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I used to read everything on this TI AtariAge sub-forum, - now I don't. I think it was more about game development in the first place, much more enthusiastic, now it's becoming another Yahoo to me.




There aren't many questions being asked lately. I think the contests are great and spark a lot of activity, but they are never deep enough. I guess it is good to have limits though, like "30 lines of code" or "BASIC only", that keeps the size small enough that people will actually finish (and participate). But it does not spark as much question and answer sessions.


Personally I'd like to see some assembly challenges, but honestly Owen has been the catalyst for some of the most fun in programming I have done in a while. He needed an assembly sound player that he could use from XB, so I took that as a challenge and learned a lot in the process. I had fun, Owen got a sound player. Same for his map scroller. I'm not much of a creator really, I'm a problem solver, so I'm constantly looking for people to post "how do I ..." or "I need a subroutine that ...". Sadly it does not happen much.


Activity comes from people working on stuff, which as a hobby with a small community, there is probably not a whole lot of individual projects going on. People tinker.


Thus, I'd like to propose three ideas:


1. Post topics for tutorials you would like to see. Keep them reasonable. "How to write a game" is too much to ask of someone trying to write the tutorial, and too vague for the learner to "learn" something specific.


2. Post challenges for people to try. Again, keep them reasonable, and try to make them somewhat fun (no "reverse this string" challenges, please...) I think of a "challenge" as something you have to think about to write, and where you might learn something new in the process.


3. Ask a programming question, i.e. "How to I ..."



Let me try to start it off. The OSP "Owen Sound Player" :) was really fun to write. I had a good time, and I think you will too, especially if you have never messed with the 99/4A's sound on a "direct to the chip" level. Thus:


1. Look up the "sound list" format that the ISR (interrupt service routine) uses to play sounds.


2. Figure out how the sound list is used to control the sound chip.


3. Check out what I *added* to the sound list (hint: more "commands") to make it more flexible.


4. Find out what I left out of my sound player that the ISR sound player code *can* do.

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