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Chris
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Console Game Graphics
Post Posted: Mon Jul 26, 1999 3:09 am
I understand the fact that when it comes to video game graphics there are little 8x8 characters and
sprites used to display it's graphics. Now 8x8 is nice if you're making a Space Invaders game but
it looks pretty damn difficult to draw something huge like the title drawing for a video game or
really huge background sprites. How did they do that? Did they actually piece together the
sprites until it made one complete image? Also, when the graphics designers for a video game
drew the graphics, did they have to draw on each 8x8 tile and then piece the image together
before they even copied the graphics into the game? I don't understand. Why does everything
have to be 8x8? Atari, Ni****do, Genesis, Turbo Graphix 16, even the mighty SNES uses
8x8 tiles? Why? How come when you view the graphics under Nesticle or Genecyst that there's
just a huge garble of 8x8 sprites? Did programmers actually have to remember the memory
locations of the sprites and piece them together until they made a complete solid image?
Is this how they made all of the graphics? This can't be true. I need answers and explainations.

Chris :o|
 
Limbs a Flyin'
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 26, 1999 6:19 am

Quote
> I understand the fact that when it comes to video game graphics there are little 8x8 characters and
> sprites used to display it's graphics. Now 8x8 is nice if you're making a Space Invaders game but
> it looks pretty damn difficult to draw something huge like the title drawing for a video game or
> really huge background sprites. How did they do that? Did they actually piece together the
> sprites until it made one complete image?

sure they did.

Quote
>Also, when the graphics designers for a video game
> drew the graphics, did they have to draw on each 8x8 tile and then piece the image together
> before they even copied the graphics into the game?

they probaly had drawing tools that drew images with heights/widths in multiples of 8, and when the tool saved the image split it down to individual tiles. probably also saved an extra data file that might not be used by the game itself, to define which tiles go where in case they artist wants to reopen and edit that image.

Quote
> I don't understand. Why does everything
> have to be 8x8? Atari, Ni****do, Genesis, Turbo Graphix 16, even the mighty SNES uses
> 8x8 tiles?

i realy dont know, i have wondered the same my self. even the humble jpeg is compiled of 8x8 tiles ( i think!)

Why? How come when you view the graphics under Nesticle or Genecyst that there's
Quote
> just a huge garble of 8x8 sprites? Did programmers actually have to remember the memory
> locations of the sprites and piece them together until they made a complete solid image?

tools. you can write a tool to turn graphic data into source code, you know. eg the Allegro library can 'compile' sprites.. like that define byte/word assembler mnemonic on one of Eric's source posts

Quote
> Is this how they made all of the graphics? This can't be true. I need answers and explainations.

> Chris :o|

i remember my james pond 3 manual claimed the game included data from several thousand files (i dont know excact number, dont have it handy).

so, various methods of handiling things like graphics, sounds etc were probably driven by tools and engines that the game company may have written themselves for their own purposes. including tools that convert raw data into a source code format, and the games themselves were probably built with a stadardised library to handle the big mess at compile time, again perhaps written by the game company
 
Chris
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Level Design
Post Posted: Mon Jul 26, 1999 7:03 am
Why did these older systems have to be so cryptic? It's like everything is encoded in binary some how!
Even the damn sprites are encoded in binary. One bit represents a pixel and one byte represents one
image row. 8 bytes represent one 8x8 image. The sound is cryptic. The digital data that plays
the song is cryptic. The song itself is pretty cryptic. There's no way around binary and hex, anywhere!
I'm almost speechless...

Now, lemme guess. These programmers back in the day built "tools" that would design the entire
level and then the program could save the level design to a text file and later implement this
to the assembler?

Chris :o|
 
Nyef
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Re: Level Design
Post Posted: Mon Jul 26, 1999 1:46 pm
Quote
> Why did these older systems have to be so cryptic? It's like everything is encoded in binary some how!

It's because everything is encoded in binary somehow. :-)

Quote
> Even the damn sprites are encoded in binary. One bit represents a pixel and one byte represents one
> image row. 8 bytes represent one 8x8 image. The sound is cryptic. The digital data that plays
> the song is cryptic. The song itself is pretty cryptic. There's no way around binary and hex, anywhere!

8x8 tiles were probably used because it was easier to manipulate 8-bit data with an 8-bit CPU (see also:
TG16, NES, SNES, etc.). Some game systems used 16x16 tiles (see also: TG16, Genesis, etc.), because
they either had a 16-bit CPU or extra rendering hardware for sprites.

Quote
> I'm almost speechless...

You may be speechless, but I don't see any evidence that you have stopped typing.

Quote
> Now, lemme guess. These programmers back in the day built "tools" that would design the entire
> level and then the program could save the level design to a text file and later implement this
> to the assembler?

Maybe not. Some assemblers can include a block of binary data, and some object file formats are
text-based (intel HEX and motorola S37 formats come to mind) and are thus very easy to modify.

Also, some programmers write map data by hand. It has been known.

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> Chris :o|

--Nyef
 
ziggy880
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it isnt cryptic
Post Posted: Mon Jul 26, 1999 5:35 pm
Chris it isnt cryptic you just dont know what you are doing.
It just amazes me how many people code and dont know how there
programs work why code at all if you dont care how it works.
This wasnt a flame I hope you understand that.
 
  • Joined: 29 Jun 1999
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: Houston TX
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 1999 5:18 am
Quote
> just a huge garble of 8x8 sprites? Did programmers actually have to remember the memory
> locations of the sprites and piece them together until they made a complete solid image?

The hardware determines the sprite layouts to some degree. For example the Game Gear (SMS also) and Gameboy create sprites as either 8x8 or 8x16 (or 16x16 if stretched on the Game Gear).
The data for these sprites involved sequential tiles.

On any system the memory location has to be remembered or 'generated' somehow.
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