> chat > Sat 2004-05-22

Chat for Sat 2004-05-22 15:00:16

rich-c: confirm
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to Guy B.
rich-c: good afternoon Guy
Guy B.: HI Rich
rich-c: how are things going in Chicago?
Guy B.: Warm, muggy and more bad weather coming here. Have a Severe Thunderstorm and Flood Watches up through tonight.
rich-c: oh, we're on the other side of that front - Frances just turned on the hea
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to Daniel B
rich-c: we did see one shaft of sun and one glimpse of blue sky earlier but now it's dull grey and windy
Daniel B: ring ring ring ring banana phone...
rich-c: salut, Daniel - ca va?
Daniel B: oui!
Guy B.: That front is nearly sitting over us and we're on the warm side of it. So, we have been getting hit with the storms. Hi Daniel
Daniel B: Hi Guy!
rich-c: tres bien - ici on soit un peu froid et beaucoup de vent
rich-c: Guy, just sharing the weather with Daniel
Guy B.: Been rough here in Chicago the last three days and it's not over yet.
rich-c: we have a difference of opinion between Environment Canada and Weather Channel
Daniel B: in soleil (sun) temperature agréable (not too hot) :p
rich-c: EC says we'll stay cold and wet, WC says we'll be warm and wet
Guy B.: Looks like I'm heading back to school on a part-time basis.
rich-c: really, Guy? what brings that on?
Guy B.: Well, for some time I've been wanting to get a Bachelor's Degree. So, I'm going to go for it and my company has a tuition reimbursement program that will pay 90%.
Guy B.: I have a 2 year degree already.
rich-c: good for you, Guy - as you know Daniel and I both have graduate degrees so we are prejudiced, of course
rich-c: but I can't see it as doing you anything but good
Guy B.: It will be in Computer Networking.
rich-c: what is your 2-year degree in, Guy?
Guy B.: Associates in Data Processing. That was back in 1978. It was mainly in computer operations and programming.
rich-c: how many credits is that worth towards teh new one, and how many more will you have to get?
Daniel B: I olny did a master in computer science... and i still have problem running my computer right. =S
Guy B.: I have 60 credit hours now and the university will see if most of it can be applied towards the degree.
rich-c: right, Daniel - no matter how fast you run, Bill gate's mob can still keep ahead of you ;-)
rich-c: so how many credit hours will teh degree take?
Guy B.: And yet there are more flaws found in WinXp.
rich-c: that's why I'm quite content to stay in 98SE, Daniel
Guy B.: I can probably get the degree in a year and half.
rich-c: there are other reasons, of course
rich-c: that full time, Guy, or part-time?
Guy B.: It will be part-time.
Daniel B: Well, my windows version is 98SE (it's an update over a windows 98 full version)
Guy B.: We both have that version.
rich-c: what will it be, Guy, so many nights per week, and how many weeks?
Guy B.: I will have to see. The new semester starts July 12th. I'm going to talk it over with my family to let them know.
rich-c: fair enough - whre will you be doing the degree? Univ. of Illinois?
Guy B.: DeVry University
rich-c: DeVry Tech I know "well", so to speak, didn't know they had degree-granting status though
Guy B.: They have been chaning over the years.
rich-c: do they actually have a full-time campus and such?
rich-c: chaning?
Guy B.: They have a center in Oakbrook that's not too far from me, but all the lab work I'll have to go to the campus in Chicago.
rich-c: they obviously work on a much larger scale in Chicago than in Canada
Guy B.: They have campuses all over the USA.
rich-c: do they offer Bachelors degrees only or do they offer advanced as well?
rich-c: here they are normally in just one or two buildings and offer only certificates
Guy B.: They have Associates, Bachelors and Masters degrees.
rich-c: there was some sort of local scandal involving DeVry here recently but I forget the details
Guy B.: I'll have to see how this affects going to the con.
rich-c: right, that will be a consideration for you -I'm still wrestling with our attendance
rich-c: we are just plain not willing to spend 24 - 30 hours in transit
Guy B.: I haven't made any airline reservations yet or sent my deposit to Bob. So, I'll know more next week.
rich-c: right - but then. you have Southwest out of Chicago practically at half-hour intervals
rich-c: they don't srve anyplace 9in Canada though
Guy B.: That's true. I can make reservations still. So, I'll tell everyone on Wednesday.
Daniel B: (do not think about finding a solution for this question, I had a headack thinking about a way to optimize without using VRAM as a buffer) : I want to do a simple role playing game with a huge map of 256x256 tiles (almost like the super game demo project Dale Wick released in the internet) but each tiles are a smaller map (not only a 32x32 pixels graphic). I want to keep RAM for the game players and monters data. But I need a way to code a MAP in the ROM without taking too much space. Any idea?
rich-c: even driving through to Detroit, with the border crossing and flights from there, it's a two-day grind
rich-c: Guy, Daniel's question is your department, I think
Guy B.: Wish Dr D were here. He would know about this part.
rich-c: about all I can say it that it sounds like a big memory requirement - lot of disc swapping, maybe?
Guy B.: I was thinking along the line about using data files for what he wants to do.
rich-c: if it were being programmed in CP/M I suspect it might work - sort of like Trolls Tale
Daniel B: ok, if my limit is a colecovision project ROM of 32K? 16K for the program, 16K for the graphics, sounds, texts and maps?
rich-c: somehow or other doesn't sound like it would fit to me - but you have been doing some very sophuisticated things, Daniel
Guy B.: It will work that way. But, if you want a larger area. You will have to write it for the Adam using it's memory than Colecovision.
Daniel B: Example: It needs 8KBytes just to code in binary walls of the 256x256 maze.
Guy B.: That will work for a small game. But, how much graphics are you planning to write?
rich-c: isn't that a problem on a 256 x 192 pixel screen?
Daniel B: rich, the game will only show a prat of the maze on screen.
Daniel B: ...a part...
rich-c: that would mean some sort of scrolling, but also rewriting memory on the fly, wouldn't it?
Daniel B: I'm planning to write enough grphics to have an oceans with big and small islands, and of course graphics for inside cavers, houses and castles.
Daniel B: rich : no, more like first Zelda game.
rich-c: you might get it onto a 256K tape but I wouldn't even bet on a 160K disc holding it :=(
Daniel B: more i think about it, more I had to reduce the map to fit on a cartridge
Daniel B: To avoid having a "squared oceans and island" I have to do "inter" tiles graphics.
rich-c: you've lost me; Guy will have to comment on that
Guy B.: Daniel, how much memory did you use for the games you have already done?
Daniel B: Guy, I didn't write the game yet. I'm calculating to see if it's possible beffore doing anything. It's a part of my computer science laerning.
Daniel B: Rich, showing tiles of 32x32 pixels it's not so nice. Think about seeing on screen 32x32 pixels of sand beside 32x32 pixels of water... it doesn't look natural. So I have to do more graphics to rounded the corners.
Guy B.: Ok, so you're trying to estimate how much you need. I wish I knew myself. I think Dr. D would help you with this.
rich-c: you
Daniel B: Yeah! I missed the last adamcon chat session.
rich-c: re saying each tile has top be a single uniform colour, right, Daniel?
Daniel B: For now, uniform color is ok
Daniel B: the most important here is fiting the map, all the texts, sounds and graphics in 16K. I think the map will take to biggest place
rich-c: if you can make each tile say a split between two colours it gives you more flexibility
rich-c: I just don't know enough about the space requirements to say anything intelligent
Daniel B: Rich, imagine many 0 and 1 in a 256x256 matrice. this is 8KBytes of data.
Guy B.: And you want to fit so you don't overlap any part of what you placed in memory.
Daniel B: I want to think another way than a "bitmap" to save space.
rich-c: given your matrix, doesn't colour depth affect it? and, how do you get it all on the screen?
Daniel B: My matrix example is ok for only two things like land and ocean.
Daniel B: But I have to add much more than sand and water to make a nice game
rich-c: but you want islands and shorelines and stuff - and I suspect multiple scrrens (for rooms, etcv.)
Daniel B: that's why I had a headack.
Guy B.: I can see why.
rich-c: quite honestly, Daniel, I can't see any hope in 32K - you just want too much
rich-c: and I'm wondering how much challenge your VRAM can handle, too
rich-c: I think you could pull it off as a 265K game in machine code, CP/M, or Logo, on tape
Guy B.: That would work.
Daniel B: well, using VRAM as more memory space is the only thing I found to uncompressed compressed MAP data from ROM.
rich-c: I'm not sure all teh VRAM is even available - the display I believe only uses 8K but I think I heard some undocumented functions sneaks in there as well
Daniel B: but if the video memory is not running well, the game will not work or bug.
rich-c: I know some of our guys have written programs that make use of some of the "unused" part of VRAM
Daniel B: Well, I have no choice... I have to reduce the map to fit more things in the 8K
rich-c: again, you're going to need to talk to Dr. D. or Dale, or maybe james, on that one
Guy B.: Even this one is out of my area.
rich-c: why don't you just write a supergame in CP/M or Logo and be done with it?
Daniel B: If I have 16 possibles 32x32 tiles, I can code the values into many 4bit.
Daniel B: halfbyte
Daniel B: if I want a 8K map, the map size will be only 128x128
Daniel B: that's not bad
rich-c: you could even get two side by side on the screen if the VRAM would take it
rich-c: though I have serious doubts that it would
Daniel B: but it's 128x128 tiles... not 128x128 screens of map parts.
rich-c: I don't understand - that's technical beyond my knowledge
Daniel B: to artificial grow the map, I think of using many tiles as map parts
Guy B.: Daniel, bring what you want to do on Wednesday's chat and hopefully Dr D will help what you want to do.
Daniel B: these tiles patterns can be reused many times... it's a kind of dictionnary compression technic
rich-c: sounds to me though that it will make for some awfully rigid graphics
Guy B.: I wonder if he wants to use high resolution graphics?
moved to room Meeting Place
Daniel B: ok, imagine a screen with only water. in ROM this "full water" screen can be 4 parts of "just water" in the dictionnary.
changed username to rich-c
Daniel B: rich-c bros!
Daniel B: :P
Guy B.: Well, I'm going to go. Going to take my dog for a short walk. I'll see you on Wednesday.
rich-c: sorry gentlemen, a program I was multi-tasking knocked me off
Daniel B: more I reuse, more smaller is the dictionary, more it will compress.
rich-c: OK Guy see you then - take care
Daniel B: bye Gye! thanks for your help!
Guy B.: Sure. Bye. Poof
Guy B. left chat session
rich-c: and I see I have two of me, but don't know which is the interloper
Daniel B: rename yourself
rich-c changed username to Rich-c
Daniel B: HAHA!
Rich-c requested to ban rich-c
Daniel B confirmed ban
Daniel B: Tada!
Rich-c: neat, Daniel
Rich-c: sometimes the simplest ideas escape one
Rich-c: have to rmember that one
Daniel B: I know that in MARIO BROS it use this "dictionnary technique" to make the illusion of big game screens.
Daniel B: you can change your username again :)
Rich-c: yes - in Logo there is the "stamp" technique to repeat a graphic over and over
Rich-c: oh, I only use the lower case because I'm lazy - essentially same as james
Daniel B: yes, the other solution is to use vectors to "draw" the 8K map in VRAM to limit land and water. then have plenty of space in ROM to add more things in map :)
Rich-c: vector graphics I read about in Corel Draw but really know nothing about
Daniel B: not exactly vector graphics because I interpret (not show) the 0 and 1 as land and ocean
Daniel B: ok, if I do this, I have to program in the 16K software a way to draw the map based on coordinates (vectors).
Rich-c: isn't that effectively the same as bitmapping, then?
Daniel B: the result is the same, except that I save more ROM space
Rich-c: ah - in effect, draw outlines and fill?
Daniel B: exactly
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to rich-c
Daniel B: The other good thing is to be able to modify the MAP during game be changing the map values in VRAM
rich-c: OK, now what dumb thing did I do to get dumped?
Daniel B: hehehe! I don't know!
rich-c: anyway I am back now till I goof up again
rich-c: likely hit some kind of wrong key - control, maybe?
Daniel B: I don't know, you have to try it to know it. =P
rich-c: at which point I vanish and lose all teh text
rich-c: twice is enough in one session for that!
Daniel B: 8-O ?
Daniel B: :-? I don't know
rich-c: I do suspect that a certain number of our dumps in chat are of our own making
rich-c: fingers do stray down to teh bottom row onto keys whre they don't belong
Daniel B: Ok, 8K in VRAM = 65536 bits... If I'm only using 4 codes of 4bits to draw a screen. the resolution of the map will be 64x64 screens.
Daniel B: I think using 4x4 codes of 4bits is nicer.... and the map will be 32x32 screens.
rich-c: OK, don't do binary in my head very well but will take your word for it
Daniel B: it's only arithmetic : 65536 = 4x4 x 4 x 32 x 32
rich-c: quite, but my mental math isn't that fast
Daniel B: I'm using the calc
rich-c: you are used to thinking in those terms and "know" the answers, so to speak
rich-c: I have to think out each one
Daniel B: 2 "puissance" 4 = 16
Daniel B: so there are 16 possible values in 4bits
rich-c: or 2^4 as teh computer prefers it
Daniel B: 0000 - 1111
rich-c: yes - that part I know
Daniel B: if 0000 is water, 0001 is sand, the other codes can be anything else like trees, walls, floor, rocks, etc.
rich-c: you're thinking in terms of "naming" set tiles, then?
Daniel B: yes, the dictionnary :D
rich-c: so you might call, for example, tile 0110 in a given circumstance?
Daniel B: I can use 1111 for a caverns entrence, 1000 for a house
Daniel B: and then show the appropriate graphic on screen
Daniel B: by reading the uncompressed halbyte codes in VRAM.
rich-c: that then would give you 16 possible graphics to use
Daniel B: and dictionnary in ROM
Daniel B: 16 possibles graphics, yes. that's enough
rich-c: as I recall, Troll's Tale gets by with less and was well thought of in its time
Daniel B: the software in ROM can make the rest by adjusting the "apparence" of the graphics on screen to avoid too squared graphics like the example of sand and water.
rich-c: that's techniques that are beyond my knowledge
Daniel B: Imagine having four circle quarters in 4 separate characters, together it looks like a circle, on the corners of a rectangle, you have a rounded rectangle.
rich-c: there, I'll just have to take your word for it
Daniel B: Well, I don't have to code rounded rectangle in the dictionnary, I just have to "check" by using the software if the big squared tiles must be "rounded" to look nicer on screen.
rich-c: OK - as I say, you're wandering beyond teh point where I can comment, or even ask an intelligent question
Daniel B: and I continue :P
rich-c: all I can do is stand back and admire teh result ;-)
Daniel B: Imagine a tiles of 4 characters each. Imagine sand and water tiles (one full-yellow and the onther full-blue).
Daniel B: If a sand tile is surrounded by water tiles, the corner of the sand tile will be rounded by software
rich-c: the four characters I have to take your word for - a blue or yellow square I can imagine
Daniel B: and look like a circle.
rich-c: noting of course that Adam's coarse screen will give it the "jaggies" anyway
rich-c: not enough memory space for aliasing on an Adam
Daniel B: anyway, it's only a way to avoid using too much items in the dictionnary of each exception like a sand tile surrounded by water tiles.
Daniel B: I have to go now.
rich-c: right - time is getting on
Daniel B: See you wednesday... If I don't forget this time.
rich-c: see you next Wednesday?
Daniel B: bye!
rich-c: eh bien, bonjour et au revoir!
rich-c left chat session
moved to room Meeting Place > chat > Sat 2004-05-22
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