[atari7800] Re: Any projects going on yet?

  • From: "John K. Harvey" <jkharvey@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: atari7800@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 15:50:57 -0600

Wow-- finally some action on this list. :)

Someone always asks this question about every 4-6 months on Atariage.com,
and then no one ever really responds (except for other excited people who
usually explain what games they'd like to see programmed).  This is usually
followed by some unhappy posts from a few frustrated people who would
probably sell parts of their body to science in order to get a new Atari
7800 game.

So, I'll just say that I've been working on some projects on-and-off.  Some
are/were disassembly efforts, some were walkthroughs for current 7800
games, and some are actual development demos.  There are other 7800-related
things I've worked with, but that's probably not too exciting within the
scope of this topic.

I did get pretty far with some 7800 coding (I have a couple of demos which
I've done-- neither which can be considered a real "game"), but I got kind
of bored with the activity as of recently.  I'm the kind of guy who works
within spurts of motivation.  My last spurt occurred a few months ago.  I
like to keep my 7800 efforts quiet because I'd like to avoid the intense
pressure of an overenthusiastic community-- if I ever turn one of my demos
into a game, I'd want it to be of a quality that I'm quite satisfied with
before release; I mean, this is the system that's supposed to be in some
respects better than Nintendo!  Plus, I like to go at my own pace.  So, it
may take a long time before I'd release anything, but I'm optimistic that
some time down the road, I may release one hell of a game.

This is about the only list I'm on anymore for Atari-related stuff, so I'd
be happy to answer questions people have (assuming that I'm not at work
24/7, which unfortunately happens sometimes).

So, I think I'd like to start off by asking:
1) Who's on this list?
2) So, why did you join this list anyway?

I guess I joined becuase the Atari 7800 is my favorite system of all time.
The community is quite small, the library is easily collectible, and
there's a lot of "mysteries" that need to be solved for this system (for
example, it was really fun to unlock the Joystick Test in Ninja Golf, but
I'm still wondering if the secret "level warp" code exists in Ikari
Warriors).  In addition, there are a lot of "beatable" games in the
library, which makes it kind of fun.  I really hope to someday finish
Planet Smashers, but I still don't know how to do it.  When all of my extra
lives suddenly become zero, I'm always screwed.  As far as programming
goes, it's a unique system to program for, but without any community, the
hurdles are devastating.  I know that I've had to completely redesign an
engine I was working on 3 times due to 7800 limitation roadblocks which I
found just a few hours/days too late-- in these instances, I wish someone
was there to warn me beforehand.  So, I'd like to be able to help others
avoid those traps.

Well, that's about the size of it.  I'm going to go eat an apple now.

-John K. Harvey

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