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atari2600land's Blog - i is for inching along


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It's hard to work on video games when you sleep all day. Take me for instance. I went to sleep at 7a.m. and got up a few times to go to the bathroom. When I finally got up, I was surprised to see it was 1:30a.m.! I doubt sleeping 17 hours isn't exactly healthy, but if I didn't need to, I would have gotten up earlier, right? Speaking of health, I put in a health meter for "Lowercase I." I had some gigantic code to do that, but after I woke up, I whiddled it down by discovering things by experimentation, and now it's a lot smaller than it was before. The old code was using two quads for one two-digit score, wasteful. But I was able to scrap that, using bits of it for two characters instead. This proved to be a lot simpler, and now my code is at 810 or so bytes instead of 860 or so it was before. The weird thing is I tried to do this before but didn't get anywhere. I guess the second time's the charm in this case. The health meter is at the bottom of the screen and it starts out at 99. I would have put a %, but the Odyssey 2 has no character for that. And 100 would have used three characters instead of two, but only if the i is in full health, and I am wanting to be the code compact as possible, so full health is 99%. So now I am ready to put that boat in across the river next time I work on the game. And the enemy Hs will be sprites instead of characters due to the way the collision code works (you can't check for certain character collisions. It would have certainly helped in this case.) And the boat will be a sprite as well.

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