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Old 20 August 2020, 10:20   #1
skan
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Is Puzzle Bobble possible on A500/A1200?

I hate to be that guy who starts a thread with such a title... but for once I'll be!

The excellent Tiny Bobble by Pink got me thinking about that and since a proper clone / port doesn't exist AFAIK (Candy Puzzle and Bubble Heroes are the closest you can get, but not quite)... would such an effort be possible, if not on A500+512k, on a plain vanilla 1200 at least?

Last edited by skan; 20 August 2020 at 13:53. Reason: typo fixed
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Old 20 August 2020, 10:38   #2
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That game is no problem on A500.
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Old 20 August 2020, 10:40   #3
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At this point my reasoning is this: if a guy can make a Doom-like game run decently on an A500, someone can definitely do a single screen 2D game like Puzzle Bobble.

Interesting that the game never got a conversion for the Amiga, I wonder why. Surely it wasn't a technical limitation.
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Old 20 August 2020, 10:45   #4
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Not that easy, I'd say..
If you want to have the same graphical fidelity.



One marble color already uses around 6 shades of that colour, and there are six different coloured marbles. That's already 36 colours. Which could be in one row, plus 4 to 5 colours for the border plus 4 to 6 for the background.

EHB mode would be a possibility, though.
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Old 20 August 2020, 10:52   #5
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Yeah, I also suspect it's more AGA territory than OCS...
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Old 20 August 2020, 11:00   #6
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I am sure it is with 32 colors
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Old 20 August 2020, 11:09   #7
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I am sure it is with 32 colors
how?
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Old 20 August 2020, 11:20   #8
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If you want a perfect neo geo port, that can display 500 colors obviously not, but a port is easily doable on A500. It's nothing special, just a static screen and some bubbles here and there. Even a Zx Spectrum can do it. Need to drop or dither half of the colors of the bubbles, and use some common colors all around the rest of the screen.
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Old 20 August 2020, 11:21   #9
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I suppose you could redo the colours for a 32 colour palette. Would look a bit less like the Arcade, but as Rygar AGA shows this does not need to be that big of a problem for a good port to still be the result.
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Old 20 August 2020, 11:29   #10
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If you want a perfect neo geo port, that can display 500 colors obviously not, but a port is easily doable on A500. It's nothing special, just a static screen and some bubbles here and there. Even a Zx Spectrum can do it. Need to drop or dither half of the colors of the bubbles, and use some common colors all around the rest of the screen.
I would have never expected you can do conversions with a lot less colours than the original.
Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old 20 August 2020, 11:47   #11
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Interesting that the game never got a conversion for the Amiga, I wonder why. Surely it wasn't a technical limitation.
I don't think Amiga in 1994/5 was registering on Japanese and US-centric publishers' radar.
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Old 20 August 2020, 12:04   #12
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Just for fun, I did some experimenting in tool.anides.de (finding screenshots that are not .JPG with thousands of colours was a challenge in it's own right ). Changing the screen from the 256 colour mode the game seems to run in to either 32 or 64 (non-EHB) colours did alter the look more than I thought it would, it made the colours significantly less vibrant.

Any OCS port then would probably need completely redone graphics. So it turns out that my earlier idea that 32 colours would only look a bit less like the arcade is a bit silly
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Old 20 August 2020, 12:19   #13
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Any OCS port then would probably need completely redone graphics. So it turns out that my earlier idea that 32 colours would only look a bit less like the arcade is a bit silly
Yeah, that's for sure, but I'm more concerned about the overall speed and playability to be honest. Again, more feasible on 1200 than 500 IMHO.
That said, with a proper palette, some pixel wizardry, maybe a clever use of sprites to help a bit... not an 1:1 port, but a decent conversion *could* be possible on OCS as well.

Last edited by skan; 20 August 2020 at 14:58. Reason: typo again...
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Old 20 August 2020, 12:21   #14
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Neo Geo Pocket color version is good although 1 player only. The HW can do 146 colours on screen at once, not sure how many the game uses

I tried Candy Puzzle on my CD32, whilst it played ok the fps seemed quite low, certainly wasn't that smooth compared to how I normally play Puzzle Bobble on the Neo Geo (aes) or Dreamcast.

I'm sure a decent version could be done, even single colour balls wouldn't really ruin the gameplay itself
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Old 20 August 2020, 12:58   #15
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Any OCS port then would probably need completely redone graphics. So it turns out that my earlier idea that 32 colours would only look a bit less like the arcade is a bit silly
I did A LOT of experimentation with tool.anides and colour downgrades. My personal favorite thought experiment has been a version of Pacmania that looks like the arcade one for the A500 for a long time, and the huge problem there is the color of the different ghosts. Each one of them takes 9 colours and there are 6 of them. plus Pacman himself.

If you reduce the count, you get a lot less graphical fidelity. And my guess was, that the same thing happens for Puzzle Bobble.

So, on the technical side getting a version of Puzzle Bobble to run on an A500 is pants.
The question is, if it would look good enough that I would want to play this version instead of playing it on a NeoGeo Emulator or MAME.
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Old 20 August 2020, 12:59   #16
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Yeah, that's for sure, but I'm more concerned about the overall speed and playability to be honest. Again, more feasible on 1200 than 500 IMHO.
In what way are you concerned?

Basic gamplay of Puzzle Bobble doesn't look to me to be impossible for OCS. Granted, I didn't look terribly in depth, but what I saw (setting aside the colour count) didn't look that far fetched for an A500.

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The question is, if it would look good enough that I would want to play this version instead of playing it on a NeoGeo Emulator or MAME.
I've never seen that as a goal in and of itself. To me this way of looking at things would make conversions like Rygar and Tiny Bubble more or less pointless - MAME will always be better than any conversion. Personally, I'd say it's better to aim for a good game.

Getting a better/good conversion on a system is good even if the Arcade exists. Well, that's my view anyway

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Old 20 August 2020, 13:11   #17
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I don't think Amiga in 1994/5 was registering on Japanese and US-centric publishers' radar.
There's me looking silly, I didn't take into account when Puzzle Bobble came out.
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Old 20 August 2020, 13:12   #18
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In what way are you concerned?

Basic gamplay of Puzzle Bobble doesn't look to me to be impossible for OCS. Granted, I didn't look terribly in depth, but what I saw (setting aside the colour count) didn't look that far fetched for an A500.
Dunno, there's not sh!tloads of stuff going on onscreen, but enough to hit some serious slowdowns I suspect... and deviate from the 50fps Holy Grail with plenty of explosions and so on.
But I may be completely wrong, of course!

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I've never seen that as a goal in and of itself. To me this way of looking at things would make conversions like Rygar and Tiny Bubble more or less pointless - MAME will always be better than any conversion. Personally, I'd say it's better to aim for a good game.

Getting a better/good conversion on a system is good even if the Arcade exists. Well, that's my view anyway
This.
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Old 20 August 2020, 14:04   #19
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You can just redraw the graphics... if you understand what you are looking at.

https://ibb.co/Zz1LxqB
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Old 20 August 2020, 14:29   #20
skan
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You can just redraw the graphics... if you understand what you are looking at.

https://ibb.co/Zz1LxqB
Well, I can do miracles with just 3 colors
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