Jump to content

Help with atari programming & game idea (with html5 demo)


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I am a long time lurker and fan of the 2600 and I would like to contribute in my own way to the games library. However I am very new to the language and not 100% sure about the limitations.

The setup of the player is close to that of Commando Raid, but instead of bullets I would like to have a continuous beam shooting out of it. (Is this possible?) This would symbolize the 'field of view' of a telescope that needs to observe stars. In the skies there would be X stars that rotate around the center of the screen. (is this possible or should they have a jagged path?)

The stars would have a selected 'observing time' (random health) and need to be pointed at for that number of time. (can this be done, or do they all have to have the same HP?) Once a star is observed it is taken off the map(+1 score) and a new target is selected (a new enemy is spawned at a random point, would this work? can you make it spawn at random points and still make the same circle?)

If the star leaves the room then the observation has failed and you lose a life. Lose 3 and you get fired.

Perhaps more stars can be introduced when the score reaches a certain number?

So if you guys could tell me if this is 1) possible at all and 2) point me to some relevant tutorials on the above questions.

I quickly threw together a 'demo' in HTML5. It's a bit glitchy with some stars getting infinite HP and spawning outside of the room and giving you a negative score. But the idea should be clear. Possibly this could also be a 2 player thing with rivaling astronomers. IMO this would be ideal as a paddle game.

I've played around with batari basic and done some tutorials/looked at example code. I can make things move and respond to a joystick and paddle. But I don't know how to make the 'laser', rotate the telescope and handle the spawning/path of the stars. (I assume you can make it go to the player if x^2+y^2 > r and then move it to the right if x^2+y^2< r. ?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'll need to use line-by-line HMOVEs to draw the telescope sight-lines. Examples of that would be your shot in Laser Blast:



The light sabers in Jedi Arena:



Missile Command, etc.


It is a more advanced technique that I don't think you'll be able to pull off using batari BASIC. I've written a tutorial that will get you started using assembly. If you have any questions as you work your way through it just post a comment. Once you get an understanding of the basics then you can move to the more advanced techniques that you'll need for your game.


Do note my time's a bit constrained at the moment, as I'm busy finishing Draconian for release next month at PRGE, so my replies may not be as timely as normal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I understand it correctly, your observing time should be easy enough to do.


At times, your demo has quite a few stars on the same horizontal line. You'll have to avoid that or use flicker.


While TIA will tell you that your beam has collided with a star, it won't be able to tell you exactly which star, so you'll have to figure that out in your code.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...