* ACTris! 2.1 by Hayden Doan - July 04, 2016 *
Only a brief introduction is needed this time. I continued making refinements on ACTris! 2.1. One of the first priorities was to improve the Title Screen, again! I had to work out some programming challenges with the color gradients for the texts. Overall, I'm now pleased with the end result Also, I wanted to fix some Page Zero memory usage issues to make my program compatible with the Altirra OS. And since I was deep into the codes already, I implemented a few other refinements (and a major Random Generator change) listed in the What's New section below.
Lastly, this is most likely the final version of ACTris! to be released in the GTIA 10 mode. In the distant future (I hope!), I would like to explore other sound and graphics techniques used in programs such as the excellent "Thetris" written by MaPa and combine them with some key features developed in ACTris!
Thank you, phaeron for helping me to figure out the issues with my program not working correctly with your Altirra OS.
Thanks for the feedback that I received from everyone who gave my program a try. Thanks to therealbountybob's feedback, I've adjusted the "Popcorn" song tempo to not be so fast and "annoying". The valuable feedbacks really help me to develop a more polished program.
What's New in ACTris! 2.1:
* "Rotated" the program version from 1.2 to 2.1
* Rewrote the Tetriminos Random Generator completely!
- The previous random generator was just simply "random". I know that it's technically only pseudo-random.
- The new random generator is a statistical tracking algorithm. Over a period of time, the total number of EVERY Tetriminos will be EVENLY DISTRIBUTED.
- The new algorithm has been thoroughly tested and the random distribution tracked within +/-3 counts from the mean over thousands of test cycles which provides the effect of "randomness".
- During testing, I found that the new random generator has greatly increased the playability of the game!
- In my opinion, this is the most fair way to play Tetris. There have been many times that I would be waiting for a much needed Tetriminos to be available and it may never even come! Now, the player can have A LOT more playing strategy since he/she can actually "plan" for every Tetriminos to become available within a reasonable period of time.
- Actris! may be the only existing Tetris program that has a statistical tracking random generator.
* Reduced the "U Can't Touch This" celebration music playing from two loops to only one
- With the new Tetriminos Random Generator AND a good playing strategy, the player can achieve a lot more four-line completions. Therefore, playing the music just once will keep the game interruptions to an acceptable level.
* Improved the Title Screen
- Improved color gradients for the texts
- Added Tetriminos. Now it looks more like the Title Screen for a Tetris program
* Improved the High Score Screen
- Added Tetriminos to the "Hall of Fame" text
* Added a new "Thud" sound for the Hard Drop and a new "Drop" sound for the Normal Drop
-> Use the [M]usic keyboard command to toggle between the Music and the new Drop Sound effects
* Balanced the volumes of the Music and the Sound Effects
* Adjusted the "Popcorn" music tempo to not be so fast and annoying per therealbountybob's suggestion
* Modified the Pause Screen Rainbow effect. Now it scrolls upward.
* Fixed Page Zero memory usage to be compliant with the Atari OS memory map and compatible with the Altirra OS
* Used TxtMsc ($294) to find the memory address of the Text Window as recommended by phaeron
* Used VCount ($D40B) to detect NTSC/PAL video modes to work properly even with custom Atari hardware