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Author Topic: Wizball (Read 1345 times)

Offline kokkiklhs

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Wizball
« on: 2022.August.07. 20:19:07 »
Hello EP guys, I was looking to a recent thread about Nebulus, which is one of my all time favourites. Excellent little game, very playable and addictive and, most of all, it was an 100% original idea and concept, not just another port from the arcades of the time! Very well done with the EP port, it's really nice!
:cool:

But then I noticed...
There's not even a simple mention to the fabulous Wizball game in the whole forum!!!
:shock: :cry:

Wizball is another 100% original concept on the 8bit home computers (later on 16bit also) and if someone could port it to the EP it would be a brilliant addition!
I believe that Wizball was perhaps the best ever arcade-style original game that could be played back then. HIGHLY addictive and super-playable (even with two-player option) with tons of fun!
There is already a very good CPC version with nice vivid colors as can be seen here...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcCKa5fG0ww

...but it lacks the horizontal scrolling and great sound of the far superior C64 version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7vZKTVZMvw

Please, please, please consider a very good EP port of this game, I think it deserves to run on the powerful EP hardware as "the best 8bit version ever" and also our beloved EP deserves to have such a gorgeous game among its titles!!
;-)

Offline AoC

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #1 on: 2022.August.07. 21:25:42 »
...but it lacks the horizontal scrolling and great sound of the far superior C64 version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7vZKTVZMvw

Please, please, please consider a very good EP port of this game, I think it deserves to run on the powerful EP hardware as "the best 8bit version ever" and also our beloved EP deserves to have such a gorgeous game among its titles!!
;-)
I totally agree with you, Wizball deserves a nice port on the EP.
It is on my list of possible conversions, and I dream about porting the fabolous C64 version.
But first I need to learn how to convert games from CPC to EP, and I also have some more important titles to convert first.

Offline geco

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #2 on: 2022.August.07. 21:56:55 »
I can help about CPC->Ep conversion, the best way to find a 4colour mode CPC program for 1st conversion.

Offline AoC

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #3 on: 2022.August.07. 22:18:38 »
I can help about CPC->Ep conversion, the best way to find a 4colour mode CPC program for 1st conversion.
Thanks, I will surely need your help for the conversion.
But I don't want to convert the games 1:1, I only need the game engine as Z80 code.
I would better rewrite the gfx routines to fully use the EP possibilities.

Offline geco

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #4 on: 2022.August.07. 22:22:55 »
I usually convert 1st the game with CPC screen addressing, and then change it to EP continuous screen adressing, and from this other improvements can be done.
Sometimes i patch the conversion codes into the program, sometime i create source code from it.

Offline kokkiklhs

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #5 on: 2022.August.07. 22:31:26 »
Wow, I was sure that there would be interest and even the start of this discussion from you gives a great perspective!
Thank you both, fellows!!!

Offline geco

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #6 on: 2022.August.08. 09:05:29 »
I checked the versions on Youtube, the worst is the CPC version, much worse than the Speccy which is faster, has a horizontal scroll etc.

Offline kokkiklhs

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #7 on: 2022.August.08. 09:17:59 »
I checked the versions on Youtube, the worst is the CPC version, much worse than the Speccy which is faster, has a horizontal scroll etc.

Good morning!
Yes, you are right, but the colors on CPC are nice. The absence of horizontal scrolling makes it look bad, I think that the best solution would be a combination of CPC graphics with Speccy scrolling routines or someting like that, but I guess that this would need a loooot of work and time...
Let's hope that AoC, as he wrote above, will make such an effort! I think it's worth it for such a special game!!!
Anyway, you guys rock!! I wish I were a programmer, EP has a lot more to show among the other 8bit home computers, it's just a matter of serious and clever programming!

EDIT:
As for 8bit versions, the C64 wins by all means, super sound, great animation and scrolling, unique arcade-quality playability! But the problem is that it has a 6510 inside, instead of Z80...

As for 16bits, the Amiga version looks rather poor, shaggy animation and scrolling, reduced playing area on PAL, while the Atari ST version is far better and faster, you should check it out!
:)
« Last Edit: 2022.August.08. 09:23:15 by kokkiklhs »

Offline geco

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #8 on: 2022.August.08. 09:52:31 »
Surprisingly even the graphics looks better on C64, and the sprites are XOR-ed to the screen on CPC, it was a lazy port of the game :(
I checked a lot of versions, except the Atari ST version, i did not like the Amiga version either.

Offline kokkiklhs

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #9 on: 2022.August.08. 11:39:44 »
Surprisingly even the graphics looks better on C64, and the sprites are XOR-ed to the screen on CPC, it was a lazy port of the game :(
I agree, the colors are nice on CPC, but the C64 version has better detail and in general is as good as it could be back then, excellent work from the programmers and sound/gfx artists!

I checked a lot of versions, except the Atari ST version, i did not like the Amiga version either.
I am asking a rather silly and theoretic question, just for the sake of chit-chat here, as I am an EP noob:
I understand that EP can display 320X256 in 16 colors, is that right? All lo-res Atari ST games are in 320X200, 16 colors. Could they be imported to EP somehow? I am not talking for Wizball particularly, but for other games as well.
I mean, could a game port e.g. from CPC to EP keep the Z80 "game engine" (main code) and make use of ready Atari ST graphics? Would this be possible?

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #10 on: 2022.August.08. 12:13:02 »
I understand that EP can display 320X256 in 16 colors, is that right?
Not fully.
At normal pixel graphics:
640x 2 colors
320x 4 colors
160x 16 colors
80x 256 colors.

But there is a special attribute mode, which are similar to ZX Spectrum.
Then possible 320x with 16 colors, but with a limitation: in a 8 pixels (character size) only 2 colors possible. One byte used for store pixel data, and one for attribute data which are define the current ink and paper color for the 8 pixels.

Offline kokkiklhs

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #11 on: 2022.August.08. 12:25:32 »
But there is a special attribute mode, which are similar to ZX Spectrum.
Then possible 320x with 16 colors, but with a limitation: in a 8 pixels (character size) only 2 colors possible. One byte used for store pixel data, and one for attribute data which are define the current ink and paper color for the 8 pixels.

Oh, I see, so direct porting of ST graphics is practically impossible... Anyway, EP still rocks!!!
;-)

Offline AoC

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #12 on: 2022.August.08. 14:22:15 »
Oh, I see, so direct porting of ST graphics is practically impossible... Anyway, EP still rocks!!!
;-)
The EP has 8+8 colors in 160x200, similar to C64.
I even have a palette setup which is very close to the C64 colors (BIAS makes it impossible to be 100% accurate)
There are smart techniques for smooth scrolling and fast sprite handling, so a C64-like port is possible.
The only problem is that the resolution of the scroll and sprite positions is 320 pixel on the C64, even if the screen resolution is only 160 pixels. This makes the movements on C64 nice and smooth - something what we can not achieve on EP.
« Last Edit: 2022.August.08. 14:57:12 by AoC »

Offline kokkiklhs

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #13 on: 2022.August.08. 19:20:01 »
The EP has 8+8 colors in 160x200, similar to C64.
I even have a palette setup which is very close to the C64 colors (BIAS makes it impossible to be 100% accurate)
There are smart techniques for smooth scrolling and fast sprite handling, so a C64-like port is possible.
The only problem is that the resolution of the scroll and sprite positions is 320 pixel on the C64, even if the screen resolution is only 160 pixels. This makes the movements on C64 nice and smooth - something what we can not achieve on EP.

Oh, even that way, we still have high expectations from a powerful machine, like the EP!!!
:)
And I am also very glad that you found my idea about Wizball interesting, I hope that you start your research as soon as you find the time, and please, keep us informed!
:cool:

Offline geco

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Re: Wizball
« Reply #14 on: 2022.August.09. 09:13:09 »
The EP has 8+8 colors in 160x200, similar to C64.
I even have a palette setup which is very close to the C64 colors (BIAS makes it impossible to be 100% accurate)
There are smart techniques for smooth scrolling and fast sprite handling, so a C64-like port is possible.
The only problem is that the resolution of the scroll and sprite positions is 320 pixel on the C64, even if the screen resolution is only 160 pixels. This makes the movements on C64 nice and smooth - something what we can not achieve on EP.
And there is another problem, most of the scrolling C64 games uses character based screen, where maximum 1000 bytes should be copied in each phase, on EP this solution is impossible, because character based screen can be scrolled by 8 pixels horizontally, and other problem is the lack of sprites, the other possibility to use pixel screen, but copying the whole screen is very slow, because 16KB data should be copied, we have one good solution, use the pixel screen, and move the starting address of the screen and fill the 1st or last column depends on onto which direction was moved in LPT, by this we can achieve quite fast horizontal scroll, but only by 4 pixels, which can be half if 2 screen is used and it's content is moved by 2 pixels.