Subject: [stella] The scores / 48-pixel highres routine explained!|
From: emooney@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Erik Mooney)
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 03:01:56 GMT
In a burst of frustration at my invaders program (can't find the cycles to make the invaders look like anything but Super Breakout rejects), I figured out the scores routine. I dunno if this has been done before, but the lack of comments on the code to draw the text in Greg Troutman's game (everything else is highly commented) and in the 48-pixel highres routine in Okie Dokie's source indicate that nobody quite understands it yet. The key is the vertical delay registers, and the fact that they don't do vertical delay at all. As the "big file" says, there are actually TWO graphics registers for each player.. I'm going to call them GRP0, GRP0A, GRP1, and GRP1A. Again as the "big file" says, bit 0 of VDELP0 toggles between whether GRP0 or GRP0A is used for the player 0 display, and VDELP1 toggles using GRP1 or GRP1A for the player 1 display. For this routine, both vertical delay registers must be set, so GRPxA will always be used. The tricky part lies in when GRP0A and GRP1A load. When GRP0 is written to (with any value), GRP1A receives the contents of GRP1. When GRP1 is written to, GRP0A becomes equal to GRP0. You're "supposed" to write GRP0 and GRP1 at the beginning of alternating lines, so when the vertical delay register is set, any write to GRP0 does not take effect until a write to GRP1 occurs, which occurs on the next scanline. Here's the code for it again (from Okie Dokie). GRHEIGHT is the number of scanlines for which we want to do this. Player 0 has been set to pixel 123 (including horz blank) and Player 1 has been set to pixel 131. So the digits begin at pixels 123, 131, 139, 147, 155, 163. A series of six 16-bit pointers to the digits reside at GRTABLE, in RAM. In the table on the right, D# means digit number # of the score. (if you're using a windows mail reader, make sure to use a fixed-width font or the table will be even messier than most 2600 code) Cycles Pixel GRP0 GRP0A GRP1 GRP1A loop2 ldy GRHEIGHT ;+3 63 189 lda (GRTABLE),y ;+5 68 204 sta GRP0 ;+3 71 213 D1 -- -- -- sta WSYNC ;go lda (GRTABLE+$2),y ;+5 5 15 sta GRP1 ;+3 8 24 D1 D1 D2 -- lda (GRTABLE+$4),y ;+5 13 39 sta GRP0 ;+3 16 48 D3 D1 D2 D2 lda (GRTABLE+$6),y ;+5 21 63 sta TEMPVAR ;+3 24 72 lda (GRTABLE+$8),y ;+5 29 87 tax ;+2 31 93 lda (GRTABLE+$A),y ;+5 36 108 tay ;+2 38 114 lda TEMPVAR ;+3 41 123 ! sta GRP1 ;+3 44 132 D3 D3 D4 D2! stx GRP0 ;+3 47 141 D5 D3! D4 D4 sty GRP1 ;+3 50 150 D5 D5 D6 D4! sta GRP0 ;+3 53 159 D4* D5! D6 D6 dec GRHEIGHT ;+5 58 174 ! bpl loop2 ;+2 60 180 At the *, the value written to GRP0 does not matter.. what does matter is that this write triggers GRP1A to receive new contents from GRP1. A "!" indicates that that register is being used for displaying at that moment. Looking at it a different way: sta GRP0 ;digit 1 -> GRP0 WSYNC sta GRP1 ;digit 2 -> GRP1, digit 1 = GRP0 -> GRP0A sta GRP0 ;digit 3 -> GRP0, digit 2 = GRP1 -> GRP1A *Digit 1 (GRP0A) begins displaying *Digit 2 (GRP1A) begins. One pixel later, the next instruction completes. sta GRP1 ;digit 4 -> GRP1, digit 3 = GRP0 -> GRP0A *Digit 3 (GRP0A) begins. Two pixels later, the next instruction completes. stx GRP0 ;digit 5 -> GRP0, digit 4 = GRP1 -> GRP1A *Digit 4 (GRP1A) begins. 3 pixels later, the next instruction completes. sty GRP1 ;digit 6 -> GRP1, digit 5 = GRP0 -> GRP0A *Digit 5 (GRP0A) begins. 4 pixels later, the next instruction completes. sta GRP0 ;any value -> GRP0, digit 6 = GRP1 -> GRP1A *Digit 6 (GRP1A) begins. The basic idea is that we preload GRP0A, GRP1A, and GRP0 for the first three digits well ahead of time, then load the last three digits into our three registers and fire them off in rapid succession at the correct time.. then one more GRP0 strobe is needed to make GRP1A update one more time. Using the "A" registers lets us preload three digits instead of two, so that we have enough registers to hold the rest of the digits. Note that we always update GRP0A while GRP1A is being displayed, and vice versa. My hat's off to the programmers who came up with this thing - "Wow. The above routine just drew the score with no cycles to spare." Now that we know how it works (did it in fact make sense to anyone?), it could be modified to display at different horizontal positions. Ouch, my brain hurts now.. I think I'll go play Super Breakout =) -- Archives available at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/ E-mail UNSUBSCRIBE in the body to stella-request@xxxxxxxxxxx to be removed.