[stella] Reflex: Paddle woes

Subject: [stella] Reflex: Paddle woes
From: "Lee Fastenau" <stella@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 01:05:40 -0600
[sorry if duplicate msg... sent w/ wrong account again]

So, I had this terrific idea for Reflex to be able to support three control
modes: Normal Joystick, Fast Joystick, and Paddles.

Yes... Atari paddles... which I learned today were originally designed by
satan to thin out the programmer crowd.

If you look at the binary posted here:

You should be able to get an idea where I'm going with the control scheme.
The yellow box will be broken into two paddles that remain opposite each
other (for the hundredth time, I know) and spin around the bricks.  My
immediate reaction to the low/high bit, constant checking, potentiometer
fiasco was to drop paddle support.  But this is a breakout-type game!  It
HAS to support paddles.  The problem is that my main kernel doesn't have
enough free cycles to check/branch/increment paddle information.  I've
thought about a way for my reflection code to "lean on" my brick-removal
code so that I can use one sprite for the ball, which might help free up
enough cycles, but then a) the ball won't be the pretty two colors that it
is now, and b) I'll have to seriously reconsider the cycle-hungry six-digit

So, my question is two-fold:
1. Do you know how many cycles/color clocks/scanlines/whatever it takes for
the paddle bit to go high when it's cranked all the way around?
2. Can you share any words of wisdom from your experience dealing with

Thanks, everyone.

PS: I found out that "Powerball" is the name of the game that Reflex is
based on.  It was on the diskette that accompanied this issue of Compute!'s
(ah... the memories)

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