Having gone from a loose concept to a nicely playing game, where do I go from here? I set out to create a feast for the eyes and ears!

I came to Atari with a bachelor’s in Mathematics, Economics and Theatre as well as a master’s in Computer Engineering. Most people think the math and computer engi- neering were the keys to success at Atari, but I believe it was the econ and theatre. After all, making games on the 2600 is about finding the most economical approach to maximiz- ing entertainment value. When you only have 4K of ROM for code/graphics and a precious 128 bytes of RAM (including the stack), well… to paraphrase the Pythons: Every byte is sacred, every byte is great! And the big question is how best to use them?

Also keep in mind this isn’t Yars’ Revenge yet. It’s an unnamed title originally assigned as Star Castle. My working title for the game was Time Freeze, but there was no story concept yet. This means there is nothing to suggest which way to go next, but then again there is nothing restrict- ing my vision either. Unfettered by story line, I have only to make everything on the screen more visually stimulat- ing. Naturally, the first place I look is the low hanging fruit. What’s easy to do on this machine?

Animating size is easy, but it doesn’t make much sense, except for the Zorlon cannon. By alternating the horizontal size, it takes on a pulsating impression which adds motion to the screen even before it’s fired.



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