I’m not sure if this should count as a day of coding on my 30 day adventure or not but I seen someone make a post about something called a FlashAir SD Card that they were using to develop games for the Atari. This sounded too good to be true.
As of right now every time I make a change to the game on my Mac, I need to go get my SD Card and copy the new Binary onto it, then take it out. Go over to my Atari, place it into the Harmony cartridge and run the game to test it. If something is wrong, I need to take the card back out. Go back to the computer change things, copy things, take out the card, walk back to the Atari, stick the card back in, test it. And repeat and repeat and repeat. This gets old… The solution?… A FlashAir SD Card!
Before I go on I should say that I don’t recommend this card for anyone who isn’t very technical minded or isn’t obsessively determined to get it to work like I happen to be (The latter more so than the former). There is very poor documentation on this card and it took me close to 8 or so hours to get this thing working… The card was designed for digital cameras with the purpose of sending pictures from the card to a computer. What I wanted it to do was the exact opposite, which was receive my source code wirelessly from my Macbook to my Atari 2600.
In order to accomplish this I had to do a lot of research and digging online. Then I had to get into the terminal on my Mac and learn how to use Vim. Went through some tutorials on Vim. Then I got into the config file of the Flash SD Card, and adjust it to allow for uploads. This was easier said than done and I probably would have given up sooner if I didn’t already know it had to be possible, because I seen someone else online do it.
Now I can leave my Atari on, make a change on my laptop on the fly from the couch, send the new binary file through wifi to my Atari, grab the joystick and test the game on the real hardware. It’s a dream come true. It’s such a cool little Atari Game Development Work Station I have on the go now. I wish I had this on Day 1. The project is almost over now but if I ever make another game, this will be very useful.