Level 9 graphics + memory

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AJW
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:01 pm

Level 9 graphics + memory

Postby AJW » Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:58 pm

I remember seeing the screenshots for some of the Level 9 games and thinking how impressive they were for the time. I know the pictures required Sideways RAM but how were they stored together with the extensive descriptions?<br>
Were they drawn like in Twin Kingdom Valley? I can't believe they were stored as bitmaps even if compressed somehow! <p></p><i></i>

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melchett
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Re: Level 9 Graphics

Postby melchett » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:06 pm

Not sure which games you're refering to specifically, but the later games such as the Time & Magik Trilogy stored the images as the BBC equivalent of bitmaps (I guess they ARE bitmaps in the true sense of the term?). You can certainly see this if you download the Time & Magick Trilogy disc image from this site and then load the "TimeAndMagikTrilogy-PictureDisk.ssd" into an emulator and type the following:<br>
<br>
> MODE 6<br>
> *LOAD P.PIC<X> 6000<br>
<br>
where <X> is replaced with the image number you wish to load. To see what images are on the disk you can obviously perform a:<br>
<br>
>*CAT<br>
<br>
Hope that helps... <p></p><i></i>

AJW
Posts: 627
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:01 pm

none

Postby AJW » Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:03 pm

Thanks for that. Yes this is the kind of Level 9 game I was thinking of although the ones I'd read about but never had the hardware for were in te 1989 issues if the Micro USer:<br>
Gnome Ranger<br>
Lancelot<br>
Ingrid's Back (I think)<br>
<br>
<br>
The graphics were just about perfect as far as I'm concerned and I couldn't believe that they were drawn on-the-fly like Twin Kingdom Valley.<br>
<br>
One thing that puzzles me is that the disc images are 200K in size and yet only single-sided images. for instance the picture disc has about 30 images of 6K in size.<br>
<p></p><i></i>

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melchett
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Re: Level 9 Graphics

Postby melchett » Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:15 pm

I remember how impressed I was when I first played Twin Kingdom Valley, thinking how brilliant it was to play a text adventure with graphics on the BBC Micro. Not sure if TKV was the first adventure to have graphics but it was definitely the first one I played - all the other platforms had an abundance of adventures with graphics and it was always disappointing that the conversions for the Beeb didn't have them. Obviously, that was because we only had 32k...<br>
<br>
As basic as the graphics were in TKV, they did add a great deal of atmosphere to the game. I think it's a great shame that the guy who coded TKV didn't release another text adventure with graphics - he'd done the hard part writing the first one! Any idea if he wrote anything else?<br>
<br>
Not sure why the images are 200K - if I get some time I might have a look at the file in BBC Explorer.<br>
<br>
I checked some of the other Level 9 games (Lancelot, Scapeghost, GnomeRanger) and it appears they used the same technique for their images i.e. bitmaps stored on a picture disk. There's a handy little utility on the ScapeGhost picture disk that displays each of the pictures in turn correctly rendered. I'm sure the utility would work on the other Level 9 picture disks two as they have the same picture file naming convention. To run it just type "*RUN SHOW".<br>
<br>
Still, I think my all time favourite text adventure (even though it didn't have graphics) has to be Lords of Time. Not sure the Austin brothers ever wrote another that quite lived up to that one?<br>
<p></p><i></i>

AJW
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:01 pm

none

Postby AJW » Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:34 pm

I agree and looking at the tape box there were 175 locations as well and with graphics (I think)! If I see Trevor Hall's name anywhere I'll mention it.<br>
I had the Hobbit although the tape version didn't have graphics but I understand the disc version does but I can't get it to work unfortunately. Shame only part 1 of Lord of the Rings was released as well.<br>
<br>
Just had a look at the graphics using that SHOW utility. Thanks a lot! Absolutely amazing, must be some of the best ever seen on the BBC. Very atmospheric and great use of colour as I thought from the shots I'd seen in the past. I never saw any shots for Scapeghost though in the Micro User. They must have used something like AMX Art I'm assuming.<br>
<br>
Didn't Level 9 continue to write adventures on more recent machines? <p></p><i></i>

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melchett
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Hobbit and Level 9

Postby melchett » Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:20 pm

I haven't managed to get the graphics to load under any of the available BBC emulators as yet either (although I haven't tried JBeeb with it). So far I have tried the following emulators that either crash or ask you to insert the disk (which I do by "loading a disk" under the emulator options) and then when you hit a key they just continue to display text only:<br>
<br>
- BeebEm <br>
- Model-B <br>
- B-Em <br>
- PC-BBC (fired this up under XP for the first time and was surprised to find it still works!)<br>
<br>
Does anyone else out there have a clue on how to get the graphics to load under any of these various emulators?<br>
<br>
I also found this interview with Trevor Hall on the internet the other day, which I found quite interesting:<br>
<br>
<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://hjem.get2net.dk/gunn/Various/Interview_Trevor.html">hjem.get2net.dk/gunn/Vari...revor.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>
<br>
I must admit that I always dead jealous in the latter days of the BBC Micro when you'd see screenshots of amazing adventure graphics for games released onto the Archimedes, such as Guild of Thieves, The Pawn, Corruption etc. <br>
<br>
I don't actually have any recollection of playing any adventures with graphics back then either other than Twin Kingdom Valley. I still have somewhat of a soft spot for the "drawn on the fly" graphics with floodfill that it supported. Simple, effective and gave the game a nice atmosphere.<br>
<br>
It wasn't until recently that I realised that some games on the Beeb supported graphics, including The Hunt: Search for Shauna, Level 9 games etc. And talking of Level 9, there's a fairly good history of the company and the games at the following two sites:<br>
<br>
<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.if-legends.org/~l9memorial/">www.if-legends.org/~l9memorial/</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>
<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://brasslantern.org/community/history/level9.html">brasslantern.org/communit...evel9.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>
<br>
According to those sites, Scapeghost was their last text based adventure before they tried branching out and eventually ceased operation.<br>
<br>
<br>
<p></p><i></i>

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melchett
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JBeeb and The Hobbit

Postby melchett » Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:33 pm

No luck with JBeeb either.. wonder if there's an error in the disk images? I've tried both the ones from here and the ones from the BBC Lives! website but same result with each... <p></p><i></i>

AJW
Posts: 627
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:01 pm

none

Postby AJW » Sun Jul 04, 2004 1:26 pm

I'm using 2 RISC OS BBC emulators which don't seem to get the screen right either. I just get half of the graphics with the text although *Show works alone.<br>
I'll have a look at the interview thanks.<br>
Didn't realise that Search for Shauna had graphics Although I remember the artwork and the great storyline. I do remember Corruption and the other two but only the review for the first. I must buy one of them one day - one called 'Wonderland' made MadHatter of the MicroUSer ecstatic as you might expect - 100% he gave it <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START ;) --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/wink.gif ALT=";)"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> <p></p><i></i>

fuzzle
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2002 1:14 pm

Text adventures with graphics

Postby fuzzle » Sun Jul 04, 2004 5:58 pm

As I recall Wheel of Fortune by Epic had graphics in mode7 (nice game that one, well worth a play - has some interactive characters who can be quite frustrating at times but this all adds to the atmosphere). This was an earlyish beeb adventure. Later on they released another graphics adventure called The Lost Crystal which came in a number of parts. <p></p><i></i>


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