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Multicolor mode - the mode everybody wants


Asmusr
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I haven’t run much MSX in emulation, nor Colecovision or the early Sega stuff, all of which share the 9918A. One thing though for sure, the MSX Basic seems quite powerful, at least much more powerful compared with TI Basic, - at least with speed and direct resource access. Floating point accuracy seems a bit irrelevant, but there you go. Did MSX Basic directly support integer based variables for extra speed ?

 

As I remember it, or as I think I encountered it, I had access to near arcade quality stuff with my TI-99/4A and later with my Amiga. When Texas Instruments abandoned the home computer, I had already touched on the VIC-20 (and a friend had the ZX Spectrum ), was very interested in the Memotech and MSX, but indeed had to look at what was becoming popular and went for the C64. The original problems with the CPU for the TI-99 and later the sale of the 9918A for use in other systems, led, as I heard, some TI employees to explore how it interfaced with the Z80. Instead of going for the TI-99/8, maybe a solution with both 9900 and Z80A and perhaps even compatibility with MSX specs might have been a way to go. Even right out MSX only specs with a new TI-80/5A could maybe have saved the day, or at least made it possible to hang on just a few more years.

 

Anyway, enough speculations, on to your game. :)

 

The tunnel effect is more colorful than the ones I made up, but for 3D effect, I think yours a bit uninteresting, bordering on dull. Of course the 6, 7 or 8 frames put a limit to what can be done, but honestly, your game should have something more stunning.

 

The asteroids seems rather “squared”. Not the common asteroid you run into. Is it ? Blasteroids had better “rock” feel to it.

 

As for the “main ship”. It looks like it’s going to have 3 colors (black, white and gray) ? Also it seems as if it would have a flip effect when turning on the vertical axis ? I think there’s much too much emphasis on the rocket nozzles, which should (with the emphasis) be accompanied with some gas/exhaust.

 

Did you pull/get inspired from any other game ?

 

Hope you take this as constructive criticism. Better to get something done than not doing anything. ;)

Edited by sometimes99er
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Hi, thanks for the feedback

I haven’t run much MSX in emulation, nor Colecovision or the early Sega stuff, all of which share the 9918A. One thing though for sure, the MSX Basic seems quite powerful, at least much more powerful compared with TI Basic, - at least with speed and direct resource access. Floating point accuracy seems a bit irrelevant, but there you go. Did MSX Basic directly support integer based variables for extra speed ?

 

As I remember it, or as I think I encountered it, I had access to near arcade quality stuff with my TI-99/4A and later with my Amiga. When Texas Instruments abandoned the home computer, I had already touched on the VIC-20 (and a friend had the ZX Spectrum ), was very interested in the Memotech and MSX, but indeed had to look at what was becoming popular and went for the C64. The original problems with the CPU for the TI-99 and later the sale of the 9918A for use in other systems, led, as I heard, some TI employees to explore how it interfaced with the Z80. Instead of going for the TI-99/8, maybe a solution with both 9900 and Z80A and perhaps even compatibility with MSX specs might have been a way to go. Even right out MSX only specs with a new TI-80/5A could maybe have saved the day, or at least made it possible to hang on just a few more years.

 

I cannot tell about the comparison with TI basic, anyway mxs basic supports also integers and single precision variables (I% is a int, I! is single precision, i# is float double precision) and has a good number of functions for accessing video, floppy disk and audio. From what I've seen the TMS9900 wasn't bad by itself, the problem was the architecture chosen by TI for the TI-99/8 with only 128 words and access to the VRAM for the rest (a pain also on msx).

 

The tunnel effect is more colorful than the ones I made up, but for 3D effect, I think yours a bit uninteresting, bordering on dull. Of course the 6, 7 or 8 frames puts a limit to what can be done, but honestly, your game should have something more stunning.

The asteroids seems rather “squared”. Not the common asteroid you run into. Is it ? Blasteroids had better “rock” feel to it.

As for the “main ship”. It looks like it’s going to have 3 colors (black, white and gray) ? Also it seems as if it would have a flip effect when turning on the vertical axis ? I think there’s much too much emphasis on the rocket nozzles, which should (with the emphasis) be accompanied with some gas/exhaust.

Did you pull/get inspired from any other game ?

 

About the tunnel, it was a test to see what can be done in multicolor mode, willing to go for something more interesting one should go for a different solution.

Cutting down the colors probably one could also go for in screen 1 (graphic mode) storing in VRAM 7 tile banks for 7 frames, but in that case you will need to update the pnt (extra 768 bytes) each time you change tile bank.

As sprite definitions for rolling rocks and main ship have to be updated by brute force by the CPU, I'm not sure the TI would be able to cope with this solution (at least not updating everything in the same frame, but actually it is not a problem, one could update sprite in odd frames and tiles in even frames...)

 

About the graphic I just ripped a couple of pictures from internet and converted them, consider them placeholders.

What I wanted to have is a spinning rock to zoom according to distance and a ship seen from the right angles .

Edited by artrag
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Finally got the asteroid animation. Had to skip the first 250 frames, and yet, with all the data, it turns fluidly but then steps in the 3D perspective. Anyway, nice try. The 3D tunnel effect is, well, no offense, but the extra color seems almost like random distortion and things are maybe too "fixed" - not fluid. I think my "quick and dirty" is still better for effect, yet I'm expecting something more cool can be done. Can't promise I'll find time to look into some. Sorry.

;)

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I actually think the tunnel looks rather good, at least as far as visibility of the effect is concerned. You might want to play with the chosen colors a little bit, I figure it might look better if you stick to a specific "base color", if you know what I mean. We have three shades of green, for instance. That combined with black might allow for some interesting Matrix alike effects.

 

I agree with sometimes99er though, the asteroid animation could do with a re-distribution of depth changes. Now it looks like you have then linearly distributed along the Z-axis, while it would probably work better if you afforded more different sizes to the closer-by version of the sprite, letting the further-away version rely on less different sprite definitions.

 

Having said all that, this looks like an awesome project you're working on, and I'm very happy that you're cross-posting this on atariage here! I think we should have more of these discussions with the larger "9918" community, especially now that with things like C compilers and PC tools cross-platform development becomes a real possibility and it should help boost homebrew output for both communities.

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thanks for the feedback

1) I was thinking to develop in C the project (I use HiTech cross compiler for z80) this could allow an easier reuse for TI development

2) I will add intermediate scales for the asteroid for closer range

3) I will try a gradient of green or blue bands

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the best conversion I had after some attempts with different color schemes and different resizing methods in matlab.

Using up/down arrows you can also change the speed of the tunnel (data files are in the msx disk).

I did also another experiment (test4)

tunnel _stardust3.dsk

post-22013-0-16966300-1409606779_thumb.gif

tunnel _stardust4.dsk

post-22013-0-94149000-1409606912_thumb.gif

Edited by artrag
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  • 1 month later...

You mean you have a copy of Warzone I & II booklets? If so could you scan them (that is if it won't damage the books).

No just WarZone II never had a copy of WarZone (1) they are still in the plastic bag with the 5 1/4 disk too.

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  • The title was changed to Multicolor mode - the mode everybody wants

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