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Better enemy formation indicator




I wasn't quite happy with the alternating radar/formation display. While it worked, I kept getting annoying whenever I'd glance down to check the radar only to see the formation display instead. So I did a quick hack in Stella to see what might happen if I set the players to have 2 copies. First attempt was 2 copies wide:




which didn't pan out due to conflicting with the score display. Next attempt was 2 copies medium:




Which looked really promising. So I did a quick hardcoded test to see if I had enough time to show different data as well as change the color of one of the players:




That looked really good, though Nathan and I both thought it would look even better if the lives were moved left 1 PF pixel. I also moved the radar display 2 pixels left to keep it centered (which, of course, also moved the formation display):




Once that was done, I revised the code to show actual information:




While doing that, I realized I could make a minor addition to a few data tables (a total of 3 bytes) and have a 7 digit score:




And then I realized that just 9 more bytes would allow the scrolling message routine have 10 characters:




It's possible we'll find the 10 character display to be annoying, just like I found the shared radar/formation display. If so we'll just go with a 7 character display for scrolling messages so the radar is always visible, but at least we'll have the option.



Left Difficulty A = scrolling message test

Right Difficulty A = freeze ships








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What's this?

One meeeeeleean points!?

Millions of points.


Hurry up and wrap up Draconian in a few weeks so I can start hacking it into Sinistar! - Kidding... Nobody ever heard of this obscure game anyway. I'd call it done. - Still kidding...


I'm hoping the sounds are close to what I heard in MAME. It really had that Galaxian signature.

Have you heard the sound demo that goes through all the Galaga sounds on the 2600's TIA? (Wishing I could attach a .bin to blog posts.)

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I'm hoping the sounds are close to what I heard in MAME. It really had that Galaxian signature.

Have you heard the sound demo that goes through all the Galaga sounds on the 2600's TIA? (Wishing I could attach a .bin to blog posts.)


Post it in the forums then paste link to it here. :)


If Galaga sounds can be translated, then Bosconian should also work. Same hardware.

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does sound good. He used 2 bytes per note:

  • 5 bits for duration (the T###_## constants like T150_16 range in value from 2 to 24)
  • 3 bits for control + 5 bits for frequency selection

The TIA's audio control registers really uses 4 bits, but a number of the sounds are duplicated (4 & 5, 6 & 9, 12 & 13, etc) so 3 bits can be used to select from most of the unique sounds.



My driver uses 2 bytes per note as well:

  • 3 bits for duration + 5 bits for frequency
  • 4 bits for control + 4 bits for volume
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0 and 1 are tunes, three is a fanfare, 4 thru 11 are effects, 12 thru 19 are samples (12 & 13 being explosions, and 14 a metallic echo, 15 thru 19 speech)

Just noting this out here.

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Just wanted to wish you well continuing your Bosconian / Draconian project. Its in my top 5 for arcade games ever, with a great mix of offensive and defensive strategy that came with opening up the gameplay area to make flight as well as fight via options.


You should pop over to the Video Game Critic forum and let the gang there know what is coming down the pipeline from you. (Scotland)

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Everything except the DPC+ ARM Development series is on the backburner at the moment. I had too many concurrent projects, which made it difficult to switch from one to another - I was spending too much time trying to get back up to speed whenever I switched between projects.


I started the DPC+ ARM series due to a request for help from another programmer, who wrote one of the top ten selling homebrews. He wants to use DPC+ with ARM for his next project. It's not far along, but already looks very slick.

Draconian's also on the backburner because I started working on a bus-stuffing scheme that'll make Draconian even better, I touch upon that here. I don't know how long it'll take to wrap up the DPC+ ARM series, nor do I know how long it'll take to develop the bus-stuffing scheme, so who knows when I'll get back to Draconian. As such, not much point in bringing it up over at the VGC forum.

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