This article is both introduction and partial post mortem on a series of journal posts that detail the development of a Commodore 64 game over the period of two years, including required assets and code source. To directly jump to the tutorial entries go here. Read on for further details of the C64 system and how the game turned out.
General and Gameplay Programming
Back when I was a wee lad we had a wondrous machine at home, a computer. You could hook it up to your TV and make it do what you wanted. It had color, sound and lots of games. This particular incarnation was called Commodore 64, or C64 for short. Very fast I turned to writing programs and games, albeit in BASIC. It was cumbersome, and slow, and you could get nowhere near commercial quality. For a short period I tried to get into Assembly, failed at a (in hindsight) little problem and gave up. Years went by... In the meantime I meandered to the PC (DOS, then Windows) where I started a programmer's career. Fast forward to today. Today's development is heaps and bounds beyond imagination from 30 years ago but I've always had a soft spot for the C64 after all this years. Emulators appeared and became better and better, so I sat down and tried to start assembly programming on a C64 (via emulator). Having learned a lot in the meantime it just felt easy. One game grew under my fingers, supposed to be a kind of farewell to a good old friend, and it became Joe Gunn. And behold, making it was tremendous fun! So finally this Tutorial series was born, to show a younger audience how a C64 game would be written from the ground up. The subtle and not so subtle pitfalls of the architecture and the developing approach will be shown, and maybe lure one or the other veteran back in ;)0