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CrazyImpmon

Which system to try and program for?

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I have some experience in 6502 assembly (once built a small functioning computer from ground up with only a 16 keys keypad (0-9 and A-F) and a 2 digit LED readout.)

 

The problem with Atari 2600 is it's wonky design and that you must be careful when coding with video as you got to control every scan line. One cycle off and the whole picture rolls. :P

 

I could try and program for 5200 or 7800 but there isn't a whole lot of detailed information that I can find.

 

What do you think is easier? 2600, 5200, or 7800? After wasting several hours on the new Euchre game, I think I could add another card game to 2600's list: Gin

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The easiest is the 5200 - there are HUGE amounts of reference and example materials avaialble for the 8bit computers which is also TOTALLY relevent to the 5200 - as it is just a RAM challenged Atari 800 with a little OS...

 

sTeVE

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CrazyImpmon wrote:

 

I could try and program for 5200 or 7800 but there isn't a whole lot of detailed information that I can find.  

 

What!??!?!? Not a whole lot of detailed info on the 5200?? A bunch of us have been busting are arses to get as much 5200/8-bit info on the Net as we can. :)

 

Go check out:

 

www.atariarchives.org

 

and

 

www.atarimagazines.com

 

It'll take you months to go through it all.

 

Enjoy!,

 

Allan

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That's right! Only a little over a year ago, and there was hardly ANY 5200 info. It wasn't even all that clear what the differences were between 5200 and Atari 8bit then. The info is all out there now, and it's time to reap the rewards of those efforts! So get cracking on 5200 coding!

 

Just think, starting a month ago, looking over the next 1 year foreseeable future, the following 5200 homebrews will have been made available:

 

1. Castle Blast

2. Haunted House II 3-D

3. Koffi: Yellow Kopter

4. Solitaire

5. Cypher (if Matt gets his head out of prototypes land) :)

6. Swordquest: Airworld

7. Adventure II

 

Sorry if I missed one. Those are the ones I'm aware of. Yours could be #8.

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There has always been a ton of info for the 5200 - all the 8bit stuff - it hasn't appeared in the last year - its been around since the early 80's!!!

 

But the Atariarchives rule - with the info on that site and the ability to do 6502 you could easily knock up a decent program :)

 

sTeVE

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[5200 info] might have been available, hidden as it was under the Atari 8bit label, but to a new programmer like myself it might as well not existed until the past year. Searches would reveal nothing -- Dan Boris' site was the only one I eventually found, in fact AtariAge.com was what seemed to pull all the people together and get the info out there in a better format.

 

Old Guru's examples and site is about a year old or less, he has code samples downloadable.

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Lynx! Lynx! Lynx!

 

Seriously, plenty of info out there, and this system is really easy to program.

 

Eric

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I'd love to try for Lynx but it's hard to test a homebrewn game since Lynx cart isn't something you can hack to add an EPROM. ;)

 

I think I'll try and see what the 5200's like.

 

PS how many Eric's are there on this forum? My name happens to be Eric as well.

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Possibly too many Eric's, or maybe not enough.

 

About programming the Lynx, there are EPROM carts floating around, you might want to ask around a bit. There are also some of the homebrew games that have a boot loader built in so you can plug a cable between your Lynx and a PC and load games into the Lynx, provided said games fit entirely in available memory.

 

Finally, you can just test on Handy, the high-quality emulator. Handy needs a fairly fast machine to run. (I found my 500Mhz desktop is a little slow but by 700Mhz laptop is fine. You don't even want to know what the new 2.2Ghz laptop can do with it.)

 

I haven't really had the time to design and program a complete game but I played with reading the switches, writing to the screens and using the sprites, and it's all pretty easy.

 

Eric

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Thanks for your suggestion and advices. I think I'll start with the 5200 since it sports higher resolution than 2600 ever will. Maybe try out that new 5200 BASIC compiler.

 

Another question would be the proper way to start a new game. I'm thinking that I should code in what I want in a new game and not worry about graphics or sound until last. But I'm wondering how do you start on new games?

 

(PS I'll probably need help with the sound as I am deaf)

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But I'm wondering how do you start on new games?  

 

From my experience, a new game creation should start on a clean sheet of paper by lising idea for game play, levels and content. The next phase would be to define the graphics and sounds and only then actual coding should take place.

I never started that way and always regreted that at some point in time during the programming phase.

 

No matter how you program your new game,

Good luck.

 

OG.

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Starting by designing the game on paper is an excellent idea, but I'd like to refine that somewhat.

 

You also want to think about the design in terms of what the system can do, so you won't get frustrated later. For instance, design 5200 games with the way the sprites and hblanks work in mind, maybe also the scrolling as well since these are things the 5200 is really good at. For the Lynx you'd design for scrolling and lots of mapped objects.

 

You also want to prioritize your basic gameplay and feature list. You want to make sure you *plan* to develop in an order in which you can test after every few hours of programming, and where the features that aren't as important are saved for last so they can be jettisoned if you run out of space or time.

 

Eric

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