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Ed Cheek

New Programmer Questions, What software?

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Hello all,

 

I am a new to this forum. I would like to program the 2600 as a hobby. I have been reading posts this morning on how to begin. I am hoping that some of you nice folks can save me some time. I have read about DASM, batari Basic and others. Can someone answer a few questions for me and save me a great deal of time. Maybe this will help others also.

 

What editor assembler software is used most these days? What do you recommend? Please leave a link.

 

I have downloaded Barair Basic and and IDE and will install it today. Any useful links?

 

Any other software that you folks use? I downloaded Stella and I have ordered a Harmony cartridge.

 

I know these questions have been asked before but I ask for your patience and help. I hope to start writing some code today if I can get the software I need in place. Thanks to all of you in advance.

 

Ed Cheek

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Have you been to these two pages yet:

 

batari Basic Commands

 

Visual batari Basic Guide

 

Like you said, Stella is an important thing to have and so is a Harmony cart. Speaking of Stella, check out this post:

 

Keeping Track of the Scanline Count with Stella

 

You can also embed your Atari 2600 games on your own web site for people to play using JAVATARI. If you want people to play your games for free, you can do that. If you want to put ads next to your games, you can do that. If you want to beg for money, you can do that. If you can figure out how to make people pay before playing, you can do that too. It's all up to you.

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Hello all,

 

I am a new to this forum. I would like to program the 2600 as a hobby. I have been reading posts this morning on how to begin. I am hoping that some of you nice folks can save me some time. I have read about DASM, batari Basic and others. Can someone answer a few questions for me and save me a great deal of time. Maybe this will help others also.

 

What editor assembler software is used most these days? What do you recommend? Please leave a link.

 

I have downloaded Barair Basic and and IDE and will install it today. Any useful links?

 

Any other software that you folks use? I downloaded Stella and I have ordered a Harmony cartridge.

 

I know these questions have been asked before but I ask for your patience and help. I hope to start writing some code today if I can get the software I need in place. Thanks to all of you in advance.

 

Ed Cheek

Hi Ed,

Awesome that you have DASM and batari BASIC! Programming the 2600 is incredibly fun :)

 

Other tools you may like are the Abstract Assembly Development Kit and my Assembly tutorial.

 

Follow the links in my signature to read about them and download the software/manuals :)

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You don't mention if your OS is Linux, Mac or Windows. I use jEdit, which is java based so it runs under them all. My blog contains a jEdit Category with my mode file which contains the rules for syntax highlighting Atari code.

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Thanks to all who are answering my questions. I will enjoy this. I am using both Linux and Windows 7. I dual boot and use both operating systems. I got Visual Batari Basic to run about an hour ago. I had a few problems that I figured out thanks to all of the information on the forum. Please keep posting any suggestions.

 

I have programmed assembly language in the past for the Commodore 64, Texas Instruments 99-4/A, and some SX programming. It has been a very long time and I didn't do a great deal of it. What I would like to do is find some good code that someone else has written and figure out how the program works and make modifications. Something that has good descriptions. Basically reverse engineer it. I have always learned best that way.

 

I hope to have something to run in a few days. Please keep any suggestions and files coming. I hope to be active and contribute here.

 

Thanks again,

 

Ed

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I have programmed assembly language in the past for the Commodore 64, Texas Instruments 99-4/A, and some SX programming. It has been a very long time and I didn't do a great deal of it. What I would like to do is find some good code that someone else has written and figure out how the program works and make modifications. Something that has good descriptions. Basically reverse engineer it. I have always learned best that way.

 

The assembly on the 64 will help. Check minidig for disassemblies, plus check for posted source code here such as in my blog entries for Medieval Mayhem.

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Thank you Quadrunner for the links. It has the source code for my all time favorite Atari game, Starmaster. What editor / assembler do you use?

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Thank you Quadrunner for the links. It has the source code for my all time favorite Atari game, Starmaster. What editor / assembler do you use?

It's SpiceWare - Quadrunner's my "rank", your rank is Combat Commando. jEdit (see reply #5 for links). I think most people use dasm, as most available 2600 source was written for it. Some are trying out CA65, though the CA65 discussions are a year+ old so I don't know if their experiments with it have panned out or not.

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My apologies SpiceWare. I did not mean to confuse the username and rank. Thanks again for your sound advice and help. I have gotten started writing my first program. I will enjoy this.

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My apologies SpiceWare. I did not mean to confuse the username and rank. Thanks again for your sound advice and help. I have gotten started writing my first program. I will enjoy this.

Not a problem, it's a common mistake with new forum members :) Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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Some are trying out CA65, though the CA65 discussions are a year+ old so I don't know if their experiments with it have panned out or not.

I'm using CA65 and I'm quite pleased with it. You run into linking trouble (page crossing) sometimes, but that's all the trouble I had so far. I know some coders using ACME, as they came from the C64, where it's used more often.

 

For coding, you should definatly take a look at the Wudsn-IDE, which also runs 2600 code using dasm: http://atariage.com/...in-for-eclipse/

 

Edit: take a look at the links in my signature, as they both cover coding on the 2600.

Edited by SvOlli
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Thanks to all who are answering my questions. I will enjoy this. I am using both Linux and Windows 7. I dual boot and use both operating systems. I got Visual Batari Basic to run about an hour ago. I had a few problems that I figured out thanks to all of the information on the forum. Please keep posting any suggestions.

 

I have programmed assembly language in the past for the Commodore 64, Texas Instruments 99-4/A, and some SX programming. It has been a very long time and I didn't do a great deal of it. What I would like to do is find some good code that someone else has written and figure out how the program works and make modifications. Something that has good descriptions. Basically reverse engineer it. I have always learned best that way.

 

I hope to have something to run in a few days. Please keep any suggestions and files coming. I hope to be active and contribute here.

 

Thanks again,

 

Ed

 

I would highly recommend MrSQLs assembly framework. it seems spot on for your experience and tastes. His framework gives you a great template to work off of yet never interferes with the flexibility of assembly.

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Thank you theloon. I will do that. I appreciate the advice and help.

 

Ed

 

As a side-benefit his framework allows for scrolling playfields bigger than the actual screen. This is a very rare thing in an Atari 2600 game (only seen it in Bolderdash and the Homestar Runner RPG). Your first effort could come off looking like Quake instead of Hello World :P

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I can think of a number of games that scroll a playfield that's bigger than the actual screen. Not counting games with "rooms" (Adventure, Pitfall, etc) I can think of:

I'm sure there's others, those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

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I can think of a number of games that scroll a playfield that's bigger than the actual screen. Not counting games with "rooms" (Adventure, Pitfall, etc) I can think of:

I'm sure there's others, those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

 

I respect your order-of-magnitude breadth of knowledge compared to me. However, none of these games can scroll in all four directions (as Ultima does). Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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I didn't see anything in the topic about all four directions being a requirement. Mountain King and Thrust do. Vanguard scrolls in 3 directions.

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I didn't see anything in the topic about all four directions being a requirement. Mountain King and Thrust do. Vanguard scrolls in 3 directions.

 

I was just mentioning it as a stand out feature. If I had this guys level of assembly knowledge I'd rather do something that not many other 2600 games do. If just to impress myself :)

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I was just mentioning it as a stand out feature. If I had this guys level of assembly knowledge I'd rather do something that not many other 2600 games do. If just to impress myself :)

 

Thanks Loon! I'm looking forward to seeing Ed's games :)

 

I didn't see anything in the topic about all four directions being a requirement. Mountain King and Thrust do. Vanguard scrolls in 3 directions.

 

Spice,

the ASDK Assembly Framework is a free tool for developers that was inspired by bAtari BASIC and BoulderDash :)

 

BoulderDash is the only game I've seen on the 2600 that provides a malleable four way scrolling virtual world; the ASDK lets the programmer define the virtual worlds much like bB playfields, as straightforward (WYSIWYG) bitmaps.

 

By providing phantom hardware not present on the 2600 (playfield, virtual world, virtual camera objects and x,y addressable sprites and pixels) the environment for the Assembly developer becomes much closer to that of the C64 :)

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