Re: [stella] ANTIC

Subject: Re: [stella] ANTIC
From: danboris@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Dan Boris)
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 08:11:50 -0400
> Doug Neubauer claimed that the 8-bit can do everything the 2600 can do and
> I think he's wrong.  I don't think the Atari 8-bit home computer has a
> sprite copy function for 2 or 3 copies of the same sprite.

Technically he may be right. You could probably duplicate almost any 2600 game perfectly on the 8-bit, but you would probably have to use some different techniques. You are correct that the 8-bit can't do multiple sprite copies, but you can turn off the DMA and directly stuff the player/missile registers on each scanline just like on the 2600. I noticed when I was developing my 5200 emulator that Kaboom works in this fashion, they must have ported it directly from the 2600, changing as little code as possible.

> I think that the 8-bit is a great home computer.  It's just that after all
> these years it is a very WELL EXPLORED home computer, which is why it
> isn't as exciting as the 2600, which in many ways is still a mysterious
> system that has yet to be fully understood by those who remain interested
> in it.  And not only that, but it IS a home computer, not necessarily a
> game machine, which is why many have abandoned it for greener pastures,
> whereas the 2600 can seem more viable because it is only expected to pull
> its weight doing games, which it does well.

Believe it or not there are still people who are discovering new tricks in the 8-bit hardware. There are some people (especially in Germany and Poland) still writing demos for the 8-bit and getting some amazing things out of the hardware. 

I grew up with an Atari 800 and still love the machine. It is a lot of fun to program and I feel it is an excellent platform for writing games. 

							Dan Boris

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