[stella] Porting Sea Wolf 2

Subject: [stella] Porting Sea Wolf 2
From: Manuel Rotschkar <cybergoth@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 00:49:21 +0100
Hi there!

I just thought to discuss a a possible 2600 port of Sea 
Wolf 2 to the 2600.

For a reference of what I'm trying to achieve, here is 
an old mockup screen I did long ago:


First, let me introduce my plan for the kernel:


I'd like to do it with a technique using "half" of a 
moving 6-char kernel.

That way I can do 24 pixel wide sprites like in:


The basic technique behind this I already have proven to 
work with the Starship 1 demo I posted a while ago.

That leaves both the Ball and M1 as possible "torpedos". 
Flickering them like in Gunfight provides 2 torpedos on 
the screen - per player.

The main display would be striped vertically, possibly 8 
times like this:


The main technical issues yet to solve are:

1. Smooth in and out movement of things on the sides
2. Displaying the missiles inbetween the stripes

While the first is basically "a lot of work", the second 
might be way harder to achieve. Between the stripes a 
horizontal reposition must happen and the kernel must be 
kicked in again with very(!) precise timing.

I have some ideas, but it simply just may be impossible.

Second, there's gameplay issues to solve (which is IMHO 
even harder...):

-----------------Gameplay 1--------------

Once again, the arcade is timer based. If you shoot 
enough enemy ships before it exceeds, your playtime gets 
extended (Or you have to insert a new coin)

That's bad. I don't like this idea at all.

But then what else? In theory, I could make the ships 
dropping water bombs, but as described above, the kernel 
can't do that. Unless I limit both players subs to one 
torpedo each (hm...) and have the particles recycled for 
water bombs every other frame.

Another Idea, very similar to a timer, would be 
requiring a certain percentage of kills per round. Or 
reaching a certain score.

Next idea would be a stricter parting into the one and 
two player mode.

While the enemies could return fire in the one player 
mode, the two player modes could aim for other goals to 
achieve like who's scoring more during a timed (phew...) 

Well and then, the complex kernel doesn't leave much 
room for adding gameplay:

-----------------Gameplay 2--------------

Basically you have ships passing with differing speeds, 
mines blocking your path and other subs that will dive 
if you don't shoot them quick enough. That's not too 
much of variety.

I've played some Polaris (VCS) and some more "Seafox" on 
the 8 bitters, and I somehow like the more freedom that 
is added to the subs movements on the bottom. It also 
offers more flexibility and allows a few gameplay 
enhancements, but on the contra side this can't be done 
with 24 pixel sprites anymore, so I'd have 6 hires 
stripes in the center of the screen and two 8 pixel subs 
at the bottom. Well, might be the compromise to go 

Any additional input appreciated.


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