Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dungeon Blaster is finally here!

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to announce that Dungeon Blaster is complete!!

Dungeon Blaster is the accomplishment of and old dream (and challenge) of creating a full game for the Commodore 64 using the MOS 6510 assembler. It's a Bomberman clone created from scratch that features:

-Use of the VIC-II multicolor graphics & sprite features
-SID original music & sound effects
-Joystick support
-12 dungeons of non-stopping action
-3 different types of enemies
-4 different power-ups/items
-Looks like an old 80's Commodore 64 game!

It works perfectly in the most famous C64 emulators, VICE and CC64S, that you can find following the links section of this blog. It's also been tested on a real C64 and it works perfectly too. It's easy to convert the .t64 file to a real tape; you can easily find utilities in the internet to do that if you have the real hardware!

DOWNLOAD Dungeon Blaster clicking HERE!

I hope you enjoy it almost the same that I enjoyed developing it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

People: Jeroen Tel

The SID sound chip gave us dozens of memorable musics for the Commodore 64 games. These musics came by the hands of the tallented (and usually young) musicians that worked with the chip back in the 80s. Among them, one of the most brilliant (and my personal favourite) is the Dutch founder of Maniacs of Noise, Jeroen Tel.

Some of his most famous soundtracks include those he wrote for Cybernoid and Cybernoid II, Myth, or Eliminator. And in my opinion, Savage's music is awesome. Here's a list of most of its tunes for C64 games.

Recently, Maniacs of Noise released a new C64 demo, that is actually a compilation of some tunes of the group:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Times change, and so do advertisings...

Hi everybody! Here's an old TV commercial of the Commodore-64, aired in 1985. Don't you find it funny?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Here comes Dungeon Blaster!

Hello everybody! I think that is already the time to reveal my "small project", because I think that I'm close to completing it. Here comes Dungeon Blaster! My first fully assembler-coded videogame for the Commodore 64!

Back in my childhood, when I was learning to program games in BASIC in the original C64, I always had the desire to program a game "the way it was meant to", thats in the 6510 assembler. Unfortunatelly, at that time internet didn't exist and I hadn't enough resources to learn the assembler, nor I had a way to assemble machine code either, so I finally left it and started programming on PC, tired of my slow and ugly BASIC-written games. Nowadays, thanks to the still big existing community around the C64, creating a game or a demo is easier than ever! Perhaps someday I will make a short introduction on how to make a program for the C64 in the 21st century :P

Dungeon Blaster is basically a Bomberman clone, where your character uses time bombs to get rid of the monsters that inhabit the dungeon. There are different types of enemies with slightly different behaviours. And you can get power-ups that increase your abilities!

The game has been tested on a real C64 and works perfectly. It still lacks music/sound and is incomplete, but I expect to finish it soon and make it available for everyone. (For free, of course!) Stay tuned to be the first to play Dungeon Blaster on emulator or on your real Commodore 64!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder, has passed away

Sadly, the former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died today at the age of 56, due to its cancer illness. He worked in his beloved company until the last moment: it was this year's august when he officially announced his retirement.

His contribution to the computer industry and later, the smartphone/tablet industry is unquestionable. Jobs started Apple back in the 70s with Steve Wozniak, at the time Chuck Peddle and his team at MOS Technology were trying to sell the 6502 processor and create a personal computer. The Apple I & II computers were 6502 based indeed. In fact, there was a moment when Trammiel was interested in buying Apple, but finally they didn't agree. The microcomputer industry would have been a lot different if Commodore had bought Apple, don't you think? Chuck Peddle himself was also working in Apple closely with Jobs for some months, when he temporally left Commodore in 1979, during the development of the Apple-III computer.

Let's remind today this visonary that already has become a legend. RIP Steve.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

He's more than 20 years old... and still works!

Here you have the irrefutable proof that old microcomputers were more resistant than nowadays's! This is my old Commodore 64, still working perfectly in 2011 (despite a couple of keys, that you must press strongly in order to actually type the character :P). He has survived two children (my younger brother and myself) playing with it during an insane amount of hours, a lot of BASIC programming, remaining stored inside a bag in the bottom of a closet for more than 15 years, and the move to my current flat.  Here you have it, plugged into a HD television, what an strange sight!

My two old joysticks still work as well. Unfortunately, my original Datasette hadn't the same luck. It won't load nor rewind tapes anymore :(. But no problem, thanks to eBay I managed to get a brand new tape unit from a company called Altai, which made 100% Commodore 64/VIC compatible tape units back in the 80s. I have tested it and it seems lo load new tapes perfectly, (recorded from a PC). With my old game tapes I have got different results, some of them work perfectly, since other ones seem that won't load ever again...

So now I have my whole system working again, what's going to be perfect to test my small project... :D

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

100 Commodore 64 games in ten minutes

And, to start, what do you think about taking a look to some of the best games ever for the C64? I know, anyone has its own favourites and maybe they are not in this clip... But let's look at it this way: There were A LOT of good games in the Commodore 64!! So they don't fit into only a hundred :D

Monday, October 3, 2011


64 Kb of memory are more than enough! Or at least, they were some years ago...

I'm pretty sure that the oldest ones already know the Commodore 64. What? Is there someone that doesn't? Ok, then we're going to fix this inmediately!!

Let's take the DeLorean and get back thirty years in time... Long before the 3D accelerating cards, the network playing and the HD... And let's land in the newborn personal microcomputer industry. We are in the 80s: The companies are fighting to get the computers into all homes, and with that objective in mind they try to design the compact and cheap personal computer, affordable to anyone, to win the struggle... In this battle we find many contenders, like Sinclair, Apple, Atari and Commodore; this last directed by the clever and ruthless Jack Trammiel. After definitely leaving the calculator business, and after the considerable success of its last home computers, the PET and the VIC-20, Commodore is about to lauch one of its most legendary machines, one that was going to reach an incredible success in the starting decade.

In 1982 the Commodore 64 comes to the market. This little computer, contained inside the housing of an elegant, professional-looking plastic keyboard, featured 64 kb of memory, 320x200 pixel resolution, 16 simultaneously on-screen colors (a graphic hardware far beyond its contenders), sound capabilities that still today impress, and a versatility second to none. The fathers responsible of this little wonder are many and talented, and contributed to the long path that Commodore travelled since its early years until the launching of the C64: Chuck Peddle, creator of the revolutionary MOS Technology 6502 processor. Al Charpentier, the engineer responsible of the VIC-II graphic chip. Bob Yannes, creator of the SID audio chip. Charles Winterble, product manager of the C64. And without forgetting Jack Trammiel with its obviously right vision of what the computer business was going to be at the time.

The Commodore 64, due to its undeniable virtues, became one of the kings, if not the king, in the 8-bit era. Playing the games that were developed for it, a gamers generation growth. Arcade conversions looked wonderful in this microcomputer that almost everybody had hooked to a tape reader in order to load the programs. (Despite some lucky ones had a disk unit!). But not everything was about playing: Some did its first programming steps with the C64 BASIC, and a lot created amazing graphic and audio demos with the assembler, giving birth to an active underground scene that, surprisingly, still exists nowadays.

Of course, time goes by, and newer and more powerful hardwares replaced the 8-bits at the early 90s, making the Commodore 64 and the other 8-bit machines become part of the young computer history. But for many, there will always be a place in our hearts for these (with love) pileups wich made us learn and enjoy a lot. This blog gets born With the nostalgic motivation of remembering and spreading a little of its history, and I also hope to share through it a small personal work realated to the C64 that I'm doing now in my leisure time. Stay tuned for more information!!