Re: [stella] VCS C programming

Subject: Re: [stella] VCS C programming
From: Kirk Israel <kirkjerk@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 15:46:41 -0400
On 5/17/05, Ben Larson <benjamin_e_larson@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> RIOT.  My idea is to perhaps add to this with some
> general structs and unions to represent player
> objects, missiles, ball in RAM; some #defines to
> represent bitmask constants for various operations;
> and a bunch of macros for routine operations.  Kernels
> for experienced people would still be in ASM.  Noobs
> could use C to write simple kernels and get their feet
> wet.
> I perceive that the possible benefits of this would be
> faster development (due to the availability of
> higher-level programming constructs), easier to read
> code, and more people interested in the hobby.
> Possible drawbacks, of course, would be that the
> non-kernel code might not be quite as efficient, or
> that lots of crappy games would be made by noobs. :)

One additional drawback with this, and other schemes relying on tons
of new MACROs, is that not only do you risk poor efficiency and make
clever tricks more difficult, you've taken yourself out of the
established language of experience coders...a kind of code fork with
all the old timers on one side and you and the n00bs on the other.

But who knows. Maybe it's a promising idea. I know I keep having to
lookup even simple stuff like math and value comparisons.

I think the real n00b crap engine would be to make something like a
"Gary Kitchen's Gamemaker" -- given the difficulty of abstracting the
Atari's limitations, it would be like the bastard spawn of Klik&Create
and the Atari BASIC Programming cart...a few basic elements to toss
around and manipulate in a generic kernal, but a real reach to get
anything interesting. (Conversely, I do have a perverse interest in
that one guy who set out to make as many playable games as possible in
that little environment...I almost want to put together an online
Atari Basic emulator, because using the touchpads is SUCH a pain in
the whatnot)
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