Interpreted BASIC, in a 25 year old computer, is not fast. That is a fact.
Trying to improve the animation speed and reduce flicker, I did something I have never tried before. A look-up table of sorts.
The idea is simple. Calculate all the points in the cat’s trajectory while it jumps, and store them in a matrix. Then, animate the jump reading the graphic’s position from that matrix instead of calculate it while drawing the animation.
But I found two not totally unexpected problems.
- The calculations took about 5 seconds. During that time, the game had an ugly pause in the action.
- I found out that most of the flicker is actually because of the time it takes for BASIC to draw the graphics in the screen. Having no delay between the command that deletes the cat’s old position, and the one that draws the new one did actually create a flicker that was in some aspects nastier than before.
So, back to the old code.
The good thing is that it was not hard to implement at all, and I’m sure I will find another chance to use it.
I’ve done a lot since my last post, but not as much as I should have.
First, I did make it “prettier” 🙂
I did change some of the game logic, and I have a scoring system.
Also, level creation should be pretty simple, it’s just a matter of creating them in a way that they are challenging, but not to much.
Now, I will make it fully playable with at least 5 levels. Once I reach that point, I will keep adding graphics and animations, fix some minor glitches, and clean up the code.
Most of what could be called the “game engine” is ready.
- Animate the cat that jumps from the top of the pile.
- Create new graphics for the cat while it is waiting to be launched, and while it is flying.
- Make up my mind about how score is going to be awarded.
- Create the levels.
- Make it pretty! 🙂 That is, ad some backgrounds, messages, and so on.
Here are some updated graphics, showing the 3 different cats.
The length of the jump depends on the one on top of the pile, and the one that is going to jump.
The Tabby is heavier, and the Siamese is the lighter one.
A few days ago, there were a couple of threads in the Color Computer mailing list regarding
a) The possibility of an “Angry Birds” like game for the CoCo and
b) A coding contest.
This emails gave me the idea for the game (I even took the name straight from one of the messages)
The cats want to catch the mouse, but the walls are to high to jump over, so they decide, in the best cartoon way, to use a seesaw and catapult one of them over the walls to get to the mouse.
On the left side of the screen, you pile up the cats. More cats, higher jump.
There are 3 different kinds of cats, some heavier than others, and that will affect how high and far the jumper will make it.
In a nutshell, that’s the idea. Let’s see how well can I implement it in old school BASIC
Alentado por el éxito(?) de mi primer juego para PC, “Cat & Shark” – lleva ya casi 50 descargas 😛 – me metí a hacer un par de proyectos mas.
El primero, también para PC, esta inspirado en un clásico de los 80s, “Dungeons of Daggorath”
“Back to Daggorath” no tiene fecha de salida. ¿Por que? Porque le estoy dando prioridad a …
Ehhhh, si…. No, no es un juego para PC…
Es para mi CoCo. Una furia de 8 bits a 1.78 Mhz!
Pero cuando este pronto, haré un port a PC…
If you read my first post, you might have noticed that I use a strange program called "Seamonkey" for my Internet needs, instead of the popular Firefox or the risky Internet Explorer.
To explain why, I have to take you back in time, to 1996, to the First Browser's War. At that time, I was using Netscape Communicator. I just loved having a single, perfectly integrated program that could take care of browsing, email, and web page creation..
When the original (4.x) Netscape died, Mozilla and Netscape 6 came out, and I switched, but it was clear that this where not really 100% what they should be, with long loading times and a sluggish interface. That's when Firefox (Phoenix, as it was known then) was born. The idea was to have a browser-only lightweight competitor to IE. But as time went on, Mozilla was becoming faster, and Firefox, now the favorite, was getting more and more features. By 2006 the Mozilla Suite became "Seamonkey" after being abandoned by the Mozilla Foundation and saved by the user's community.
As of today, Seamonkey 2 has the same rendering engine that Firefox 3, and it's smaller and lighter than Firefox+Thunderbird.
That's why I say NO to Firefox, the little browser who grew to much, yes to Seamonkey, "the all-in-one internet suite"
P.S. If you are looking for a really light browser for M$ Windows, try K-meleon
This last weekend I installed Windows © XP in my main PC.
I have been using Windows 2000 for the last 4 years, and have been quite satisfied with it's speed and stability.
But lately, more and more software makers have been dropping support, limiting my options.
I figured that it was time to go for XP.
After 3 service packs and 6 years, it should be mature enough, and the improved compatibility should make up for the slower response. (I don't believe what Microsoft's marketing department tells about ever new version being faster, I've tested it, and it's slower, even in my 2.6 Ghz / 1 MiB PC)
Then, when I was reinstalling my software (the upgrade option would not work, even after trying whit different versions and CDs) I realized that I'm using many "beta" versions of my favorite programs, and even the "alpha" version of thw Seamonkey Internet suite.
Why is it that I resent using a 6 years old version of Windows, but will gladly install Seamonkey 2.0 Alpha?
Let's see… Both ar significant improvement over older versions, offering many new features.
But most of Windows XP new features are not anything I like to use. On the contrary, I usually find them annoying and childish.
On the other hand, the lattest "alpha" version of Seamonkey has some very nice new features, a new "core", and it is 25% smaller and runs faster!
Now at least I know why sometimes I just have to have the lattest version of a program, while with some others, as long as the one I use works, upgrading sometimes feels more like DOWNgrading