Rich's Alpha WAS: [stella] A new generation--offa stella list?

Subject: Rich's Alpha WAS: [stella] A new generation--offa stella list?
From: Kirk Israel <kirkjerk@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 3 May 2005 22:59:00 -0400
On 5/3/05, richbon-lists4800@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
<richbon-lists4800@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Well, seeing as this thread wonders about the neubies out there, and
> since I am one, I thought I'd speak up.

Hey, glad my thread is getting you guys outta the woodwork.

And don't worry....we were all newbies once. Well, maybe not Thomas. 
I think he mighta been born guru.
> Basically, all it does right now is let you fly a little spaceship
> around the screen a la Asteroids or Space War.  It warps pretty cleanly
>  from the edges of the screen back into the opposite edges.  It uses a
> basic template I found in the list archives and it uses the battlezone
> subpixel routines from Kirk's Cookbook pages.

Glad to hear my other docs are findable and uaeful when you websearch.
Also glad that the cookbook, even in its languishing unfinished stage,
is helpful...hearing that might be a bit of a kick in the pants to get
more of it finished.
> I have a few questions, actually, so if anyone has any thoughts...

I'm one of the worst at techie questions, so...

> 3. I'm sure it could benefit from the skipdraw algorithm, but I still
> can't find an explanation that makes sense to me.  And am I better off
> just having "upside-down" bitmaps instead of flipping them over in code?

Damn, I thought I had worked up an explanation of skipdraw in the cookbook...
not that I did a great job of understanding it.

to answer your question, I'd say it's VERY likely that you should have
the upsidedown bitmaps....ROM space is relatively cheap compared to
time, and you'd probably have to have different kernals for all the
cases -- both players rightsideup, both upsiddown one down  one up,
one up one down.  As a rule of thumb, adding in more complexity around
choosing a loop or whatever is going to be costly.  (On the other
hand, mirroring is relatively cheap if you're only doing one thing
with that player graphic, so you don't need to flip it that way)

> But what do you guys think of it so far?  I'm pretty happy with the
> smooth control.

It does feel pretty good!  It'd be nice to get 16 positions rather than 8.

> I think ultimately, I'd love to try and build a Star Control type game,
> with a larger galaxy to fight in that sort of auto zooms when the
> players get close enough together.  Maybe let the players select
> different ships with different properties (notice, all the ship's
> flight dynamics are in variables - easy to change!)

I'm a big fan of star control myself.  Obviously a lot to chew on, at
least if you tried to make the ships have different offensive or
defensive characteristics.

Here's an idea for another way to take this, something I've been
toying with trying: Intellivision had a version of biplanes in their
"triple action" that was pretty nifty and they say ate up a lot of
developer's hour in much so there was a joke memo
ordering everyone to delete it from their drives.  I FINALLY got it
for GameCube ($15 Intellivision collection) but havent yet REALLY
tried it against someone....still it seems cool. It's like Combat
biplanes but with gravity.   I think the idea is that "thrust" is
constant, but it's not as strong as gravity, so if you go straight up
you stall--you have to climb gradually, but you can still do loops and
stuff..  Both players start on the ground, and then have to manuever
around, both trying to hit the other player, avoid being hit, but even
maintaining speed so as not to come crashing to the ground is part of
the challenge.

There was also a balloon in it players could shoot for points.

Of course, to make it REALLY neat, it should ideally have a rough AI
to fight against, which might be super tough, or easy if you can think
of good tricks.

> So, hello!

Hi and welcome and I'm so glad to hear some anecdotes of the stuff I
wrote being useful...and don't worry, even though I tried to distill
what I do know into a form to be useful for others and my future self,
I'm still one of the dumbest guys here when it comes to 6502

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