We wanted more code memory than we had for Miner but I really wanted to avoid releasing a disk version. Disks were just too easy to pirate. Miner's cartridge had already been broken and illegal disk versions were beginning to circulate.
Our solution was to use some new bank-selected masked ROM's that had originally been developed for Atari's 2600 system. For Miner we had 16K of ROM. These new parts allowed us to cram a whopping 40K of ROM into the cartridge. Here's part of our development system:
One of the neat tricks in BBSB is the way the game scrolls from one level to another. It would appear that would require two separate screens already rendered. But that would take too much memory because I wanted the game to run with only 16K of RAM required. So my solution was to dynamically render the incoming level as it scrolls onto the screen. It seems trivial now but back then it was a big accomplishment!
I used something pretty fancy to write the code for BBSB: My own development system! I wrote a cross-assembler for Radio Shack's 68000-based Model 16. It would assemble code far quicker than doing it directly on the Atari. Then we'd just transfer the code through the serial port and test it on the Atari. Here's one of our programmers, Kelly Bakst, sitting in front of one of those development stations: