[Last updated on: Sat Dec 14 20:19:23 2002]
This list was designed as as support group for Starpath CD owners and anyone else trying to write 2600 games or just to understand how they work.   Since 1996, Stellalist has established itself as THE meeting place for the select few people around the globe who still understand the 2600 to congregate, share techniques, and learn from each other.


Exhanging uuencoded binaries of your new games are okay as long as it's in BIN form, not WAV.  Do not post copyrighted BINs.  This list is not designed to be a method to distribute the original 2600 catalog.  Post a URL to the file instead.  Those who repeatedly post copyrighted BINs will be removed from the list.

If you have prototype ROM images, a good place to put it up would be the VGAM file archive:  However, this group will be closing soon.  Alternatives would be to simply send them to the list administrator at with a descriptive subject, or to send them to the administrators of AtariAge (


Because this is a developer forum, and 2600 games are small, posting sourcecode is perfectly appropriate, even if messages get a little big.  You may want to ZIP it up, but it's actually more convenient to send it as plaintext so we can read it directly.  Note however that if a post hits 128K or more it will end up in the approval queue and may be delayed in getting to the list.  So, if your source code is over 75K and/or you've got a lot of attachments, please ZIP it.

Posting disassemblies of copyrighted games is acceptable on stellalist because of the educational purpose, even better if commenting is added.  Existing routines in the original 2600 catalog is as close as the VCS has to a standard library or OS ROM.  Previous games were often used as a reference by the original 2600 programmers, even if it meant Imagic authors disassembling Activision or Atari titles.  ;)


Stellalist has aggressive spam filtering in place.  Firstly, stellalist only allows postings from valid subscribers.  If you have multiple email accounts, like hotmail, only messages coming from email addresses recognized as subscribers will automatically be accepted.  Otherwise they will enter the approval queue and take longer to appear, so please, PLEASE, only send from your account address, or just sign up all addresses that you might use.

Still, spammers manage to get messages through, hence there are several keywords and phrases interpreted as spam (or unauthorized admin requests) which are also triggers to bounce messages to the approval queue.  Please avoid obvious triggers like FREE! or "work at home", as well as the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe".

But as a general rule, if your message isn't appearing promptly, it is most likely in the approval queue.  PLEASE do not resend the message.  Please notify instead, or simply wait a week or so, assuming the administrator is busy.


Stellalist is the ideal way for you to write your 2600 games.

-Please share your game code -- source and binaries -- as it is being developed so that the list can comment on playability and offer technical assistance.  Take your time, and please do not be protective of your code.  The best hobby 2600 games have been written in this manner.

-When your game is done, you might consider having cartridges made.  In the past, the best source of help was Randy Crihfield or Hozer Video Games (, but Randy has recently closed his doors, and will probably not reopen.  As of 12/2002, your only alternatives are to go through AtariAge (URL above), or self-publish.  Self-publishers can buy boards from Joe Grand (, or re-populate boards from old game cartridges, for which there is probably information on the net/web, but is likely to be tedious work.


Cyberpunks have always been eager to hold 2600 programming contests.  In 1997 we held a contest and Piero Cavina won for Oystron.  With Carl Forhan starting up his own Lynx contests, we may revisit the idea of a contest if we can find a suitably attractive prize that can act as the proper catalyst for development.


As a courtesy to us, if you are planning to change email accounts or ISPs, please unsubscribe ahead of time.  The number one maintenance task of the list owner is manually removing subscribers who are generating bounce messages to the list owner with every new message posted.  On average, this task requires attention at least once a week, but would be unnecessary if list members responsibly unsubscribed and resubscribed themselves, which can be done conveniently through the web interface (

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Other than that, happy programming!

For the Starpath CD FAQ, visit the Cyberpunks Entertainment homepage:

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