Author Topic: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?  (Read 2983 times)

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Offline ralphdspam

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Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« on: May 02, 2011, 10:06:45 pm »
I have recently taken an interest in the Atari 2600.  Are there any 2600 programmers here at Omnimaga? 
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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 10:08:56 pm »
Sadly not me, since I barely did any rom hacking before aside from a crappy SMW level for the SNES.
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Offline ralphdspam

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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 10:12:18 pm »
Oh.  I attempted to make a SMW hack.  I make a few nice "under the hood" mods, but nothing developed as far as level design.  I hope my TI projects turn out better than that.

Maybe I should have asked a broader question.  Are there any MOS 6502/6507 programmers here?
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Offline turiqwalrus

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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 10:21:41 pm »
I have one, but it's been sitting in my basement for >9000 years, so I don't know how to hack it :P

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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 10:29:23 pm »
I've done a small amount of research into programming the Atari 2600. Then I ran away in horror D:
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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 11:55:10 am »
You mean like people who make roms to run with emulators? I don't think I would want to learn how to program on an old game system. It's too complicated, much more difficult than today's game programming.
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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 07:01:08 pm »
Yeah, the functionalities were pretty limited then, so you had to use a low-level language to optimize the space you had. Now with recent consoles, you have plenty of room to play with pretty high-level languages, such as C# on the Xbox 360.

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Re: Any Atari 2600 Programmers?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 11:13:46 pm »
You mean like people who make roms to run with emulators? I don't think I would want to learn how to program on an old game system. It's too complicated, much more difficult than today's game programming.

If you think about it though, the Z80 and 68k line of TI calculators are very similar to old games systems or old computers. Many old computers and game systems used Z80 or M 68000 chips (The Sega Genesis used both) or similar. All of them also had limited memory, resolution, colors, and function. Hobbyists of both these calculator and old computers/video game systems like to program them because they like the challenge of working within limited systems. They enjoy trying to squeeze the most out of them that they can. For others, it's about exploring and creating new things on systems they grew up with, or just enjoying retro programming. In some ways it could be argued that modern computers are harder to program due to their complexity. You have huge resolution, tons of colors, many different hardwares that has to be interfaced with and tons of space. Older systems are much less complex. Comparatively on an old system you could have a very small team with one person handling many aspects of game programming including graphics and music and much of the main programming. You might have another person working on some other small programming tasks and helping develop the story (if there is much of one). A team like this can and did produce professional games. Today this would be impossible. Your main programmer never be handling graphics and music as both have become very complex and demanding tasks in their own right. You have programming teams each handling separate parts of the program. Your music department is separate and includes several people, the same goes for the graphics department. Of course their are exceptions,(indie game developers) but for the sake of my comparison I'm discussing major game companies past vs present.