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Games like Frelon

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:34 pm
by ibisum
In my quest to discover more about AIC, I've been going through the games archive to discover games where the attribute clash is not so evident, or cleverly masked, or just plain absent due to clever use of AIC .. and I have to say that Frelon is one of those Oric games that makes me forget about the attribute system altogether .. but, how does it achieve this effect? Is this game using Text mode with double-height attributes to do its magic, combined with clever use of the invert bit? It sure seems colourful and smooth - two things not every Oric game can promise, alas...

Can you think of other games that achieve similar results?

Re: Games like Frelon

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:04 am
by NekoNoNiaow
This answer is not going to be very useful but the only Oric game I can recall playing back in the day is a text-mode F1 game written in BASIC which scrolled vertically line by line (no pseudo 3D rasters back then :D). It was quite far from Frelon it seems. ;)

But I would definitely be interested to watch and play such games so I hope others will be able to contribute to this post more productively than I can. ;)

Re: Games like Frelon

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:22 am
by ibisum
I was really surprised with how little attribute clash there is in Frelon, and still don't properly grok how it is achieving such a smooth use of colour - it would have to be one of the oldest games in the Oric archives with the least noticeable attribute clash .. I'd really love to know other examples, if anyone spots them - I'd kind of gotten used to thinking that only the 21st Century programmers for Oric have been able to accomplish smooth/colourful graphics with no clash, but this is clearly not the case with Frelon. It is, to me, a real gem of Oric graphics programming and I'd love to hear thoughts from the pro's who have time to analyse its technique.

Re: Games like Frelon

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:00 pm
by Dbug
So, just so everybody knows what we are talking about:

The game is definitely in HIRES has the green and white ground shows, so the few tricks I can see:
FrelonZoomed.png (8.3 KiB) Viewed 4786 times
- The CYAN bridge is bordered by two WHITE columns, which are most probably some CYAN INK attribute change, but displayed in INVERTED so they appear as WHITE instead of BLACK.
- The horizontal movement of sprites is done by 6 pixels bloc steps, which means the planes are probably just a all YELLOW on the top part, with the BLUE parts made by inverting the color.
- The helicopter rotor is just alternating the PAPER color between YELLOW and BLACK
- The MAGENTA and WHITE brick work is just inverted GREEN and BLACK
- Same trick with the truck, with the PAPER changed to CYAN so they can invert it to give the RED and GREEN on the bottom part.

Remember: The zoom, and the 6 pixels grid is your friend.

If you look at the video on youtube, switch to 0.25 speed when the planes cross with the missiles, you'll see attribute clashes :)

Re: Games like Frelon

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:18 pm
by Chema
Good post Dbug!

Well explained indeed. Some games made some color graphics using attributes, so you ended up with 6 pixels of the same colour, making it a bit crude and impossible to place with pixel precision. Some games hid this drawback better than others. When attributes were hid in paper colour most games suffered from a terrible collision detection (Zorgons).

One game that was quite colorful, smooth and, though it had colour clash, it was not disturbing, was Defence Force. Quite ahead of the rest, in my opinion.

Re: Games like Frelon

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 5:29 pm
by Steve M
Psychiatric is quite good. There is some clashing but it often isn't so obvious.
The screens are fairly basic which is part of the trick. Frelon has a lot of space between objects.
Psychiatric has a nice use of foreground and background colour to have the ladders in the forground and the character go behind these.
Colour clash occurs when things drop through the floor etc but it's a bit less of an issue then.

Re: Games like Frelon

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:22 pm
by Dbug
Psychiatric was indeed one of the few games to smartly use alternate lines to limit color clashes, smart of them!