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Bally Alley Astrocast

This podcast covers the Bally Arcade videogame console released in 1978. This system was also called the Astrocade and the Bally Professional Arcade.
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Now displaying: November, 2022
Nov 4, 2022

In episode #18 of the Bally Alley Astrocast podcast, the hosts, Chris and Adam, cover two games written in Bally BASIC called "Cross Country Racer" and "Star Wars" by Doug Shaeffer, an amateur Astrocade programmer. These games were archived, along with other programs, by Paul Thacker in February 2022 from an Astrocade collection bought on Ebay by Nate Reeder in January 2022. Paul says, "These seem to me to have been made for personal use rather than with a goal of publication, but there's still some cool stuff in here [...]." Also covered is one piece of feedback and some recent updates to the Bally Alley website."

Recurring Links 

Show Notes

We have limited show notes again for this episode. If there's something in the podcast that you want to hear more about and a search on the Internet won't turn it up for you, then contact the Astrocade discussion group on Groups.io.

  • Doug Shaeffer Tapes - The complete tape archive of Doug Shaeffer's Astrocade Tape Collection.
  • "CHRDIS" Articles by Mike Skala - The three-part "CHRDIS" articles describe how to use the Bally Arcade's built-in Character Display routine from within Bally BASIC to create fast graphic displays. First published in the November and December 1982 and February 1983 Arcadian newsletter. Mike Skala says, "I've seen quite a bit of software lately utilizing the Graphic Character Maker, a machine code routine that Arcadian has published in the past year. This allowed us to use a display routine from the on-board ROM and put complex graphics on the screen instantly, rather than a slow series of BOX and LINE commands. The major drawback here was when moving the graphics, erasing and redrawing: it left us with considerable flashing or blinking. If you have been with us for a while, you know that we are continually evolving and improving; the following tutorial is our new generation of screen animation for the Astrocade!"

Feedback

There is some feedback covered in this episode, and we would love to hear your thoughts and comments about this (or any) Astrocast episode or about your history with the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. The best way to contact us is via email at BallyAlley or through via the Bally Alley Discussion Group at Groups.io.

Next Episode's Coverage

Perhaps "AstroBASIC" will get some coverage in Episode #19. It makes sense, since Astrocast #18 covered two BASIC games. Astrocast #17 was supposed to cover the material in the "AstroBASIC" manual and it was recorded, but it didn't turned out the way I had hoped that it would sound, so the "AstroBASIC" manual overview has been put off until I can cover it with a co-host like Chris, a BASIC programming ninja, or Paul, who has also programmed in BASIC. We will also cover "Outpost 19," an AstroBASIC game by WaveMakers that will fit naturally into an episode that shares its numbering with the game. We also may try to cover a game that was released on cartridge, but that coverage may be bounced to a future episode because "Outpost 19" may be the most involved game written in BASIC on the Astrocade.

 

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