batari basic
semi-official homepage
current version: 0.35 alpha -- last updated 23 August 2005

what it is
Batari Basic is Fred "Batari" Quimby's "BASIC" compiler for creating Atari 2600 games. You...YES, YOU!...can now create original games that will run on an actual Atari 2600!

from the original README.txt:
Atari 2600 BASIC is intended as a beginner's platform so that one may become accustomed to the intricacies of the system. Although Atari 2600 BASIC is a viable development platform on its own, its real purpose is as a stepping stone toward 2600 programming using assembly language.

Atari 2600 BASIC "lowers the bar" so that others with limited programming experience can write games that can run on a real Atari 2600 or an emulator.

Although Atari 2600 BASIC uses a "canned" kernel which displays two player objects of any height, two missiles of any height, an asymmetric playfield, and a 6-digit score. The sources are included such that one may write their own kernel for use with the compiler. Note also that it is not terribly difficult to adapt existing kernels to work with Atari 2600 BASIC.

downloads and links
Latest Version -- 0.35 Alpha:
DOS/Windows .Zip -- includes .exe, README, sample, etc
C Source -- for use on other systems
AtariAge 2600 BASIC Forum -- the best source of discussion and the latest happenings
README.txt -- required reading
FAQ -- what's the frequently, kenneth?
Helpfile -- alphabetical reference
2600IDE -- an all-in-one IDE for Windows...just point it at stella and go!
AAbBCc cleaner -- The Atari Age Batari BASIC Code Cleaner for AA forums
bBpf editor -- a simple online tool to let you convert pf graphics into the pfpixel calls
For historical archiving I've also made a page of older downloads.

getting started
On Dos/Windows: Unzip into a directory. The zip contains a sample file, "sample.bas", as well as a convenient .bat file that will assemble a Basic file into assembly, and then call "dasm" to assemble that into an atari binary. Type this command:
2600basic sample.bas
This will generate "sample.bas.bin" which can be run in any atari emulator. Also it will have generated "sample.bas.asm", the assembly code.

With 2600IDE...unzip the file and run 2600IDE.exe into the same directory you've placed the Batari BASIC files. It will ask you for the location of stella (note: stella must be used, stellaX won't work) Type in or cut and paste in a program and hit "Actions|Compile and Run".

shot title author binary source bB ver comments
sample batari download source 0.1 Fred Quimby's Original Sample Program...a taste of things to come! A frozen Yar chases the player's ship.

ooze potatohead download source 0.1 "Potatohead" led the early charge in finding out what can be done in Batari BASIC...this unfinished game is a port of a earlier suggestion for a collaborative effort game to teach new programmers by 2600-guru Andrew Davie.
NECG Drumma kisrael download source 0.2 More of a toy than a game, NECG Drumma is simple interactive drumpad featuring New England Classic Gamer's "Pac-Pilgrim" mascot. Features the use of new-for-0.2 "no line numbers" and "meaningful variable renames".
spin16 kisrael download source 0.2 A very simple demo of 16-position rotation and movement, ala Atari's "Combat"...the "jet" flies constantly and can be steered left and right.

site history
July 8 2005 - initial site. Includes zips and initial sample.bas Update with 2600basic.h fix.
July 9 2005 - update with linux fix, include potatohead working_game.bas
July 13 2005 - replaced "working_game" with "ooze", added link to forum, 2600IDE, and Batari User's Guide
July 17 2005 - posted 0.2 version and a few extra links, some minor changes
July 20 2005 - added bBpf editor for playfield graphics
July 22 2005 - reorg. temporarily removed samples.
August 23 2005 - Added 0.3 version August 27 2005 - Added 0.35 version