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johnnywc

Mappy - 2600

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That's a pretty complete access to avoid flicker at all costs. But IMO changing flicker is also pretty bad or even worse. When objects flicker at a constant, high(!) rate this is often less noticable than when the flicker goes on and off.

 

So when you have to flicker anyway, I would suggest using a "basic flicker" of 30Hz for all objects that may eventually flicker.

:-o What!? Then why did I spend so much time working on a variable-flicker for my Pacman? I guess 15Hz is too much :D

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That's a pretty complete access to avoid flicker at all costs. But IMO changing flicker is also pretty bad or even worse. When objects flicker at a constant, high(!) rate this is often less noticable than when the flicker goes on and off.

 

So when you have to flicker anyway, I would suggest using a "basic flicker" of 30Hz for all objects that may eventually flicker.

:-o What!? Then why did I spend so much time working on a variable-flicker for my Pacman? I guess 15Hz is too much :D

 

I think there's few problems were constant flicker is the best solution. It works good for games with very limited objects like Robot City, but I generally prefer approaches that avoid flicker on the main sprite as good as possible.

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I think there's few problems were constant flicker is the best solution. It works good for games with very limited objects like Robot City, but I generally prefer approaches that avoid flicker on the main sprite as good as possible.

Avoiding flicker is still the best solution of course. But if there are objects, which will (have to) flicker regulary, then IMO it is less disturbing, when the flicker frequencies don't vary too much. This is because a varying flicker frequency adds another (very low and noticable) flicker frequency to the object.

 

For Pac-Man, a good compromise would be no flicker for Pac-Man and intelligent flicker for the ghosts with 30Hz basic flicker. Worst case will still be 15Hz (yuck!), but at most times the ghosts would flicker with constant 30Hz.

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First, thanks everybody for the great ideas. I'm going to start on this and see what I come up with. Even though the missile cat idea is technically possible, I really don't think it will look good. The more I think about it, it's probably better to do forced separation like vdub_bobby suggested in the first place. The fact is that there isn't going to be 10 cats running around like the arcade so concessions will have to be made and the gameplay will have to be altered.

 

To make it *feel* like Mappy, you need to have a mouse, jumping on trampolines, avoiding cats, opening doors and collecting prizes (ringing a bell every so often). If you allow up to 4 objects on a floor, that will give at worst 30hz flicker (except for transition phases when a cat is bouncing past the floor or Mappy enters a floor with 4 objects on it already). Floors with a prize on them can have Mappy plus 2 cats, and as prizes are collected you can have Mappy with 3 cats (pretty challenging). Actually, if you force cats to another floor, it may increase the difficulty as the cats are pretty predictable in the arcade version. This may compensate for the lesser # of cats. With this type of arrangement you can actually have more cats (with enough memory). Maybe Goro and 5 pink cats...

 

First step is to get the floors scrolling with trampolines with enough RAM to spare for whatever method is used.

 

Thanks again for all the suggestions! Keep them coming and if anyone can draw a cool looking cat with missiles, let me know!! :)

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Here is my attempt to draw a missile cat. The first is one line resolution. The second is two line resolution. When animated they would go frame 1,2,3,2,1,2,. . . The head should probably be a little behind the body in the first frame, even in the second, and in front in the third. They look nothing like cats, but I thought I'd share them anyway.

 

post-9522-1155528054_thumb.png

And the two line (poorly and hastily) animated:

post-9522-1155528114.gif

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Here is my attempt to draw a missile cat. The first is one line resolution. The second is two line resolution. When animated they would go frame 1,2,3,2,1,2,. . . The head should probably be a little behind the body in the first frame, even in the second, and in front in the third. They look nothing like cats, but I thought I'd share them anyway.

 

post-9522-1155528054_thumb.png

And the two line (poorly and hastily) animated:

post-9522-1155528114.gif

 

 

This is what the cats will look like, ok at least it will play like Mappy, I understand with the limitations of the Atari just look at Kangaroo and some earlier games. I can live with these cats I guess. :)

 

Wade

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Here's my rough design for a cat to show what I intend with flicker-blinds. Not a great looking cat, but it shows what's possible.

:thumbsup:

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Think that looks like a good alternative to "normal" flicker, when it's possible to use it?

Yup.

 

But you already need 2 frames and flicker for just one cat. So when you have to display more, "ordinary" flicker is probably the only possible choice.

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Here's my rough design for a cat to show what I intend with flicker-blinds. post-7027-1155532619.gifNot a great looking cat, but it shows what's possible.

 

Oh yes these are even better! :D :thumbsup:

 

Wade

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But you already need 2 frames and flicker for just one cat. So when you have to display more, "ordinary" flicker is probably the only possible choice.

 

The missile cat will reduce by one the number of cats that need to be displayed on a scan line. So if there are two cats plus Mappy, then neither Mappy nor the first cat will flicker; the second cat will "missile flicker". That should be nicer than having both cats flicker 30Hz.

 

Even in the really nasty case of Mappy plus prize plus four cats, using two 30Hz flicker missile cats while showing only one frame of each would result in two of the cats looking really ugly while everything flickered at 30Hz, but that's still better IMHO than having things drop to 20Hz.

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I think that Mappy Arrangement may be easier to port then the original Mappy release (who would have thought a sequel could do that!?)

Reasons:

Less Cats, up to 5 instead of ​20 cats (Not including Nyamco)

25 screens, so is viable to store every level & pre-calc scrolling in ROM

2 of those screens are identical

The trampolines also get thinner and change color when bounced on, so ditching the color for thinning trampolines would be possible

2 Levels don't thin the trampolines at all

Two Notes:

Would it be possible to have the two bosses at the original size? (about 3 of the 5 platforms tall, 1 platform wide)

There are 'worlds' with their own background, music, & platform style. Is that possible?

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I doubt a different (or any at all) background is possible, 100% of the CPU resources usually go into the game presentation. Changing the music should be no big problem as its just a matter of ROM size. A different platform style might be possible, but will required extra space too.

 

Probably the different worlds would be just different color "themes" and maybe music.

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I doubt a different (or any at all) background is possible, 100% of the CPU resources usually go into the game presentation. Changing the music should be no big problem as its just a matter of ROM size. A different platform style might be possible, but will required extra space too.

 

Probably the different worlds would be just different color "themes" and maybe music.

 

:) Some music is already done! My 8,000 bytes hand crushed into 800 bytes. All TIA.

Mappy_TIA_Music_Demo_2015_data_method_faster.bas.bin

 

Plus I did a DPC+ music of the Bonus Stage. (Darrell's demo. Press Select.)

00-DPCMappyBonusMusic01.bin

 

And when I first started batari Basic I had this mocked up:

MappyProgram09072011.bas.bin

gallery_29575_717_6191.jpg

med_gallery_29575_733_42190.jpg

 

But to come very close will take the new BUS kernel.

 

Funny to see that it started this discussion in 2006 when I wasn't here until 2011.

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Dreaming: I wish you could move around RAM bitmap windows of "6 player score routine" that would update with positions of the characters when they all line up horizontal. No flicker, but lots of RAM and processing and mid-line sprite and color changes (shudder)...

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Not sure if I get you. Moving 48 pixel kernels have been done before.

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Not sure if I get you. Moving 48 pixel kernels have been done before.

Dragonfire comes to mind. Where in the dragon room, the 48 pixels dragon moves on the bottom of the screen with a ball coloring it eye.

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Not sure if I get you. Moving 48 pixel kernels have been done before.

I mean instead of flickering when many line up horizontal, they could independently move through the 48 pixel kernel any direction using close, medium and wide copies of P0 & P1 in single double or triple as needed on the fly, dynamically.

Guess I'm describing a bitmap kernel, but way too complicated?

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