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Designing Arcade Computer Game Graphics

Ari Feldman

Wordware Publishing, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Feldman, Ari. Designing arcade computer game graphics / by Ari Feldman. p. cm. ISBN 1-55622-755-8 (pb)

1. Computer graphics. T385.F447 2000

794.8'166--dc21

2. Computer games.

I. Title.

00-047319

CIP

© 2001, Wordware Publishing, Inc.

All Rights Reserved

2320 Los Rios Boulevard Plano, Texas 75074

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from Wordware Publishing, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN 1-55622-755-8

10

0010

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2

1

Product names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective companies.

All inquiries for volume purchases of this book should be addressed to Wordware Publishing, Inc., at the above address. Telephone inquiries may be made by calling:

(972) 423-0090

Dedication

This book is dedicated to my friends Dina Willensky, Stephanie Worley, Jennifer Higbee, Faye Horwitz, Sonya Donaldson, Karen Wasserman, and Howard Offenhutter, and to my parents, Dr. Bernard Feldman and Gail Feldman. These people stood by me during this project, always offering me encouragement and support when I needed it most. Thanks everyone!

I would also like to dedicate this book to my eclectic CD collection, for without the soothing sounds from the likes of Lush, Ride, The Clash, The English Beat, and The Creation this book would have never been completed.

Contents

Foreword .

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xvi

Acknowledgments

xviii

Introduction

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xix

Chapter 1

Arcade Games and Computer Arcade Game Platforms

 

1

What’s an Arcade Game?

2

Arcade Game Sub-Genres

2

Maze/Chase Games

2

Pong Games

3

Shooters

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Puzzlers

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Platformers

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This Book and Arcade Games

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Computer Arcade Game Platforms

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DOS

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Windows

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Macintosh

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12

Linux .

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12

. Video Game Consoles .

Java .

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12

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Chapter 2

Designing for Different Display Modes .

 

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A Summary of Video Hardware Standards .

 

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18

Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) .

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18

Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA).

 

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18

. Multicolor Graphics Array (MCGA)

Video Graphics Adapter (VGA) .

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19

19

Super Video Graphics Adapter (SVGA).

. Screen Resolution .

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Display Modes

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20

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. Why It’s Important.

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21

Screen Resolution Issues .

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24

What You Can Do

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27

Aspect Ratio

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28

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Aspect Ratio Issues .

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30

What You Can Do

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32

Refresh Rate .

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32

Contents

Why It’s Important.

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32

Refresh Rate Issues .

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32

What You Can Do

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34

Color Capability

Why It’s Important.

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35

36

Color Capability Issues

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38

What You Can Do

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39

Gamma Level

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40

Why It’s Important.

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40

Gamma Level Issues

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40

What You Can Do

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42

Choosing Display Modes to Design For

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42

Screen Performance .

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43

Image Clarity

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45

. System Compatibility

Color Capability

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45

45

Audience Hardware Capabilities

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45

. Graphics Production Time.

Programming Support .

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47

47

Comprehensive Comparison of Display Mode Attributes .

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48

Specific Display Mode Recommendations .

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50

Display Mode and Arcade Game Sub-Genre Recommendations

 

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Arcade Game Type Recommendation Explanations .

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51

Rules for Display Mode Selection.

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52

Chapter 3

Image Compression and Graphic File

 

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Image Compression

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56

Lossless Compression . RLE Compression . Packbits Compression .

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LZ77 Compression.

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58

LZW Compression .

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58

Lossy Compression

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59

Color Reduction .

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59

JPEG .

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60

Essential Graphic File Formats .

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61

BMP (Bitmap)

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61

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

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62

IFF (Interchange File Format)

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64

PCX .

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65

PICT (Picture)

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66

Important Graphic File Formats.

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67

FLIC

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67

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) . .

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