Monday, September 20, 2010

UVOG Arcade Machine

Umpqua Valley Opensource Group is building a classic-style Arcade machine (with a few innovations.) I am in charge of drawing the sprites for one of the games, so I spent the weekend studying 8-bit video game palettes.

I settled on using limitations similar to the 8-bit NES. The NES itself only had around 54 possible colors on the system palette (technically there were 64 color indexes, but 10 of them were black and two were white!) There were also many additional limitations on how many colors could be used at a time on the screen as well as how many could be used per tile or sprite.

I am using the same basic ideas to restrict the artwork for this game, but I have created an expanded palette using a full range of 64 different colors. I also hand-tuned the choice of colors, and re-ordered the palette in a more sensible way.

Because the Arcade Machine is an Open Source Project, my palette is Open Source as well. I am calling it the UVPALETTE. It is available as a GPL (GIMP PaLette; which is usable in mtPaint also, and is basically a text file with a list of RGB values) at the following address:

I also have a demo of the palette here is a PNG file:

In order to make discussing and working with the palette easier, I have prescribed a canonical name for each color:

Names of colors on the first row (0x00 - 0x0F) Black, Dark Blue, Dark Cerulean, Dark Mint, Dark Green, Dark Lime, Dark Yellow, Dark Tan, Dark Orange, Dark Red, Dark Rose, Dark Orchid, Dark Violet, Dark Indigo, Forest, Charcoal.

Names of colors on the second row (0x10 - 0x1F) Gray, Blue, Cerulean, Mint, Green, Lime, Yellow, Tan, Orange, Red, Rose, Orchid, Violet, Indigo, Brown, Slate.

Names of colors on the third row (0x20 - 0x2F) Silver, Light Blue, Light Cerulean, Light Mint, Light Green, Light Lime, Light Yellow, Light Tan, Light Orange, Light Red, Light Rose, Light Orchid, Light Violet, Light Indigo, Jade, Chalk.

Names of colors on the fourth row (0x30 - 0x3F) Pale White, Pale Blue, Pale Cerulean, Pale Mint, Pale Green, Pale Lime, Pale Yellow, Pale Tan, Pale Orange, Pale Red, Pale Rose, Pale Orchid, Pale Violet, Pale Indigo, Gold, White.

Here is another version of the palette demo with the prescribed color names listed for quick reference:


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