VZ ALiVE

ARKABALL!

12 June 2000
I have done some of the background and stuck the ball on there.. tho it doesn't erase nor bounce very well yet hehe.
I started working on it, finally, but didn't have time to finish the part I was doing as I had to get to bed cos work starts tomorrow =:)

Arkaball as of 120600

13 June 2000
As you can see, I now have my ball under some sort of control.. hehe.
I also have got more of the background static images done.
Just got the ball bouncing around and the bat moving. The ball also bounces off the bat.
Things in store:
* The bat will be able to Elongate (get wider) if you pick up a bonus.
* The ball can go into Indestructable mode where it goes THROUGH bricks instead of bouncing off them.
* Bonuses which clear the whole level and start you on the next.
* Bonuses which open a portal at the side of the bame (on the right hand side) to let you escape (Breakout) to the next level.
These are the ideas I want to have AT LEAST in the game. I have worked out ideas for other bonuses / powerups when designing the game. Whether they will be in will depend on time / memory restrictions.

Arkaball as of 130600
14 June 2000
Quick note: Enabled Elongate ability. Not hard - a few simple changes. The Bat-displaying routine now draws a bat the width of Bat_Width to the screen and the routine which limits the X Movement of the bat now does it depending on the bat width.

15 June 2000
Wow! Check THIS out.. I can now display a screen full of bricks for the ball to hit!! (The ball goes through the bricks hehe). Next tricky bit is to get the game to show different levels. At the moment, I have only figured out how to code one level. Then its time to make the ball bounce off the bricks. Here you go.. you can see the Elongated bat as well.

Arkaball as of 150600

17 June 2000
Okay. The graphics have changed YET AGAIN!! I know.. I know =:) I just think this version looks a lot nicer. Plus I had to change the score area design as it didn't fit in when the score routine was running - it's all very complicated, of course - but what it boils down to is not setting aside the right size/location for pixels hehe. Design is one thing - practicality is another (*Grin*).
Okay.. what have I done this time, you ask. I have finally got a Score Display Routine working nicely. It is written in 100% Assembly (well the digit-displayer is, the calculator is in C). The only problem I've come across is that the score counter can only count from 0 to 32767. I tried writing the routine two ways and even used Juergen's routine - all with the same result. It just occurred to me - I wonder if I can make an array and copy the score into that then access each digit with Score_Digit[x] .. something to look into, perhaps. As the '0' at the end of a score is always static (internal score counters go from 0 - 32767 .. on-screen counters go from 0 - 327670 (no score goes up by a number smaller than 10 hehe - it's a programmers trick).
Now, the other good thing about this score-display routine is, I can modify it and use the code to display the bricks onscreen, which may help cut down the display time for the bricks (They are currently POKEd onto the screen in C by calling a poke( ) routine). I will reduce the Brick-Types to between 0 and 9 (inclusive, if need be) [There's actually about 16 types at the moment, but I know many ways of reducing that.. some look like others, etc and can be purged].
The other trick I have done is to change the ARKABALL Logo to use Juergen's SHAPE() routine instead of LINE( )s and PLOT( )s. This is much faster, smaller and neater. I have done the same for the drawing of the HI and SCORE graphics.
The other thing I have done is to add in a PLAYER DIE routine for when you miss the ball. No, you can't see what it looks like.. you will have to wait until you play the game =:P (Can't give all the secrets away here can I? hehe)

Arkaball as of 170600

18 June 2000
What have I been up to lately.. hmm. Lets see. Well, I *did* manage to change the score routine to display bricks. This took the code size from 10.5k back to about 7.5. Every time I code something, I later find another way to do it that's faster and smaller. The compiled game code has gone 7.5k -> 10.5k -> 7.5k -> 10.5k -> 7.5k heheh. It's amazing how much you can fit into a 16k computer =:) Anyway, there's not much to show you as most of the coding I have done this time has been internal game routines. Finally, the ball bounces off the bricks, the score goes up and it makes pretty sounds. I next have to refine the ball sprite-collision routine as the ball can still go through the bricks if it hits the corner exactly on the diagonal. Also, at this moment, the game scans through 130 bricks every time the screen refreshes the action. Although, it doesn't make the game unplayable, it IS a lot of scanning for nothing. I aim to bring the routine down to scanning only 26 bricks every movement. I've also been going through screencaptures of the original Arkanoid game levels to make the Arkaball levels as close to the original as possible. If all goes well, who knows? I may even bring out Arkaball II with some home-made levels and some slightly different action! heh .. this is a fun project. I will also need to look into fixing the powerups as one of them currently crashes the game (ewps!). Perhaps tomorrow you can have a screenshot of one level of the game. When it gets close to being finished, I may release a demo version of the game with a level in it. We shall see. (Got you on the edge of your seat now, huh? =;)

25 June 2000
Wow. There's been a big gap between my last upload and this one. Tsk tsk. I haven't given up, though, you can be sure of that hehe =;) I was working on an Intro screen. I saw on the VZ-EMU Mailing list someone saying how much they appreciated well-coded Intro screens for games, so I have endeavoured to please. It is quite a large sized intro compared to most, but I don't think it will take too much space away from the actual game. There is one other effect I haven't added to the Intro. Whether or not it will be added will depend on how finishing off the rest of the game goes. If there is enough memory left in the VZ after I finish the game, I will stick it in. To tell the truth, the Intro screen is quite good without it. It was just another idea. No, you don't get a screenshot of that either. It's another surprise you will have to wait for hehe. Next, I am going to recode the level information and the Sprite Collision routine to speed them up and to shrink the code size. Wish me luck!

26 June 2000
Okay okay.. here's another pic for you to drool over =;) Now the game has a couple of tunes C/- Arkanoid (New Level tune and Game Over tune). Not a bad effort for a VZ computer (and a tone-deaf programmer hehe). I did manage to speed up the Sprite Collision routine nicely, but I will see if I bother to do the level data. At the moment, I am having trouble with some Sprite Collisions. The ball bounces nicely off the bottom and sides of bricks, but it doesn't bounce off the top correctly and buggered if I know why! The routine is the same - with different comparison numbers.. there is no reason for it to not work. I also have to get the bat to start in the middle of the screen after dying or at the start of a new level - it doesn't want to, although the ball does it nicely. Once I get that ironed out, I can worry about the PowerUps.

Arkaball as of 260600


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