Re: [stella] Poker Solitaire

Subject: Re: [stella] Poker Solitaire
From: "B. Watson" <urchlay@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 22:59:29 -0500 (EST)
On Fri, 16 Nov 2001, Roger Williams wrote:

> > Joystick movement is a little wonky (try it)
> You need to reset the debounce counter at the moment the joystick
> is pushed in a new direction.  Right now you're just keying in to a
> slow background counter and the initial reaction could occur
> immediately or after a time interval, depending.  (Fire button also
> seems to have this defect, it should respond immediately regardless
> of the background debounce timer's state.)

Debounce counter... now that'd be an idea :)

> > I haven't tested it on real hardware yet.
> I'm not feeling that energetic, as I have to burn a 2532.  If nobody
> with a Cuttle Cart does it, I'll do it tomorrow.

Actually, about half an hour ago, I did burn an EPROM... Somewhat to my
surprise, worked perfectly the first time. However... I'd love to find out
how well it works unmodifired on a PAL console, which is a thing I'll probably
never have..

> > And maybe the worst problem of all: The entire game only takes up the
> > right-hand side of the display.
> I don't see this as a problem.  Stick some playfield bars there to fill
> up the real estate and don't sweat it.  The text in Stellar Track
> doesn't fill up most of the screen, either, and the game is perfectly
> understandable and potentially playable.

If I had enough CPU cycles left, I'd want to put a score table over there..
P=1, 2P=3, 3K=6, etc. etc.. highly abbreviated, but maybe still useful.

> Unless you find you need it for something else, ROM is cheap :-)

True enough. I've still got >1.5K left of a 4K ROM, which should be plenty for
the scoring routine... though I'm still having trouble with the algorithm
itself (if you get 3 of a kind, it has to not also count as a pair... if you
have 10 J K Q A, that's a straight, and so is A 2 3 4 5...)

> Definitely cool.  The shuffling impression is perfect.  You can't get
> this kind of animation on a bitmapped display without 100+MHz
> processing.

Now if only I could figure out how to do that with a real deck of cards :)

> > So as usual, asking everyone for their opinion... does it suck? if so,
> > can it be made to suck less? Does the fact that the display only takes
> > up half the screen really matter? (this is a matter of taste I guess).
> Run with it.  Frame it with some PF graphics if you find it tooooooo
> boring but a lot of 2600 games waste screen real estate.  The
> concept itself shows a lot of promise.

It's good to hear it... hopefully this will be my first finished VCS game,
and hopefully before I pull all my hair out... as far as the PF graphics go,
that's the tricky part: the red & black foregrounds of the cards are actually
the playfield, `showing through' the unset bits in the players. So during the
left half of each scanline, I have to pre-load GRP0/1, A, X, Y with sprite
data, do whatever I'm going to do with the left half of the PF, and load
PF0/1/2 with the right pattern of black & red... that's why the cards are shoved
over to the right, because I need almost all of the left half-line to get
ready to draw the right half...

Actually, looking at the code, I've got 6 wasted cycles in that loop, with the
possibility to squeeze 2 more out by moving the LDA #0 to before the WSYNC
instead of after... Hmm. 8 cycles would be enough for

 LDA (ptr),y

...and in fact if I'm doing that, I don't need to store a 0 in COLUPF, which
gets me 5 more cycles.. hey!

Ever notice you think better when you're talking something out (even in email)?


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