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Old 22 February 2015, 05:51   #1
invent
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Smile Menace - OCS Colour Palette

Hi Everyone,

I was looking into the amount of colours for the shoot em up Menace (OCS) and noticed it varies on each level from 31 to 41 (or 50 if you include copper on one of the levels)



The screenshots were sourced from lemonamiga

Any thoughts why the designers wouldn't use the maximum colours (same amount) for the each level theme?

I why they didn't use a copper effect on the "Ruins of Kruger" level.

Any thoughts on technical info would be gratefully appreciated.

Last edited by invent; 22 February 2015 at 06:00. Reason: fixing image resolution
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Old 22 February 2015, 07:27   #2
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I would assume they didn't use the maximum colours because they didn't have a need for them. If you look at modern pictures not all of them would use 16.7 million different colours.
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Old 22 February 2015, 08:33   #3
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Not verified on emulator but, the game has a split screen for the score area. You should count it separately.

The game area seems dual playfield (8+8) plus sprites (16). Therefore you should count here from 16 to 31 colors.
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Old 22 February 2015, 12:38   #4
Michael
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Definitely looks like so, since 16 colours for hi-score are always present but shifted in the pallet, if it was one pallet you would have not moved the colours for each level.
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Old 22 February 2015, 14:05   #5
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Thanks for your feedback everyone

Sorry about the colour palette ordering it was arranged based on Hue.

The score area is 14 colours.
The player sprite has 10 colours, and another one for (transparency?)

I was curious on doing a test to see what the game would look like in 256 colours, and possibly an OCS 64 colour Half-Bright mode, just for fun

Below is a very quick redraw test of one of the aliens.

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Old 22 February 2015, 14:31   #6
Michael
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256 is cool, and even better if you use dynamic pallet like swiv or ruff&tumble.
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Old 22 February 2015, 19:25   #7
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Also of note this was one of the games that required halfbright mode and some early A1000's didn't work with this game!
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Old 24 February 2015, 21:50   #8
Mrs Beanbag
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there could be many reasons for the different numbers of colours. you should mask off the stats panel and try again, some of the levels might use some colours that are also on the panel so they won't be counted twice in this case.

Also different sprites or animation frames might use different colours, so try counting up from a composite of several frames from each level.

The reason the skeletons level has the fewest colours is probably because it is dual playfield with the bad guys all on the background layer, but in this case they wanted bones on both layers so had to use the same colours on both parallax layer palettes. Again, they won't be counted twice.

Also you can try things like masking out the player ship in each frame, because on some levels the backgrounds might use the same colours as the player sprite.
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Old 25 February 2015, 13:57   #9
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Below is a fairly quick image of the original game with added aliens and a 256 colour version (not optimised palette)

The main challenge was not to modify/destroy the actual design but try to give the game more depth and colour, so the background is a little darker. I anti-aliased most/all elements.



TjLaZer - I remember reading that on wikipedia recently about early A1000 models.

Micheal - I will look into those other games, swiv is a fun game, I think Menace does do the dynamic palettes for the aliens, need to look further though. I'm sure if i could track down the developers they could answer my questions

The big attraction of this game while its not highly rated, was that it was a little easier to complete and I really enjoyed the parallaxing effect.

Mrs Beanbag - I did notice the first level (the one I'm showing above) did seem to use similar greens but it is slightly different.

Going from the below images it does seem to shift/have dynamic palette changes.
http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/scre.../menace_03.png (35 colours)
http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/scre.../menace_04.png (37 colours)

Thanks again for your feedback
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Old 25 February 2015, 15:46   #10
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Amiga format 13 has the first level source code for menace on the cover disk.

I used the article myself for learning purpose.

Jamie.
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Old 25 February 2015, 21:28   #11
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bad guys came in waves of identical enemies so of course it was a trivial matter to reserve 3 palette entries for the background and change 5 of them for the different baddies.
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