Re: [stella] Shadow Keep (new game)

Subject: Re: [stella] Shadow Keep (new game)
From: Andrew Towers <mariofrog@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 23:35:00 +1100

Thanks to those who've tried this on the VCS, and everyone else for all the great feedback :) Nothing is final yet so I'm open to any suggestions for gameplay, graphics, etc.

> Also, I found that you don't quite reach two blocks above
> the start of your jump.  There's one board in which the
> exits on each side are two blocks above the floor, but you
> can't get to them.

This behaviour is by design ;) I intend to have a few places
where you can come frustratingly close to something, but in
reality you have to go around another way to reach it. The
room you are talking about is incomplete also.

> I noticed that the player moves at the same speed as the
> snakes, which may make it a little difficult to avoid them.

Once again I had intended this to be the case (this is also
something I "borrowed" from old games) - you have to avoid
them in the first place, or time your movements so you
don't end up walking along on top of them.

I can't make the game too easy after all, one of my friends
here claims already that it's too easy and "I could get through
the whole game without taking any damage!" (This remains to
be seen.)

> If it's supposed to be a keep you might want to change the
> color scheme two grey or beige instead of orange and green.

The main problem with this is it gives the game a "black and
white" feel while you're inside the castle. Since it's fantasy
anyway, I thought I might get away with coloured bricks with
variations in different parts of the castle.

> Can you get the screen flip to take place without losing TV sync?

Argh! Does it really lose sync? *sigh* I'm trying to maintain
a stable screen already; it sustains 262 lines per frame
throughout the room change (I've checked through a Z26 log)
with the same overscan and vblank timings - it uses the same
main loop all the time. If it loses sync I have no idea why :(
Maybe I've missed something.. does anyone have any ideas?

> You also may want to debounce the up on the joystick to pick
> up items so you don't have to be so precise about tapping the
> joystick up in order to pick up/drop items.

The technique behind this is a little iffy, since I was trying
to keep ram/rom size down (initially this was a 4K project!) so
it just checks the "up" direction every 8th frame. I'll rewrite
this with proper de-bouncing.

Once again thanks to everyone for the great feedback :) Right
now I'm fixing up a few rooms to make a playable demo that can
be posted on AtariAge.

- M.

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