Re: [stella] Bounce! demo

Subject: Re: [stella] Bounce! demo
From: "Fabrizio Zavagli" <rasty@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 15:16:07 +0200
Hi all!

thanks for the comments about the demo and source I've posted, I'm just back
at home and looking into improving things as you suggested! I'll pack the
replies in one post to avoid flooding the list, so:

Dennis thanks for the optimizations! The SLEEP macro is not intended to be
in the final source, but it's been tons of help when playing to obtain a
cycle-exact kernel.. quite a nightmare but fun at the same time ;)

Erik Eid wrote:
> The life counter didn't decrement if the ball fell.  The tile counter did
> work.

Yep in the current version you have infinite lives, but don't count on it
for the final release :)

> Did you intend for the remaining tiles to not always be the same as the
> number of tiles available?  In other words, is it possible to solve some
> levels without getting all the tiles?  I noticed this in level 1.

Yes, you only have to clear the number of tiles that appear in the lower
left part of the display. So you don't necessarily have to clear all the
tiles in a level in order to clear it.
This is also true for the level with the "face". Every level has a byte in
its descriptor with the number of tiles required to clear.

> As for playability, it was a bit of a surprise to find out that you don't
> moving!  That made it a little tough to start bouncing and then try to
> out where to go next.  It seems to me the best tactic is to stay still
> you plan your whole route, then bounce along that route.  While that's
> in a puzzle sense, it's not so good for an action game.

Being inspired by a game called Platou on the c64, "Bounce!" retained some
of its gameplay elements like a ball permanently moving.. this is of course
introducing some arcade elements to the game, forcing you to think fast.
That's because the game somehow has to put up some challenges, otherwise,
without enemies, it would be far too easy! :)

> It seemed like the ball bounces slower when it moves horizontally than
> vertically.  Was this intentional?

Well, no! While it could be theoretically justified that the ball takes more
time to travel horizontally, since the 2600's pixels are stretched
horizontally, the effect is due to some issue I've been having and should
solve sooner or later :)

Erik wrote:
> I do like the level designs so far.  Keep in mind that you could greatly
> extend the playability of the game by adding as many levels as you can
> of.  (Think of what you could do with a 32 KB cart!  :) )
and Manuel wrote:
> That is a very cool game idea. Pretty unique. I bet the
> final version will be tons of fun. I hope you include at
> least 200 levels? The current four lasted about 5
> minutes ;-)

Currently, a level takes 41 bytes in ROM. That's not a very good number to
fit in 256-bytes pages, but I should still be able to fit quite some levels
in a 4k rom. If I get an almost reasonable 1.5k for the levels, 36 will fit.
Would that in your opinion suffice, or should I start thinking bankswitched?

Manuel also wrote:
> I had ideas for a few more tiles. You have those
> *stable* tiles, so I thought of semi-stable tiles. They
> could start with Roman numbers III,II & I for example
> and then countdown on every jump. Jumping on a I once
> more would turn it into a *normal* tile and then it'd
> disappear...

Eheh I also thought of such a tile (it's in the TODO stuff in the souce's
header :).. I'll just have to see how much free ROM I'll have since every
tile will require its own graphics...!
I'll work on it!

Ok I guess I'll better stop here since this message is already massive
So thanks again everyone!


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