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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/02/20 in all areas

  1. Vera Graphics Converter View File Version 0.1 This software converts indexed and RGBA images in the formats PNG, JPG or GIF into binary data suitable for the VERA chip in the upcoming 8-Bit Computer Commander X16. Basic usage: Open an image file using File/Open... Configure the settings according to your needs. Export the image using File/Export Bitmap/Tiles/Sprites... Image Modes: You can open either an indexed image with an embedded palette or a regular RGBA image. Depending on the image mode, the software behaves slightly differently. RGBA: In RGBA mode, VGC needs to match the pixel colors to the colors in the palette. This can be done by comparing color similarity in RGB (Red, Green, Blue), HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) or HSV (Hue, Saturation, Brightness) mode. Select the conversion strategy that works best for your image. Ideally load a palette that matches all colors in the image. You can specify the bit depth of the image by changing the pixel mode. 1 Bit per Pixel results in 2 colors, 2 Bits per Pixel result in 4 colors, 4 Bits per Pixel result in 16 colors and 8 Bits per Pixel uses the whole palette of 256 colors. The colors usable by the image depend on the palette offset. Indexed: In indexed mode VGC assumes that all pixels in the image have the correct index. It is still necessary to select the correct palette offset to give a correct export. On export the palette offset is subtracted and the index value capped on the selected pixel mode. Transparency Any pixel in the image that has an alpha value of 255 is set to the index selected in "Transparent Color Index". The minimum value is the palette offset. Image Mode: The VERA Graphic chip has three modes. Bitmap, tiled with a tile dimension of 8 * 8 pixels and tiled with a tile dimension of 16 * 16 pixels. Both tile modes split the image in separate tiles and limit their number to 256, since the VERA chip cannot address more than 256 tiles. It is also possible to limit their number even further. To use a tile mode the width and height of your image must be divisible by 8 or 16. The VERA chips supports 4 different resolutions: 640x480, 320x480, 640x240 and 320x240. VGC does not enforce these resolutions. It is also possible to generate sprite maps. In sprite mode the tiles can have 8, 16, 32 or 64 pixels in width or height. They are however limited to 128 tiles, and similarly, the source images dimensions have to be divisible by the tile dimensions. Sprites can only have a color depth of 4 or 8 Bits per Pixel. PRG File Header It is possible to save the exported binary file with 2 leading bytes. This is necessary for some load routines in the Commander X16 Kernal. Splitting files The exported files can be saved in chunks of a given size. The VERA Video RAM is paged in pages of 2048 bytes. Files can be split at any page, depending on how you want to store or load your data. The PRG File Header is saved to every individual file. The Palette You can load and save the color palette in the Format used by the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) Other software like Aseprite can read and save this format too. You can also export the palette in the format used by the VERA chip. The PRG Header option is applied to this as well. The file splitting is not. Analyzing the image. You can double click on colors in the palette to change them. When you hold the left mouse button on a color in the palette, the parts of the image using this color are highlighted. Similarly, when you click on the image the color in the palette is also highlighted. Submitter Sandmage Submitted 07/02/20 Category Dev Tools  
    2 points
  2. I've been working on this for a couple of weeks now. What I originally intented to do is a tool that crunshes images with repeating patterns into a set of tiles and autogenerates a tilemap. Sort of what Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick did in Maniac Mansion, but with enhanced features like flipping tiles and shifting the color palette. Befor I could have that I need a Tileeditor, and before I can create a Tileeditor I need this. So, this is the first version of what I hope will be a very versatile tool to create assets optimized for the VERA chip.
    2 points
  3. Hi again! I've been working for quite awhile to get the new layout complete, and I think we are just about ready to run the second prototype! There are quite a number of changes to this board over the previous version, so I do expect a few, ahem, challenges perhaps? That said, a lot of time has been spent testing on breadboards and optimizing so I think we should be close to the final specs on this system. As mentioned, there are code breaking changes with the system. I will post more for the devs out there in a post below. The VERA has also changed quite a bit. Namely, it now has 32 registers, but I'll let @Frank van den Hoef talk more about that when he is ready to post some updates. Also, I made two proto boards to test the bus and get the alignment right for the final design. Progress is being made, thanks for everyone's patience and have a great day!
    1 point
  4. If you need the ball to go up, just right-click. The improvements look great! The one thing that sticks out to me is that I wish the paddle had even more influence over the horizontal movement of the ball. The ball clearly gets some horizontal component added to it based on where it strikes the paddle, but I wish this influence were even stronger, or just straight-up assigned a velocity instead of influencing the existing one. To get right at the point, I really wish that when I narrowly miss a block near the edge of the screen, I could bounce the ball off paddle to reflect the ball back and take another shot at the missed block right away at a hopefully similar (but not exact) angle. Right now, I feel like I have to bounce the ball across the entire width of the screen, because it's just about impossible for the paddle to influence the ball enough to actually reflect it back in the direction it came from.
    1 point
  5. I don't think Arkanoid did that, but I remember playing a clone in the MS-DOS days and I remember that paddle/ball interaction wasn't really physically plausible, but it was fun. By the way, we're in the same timezone.
    1 point
  6. The angle can be modified by letting the ball hit the paddle more at the sides. If ball is coming from the right and hits the left hand third of the paddle then it is redirected in a more steep angle. That way you can get it back upwards. Imagine the paddle is curved. I consider to change that to be depending on the movement of the paddle. So the ball would inherit some impulse from the paddle movement. Not sure how Arkanoid worked...
    1 point
  7. I'll dig into it tomorrow (midnight here now). But then I'll need some additional artwork for "Brixx" :).
    1 point
  8. Uploaded a new version (0.2). This one now uses BIN files to load the palette, sprites and tile set. I managed to create some artwork which (in my opinion) makes the game already appear to look a lot more like Arkanoid back in the days . I made it more difficult for myself by using 4bpb tiles in a 256 color palette I've designed myself. Then using color offsets (multiple of 16) I now can easily recolor all the bricks just by moving them in the color palette :). Next topic is sound... Something I have zero experience. I consider changing the layout of the playing field to be more square and show score, lives etc on the right hand side (similar to Arkanoid). Right now I think there are just too many bricks on the screen - it takes ages to complete a level... What do you think?
    1 point
  9. Ooooh - thanks a lot for this one ! I use a combination of Gimp and Paint.Net and some self-made python scripts which is quite cumbersome. This will help a lot!
    1 point
  10. Greetings from the Northeastern corner of the U.S. I have been lurking on the FB group since video #1. It is great to see a proper discussion forum being rolled out. I am here because I find retro systems a relaxing change of pace from my day job. I am a work-from-home ASIC design engineer for a well-known silicon valley company. Counting picoseconds in multi-billion transistor ASICs has its rewards, but the joys are different from the 80's designs of my early career.
    1 point
  11. I agree, there's something comfortable and old school about it, even though it's regularly updated and modern. It's not perfect of course, however I have most of the retro forums on it, so it's now my all-in-one go to retro discussion app.
    1 point
  12. Glad I stumbled here. As I don't use Facebook, I had felt out of the loop with the Commander X16, and the murray2.com forum just disappeared, so I found this (almost) purely by chance. Actually, I had built my own Gigatron, as I was really lucky to get one of the last ones including a case. https://gigatron.io/ (yes, the one that The 8-Bit Guy reviewed, along with Dave EEV Blog and Ben Heck)... I can't recommend it enough, for soldering, hacking, software, and the still active community. So, long story short, I found myself here! However, the Commander X16 seems to tick all of the boxes I had in a "modern-retro" device, and it looks like everyone involved here are doing a fantastic job. Looking forward to all and any progress
    1 point
  13. Welcome! Glad you like it [emoji106][emoji973]️
    1 point
  14. Oh, and the website looks awesome
    1 point
  15. I'm using Tapatalk to access X16 forums from my mobile phone for a few days now, and it reminds me a little past times when I used news feeds a lot. Tapatalk has nice features like TIMELINE and UNREAD, which provide feed for either all or unread only messages. Very useful to keep track of what's up. And it's running faster than rendering a web page on my phone. It is not a replacement of web site by any means, but it's very useful when I just want to check new things on the go, especially with poor internet connection.
    1 point
  16. And now that I see how cool embedding forum links look, here's another. There will be expansion card prototyping boards available, too.
    1 point
  17. This has been posted here already:
    1 point
  18. While that would be cool, I think it's not likely at this point. The team IS building a ROM based assembler IDE, which will be much more powerful than BBC BASIC's assembly. You should be able to drop in and out of the assembly editor at any time, so you would just need to use SYS statements to run assembly subroutines from BASIC. With the planned BASIC editor, which will not require line numbers, the CX16's code editing will be more advanced than any 80s micro.
    1 point
  19. Agreed! In future we'll try to only make announcement posts here, then paste the link into FB (which will generate a preview of the post anyway). The website will be the go-to #1 source.
    1 point
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