2600programming
reaching for atari
I'm an Atari 2600 programmer. Not a spectacularly good one, but I do have one published homebrew game, and I have written a pretty decent tutorial. This is a small list of resources I put together just so I'd have them all in one place at an easy to remember URL, and maybe some other people will find them useful.

projects
2600 101
An introduction to programming the Atari 2600...not for the faint of heart or weak of programming skill. Some people have found it a useful gateway to this esoteric artform. Andrew Davie's AtariAge forum 2600 Programming For Newbies is also a good starting point, though hasn't been updated in a while.

Batari BASIC
A work in progress, Fred "Batari" Quimby is writing a BASIC crosscompiler for the Atari 2600, and this was the semi-official homepage for it. See also my batari BASIC kickstart - your first atari 2600 program in 30 minutes or double your money back!

Batari BASIC kernel-don't-panic
A handy chart for visualizing the "acceptable" set kernel_options options.

do re Bb - the BASICs of Atari Music
A guide to making music on the Atari. The examples are in batari BASIC but the tuning and general notes apply to any attempt at music in the 2600. Includes webTune 2600, a gui for Thomas Jentzsch's tune2600 to find the closest pitch matches for your notes in the regular Western scales.

Cookbook
A work-in-progress, an attempt to collect some of the collected wisdom, clever ideas, and best practices of the [stella] mailing list into one convenient and hopefully inspirational location.

JoustPong
JoustPong is my first and so far only Atari 2600 game, a hybrid combining the old school death match action of Pong with the kinetic flapping of Joust. That link is to a journal from the 2 years of its on-again, off-again development. You can also see its page on AtariAge.com or even purchase it from their online store.

PlayerPal 2 / PlayfieldPal / (Old PlayerPal)
Two simplistic but accessible javascript-based editors for Atari 2600 graphics, Player graphics and Playfield graphics, respectively.

Leprechaun Level Editor
A work in progress for a work in progress, this is a simple javascript editor that generates real Atari code to display a board for Eric Ball's upcoming Lode Runner clone Leprechaun.

vgames @ kirkjerk.com
Not entirely Atari-related, a video game page I put together over the years. I was one of the first people to put a classic-video-game-themed webpage up, in the early 90s.

important sites
The Dig! Stella Archive
MiniDig Stella Selections
The [stella] mailing list is a stupendously important resource for most Atari developers, and The Dig is currently the most powerful search engine for diving into its past conversations. The MiniDig features choice selection from the old days of the [stella] list.

DASM homepage
DASM is, by-and-large, the officially sanctioned assembler for Atari 2600 programming. This page also has the semi-canonical Atari 2600 "Support Files" such as vcs.h and macro.h. (That page is now obsolete. Here is the sourceforge page instead, and I can offer a local mirror of vcs.h and macro.h)

Stella Programmer's Guide
A local mirror of B. Watson's HTMLification of the canonical document on the internals of the 2600. I find it the most friendly format for this important reference.

AtariAge
AtariAge is, simply, the website for all things Atari...a terrific game reference with downloads, intelligent discussion forums, and an online store for homebrew games they publish themselves...a huge service to the homebrew community.

Z26 / Stella / PCAEWin [local mirror]
Three of the most important emulators. Z26 has one of the best reputations for rock-solid emulation but is Windows only. Stella is one of your few choices on Mac or Linux. PCAEWin has a kind of difficult UI but offers unique features like an integrated debugger and record .AVI movies. Unfortunately, its official homepage seems to be gone, but I have the most critical .zip here for download.

other locations
Console Passion Retro Games
A UK based site featuring "Online ordering of Classic Games and Vintage Consoles. All the major systems and Japanese imports. Modification services, competitions and polls."

development journals
For some reason, I just like the idea of game development journals. As far as I know, there's no big listing of them, so here are some I've found interesting.

Completed:
JoustPong by Kirk Israel
SCSIcide by Joe Grand
Skeleton / Skeleton+ by Eric Ball

In Development or On Hiatus
Incoming! by Ben Larson
Death Derby by Glenn Saunders and Thomas Jentzsch
SpaceWar! 7800 by Eric Ball
Leprechaun by Eric Ball


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