Re: [stella] SCSIcide 0.06 (playable!)

Subject: Re: [stella] SCSIcide 0.06 (playable!)
From: Joe Grand <jgrand@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 23:29:41 -0400

Thanks for the comments! I'll read through them more carefully tommorrow, but I have a few more easy questions..

1) Do you think having all those colors is confusing? Should I just make all the bits the same color (e.g. blue) and just have the next data bit to read be another color? That would solve the issue of different TVs showing different color types..

2) I'm thinking that the "hard drive" concept is too confusing? I am a big track & field (running) fan, so I'm thinking of turning the drive head into a little runner and have the data bits be water jumps and hurdles and have "treasure" of some sort.. Might be a little more fun? The latency buffer could turn into an "energy" buffer. The bit counter on the right could just count the number of treasure pieces the little guy picks up?

Thanks again for the response. I have a few hours tommorrow to crank some more of this out and I was waiting for some comments before I worked on more. Looks like getting the paddle working and moving to a TV or z26 environment are the biggest steps..


At 11:13 PM 6/1/2001 +0200, Manuel Polik wrote:
Hi Joe!

> Attached is a playble version of my game concept..

I finally found some time for a longer playtest of your first playable
version. I'm sorry for the delay.

> o If wrong color data bit is read, game over

I get killed that way at a frustrating high rate.
Maybe you should do some not-so-severe punishment in this case :-)
besides, you picked the colors on stellaX, right? When playing the third
stage it gets really hard in the very fast action to not hit the wrong
bit. Especially the two reds and the brighter yellow/green things are
hard to identify then.

To my surprise after some rounds I found, that I'm almost not pressured
collect anything. Then I forced myself to slow down my reactions a bit
and made less & later use of the fire button and got better results in
the game.

Then it started making fun, but: This is definitely no Joystick game.
Whatever you planned for the next step, please give it paddle support

There's some jitter in the graphics at times. I don't have the time to
check your routines, but most likely it's some paging problem. Put the
display kernel at the very beginning of your BIN, i.e. make it start at
$F000, check if all branches in it have the same running time under all
circumstances and align all the data you read in a way that it's not
crossing pages.

> 1) Make the latency buffer time dependent instead of depending on if a bit
> is read or not. This will increase the urgency to finish a level as quickly
> as possible (e.g. before time runs out)

Maybe trying it the other way round: Give a bonus for quick people or
let the score run backwards after some time like Andrew does in QB.

> 2) Random data bit speed (e.g. between 1 and currentLevel) - this will
> prevent patterns and having to hard-code levels

I think this is better. Plus random starting positions!
Now after some time there's all bits reaching the left border at once,
then you're almost doomed to hit the wrong one.

> 3) I have not implemented the changing of bit sizes (smaller) as levels
> increase

At the moment that'd make it easier, not difficult I'd say, since this'd
prevent you from collecting the wrong bit :-)

> 4) I was originally planning to make all data bits have the same speed on
> each level and make use of the initial horizontal position of the data bits
> (to offset positions a little bit)? Do people like the varying speeds
> better? Physically, that wouldn't be possible for a hard drive...

Hm... I hate it when I've to wait for the ultra-slow blobs, but apart
from that it's ok.

> The 4 levels I currently have are for testing purposes to show the various
> speeds the data bits can achieve. After the 4th level, it will cycle back
> to the 1st (but you can continue to play and get more points :)  Warning:
> Levels 3 and 4 are pretty fast!

Never seen #4 :-)

> I'm still using StellaX to test things, but finally setup a little
> development system right next to my computer using wplaybin, 2600 jr. w/
> Supercharger, and 13" color TV.. There are some timing/flicker issues on
> the TV that I will deal with later on..

See why I'm using z26? It's displaying the 'timing/flicker issues' too

> As always, attached is a screenshot, binary, and source.. I'd love to hear
> any gripes, comments, etc. about the game.. Now is the time to start
> criticizing it! :)

I'm really surprised how fast you're working lately. With me it's the
other way round. I haven't even touched the Gunfight source since the
last demo I posted. (Sorry Thomas. I'll definitely try to work your
lately submitted wizardry into the game. I see some free hours coming on

It's to brill a summer here in germany ATM to be wasted. Another week or
two, when the 4-month-rainfall started, I'm continue working on it with
full steam :-)


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