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Windows Tools for Atari Programming

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I have come across a lot of fascinating threads lately while looking for native windows Atari programming tools. Sadly they are all scattered over the forum and it can be tricky to track them down. I thought I would start a new thread to concentrate these links in one place. I have taken care to give links to the pages where tools reside, not the tool archives themselves so as to give their authors as much well-deserved traffic as possible.


To start the ball rolling:


http://wudsn.com/ - When combined with Eclipse this is simply the best Atari 8-bit ASM programming environment for windows. Absolutely essential.


http://atari.miribilist.com/atasm/ - An extremely good cross-assembler. Uses MAC/65 syntax with some useful expansions. My own favourite.


http://mads.atari8.info/ - Another excellent cross-assembler. Probably more powerful than ATasm and certainly what all the cool kids use. A little cryptic in the instruction manual though!


http://atari.miribilist.com/envision/ - A VERY cool font and character editor. The interface is intended to replicate the 'Envision' tool that ran on the a8 I believe. The export options are especially nice.


http://matosimi.webs...fontmaker-v1-3/ - Another very nicely appointed font editor. Outputs only to FNT files.


http://ataritools.fr...1-8_BIT-k2-.htm - A Swiss army knife of windows tools for A-8 programming. Sadly we can currently only ogle from afar as distribution is by application to the author only. I hope a public version will be put up soon.


http://pengwin.atari...de53622f-3.html - Another application that seems jam packed with useful tools. Again, it seems currently not available for download, but with any luck we will all soon be able to give it a test drive.


http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/#tools-win32 - A number of really interesting apps for many tasks. Not all absolutely programming related, but useful nonetheless.


These are just the programmes I have encountered so far. I will add more as I find them and perhaps some of the other fellows would like to do the same?

Edited by morelenmir
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http://g2f.atari8.info/ - 'Graph2Font' - This is an intriguing utility that allows you to import a PC image file and convert it in to a series of user-defined characters. You then use these characters to reproduce the image inside an A8 programme. It is a very clever way of doing so. At first glance it does seem FIENDISHLY complicated though and the weight of the instructions are not in English. It seems nonetheless a really interesting tool to experiment with.


http://madteam.atari8.info/index.php?prod=uzytki - 'Atari Interlace Studio' - The page linked to is in fact the home of a multitude of PC atari programming applications. Atari Interlace Studio is the third from the bottom, but they are all worth checking out. This specific utility allows the programmer to import PC graphics files and convert them to Atari compatible formats. Again the instructions are not in English, but from google translate it seems there is a GREAT deal of power on offer for both programming and other image use.

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G2F and AIS are both awesome apps, both have been instrumental to me, in doing my experiments with ICE character modes. In fact, I believe you can actually create your own pictures in these modes too. So far AIS is the only reliable means I have come up with for doing Graphics 10 renders of PC graphics files.


G2F does a LOT more than render pictures in character mode. You can use PMG overlays and even edit the rasters ... change your colors on each scanline, or even the GTIA mode (say, set up an APAC style mode by doing Graphics 9 and 11 on different scanlines)


What would be nice, is a program similar to Timanthes, a PC utility for doing Commodore 64 graphics.

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  • 3 weeks later...
http://digibody.deviantart.com/ - "Digibody Tilemap Editor". While not strictly a 'windows' app this runs in Java for your browser and looks like a nice handy tool. I cannot claim credit for finding it. Old synthpopalooza mentioned it in another thread and I copied the link here for convenience. Edited by morelenmir
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There is also MemoPad from http://joyfulcoder.net ... excellent for loading ATASCII files, and for converting ASCII to ATASCII.


AtariTools is a nice tool which is under development ... http://ataritools.fr.gd/ ... at's a full development suite which includes a font designer and screenmap editor.


I should also mention the First Atari Image Library (FAIL) at http://fail.sourceforge.net/ ... it includes a fail2png utility that will render all kinds of atari formats as PNG. Especially useful for tilemap designers, you convert your favorite Atari font (even ICE fonts used in my ICE editors) into a PNG then load the PNG into a tilemap editor for designing screenmaps.

Edited by Synthpopalooza
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Not specifically an Atari tool, but The Gimp is a nice picture editor that can be used to convert to Atari bitmap formats like Graphics 15, Graphics 12 (5-color), and Graphics 10. You import a 128 color Atari palette into the program's palettes, then reduce the picture to 160x192 (or 80x92) and the appropriate amount of colors.



Edited by Synthpopalooza
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My absolute favourite for palette oriented pixeling: https://code.google.com/p/grafx2/


It's the sequel of DPaint on Amiga and absolutely excellent when it come to single pixel stuff. Available for Win/Linux/Mac OS. Supports custom resolutions with "2x1" wide pixels for example.

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My absolute favourite for palette oriented pixeling: https://code.google.com/p/grafx2/


It's the sequel of DPaint on Amiga and absolutely excellent when it come to single pixel stuff. Available for Win/Linux/Mac OS. Supports custom resolutions with "2x1" wide pixels for example.


Not a bad program. It's only missing the 4x1 wide pixels used on the GTIA modes, though I suppose there are ways around that too.


It might also work for doing pictures in my ICE PCIN modes (or perhaps other modes like CIN or HIP), by importing a GIF of the 35-color palette and constraining the picture to those colors.

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I actually always draw my stuff in grayscale/pseudo colors and apply the color on the Atari later.

But using a "master" image will work fine. You can also use the right mouse button on the spare screen icon to copy the palette between the 2 screens.


Edited by JAC!
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  • 1 year later...

My Windows dev environment is fairly simple. I edit my code using Notepad, convert the EOL characters to Atari format via a custom .VBS script and then use Hias’ excellent DIR2ATR utility to roll the source code plus a pre-built folder with DOS and the compiler up into an .ATR I have Windows start the ATR automatically and then I can compile under the emulator.


Additionally, the code is archived for future reference or recovery from those all too familiar “crap I didn’t mean to do that!” episodes.


My folder structure looks like this:


Archive contains uniquely named versions of the source code

Dev contains DOS and the compiler

Util contains DIR2ATR and the .VBS script


Build.bat is a DOS batch file that looks like this:

set datetimef=%date:~-2%_%date:~3,2%_%date:~0,2%__%time:~0,2%_%time:~3,2%_%time:~6,2%

copy "Project.TXT" "archive\Project__%datetimef%.TXT"

cscript util\ChangeEOL.vbs Project.txt dev\Project.qik

util\dir2atr 1040 -b Dos25 Project.atr dev


ChangeEOL.vbs is here: (it simply changes the EOL characters from DOS to Atascii)

dim fso
dim fH
dim InFileName 
dim OutFileName
dim StrData

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

'get command line
InFileName = Wscript.Arguments(0)
OutFileName = Wscript.Arguments(1)

'open source file
Set fH = fso.OpenTextFile(InFileName, 1)
StrData = fH.ReadAll

If instr(StrData,Chr(155)) > 0 Then
  StrData = Replace(StrData,Chr(155),CHR(13) & Chr(10))
  StrData = Replace(StrData,CHR(13) & Chr(10),Chr(155))
  strData = chr(155) & chr(254) & chr(155) & StrData & chr(155) & Chr(255)
End If

'save dest file
Set fH = fso.CreateTextFile(outFileName, True)

' Write
fH.Write (StrData) 

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  • 1 year later...

Here is a .ODT (open document format, text document) file that is basically just a 40 column by 24 row table. I used to Libre Office Writer to create it, but theoretically it should be usable by any application that can handle .ODT files. If you find your favorite word processor boogers it up too much, the good news is that Libre Office is completely free.


Anyway, you can just print the page out and pencil in graphic mode 0 screen designs, or you can also put characters in the table cells. Supposedly, I have embeded the Classic Atari 8-bit chunky style TTF in the document, so the characters you use should even have a classic look!




Shoot, I was going to put it up, but it is a bit over 10MB, even when zipped. I considered zipping it with spanning, and making two posts, but that would be more cumbersome for folks to download it and unpack it. Is there any way to allow an exception to the 10MB in single post upload rule?


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Sounds like a capital tool there Fujidude - I look forward to giving it a test drive.


I did something a little bit similar in Excel; set up an 8x8 grid of cells to be boolean and display custom background colour fill/not-fill depending on their state. I then turned them on or off to 'draw' P/MG sprites. I then used a set of formulas to tally up the cell contents and transform them in to an array of hex data. Annoyingly I cannot seem to find it now! I'll chase it down later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Pro Motion" is now available in a feature reduced free edition:




The tool is not only good for the creation of tiles or animations but also supports unusual pixel aspect ratios (2:1, 4:1 etc.) - a big benefit when producing assets for the Atari.

Edited by Irgendwer
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