If you really want to call yourself a hacker, then gain some geek cred by hacking an old school atari game. Learning to reverse engineer an Atari game to make your own is an awesome project. More people have an Atari 2600 than any other classic console but if you don’t have one, you can still grab one cheap on eBay. The good thing about the old games is that they are easy to hack for someone who is up for the programming challenge.
The tutorial details everything that’s required to re-program an Atari game. But the post points out the resources and tools to get the job started. You need a grasp of assembly level programming and a set of five tools:
- A basic ext editor like Notepad.
- An assembler like DASM.
- An Atari 2600 emulator. (Check out Hack N Mod’s emulator database here)
- Stella Programmer’s Guide which is the original Atari 2600 programming document in PDF format.
- A development tool like the Cuttle Cart cartridge (or a Krokodile Cartridge) that allows one to load ROM games into an Atari 2600 using an audio interface.
In the end, the instructions are not only about hard coding but also on how to package the final game using recycled boards and publishing it to the gaming community. The sweat under the brow should be worth it.
- You’ll also enjoy: How to Make a Portable Gaming Console