[stella] Thrust -> Multiload
Subject: [stella] Thrust -> Multiload|
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 15:14:44 -0700
At 11:08 AM 7/22/2000 +0200, you wrote:
It's a 12k-game now, i don't know much about the Supercharger, but
i thought 8k was the limit.
The Supercharger can hold 6K at a time, of which 4K is accessible linearly
at a time. It arranges memory in 2K chunks, so a game would need to
periodically flip banks to access the last 2K. There is also a ROM bank
which is what holds the audio loader program.
Remember, all of this 6K of program space is read/write so it's quite
flexible. Because of this, it may even be possible to crunch code a little
and take up less space (like with self modifiable code or pseudobitmaps)
vs. how a ROM-only game manages things with tables and swapping things in
and out of the 128 bytes of RAM.
The maximum memory for the entire game is unlimited, though, through
multiloads. It just forces a pause in the gameplay (which most modern
gamers are used to on CD systems....) Any game that employs multiple waves
or stages can be written in which one or more of these waves are stored in
separate data loads. You can lock off blocks of memory to be persistent as
you load in new data. I don't know how much control there is, not sure
whether you have to lock off an entire 2K bank or not. I think the
Supercharger loads 256 byte blocks at a time so maybe 256 bytes is the
minimum. You'd need to earmark some memory to be preserved to keep your
state (score, lives, and so on). Otherwise you can load up totally new code.
An example of a game that used multiloads just for waves would be Escape
from the Mindmaster. An example of a game that had wildly different play
modes in its loads (while preserving state) would be Survival Island.
Glenn Saunders - Producer - Cyberpunks Entertainment
Personal homepage: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/1698
Cyberpunks Entertainment: http://cyberpunks.uni.cc
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