[stella] Euchre: up against the wall again
Subject: [stella] Euchre: up against the wall again|
From: "Erik J. Eid" <eeid@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 21:57:24 -0500
After managing to free up some space in my Euchre game by reducing the
sprites from eight to six rows in height and trading image tables for
calculations, I decided to proceed by positioning the second team's score
in the "right" spot and hopefully adding a trump suit display. In the
process, I discovered something rather disheartening: I only have about
another 130 bytes or so to work with. This won't be enough to accomplish
everything I want to do, much less need to - the computer players' AI
routines aren't there yet and will need more than 130 bytes.
While further optimizations may help, I think now's the time when a
sacrifice or two may need to be made.
I've begun to think that the message section at the bottom of the screen is
excessive for a 4K 2600 game. I thought it would be good to have one to
enhance communication between the game and player. After all, it won't be
as easy for someone to play the game without a manual, and I believed it
would show what can be done with 4K to include the messages. However,
Chess, Checkers, Othello, Bridge, Backgammon, etc. manage to do without
one, and some of these are far more complex than Euchre.
There's a lot of memory invested in the messaging scheme. The images for
all the letters take up 29 (all letters, a space, a 2, and a 4) * 6 = 174
bytes. The messages themselves take up 25 * 6 = 150 bytes. I'd probably
have GetLetterImage, GetMessagePointer, and GetMessageImages in some
fashion since I'd want a couple of text messages (such as "by Erik Eid" :)
), so I won't count these. There's code sprinkled throughout the game
regarding deciding what message to show; I make a conservative estimate of
it at 120 bytes. All this together is 444 bytes, or at least 10.8% of the
Were I to replace the messages, the game would still need to communicate
with the player, but it could be accomplished as simply as showing "P" for
pass, "O" for order up, and "A" for alone, plus a trump suit for the latter
two options, where a card is displayed or near one.
About the only other changes I can think of at this point are to reduce the
sprite size from six to five lines each or to switch from paddles to a
joystick (though this would require keeping track of the current cursor
position or selection).
Before I make such a drastic shift in direction in my game, I'd like to
solicit the opinions of the list. Should I cut out the messages,
considering them a luxury I cannot afford? Should I instead look to trim
down images further and/or change to a joystick for input? Is there
another option that I'm not considering and should?
. . \_ +\_ + o_-/ . O
. \-_o -=/- . .
. . \=// .
---------\_______ ||O ___.______
/* Erik Eid */ \____||L/\_____/
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