Magical Fairy Force
Got a little bit more done on this. I now have the fairy power gauges created, and they properly fill as you blast wisps.
The gauges are built from all four player objects, two of them comprise the black "empty" color and the other two are the fill color. I could get fancy and play with the player size registers to get away with using fewer players, but that's more complicated than it's worth. Right now, I don't think I need the players for anything else in the status bars. so I'm going to roll with it for now.
Parts of the wisp code are terribly inefficient right now and I'll probably need to rework it at some point. I'm really starting to get worried about processor time, perhaps prematurely. I had this same problem with Ratcatcher and I made a lot of dumb programming decisions based on paranoia. I'm trying to restrain myself this time, and will deal with performance issues when they actually happen.
A few days ago I watched a video of the amazing Space Harrier port for the XL. I had seen it before, but I wanted to watch it again to get a sense of how much on-screen mayhem was possible on this hardware. Space Harrier is probably my favorite game ever and I'm still blown away by the quality of that port. It makes me more confident that I can make this game do what I want, although I'm certainly not that great of an ANTIC wizard.
It also helps to listen to the Twinkle Star Sprites soundtrack while working on this. If this game can be even half as cool it will be an achievement.
The next thing I'd like to do is to get the wisps shooting at the player. I don't think this will be too difficult, but again, efficiency is key here, since I'm dealing with a lot of software sprites.