Subject: [stella] How I learned to stop worrying..|
From: Andrew Towers <mariofrog@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 22:52:07 +1100
Andrew, could you introduce yourself to the list a bit?
Sure :) I did post a self-introduction back in July 2002 (http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/200207/msg00225.html)
Further to that - I started with computers on the BBC Micro in high school. Mostly BASIC back then, but a little 6502 as well; this gave me a head start on the 6502 front :)
I based my thesis around an interpreted language called Icon (which features 'goal-directed' expression evaluation in which expressions can fail, or generate one or more values on demand, and backtracking is used to "seek" a result) and wrote my own bytecode interpreter for a similar language.
Most 3rd generation languages start to look the same after all of that ;) I'm interested in language design, CPU design (although my physics/electronics knowledge lets me down a bit on this front), and writing optimal assemly language for old console systems with very stringent limitations ;)
I enjoy programming for the VCS because (a) I can design the whole game, program it, draw the graphics, create the sound effects and maybe even write the music, all by myself - with the support of the Stella mailing list of course. And (b) no- one in their right mind would ever even consider trying to make a *game* for this hardware! It's completely impossible unless you understand something of how processors work, how TVs work, and how to get a lot out of a little (a very specialised skill that seems to be sadly lacking in today's bloated software).
I was drawn to the VCS (like a moth to a flame) when Andrew Davie happend to "mention" the hardware capabilities of the VCS, and what people actually do with those meagre resources. I find that I do my best (and most enjoyable) work under extremely tight constraints such as those presented by the VCS :)
So here I am. I worked on "the castle game" for a couple of months back in July 2002 while I was learning about the VCS hardware, then I moved on to other things for a few months. I recently "rediscovered" the project and I've put a lot of work into it over the last month or two to bring it to its current state.
About me - I live in Tasmania, Australia. I'm about 25, I split my time between making 3D games, doing contract work and writing Atari 2600 games ;)
We've seen such an influx of new development of late that it's valuable to know whether the barrier to entry to 2600 programming is hitting an all-time-low (with all the online resources now available to help us) or whether some other factor is at play.
The online resources are extremely helpful in getting started, especially the stella archives and its members' pages. I also think the community is an important factor - it's fun to make these sorts of games for the challenge they present, but it's doubly rewarding to have an audience that appreciates the end result :)
ps. the "M" is for Mario, which is a nickname most of my friends call me. It also differentiates me from Andrew Davie ;)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Archives (includes files) at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/ Unsub & more at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/