Re: [stella] JoustPong: maybe ditch "poorlords" wall

Subject: Re: [stella] JoustPong: maybe ditch "poorlords" wall
From: Glenn Saunders <mos6507@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 13:41:14 -0800
At 01:16 PM 1/11/2004, you wrote:
Also, broad up and down movement is more important than in Joust,
where the up and down movement was a different kind of finesse...
but in it, you didn't have to constantly fly from what part of
the screen to another.  I worry that peoples fingers might give
out if they had to flap so dang much...

If the movement is too touchy then the main technique of playing the game is to make the Joust ponger "jump" or "leap" or richet off the wall into the ball rather than hover him at the right Y to catch the ball. This really changes the dynamic of the game to have it so springy. I like to lead the ball in Pong games by keeping my paddle on the same Y as the ball as it traces and I just can't do that because the player never wants to hover unless the timing is just right in-between fire button presses. If I wait too long the gravity takes hold and I get ripped downward. If you press too soon I go shooting to the top of the screen only to hit it and bounce back unpredictably. The interval between too-soon and too-late is really brief, and therefore hard to control.

I actually feel the opposite way about your Java version of Joust Pong. In that version the birds seem to take too long before gravity pulls them back down, which is a liability if the ball is moving towards them diagonally down. You sit there hopeless, unable to let gravity pull you down. I also noticed in the Java version that there is more vertical motion on the ball than there is on the 2600 version. The diagonals are steeper. This compensates for the hang-time because you can glance into the egg more easily because it's crossing much more of your path on its way to the edge.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm so familiar with the way gravity and flapping interact in Joust, and thinking of hitting the ball like catching an egg or lancing a pterry, that I'd have a much easier time of it if it reacted closer to Joust than if it were springy, and since the game is called Joust Pong, you'd think that your target demographic would also be expecting a more authentically Joust feel.

At the very least I would try to find a medium where you can support both movement styles as options.

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