[stella] Qb: v0.11

Subject: [stella] Qb: v0.11
From: "Andrew Davie" <adavie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 00:58:19 +1100
Attached, just binaries this time....  nobody wants to see my source code
anymore ;)
Here's the NTSC normal and Stella-compatible version, and a PAL version,

The screen shudders like crazy on an actual machine - I know that.... I've
not tackled the timing issues, yet.


* the score is back.  Problem was misuse of an overlaid variable.
* the player is back in colour (!!)   There are some limitations on where
the colour changes can be, but it looks pretty much like the previous colour
version that I submitted (before the new kernal and memory savings).
Anything Thomas says he likes becomes high priority :)
* the glitchy second sprite (mentioned in the last post) is now fixed.
* implemented the flashing for the top-and-bottom border of the target area.
I thought I wouldn't be able to do that one, but whaddya know :)))

Tricky timing all around, and I'm quite sick of timing out the kernal and
trying to find the extra cycle.

In the end I installed and then removed the single-cycle-saving suggested by
Thomas (in the sprite draw).  It was just too damn tricky trying to get all
those external branches NOT to cross page boundaries.... given that I have 6
lines of kernel, it happened pretty much all the time and it was very
difficult to position code so that branches were within range.  As you see,
I've managed the colour change without that extra cycle, and I think I'm
going to leave it pretty much as-is from now on.

Glenn suggested...

> While we're on the subject of finishing touches...  I noticed that Qb's
> jumping movement reminded me a lot of Imagic's DJ Hopper.  I would suggest
> that Andrew take a look at that game for a little inspiration.  The bounce
> physics are really cute in that one, and it has idle animations that make
> the sprites feel more alive.  Since he's got 1/2K to work with, he might
> able to add more frames of animation.

Absolutely my intention already... but I really don't want to copy from
other games.  I expect to add say 16 or so animations to my little fella to
give him some personality.

Piero responded re: sound...

>Here's my suggestion: find some simple 12-16 notes length melodies,
>possibily a different one for each "stage", or group of levels. But don't
>let the tune play continuosly in the background, instead play the next note
>each time the guy jumps! That should bring a quite nice and funny effect.

An interesting idea, which I might try (playing notes on jumps).  Thanks for

Glenn also wrote...

>wish that the pineapple guy didn't flicker, since the only reason he's
>flickering appears to be to try to make him seem multicolored.  I don't
>know of any other 2600 games that flicker for this aesthetic reason.  I
>don't think it's worth the cost, and doesn't really result in a sprite that
>appears multicolored at all, IMHO.  You can see the separate green and
>yellowish layers flickering somewhat independently.  They don't blend.

They might not on an emulator, but this game isn't destined for an emulator.
I'm betting that the colours blend a hell of a lot better on an actual TV.
I'm very interested to hear from anyone who has actually tried this on a
TV... how does it look?  (I am not setup to view on a TV).  In any case,
some sprites won't use this feature, and some (possibly) will.  The systems
are capable of it, and that's all that's certain at this stage.  A
single-colour pineapple looks pretty crappy.

>Are you going to add in the ability to reset the game with the reset switch
>rather than moving the joystick?

Yes, absolutely.  Truth is, I don't know how to read the switches yet...
simply haven't gotten around to it.  I'm thinking about what each of them
will do.  With the extra space, it is just possible that I could have a
single PAL/NTSC version (in which case I'd use the COlour/BW switch for
that).  Reset is obvious - start a new game.  Select will probably change
the starting level.  I could possibly disable the colour multiplexing
through a switch;  but trust me, monocolour sprites look bad.

I might mention that somebody already had the patience to play to level 29.
You know who you are ;)

>What does the top indicator mean between games?  Select doesn't appear to
do anything.

Nothing yet.  See above.

So, another day, another version.  This version is officially 'clean' - that
is, there are no bugs or glitches of which I am aware (uh... apart from the
screen shudder, which will be one of the later things I fix).  Over the last
few days I have NOT had fun, and I'm becoming seriously worn-out with all
the work.  But now, its over.  Now I'm real happy with the layout, the
visuals, and the code.  I have lots of space, and it's time to tackle
gameplay - especially difficulty graduation -  and creatures (AI, and
graphics).  Wahoo!!... I've been putting this off for a long time;  now it's

As usual, your comments, suggestions, and criticism are welcome.

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