Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Finally got a-round to it!

Today lunchtime and tonight I tackled the circular wipe function. I'm pleased to say that it's working in both 1BPP and 2BPP mode. Again, somewhat paradoxically, it's (slightly) faster in 2BPP mode.

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It's not enough to simply draw concentric circles; that leaves gaps which give rise to the moiré patterns we so often marvelled at in our BASIC type-in listings. So you need to draw thicker circles to overwrite the gaps. Although three (3) pixels is sufficient in this case, in assembler it's a nightmare, and slow. So I settled on 4 pixels - or a whole byte in 2BPP mode - and I defy you to detect a difference with the original Apple version. In fact, I strongly suspect it's doing the same (I haven't reverse-engineered the actual function itself).

After some first-pass optimisations the 2BPP mode is about 15% faster than the Apple version, so I've left it at that. 1BPP mode is roughly the same speed. I won't bother throttling it at all because after a while it is actually a bit annoying (but all part of the experience).

That just leaves sound and high score load/save, before I add all the levels.

Memory is really tight; in fact the stack is perilously close to the data in the latest build. There's still a bit of shuffling and slight memory optimisation I can do, and I'm also considering revisiting the title screen compression. But all this can wait until after the beta.

Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to order my DriveWire cable components today. I'll endeavour to do so tomorrow.

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