[stella] Programming "Mindsets"?!?

Subject: [stella] Programming "Mindsets"?!?
From: Ruffin Bailey <rufbo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 98 14:27:09 -0500
>Have you noticed that when you're cycling through the biplane games,
>only one player's planes are reset every time you press SELECT?

I can remember that just from "memory burn-in"!  Guess there should have 
been a brain-saver as well as a screen saver routine built into the 
games...  between that and Adventure, I could probably sue! (if there was 
anything resembling Atari left to sue. ;)

I have to admit after reading that article that I don't know the name of 
but everyone has read by now that details the 2600's genesis (oh, bad 
pun!), I have newfound respect for both Combat and Space Invaders.  The 
first because that was what the Atari was explicitly designed to do, and 
the second as it, by doing something that the 2600 was not explicitly 
designed for, saved the console and perhaps started console gaming as we 
know it today.

It certainly aids me in mentally dissembling many games today to get 
ideas for programming.  As I've discussed with Matt, there are two 
"schools of thought" that I put each part of a game into... games that 
are dictated by the hardware, and games that are truly creative.  
Football would be one of the first, assuming each team is a player and 
the ball's a ball.  There's two digit scores, and the timer is used for 
the clock.  Pac-Man is another; basically Football imo where one player 
isn't repeated with a playfield-player collison check thrown in.  What a 

Things like Chopper Command where another player is coaxed out of the pf, 
as I understand it, and Space Invaders with rows and rows of 
non-flickering objects (though a non-flickering Commie Mutants might be a 
better example) are truly creative.  

So in planning for my Jumpman clone, I am letting the hardware, for the 
most part, dictate the first few things that I'll do.  The start is 
simply player running around colliding with another stationary player, 
repeated several times down the screen, on a basically perpendicular 
playfield, ie all horizontal platforms and ladders.  Then I'm trying to 
throw in fancy, truly creative aspects (for me anyway!) like diagonal 
platforms, roving missiles, and other less Combat-ive characteristics.

Anyway, I was just wondering what kinds of _mindsets_, not merely 
approaches, you more experienced programmers take when beginning a 


Ruffin "Horribly Verbal" Bailey

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