Re: [stella] Tetris control

Subject: Re: [stella] Tetris control
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 13:47:41 -0800 (PST)

On Thu, 5 Dec 1996, Eckhard Stolberg wrote:

> >> I think I will implement the Nintendo style, where you could pull the stone
> >> down, but stop the fast-falling if you want.
> >
> >I happen to think the way the arcade did it was best.
> I have never played Atari's arcade version. How exactly does it handle this?
> And what else is so special about it, that everyone thinks it is the best?
> How does the two player mode work, that you mentioned?

Ug.  Not to be a dick, but the Atari Tetris is the first, and I don't know
if it was written by the Russian guy directly or just ported, but I'd say
the guy who came up with Tetris knows what the best game mechanics for the
game should be, don't you?  If you base your game solely on ports of the
original, then you are that far removed from the original, and that's a
shame.  Also remember that some care should be taken with the algorithm
that generates the bricks.  In the arcade, I believe it is hardcoded, not
randomized.  In the more difficult waves, only placing the pieces in a
certain way will allow you to succeed because it will, for instance, give
you 100 square bricks in a row, so if you are waiting for a long bar,
forget it.  The distribution of pieces is designed to frustrate players in
the latter waves.  It becomes far more "a bunch of this, then a bunch of
that" in the latter waves as opposed to evenly distributed stuff.  And the
most popular pieces tend to be rarer, i.e. the bar, and the shitty pieces
like the zigzag become most plentiful.


zigzag, worst piece in Tetris!

Two player is when you have two bins, left and right.  The player who
finishes early enough while the other guy struggles can win a bonus round,
which continues until the other player finishes his wave.

In the latter stages, the walls converge and random single-blocks will
start to get in your way to complicate things, in addition to the bricks
falling faster.  The bricks that make up the convergence and the
obstructions do disintegrate, however, like normal ones do, with a full
horizontal row.

Please note that the original tetris has discrete wave endings.  Each wave
requires a certain number of horizontal disintegrations, or whatever you
call them.  It's not like Gameboy tetris which never has an end to the
action.  After each wave is done, a rainbow graphic goes through the bin,
and some music, and then you start again with a fresh bin.  I like this
better because you can often be really screwed up to the top of the bin
and manage to get the last disintegration and be able to start fresh with
a new bin.  In Gameboy tetris, there IS NO RELIEF.

You've got an extra 2K to work with.  Stuff like this is all doable if you
want to devote the time to it.

> I was thinking of using five sprites and fill the left half only in one
> frame and the right half in the next. Also changing the colour for each sprite,
> when it is displayed. That would give ten colours. What other routines are
> you refering to?

Things like that, but in addition you can stripe sprites to give each
brick a multishaded texture.  Don't ask me how, I just know it's possible. 
Take a look at Starpath Frogger or any of Doug Neubauer's games.  You
could reserve the rainbow routines to the wave endings (animated rainbow

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