[stella] Yahtzee

Subject: [stella] Yahtzee
From: "Russell Babylon" <babylon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 21:05:20 -0500
Hello Everyone,
     I want to apologize to everyone for not responding to the questions concerning the Yahtzee game I have written for the 2600.  I was between ISPs for a couple of weeks and was incommunicado :>(.   
First let me respond to Russ Perry.  Russ, when I put (no not Russ Perry) at the end of my message about my Yahtzee game it was a complement.  Many times I have seen references to "lets see what Russ says" in the Stella list and, while I am "A" Russ, I am not "THE" Russ.  
Second, to Manuel,
regarding the flicker showing up in Z26, I don't know what you mean by flicker in the status lines?  Let me explain what is happening in the game.  The first three dice are being displayed by Player Zero.  By using the trick of hitting the reset position register of the TIA, I use Player Zero to display all three dice with independent colors and independent graphics in the same horizontal positions.  I then use Player Zero, again using the reset position trick, to display the remaining two dice.  All five dice are displayed using just one player graphic.  The dice graphics are displayed on every screen but the remaining portions of the screen are displayed on alternating frames.  I had to do this to get the score options and the scores to display on the screen.  IMHO there was no other way to get all of this information to display using the 2600 hardware.  I do not know if other games have used this split flickering screen protocol.  When I load the game into a real 2600 using a Supercharger the display is smooth and stable.  FYI, I have used the same font that is being used by the Super Charger to display REWIND TAPE  and  PRESS PLAY
Third, to Erik Mooney and Ruffin Bailey,
concerning the "official" Yahtzee rules, I went out and purchased a Milton Bradley Yahtzee game and studied the official rules.  I then tried to implement them as closely as possible.  I tried to balance what was theoretically possible against what was reasonably possible.  Hence if you score a second Yahtzee you can only use it to get an additional 100 points.  I have scored 380 points as my hi score when playing the game my self.  
I find it interesting that no one has asked how I generated the random numbers used to get the dice values used in the game.  The random number generation turned out to be a problem and consumes about 20% of the time available in each vertical blank period.
Thanks to everyone for their comments concerning Yahtzee for the 2600, I will certainly try to respond to any questions in a more expeditious manner in the future, that is of course once I finish installing the Linux kernal for 2.4.0
Russ Babylon         
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