Re: [stella] Farewell...

Subject: Re: [stella] Farewell...
From: Pete Holland <petehollandjr@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 21:36:17 -0800 (PST)
--- Chris Wilkson <ecwilkso@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Over the past few months, I've had some cool project
> breakthroughs and
> some disappointing setbacks.  It's all been very fun
> and challenging.
> But I've come to the conclusion that I just can't
> continue to pour my time
> and effort and money into Atari.  The more time I
> spend on these things,
> the less I'm satisfied with the results and the time
> it takes to develop
> projects into useful products.  It just isn't fun
> anymore.
> Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone here
> for all your help
> and support and all the wonderful projects and other
> things that make
> the Stella list so enjoyable.  It's been a long and
> difficult decision
> process, but I think it's finally time to say
> goodbye.

I hope you get this message.  Don't leave just because
things are difficult.  Take it from someone who is
currently there.

I was a fairly active poster (I'm not sure if you
remember me), but between workloads and the difficulty
of wrapping my brain around how the Atari thinks, I
decided I was better off lurking until the concepts
cleared up.  Besides, it didn't seem to me I was
contributing more than honking a few people off with
my amateurness.

I agree learning to program the Atari is difficult. 
The machine language is not that big a deal to me.  I
find the same follow-the-logic technique that served
me so well when programming in BASIC works equally
well in this context.  The problem in this regard is
easily the graphics engine.  Next, you have a very
finite amount of space to write the program.  Then,
unless you like those games that make use of
specialized controllers but only one of them exists
(Indy 500, Omega Race, and technically DDR but that
one's worth it), you are limited to a joystick with
one button, and others like the paddles are a pain in
the padonkadonk.

The one lesson I've learned about programming the
Atari above all is:  you have to alter your concepts
of what video games are.  There is still magic to be
had here, as games like Oystron and Thrust demostrate.
 And since the purpose of the BigList is to talk shop,
there isn't a lot of casual reinforcement of enjoyment
of Atari in general.

Don't give up because progress is slow.  Glen has had
problems, too.  Thomas does well, but he seems to have
that knack, a brain that grasps the concepts like
second nature.  Not everyone's brain can work like
that, so don't feel inferior.  Glen has made
remarkable progress with Death Derby, especially when
you consider his job and the unfortunate situations
around him.

My point is, this will take a while.  Maybe what you
need is a vacation, not to quit.  Take some time off,
take a break from coding, reprioritize so the
programming is a hobby instead of a true measure of
accomplishment.  Hang in there, and may you're leaving
be as permanent as those first couple by Michael

Dobre utka,
Pete Holland Jr.
who won't be impressed until he sees an actual 2600

"Don't go, Shane!"

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