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A maze editor for BurgerTime™

In order to get familiar with the way the Intellivision is working, I first decided to do some reverse engineering on an existing ROM. I chose the BurgerTime one.

It was very interesting to see all the tricks used in order to have the full game fit into 8 Kb, graphics, musics and sounds included. Optimization was a real necessity at the time. With today's languages and compilers, the simpliest 'Hello World!' program generates a filthy code of hundreds of Kb but nobody seems to really care ... Oh well, never mind ;-)

I had the opportunity to exchange some mails with Ray Kaestner -- the programmer of the ROM -- and below is his opinion about this topic:
"Yes, lots of times I feel very guilty in this new world writing big and inefficient code when I think back to what we could do in 4k or less of code (my first project at Mattel was a handheld game that fit in 2k and we were also working on games that had only 1/2 k instructions and 32 nibbles of RAM). But that's the way things have gone, and the hardware keeps getting faster and cheaper, so that's not as much of an issue as the good old days."

For some obvious copyright issues, I can't publish my reverse engineered code. However, below is a small program allowing to patch the original ROM with new mazes.

A new BurgerTime maze
A maze created with bt_edit
(zip.gif)bt_edit.zip (8 Kb)

This archive includes 7 brand new levels conceived by David Harley.
Updated Oct 05, 2006 

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