Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
tokumaru
Posts: 11858
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:43 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by tokumaru » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:23 am

ulfalizer wrote:And yeah, most of those are not unique to Bucky O'Hare (it seems to have borrowed a lot of stuff from Battletoads for example), but I can't think of any other game that uses so many different bg-based effects (Battletoads might be a contender).
IMO, Bucky O'Hare and Battletoads are the absolute kings of NES tricks. Both games use a lot of graphical effects to create visuals that can't be ordinarily achieved on the NES. One interesting fact is that while Bucky O'Hare uses CHR-ROM, Battletoads uses CHR-RAM, so even though both games have effects in common, some of them are unique to the type of CHR memory used.

User avatar
tokumaru
Posts: 11858
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:43 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by tokumaru » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:26 am

ulfalizer wrote:Here's one from Mega Man 5.
The water animation, which appears to be done with palette cycling, looks pretty bad and distracting.

User avatar
ulfalizer
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:55 pm
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:29 am

tokumaru wrote:
ulfalizer wrote:And yeah, most of those are not unique to Bucky O'Hare (it seems to have borrowed a lot of stuff from Battletoads for example), but I can't think of any other game that uses so many different bg-based effects (Battletoads might be a contender).
IMO, Bucky O'Hare and Battletoads are the absolute kings of NES tricks. Both games use a lot of graphical effects to create visuals that can't be ordinarily achieved on the NES. One interesting fact is that while Bucky O'Hare uses CHR-ROM, Battletoads uses CHR-RAM, so even though both games have effects in common, some of them are unique to the type of CHR memory used.
Ah, hadn't realized Bucky O'Hare used CHR-ROM. Guessing it actually stores the shifted versions of the bg tiles for the "rewriting" parallax scroll effect and uses bank switching to replace them instead then.

User avatar
ulfalizer
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:55 pm
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:06 am

It's too bad you don't fight rabbits in Battletoads. Would've made it nicely symmetric (both games have you rescue kidnapped partners too). :?

User avatar
Gilbert
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:27 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Contact:

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Gilbert » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:21 am

A lot of games use the background layer as large bosses. This is especially popular in shooting games. Fantasy Zone is one good example.

User avatar
mikejmoffitt
Posts: 1352
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by mikejmoffitt » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:15 pm

A background plane isn't too different from one huge sprite, really.

psycopathicteen
Posts: 2946
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by psycopathicteen » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:30 am

Some systems didn't even bother to distinguish sprites from bg layers, such as the Neo-Geo.

User avatar
blargg
Posts: 3715
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:33 am
Location: Central Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by blargg » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:59 am

psycopathicteen wrote:Some systems didn't even bother to distinguish sprites from bg layers, such as the Neo-Geo.
http://wiki.neogeodev.org differs:
http://wiki.neogeodev.org wrote:Sprites are vertical strips of tiles, with a fixed width of 1 tile (16 pixels), and an adjustable height (up to 32 tiles, 512 pixels).

psycopathicteen
Posts: 2946
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by psycopathicteen » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:35 pm

I don't see how that "differs" from what I said.

User avatar
blargg
Posts: 3715
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:33 am
Location: Central Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by blargg » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:13 pm

Oh, I thought you meant that the Neo Geo just had a bunch of tile layers that could be used as backgrounds or sprites.

User avatar
tokumaru
Posts: 11858
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:43 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by tokumaru » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:51 pm

blargg wrote:Oh, I thought you meant that the Neo Geo just had a bunch of tile layers that could be used as backgrounds or sprites.
Apparently it has a bunch of sprites that can be used as sprites or backgrounds!

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 7951
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Bregalad » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:38 pm

I think it's a great idea to have it done like this. I'm surprised the "Modern" 2D systems such as GBA didn't do it like this either. Instead of having hardware for background or sprites it makes sense to improve hardware for sprites and toss hardware for background completely, it'll still use less chip space than having rendering for BG and sprites.

tepples
Posts: 22052
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by tepples » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:25 pm

At the one extreme, there's Atari's Tetris hardware, which is all tiled background. At the other extreme, there are Sega's Pengo hardware and the Neo-Geo MVS/AES, which are all sprites.

For one thing, Neo Geo treats everything as columns of 16x16 sprites. That's fine for games using 16x16 grids, but a lot of games (such as Tetris Worlds and Dr. Mario) need 8x8 precision, and there are tricks that can be done with HDMA scrolling and two tile layers to get 12x12 tiles (as seen in Puyo Pop). For another, if your CPU is (relatively) slow, it might be hard to move everything around at full speed if your level map is made out of sprites. And finally, I don't remember Neo Geo allowing anything like Mode 7 rotation. The GBA allows sprite rotation, but moving a bunch of sprites relative to each other to create a rotated playfield (as one would have to do to simulate the rotation in Super NES racing games like On the Ball and Super Mario Kart) often causes cracks when sines and cosines aren't perfect multiples of a pixel.

natt
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by natt » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:13 pm

tepples wrote:For another, if your CPU is (relatively) slow, it might be hard to move everything around at full speed if your level map is made out of sprites.
I think the Neo Geo allows you to staple the sprite columns together, so a large group of pixels can be controlled with one set of H\V offsets. I'm not sure though; the documents I read were rather confusing.

Sik
Posts: 1589
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:43 am

Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Sik » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:27 am

Yep, the Neo Geo allowed you to chain strips so you could move large amount of columns with a single set of coordinates.

Post Reply