Stella (emulator)

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Stella
Stella icon
Developer(s) Bradford W. Mott, Stephen Anthony
Stable release 4.2 / 28 October 2014 (2014-10-28)
Development status Active
Operating system AmigaOS
Windows
Mac OS X
Linux
Windows CE/Mobile
Dreamcast
GP2X
Nintendo DS
Wii
Available in C++
Type Console emulator
License GNU GPLv2, open-source
Website stella.sourceforge.net

Stella is an emulator for the Atari 2600 game console, and takes its name from the console's codename.[1] It is open source, and runs on most major modern platforms including Amiga, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows CE/Mobile, Dreamcast, GP2X, Nintendo DS, and Wii. Stella was originally written in 1996 (and known as Stella 96[2]) by Bradford W. Mott, and is now maintained by Stephen Anthony.

Stella is written in the C++ programming language and thus is highly portable.[3] The emulator supports all Atari 2600 cartridge bank switching schemes and has support for nearly all Atari 2600 titles. Support is included for NTSC, PAL and SECAM in 60 Hz/50 Hz varieties, including autodetection of those formats (based on the number of scanlines generated in each frame).

Stella emulates most Atari 2600 peripheral devices, including standard joysticks, paddle controllers, the Atari Video Touch Pad, the Atari Keyboard Controller, Atari Indy 500 Driving Controllers, the CBS Booster-Grip controller, the CX-22/CX-80/AmigaMouse trackball controllers, the Sega Genesis controller, and the AtariVox and SaveKey controllers. Stelladaptor and 2600-daptor support allows real joysticks, paddles, and driving controllers to be used, and support is also included to access a real AtariVox device plugged into a serial port (and actually generate sound from the AtariVox device). Stella does not yet support the cassette-based titles designed to work with the Coleco KidVid cassette player but does have support for titles designed to work with the Starpath Supercharger and Spectravideo Compumate.[4]

Stella includes many facilities for homebrew developers, including an extensive built-in interactive debugger and disassembler supporting breakpoints, read/write traps, etc. Other major features include Blargg TV effects, a cheatcode system, support for user-defined palette files, state loading/saving, hardware-accelerated rendering and effects, event remapping, and an extensive built-in, cross-platform user interface (including a ROM launcher frontend).

JStella, a translation of Stella into Java, allows the Stella emulation engine to run as a Java applet on a web page.

Reception[edit]

Use of Stella was covered in the books Retro Gaming Hacks[1] and Racing the Beam.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kohler, Chris (2006). Retro Gaming Hacks. Sebastopol: O'Reilly. p. 143. ISBN 0-596-00917-8. 
  2. ^ Bradford Wayne Mott (1996-05-16). "Stella 96 - An Atari 2600 Emulator". Newsgrouprec.games.video.classic. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  3. ^ "Stella - A multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Stella - A multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator (User's Guide - Release 3.7)". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  5. ^ Bogost, Ian; Montfort, Nick (2009). Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. MIT Press. pp. 140–141. ISBN 0-262-01257-X. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "Retro Gaming Hacks" by Chris Kohler - Oct. 2005 (1st ed.), p. 144 [1], [2]
  • "Racing the Beam" by Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost - Mar. 2009 (1st ed.), p. 140-141 [3]

External links[edit]