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Madeleine? Nobody else will care (sob)
Mon Feb 11, 2019 17:48

Over the past few weeks I have been airing what little I know about programming the Spectrum with particular emphasis on the tricky nature of the graphics.

One factor in particular is the peculiar nature of the low res character cells, high res pixels and never the twain shall meet because whichever mode you use, you are restricted to two colours per character cell.

So switching to pixels in the hope of avoiding the klutzy square look will work as long as you dont also imagine that gets you out of the two colour restriction cos it doesnt!

If you would be so kind as to take a look at the link provided (its only 1 minute 39 seconds) you will see a very brief game trailer. The game is created using a utility called AGD by Jonathan Caudwell without whom hundreds of games would never have seen the light of day (or screen.)

AGD games all have a similar look so no kudos there really for Alesandro Grussu but stop the video at 1.33 because that loading screen (as they are known because usually its what you see first as the tape loads or probably doesnt) is not only all his own work but a beautiful demonstration of all that I've been talking about viz graphics problems.

Look at the top yellow blob of the snakes body and it gives away the fact its a character square based image. Yet overall it looks pretty decently hi-res. Look at the last left hand spiders leg touching the floor - see the character square again? Tells me he's using black paper red ink for that bit.

Notice the straight edges of the yellow blobs on the snakes body below that first one I mentioned?

This overall picture is quite an achievement made a lot easier by the choice of background colour - black. Even so he must have had hours of work adjusting the grid to position it pixel perfect to get the best possible look despite the limitations.

I think I can figure out how it was done or at least how to do likewise. The answer is to make a pixel scale grid printed black on acetate with the column line numbers marked as well. Then draw your picture on similar sized squared paper or not, it doesnt really matter, use plain paper its easier to do.

Now position your transparent grid over your artwork and gently move it about positioning it to get the best look and keeping no more than 2 colors per character cell. Now read off the paper/ink per column line numbers and enter that into the program.

Best to do the character cells first as their background will be the easiest to fill, treat it as if only the paper colour matters. Only afterwards do you repeat the process at the pixel level which should now be a lot easier to discern.

For what its worth. As if anyone gives an airborne fornicate

Here's the link:-

By the way not that you will but if you ever want to try out any games without having to download or install software, just ask me how to do it because several of the sites have online emulators that let you select the game you want to try and then play it using your keyboard or even your Playstation and joystick, how cool is that?

    • Re: Madeleine? Nobody else will care (sob) - Anonymous, Tue Feb 12 00:50
      Iím going read this post more carefully this afternoon and follow the link on my ipad rather than miniscule screen on iphone.
      • Re: Madeleine? Nobody else will care (sob) - Madeleine, Wed Feb 13 13:01
        We had a look at the link and the short extract. Is some of the interest that itís possible to create games without needing a whole team to work on it? It reminded G of the game Matic Mushrooms that... more
        • Yes! Its doable by one man - mike, Wed Feb 13 17:19
          Though many tend to specialize in either programming or graphic design and go looking for a collaborator. I had one last year and I created a tank for him and he was going to use it but his health... more
        • Re: Madeleine? Nobody else will care (sob) - Anonymous, Wed Feb 13 13:04
          Magic, children and Our - typing errors you probably worked out.
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