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Cyber Cop

Game Review

Heading into the late 1980's after having worked on a number of successful games for Gametek, CBS Software, and more, Roger Pedersen attempted going out on his own with a handful of games published under the Pedersen Systems, Inc. banner. It's been a while since I've posted a game review, so let's take a look at one of these games. This time around it's Cyber Cop, an amazingly awful action game. Thanks to a decent idea and CGA graphics that aren't too bad, this one can almost look good if you squint; but, it's not...


All Points Not Addressable

When Colors Clash, Part 2

When the IBM PC was released in 1981, the Color/Graphics option had a still somewhat uncommon feature that IBM called “all points addressable graphics” in the documentation. What this meant was you could take any pixel on the screen, set it to any available color you wanted, there was no impact or limitation from the colors of adjacent pixels and you were not limited to only choosing characters from the character set as with text modes. Most color computers of the era weren't quite this flexible and still had some unusual color limitations; in order to keep costs down while improving performance, a myriad of color schemes were devised which provided more colors on the screen at one time than the IBM PC offered, but the tradeoff was you couldn't just set any pixel to any arbitrary color. One of the more common schemes was to limit colors to only two per block of pixels (such as on the ZX Spectrum which allowed two colors every 8x8 pixels). Color clash (sometimes also known as attribute clash) was the term commonly used for the resulting artifact of colors seemingly bleeding from one area into another that resulted with these color schemes. Creating graphics within these limitations was a challenge and previously I looked at a few examples in When Colors Clash. These were all loading screens from a handful of 8-bit computers in order to demonstrate the issue and show examples of how artists worked with the constraints for static screens. Getting attractive graphics put together was tough enough there, but what happens if we add movement to the equation? Usually trouble! For action games (or any game with some sort of animation) the problem is now worse as the artist has less control over where to position elements on the screen to hide or work around color clash, instead the graphics need to follow the action of the game. Some common patterns and techniques did emerge, however, so this time let's take a look at a few of the tricks of the trade developers utilized to deal with this limitation outside of the loading screen and during the game itself...


New Screenshot Color Features

View CGA and Amstrad CPC Screenshots With Different Monitor Types

Another code update has been pushed live for PixelatedArcade, and this time around the main new feature adds the ability to view some screenshots with colors simulated for different monitor types. When supported, you'll see a drop-down menu below screenshots after clicking on them which allows you to select your preferred monitor. A while back I had written about tales of CGA colors, and this update finally delivers the feature to view different CGA color possibilities. Additionally, you can also view Amstrad CPC screenshots in both color and monochrome. Previously this feature was available for Apple II and Hercules Monochrome screenshots, so I'm delighted to introduce this expansion...