Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Another last word on explosions

After adding the thrust (pixel) rendering, I decided to bite the bullet and implement the ship explosion to round off the port before I move on to optimisations for the Coco3.

I've ported all the original code, despite the fact that one of the routines isn't required for the Coco3 (or any other raster/bitmap platform) port. That latter routine is, of course, completely untested.

I've taken a slightly different approach to Norbert, who renders his graphics by referencing the player data directly. Norbert hooks into the arcade explosion rendering routine to build a table of piece offsets, which he uses in his end-of-frame rendering, together with the player ship position data.

Rather, my (tokenised) display list command for a ship explosion (piece) comprises the piece number and piece X,Y offsets, which together with the current beam position (the last CUR command) is sufficient to position the piece bitmap.

Right now it's WIP; I am plotting a single pixel per piece rather than rendering the entire piece as I debug the ported code. It's sort-of working but there's a bug or two to iron out before I can complete the piece rendering.

Interestingly the explosion is somewhat non-deterministic. The code (re)intialises a table of piece X,Y offsets in the first few frames of the explosion - but only the high byte. So each explosion may, in theory, be subtly different. Not sure if that was intended or not.

Hopefully I'll have another update tonight.

UPDATE: I forged ahead with the explosion rendering, and managed to get something that resembles the arcade, or at least Norbert's version of it. It's not quite there, so a little debugging to do yet. But it's certainly close.

Note that I have a .define for the number of starting lives, to make debugging easier - and for the video above, it's set to 1.

To summarise, once the explosion is debugged - aside from sound - that's the porting process complete! I just need to optimised the rendering and eliminate the flicker on the Coco3. Then perhaps I can look at a Star Wars port...

UPDATE: Ship explosion is now fully debugged!

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