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Dragster Magic

Dragster Magic
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The Internal Magic of Activision® Dragster™
Volume Two of David Crane's Technical Wizardry Series

The Atari Video Computer System™ started it all. There were other early game systems, but the Atari VCS (also known as the 2600) was the first commercially successful programmable home game player.

Then along came Activision - the first third-party video game cartridge publisher. Founded by unappreciated Atari game designers, Activision greatly expanded the state of the art of programming for the 2600.

Activision's first video game, Dragster™, is a perfect example of this. We all know by now that the Atari 2600™ was designed to display two 8-bit objects (like the tanks in the Combat™ cartridge). So how is it that Dragster™ can have two 48-bit wide, smoothly moving objects on the screen?

The Technical Wizardry Series includes a number of interactive volumes featuring hands-on illustrations to explain the many techniques used to turn the lowly Atari 2600™ game system into the most versatile gaming platform of the last century.

Volume Two explains the extremely obscure technical tricks invented to make a game like Dragster possible. Later volumes explore other popular 2600 games and how the simple video circuitry of the system was manipulated to make those much more complex games possible.

NOTE: Volume One: 2600 Magic is available in the App Store. A full understanding of the topics covered in that volume is necessary to be able to follow the subject matter in this and all subsequent volumes.

Finally, a note on pricing:

If you are new to the Atari® 2600 and don't know if you care to learn about its internal workings, 2600 Magic Lite can be downloaded free of charge. If you find that of interest, for roughly the cost of an order of fries in the full version of 2600 Magic you will find a further exploration into a number of very advanced programming techniques. Much of this information can be learned through hours of searching the internet and other published works, but the 2600 Magic Apps are provided to condense into a single volume the background information needed to delve more deeply into the 2600's technology.

Volume Two and subsequent volumes of this series explain specific techniques used in specific games, each written by the original game designer / programmer. These are selling for roughly the cost of a fast food hamburger. For that you get the benefit of 30 years of experience from one of the world's leading experts on video games, plus animated diagrams programmed to help you to understand some of these highly technical topics.


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