30.000 views later - WUDSN IDE in a book

While everything in the world is turning into bits, some bits of WUDSN IDE have turned into some pages in a real world book. Thomas Schulz ilustated how what WUDSN IDE is and how cross-devlopement works in his chapter of the book Time to Play - Zeit und Computerspiel published by members of the Humbold University in Berlin. When I think back how I started with WUDSN IDE in 2009 ... I would never have thought of being an enabler for such great things like Dimo's Quest and so many other games and programs. Now, 7 years later my site has crossed the 30.000 views boundary, the IDE has over 130 active installations and became friends with many new Atari users. All this is simply great and I hope we'll a have lots of funs together in future. 

The IDE screen with the project, outline, editor and message panel.

The rainbow example program explained step by step to learn what "racing the beam" means.

6502 Assembler workshop on game development with WUDSN IDE

On 2nd and 3rd of July 2016, an interactive workshop on programming games in 6502 assembler will take place in Bad Oeynhausen in Germany. It will be held by Thomas Schulz aka 8Bitjunkie, the author of Dimo's Quest on both the Amiga (original version) and the Atari 8-bit. WUDSN IDE is used as the development environment for the workshop. The workshop is targeting absolute beginners and will be held in German. If you are interested, sign up to the Facebook page of the event. I know many people who are reading this dreamed of writing their own games when they were young. So get up and join the workshop, it's the best chance to finally make your dream come true.  

The!Cart - 3D printable cartridge shell models available

The original The!Cart was delivered with a rather cheap shell in order to keep the overall price low. Sven Pink from the A.B.B.U.C. created a first version of a 3D printable shell back in 2015, but it was never officially released to the public. Only one protype was printed back then, which I own. Sven is lacking the time to and I am lacking the skills and equipment to continue the design. So I decided to release the files in the their current state. You can download the OpenSCAD (".scad") and stereo lithography (".stl") files for printing your own shell for the first version of "The!Card". If you manage to get usable results and maybe create improved versions of the model, I'd be happy to add pictures of your shells here and update the download accordingly. Visit the new The!Cart page for more details.  You can also visit the corresponding thread on AtariAge for questions and feedback.

The!Cart Shell, front, closed The!Cart Shell, opened, PCB fittedThe!Cart Shell, opened, PCB remove


Atari 2600 - Two new trackers in the making

According to lft, there are 3 approaches for creating music on the Atari VCS

  1. Stick to the very few matching notes, or
  2. Alternate quickly between the very vew matching note, or
  3. ignore the problem.

Given the fact creating music on the Atari VCS nowadays also requires coding skills, the solution is most often option 3. But a few weeks a ago a miracle occurred and suddenly even two trackers for the Atari VCS were released.

You can also find more VCS trackers on the battleofthebits.org site. Both new trackers are very interesting and promising projects and already usable. So get you hands on them, provide feedback to the authors and get something done for Sillyventure. In addition Kylearan held a nice seminar about music and trackers for the VCS at Revision:

"The state of the Atari VCS 2600 music scene is very underdeveloped, despite the fact that it is one of the oldest platforms actively used in the demoscene. In addition to the severe and weird limitations of the hardware itself, there's also a dramatic shortage of tools accessible to musicians. As a consequence, music is hard to come by for a coder, and musical styles are often more uniform and limited than they need to be. In an attempt to improve this situation, we present TIATracker: A new sound routine for the VCS and an accompanying tracker for the PC which tries to support both musicians and coders in dealing with the specific limitations of the platform. This talk will start with a brief recap of the audio capabilities of the VCS. Then, an overview of existing audio routines and tools, both publicly available and proprietary, is provided. This is followed by a discussion and some statistics about how all this might have influenced the culture and quality of music on the VCS. Finally, TIATracker is introduced. It brings ADSR envelopes, variable pattern lengths individual to each channel, funktempo and more to the VCS, and its PC user interface targets non-coder, non-VCS musicians with tools like pitch guides, combined waveform instruments and overlay percussions."

Atari 2600 - I have no memory

The Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) is a unique and interesing thing. The purpose of this tutorial is to show interested people the history of the Atari 2600, explain the hardware design decisions and how they impact the way of programming - making programming the Atari 2600 a very unique experience and challenge. And I show and explain examples that illustrate how programmers adopted the limitations and strengths of the machine to create better and better graphics in the course of 30 years. The following picture from The Argyle Sweater nicely brings it to the point. Thanks a lot to Scott Hilburn for the permission to use it.

Atari VCS has no memory