Friday, March 2, 2012

Part Ten - The final push

The last few months of the project were pretty unexciting. There's a certain mode that you get in, if you can see a project coming to an end. It's basically becoming a bit of a grind, where you're trying to finish off as many of the lose ends that are still left. After all, you want to get this over with, and there's no easy way of doing that.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Part Nine - Optimizations for the Princess

Let me tell you a thing about airplane coding. It's where I get things done. As soon as the plane has taken off and it's fine to use electronic devices again, I put on my headphones and start getting productive. Trying to cram as much work into a few hours allows me to work in a very focused manner.
That was also true on my flight to Barcelona. The stuff that I struggled with before was suddenly much clearer. I came up with a really good optimization for the redrawing of background graphics, which allowed the game to run at a much smoother frame rate.
Just before I went on the flight I added profiling code for the bitmap drawing routines. I needed to measure how much time is spent pushing pixels. Traditionally on the C64 this is achieved by changing the screen colors to visualize the raster time used by a function.

The initial measurement was quite sobering. It looked like this:

Drawing the flames, before optimization