Re: [stella] Starmaster disassembled

Subject: Re: [stella] Starmaster disassembled
From: Manuel Polik <cybergoth@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001 18:43:32 +0200
Hi Glenn!

> >More important for the real Star Fire feeling would be the Exidy
> >mothership I think and the target-lock-device (Which I fear will be hard
> >to realise - if possible at all)
> A target lock device existed in 2600 SR, Solaris, Radar Lock, Star Voyager,
> etc.

Oh, I've to look for that again. But maybe I just made myself not clear
In the Star Fire arcade it looks like this:

        *           |
        *           |
        *           | O
 ****************   |
        *           | 
        *           |
        *           |


The 'O's would move alongside the vertical/horizontal slider bars and
try to align vertically/horizontally with the enemy. When this happens,
The ship locks the enemy and follows all its movements. A lot of
graphical mess concentrated in the center of the screen, which I fear is
not doable. I'll have to change the design here...
> In Star Raiders if you are being attacked by 2 ships, they usually assume a
> sandwich formation and you will get hit from behind (ala Battlezone).  Even
> if you couldn't shoot behind you it would be nice to know there is a ship
> behind you.  You'd at least need to see the ship as a blip on the targetting
> display.

I see.
> >But it's a cool idea really, I'll try to do that, if it's not too
> >resource consuming...
> If you wanted to do a "first" for the VCS, I'd go for it.

I'll try to. Shouldn't be that difficult.
> And doing a left and right views wouldn't be too hard because it would just
> be horizontally moving stars.

mh... but it'd be impossible to do enemies there, given the 2D (Pseudo
3D) environment I'll do. Enemies just can't be on your side. I'll
explain it below... :-)
> >Oh... that I possibly won't do. I'll trick around that and will actually
> >have _no_ 3D calculations at all. What I'm planing to do is sort of
> >scrolling a 2-dimensional map around the ship, nevertheless giving you
> >the illusion of real depth via the starscrolling and zooming enemies...
> I don't see how you can avoid it.  Ships have an X, Y, and Z (distance)
> attribute.  How accurate the 3D calculations are is one thing (especially in
> regards to the Z axis), but it's still 3 coordinates.

Imagine one big 2 dimensional map looking like this:
|                   B                 |
|                                     |
|                                     |
|         ____________________        |
|         |                  |        |
|         |                  |        |
|         |        A         |        |
|         |                  |        |
|         |__________________|        |
|                                     |
|                                     |

Now, the rectangle in the middle is what is in front of you, the big
rectangle is what is behind you. Now you're facing enemy A, when you fly
up or down some time your facing enemy B and enemy A is in your back
(The map can scroll infinitely in every direction.

Stuff on screen would fly gainst you, everything else would fly away
from you.

Assuming the drawed scenario, and enemy A would fly towards you and pass
your ship. Then I'd just jump it from its current A position to the B
position and it'd be right behind you then.

Pressing the rearview button for exmple would then be *just* moving the
pilot's point of view 1/2 of the map length up or down...

I think the player will never know that he's actually being cheated :-)

(If anyone sees troubles or problems of my 2D approach, please don't
hesitate to tell me. I've no idea how these games would be done
normally, I was just thinking about how I'd try to do it, being a total
3D dummy...)
> The other thing most SR type games do is "fudged" collision detection.  No
> matter how far or close the enemy ship is, a photon or phaser that appears
> to cross the path will be destroyed.  The Z difference between the shot and
> the ship is never evaluated.  A hardware collision detect is all it takes.
> I think the original SR does this also.

Even Elite does it like that, so I think such a reality level needs more
horsepower than a 6502 :-)
> >I'll try to use a similar techinque for my Star Fire except that it'll
> >blow your brains out when you see the number of enemy shpis attacking
> >you _at once_! I won't tell you my idea for that right now, you'll have
> >to wait for my Tie-Fighters demo :-)
> Sounds good.  If ships fly in close formation you can reuse the sprites
> vertically.

Something like that and more :-)
> Personally, I think that tying the two sprites together was unnecessary in
> Starmaster.  I would rather have had 2 blockier ships than one smooth one.

Maybe Thomas can give it a try, when trying to 'improve' the game. The
ROM needed for additional instructions might be just the same as is
gained from the then unecessary graphics data :-)


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