Re: Aw: Re: [stella] Maze Craze and 650x

Subject: Re: Aw: Re: [stella] Maze Craze and 650x
From: Erik Mooney <erik@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 18:34:40 -0400
On Mon, 20 Aug 2001 17:41:57 -0400, you wrote:

>At 10:30 AM 8/20/01 -0400, Erik Mooney wrote:
>>Arkanoid's harder than it seems.  You can't really do the colorful tiled 
>>brick boards; the best you can do is the Super Breakout lines, and good luck
>>trying to highlight blocks as grey and gold.
>I think this might be possible if you're willing to tolerate some 
>flicker.  Display each brick of one color in one frame, each brick of the 
>second color in the second frame, and so on.  Three or four colors would 
>probably be the limit before it starts looking bad.

Hm, I always do forget to consider flickering when considering the 2600's
graphical capabilities.  But it really doesn't seem feasible here; an area
as large as an Arkanoid wall is going to be hard on the eyes even at 30 Hz
flicker, and positively headache-inducing beyond that.

There may, however, be possibility in drawing the playfield in rows of
color like Super Breakout, and using a player or missile object to draw
overlaid on that one gold or silver brick per frame or even per row.

>I think the biggest challenge wouldn't be so much in the display, but in 
>the memory.  The simplest brick-breaking game could allocate one bit per 
>brick.  However, with Arkanoid, you'd need more bits per brick in order to 
>store its color, how many hits it has taken (for silvers), and whether or 
>not it hides a capsule.  Assuming four bits per brick, that's only two per 
>byte, so an 8x16 field (for example) would cost 64 bytes.  I'm pretty sure 
>Arkanoid fields could have more than eight rows, so the cost could be higher.

Sure, 64 bytes... that's half the 2600's RAM usage, and already covers the
majority of Arkanoid's RAM needs.  This can be handled, maybe through
constraints, something like making the levels not have more than two
silver bricks per row.

>You'd also need quite a bit of ROM to store the 30 (?) levels in the game.

64 bytes per level can fit 64 levels in one 4k bank :)

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