Re: [stella] Displaying Scores

Subject: Re: [stella] Displaying Scores
From: "Eric Ball" <ericball@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 16:46:19 -0400
From: "Brian Crawford"

> Hi, I'm not big on programming the VCS, but I do program in other assembly
> languages. I am working on a game right now, and I am interested in how
> programmers display the player's score. If someone coud give me a small
> routine or something like that, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

As Bill Heineman suggested, decimal mode allows two decimal digits to be
condensed into a single byte (BCD), although it requires additional code to
extract the individual digits.  Or you can go with 1 byte per digit, or even
2 (lookup table pointer per digit).  It depends on how much RAM you have
available and how much time you have to extract the digits.

Since the 2600 doesn't have any built-in text capabilities, you have to draw
the score using either the playfield or player graphics; typically in a
separate display kernel.  The six digit score routines Dennis Debro referred
to are one option, though not the only one.  It depends on whether you have
more than one "score", and how many digits are displayed.

Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at

Current Thread