batari Basic Extension for Visual Studio Code
Welcome to the batari Basic Extension for Visual Studio Code which allows users to create games for the Atari 2600 VCS using the batari Basic language. The average person who wants to make an Atari 2600 VCS game no longer has to spend years trying to figure out assembly language thanks to batari Basic!
This extension was created and is maintained by mksmith for the AtariAge community and is free to use. If you have paid for this extension please seek a refund.
What is batari Basic?
batari Basic created by Fred "batari" Quimby is a BASIC style language used in the creation of Atari 2600 games. batari Basic is compiled to generate a binary file that can by used on actual Atari 2600 VCS hardware via cartridge (such as a Harmony or UNO cart) or by using an Atari 2600 VCS emulator such as Stella.
batari Basic logo created by RevEng (http://atariage.com/forums/topic/282960-batari-basic-logo).
What is Stella?
Stella is a multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Stella was originally developed for Linux by Bradford W. Mott, and is currently maintained by Stephen Anthony. Since its original release several people have joined the development team to port Stella to other operating systems such as AcornOS, AmigaOS, DOS, FreeBSD, IRIX, Linux, OS/2, MacOS, Unix, and Windows. The development team is working hard to perfect the emulator and we hope you enjoy our effort.
Stella is included as part this extension with many thanks to Stephen Anthony. Stella is a external project and can be downloaded seperately here (https://stella-emu.github.io). If you enjoy using Stella place consider donating to ensure it's continued development (https://stella-emu.github.io/donations.html).
This release is compatible with Windows, Linux and macOS.
The latest releases of batari Basic (BB.1.1d.reveng41), dasm (2.20.11 - 20171206) and Stella (6.0 - Windows and Linux only) are included so you can be up and running straight after installing the extension. As noted you can optionally provide links to your own specific releases of batari Basic, dasm and Stella (or other emulators) via the configuration settings.
Using batari Basic
So you've installed this extension and want to create a new modern day Atari 2600 masterpiece? Help is available here:
Random Terrain has created a very useful getting started page on how to use batariBasic with information about using the language and some great samples explaining key features: http://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-batari-basic-commands.html
The batariBasic forum at AtariAge is the perfect place to get help and assistance from the community: http://atariage.com/forums/forum/65-batari-basic
This extension includes the following features:
A number of extension configuration options are available via the File > Preferences > Settings > Extensions > batari Basic tab allow you to customise your experience.
Compiling your program
To display the available extension features press CTRL+SHIFT+P to display the command palette. From the command palette prompt type bB or dasm to short-list the available options:
The following batari Basic language snippets are available by entering the snippet prefix and pressing TAB in the code editor:
Note: If you are having trouble using the snippets press CTRL+SHIFT+P to display the command palette and choose the Insert Snippet option.
Please send a PM to mksmith via the AtariAge forums.
Debugging the extension
During the development phase of the extension I've added some developer output to assist with any issues that may appear. To view this output, open the Developer Tools using either CTRL+SHIFT+I or Help -> Toggle Developer Tools from the menu and in the debugger window, ensure the Console tab is activated (see image below). This information may help identify the area where the extension is failing to process.
Refer to CHANGELOG.md for a detailed list of changes to this extension.