[stella] Gunfight Source * 3!

Subject: [stella] Gunfight Source * 3!
From: Manuel Polik <cybergoth@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 21:14:36 +0200
Hi there!

I was experimenting with several assemblers lately, 
trying to analyse if they could replace DASM.

The reason why I was looking for an alternative is 

DASM is dead and due to it's strange license it can't be 
revived either. For example there'll never be an 
official *compiled* version with illegal opcodes.

So I tried and tested several other assemblers.

P65 - I can't use that right now. There's no conditional 
assembly and no macros, so I didn't even try porting the 
Gunfight source to it, since it simply won't do without 
conditional commandos. I thought to the author and he 
said he'll add these and other features some day in a 
2.0 version of the assembler.

ATASM - That assembler is totally unsable right now, 
since it does only output some Atari 8-Bit Load-Blocks, 
no raw data. I'm in contact with the author though and 
he'll probably soon update ATASM, adding some support 
for programming the 2600. Since I found some bugs in the 
current version as well, one should really wait for the 

TASM - I succeded compiling a gunfight.bin that's 100% 
matching a DASM binary. There's several issues, but they 
can all be solved:

 - It doesn't support > and < for adresses, see the HI    
   and LO macro I wrote for that.

 - It doesn't support .w for instructions, see the STAW 
   macro I wrote to solve that.

 - At one spot I had to ORG the current position with 
   the exact value I would have been anyway. I've no 
   clue at all about this, try it out by commenting the
   line with the "HOLY CRAP" ORG :-)

XASM - I succeded compiling a gunfight.bin that's 100% 
matching a DASM binary. Once you know how it's done 
there, it's peanuts.

 - Make sure to add OPT h- at the top of the source, to      
   avoid the generation of the Load-Block headers.

The attached zip contains 3 sources and 3 VCS.h 
versions, for the compilers DASM, TASM & XASM.
The DASM source BTW is the final Gunfight source, 
released for the first time, as reference for the other 
to versions.

To compile any of these sources, use the individual 
command line on top each source.

I aditionally hope these sources make it an easier step 
for current TASM or XASM programmers to try their luck 
on the VCS.

I've not yet decided which assembler to use in the 
future, but I'll most likely try somthing else than DASM 
for the future work on Star Fire. 

I'm hoping ATASM is updated soon. Its programmer is very 
friendly and open minded to new ideas, so he probably 
might be talked into adding those features we want DASM 
to have for a long time now...


Attachment: gunsource.zip
Description: Zip archive

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