Thank you Sosowski!

Posted by
September 29th, 2013 6:35 am

A long time ago I programmed a little on a Commodore 64.

I found programming in assembly hard and being a lazy teenager soon gave up.

Many many years later (just after an unsuccesful Ludum Dare) the Mini Ludum Dare ‘Low Level’ was declared. This REALLY inspired me. I immediately knew I wanted to do something for the Commodore 64.
The next day (after a mind storming sleep) I had a complete idea in my head.
Because I had no idea about design tools for the C64 and not much experience in making sprites I decided to keep it very simple. Here’s  a first sketch I made:

I found out, that the cross assembler I previously used, didn’t work on Windows 7.  I had to look for a new cross-assembler. C64PrgGen looked nice so I used that. Looking back, maybe not the best choice, it had some bugs that really cost me a a lot of time. But after one day I had become reasonably comfortable with it and I got up to speed. For the graphics I settled with making them in Excel. Probably not the best choice, but easy to alter to my own wishes. Here the design for the title. It’s made up of 96 altered characters.

Programming in assembly gave me some challenges, but fewer than expected. Because I kept it simple I didn’t run into memory problems or problems in using too many cycles.

These two books (yes young people, physical books!) helped me a lot with the workings of the C64 and where to map my graphics :



The end result looked like this:

I was very pleased with the result. It took me a week to do, but if you had asked me a year ago if I thought I could make a game in assembly for the C64 in a week, I would have laughed.

So Mr. Sosowski, thank you for this inspiring theme and giving me a chance to redeem myself for my lazy childhood!



(link to the end result)

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7 Responses to “Thank you Sosowski!”

  1. zzForrest says:

    If you had asked me a year ago if I could make a 15 level platformer in java in 2 days, I would have punched you in the face.
    Not so much now.
    Also, I’m looking into assembly programming, but I can’t figure out where to start. Any pointers? What system should I go for? What compilers? What editors? I’d like to not use an IDE, if possible.

    • goerp says:

      I only know about coding for the Commodore 64.

      Some people code directly on a C64, but I find the saving and loading too much of a hassle (and small memory, the source of my program wouldn’t fit on a C64), so I use a cross assembler.
      In the windows 16/32 bit environment I used 64ASM where you just type your code in a any texteditor and compile it on a command line.
      But that doesn’t work in a 64 bit environment windows so you have to find something else if you’re on such a system.

      I think it’s nice to code for a computer that has only one version. You can really learn about it and it will work the same on all machines (and on all good emulators). The old computers are also not multitasking which makes it very predictable (you count the cycles your program will use).

      For a lot of compilers you can just use a text editor and I think that works just fine.

      Quite a few compilers can compile for similar computers, like 6502 and 6510 processor somputers.
      For the commodore 64 is a good place to start (I totally forgot about that site until so I didn’t use it for the LD).

      There’s a lot of info on the internet so you can just google.

      Good luck, and have fun.

  2. naufr4g0 says:

    I’m recently getting into assembly programming for 6510, too.
    You are right when you say that it is very difficult to develop a game on this platform, but it gives also a lot of satisfaction.
    I’m currently developing a game in assembly using CBM Prg Studio (the same IDE as you), addictionally I use CharPad to edit levels, a tool I found very useful.

    • goerp says:

      CBMPrgStudio is the succesor to what I used.
      I’ll have a look at charpad, but didn’t CBMPRGStudio have a level editor?

      I’m planning to add another level to the game (final confrontation with Dracula in the Castle) and I want work on better sounds and music. I’ve got a few K’s left in memory :)

      • naufr4g0 says:

        CBMPRGStudio have no level editor, only a “screen design” tool to create static screens with a specific charset.
        CharPad allows you to edit large levels using tiles, created using a group of 2×2,3×3,4×4,5×5 chars.
        Finally you can export data files and import them to your project with the “incbin” directive.
        I’m eventually able to import these files and I’m working on collision with tilemap.

  3. naufr4g0 says:

    I forgot to say that I played your game and I found it very fun and well-made! :)
    Sounds and music work great!

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