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Cat Quest... 2600?! O_o
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icelink256's Gallery (63)

Room Format -- 3 Bytes!

Cat Quest - Asset Overview
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After some shenanigans with the room format, I was able to get the screen size down to 3 bytes of data! I may add either 2, or 3 bytes to this size, when I add monsters/treasure. It depends on the level of flexibility I want this to have.

The data is in a bit-wise format, allowing for easy, compact dungeon creation.
The formatting order is:
Byte 1: Doors, Byte 2: Blocks, Byte 3: Water

These 4 screens are 3 bytes each, and their code is:
$44,$D7,$00 (upper-left)
$55,$C1,$01 (upper-right)
$44,$6A,$00 (bottom-left)
$44,$48,$06 (bottom-right)

There are obvious patterns to the data layout even at the hexadecimal level, but the methods to my madness are made more apparent, should you look at the bits!

A 16-pixel black bar was added to the bottom of the game screen, to make the dungeon screens better fit the grid. As a secondary effect, it will ease up the game's processing somewhat!

art 13,917, pixel 1,994, sprite 1,364, pixelart 571, dot 444, atari 29, 2600 4
Type: Picture/Pinup
Published: 3 years, 7 months ago
Rating: General

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3 years, 7 months ago
This is really interesting, it's lookin like some atari sorta game, and given that data structure, it would probably fit on a cartridge
3 years, 7 months ago
The Atari 2600 was the targeted console, just for fun.
3 years, 7 months ago
Ease up the game's processing?
Sounds like those yellow bars on Pacman for the Atari 2600 all over again-- (or that flickering line on the top of the status bar in Mario 3 for NES)
3 years, 7 months ago
It probably wasn't necessary, it was just a nice bonus from making the dungeons grid-based.
Rendering less screen-space on the 2600 allows you to make more complicated game logic, so I'm not complaining.

In Pacman, those bars are the result of the game's logic not finishing in time to render a horizontal line. (poor programming)

In Super Mario Bros. 3 The flickering/jumping status bar is a side-effect of putting the status bar at the bottom of the screen, where the scanline interrupt uses an optional circuit inside the cartridge (IRQ), to provide a secondary split, other than the sprite 0 trick.

The exact timing becomes unpredictable as a result, so the status bar split flickers, or makes the entire box visually "jump".

The problems are quite different, when you know all the technical details. :)
3 years, 7 months ago
I disagree on Pacman; crappy coding or not, it's there as a result of game processing logic taking up time that should have been used to fill the screen~

EDIT: Which, since I know you're so technical, is not a jab that your code is so crappy as to need another 16 pixels~
That should be a inside joke with you now, "16 pixels SMARTER"~
3 years, 7 months ago
Well my point was, the problems are very different--
In Pacman the yellow bars are the result of the game writing the right side of the screen on the left, because of a timing problem.
The data pipeline on the Atari is so strict, that you actually need to both render, and process the game logic at the exact same time.
3 years, 7 months ago
Oh, I didn't take any offence to what you said, I was just explaining the differing technical details behind both of those problems.

"16 pixels SMARTER", that's going on my Skype!
...Once I get a new computer that can sign in, without crashing!
3 years, 7 months ago
My computer crashes with skype currently, too.  No idea what's up with that. Skype and microsoft's crappy Edge browser both can crash my video driver, but nothing else does.

Even on my backup computer skype makes it freeze on and off when the advert changes.  I'll have to revoke their ad privledges again if it keeps up.
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