Here is another minor update to Star Castle:
- The rings can now move at variable speeds - I have slowed them down a bit in this version.
- The ring segment now disappear immediately when they are hit.
- The rings will regenerate when the outer ring is removed.
- The gun will fire projectiles at you when the inner ring is breached.
The big question now is how closely the 2600 version should match the arcade version. There are two sticking points, where I think it might be better to deviate slightly:
- In the arcade version, the ring segments take 2 hits to be destroyed. After the first hit, the ring segment increases in brightness to indicate that it has been hit. Unfortunately this effect isn't possible on the 2600. As a result, I am thinking that it might be better to remove the ring segments after a single hit. Otherwise the player is going to have difficult remembering which segments have already been hit, and it may make the collision detection appear flawed if nothing (visible) happens when a ring is hit. This will naturally simplify the gameplay a bit, but I think this may be offset by the second change.
- In the arcade version there can be 3 bullets on-screen at the same time (fired from the ship). However, in the 2600 version there can currently only be one. Increasing this number means that far more collision detection operations will be required. This can be handled by making the collision detection less precise (e.g. by checking the bullets on alternate frames). However, I'd prefer to keep the collision detection as accurate as possible as poor collision detection can really ruin a game. Having only 1 bullet on screen makes the game slightly more difficult, since the player will need to conserve bullets to deal with approaching mines.
I think this increase in difficulty in 2) may offset the decrease in difficulty in 1). However, these changes do take the game away from being arcade perfect. Some compromises are going to be necessary, as they were when I programmed Juno First, but I want to keep the underlying gameplay intact. Let me know if you think these changes are too much, or if you think they are acceptable?
EDIT: Here is a version where each ring segment takes 2 hits to destroy:
EDIT2: Here is a version that changes the segments to dots after the first hit: