I've been pondering what console I wanted to begin programming games for, and after reading the FAQs on AtariAge, I decided the extremely unappreciated Atari 2600. But however, I need baby steps on where to start. I was looking through the tutorials, but I can't seem to understand either one. They go too fast, and they assume that I already know basic programming. I've been programming in PHP, but that's apples and oranges. PHP and video game programming are apparently nothing alike.
I have trouble understanding simple things like why Assemblers are necessary, why there are so many different files for one simple game, and other aspects that might be simple to you guys. I read the first few parts of Andrew Davie's tutorial, and I fell apart by the time I made it to the actual programming part. I can't explain in detail exactly what I don't understand because I don't understand any of it. However, here's what I DO understand:
There can only be two 8-bit objects on the screen at once, which I guess means sprites that use smaller pixels.
There are missels (not sure what they are), players (not sure what these are either), sprites, a ball (I guess the ball from pong), and a playfield (the background). I know the Genesis has two playfields which are used for parallax scrolling, however the Atari and most early consoles only have one.
The playfield pixels are horizontal lines, so they're shaped funny.
Sprites can be duplicated, the copied sprite doesn't contribute to flickering. You can also pick how far to the right the copied sprite is from the real sprite.
There's only 4K of memory (unless you stash more in the cartridge).
I could be wrong about this, but the Atari 2600 can scroll up and down, but not left and right (unless you resort to certain methods like stop motion).
The 2600 plays like a pong console with paddles, a ball and a playfield that keeps score. All the games manipulate the 2600 in clever ways to allow several fun and exciting games.
I got most of this information from here:
What I'm asking is where to start. How do I make this possible? I'm the worst learner on the planet, but as soon as I understand the basics, I should be able to learn fast. Sorry if I sound bland.