ATARI® Player-Missile Graphics

Philip C. Seyer

A Reston Computer Group Book
Reston Publishing Company, Inc.
A Prentice-Hall Company
Reston, Virginia

Library of Congress Cataloging In Publication Data

Seyer. Philip C.

1. Computer games. 2. Atari computer-Programming.
3. Basic (Computer program language) 4. Computer graphics.

I. Title. GV1469.2.S49  1984 794.8'2   83-21223 
ISBN 0-8359-0112-2

©1984 by Reston Publishing Company. Inc.
A Prentice-Hall Company
Reston, Virginia 22090

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, in any way or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

ATARI¨ is a registered trademark of Atari, Inc., a Warner Communications Company. Sunnyvale, California

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America.

I would like to dedicate this book to my brother, Mark and my dad, Herman, both of whom gave me much encouragement and support.


Special thanks go to my eleven year old son. Dan Seyer, who helped design the game in Chapter 11. Dan also came up with several programming suggestions, including a clever way to handle "collision detection."

Thanks go to game programmer, Robert Sombrio for his innovative joystick reading routine. And thanks to Datasoft Inc., for their Graphics Master program, which was helpful in preparing some of the graphics for this book. Likewise, thanks to Robert Martin for his MMG BASIC Debugger, which proved quite helpful in preparing the programs in this book.

Thanks, too, to the people at Atari, Inc. for their help in answering technical questions and supplying supportive instructional documents.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank the people at Reston Publishing Company who helped put this book together, especially Nikki Hardin. Senior Editor; Nanette T. Edwards and Camelia Townsend, Production Editors; Al Pagan, cover artist.


This book is a self-instruction course in how to design and animate screen images on the ATARI Computer. The book centers around what is called "Player-Missile Graphics (PMG)".

The course will take you step-by-step through all of the fundamentals of PMG and give you "progress checks" so that you can check your understanding of the material presented. When you see a black circle in the margin (like this •), you will know I am about to ask you a question. Since the correct answer is given immediately below the question, you may wish to cover it up with a separate sheet of paper before you continue reading.

You will get the most from this book if you answer each question and then compare your response with the one given. If your answer is incorrect, I suggest you reread the material preceding the question and then answer it again. When you're sure you understand, go on to the next section.

Most chapters end with a sample program. I suggest you enter each program and save it under a unique name. Successive programs build on the previous ones, so when preparing a new program, first enter the one you typed in previously and then modify it.

Have fun! The programs all work. The one in Chapter 11 is quite involved and may contain some hidden bugs. I invite your help. If you find any bugs or come up with improvements, I would be delighted to hear from you. Write to me in care of Reston Publishing Company, Inc., Reston, Virginia.

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