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7800 Thoughts Are Making Me Happy

Random Terrain


Although I've had an Atari 7800 for a long time, I didn't pay that much attention to the guts of it. I knew it could play most Atari 2600 games, but I didn't know until fairly recently that Atari 7800 games used the same sound chip as Atari 2600 games unless the POKEY sound chip is in the cart. I've heard people talk about the POKEY sound chip for years, but I thought it was in the Atari 7800, not in the carts.


That's good news for me because I hope to start working on my first Atari 7800 game some time in 2014 using 7800BASIC and I already know how to make Atari 2600 sound effects (thanks to batari Basic and VbB's Music and Sound Editor). That's one thing I won't have to learn. It's nice to have a head start.


I get frustrated with batari Basic for the Atari 2600 sometimes because there are so many things I can't do. Just about everything I want to do requires a boatload of variables. Well, 7800BASIC has a boatload of variables, more sprites, and a playfield that uses tiles. That's why Atari 7800 thoughts are making me happy. Now any time I start feeling too limited and low-spirited with batari Basic for the Atari 2600, I can cheer up knowing that I'll be able to make just about anything I can think of with 7800BASIC. All of those variables make my brain drool.


Some people might say "Why don't you make games with Multimedia Fusion 2 or Construct 2 or GameMaker or Stencyl or some other online or PC game maker? You wouldn't have any limitations, then." Games made with those wouldn't work on an Atari 2600 or Atari 7800 and I'd like to make games for those consoles. Besides that, I'd have to spend a lot of time learning a whole new way of making games if I switched instead of spending that time programming. I can also create sound effects for the Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 using the toolbox of sounds that are already in the consoles. If I would use one of those other game making programs, I'd have to record my own sound effects and music. No thanks.


7800BASIC will have everything I need to create the kind of games I want to play. The main frustration I'll have is not being able to make graphics and animations that look good enough (because of my lack of artistic abilities). But at least I'll have plenty of variables and that makes me happy.




Random Terrain


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I'll have to wait for an IDE similar to Visual batari Basic. I have a bunch of ideas written in notebooks and others that are semi-formed in my mind.

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