Re: [stella] Reflex: Online level editor

Subject: Re: [stella] Reflex: Online level editor
From: Thomas Boutell <boutell@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 06:25:07 -0700 (PDT)
On Wed, 15 Sep 2004, B. Watson wrote:

> Yes and no... I tend to stick with 4K ROMs for my projects because I
> actually can play them on a hardware 2600 (have EPROM burner and homebrew
> cart with EPROM socket, but no bankswitch hardware).
> Also there's the challenge of squeezing your game to fit. Also, some of
> us want to create a `period piece': a game that's created with similar
> limitations to what the original Atari programmers had to live with.
> I will confess I don't quite maintain historical accuracy: `Poker Squares'
> was written in vi (which did exist back then, dunno if it was used for
> 2600 development), but using perl scripts to generate some of the data
> (pretty sure perl didn't yet exist back then, if it did it was a really
> early, lame version), and using an emulator for testing. I could do an
> edit/compile/test cycle in seconds. I don't know how long it would have
> taken someone in 1978, but the process would have involved burning an
> EPROM because nothing was fast enough to do 2600 emulation...

Very thoughtful stuff. I have been thinking similar thoughts. I want
to fit my game into 4K for similar reasons -- the Home Star Runner cart
is a very cool accomplishment, but I want to do something more authentically 
of the era.

But as a compile-test-fix-crash-again sort of programmer, I could never 
deal with the "get it darn close to right the first time" constraints of 
emulator-less 2600 programming. 

Thomas Boutell
Boutell.Com, Inc.                              

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