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Wall Breaker

Today, I completed the second example game found in "Programming Games for Atari 2600".  I was almost finished last night, but as usual, there were a few errors that crept in that resulted in the game functioning incorrectly.  I examined the code more closely and fixed the errors (mostly typos on my part) and today the game plays as it should.  I really enjoyed making this game and look forward to the next one...."Invaders"!     wallbreaker.bin


arwanderer in Programming

Raspberry Pi 5

The Raspberry Pi 5 was announced today, complete with websites and influencers giving reviews based upon pre-release hardware.   Personally I'm unimpressed.   For me the raison d'etre of the Raspberry Pi has been more about price than performance.  The original Raspberry Pi was little more than an SoC devkit built around a chip they could get cheap from Broadcom.  People used it because it was cheap and it had just enough processing power to make it useful for a lot of microc


EricBall in rants

I think my Diamond Daze Is Over

I have worked long and hard on a NTS-1 Patch Editor to make it operate with the Diamond GOS.  But I fear that it will never work on my system.  Strange things started happening as the last of the routines were being worked on.  It's taken me a couple of months to realize that the drive to continue working with Diamond was at an end.   Over time there were bugs showing up in this compiled program in an ever-increasing frequency.  These were problems with code that had already been debug


k-Pack in MMS

Game of Ball (Pong)

Earlier this week, I worked through the sound and music demos and, on Friday night, I started work on the first example game in the book, "Game of Ball".  I finished this Saturday evening.  There's a glitch sometimes where the ball gets stuck at the bottom of the playfield, maybe I messed up something in the collision codes, I'm not sure.  I've included the .bin.  Other than typing the code myself, this is obviously NOT my work, but that of the original author, Oscar Toledo G!    


arwanderer in Programming

More Demos and Movement

On Sunday evening, I worked through the NUSIZx and Missile demos and finally the playfield on Tuesday before moving on to Chapter 3: Movement.   I didn't have too much difficulty with the last demos in the graphics chapter and only had a few errors to correct each time before the program compiled correctly.  In Chapter 3, however, I am having some issues.  The ship sprite is not positioned correctly and, when it moves, it messes up the screen.  I've compared my code t


arwanderer in Programming

Experiments with Plasma

During a discussion with @SvOlli about how to optimize calculations required for a low-res, playfield based plasma effect within a 512 byte demo for the 2600, I started coding myself to verify my own ideas. This eventually led to the current code. Usually the plasma effect is created by combining sine waves. Since one of the goals was to use only minimal ROM space, I started by using precalculated, small sine tables. This worked OK, but still needed some ROM space and also a lot o

Thomas Jentzsch

Thomas Jentzsch in Code

Very Curious Stuff

Yes, that blog title is hinting at the subject of this post. Care to take a guess? Ok, yes, it was obvious to anyone with half a functioning brain that I'm referring to the Atari VCS, of which I am now a proud and unworthy user. As you can see by my thread in the VCS forum, I purchased this last December when Atari had a big sale going on, but didn't hook it up then because I simply didn't have room to do so. Fast forward about 9 months or so, and the recent news about Atari purchasing this very


Sauron in Atari VCS

Weird Paddle 3 issue on a 2600 4-switch?!

I've seen something similar to this before although not in the way I was seeing with a recent 4 switch console I was servicing. As part of diagnostics I will use Paul Slocum's excellent Test Cart program as it should some primary colors, shows the current state of all switches minus power of course, but also has a basic graphical view of each controller and small block on the bottom that will move left/right when you plug in paddles to test those too. So all in all a nice utility to know that al



Bentley Bear : The Unspoken Atari Mascot

https://www.atarilegend.com/games/bentley-bears-magical-anagramsIt has been asked over the years, if you have Sonic for Sega, and Mario for Nintendo, who is the mascot for Atari?   And while this has been debated, and other mascots concepts were made, one has managed to sneakily remain just out of the lime light, but just in sight.  A cute friendly looking bear that just likes to collect gems.  Why?   Who knows!?  Because... gems!    But he has a cool unlimited bag to hold the gems. 

Adding Players

After displaying the ball, the next section of the book covers player sprites, but no movement yet.  Since each demo builds upon the previous one, typing the code has become easier and some of the instruction sets are starting to make sense to me instead of just appearing to be a random set of three letters.  I'd recommend that anyone doing this for the first time type up each program from beginning to end instead of just copy/pasting work from the previous one.  This has helped me quite a bit.


arwanderer in Programming

Using a Classic Controller Pro in New Super Mario Bros. Wii by modifying an old Cheat Code

I wanted to play NSMBW for the first (kinda) time, in anticipation of the upcoming Super Mario Wonder. I did not feel like shaking the Wii remote though, and looked up other control options for actual hardware. (emulator can work around this pretty easy) It looked like from some googling, there was an ocarina cheat code to use with wii USB loaders (on your own backed up disc) that would allow one to use a classic controller.   Enable Classic Controller [Thomas83Lin] C21EB5B8 00000020


FireStar in Wii

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