Re: [stella] Latest version of my new game

Subject: Re: [stella] Latest version of my new game
From: Bob Colbert <retroware@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 07:55:34 -0500
At 08:33 PM 4/14/98 -0700, you wrote:

>Maybe some of the enemy craft shouldn't simply track across the screen but
>have AI and slide back and forth intelligently.  Maybe a special attack
>helicopter at the top?

Yes, I'm planning on making the helicopter ack in a more intelligent way.
The algorithm is very simple right now as I try to work out some of the
kinks.  Once that is done I'll see about making them a little smarter -
though I've never really done any AI programming.

>1) discrete waves that ramp up difficulty and alter enemy

Yep, I already have variables set aside for such items as:
	- how far a paratrooper falls before his parachute opens
         (right now it's very short, but if you look closely you
          will see that the trooper goes head first for a split
          second before his chute opens)
       - how high a trooper can lose his chute and still survive
       - The frequency at which the helicopter drops troopers
       - The frequency at which the planes drop bombs
       - How low a plane can fly
       - The number of bullets your gun can shoot (possibly used for
         limiting shots when your gun is damamged)

>2) At certain score levels you get the ability to launch a user-controlled
>attack helicopter that can shoot in all directions and can attack the
>foxholed paratroopers.  Foxholed paratroopers, at this time, gain the
>ability to shoot back.  When using the attack helicopter, the main gun is

I like this, I'll have to look into the possibility.  I was also thinking
having powerups that fall, and your man would have to jump out of the gun
and run to get the powerup before it would take effect.  While the cannon just
kinda sits there, the sprite does have full movement capabilities.

>3) bonuses for shooting accuracy at wave-end marks. 

If you recall, in Sabotage, each shot costed you points.  You could play
the game for an hour, shooting like a madman, and end up with 0 points :)
I kinda like that, I don't know if I'll do it, but the shooting accuracy
is a nice alternative.

>4) B17 mothership wave that tracks left and right ala Gorf, but sends
>nothing but paratroopers and an occasional bomb down the gullet.

Yes, I have the ability to have some very large sprites, and a level with a
big meanie is planned :)

>5) Implement "Scorched Earth" physics.  Use paddle in 2nd controller port
>to control the distance.

well, I've considered the idea of the paddle, and looked at my kernel, and
realized that I'm probably only fooling myself thinking about using it.  I
spent an entire evening trying to squeeze out ONE more cycle from my
kernel, without any luck.  I still have one possibility though, I have a large
chunk of time reserved in my kernel for doing housekeeping and sound, and I
might be able to do a paddle routine there, but if I recall correctly, it
takes up to 1 full frame to fully read the paddle.

		Thanks for the ideas!

P.S.  Last night I started adding the endgame sequence (since I've had so
many comments regarding the fact that when the 4th trooper lands on one
side he doesn't go to the other side) this should clarify how the game ends
for everyone who hasn't seen Sabotage.

Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at
Don't post pirate BINs to Stellalist.  Be a programmer, not a pirate.
Write the best game, win framed autographs of famous Atari alumni!!

Current Thread