Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Thu, 19 Feb 2009
This is another loading screen I did while at work experience at Binary Design in 1986.
I was really proud of this one. It was another weird game that I never played, or particularly understood. The design was based on the programmer's description of what the game was about. There was no cover art or anything like that to copy.
The reason the in-game panel is on the screen was that memory was so tight that the panel only existed on the loading screen! The programmer gave me a bitmap with the panel at the bottom, and a blank space at the top, and told me to draw the loading screen in the blank space above the panel.
Once the game had finished loading it, the loading screen remaining in VRAM, and when the game was running it was only updating / redrawing the top half of the screen, or some active elements of the control panel below. Most of the in-between bits of the control panel didn't exist anywhere in RAM at all, only in VRAM from the loading screen.
This is a rare example of a screen in the Amstrad's hi-res mode - doubling the horizontal resolution to 320 square pixels rather than 160 fat ones, but dropping the bit depth from 4 to 2 (from 16 colours to only 4).
A screen in this mode would be impossible to convert to the C64, as it didn't have a corresponding video mode, but this was an Amstrad only title so it was OK.