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Defender in BASIC at 30 FPS on the Atari 2600



StarBlitz is a Defender style game for the Atari 2600 written in BASIC.

The software blitter in the BASIC runtime can render incredibly smooth scrolling panoramas at 30 fps like interactive Television :)

This thread is to discuss StarBlitz and writing bit-blitter games in BASIC on the Atari 2600 or with other BASIC's and platforms that surface blitter commands and objects to the BASIC.

Here is the BASIC listing for StarBlitz in retro markup on the Pouet demo scene site, commented to show the bit-blitter operations:

Here is a youtube video showing StarBlitz running on real hardware - a tube Television and a stock Atari 2600 loading the game from cassette tape using a 6K RAM board from 1982:

And some controversy generated by the game; the software blitter leverages the flexible architecture of the Atari and old-school Television technology to achieve visual effects modern computers cannot yet recreate. Discussion threads on the effects that can't be emulated are here and here:


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