Re: [stella] on Batari BASIC

Subject: Re: [stella] on Batari BASIC
From: "B. Watson" <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 17:35:23 -0400
> True. We won't see any "Thrust"s, but I think something with the
> gameplay of JoustPong or Gunfight is possible -- not as pretty as
> Gunfight, perhaps, but not as bad as Outlaw either.

Will Batari BASIC ever support a sound engine as nice as the one in
Gunfight though? Every once in a while I load up that game just to listen
to Manuel's rendition of "Ring of Fire". It sounds a lot nicer than most
Atari 800 BASIC music, even though the POKEY is a better sound chip than
the TIA...

> While lowering the bar in some ways it raises it in others. It will no
> longer be so amazing to make your own 2600 game (and I have to admit
> that was at least 75% of my pride in JoustPong) so gameplay
> fundamentals will be important, and there might be room for a
> surprising amount of complexity--just so long as it doesn't require
> fancy display kernals.

To people not "in the know", writing a 2600 game doesn't seem impressive
anyway. If I tell a gamer who is a non-programmer that I wrote a 2600
game, the typical response is, "Oh, how hard can that be, it's such a
simple console...", followed by "Why don't you code for (XBox | PS/2 |
Windows PCs | whatever)?"

If they're not programmers of any kind, then telling them about counting
cycles or only having 128 bytes of RAM is totally pointless. They won't
care how hard or easy the game was to write, just how much fun it is to
play... and that's as it should be, even if it's annoying sometimes :)

Look at it this way: if there *had* been a BASIC compiler for the 2600
during its peak years, you can bet there would have been a ton of games
written in it. Would that have been a good thing? Well, BASIC didn't
kill the 800...

Aside: did anyone get my post from yesterday, asking whether biglist was
broken or not? If you didn't, I guess it means it's broken... Today's
the first day since Sunday I've seen any list traffic at all.

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