Re: [stella] Tetris brainstorming

Subject: Re: [stella] Tetris brainstorming
From: Erik Mooney <emooney@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2001 03:08:41 -0500
>I had a chance to play a couple of Tetris clones for the 2600 recently.
>They all seem to pretty much just use playfield graphics for the blocks,
>except Colin Hughes' Tetris26 which adds grid lines that look great but
>seem to introduce some flicker in emulation (didn't try it on a real 2600,
>and I'm only assuming it's the gridlines causing the flicker since it's
>what's different.)  Today while waiting in a Sam's Club checkout line it

Inspiration can strike in the strangest places... :)

>occurred to me that there's no need for the flicker if you use both players
>set to 3 copies each.
>Suppose the playfield is set appropriately, and each player is set to
>So you could set them to three copies each, both colored black, and get this:
>   1   1   2   2   3   3   4   4   5   5   6   6
>where the 1's are player 1, copy 1, the 2's are player 2 copy 1, the 3's
>are player 1 copy 2, etc.  This is enough to get a 12 column wide tetris
>game going.  If that's not wide enough (I'm not a huge Tetris fan so I

Official Tetris is 10 columns wide.  Many knockoffs make it wider (very
few make it narrower), and that takes a lot away from the game because you
have a lot more room to put unwanted pieces.  (Sorry, just a personal
dislike. :) )  And note that you'd actually need 13 lines to enclose 12
columns, so you'd have to use one missile.

>don't know offhand) you could add both missiles and get 6 more columns for
>a total of 18.  As a bonus, you could set all the players' and missiles'
>positions at the top of the screen, and just switch them off when you draw

Not sure exactly what you mean by "switch them off"...?

>the frame containing the game.  You could add the horizontal grid lines by
>vblanking every 8th scanline, or just changing the playfield color to black.
>Am I missing something or would this accomplish what Colin has done without
>introducing any flicker?

It does sound like it would work, as long as you don't need the players or
missiles for anything else.

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