MSX Unleashed

by dvik on 25-02-2006, 00:55
Topic: Software
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After eight months of development Daniel Vik and Vincent van Dam are finally ready to release their new megademo for MSX1. The demo, MSX Unleashed contains several effects never seen MSX before on an MSX1, such as 105 color images, horizontal bars and a border scroller. Being possibly the best MSX1 demo ever, this demo truly unleashes the capabilities of the MSX.

People who would like to experience the demo are advised to use a genuine MSX1 or MSX2 computer, as some of the effects fail on MSX2+ and turboR, whilst there is currently no MSX Emulator available capable of showing all effects correctly either. With a combination of openMSX and blueMSX, you can get a good idea of what things should look like, though.

Relevant link: MSX Unleashed

Comments (61)

By wolf_

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25-02-2006, 00:58

.DSK Question

By snout

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25-02-2006, 01:03

/me removes the infinite shebang from the current poll...

Patience still is a virtue, dude Tongue

By snout

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25-02-2006, 01:04

add to that: OMFG, this demo rulez beyond recognition. Can someone travel back in time and bundle this demo with the first MSX1 computers shipped? Tongue

By wolf_

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25-02-2006, 01:15

Yes, very neat MSX1 stuff indeed! Well done.

sn00t: converting the whole database into .DSK's is some work yea, but every new product just takes a few secs in the run.. ahwell, dragged it into a .dsk already. Tongue

dvik/rex: what about stuffing the whole bunch in a .ROM format?

By dvik

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25-02-2006, 01:18

We actually have a rom version too (256kB ascii8) ready to load in megaram or ESE or something similar. We also have a cassette version coming for those who really want to experience the real thing.

By snout

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25-02-2006, 01:19

(and don't have a One Chip MSX ^_^)

By mars2000you

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25-02-2006, 01:20

I'll add the DSK version on MSX blue (and later on MSX Valley !) Smile

By [WYZ]

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25-02-2006, 01:37

it reaches the perfection.

By mars2000you

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25-02-2006, 01:38

This mega-demo is really fantastic ! It proves that the MSX1 has 'hidden' unknown features that excellent programmers like dvik and joyrex can reveal for our great pleasure ! Smile

I knew some beta versions, all parts are excellent, but the last added part (with especially a pixelled Mona Lisa) is incredible and wonderful !!! LOL!

And I was forgetting the music : joyrex is a PSG master !!!Big smile

By mars2000you

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25-02-2006, 01:45

The DSK version is here :

http://www.msxblue.com/Unleash.zip

I'll add later screenshots of this incredible (but real) demo ! :)

By Yukio

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25-02-2006, 01:49

I will check this ...

By msd

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25-02-2006, 01:59

Why do you need a dsk version.. Insert dir as disk works fine too

By wolf_

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25-02-2006, 02:03

Naturally, if the MSX1 has hidden feaetures, the MSX2 with screen 4 also has them automagically.. ^_^

By snout

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25-02-2006, 02:06

When can we expect 4motion_unleashed? Tongue

By mars2000you

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25-02-2006, 02:16

Why do you need a dsk version.. Insert dir as disk works fine too

By fidelity to the original format of the demo that was developed on a disk Smile

Of course, the dir as dsk feature works also, but I still prefer the DSK file !

De gustis e coloris non discutandum est ! Tongue

By adrcunha

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25-02-2006, 02:22

A small warning for those who wanna take the MSX Unleashed Experience: watch out your TV. The border scroller runs perfectly on my monochrome monitor, but in my TV the lower half of the letters is cut off, making it impossible to read. Maybe it's a PAL-M/NTSC difference issue?

By DarQ

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25-02-2006, 02:56

this really is an amazing piece of MSX1 software! dvik at his best i guess? Tongue i also like joyrex's music. really weird MSX1 music :-D

By BiFi

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25-02-2006, 07:24

dvik, is that one bug fixed we talked about about a month ago?

By dvik

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25-02-2006, 09:56

The PSG R7 bug, right? It is fixed.

By mars2000you

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25-02-2006, 11:01

To see some nice screenshots of this fantastic demo, it's on my site MSX blue ! LOL!

http://www.msxblue.com

(In the future, I'll open a new section on MSX Valley)

By Ivan

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25-02-2006, 12:21

Amazing demo! 105 colours at once? I thought that the MSX1 colour palette only had 16 colours. The Ultimate MSX FAQ is wrong Tongue

By POISONIC

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25-02-2006, 13:11

in one word: FANTASTIC Wink

By Manuel

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25-02-2006, 13:38

As an openMSX team member, I must say that I'm not at all dissatisfied with how this demo runs on openMSX! I compared it to how it runs on my real 8250 compared to openMSX, and there are only some minor timing differences, mainly visible in the borderscroll (unless I missed something).
On the real 8250 I saw some timing issues in the rotating bars part, which also appeared on openMSX. And on the real 8250 there are also some small timing issues in the borderscroll. But there, they are mostly on the left side (similar to openMSX MSX1 emulation), while on openMSX they're much heavier on the right side.

Anyway: this is truely an impressive demo! I hope to see more in the future! Smile

By Manuel

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25-02-2006, 13:41

Btw, I hope everyone discovered the bonus part already?

Some minor bugs: bonus part doesn't take care about width 80 setting (and is then messed up). After the bonus part, on MSX2, if you run "autoexecbas" again, the colours are messed up. Minor stuff, of course, but maybe dvik/joyrex can improve even this.

By Ivan

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25-02-2006, 15:24

Btw, I hope everyone discovered the bonus part already?

Did I miss something? Question

By mars2000you

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25-02-2006, 15:47

When you believe it's the end (after pressing the spacebar on the 'last' part),it's only an illusion : press then on F5 Tongue

By dioniso

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25-02-2006, 17:42

Simply amazing. Very good and hard job. Congratulations to both of you.

By adrcunha

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25-02-2006, 18:18

Thanks for the tip, Benoit and Manuel. COOL! Hey, I want to display colorful texts in SCR0 too! Big smile

By jltursan

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25-02-2006, 20:56

Agreed!, the whole demo is FANTASTIC; but the multicolored screen 0 rules!

By SLotman

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25-02-2006, 22:58

WHOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Congratz, very impressive!!!!!!!

BTW: Can this 105 colors stuff work on a adventure game????
hehehehehe

By spl

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25-02-2006, 23:21

Simply.... AMAZING! Now this is one of my favorite demos!

By ARTRAG

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26-02-2006, 02:36

Absolutely incredible!!

when a demo thet uses pcmenc smples?

By poke-1,170

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26-02-2006, 02:48

damn that rotation zooming part with the dithering looks (excusez le mot) FUCKING awesome !
big up for the music too joyrex Smile now at least you gotta do more demos then bandwagon hahaha Tongue

By dvik

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26-02-2006, 08:27

Thanks for all the positive feedback. It was really fun making the demo but it took a while to get it all together. I sure hope we get inspiration to do a sequel.

By dvik

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26-02-2006, 08:33

@SLotman: Its definately possible to use the 105 color images in an adventure game. Its not that CPU intesive but the images requires of course more memory than standard SC2 images. The big problem though is the rendering of the image. Its far from all photos that can be converted to decent 105 color images and the encoding is really slow (several hours on a PC). I'm sure that the encoding could be speeded up to make it more useful.

@manuel: openmsx does a pretty good job running it using the boosted MSX2 config. There are some minor glitches mainly in the intro and the slideshow parts. As you've probably noticed it has some more glitches in msx1, msx2+ and tr machines. I don't think the glitches are that disturbing for people viewing the demo but they were big enough for me not to use openmsx when developing the demo. bluemsx also have glitches, most notable of course the lack of pixel accuaracy in the border colors, but I fixed them as we developed the demo so the demo will run ok in the next release of bluemsx.

By viejo_archivero

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26-02-2006, 10:10

You guys rule. Outstanding!. This is the most awesome demonstration I have ever seen on an MSX1 -since Waves-!. Please, keep on the good work!. Big smileBig smileBig smileBig smile

By viejo_archivero

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26-02-2006, 10:11

btw, /me waiting for the .wav version Wink

By AuroraMSX

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26-02-2006, 11:52

Awesome! LOL!

/me wonders what might happen if we set dvik and joyrex at a gfx9000 Tongue

By Manuel

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26-02-2006, 11:59

dvik: can you post the glitches I missed in detail to the openMSX devel mailinglist? Thanks.

By Ivan

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26-02-2006, 12:04

@dvik: if now an MSX1 computer can show 105 colours, then how many colours could show an MSX2, MSX2+/turboR computer???

By [D-Tail]

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26-02-2006, 12:23

1575 if I'm correct. NOP's Unknown Reality spoke about 2048 unique colors, with page swapping, but technically that's impossible. The effect you want to achieve is like having colors 'in between' the normal colors. E.g. in screen 8:

[color 248 alternated with color 240] -->
11111000 alternated with 11110000 --> makes bit3 flicker. As you all know, this is the middle green bit. So, effectively we've created a 'new color' with a green tone somewhere between color 248 and 240. Possible combinations of this effect are:

R2 R1 R0 G2 G1 G0 B1 B0
  ^  ^  ^  ^  ^  ^  ^
  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

In fact, we create 2^(8+7) = 32768 colors this way. Using the principle of inclusion and exclusion we remove the obvious incorrect color combinations (it makes no sense to mix orange with purple for example) and are left with 1575 colors. See some late MCCM for the exact details Smile

By viejo_archivero

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27-02-2006, 07:12

Just a question. Are you planning to release the image encoding software you've created to generate the two separate images from the full-color source image? (talkin about that impressive 100+ colors using an interlaced image). I'm pretty curious about it, and I wanted to know if you are going to unveil that app some day (I really want to make an splash logo of a game using that effect!) Big smile

By BiFi

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27-02-2006, 07:35

When can we expect 4motion_unleashed? Tongue
Meaning? Overscan 4Motion? Smile

By dvik

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27-02-2006, 07:41

Its not really secret but the tool is quite customized to the demo. It won't be too hard to make it a bit more generic though.

The big problem is that it needs to be optimized to be really useful. Now its really comparing all possible color and pattern combinations of two different screen2 images to find the best match. So for each 8x1 pixel output (one line in a character) I do 2^32 MSE comparisons, so for a whole image I'm doing 2^40 MSE comparisons which takes a really loooooong time (like 8 hours on my PC).

To make it useful the algorithm needs to be improved a lot especially concidering that not all source images give good resulting interlaced sc2 images.

By dvik

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27-02-2006, 07:43


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When can we expect 4motion_unleashed?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meaning? Overscan 4Motion?

Or perhaps an MSX1 port of 4Motion Smile

By dvik

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27-02-2006, 08:56

@viejo_archivero: If there is an interest to get a generic tool to do the 105 color images I can certanly try to do something. I have some ideas on how to make the encoding a lot more efficient but I didn't implemented it since we already had the demo part ready.

By viejo_archivero

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27-02-2006, 09:26

dvik: I'm just searchin for something simpler -and faster- Smile. Imagine I build an image with those 105 colors (it would be darn COOL to have an aproximate RGB index for all those colors, and the 2 MSX colors that are used to get every 105 color); and I build the image assuming the sc2 restrictions but using this color 105 index. Then I just have to make an app that creates 2 images form the source image, just checkin that index and writing those 2 files searching inside a database containing the color index (a piece of cake to code). Another thing is to make an RGB2MSX_SC2_interlaced... but I'm not lookin' for such a thing!. Wink

By dvik

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27-02-2006, 09:41

Doing a simple tool that converts an RGB bitmap containing only 'valid' color combination, i.e. colors that can directly be converted to interlaced SC2 is indeed a lot easier. Such tool would be handy for graphics made for the 105 color mode that is drawn in a PC paint program.

The restrictions are a bit more complex for the 105 color images than standard SC2. You can have up to 4 colors per 8x1 pixel block but the colors must be any of the following:
BG1 + BG2
BG1 + FG2
FG1 + BG2
FG1 + FG2

where BG1, BG2, FG1, and FG2 are any color 1-15. I can certanly create a simple PC encoder tool and write a viewer to show the images and create a color table with valid color combinations.

By viejo_archivero

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27-02-2006, 09:55

dvik: oh, I did forget that now "4 colors" are posible in 8 pixels! (with restrictions due to the mixing, of course!) Smile. I made this GIF file showing all possible combinations (with a lot of duplicates ;()...

By NYYRIKKI

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27-02-2006, 10:46

Ok, now this is something! I think this demo has already took it's place in history. Smile

I'm not that big fan of color mixing (mostly causes head ache) but all those smooth scrollers and expetially that sin scroller was something I did not expect to see on MSX1 demo! Huge respect from the border scroll as well!

Really great work! I looked the demo 3 times already and I think, it'll get a permanent place from my CF card Smile

By snout

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27-02-2006, 12:14

it are demos like these that make one wonder if the limits of the MSX1 computer system will ever be reached Wink.

By viejo_archivero

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27-02-2006, 12:47

snout: Wink

By Edwin

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27-02-2006, 15:53

When can we expect 4motion_unleashed?

Have some patience

Or perhaps an MSX1 port of 4Motion

If you forget the palette changes, MSX1 support is pretty much trivial. Of course, you still need the memory. Smile

By dvik

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28-02-2006, 19:39

viejo_archivero: I'm working on an 105 color image encoder and sample code to show it and I hope to have it ready soon. I did some optimizations in the encoder and now it only takes a couple of seconds to convert an RGB bitmap to the MSX image. Hopefully I didn't do any mistakes but the encoder looks quite promising.

So once I'm done it will be easy to create a table with 'best match' RGB values for people that wants to draw their own 105 color images.

By wolf_

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28-02-2006, 20:53

This colorthing is meant for still images I guess? (pictures, portraits, things, whatever) I can't imagine it being useful in a game like UU, to name one. Tongue

By wolf_

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28-02-2006, 20:55

uh, actually, what I mean to say: is there any use for such a color-mix feature in a tile-editor like Polka? Or will pics like these always be converted from real pix with some algo, and that's just that?

By dvik

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28-02-2006, 21:23

I think these pics could be drawn in e.g. Polka. In fact I think there is a much bigger chance of getting nice pictures that way. Converting real photos doesn't always work out that well. With the tool I'm writing it will be possible to convert any RGB bitmap and they could be drawn in a paint program using a defined palette that converts nicely. But it would of course be a lot easier to have a tool like Polka that contains the restrictions in how the colors can be used.

By dvik

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28-02-2006, 21:28

I guess interlaced pics in games should be used with care though. Some people, like NYYRIKKI are more sensitive to interlace and may find the flickering quite disturbing. On the other hand some people are not and likes the extra colors. But I can imagine playing a game that always flicker may be a bit tiering for the eyes. On the other hand it would be really cool to see whats possible.

By Yukio

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23-10-2007, 16:21

After months, I finally tested this program.
Ok, I saw the demonstration on BlueMSX. It is amazing, the parts that I liked more were the text scrolling and the end credits. Until the globe and the final scroll, the letters was my favorite effect.
Congratulations!

By dvik

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23-10-2007, 17:44

Thanks Smile If you liked this demonstration you may also like the sequel:

http://www.msx.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Downloads&file=index&req=visit&lid=869

By Yukio

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23-10-2007, 23:32

Ok, I saw the sequel.
The music in the Utopia is sounding considerably better than on MSX Unleashed.
Not bad, since the first time that I saw the Unleashed demonstration I was listening to a Roxette CD (the Ballad Hits).
There is a great improvement over the previous demonstration programs available for the MSX format.

In fact, I had downloaded both programs from a other site some days ago, that page has a list of some demonstration software for MSX1,MSX2 and MSX2+/TurboR ...