RE: [stella] Stella sequencing

Subject: RE: [stella] Stella sequencing
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 1999 22:21:36 -0800
At 09:54 PM 1/6/99 +1100, you wrote:
>I'm much more the purist.  The supercharger is bad enough!  I see little
>point in developing for a (modern-day) expanded 2600.  You might as well
>program the NES or SNES or N64 if you're after improved graphics, or memory.

But why program with one hand tied behind your back if you don't have to?
Writing kernels for the TIA chip in and of itself is challenging enough,
but why make things worse by intentionally limiting how much memory you are
going to let your programs occupy?  I mean, why should writing for the 2600
in the 90s mean you shouldn't take advantage of chip prices and pretend
it's 1980 all over again?  That wasn't true in the 2600's final years,
which is why the standard size for those games were 16K (possibly plus
SuperChip) rather than 4K, and even then, they could have been bigger
without boosting the retail on them.

I really think the 2600 really shines best when given more memory to chomp
on.  Games like Solaris and DragonStomper bear that out.  It only allows
you to do more, while still maintaining the uniqueness of the 2600 look and

>Sure, you can store gobs more images and have heaps of differing kernals
with this
>memory.  But... why?

Ask Piero about his memory problems with Oystron, for instance.  Oystron is
a perfectly optimized game at 4K, but while there have been plenty of ideas
for expanding the gameplay of Oystron, it's just not possible without
moving up to 6 or 8K.  In most cases, upping memory to 16K would be enough
for today's programmers to add every feature in a game such as this that
they can possibly imagine.  That's hardly extravagant by today's standards.

The kind of games that would require more than that are few and far
between, but many (even minimal) game ideas require more than 4K to be done

>for better games.  But no fun to program, because rather than crafting
>beautiful code, you simply ended up figuring ways to pack hundreds and
>hundreds of frames of animation into bank-switched memory.  Boring.

While I do feel that the need for artwork has overpowered the art of
programming in recent years, artwork by itself isn't evil.

== Glenn Saunders  --3D Graphics / Videography / Web development--      ==
== krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ==
== Stella@20 video page    ==
==         President - Lightwave Toaster Flyer group of LA              ==
==              ==

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