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View topic - Issues in installing Retro Graphics Toolkit in linux -or do you recommend any other graphics editor?

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  • Joined: 03 Dec 2021
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Issues in installing Retro Graphics Toolkit in linux -or do you recommend any other graphics editor?
Post Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:54 pm
Hello everyone,

I am fighting to install Retro Graphics Toolikit on my Linux Mint 20 machine, but I am hitting so many issues in trying to compile it that I would like to know: has anyone been using it?

I would like a graphics editor for the sega master system that 1) is free and 2) can run on my Linux machine.

Do you have any other suggestion?

Thank you in advance!
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  • Joined: 14 Oct 2008
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 2:00 am
Is this a tile editor?
I don't know about the availability of tile editors on Linux, but I thought that among tile editors, SMS was a pretty commonly supported format.
(I know the Ni****do formats are essentially guaranteed to be supported, and Genesis very likely, but SMS I thought was a pretty well-supposed format too.)
Note of course that means they support uncompressed graphics. As I have heard, Sega console games were especially likely to need the additional outside steps of de- and (possibly) re-compressing graphics.
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  • Joined: 17 Jan 2020
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  • Location: Brisbane, AU
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 2:26 am
I'm not sure I recommend it, but I use gimp. The learning curve for it is pretty steep, even then it's still not great to use. I've created an SMS palette and set the grid lines to be 8x8. I spent a fair bit of time learning/setting up the short keys to do things fairly quickly, but it's taken me years to get comfortable with it.

It's an image editor, so it doesn't know about tiles and can export bitmap images. It's available as a package on every linux system.

I export the images as png and use command line tools to convert them to C.

I'm assuming your question is about writing your own games and not modifying existing roms.
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  • Joined: 06 Mar 2022
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  • Location: London, UK
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 10:37 am
I've been using Aseprite which is pretty similar to graphics packages like gimp, although tailored specifically to pixel art for gaming. It has the standard SMS palette built in, but only exports to image formats, so like under4 I use command line tools to convert from uncompressed bitmap to tile sets.

Aseprite is paid, although it used to be open source so there's an open source fork still available - https://github.com/LibreSprite/LibreSprite/ - I've not tried it (more than happy to support the author of Aseprite with what $20 or something) but it looks very similar.

For exporting to tilemaps, Maxim's tools are by all accounts very useful, although I think only for Windows, not sure about Linux alternatives? I wrote a really basic Python script for converting bmp to tile data but it's not very clever at all, so you still need to faff around before and after.

The project you linked to doesn't look particularly active and not too many stars so might end up being a dead end, but always nice to see what's out there and try and get it working!
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 8:43 pm
Thank you everyone!

I think I'll give Aseprite a go, since AFAIU it would allow me to 1) create a tileset and 2) create a tilemap from it (https://www.aseprite.org/docs/tilemap/). Then I guess (still not sure, I am still a super noobie ;) ), I will export the tilemap as (e.g.) PNG 1bpp,4bpp, or 8bpp and convert it with (e.g.) the Python script willbritton pointed out or Maxim's BMP2Tile using Wine.

The pros are that it would be probably easier than doing it with GIMP (I use it for other purposes and I know it a bit, BTW thanks under4mhz for suggesting it, but I was hoping for something more focused towards game arts). Also, if the SMS palette is already defined there somewhere, that is another plus for me :)

As for Retro Graphics Toolkit, I opened an issue on the github page: if someone will answer I will come back to it, but meanwhile I will definitely go with Aseprite.

Thank you for your great suggestions and for taking the time to help me!!!
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:26 am
I am so excited!!!!

Yesterday night I gave Aseprite a go and today I ended up with this amazing beautiful result!!!

Well, maybe it is not that great, but at least to me it feels like I achieved something big :)

Thanks everyone, I am really learning a lot from this forum and website!


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  • Joined: 06 Mar 2022
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:33 pm
Nice work @umbe - would love to see where this journey takes you so keep sharing!
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