The Highs:Juston has finished the label for Hunchy 2 and it looks amazing (see below). My first Atari cart release looks set to happen real soon, and I can't wait to see the finished product. The 2005 minigame multicart is also coming along nicely, and will contain some of my minigames (Hunchy, Jetman & Nightrider). The deadline for the minigame competition is also nearly here and I hope my games will do well, though the competition is tough.The Lows:I have booked my flights and accomodation from the UK to attend the vgXpo (formerly PhillyClassic), but it seems they have now turned it into some kind of family entertainment event. The classic arcades museum won't be there, and it looks like AA might be pulling out as well. This is a major pain as it will probably be my only chance to attend a large US classic gaming show, at least for a few more years. I will probably still be going as it is too late to cancel, but it isn't what I was expecting. I am also still stuck on the PoP falling tiles problem. I implemented the solution outlined last time, using the ball sprite to show the tile briefly falling, but there was an obvious flaw in the plan that I don't spot until it was done. The floor tiles are 16 pixels wide, but the ball can only be stretched to 8 pixels, meaning that the falling tiles were too small! I can't use the missile sprites (stretched double) as this will affect the player and object sprites also, so this just leaves the playfield (PF). The problem here is that the wall tiles are 32 pixels wide (8 PF pixels), so there may be an overlap between a wall segment and a falling tile, even though the falling tile will not actually overlap the wall (if this makes sense!). What this means is that I would need to define each wall tile twice: once as normal, and a second time to show the falling tile. The second one could then be substituted briefly for the first to show the tile falling. However, this will require a lot of memory (12 tiles * 27 bytes * 2 = 648 bytes!). I could reduce the wall tiles to 16 pixels wide (4 PF pixels), but then the screen data would require a lot more space, and the kernel would become more complex. Neither of these solutions sounds appealing. Therefore, I am steering towards one of the following:
- Just make the tiles disappear (as in the current version).
- Draw the falling tile using the 8-pixel ball sprite, but flicker the left/right sides on alternate frames, or draw the tile in two halves like this: ----___
- Don't attempt to draw the falling tile in the wall area, just flash the floor tiles on/off in the floor rows underneath.
The third one sounds the best compromise, so I will try this out in the next release unless anyone has any more suggestions? In the meantime I think I am going to switch off the computer and have a well-deserved break from it all!EDIT: The following mockup shows what option 2b would look like:Chris