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Ducks Away (WIP)


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Just for you I've had a look to see what I might be able to do and this is what I've come up with on the mockup I use for testing ideas. By moving one of the greens from palette 0 to 2 I was able to give the clouds an extra colour for shading, and as the clouds and bushes share graphics it's improved both. I've adjusted the shades of green to allow the green player markers to stand out a bit more, and with 2 shades of green in palette 2 I was able to make a rough pattern that could be considered grass. In my old proof of concept version I had some brown areas that was intended to be the dirt the vegetables were grown in so I had a go at drawing some dirt mounds using the existing orangey palette but I'm not sure if I like them yet.


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To get the most action on screen with the fewest glitches and slowdowns I can manage I'm making a big effort to minimise the amount of objects used to build the background.


In that gif everything is zone-aligned so doesn't need to be drawn twice, and it's all 160A to give MARIA more time to process the 160B ducks and dogs.


The clouds and bushes are separate objects, but each section is only as wide as it needs to be, and the scrolling is done by updating the position of the existing objects rather than re-adding them to the display list each frame.


Objects can't be as wide as the screen on the 7800 so the wall is 6 objects (2 halves across 3 zones), and the scrolling is achieved by reducing the width of the left half while increasing the width of the right half and shifting it across using the same method as the clouds. Once it gets far enough for the pattern to repeat it's all reset.


The grass is also 6 objects (2 halves across 3 zones) but each zone has its own copy of the graphics in RAM. 6502 assembly conveniently has a 'rotate left' command for shifting multiple bytes of data, only in this case it's graphics data and by rotating a line twice to account for 2 bits per pixel it'll move that line. If I move some lines more than others I'll get the effect and all without MARIA having to do more work.



I'm in the process of moving where these graphics sit in RAM to free up room for the player graphics alongside the ducks. The benefit is that when things aren't zone aligned I only have to draw 2 objects instead of 3 and it all adds up.

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