Re: [stella] Re: Need programmer: Atari 2600 RPG Project

Subject: Re: [stella] Re: Need programmer: Atari 2600 RPG Project
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 22:45:55 -0800 (PST)

> >I hafta be selfish here.  I don't own a supercharger, and I loath, detest,
> >despise, abhore (point made) the idea of making my 2600 dependent on a PC.

It already is, if you develop for it on a PC.  Why not take advantage of

> >Why not do this with a cart?  The cost may be more, but it's not huge.

Carts that store 99 4K segments?

> >I really want to see a project like this happen.  But the 2600 community is
> >small enough without limiting the audience to supercharger capable gamers.

The market is already 350+ if you consider those who bought the SC CD.
But I also see things from the developer perspective.  Writing for banked
ROM and a RAM hack at the same time and then finding a way to burn custom
boards is a LOT more difficult than writing SC multiload games.

There are compromises on each end of the scale but I'd rather side with
the Supercharger.

Besides even if your cart is 128K ROM and 16K RAM, with a SC and a CD you
get 99 loads (and I believe each multiload is 4K, with 2K reserved) so
that's almost 400K available per audio CD, infinite space if you use .BIN
or .WAVs.  Surely there are advantages to having all that memory available
realtime, but there are advantages here too.

> >Maybe.  But a game should not swap data to/from the pc whie it's running.
> >It's just wrong.

That's a philosophical difference you have with me.  Don't you realize
that it is merely an extension of the precedent that games like
Dragonstomper and Survival Island began?

The PC is not being used because it is a 200 MIPS workstation.  It could
very well be a throwaway 286 with an 8-bit soundblaster running DOS or a
$150 stock 8mhz 68K Amiga 500. It is being used simply as an automated
digital audio playback device, merely an auto-cueing version of the
cassette decks that were loading Dragonstomper loads years ago.  Unless
you consider games like Mindmaster already "just wrong" then you shouldn't
object to Erik's idea.

As Erik said, you already have 99 loads available if you go the CD route,
and at least theoretically you have as many loads available on a longish
cassette too, which would merely be a bitch to manipulate in anything
other than a linear fashion.  The main advancements here is simply fast
random access to any track and possibly auto-loading.

> At a production cost of $20, the final price would be around $35-40
> including an author royalty (more than the $5 of Rescue Bira Bira and
> Edtris, I'm sure) and shipping.  That isn't too bad if the game world
> rivals NES Zelda or Final Fantasy.

What about the manual?  An RPG needs a decent manual, especially one this

On the other hand, if you distribute via .BIN, and all you cared about as
a programmer was making back manufacturing costs, you could release the
entire RPG as a .ZIP archive that would probably be less than 300K in

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