RE: [stella] Generic kernal or just build a game?

Subject: RE: [stella] Generic kernal or just build a game?
From: KirkIsrael@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: 28 Mar 2004 16:34:39 -0000
(I kind of mixed and matched from previous posts of yours:)

> I began working on this game concept last night and development's been
> surprisingly smooth.

Wow, that's like one night of work? It looks *great*...I think some of its
an excellent choice of colors (heh, I was trying to remember what the color
scheme reminded me of, and realized it was "half life", the orange and grey)
and also the ball is nice and big.

Actually, I ammend that: I just supercharged great, but the 
background is maroon, the other colors seem ok (well, not sure about
the ball color) On the other emulators the colors for playfield,
border, and bricks all seem fine.  I don't know if you're prone to
the same rookie mistakes I was, but make sure you're using "#" before
your constant val references....(and don't be shy about sharing source!)

What are you using to "randomly generate" the brick layout?

> I think I see subpixel movement in my future.  It shouldn't be too difficult
> to retrofit my existing code... err... but I've never played with 16-bit
> negative numbers in assembly before.

It can be pretty simple, and adds *a lot* of flexibility in playing 
with the physics.  

Incidentally, I think I'm likely to multiply by negative one by 
subtracting the current value from 0...sometimes that just seems
simpler than doing the 2's complement magic.

And I suspect you'll need to slow the gameplay way the heck down,
at least at the easier levels.  That's what subpixel fixed-point
math really let JoustPong do.  

> As for the deadlocking, the kind that you see in the binary I had included
> shouldn't be a problem.  I'm more concerned about a mostly-cleared board
> having 1 or 2 unhittable bricks.  In that case, a gradual velocity
> shift/increase should do the trick.  Also, I think adding english to the
> paddles will be easier with subpixel movement.

Yeah, I was wondering about the English, if the ball's angles were
going to be fairly fixed.

Again, looking at JoustPong (which does have some aspects in common,
reflecting bars, ball angles, walls being eaten away)--I still think
it worked pretty well with 45 degree angles, though making it dependent
on the player's speed at collision was an important improvement...
(but it then had to be tweaked not to go too slow or too fast vertically.)

Huh, just brainstorming here...if it turns out that "get the last 
few bricks" becomes very annoying, with the board just going on and
on....maybe you could make it so every, say, 10 succesful hits, the 
paddles start flashing and then the player can catch the ball by 
holding the firebutton, ala Warlords.  It would be interesting to
see the ball "hugged" by the paddle and whipped around to the other 
side of the playing area, then released...some possible math 
trickiness there, come to think of it. Anyway, that would probably 
best be served by a "traditional" pong rule where the angle the ball 
leaves the paddle at depends on how far from center it is, as if the bat 
had a convex surface.  

Also, one thing I fudged in JoustPong but you might want to consider:
should the X and Y speed be linked, ideally via some kind of 
sine/cosine lookup table thingy?  In JoustPong I treated them totally
independently, which worked ok with the other tweaks. And for normal
reflection, just inverting 'em seperately is fine...I guess this 
is more an issue for fanciness with the paddle bounce.

> Thanks for the feedback (and for listening to me think out loud).

Hope some of this is useful.  I'm trying to be a better stella 
citizen, in my own no-6502-genius-way; back when I was working 
on JoustPong, I didn't want to be distracted, and when JoustPong
was on hiatus, I didn't want the reminder that I wasn't working 
on JoustPong :-)

>ps: Please ignore the filename.  I have no idea what I'm going to call it.

(yeah, "pinblah" isn't too motivating, really :-)

>Suggestions welcome.  Thanks!

What was the original 8-bit computer game's name?

The only name that has come to mind so far is "Breakin", as it's kind of 
an introverted cousin of Breakout.

Or, "Reflects"/"Reflex"/"Refleks" or something like that?
Something that has both the idea of the ball reflecting off the 
bricks and bat, as well as the reflexes needed to play...

 "Sorry Rob. I don't think 'Being a Dork' qualifies as being a performance 
  piece. And bringing in your laundry hoping someone will do it for you is 
  not a multimedia installation." 

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