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garm

Atari 2600 - History

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Someone could help me? I'm looking forward to know about how games were developed for Atari2600 at 80's. I mean, what hardware, software, time to make a game (i.e. combat) and resources (emulators, connections,...) applied at that age when it was the main video-game. I know how it can be done now and I know it's easier, but I could not find anywhere explaining how it was done at that time. Sorry for my poor english. I'm doing my best. Thanks!

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All code on those early machines was written in assembly language which if memory serves for the 2600 was 6502 or similar?
Usually code was writen in 6502 mnemonics on a cross compiler running on a host computer...maybe PC but often lesser systems like Sharp and Tatung machines.
The compiler would produce binary images which were saved on to the host machine's memory or backup systems (usually floppy) which would then be transered by some means on to the target system (the 2600)

I know of quite a number of developers who were actually capabale of writing code in hex and using simple hex editors, would key in the opcodes. 6502 had a very limtied instruction set so it was possible to read hex as code with a little practice. Saving out a memory dump as a binary image to run on the target

The resulting Binary images would be burned to eprom and the resulting cart would be tested on the machine.

Some higher end developers and probably Atari themselve had eprom emulators which were always plugged in to the host and target kit, and they would send their binary images down to the emulator, then reset and fire up the target machine to test the code, this kind of tech was horribly expensive back then, I mean reallly very pricey so only the top of the line developers and hardware manufacturers would have it.


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