Re: [stella] Invaders update! - inv-beta.bin

Subject: Re: [stella] Invaders update! - inv-beta.bin
From: Nick S Bensema <nickb@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 23:50:36 -0700 (MST)
>Well, I've been hard at work on this thing, and its ready for another
>evaluation by you guys.  New features:
>- Invaders now animated!  Each type of invader can cycle through 6 frames
>of animation.  (must be 6 frames, though it can repeat a 2-frame sequence
>three times.)  Thanks to all who helped with that concept.  Do the middle
>two rows of invaders look silly?  If so, how should I change them?

They look fine, though perhaps a round or C-shape would be better.

>- Shields implemented!  They're on the small side, but I really can't
>enlarge them any.  They're done with three copies of player 0 and one =
>of player 1.  Missile 1 is used to draw both player missiles on =
>frames.  Shields disappear when the invaders reach that level.  Players =
>shoot the shields, but invader bombs pass through.  Player death is also
>not implemented yet.

That's a lot for one bullet entry, but work on the code first and the
docs later.  :)

anyway, shields might be able to become larger if they somehow used
alternating frames as well.  Or if that's not your fancy and you're
feeling ambitious, a Polo-type thing could also work.  But I won't throw
a hissy-fit if the shields stay as-is.  We're still getting more
coverage than 2600 SI with its three shields.

>- Invader-bomb routine reworked.  When a bomb is dropped, it has a 50-50
>chance of being dropped at random or being dropped near the player.  =
>aims at the first player, not the second)

I suppose you've already thought of it alternating between alternately
aiming at the first and second players.  Would anyone notice if it were
done like that, or do you want to randomize that too?

>- Lots of touchups to make it play more like the arcade.  On the first
>screen, the invaders must descend 11 times to reach the bottom, and one
>advance fewer for each screen after that.  (I didn't yet limit where they
>start, so the game ends when screen 11 begins.)  An invader in the last =
>before landing cannot shoot ("death row".)  The rates of player fire and
>invader fire are close to that of the arcade, though not exact.  New
>algorithm (well, actually new lookup table) for invader speed based on
>number remaining - it's closer to arcade now, though not perfect.  Also
>switched player colors so that first player is green (like arcade) and
>second player is red.

As for these lookup tables... could they be easily switched in mid-program
to facilitate a PAL/NTSC switch?

Further... could one say the same thing about the color tables?

>- no saucer yet, sorry :(   also, no sound yet.
>- player death not implemented yet (much easier to test stuff like =
>and shields when you don't have to worry about dying =3D) )

Works better to alpha-test the game that way too.  Killing the player would
probably also kill the buzz one gets from witnessing this awesome feat of

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