C64 Easter Egg in Saints Row 4

C64 screen

I noticed a Commodore 64 screen last night in the game Saints Row 4. The keyboard is definitely not a C64 one, neither is it a C128 but I’ll forgive that oversight.

There are various retro parts of the game, like a 2D side scrolling beat-em-up to rescue one of the characters but this was in a fairly mundane mission where you have to shoot lights, that’s all I’ll say. Watch out for it!

Dinosaurs of Computing

The Dinosaurs episode of This Developer’s Life struck a chord with me. Not because of Fortran or Dataflex although hearing about developers dealing with small memory constraints or attempts to convert an archaic piece of code into something shiny did make me grin stupidly.

No, there’s a bit about the Commodore 64 in there and some great SID chip music throughout the podcast. That sealed the deal for me! :)

17,827 Euro for a Commodore 65 on Ebay

The Commodore 65 was a prototype computer produced by Commodore between 1990 and 1991 to be an improved Commodore 64. I’ve hardly ever come across it online and never heard of it back in the day, but when Commodore was liquidated they sold the prototype machines. If you have one and are willing to part with it you could be in for a nice surprise!

c65 on ebay

This one on Ebay went for €17,827 last month. It’s not as if much can be done with it as it was never official released but I guess you can run it in C64 mode.

Anyone got one or played with one? (via)

If you thought software development was hard …

shot4-550x412

You should read about the development of a Ludum Dare entry called Ponk.

It’s a C64 version of Pong, developed on a real C64 with only a C2N datasette to save code. Back in the day I was lucky enough to have a 1541-II disk drive. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been working with a slow and unreliable cassette.

datassete

In the end he couldn’t transfer his game to a PC so he had to take screenshots of his game and OCR them, hand checking every byte. I did something similar about 20 years ago when I was tinkering with a C64 to Amiga cable and needed to somehow transfer a C64 programme from the Amiga to the C64 to do the transfer .. Painful.

playing

Wow. Well done Sosowski. (via Indiegames)

Huge 6.5GB of C64 demos, games, music and stuff on archive.org

Well, this is quite amazing. Jason Scott is archiving all the programs found on The Old School Emulation Center on archive.org.

That means there is now a gigantic collection of retro computing history on archive.org. There’s lots of stuff from the C64 to the Speccy, from the Apple Lisa to the TRS 80 there. I’m bowled over by the huge Commodore 64 collection and even found some tunes ex-Ozone member Merman created in the late 90’s. None of our demos there yet though.

One name that caught my eye was Derbyshire Ram, a swapper/cracker I have a vague recollection of. He died a few years ago but others put his huge disc collection online. I wonder if I should do the same with mine? My collection is much smaller and I think I’ll need to check any notes for personal messages but someone might find it interesting. I’m not the only one either.

Go have a look, you may find something you remember from your childhood!

A Red Storm brewed some Beatles

Earlier this evening while listening to “I am the Walrus” by The Beatles my wife asked how I knew that song. She wasn’t familiar with it you see. I replied that I had heard it used in a Commodore 64 demo and then spent the next few minutes wracking my brains for the name of that demo.

I thought it might have been made by Nato, and the title started with “Red” but nothing jumped out at me. Then I thought of Fairlight but again, nothing there except some of their demos were produced with another group, Triad! Yes, that was it!

Triad created Red Storm in 1992, it’s not the most technically sophisticated demo but it’s one of my favourite C64 demos ever. It has some nice effects but I really loved the Zoo TV inspired visuals and poetry. The music was great too, but I didn’t realise it was covers of Beatles music. Granted, it was done on a C64 SID chip so it has that 8 bit sound but it still sounds great. ‘Course, that might just be my nostalgic ears playing tricks on me.

What do you think? Yay or Nay?

C64: Wanted Dead or Alive

Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” as played on a real Commodore 64. The song was digitized on an Amiga, downsampled to 4 bit audio and copied onto a 3.5″ inch disk that the Commodore 1581 drive could read from. The song data was streamed in realtime from the drive to the tiny 64Kb of memory in the computer and fed to the SID chip for our aural delight. I presume the screen has been blanked to save processing power, or the data for the sample gets dumped into screen memory.

This did require an Amiga with the Perfect Sound digitizer. I hooked up the CD player to the digitizer and then using a custom routine on the Amiga, my brother would convert the data to a 4 bit sample. Then we used a null modem cable and Novaterm with a cartridge port adapter to transfer the data to a 1581 floppy. Quite a bit of work went into this.

20 years ago I recorded my own voice onto a cassette saying the word “Ozone” (the name of my demogroup) and I figured out how to sample my voice using the Commodore cassette deck hooked up to the C64. I can’t remember now what memory register it used, I’ll have to search my disk images or examine a C64 memory map one of these days. The quality was terrible but if you knew what was being said you could make it out. It had to be kept short because I’d ran out of memory! I think I used it in the last part of my demo “Awareness of Reality”. (via)

Commodore 64: 8 Bit Legend

Impressive video showing off some of the most popular games of the C64 and the biggest or most famous groups in the C64 demoscene. Must have taken ages to make.

Skip forward to 10:00 into the video for a message from Jim Butterfield. Though recorded in the 80’s I presume, the message still applies. Programming can be fun.

(via Jaz)