It's time for another Grit release. There are three important changes compared to previous versions.
First, palette merging is in (and there was much rejoicing). If you use the -pS option, a shared palette will be created and used in the graphics. Note that I still think palette merging should be performed on the images themselves and not in the output phase. If anyone's interested, I do have a small app that can do just this.
Another big change is that handling of shared data is now done correctly. The previous version required two runs for this: one for the non-shared stuff, and then another for the tileset itself. You also had to take care to disable the shared item for the individual runs, otherwise the (useless) intermediates would be exported as well. Grit 0.8 fixes all this. You can provide multiple images and request a shared tileset and/or palette (with -pS, -gS, or -fx) and it should work right. Grit will export the individual parts first and save exporting the shared data for the end. For example, if you have 5 files to be converted to maps with a shared tileset, you'll get 5 maps, and one tileset and palette (instead of 5 of each like 0.7 did). You can tune the shared output names with -S and -O (uppercase s and o) if necessary.
Thirdly, there is a new binary file-type available. I'm calling it GRF, for Grit RIFF File. This places the graphics, maps and palette in RIFF chunks. The idea behind this was to have related data in a single file instead of three different binaries. The chunked data-format also allows easier extension and it's easy to make a generic loader for it too. For details (including such a loader), see the the manual. The -ftr option creates a GRF file, and you can also create GRF-formatted C/asm arrays using -fr.
I've also added something I like to call ‘fake’ compression, -Z0 (Z zero). This adds a header word to the data similar to the ones that the compressed data have. This consistency of data-formats is essential for the generic data-loader.
As I mentioned before, there is also a proper demo project to show how you can use grit and its various options. Take note of how it uses a separate makefile to prepare the graphics. This way you can keep the main makefile pretty clean and it makes it easier to insert customized conversion rules. Note: to build the demo project, make sure GRIT points to the updated binary.