Problems on the Games and Demos list

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Jubatian
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Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by Jubatian » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:31 pm

In the past weeks occasionally I checked various games on this wiki page:

http://uzebox.org/wiki/index.php?title=Games_and_Demos

I found that a few titles there has broken download links or other problems. Right now I have the followings:

Uzesweeper (D3thAdd3r) missing the .hex file (the .uze is there).
VectorGame (CunningFellow) has a broken .uze file. Manually adding the "UZEBOX" header with a hex editor made it playable.

Originally I found more, but apparently the forum was not fully operational then (reporting some database problem) which seem to be gone by now.

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D3thAdd3r
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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by D3thAdd3r » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:20 pm

Must have been pointing to an older version I deleted, it is fixed now. If you don't have one you should get a wiki account, feel free to fix any little mistakes of mine you notice along the way too ;)

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Harty123
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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by Harty123 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:00 pm

Jubatian wrote: ... Manually adding the "UZEBOX" header with a hex editor made it playable. ...
You can use the tool packrom to convert a Hex file to an Uze File....

About the game list ... It would be nice to have an overview with pictures for every game like this:

http://gamebuino.com/wiki/index.php?title=Games

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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by CunningFellow » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:45 pm

That's a great idea with animated gifs of the game.

Also I see they have choplifter, super-hexagon and worlds hardest game.

Three things I think are sadly missing from the Uzebox

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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by D3thAdd3r » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:51 am

They have a pretty impressive library really.

I just tried Blockdude and it is mildy amusing. Simple as can be, I might actually try to do that one in the near future for a spare weekend.

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Jubatian
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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by Jubatian » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:57 am

OFF: Maybe an 1bpp framebuffered mode would be interesting to explore, where you can do things without tile constraints. I know Video Mode 6 is there, but it still has its limitations in this regard. I mean something like a 128x96 small framebuffer surface centered, 5 cycles / pixel, on the extra area having some VRAM for ROM tiles, so you could add some framing and text content, a foreground and background color selectable globally. It would be nice to pull off games of similar style.
Harty123 wrote:You can use the tool packrom to convert a Hex file to an Uze File....
I knew about that, just had a very sloppy net access and only the uze file, and I wanted to play. So it did worth the minute to try, rather than hurling the crap off of the window after a half hour of not being able to access the page again :) Its a nice game by the way, some cunning (heh) techniques are in there to make it appear like the Uzebox had some 7K of framebuffer!

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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by uze6666 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:47 am

Harty123 wrote:
Jubatian wrote: ... Manually adding the "UZEBOX" header with a hex editor made it playable. ...
You can use the tool packrom to convert a Hex file to an Uze File....

About the game list ... It would be nice to have an overview with pictures for every game like this:

http://gamebuino.com/wiki/index.php?title=Games
I'm all for it. If someone can hack up a Wiki template to that, feel free :) . Though I would make it a bit more compact to ease navigation.

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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by D3thAdd3r » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:17 am

I put up an experiment for the games list that has thumbnails and animated .GIFs in some cases where they were easy to create. I'd be interested in fully populating more games in the future but I need feedback before I go too crazy on work that might not be in the format we want.

Check it out and let me know your suggestions. It is not exactly the same as Gamebuino, since it is desirable to have less clutter and having more games to display, I chose a resolution of 160x112 for the thumbnails, does this seem OK? I think there is some advantages to simply using the .GIF in another column, mainly that you have ultimate flexibility over how you want to make your animation; since certain things that make a good screenshot might not make a good animation.

A nice thing about not doing things exactly like Gamebuino is we still retain the ability to sort the table by preference. I am interested on feedback for those members who have issues with their internet connection, to make sure it isn't totally unrealistic to download that many .GIFs. I think it is not, since after the initial load they should be cached and subsequent loads only need to get .GIFs that are new since last time. I'm hoping all games could have an animation as extensive as the Mega Bomber one, let me know please.
mgbomber_thumb.gif
mgbomber_thumb.gif (964.81 KiB) Viewed 4542 times
Edit-As shown above, some of the long animations(the best ones by this virtue, I think) might be considered a bit excessive in size. I am seeing pretty good results with color reduction and lossy .GIF where the picture is still quite good with only mild fringing at less than half the size. At about 1/3 the size I think it is still good, and to have full color thumbnails like this is worth it for presentation value whatever cost point ends up being preferred:
mgbomber_thump_50.gif
mgbomber_thump_50.gif (389.59 KiB) Viewed 4541 times
I wont spam up this thread too much, but there are already several of them up and they are quick to make. A pretty good example for Buddha:
Buddha_thumb.gif
Buddha_thumb.gif (215.35 KiB) Viewed 4534 times

To my eye the page is more impressive than the Gamebuino implementation(which was the intent of course).

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Jubatian
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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by Jubatian » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:16 pm

Looks nice! With sloppy internet connection I guess you referred me, expert on the field :lol: I am however at my parents now, so I can not check out that (this is also the reason I am not really doing anything but idea-storming now, no real hardware, no convenient development environment, and absolutely nothing suitable for making decent pixel-art handy, so just reading and likes). However by my experience usually the count of files which matter the more (which need separate connections to be built up for fetching), and whether the site depends on the proper download of those or not. Such an image list on my sloppy net usually would just suffer a few broken images when loaded first, but nothing drastic otherwise (the content can be browsed, and they can be reloaded if necessary).

It would be nice however if somehow it rather had two columns. or even better, if it was done as floating boxes. Just from practicality, I know it is wiki formatting there, and such might be impossible. With floating boxes probably the best would be having the image on the left, and the metadata on the right, in a similar sized half. The reason for this image based list after all is rather that so games could be selected by picture. Or if sticking to the table layout, a nice short description could also fit, something along the lines of this site (note: A Hungarian C64 games site, the long texts on the right are game descriptions. It is part of a frameset, the index list would be on a top frame). For the "choose by picture" idea, I have another nice Hungarian C64 example here.

Something is seriously going south with those GIFs if they have so huge size. I checked the Buddha example in Gimp, and I see every frame was individually dithered, so the end result is that most of the image size encodes dither artefacts which aren't even there on the original source. I can not fix it from there (the dithering already ruined it).

In Gimp to get small GIFs you could use two paths:

Pull the image down to 255 colors (255 + transparency, the transparency is necessary for animations) without dithering. Then in the right click menu, find animation, optimize for GIF. This usually works well, decent size at decent quality especially for non-scrolling stuff.

If you get banding artefacts (I doubt it is likely), or want an even smaller result, you may try "positioned" dithering. This dithering algorithm doesn't use infinite feedback, so an identical blotch will produce an identical dithered result, so it is compressible.

The Buddha image I think should go below 32K or even less reasonably well. Anyway, the most important, whatever program you use, is to ditch its default dithering algorithm since it screws up size.

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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Post by D3thAdd3r » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:37 pm

I used a cheesy online gif maker because ot was really quick to do. I will give gimp a try and compare the results.

The floating box thing I will look into how that is done, currently I don't know much about fancy wiki stuff. With the current experiment, I will try another column for Genre, and perhaps another for a 1 sentence description and see if that works well, as 1 option. Horizontal space isn't being used up right now. Also, we could have 2 List of Games links, 1 normal and 1 that warns of high bandwidth.

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