Re: [stella] request for comments: RESCUE.BIN

Subject: Re: [stella] request for comments: RESCUE.BIN
From: Greg Troutman <mor@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 1997 14:10:56 -0700
Glenn Saunders wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, Greg Troutman wrote:
> >       - program numerous less-than-perfect control schemes and let the player
> > select which one he prefers
> I think you should be able to pick between fire for retro and up for
> shooting and fire for fire and up for retro.

If I end up with enough room, I'll probably try and allow for these two
plus the one Piero suggested (quick depress firing with a delayed
retro-off) so everyone is as happy as they can be with just one fire

> >       - simplify the flying, back to the original style where the ship moves
> > upward automatically after you've picked up a man
> This forced movement can make the game more challenging--or frustrating.
> Forced movement is like driving a car without brakes.  It can be exciting,
> but scary.  But it can be a good game design as long as the game is tuned
> not to lead you into "cheap shot" collisions.

Normally I don't like this at all, and it was one of my pet peaves with
Lunar Rescue, though as you point out, through careful design, they made
it work...  I'd prefer to keep the active controls for the retros in and
don't expect to go this way.

> >       - build a custom cable to connect a Genesis controller to both joystick
> > ports and use two buttons (just kidding ;)
> Why not use 7800 style controllers?  It would be good as an option.
> We're hardcore gamers.  We aren't afraid of using alterate controllers.

Probably not.  Maybe someday.

> > 2.  I've optimized a bit and found room to add some things.  One thing
> > I've tinkered with is further animation of the little guys on the
> > platforms.  I've got a much more efficient kernel routine for drawing
> I like the way they twitch when you knock them over.  It would be nice if
> they didn't just spaz out forever but actually slow down and then croak.

Yes, that's one of the things I'm planning.  Along with running back and
forth, stopping and having several different waving and jumping
animations, including a sequence where they run to get aboard the
lander. They aren't very big and reflecting the player graphics makes it
that much easier on ROM space.

> > room in the current one-screen setup to do very much with that.  I was
> > wondering what anyone thought about dividing the flying and landing
> > portions into two separate screens.  I might be able to build fairly
> > significant platform structures with more men on them if I do this.
> > Maybe even making the ship descend into cave-like settings to rescue the
> > men.  Would anyone object to going in that direction before completing a
> > more accurate port of the original game???
> Forget the accurate port.  Write the best game possible!

That's what I'm thinking.
> The platforms WILL get boring fast without variety.  Variety in the
> enemies alone will not make the game have significant replay value.
> Having a separate screen would be, I think, another first on StellaList.
> All of the projects here have been single kernel affairs.

It's not really a big deal.  The two kernel sections already co-exist on
the one screen, so it's just a matter of increasing the size of the loop
in each and drawing one or the other, rather than transitioning in the
same screen...

> If you do this, just realize that although we don't have Lunar Lander, we
> already have Gravitar for the 2600, so try to make it as unique as
> possible.

It will be ;)  I was thinking that it shouldn't be too terribly hard to
squeeze in three screens.  Drop down through a screen of asteroids, then
a screen with more asteroids in the upper half, and a cave-maze section
in the lower half, and finally a third screen that is a large cave-maze
section sprinkled with half a dozen or so running men on
ledges/platforms.  On the return flight, in addition to asteroids->space
ships, I might be able to put in some kind of surface-to-air defense
system that needs to be defeated on the middle screen as well.  Maybe
even some kind of new enemy or challenge in the platform section...  You
like challenging gameplay? ;)
> Actually, if it were up to me, I'd love to see a SCROLLING display.

Maybe.  I'll think it over and fiddle.
> > emulators to fix and isn't a big problem???  Anyway it looks fine on
> > real NTSC TV and I think I'd like to go this way unless anyone has a
> > huge objection for some reason that hasn't occurred to me...  That one
> Stick to 200.  Don't kow-tow to emulators.  Most all TVs should accomodate
> 200 scanlines.  Most modern systems use 200 scanlines (PSX, etc...) so it
> is currently the standard.  Atari were conservative with the active
> scanline recommendations.

All right.  I'll still have to shrink it to do 200 ;)


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