Re: [stella] Collaboration

Subject: Re: [stella] Collaboration
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 08:54:07 -0800
At 09:42 AM 1/15/2003 +0100, you wrote:
The last demo already shows how this would look like (7x2 scanlines with color gradients, 1x2 scanlines black)

Looks good but note that we _might_ need to change it to 8x2 visible tombstone scanlines so that they are the same height as the zombies.

Do you know about any other (e.g. home computer, PC) versions?

None other than the mid-80s NES version and that was not that faithful from what I hear (lots of powerups and stuff). I couldn't get my NES emulator running with it to find out.

That's a big reason why it should be done.

Yes, but where can we find one?

We probably don't need one even if one were available since most games of that vintage like Tank that do rotation use sprites larger than 8x8. I've studied the screenshots a LOT and came to the conclusion that there is no way to get the authentic car shapes to look good in all rotations. The more futuristic car shape I'm using now tends to hold together better during rotation, better than the cars in Indy 500 I think.

I understand that every possible object will help here. The current kernel just doesn't have enough cycles left for using the ball very flexible. But by limiting it's vertical positions and not changing it's shape (just a plain square) we *might* find a way. It would be quite easy to en/disable the ball in sync with the tombstone rows. And while the tombstones will be displayed striped the ball would be solid.

BTW: How will the tombstones be separated horizontally?
A         B         C
xxxxxx    x x x     x x x
xxxxxx    x x x      x x x
xxxxxx    x x x     x x x

A or B, but more likely B. I'll have to "quantize" where a tombstone shows up so it won't just appear right on top of the zombie but it will be the closest available tombstone quadrant. If I use A it won't be easy to distinguish individual tombstones anymore, but it does provide some extra accuracy in positioning.

Oh, I didn't knew that each zombie belongs to one player. Or is that only a game variation? Then we

In traditional DD the zombies tend to follow a roughly diamond pattern of movement around the screen. They have no object of making it to the other side. Even if there are two on the screen, either player can run over either zombie and single points are awarded for each.

In the design I have for an improved gameplay mode each zombie is teamed to a car and you are supposed to defend your zombie while running down the other. Each zombie starts out on the safe-zone of their car's side and try to make it to the other end. Points are earned/lost based on how many of your zombies make it to the other side and/or how many you stop from getting to your side. It's almost like football in that respect, or a football in which two players are making for opposite goals at the same time.

could enable/disable ChronoColor TM depending on that variation. But if you don't like the effect at all, it's *very* easy to remove it.

I think the effect would work better with colors that aren't opposite, maybe red blue. But still I don't think it's necessary for this game.

BTW: Will you try to support the B/W switch?

Since the colors I chose for the players are roughly the same intensity you'd have a hard time following things on a B&W set anyway. The 2nd player has to be made darker when in B&W mode.

Aside from the illegal opcodes I want the game to conform to the standards of 1st generation titles. B/W mode and color cycling attract mode.

The funny thing about this is that the arcade game is similar to Space Invaders in that when the timer runs out your car just freezes but the rest of the game state continues. I intend to follow this convention also. When the game ends, sound will stop, colors immediately start cycling, you can't move your car at all (unlike SI) but the zombies will keep moving around, and the score will persist. The car positions and score won't reset until you hit RESET. (If you hit select I'll probably blow out the timer area with the game select number.) That's a very big charm of the older 2600 games. The title screen might not make the final cut if ROM runs out, and even if I keep it in it would only show up on power-up. Even if there IS ROM left over I may take it out just to further minimalize the aesthetic. I only made the title screen to see some tombstones without having to implement the collisions.

There are a lot of little details that I think are important in doing a game on a classic system to make it look like it was written back in the day.

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