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About tokumaru

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    Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

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  1. Have you tried Stella's debug colors mode? You can see what objects are used for what without having to guess.
  2. Double posted due to Wi-Fi trouble.
  3. Some assemblers do allow you to define symbols whose values start with a #, and the # will in fact be honored when the symbols are used, but that greatly hurts the readability of your code.
  4. Looks very doable to me, bB or otherwise. It's just single colored playfield blocks and a dot, not hard to draw at all. I do feel like the snake could use a different color than the solid Tetris blocks though, in order to avoid confusion when the playfield gets more cramped. Being at most 4 blocks wide,the snake could easily be drawn with a stretched player object.
  5. I don't know all Atari 2600 registers off the top of my head, but in other platforms there certainly are memory-mapped registers that can cause problems if read at the wrong time. On the NES for example, if you read the PPU status register at the exact time when vblank starts, you end up inhibiting the NMI that normally fires every frame. Also, reading from the PPU data register (used to read/write from/to VRAM, which's in a separate bus) during rendering will screw up the PPU address register, corrupting the display. I'm sure there are other examples, but these are the ones that just came to mind. As for preventing that kind of problem, I guess there's nothing you can do but see what address the skipped instruction forms, and see if there's anything sensitive mapped to that address, not forgetting to take mirroring into account.
  6. I just received my copy of the book, along with the one containing Andrew Davie's lessons, they're both great items for hobbyist 2600 programmers! That may not sound like a big deal to most of you guys, but living in Brazil, the shipping costs for both books was quite high, about 3 times the cost of the books themselves, so the final price was too prohibitive for me and I gave up on the purchase. But then I ran into a FREE SHIPPING coupon, which never works for international shipping, specially considering how much more expensive than the products the shipping costs were, so my expectations were fairly low when I tried to use it, but somehow it did work! Couple of months later, the books finally arrive, and only then I was sure that the books were actually shipped! Haha I don't know if it was a mistake or if Lulu does this intentionally, but either way I'm glad that for once I was able to buy something cool from abroad without having to pay an arm and a leg!
  7. One thing that makes full screen animations easier on the 2600 is that the game program is responsible for drawing the entire picture every frame, meaning that with a few tweaks, a video frame can look completely different from the previous one. The NES, on the other hand, has a certain amount of video memory whose contents define what will be displayed on the screen, and changing large amounts of this memory from one frame to the next is usually not possible. All the dynamism of the 2600 comes at a cost though: not only are the graphics more limited, but a huge portion of the CPU time is spent on video generation and can't be used for actual game logic, so the complexity of the gameplay is affected as well. As a programmer, I really enjoy working with 8-bit consoles because the constraints help define the scope of the software you write for them. If I code a simple platformer for modern PCs, I'll feel like I'm underutilizing all the resources that are available to me, and I don't find that fun. But on machines that have well defined limits that even a single programmer can easily reach, playing around those limits can be really fun, and if you're creative and/or clever enough to come up with something that was previously considered unlikely or even impossible on a specific platform, that comes with a really cool sense of accomplishment. Working with retro computers, as opposed to consoles, isn't as fun for me, because the limitations aren't as well defined. Computers have different configurations, peripherals, add-ons, expansions, upgrades... Because of this, just the name of a machine doesn't convey a specific set of limitations your software has to respect.
  8. Yes, the CPU doesn't care if it's reading code from ROM or RAM, it just keeps fetching and executing them from wherever the program counter indicates. Just copy the code to RAM (or generate it on the fly if that's what you're going for) and JMP/JSR to it.
  9. Thanks for clearing this up, Spry. Just from looking at the sprites I knew that things went as you described: some edits due to different kernel constraints (I had planned for a 9-pixel wide player, full vertical resolution for objects/enemies, and mixed sizes for bosses, while the kernel you used always draws 8-pixel sprites at half vertical resolution and a single size), combined with tweaks based on personal preferences. Using references is good, yes, I do it all the time, but the final result is still strikingly similar to the source material. The sprites were originally made to see how faithful an Atari 2600 game could be to the original Sonic gameplay, and, as a group effort, we were trying a few different things here. When I first noticed you were developing Zippy (before it was called Zippy, IIRC), I figured you were in doing it in the same spirit as the rest of the guys here, just experimenting with other ways to make Sonic happen, so I didn't mind seeing my art adapted. I never expected you to release a commercial product, specially not after what happened with Princess Rescue. I don't think there's much we can do about it now. I am very upset for seeing minor edits of my art (I don't buy the "this is the 2600, there are only so many ways to draw a character" argument that was thrown around, these are minor edits and real artists now it) being used in a commercial project. This was never the purpose of these sprites. Please don't do this in the future. Just because some art was posted online, that doesn't mean it's free for the taking. When using someone else's art, even if you tweak it to your needs, which is common on retro platforms, it's common courtesy to contact the original author and to respect his wishes (credit, monetary compensation, or even refusal). I turned down everyone who asked me to use this art in personal projects, since this was my personal project at first, and then a community effort here at AA.
  10. I really appreciate the sentiment Alp, and laughed a lot at your proposed solution, but there's no need to start a war over this. The fact that you do see the problem with the art is very reassuring though, that I'm not just being paranoid. You're one of the very best pixel artists I've ever met online, and you can do wonders under severe limitations, so your opinion does matter a lot to me.
  11. You're entitled to your opinion, but the several people that contacted me over the years to ask about my involvement with Zippy probably disagree. I said they were nearly 1:1 copies. Certainly more similar to mine than to Sega's. Again, not because of hardware limitations, since stylistic decisions I made carried over to Zippy. Sega's monitor doesn't have scanlines or green static, mine does. Robotnik wears gloves in Sega's version. Sonic's ball form doesn't have a dark "swoosh". The signpost doesn't have a base. If the originals had in fact been used as reference, these details would probably be different in Zippy. At his point, I don't think the question is whether Spry used my sprites as reference for his, but whether he changed them enough for it not to be considered stealing. My intent was never to start a fight, and I honestly don't expect much to come out of this (not that I'm demanding anything). I'm just tired of being associated with Zippy, and to have people bring it up to me whenever they see my sprites. I don't know what can be done to clear up this confusion this late in the game, I'm just tired of it.
  12. Here they are. I've included the Master System versions too.
  13. Oh, you meant the Genesis Originals? I can include them in the chart if you want.
  14. Sure, but I already attached a ZIP with all of this and more.
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