Sunday, July 29, 2007

Modern or Classical Styling?

As you can see the graphics are coming along nicely! Well actually these aren't real screen shots (suprise!) but on the left is a real life solar power station in Spain, and on the right a standard radio telescope. I need a giant solar reflector to emit my game lasers, so I think I might use one of these as the basis. Clearly it will be in vectors, and therefore very rudimentary, so whilst I prefer the image on the left the one on the right might be more recognisable (and more animation compatible.) Please leave a comment to vote for the left or right images or suggest any other images/concepts that I can consider.


Anonymous said...

Hello Alex
Reading with interest your blog about development of solar wars.
I just bought a Vectrex from ebay a couple of weeks ago, and am totally new to all things Vectrex - but all the games I've seen so far have a special quality, leaving my PS2 to sit unused in a corner.
I am curious what hardware/software you use to develop programs for the Vectrex. I know you write directly in assembler, but do you use an incircuit CPU emulator, or simply write assembler, assemble it to a rom file for download to an emulator on a PC or direct to a Vectrx rom. I guess my question is are you able to debug, single step the program etc, or is this not necessary? I can imagine that without these luxuries, every time you change a bit of code, going through the above routine can be a bit time consuming? If this is the case, how do you know when you have reached a particualr bit of code? - do you print characters to the screen?
Sorry for all the questions...


p.s. thanks for the copy of Star Sling by the way, just waiting for my VecFlash to arrive so that I can play it on my Vectrex.

Anonymous said...

And to answer your question....
The right picture is more recogniseable.

Vectorzoa said...

Hi Ian,

Thanks for your interest. I use an EPROM emulator connected between my PC and Vectrex. I compile with AS09, upload a ROM to the emulator (it takes about 1/2 a second) and then I hit reset on the Vectrex. -It's a very speedy cycle. I guess with the new features of ParaJVE I could use the integrated compiler, but I still like seeing the real beam in action.

You could use a Vecflash or VecRAM. I guess the new USB version might work well, I'm just unsure of the steps.

I find that debugging (despite the odd hitch) is rarely an issue provided I code in a single long sitting or on successive days. (I don't write enough comments, for longer! :) Good solid code written in a modular fashion is the best way to avoid debugging needs in the first place.

I have a variable watch window which I control with J2B1-4, but I use it as a rarity. DVE is the only debugger I know, but I don't think it's worth the hassle. If ParaJVE included a code profiler, I'd definitely make use of that, but for the moment, final optimisations are made through scrutiny.

Hope this helps, keep the questions coming! :)

P.S. A great debug tool is simply JSR Dot_d

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. When my VecFlash finally arrives, I will have a go at making a program (after having a few goes of Star Sling).