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was just thinking on XXL's xBIOS when was loading this page.

Isn't it also possible to use it to have music played during loading, at least GTIA music?



I also remembered that Mirax Force had another/better Loading screen, I think it's the original Tynesoft's. Working on it right now but this shit that better no DLIs it doesn't look good. But I can't figure it anyway better.

Edited by José Pereira
Link to comment
Share on other sites



well, when loading programs from tape in the past I did not want to waste time and 8k or more for loading a title screen. Later with disk drives this wasn`t such a big problem, unless the program required more than 48k RAM, then this 8k RAM for a title gfx became questionable...


Nowadays, I do have floppy drives with speeders / turbo-loaders, SIO2SD, SIO2USB, IDE+, My-IDE 2, SIDE, big RAM enhancements and what not. Still I do not really need a title gfx. while loading a program. For me a simple Gr. 1 or Gr. 2 text (info about program`s name) while loading is enough. Quite often I do even pack/compress games and demos to save space and/or loading time. However, when the program has completely loaded, its nice to see a title gfx and not only some text. But hey, this is just my opinion, to each his own. ;-)


Attached are some original and "later-drawn" title gfx from various A8 games...

-Andreas Koch.


Link to comment
Share on other sites



I agree; and when it comes to packing. On the newest devices (like myide) I wished a lot of games did not use packing for speed. I am rather sure those games could load a lot quicker from myide in 'raw' data than when loaded and depacked.


Except games that need the depacking so it can use exotical low or high memory locations after loading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An A8 rendition Ocean software loader for Head over heels would be interesting


and maybe a pokey version of Martin Galways/john dunns soundtrack to go with it.


(see 3:06)



Edited by Magic Knight
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...