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

Subject: Re: [stella] Invaders update! - inv-beta.bin
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 16:21:24 -0700 (PDT)
I think each row should have an individual shape/animation cycle, as well
as a unique hue band. 

The way the marching animation works now, it marches in place (2 frames) 
for every horizontal movement.  I don't know if that's how the arcade
works, but the 2600 version changes shape only once per horizontal
movement so that it coincides with the marching sound effect.

As for shape ideas, if you have 6 frames to work with, you could do an
animated strip (ala the middle invaders) so that the black stripe goes
from top to bottom, or one half goes down, the other up.  You can also
create a new shape that is more like a slash / then \ in addition to the
regular "block with one leg down" look.  I don't think the upside down
marchers on the top row work that well.  There are plenty of ways to
create new shapes and animations besides these even given the limited
resolution.  But yes, only the "block with one leg down" will give you a
traditional marching image.  (ascii diagrams for shape proposals available
upon request).

Also I noticed that when you shoot your shields, the missile goes well up
into the shield before taking a piece out of it, if you know what I mean.
That's a nit to pick but you'd imagine the missile collision would happen
on the tip top of the missile and not the bottom.

Also, the arcade space invaders had some squiggly missiles, not just
straight lines.  I believe missiles are two bits wide, right?  You could
get an alternating zig-zag missile in there if you wanted.  I think in the
arcade some of the missiles fall faster than others, which adds a good
element of unpredictability there.  Some method of animating an explosion
(with a flickery missile shape?) would also snazz things up.

Matching the movement of the invaders, the base, and the speed of the
missiles is important in getting the arcade feel.  In Space Invaders for
the 2600 the missiles feel too slow, and if you use the fast missiles
wave, the base's missiles feel too slow, and the base seems to be a little
sluggish as well.  They did a great job for what it is, but it's not
arcade perfect.

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