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The Southsider

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Here is another quick progress update on my Juno First game. I have now implemented the missiles, which were the final missing feature in the game. Up to 8 missiles can be shown simultaneously on screen (using flicker). There is still a bit of tearing when the missiles pass over the grid lines, but I hope this isn't too noticable. The missile firing patterns are rather boring, but I will improve this later. I was originally planning to use one of the missile sprites for regular missiles, and one for homing missiles. However, it looks like I might have to drop homing missiles from the game. The problem is that the missiles can't be distinguished from one another, and I can't work out how to efficiently implement a suitable homing algorithm. The best that I could do was to move the missile directly towards the player, but this didn't look very convincing and was nearly impossible to evade. I have been trying to remain relatively faithful to the arcade game, but there are some features that probably won't be possible. My latest thought is to implement slow and fast missiles instead of homing missiles, unless anyone can think of a better solution?



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How do the homing missiles behave in the arcade version?


A way to make homing missiles look more convincing (and make them evadeable) would to give them inertia, so they can't change directions instantly. Would require more RAM (X-velocity and Y-velocity, maybe), though; don't know if that would be an issue.


Another way would be to only let them change direction every 4/8/16 frames or something. Of course, you would still have to track their direction so you knew where to move them in the other frames, so...

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Found a bug of sorts.


If you die while your laser is still on screen, it will "stick" in mid-air momentarily.




For the homing missiles, could you make them larger than the normal ones? They're bigger in the arcade game. Or perhaps use two of them, offset from each other (animated would look kind of cool, but even normal would still be distinctive).




For that matter, they don't have to look different. Just add a line in the manual that says, "as the game gets harder, some of their shots will start tracking your ship". The player should be able to figure out which ones are which. ;)


I think tracking shots are essential to the game if you can get them in there. Even if they're not terribly smart tracking shots. :ponder:

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