Watching Onedimensional (Atari 8-bit)

Running over last weekend was the latest edition of the Atari-centric Silly Venture party which has spent nearly two decades bringing fans of all things Atari together to party, chat and do demo-ish things; there were some great releases over the various Atari platforms as always, but I found myself drawn to one particularly old school demo which took part in the 16K Atari 8-bit competition. It’s called Onedimensional, was coded by Shadow of Noice and is basically a 1980s-style raster intro which features a four colour logo parked at the top of the screen, a double font scrolling message trundling past at the bottom and industrial quantities of raster bars dancing like nobody is watching between them.

This really couldn’t be described as pushing the Atari 8-bit’s boundaries and Shadow himself commented that it’s a “compo filler” in the scroller, but regular readers will know I love me some raster bars so a new production that does lots of variations on that particular theme is always going to catch my eye. The graphics are reasonable and do what they’re there for – Rocky’s logo is well drawn but part of me wants a teensy bit more colour – whilst the music was composed by Tobikomi (who appears to be a newcomer to the POKEY by the look of it) and is quirky but fun, suiting the on-screen action well especially since all of the effect and logo colour changes have been synchronised to it.

To be honest, I resisted the urge to do something along similar lines to this for about a decade – even when I finally gave in there were excuses like using 256 colours in MD201701 to hide behind rather than just going hell for leather with a no-nonsense, WSYNC-powered colour splitter – because the potential backlash from hardened Atarians to something like that is, quite frankly, terrifying! But Shadow made of sterner stuff than me and ran with it, doing every solid job overall especially when considering the small memory footprint he was working within.

2 thoughts on “Watching Onedimensional (Atari 8-bit)

  1. Hi Jase,

    “Itsa me, Mario….”….Ok Mclaneic from AA..

    I also love the old raster stuff and although some of the demo is stuff seen a million times before there was stuff like the expanding rasters and the Star Was depth scroller type which was fun and new to me. Probably reasonally easy code for your pro’s, I just managed the single multi colour raster back then, no bouncing etc..Just it and I liked it..

    Sometimes its the variations of the old that appeal…..

    PS, lose that hat, you look like the type that does wrong things to donkeys at the seaside :)

    PS the sequel: Its this site that covers your posts that I was talking about ages ago..

  2. Ah… that’s just a content scraper I think, grabbing posts automagically off my RSS feed. I could make it say all sorts of rude things! [Evil grin =-] And the hat isn’t mine, I borrowed it for the picture from a seven year old whilst at the seaside… and no, I didn’t go near the donkeys!

    Generally speaking, raster bars are almost painfully easy to do on the A8 due to WSYNC – Onedimensional even has blank lines in the display list at that point so it doesn’t have to deal with the playfield – so the “hard” bit is refreshing the colour table; that can be done a number of ways so it’s just a matter of being inventive with how you render to that table each frame or finding other ways to get it moving like self modifying part of the loop reading bytes in. =-)

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