[stella] Qb: v1.00 (alpha #1)

Subject: [stella] Qb: v1.00 (alpha #1)
From: "Andrew Davie" <adavie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 02:12:01 +1100
This version may look a little different to some.

The reorganisations I've made have, generally, been necessary to save
memory.  I ran out of ROM long ago, and since then its been a matter of
shaving, shaving, installing something, running out of memory, shaving
shaving, etc.  Capabilities here and there have been whittled away as the
need for extra memory has come.  I've tried to keep as much as possible, of

Memory is very tight.  I have none left!  From now, to get extra memory I
have to drop features/capabilities.

OK, so this is my first "alpha" release.  Alpha, to me, means that just
about everything is actually there - if it doesn't work properly that's
pretty much OK.  Alpha is a complete, playable game - which this is.

You have a weapon.  Press the fire button, and it throws nasties off the

It costs you points, though.... longer you hold the button down, the more
points.  You may play an entire level with it down, if you wish... but the
aim is to build up a high score, and you ain't gonna do it that way.  Oh
yes, your weapon stops working when your score is zero.  So, that's how you
get rid of nasties.

When you land on a cube with a nasty on it, you lose a life.  Same if a
nasty lands on your cube.

Nasties are an octopus (well, why not), a bunny rabbit (which has some
redeeming features), and an onion <shrug>.  Good things are, of course, the
fruit.  The onion guy hasn't got working AI at the moment, so he just sits
there.... best to get rid of him, if you want a challenge (ie: press the
fire button).

Let's see.... you start with 3 lives.  When you lose a life, the scoreline
displays the level/lives, and you see the life count down as you start the
level again.  If you lose your last life, the background changes red (yes,
I'm that short of memory) and the scoreline cycles between your score and
the lives.  After a while, it switches back to demo mode - but you can
restart anytime by pressing a console reset/select button.

Demo mode is (currently) halted by a joystick press - and yes, I know you
can press the button in demo mode.  This will be fixed soon.  The level #
display corrupts at level 10 :)

There is very little difficulty graduation right now - and its pretty hard
from the word go.  Expect to see the next version have some better graduated
gameplay, and that will make it easier for those who can't get past screen 2

There are quite a few glitches here and there - one noticeable one is a
flash/corruption of the top/bottom border of the target area display.  This
is due to the scarcity of RAM, and I'll work on that soon.  Shouldn't be TOO
difficult to fix (fingers Xed).

Did I say I was out of ROM?  Did I say I was out of RAM?

Of course, I need some sounds.   I'll have to do some (MORE!) optimisation,
and probably drop a frame or two of graphics.  Such is life.

I'd really really like to include a title screen, but I'm seriously going to
have to sacrifice things for that... I estimate I could do a nice one in
about 160 bytes.... that's about 155 bytes more than I have right now.

Oh well.   Anyway, here it is.... Qb, alpha #1.  Have at it.  And no, I'm
not really canning it :)


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