Re: [stella] Poker Solitaire, build 00f

Subject: Re: [stella] Poker Solitaire, build 00f
From: Jake Patterson <jpatters@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 16:47:34 -0500 (EST)
On Sat, 24 Nov 2001, B. Watson wrote:

> This is the latest build of Poker Solitaire. It's now 6:15AM, I must
> have lost my mind by now, but it's now something like 90% complete
> (unfortunately the remaining 10% is probably the hardest, most time
> consuming part :)

This game has a high "just one more game" factor, which is a really good
sign for its probable success.  Good job.

> Changes from last build:
> Card color has been fixed (no more urine-yellow)
> Score font is slightly less ugly
> There's now some rudimentary sounds (bloops & bleeps)
> Added crib sheet, listing hands & their scores (press Select to see it)

I took the liberty of designing a crib sheet that may be a little easier
to read, you can use it if you want...

of course, you will have to convert it to your data format yourself :-)

I reordered the enterys to be in order of point value, switched to a five
line font, made sure there is enough space between the names of the hands
and the column listing the point values, and applied a color scheme.  When
the settings are set to not score royal flushes differently, you can omit
that line and space the other lines a little farther apart.  The colors I
selected are $10 through $18 for "Pair", $20 through $28 for "2 Pair", $30
through $38 for "Flush", $40 through $48 for "3 of Kind", $50 thorough
$58 for "Full Hse", $60 through $68 for "Straight", $70 through $78 for "4
of Kind", $90 through $98 for "Str. Flush", and finally $A0 through $A8
for "Roy. Flush".  You could, of course, rethink all of that to your own
whims, or not use it at all.

It might be a neat effect to cycle the colors within each row of that

> Score is color coded (0-24: red, 25-39: yellow, >=40: green)
> Fixed a minor graphics glitch that only showed up when the king of
> hearts was in the leftmost column (data table crossed a page)

You can probably tell by now that I am a fan of using graduated colors for
any playfield text on the screen... might look nice for the score...  You
could use (NTSC) $32 through $3A for "red", $14 thorough $1B for "yellow",
and $C2 through $CA for "green".  Assuming a five line font.  It could
momentarrally do a color scroll effect and play a fanfaire when you
graduate from "red" to "yellow" or from "yellow" to "green", esp. if you
modify it to update the score as you go, which may or may not be

> Things still left to do:
> Burn an EPROM of this build & test on hardware
> Find somebody with a PAL VCS to test, and recommend PAL colors
> Center the cards & score. If Manuel says it can be done, then it can be
> done..
> Joystick & trigger debounce, instead of blindly ignoring them for 15
> frames between reads)
> Add difficulty switch setting for turning off sound, in case it annoys
> you :)

I wouldn't worry about that, TVs usually have a volume control.

> Add code to score a royal flush as 36 points, and use the other diff.
> switch to turn it on/off (this really doesn't affect much, I've gotten a
> royal flush *once* in hundreds of games)

I've gotten it a few times in maybe 50 or so games, but then again, I had
been playing for flushes until I saw their point values in the crib sheet :-)

> Finish de-uglifying the score font

I'm a fan of using the simplest possible font form, with just 3 x 5 pixels
for each of the numbers, but it really looks OK.

> Possibly center the graphics for A, J, K, Q (some of them start one
> pixel to the right of where the others do)

I didn't even notice that...

> Find a use for the color/BW switch :)
> (hmm, it could toggle whether or not to score diagonals)

If you score the diagonals, you should increase the points required to
rate a given color code in the final score by 20%.

> Clean up the code some (not strictly necessary, but I would like to
> anyway)
> ...if anyone has ideas/suggestions, let me know. This is closer to
> finished than anything else I've done on the 2600, or even most of the
> stuff I did on the 800, way back when..

It would be really cool (if you could find the cycles) if the display
included an indicator to the left of each row and the bottom of each
column for what your hand is there.  Whenever you place a card that
completes a five card hand (or hands) you could test them, update the
indicators, and even play a fanfair or something for really good hands.
Of course this leads to updating the score in game, not having looked at
your code, I really have no idea if that would be possible or not.

Would you mind if I stole^W used your card forms for my Double King Pede
game when I get around to it?

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.....................................GCE Vectrex - Entertaining New Ideas

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