RE: [stella] Generic kernal or just build a game?

Subject: RE: [stella] Generic kernal or just build a game?
From: KirkIsrael@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: 15 Mar 2004 04:23:52 -0000
> After reading the Stella programmer's guide, your 2600 101, and many other
> docs, I suddenly had *that much more* respect for Activision in particular,
> and what it'd done for gaming.  Their games had a way of making the 2600
> seem a trivial thing to program.  Little did I know (or really care) about
> the genius behind them.  But isn't that what game programming is about?

Yeah.  For some reason "Keystone Kapers" is sticking in my head.
Where the heck did they find time for all of that?

> > When I get some freetime, I'm really going to dive into old Atari
> > ROMS, try to see what tricks I know and what ones still make me go
> > "how the hell did they do THAT"...
> Which disassembler do you use for this?  Please tell me there's a magic one
> that names labels and comments code...
> mainGameLoop      bit plyrStat    ; Appears to check if player health is
> gone
>                   bpl killPlyr    ; Yep, I was right
>                   php
>                   jsr dynAssem    ; Huzzah!  This old trick again!

Heh, yeah, right. 

You can learn (or guess) a lot before resorting to an assembler, in 
order of increasing depth:

1. load the ROM and just play it with an eye towards # of player, missiles, etc
2. use PCAEwin to record an AVI, inspect frame by frame
3. Use PCAEwin's debugger to read TIA values (this is how I extracted
  Pterry's squawk)
4. Look for a commented dissembly
5. use Distella and look yourself...

>From your other post:

>  X     .
>  X    X XXXXXX
>       XXXXXXXX
>       XXXXXXXX    X
>                   X
>            XXXXXXXX

so, the |_  and _|  are paddles?  Do they trace a square or 
a circle around the center blocks?

You might wanna glance at Radial Pong
Haven't heard about that for a long time. 

Those old 80s mag probably had some great ideas for 2600 games.
There was this one Compute's Gazette with a neat heat seeking 
missile game, there was a row of like 8 on the ground that would 
launch one at a time....control was kind of like 2600 Combat
biplanes, but faster, and the goal was to get the missile following
you to crash into the ground (hopefully taking another missile 
with it) 

But older magazine games...they often weren't as elaborate as 
professional games, so might be better ports to our fav system
that generally isn't as powerful as those 8-bit juggernauts :-)
('Course I tend to lack ambition anyway when it comes to game
scope--I'm no Thomas! :-)

     "Stupid people see beauty only in beautiful things."
              --Oliviero Toscani quoting Dadaist Saying

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