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Idea Revolutions

Idea Revolutions

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What use to be Atari Arts is now called Idea Revolutions. We have some awesome ideas for Atari games, and if you're interested, just give me an e-mail. Believe me, you'll be interested. Here is just a list of 3 of the 7 ideas.

Mob Rule

Fighter Squadron

Berzerk Revolution

So give us an e-mail, or visit or website... coming soon.

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What ARE all the necessary components you would need to create a new Atari 2600 game from scratch?


Computer (obviously)

eprom burner?

some sort of programming software, like Visual Basic or something?

Blank cartridges (eproms?)

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Creating a 2600 cart from scratch? OK, here's a post I made back in Dec. when Atari 70s kept begging for someone to program his "great game idea:''


Hey '70s,


I think the problem you're gonna encounter is one of sheer magnitude. Asking someone to "jumpstart you" in assembly programming is kinda like asking someone to "write the first 5 chapter of my new novel and I'll write the last few myself." Programming for the 2600 is such a daunting task that most folks don't have the weeks/months needed to do this for you. Oh sure, experienced programmers will be there to suggest changes in your code and perhaps will debug some of it. But writing a beginning kernal for you? Ain't gonna happen, my friend.

My suggestion is to take a HUGE step back. You apparently bit off more than you can chew right off the bat. Learn how to simply change graphics in an pre-existing Atari game using Editgfx and Showgfx. Once you can do that, move on to just tinkering with building a playfield on the 2600 - no sprites, sound, or movement. Just try to draw a simple picture using playfield gfx. (There's a ton of info on how to do this. You just have to force yourself to reading all you can on the subject. there are like 5 websites with simple info on this very topic. Look for "How to Draw a Playfield.") Next, see if you can puzzle out how to draw a simple player character (by simple I mean an un-animated box like from Adventure) and see if you can have it move back and forth horizontally with simple joystick movement. Now, tinker with the enemy sprites. Now, try a missle. Now try to combine all these kernals with appropriate cycle counting (a whole big can of worms itself). Unless you can master - or at least comprehend - how these different facets work, are programmed, and fit into a program, you're fighting an uphill battle. The programmers are a very helpful lot and will do whatever they can to encourage and assist. But you're on your own as far as a beginning kernal. I wish you luck, but it's gonna take a lot of study and sweat on your part to get going. Trust me, I've been there. (I'm still there...)




So, I wouldn't *even* bother with cart cases, EPROMS, hex inverters, bvurners, etc. until you learn the basics of programming in assembly language. Not Basic, not QBasic, not C++, not anything BUT ASM. If you can't grasp this first fundemental step, the other stuff is just hardware. Hope this helps.

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My own ASM adventure can be summarized in one word:




But I'm not giving up. In fact, I'm just about ready to sit down again and give my pet project my full attention. Should have *something* different to brag about soon. Thanks for asking!

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I took the backward approach. After experimenting with SHOWGFX/EDITGFX-type changes using programs like Scanalyzer, I finally just gave in when my Basic programs were constantly slowing to a snail pace, and decided to look a little deeper with the editing software's disassembler. Some addresses that showed up would be tagged by the disassembly, and I could recognise some of them from Basic...or at least the order they were in. By swapping these around a bit, I found that I could personalise my collection of games (though I never had the guts to change my original disks in case I messed it up). Glancing at the instructions next to those addresses, I soon understood the relation of how this affected the games. Got lucky enough to snare a copy of Beginner's Guide To Machine Language, and learned the rest of the instruction set from that...as well as tips for converting Basic statements into their M/L equivilants. Still never coded anything completely from scratch (besides Basic USR routines).

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I just replied to his email...and I sure hope he reads through it. I wan't trying to come across as some visious knid, just trying to point out facts to both sides of the fence. Here is my reply...


You did nothing "wrong" exactly. You have an idea, and you want to be able to bring it to the public...or simply made your company name known. The problem is that you lack the means necessary (or so it would seem). All kidding aside, I was trying to point out the obvious flaws in this method before you or someone else gets burned in the deal. Many people have lofty goals, and I try to point out facts wherever I can.

I am not a software programmer. I probably never will be. I only add snippets of code to existing works. But regardless, I do understand how "homebrew" authors feel about their efforts...and I was trying to tell you that it is going to be very difficult for you to convince someone to give up part of what they worked for, for nothing. Simply adding a name or label to the finished program would mean the loss of part of that achievement to an author...especially considering "the label" had done nothing in producing the finished program, except perhaps the original concept for a program. I was simply trying to point that out.

At the same time, I was trying to warn others about blindly following your lead...as they might have worked very hard to produce something that deserved to be called their own. But instead, they would have to share credit for their toil with someone who offered no assistance during the design process. As I stated, this would be a very hard sell to any homebrew author.

At the same time, I, like you, have ideas for games that I would like to see. I often mention them...in hopes that someone who has more knowledge of the system will turn them into a new title. If someone likes the idea and changes it into a program, it is no longer mine...the programmer deserves all the credit, and should not feel obligated to mention my name in the credits since I had no part during the creation of it.

I really hope that your games see the light of day, though...which is why I mentioned posting the concepts on the board. Maybe someone will realise that they are capable of creating one.


Was that improper or rude? I hope not.

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Originally posted by Nukey Shay:

the programmer deserves all the credit, and should not feel obligated to mention my name in the credits since I had no part during the creation of it.

I would give you my credit as I gave my credits to everybody who really helped me with my games.


Was that improper or rude?  I hope not.

Don't worry, IMO that was a very nice and helpful reply.

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Don't waste your time with an archiac old system like the 2600! You should be brainstorning for Sega, Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft. THAT'S where the real action is now-a-days! Here ya go:


Nintendo Home Page

Sony Home Page

Microsoft Home Page

Sega Home Page


Dazzle them with your new, genre-defining ideas. Perhaps a fully-fleshed out gameworld will encourage them to join forces with ya. There's a chance the Big Boys will toss some programmers/designers/debuggers your way! I wish you luck.

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Don't be so secretive -- give us an idea or two here. I'm curious as to what you game ideas are. For example, is Berzerk Revolution really Berzerk with different mazes, or something really fresh?


If it's the former, btw, can I can provide code for a brand new 5200 game which nobody has seen or heard of until now ... I like to call it, "Kaffi: Purple Kapter".

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Idea Revolution, I think you should try your hand at programming for the GameBoyAdvance.

Obviously you have a great interest in videogames, starting with a system like the GBA will take you much further in life, and have more practical applications as you go into the workforce.

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i still have fath i know you guys knoiw way moe than me and stuff and you guys have done this and knows what it takes but i'm reminded right now of a quote i once heard on this very broad and it was


When live hives you lemon turn it inot an apple and than sit back and watch the world wonder


or something like that do it for all the people who don't have fath and for me Atari Arts


But what do i know i'm just somepunk right

thats what i've been told all my life and i'm tired of hearing people say you can't chang the world cause mark my words someday i will

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Well the reason I wanted to know about eprom burners was because I wanted to know the final steps of making a cartridge before starting on the first part, so at least I'd know where I was heading.


It is like telling me this:


With a car you can go to destination A, B, C, and D. I want you to learn all about how you can get from A to B.


I'm not even gonna tell you how to:

1. Start the car at all

2. What a car looks like

3. Where to even find a car


See why would I want to know about getting from A to B, when I don't even know what a car is?


...learn all this theoretical stuff, tho you won't even know how to apply it PRACTICALLY at the end of it.


I would just feel at ease if I knew all the components that I would need in front of me. Like a "blank bin" file to actually write my code onto (some have told me it is called an "Assembly program". Where is this at? I just don't have the foggiest idea about what the "car" looks like, so it is useless for me to learn coding, because I don't know where to write it at.


I thought it was a simple question, of course the coding is really really hard, but where do you WRITE it at/on. What program do you need to do all this? That way I can actually start writing some test programs to try on my emulator.


Can you understand my frustration?

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Or this:


I want to know how to write a story on my computer, but noone tells me where I write it at..they don't even mention programs such as "word perfect" or "notepad"


Instead they tell me to learn how to spell words and about grammer


They even try to insinuate that my "story" at the end of the whole thing probably won't be any good, because others have already made better stories than I ever could.


That's just great don't you know?


[ 06-06-2002: Message edited by: KAZ ]

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In the links that everyone provided (as well as the programming forum at this site), you can find all the information and programs you need to design games yourself. To begin coding your game, you would need an assembler like Dasm. Since the assembler itself does not actually show you HOW to write the games, you need to bone up on the assembly instruction set and Atari memory locations first. As it was said before, the best way to do this is getting books on the subject and visiting The Dig (for starters).


And we were not actually telling him that the ideas were no good, just that asking for someone to write his "book" for him without even giving examples of how it would be a workable "story" is not the best way to go about it. Especially since experienced "writers" are usually already working on their own "books".


The only way to get feedback is to list what you've got so far and leave yourself open to suggestion.

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Originally posted by Nukey Shay:

BTW even if you ultimately plan on making actual carts for the system, you don't necessarily have to do that yourself. Hoser is still around, so an eprom burner is not really essential.

Yup. I've never seen an eprom burner in my whole live.

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Kaz, to take your anology to another direction...


- I learned to drive before I bought a car.

- I took typing classes before getting my first Smith Corona.

- My folks went out and bought a Dell. THey have no idea how to use it. It sits in a box, unused.

- A friend of mine sold a computer in the classified ads. It was bought by a little old lady who got pissed at him because he wouldn't sit down and teach her how a computer works, how to send e-mails, how to get on the "Innernet," etc.


You're worried about gathering all of the hardware in front of your for cart burning/assembly. THAT'S THE EASY PART! When you get to that point, I can point you to EPROM vendors, Atari cart vendors, PCB vendors, hex inverter vendors, etc. Easy, easy, easy stuff to find. Learning how to program in the first place? THat's the hard part.


Going out and buying a car when you don't know how to drive is possible, but kinda stupid. You're left with machinery you have no practical use you, you know?


My point: Learn how a machine works before you even *think* about investing in one. And, since it's been made clear you never have to invest in an EPROM burner (Hozer, Junie, and others), the question is moot. Now crack open those ASM manuals and get to studying!

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