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Digitizer MK-III

#1 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:25 PM

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Not an actual picture of it, but Tom Payne explained me some interesting stuff about it and drew a sketch for me from memory, depicting what did the Digitizers look like.

The screen showed a grid, and some menus would appear possibly in a similar way to those in TUME. In order to zoom in or out you had to go to one of those menus and choose it. Boring stuff.

There was a tablet that used absolute position instead of relative position like any PC mouse would, and there was this wierd device featuring four buttons (only two of them might have worked, though) and a transparent crosshair thing, whose purpose was possibly to just trace the drawings. There's two possibilities on how did it look like, but he made the second one after remembering this stuff, so it might be more correct (and it makes more sense too).


I think it saved the graphics in a format for D-Paint (or maybe it was Sugano's program which converted them to LBM, can't remember right now), and in some apparently standard diskettes that were formatted in a way that they can't be read on a PC (Amiga disk format, perhaps?). I think they used D-Paint for making the known mockups as well as the level pics they sent to DCT so they would get the feeling of the levels before composing their music.

When making the objects and badniks, you had to print them and then write manually the details in the animation that couldn't be seen, so the programmers (Naka in case of the Metropolis gears, for example) would know how to handle the animation frames (ie: writing "<- 1 dot" near a sprite that moved 1 pixel to the left in one of the animation frames)

Also, when making the level tiles, you needed to print all the 16x16 level blocks, number them and then make lists with their order in each of the bigger level blocks.


Then you would send those graphics to a NEC computer where it would be formatted to the Genesis/MD graphics format. Those NEC computers were probably where the ROMs were compiled, and you could even used them to play one-level demos to test the unfinished levels.


I believe that's all, enjoy.

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This post has been edited by ICEknight: 24 May 2005 - 04:56 PM

#2 User is offline voice 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:38 PM

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Interesting... actually the 2nd "mouse" in the middle looks kinda like one my dad has. Civil engenieers used them when designing crap I guess.

#3 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:42 PM

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voice, on May 24 2005, 04:38 PM, said:

Interesting... actually the 2nd "mouse" in the middle looks kinda like one my dad has. Civil engenieers used them when designing crap I guess.

You mean the one with the bigass crosshair thingy?

#4 User is offline voice 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:49 PM

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Yeah, that, and it went with a board that had a grid design to it. Dunno if we still have them.

#5 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:51 PM

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Hey, it would be sweet if you could get a pic of that. I believe this board also had a grid, so it might have been the same exact thing.

#6 User is offline voice 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:55 PM

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Heh, I wish it was that simple, theres about 20,000 places in this house those parts could be, its also possible we don't have them anymore(my dad has been doing some cleaning out of his stuff, heh).

UPDATE: Yeah, apparently it might have been he brought one home from work and then took it back, the correct term BTW being "Drafting Mouse". Also, my dad didn't get what I was going on about until I said Digitizer, he says hes worked with them before(not for gaming purposes, hes a electronics engenieer :P)

EDIT: Also, what does the cursive ontop of the screen say? "FAR"? It would help since I'm trying to search this up on google and I'm only getting newage digitizers
This post has been edited by voice: 24 May 2005 - 05:12 PM

#7 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 05:23 PM

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Quote

EDIT: Also, what does the cursive ontop of the screen say? "FAR"? It would help since I'm trying to search this up on google and I'm only getting newage digitizers

It's supposed to say "SEGA". That might have been a sticker or anything, though.

#8 User is offline voice 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:04 PM

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Here, I found this on google by searching images. It looks like the one in the drawing on the far right.

Posted Image

#9 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:06 PM

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Wooo cool info with no abnoxious wasp game that requires IE :D Nah seriously, well done ICEKnight nice stuff ^^;

Quote

Then you would send those graphics to a NEC computer where it would be formatted to the Genesis/MD graphics format. Those NEC computers were probably where the ROMs were compiled, and you could even used them to play one-level demos to test the unfinished levels.

Send directly to a computer? So they were networked?

Also do you think any of these abilities were avaliable on the Teradrive? I've heard it was capable of editing art, I don't know the full details though.

EDIT: Hey voice that image has an entry on the site it's from http://www.tonh.net/.../digitizer.html
WEll at least we now know it's made by IBM :P
This post has been edited by QJimbo: 24 May 2005 - 06:09 PM

#10 User is offline Aurochs 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:32 PM

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QJimbo, on May 24 2005, 06:06 PM, said:

Send directly to a computer? So they were networked?

Don't think networking was a very popular option with digitizers at the time. They were most likely copied to a diskette and transferred physically.

Quote

WEll at least we now know it's made by IBM :P

I doubt it. There were a LOT of digitizer models around, even then; I'm sure most of them looked similar enough to match the sketch.

#11 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:37 PM

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Aurochs, on May 24 2005, 11:32 PM, said:

Quote

WEll at least we now know it's made by IBM :P

I doubt it. There were a LOT of digitizer models around, even then; I'm sure most of them looked similar enough to match the sketch.

Mmm true, but a quick google on "IBM Digitizer" pulled up a computer called the IBM Digitizer Model 003, which kinda matches the MKIII thing going on here :P Ah well, maybe ICEKnight can ask Tom Payne if their were any IBM logos on it.

#12 User is offline LocalH 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 07:03 PM

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ICEknight: If you're in regular contact with Payne, can you show him these screenshots and ask him if the interface depicted looks familiar to him?

Posted Image

Posted Image
This post has been edited by LocalH: 24 May 2005 - 07:04 PM

#13 User is offline Lostgame 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 08:02 PM

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I'm making a 3D model of it, so people can see maybe what it looked like a little better.

http://earth.prohost...m/s3g4/sega.jpg
This post has been edited by lostgame: 24 May 2005 - 08:13 PM

#14 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

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lostgame, on May 25 2005, 01:02 AM, said:

I'm making a 3D model of it, so people can see maybe what it looked like a little better.

http://earth.prohost...m/s3g4/sega.jpg

Oh dear :P Nice effort though...
I tried emailing IBM for more info but "Due to the large volume of e-mail that IBM receives, our representatives are unable to assist students with research requests directly." :)
This post has been edited by QJimbo: 24 May 2005 - 08:41 PM

#15 User is offline voice 

Posted 24 May 2005 - 09:04 PM

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I get 403'ed when I try to view the img. Anyways, my guess is it would have looked like this:

Posted Image
Of course you'd replace the computer/monitor/misc crap with what they would have had, but I figure that would kind of be the setup.

EDIT: For comical effect, read what's on the T-Square :P
This post has been edited by voice: 24 May 2005 - 09:11 PM

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