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Hey All,


I've been doing a bit of development work on my Atari800 in BASIC and after getting into the guts of a program, I'm finding it....limiting and frustrating.


Like it's find to build out subroutines for different data structures or whatever, but I'm spending more time working out algorithms for that kind of mundane stuff, rather than actually programming game mechanics and what not.

Also, as fun as the full screen editor is, a more modern development environment might be nice.

As I used Eclipse (for php) everyday at work, I worked on getting WDUSN (with mads) setup in Eclipse, which went fine. I also got eclipse setup with cc65, with the same kind of workflow: Build a project -> launch an emulator running the executable.

Now, here's what I'm not certain about:
What's going to serve me better? Investing the time to learn 6502 Assembly, or getting more comfortable with C?

C, I can more or less grok, though I've never done more than very simple things with it.
6502 Assembly -- I don't know, I've been reading through a couple guides, but I'm just not really getting it. I think I need to know far more about the hardware involved than I currently do in order to do anything useful. That said, there's just some amazing looking functionality in WDUSN (like the image converter, are you freaking kidding me?).


So maybe, the right question to ask is:
What is a good guide for an experienced High-level programmer, trying to get into Assembler?


Just looking for some general guidance and opinions here...




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Hello, I am from Germany and am 68 years old. I play with the MISTR FPGA and the Atari800 core.

I tried it first with MadPascal. Is a wonderful language (see forum).

Then I have for the ACTION! decided. ACTION! Is a nice challenge for the Atari800 (see forum).

For this there is a detailed manual and a lot of tool programs. The programs are very efficient.


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As like many of us, I've been programming since the 80's, originally in BASIC, then Turbo BASIC, Quick and then Assembly, C and now MADS/Assembly though time doesn't allow me much time to do anything at all.


I really wish that I hadn't spent my time wasting around on other languages, MADS/Assembly is the way to go.


Yes, it is quite different to anything else. But you can program a routine to say switch the screen off and then you just re-use it, like in 'C'. Program it once.


I'm no expert programmer by any stretch of the mind, but I reckon that if I'd started out in Assembly, I'd be much better than I am now. Get in there!! It's like jumping into the deep end of the pool, but then being glad that you can compete there.

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To get the most out of the Atari 800 hardware, assembler is a must, but knowledge of the underlying hardware too.

Actually, the cross-assemblers can make your life quite comfortable. Check out MADS, for example.


CC65 could be a good choice when you want to stay high-level. Unfortunately, if you want to use some advanced graphics, PMG, you will have to mix your C code with assembler.

Although CC65 is very well prepared for that, it is not that simple.


What it takes to create a simple platforming game in CC65?


Take a look here: http://baktra.wz.cz/software/culomin.html - Full source code is available for download

And check the attached presentation. It shows how to include game data to programs written in CC65.


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You may want to look at what assembly code your high level code produces. I'm pretty sure most C compilers including those targeted for the Atari can save the intermediate assembler code to a file, you just have to give them a command so they don't automatically delete. Just do a few simple routines like "Hello world" or a loop then take a look at the files to get an idea of what they look like in assembler.

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