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 22:30:18 -0800 (PST)

On Fri, 4 Apr 1997, Erik Mooney wrote:
> I still think the best format for a 2600 RPG would be a Supercharger
> multiload, distributed on CD.. this would be much cheaper to manufacture
> and distribute (considering 4k carts cost at least $10, a 16k cart with RAM
> would be upwards of $25-$30), and would allow 2k of RAM easily and up to 99
> banks of ROM - even if it isn't pretty graphically, the size of the game
> world could easily rival NES RPGs like Zelda and Final Fantasy.  This could

I definitely agree.  It's 1997 and I think that new 2600 games should take
maximum advantage of available (but also economical) resources.  I like
the idea of letting the unit stay true to its core, and remain using its
stock sound and graphics hardware, but when it comes to game size and
depth, I see no reason why games shouldn't be this elaborate.

> also be released as a PC CD-ROM, with each load stored as a .wav file and
> some kind of interface so pressing only 1 or 2 keys loads the specified

It's usually faster to even play an audio CD via a software control panel
on your computer than via a lot of CD players because many CD players
don't have 0-9 digital track controls but just have something like 1-10
absolute goto-track buttons and the > and < buttons.

It probably wouldn't be much faster to load .wavs off a data portion
unless the CD master used a slower archival encoding vs. Bob's turbo mode.

> Theoretically, you could even devise a cable to run from the second

The key here is to make the hardware simple enough.  If it's simply a
matter of switching a few wires on a DB9 to DB9 or DB9 to DB25 and writing
some simple software drivers, fine.  If it requires additional buffering
or conversion, then you won't see many people do it.

You could also STORE high scores or other game variables this way.

> even, autodetection could be done: the 2600 sends a signal on joystick 2
> regardless of any switches.. if the Supercharger doesn't detect an incoming
> waveform, it displays "Please load track X."

I think it would do this regardless.  The load procedure is in ROM so it
jumps to the ROM and waits.  The menu screen is going to come up no matter
what.  There is no need to enable/disable auto loading.

Of course, the big limitation here is that you tie up joystick 2, so this
would only realistically work for 1-player games (or 2 if you use paddles
in joystick 1).

> shouldn't be too hard.  Despite the requirement of a PC, I don't think this
> violates the classic-system spirit too much.. the only thing we're breaking

Since the demographic of the SC CD has always been the wired population,
the vast majority of the target audience would already have a PC with
enough minimal requirements to act as a file-server for the 2600.  We're
not using the brute-force of the PC to spoon-feed the 2600, only its I/O

Archives available at
E-mail UNSUBSCRIBE in the body to stella-request@xxxxxxxxxxx to be removed.

Current Thread