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Welcome to the 8Blit!

Here you'll find programming instruction videos on how to program games for the Atari VCS and the Atari 2600 home consoles. We'll program in Assembly language using the dasm Assembler targetting the MOS 6502 processor. We'll test our games using the Stella emulator, and eventually get our code working on real hardware.

If you're wondering where the name 8Blit comes from, it's a combination of 8-Bit, and the word Blit, which is a reference to a term used to quickly copy graphic memory from one location to another. Something that's entirely impossible on the Atari VCS! C'est la vie!

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Latest Videos

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Learn how the to program your game to use the two paddle controllers on the Atari 2600

Programming Atari 2600 Paddles

In this episode, we unravel the mystery of the ATARI 2600 Paddle controllers - what they are, how they work, and most excitingly, how you can program them into your very own games!

Learn how the to program your game for differnt world regions for the ATARI 2600 game system

Programming Asymmetrical Playfields, Decimals & Scoreboards on the ATARI 2600

A deep dive into the precision timing required to create asymmetrical playfields, how to create scoreboards, and how to use binary coded decimals.

Learn how the to program your game for differnt world regions for the ATARI 2600 game system

Programming for Different World Regions on the Atari 2600

In this episode we learn about the formation and technical challenges of the 3 world broadcast standards and how you can program your own ATARI 2600 games to target one or more.

Learn how to us the Stella emulator to debug your code and hack existing games

Debugging on the ATARI 2600 and Hacking Pitfall!

In this episode we demonstrate the debugging capability of the Stella emulator to trace yoru code and even hack other games.

Learn how the to generate sound using the three audio registers on the ATARI 2600 game system

Adding SOUND to your ATARI 2600 game

In this episode we talk about how sound is generated on the Atari 2600 using the Control, Frequency and Volume registers, along with a couple of examples in 6502 assembly language!

Learn how the to generate random numbers and the use of a linear-feedback shift registers to build your game world

Random Numbers and the POWER of a Linear-feedback Shift Register

In this episode we talk about generating random numbers, and how they relate to linear-feedback shift registers that built the entire world of Pitfall in a single byte!

Monthly random video game subscription box delivery service for the atari 2600

ATARI 2600 Monthly Subscription Box

In this episode of Quick Blits we try out the Retro Game Treasure monthly subscripton box to see what it's like for ATARI 2600 games.

Learn how the ATARI 2600 handles collision detection and how the game Combat does boucing missiles

How the ATARI 2600 and COMBAT Handle Collision Detection

In this episode we talk about collision detection, how it works, and the 15 registers we can use. We also explore how the game Combat handles collisions and bouncing missiles, and have a look at some example code to create a ball that bounces around the playfield. As always, sample code for the episode is available in our github. Learn to program games for the Atari 2600!

Enjoy some holiday music while watchin a warm fire on an ATARI 2600

80's Retro 8Blit Christmas Atari 2600 Yule log Holiday Special

It's 1982, and baby it's cold outside. Warm up sitting by the fire and listening to a fine selection of seasonal music on the local AM radio station in 1982. Open your presents with cheer on Christmas morning while listening to classic seasonal songs with a charming host. Your 1982 8-bit Christmas is waiting for you.