Friday, October 20, 2006

XeO3: Stupidity abounds....

I often wonder why programmers are never given protective head gear, since every now and then we do something so stupid then you either bang you head off a desk, or get someone to hit you with a hammer. I've been thinking about rewriting the front end star field so that it goes in between the stuff thats already there. This means I wouldn't have to clear the screen and then redraw it every frame! Quite a saving.

So I set about doing this thinking all I need to do is double buffer the star locations and then clear anything thats in the "clear" list. Sounds easy doesn't it. The problem being, that my star field is actually in 4 places at once. A star can have a location of 0 to 255, which I then store in $0c00,$0d00,$0e00 and $0f00. This means I get 4 stars for the price of 1, and when a star leaves one zone (goes from 0 to $ff) it smoothly enters the next and you never know.

The problem being, to clear the stars, I can't just store a location, I need to check to see if a star is actually there because it might be visible in one bank, but hidden in another. When you add this time to the increased time taken to actually plot the stars, it'll probably come out longer than the current method! Idiot. I'll have to sit down and think about it a bit more. Theres always the chance that because I dont redraw the logo or the text, that this doesn't matter, but I'd like to be able to have lots of time to spare so I can scroll stuff onto and off of the screen - and Im not convinced I can do that knowing how long it'll take.

Its a pitty as well, I increased the number of offsets from 24 to 90 (giving me 360 stars in total) thinking that since I'd saved stacks of time, I could now bump up the number - WRONG!. Idiot!!.... Wheres that baseball bat when you need it.....

BTW - this star routine was pinched from Delta on the C64, I spent a while hunting it down years coz I thought it was fab.

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