Re: [stella] Confused newbie...

Subject: Re: [stella] Confused newbie...
From: Kirk Israel <kirkjerk@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 13:00:41 -0400
On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 11:41:54 -0500, Kevin Lipe <kevin.lipe@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hmm... well upon looking at my code I guess i -was- trying to
> reposition sprites during the visible part of the frame, which is
> probably not a good idea, instead of during VBlank. VBlank seems like
> the way to go :) thanks, because 2600 101 helped me out a lot last
> night.

It's good that you're charging ahead and trying things in, but it does
sound like at some point soon you might want to give 2600 101 and
Andrew Davies' tutorial lessons a good solid read-through. Also, at
least skimming if not reading the entire stella programmers guide
would be a good thing...

> And... having already looked at skipDraw, where would I put that?
> somewhere in the visible part, or during VBlank or Overscan as well?

skipDraw is a very powerful but fairly advanced routine for actually
drawing the sprite...getting GRP0 or GRP1 filled with the right 8 bits
for each scanline.  It's popular because it's efficient (and you don't
have much time, the tv scanbeam is a bit faster than the atari's chips
in some ways) and also it takes the same amount of time if you're
drawing the player or not, which more primitive routines don't do.

> This is a good time to ask this... How do you experienced 2600 coders
> lay out your code? As in, what do you use VBlank and Overscan and
> VSync time for typically? This seems like it doesn't matter much now
> but I'm sure it will as my code becomes more complex.

Based on my experience, I think most coders start putting all the game
logic in VBlank. Then, if they think they're running out of time, they
might start using Overscan, which really isn't much different. But
VBlank (going out on a limb here) is plenty of time for games of small
to medium many times doing JoustPong I thought "aha!
I'm finally running out of time in the VBlank!" but it ALWAYS was me
doing something else stupid.)

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