Some notes on the original 4k proof of concept that don't apply anymore
now that I've moved to a 16k version. For the 4k version I had custom
kernels for each scene, which took up a lot more space but let me have
fancier graphics effects.
Note: these were captured with the Stella emulator.
The title. Nothing special here besides the asymmetric playfield.
The original game has more of a plasma/fire effect on the letters
but a gradient will have to do.
The star fissure. I was trying to go for a star effect by having some motion
on the ball and turning it off and on in a relatively prime way,
but it was hard to get it to look nice and I ran out of
cycles in the kernel when I added animation. So for now it's a static
effect. I had to play a lot of tricks to get the falling person sprite
to fit. Ideally the vertical would scale as well as the horizontal
while falling, but again was low on room.
The linking book. I wanted more going on in the link window but again
ran out of cycles so all you get is a color change. Playing a lot of
tricks here. Using a reflected playfield gave back some cycles, the right
side is sprite1, there's a playfield color-change mid screen hid by
the sprite0 missile acting as the book spine. Sprite1's missile makes
the colorful book binding on the left, with the colors changed mid-screen.
All of this and also an animated hand cursor. If only I could get a better
version of the linking noise.
The arrival location. I did this last and was low on ROM. Tried to
save space using a mirrored playfield which I alter mid-screen, ran
into some trouble. Was also learning a lot about how HMOVE works to
get the ship's mast to be diagonal down there. I might rethink this
one if I can find some time.
I really wanted to have the right side of the spaceship be all black but didn't
have enough cycles in the kernel to fit it. I also had to chop
off the nose of the rocket which saved a few cycles and a lot of ROM
space by having a constant value for playfield 0.
Not as happy with this one either.
The clock, I like how this turned out. Using the sprite0 missile for the
tree trunk (I do this trick a bit, it's why the pointer color varies
from scene to scene). The sprite1 overlay for extra colors isn't perfectly
aligned but I thought it gave a nice almost 3-d effect.